“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.
[email protected] and Twitter / greghall24