OTC: Michael Bishop’s ’98 Cats Should Have Ruled / SEC Can Be A Nasty Neighborhood

“Hard to believe 15 years ago Michael Paul Bishop first stepped onto the field. K-State wouldn’t be the same again. Swag had a face.”
D. Scott Fritchen, @DScottFritchen, Twitter
GH: I sat low in the corner of the far end zone that Saturday in Manhattan in 1998 when Kansas State ended 30 years of frustration against Nebraska. I had driven to the game with Jason Whitlock. He sat in the press box but I needed to be out in the stands. Nebraska jumped to a 17-0 lead but few in the stadium thought this game was over. K-State was that good. Nebraska fans will bitch about the obvious facemask that wasn’t called on young Eric Crouch, but KSU was the far better team. Bishop threw for over 300 yards and ran for another 100. Darnell McDonald, K-State’s fabulous wide out, decimated the Huskers’ secondary – making the game at times look like a mismatch. KSU was the best college team in America in 1998. It is ironic that Bishop’s turnovers against A&M in the Big 12 Championship likely cost the Cats their national title. 15 years goes by quickly. Collin Klein has rekindled some of that same PowerCat pride with his play at quarterback. The season awaits. Let’s get it on.

“I think A&M will be very average.”
Paul Finebaum, SEC sports talk show host on Sirius/ XM, Columbia Tribune
GH: I might be the last person who isn’t an Aggie who thinks A&M could shock the SEC West. The Aggies looked like world beaters in most games last season for the first two quarters and then self-destructed in the second half. A&M has SEC talent. Do not sleep on these buzz-headed cheerleaders.

“I think Missouri has a chance to be a surprise team. We’re sitting here in early August, but I think Missouri’s going to beat Georgia on Sept. 8 and somewhat shock the world, and I think if that happens, Missouri will be in a position. It’s still going to be difficult. There’s some games I don’t see them winning, like at South Carolina, home against Alabama. But I really think after that, there’s some possibilities.”
Paul Finebaum, Sirius/XM sports talk show host, in an interview with the Columbia Tribune’s Steve Walentik, Columbia Tribune
GH: Maybe Finebaum was being generous with the Columbia Tribune’s Steve Walentik, who interviewed him for this Q&A. But I haven’t heard this kind of sweet southern optimism toward Mizzou on Finebaum’s show. Read on.

“I feel comfortable in talking about Missouri people, and I say this with great affection: They are different. They’re very Midwestern, they’re kind of middle of the country, nice people who may be in for a shock on a Saturday night at Williams-Brice or Knoxville, Tenn.”
Paul Finebaum, Sirius/XM sports
GH: I have a feeling the SEC might be in for a surprise if they think Mizzou fans are nice Midwestern folks. Maybe on Mondays…but they sure as hell aren’t come Saturday afternoons at Faurot Field – especially when they see red. I remember a 70-ish old lady, dressed from her ears to her toes in Missouri garb, spit on my Nebraska-soiled shoes as we waited together at a stop light on University Avenue, the morning of a NU/MU game back in the early ‘80s. I was chased by a drunken Mizzou mob as I high-tailed it to my car after Brad Smith shredded my Huskers 41-24 in 2005. And the SEC might want to check with Kansas if they think rolling into CoMo is going to be a back-slapping picnic. The Tigers can hold their own when it comes to hostile hospitality. Read on.

“I jokingly said once, as long as Mizzou comes in and loses, the SEC fans will embrace them and love them, and they’ll have a really good time. But if you beat somebody, then you better be careful. … There’s some dangerous places in the SEC if you’re wearing your school colors. I don’t say that to scare anyone, but just take my word for it. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, you go in there and beat Florida, keep your mouth shut. Go home. Get to your car as fast as possible.”
Paul Finebaum, Sirius/XM sports
GH: Florida? That’s the best the SEC has to offer when it comes to nasty? Try Ames in November. I’d love to see Alabama take on the Clones on a sub-30-degree day with that Canadian wind bathing the field. No need for Johnny Musso cutoff jerseys and ice fans up north, boys. That Iowa cold has a way of neutralizing nasty. I was once assaulted in the stands in Ames about the head and neck by a sausage-wielding lady as ISU’s Luther Blue returned a kickoff 100 yards against Nebraska. Good times.

“As Southerners, we’re continually being told we’re last in everything else. I don’t like it, but I get it. We’re being told that the SAT scores are much higher in the north, and then we’re looking down our nose at them athletically.”
Tim Brando, guest on Paul Finebaum’s show, on why SEC fans are considered arrogant, 91 Sirius/XM
GH: Winning programs as well as winning conferences will always be considered “arrogant” by those who do not win as often. No one is calling Nebraska basketball fans conceited. Success breeds jealousy – and SEC football knows about success.

“I get grilled regularly because I don’t sound Southern enough. Literally, everybody on your show in Alabama thought I was some guy from New York who didn’t know anything about college football.”
Tim Brando, talking to Finebaum, Sirius/XM
GH: Brando is a Louisiana native but he sounds like he’s from Des Moines. There are not a lot of Cajun-sounding TV broadcasters.

“The difference between the SEC and everyone else? Everyone else talks about bowl contention goals. SEC talks about 1 thing. National Titles.”
TJ Carpenter, @TJCarpenterWHB, Twitter

“We take offense very quickly [in the South]. There’s a true chip on the shoulders of the modern-day Southerner. That’s a fact.”
Tim Brando, Sirius/XM
GH: Interesting. I don’t think of the South as a place where they folks are defensive. It will be an education as we get to know the SEC the next few years.

“I’ve got to admit, I’ve dialed out quite a bit of baseball – and I do every time this time of year.”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM

“You know how we were saying we’re tired of the preseason? I’m tired of the Royals’ season.”
Aaron Swarts, 810 AM

“The Glass Ceiling.”
Caller, to Kevin Kietzman’s show, on his nickname for the Royals and their ownership, 810 AM

“The next sentence of this column might sound crazy, and, you know, it might be proven crazy. But it’s the truth as I see it and so here goes: The Royals aren’t that far away from being good.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: Is Sam channeling JoPo’s Royals’ blue clouds and optimism circa 1996-04? Or maybe he’s that desperate to get quoted in the OTC? [I’m sure that’s it.] You can read Sam’s Royals’ column here – and let it be known that I for one sure as hell hope he’s right. This is a ballsy column. Not only do the Royals look anything but future title contenders, few fans are still paying much attention to the Glass Ceiling.

“The hardest thrower in the bigs isn’t who you think; it’s little-known Royals reliever Herrera.”
Jon Heyman, columnist, CBSSports.com
GH: Click on the CBSSports link – unless you have completely tuned our baseball – for Heyman’s story on the Royals’ reliever.

“As Whitlock would say, he knitted a clown suit for Joe Posnanski. It doesn’t matter who you like [between Whitlock and Posnanski], just read it. Those two guys do not like each other. That’s like the worst-kept secret. Was that even a secret? I encourage people to read my former cohost’s review of Joe Posnanski’s book. That is a must read.”
Steven St. John, 810 AM
GH: Click here for Whitlock’s clown suit.

GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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42 Responses to OTC: Michael Bishop’s ’98 Cats Should Have Ruled / SEC Can Be A Nasty Neighborhood

  1. Jip says:

    I was in high school in 1998 when I went with some friends to Columbia to watch Kansas State take on Missouri (Michael Bishop vs. Corby Jones) in what, I believe, was the regular season finale. It was a great game that K-State ended up pulling off, and I was almost positive that I just watched the national champion win their closest game of the season. K-State was so good that year. So good.

    That was such a fun game to attend. Ironically, I ended up going to KU.

    • Kyle says:

      Wise choice!

    • Greg Hall says:

      Nebraska had a close win in Columbia in 1997 to Corby Jones and the Tigers in one of the best games I didn’t go to because I thought NU would win by 4 TDs. We all know it as the Fleakicker Game. I was so sure NU would blow out MU that I was mowing the grass and listening on the radio through the first quarter. I quickly put the mower away and planted myself in front of the tube for the final three quarters. One of the most visually beautiful TV games with a late-autumn light that I can remember. The win was pure luck — and it led to a Nebraska national title that season. Corby is an underated MU alum.

      • Cliffy says:

        I was at that 1997 game. My Nebraska friend was begging to leave after the 3rd quarter. Pussy. Of course, he couldn’t keep his mouth shut afterward.

      • Phaedrus says:

        I was in OK at the time and was pissed that I had to watch NU vs Mizzou rather than #1 (or 2) Penn St vs #4 Michigan (i was a big time UM fan). Michigan ended up killing PSU and we all know what happened in the NU game.

        Dont say NU won a natl championship in 97 though. That was nothing but a retirement gift to Osborne (not to mention their fluke win at mizzou).

        • George Wilson says:

          I was at the 1997 game, sitting around the 35 yard line to the left of the horseshoe. I remember telling the guy I was with at the end of the third quarter that it was the best college game I’d ever seen. And that’s before the fleakicker and overtime.

          What I remember most about the last play of regulation is the Nebraska fans’ response. The visiting team sections were at the far end of the field from where the play took place. After the play there was very little noise from the Nebraska fans. If any of the officials signaled for a touchdown, I didn’t see it, and apparently neither did the visiting team fans. After about a minute or so the Nebraska extra point team ran onto the field. That’s when the Nebraska fans erupted.

          • AaronB4Mizzou says:

            Sitting on the student side (east) at about the 35 yard line, roughly 40 rows up. Our seats were on the north side, about section PP or so. Anyway, it was chaos. We all thought Mizzou had won and some had started storming the field. Couldn’t even see the ref’s signal TD. We were all left wondering about what had just happened. I really didn’t know the full extent of it until we got home and saw the TV replays . Needless to say, those replays made me sick to my stomach. Mizzou had the bugeaters beat, but an absolute fluke…

            Even in defeat, that was hands down the best game I’ve ever been to. Lost in all the aftermath of that one, was how it was a back & forth game. The bugeaters would score, then Mizzou would answer back. Corby played the game of his life that night. Great, great game.

            The ’98 game against K-State was good too. Mizzou hung in there for a long time, but ultimately, they proved to be too talented. That ’98 Wildcat team is seriously underrated.

            ’03 against the Bugeaters was fantastic too, because everyone there sensed what was happening. After three tight quarters, that fourth quarter turned into a party 25 years in the making. Complete strangers hugging each other like it was Christmas morning. A couple of buddies and I called all of our other friends who couldn’t go, including one who was stuck living in Nebraska. While upset he couldn’t be there, he was excited. He also won about $1000 betting on Mizzou against all his Nebraska neighbors. He had a great day at work on Monday!

      • Phaedrus says:

        That day was the first time ESPN used “Judgment Day”. #2 PSU vs #4 Michigan and #3 Florida St vs #5 North Carolina were both played that day. Of course, the Nebraska game stole the spotlight.

  2. kc says:

    That 1998 Big 12 Championship game still makes me want to scream! Then, my Wildcats get screwed in the bowl game! This year will be just as fun as last year. K-State has an even better team, Tyler Lockett is healthy, Collin Klein is healthy, Arthur Brown is a beast. There are 4 sell-outs, as of today. The rest are within 100’s of tickets of being sell-outs. Fun times in Manhattan!!

  3. JP says:

    I had an acquaintance who attended the University of South Alabama, and told me that he got mostly A’s and B’s because the educational level is so poor in the south that the kids are not up to speed, and the stuff seemed remedial compared to what he was taught at a local high school (Shawnee Mission School District). Nobody will compare the heart of the SEC with smart people, innovation or High IQ’s.

    They can play football, and they do have the right to brag on that front. As for Carpenter’s tweet, give him a break. What the hell else does Arkansas bring, besides jokes that is.

  4. Wes says:

    The absolute worst team when you beat them is Nebraska. The Husker fans are gracious and friendly when they beat your team 56-3. They couldn’t be nicer.
    However, you beat them and they are just the opposite. It’s easy to be nice when you are winning.

  5. P says:

    I think the mention of the 98 KSU team and the way that season ended still gets Cat fans misty eyed. So close…..yet so far away.

  6. Terducken Tommy says:

    I ran onto the field three times at the end of that 98 game between the Cats and Huskers , with the pa announcer saying ‘fans, get off the field” the first two times. A husker fan I met at a Royals game in summer 1998 had offered me $100 for my student ticket. I set the price at $200, and I’m glad I didn’t sell it. There were old guys crying toward the end of that game. A special season, even with the bitter end in St. Louis.

  7. Terducken Tommy says:

    I will add one thing – last year’s K-State team showed more heart than any team I’ve watched from 1993 on. Even though the 1998 and 2003 squads were more talented, last year may have been my favorite season.

    • miket. says:

      i’m a KU alum, basketball fan, and eternally hopeful (and equally eternally disappointed) about KU football, but last season televised K-State games were appointment TV for me. fun team to watch. swear there was a little purple pride on my sleeve those days. looking forward to seeing what they can do this year.

  8. JFP says:

    Greg’s continual underestimation of all things SEC is getting really entertaining. Comparing Ames to Gainesville?

    Ummmm…yeah.

    • kc says:

      It depends on your perspective. Mu fans seem to have an overestimation of all things sec. You’re happy to be there, great. Doesn’t mean it is any better or worse than anywhere else.

      • JFP says:

        In the world of college football, there is a gigantic difference between Ames, Iowa and Gainesville, Florida, and a gigantic difference between the SEC and, well, everywhere else.

    • Greg Hall says:

      JFP,
      Gainesville? Isn’t that where Jerry Seinfeld’s parents and the Costanzas went to retire? #BocaVista

      • Gavin says:

        Phase Two, Del Boca Vista.

      • JFP says:

        Greg, out of curiosity, how many SEC campuses on game day have you been to?

        • Greg Hall says:

          JFP,
          Three on game day; Vandy, Tennessee and Alabama. I’ve also visited Arkansas and Florida but not on game day. I’m not knocking the great traditions of the SEC — just poking some fun at our newest neighbors. Get used to it.

          • JFP says:

            It’s not that, it just seems that you and many others believe that Mizzou will have a cake walk playing in the SEC. I guess we will see.

  9. ron says:

    Insofar as mindset and culture, most of Missouri is as southern as Arkansas or Kentucky. Missouri fans will fit in fine in the SEC. The Tigers will, too.

    • Jim says:

      Until the SEC came calling, I never, ever heard anyone from Missouri claim they were southern. Ridiculous.

      • Cliffy says:

        I can see why you’d say that, sitting here in KC. But it’s really not a big stretch to think of Missouri, or least part of it, as southern. Check out this site: http://www.sonofthesouth.net/slavery/slave-maps/mason-dixon-line.htm

        Is Arkansas not a southern state? Drive through south and southeast Missouri and it’s hard to tell the difference. There are still tobacco fields in central Missouri and cotton fields in the southeast and the bootheel.

        I’ve never considered Missouri a southern state, but I’ve never considered it totally midwestern either.

        • Jim says:

          There are tobacco fields right here too, Cliffy. Been to Weston, MO? That doesn’t make Missouri southern. MU playing in the SEC doesn’t make them any more Southern than WVa playing in the Big12 makes them Midwestern. It’s a silly argument. Politically or geographically, nobody considers Missouri part of this country’s Southern region.

  10. Herbert Arthur says:

    Most of you act like there’s such a thing as gracious LOSING fans. Give me a break. The only gracious fans are the ones who are used to and EXPECT to lose.

  11. chuck says:

    The idea that it is ok, or expected that you will be physically assaulted because you wore KU colors to an MU – KU game, or the reverse, with respect to ANY college game and any fan wearing ANY colors to those games, fuckin disgusts me to my fuckin core.

  12. Smartman says:

    If we’re talking all out pre game or post game parking lot or cheap seats war, fisticuffs, cat fights, broken beer bottles, full tilt boogie Roadhouse Patrick Swayze and Sam Elliott fighting for their lives kinda stuff; MU fans don’t stand a chance in the SEC. To the other SEC schools MU is those Damn Yankee’s.

  13. The Word says:

    Jfp my guess is Greg has only been to one SEC campus….MU…

  14. BlackJack says:

    I just don’t understand all of the brouhaha about college football around here. Missouri and K-State will be no better than average in their conferences, and KU will suck. What is the big deal?

    And the main reason SEC fans are so rabid about college football is because there is nothing else to do in those cities. I know I am being sterotypical, but with no professional sports and very little of an arts scene, recreational options in many of those places is pretty much lmited to hunting, fishing, going to church, and football.

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