“They were crazy. They were so hostile. The environment [in Manhattan last year] was very hostile. I just remember them throwing ice at us after we was beating them, and they were throwing hot dogs at us as well.”
Corey Nelson, Oklahoma linebacker, AP
GH: Manhattan, Kansas is not your typical sleepy little town on game-day Saturday afternoons. Finebaum has mentioned once or twice how Mizzou is in for a rude welcome on the road in the SEC. We know rude very well here in Big 12 country. What Nelson didn’t mention was that the Wildcat crowd was set off by a Sooner stomping on the chest of a fallen Collin Klein and a flag that was picked up after a perceived late hit on Klein. Fans get crazy no matter what the zip code. I imagine things might get loud in Norman as well on Saturday.
“We kind of got after them a little bit last year, and that doesn’t leave. When somebody comes into your house and does you like that, that stays with you. I’m sure their coaches are preaching to them, ‘They did this to us’ and they’re just going to try and come in here and do what we did to them last year.”
David King, Oklahoma defensive lineman, on the Sooners’ 58-17 win at Bill Snyder Family Stadium last October, AP
GH: KSU was 7-0 and ranked in the top-10 when the Sooners undressed them at home last season. This year the game is both team’s first Big 12 matchup. A loss doesn’t kill either team’s conference hopes, but it severely damages the losing team’s aura – even more so KSU’s. Snyder is 1-7 against his former student, Bob Stoops. He could use a win over Oklahoma to move his second K-State reclamation project into BCS bowl talk.
“Like coach says all the time, ‘Keep the game in between the white lines.’ Ultimately, it’s going to come down to discipline and toughness. Who’s more disciplined to do what they plan to do and do it consistently through the whole game? That’ll be it.”
Collin Klein, on how he expects K-State to handle the crowd in Norman, AP
GH: Sure has been a LOT of talk about “toughness” this week. I wonder if Finebaum thinks Klein needs an SEC lesson in toughness? We Northerners [and some pretty good football players in Oklahoma] sure don’t.
“Snyder and his coaches got their hands on Klein and were so impressed by his quarterbacking that they made him a wide receiver. Now in his second season as the full-time starter, Klein’s still pretty inexperienced as a QB.”
Steve Greenberg, writer, sportingnews.com
GH: Inexperienced? Playing quarterback is about talent and leadership. Klein has enough of both to make up for anything he might lack in number of snaps.
“He’s spectacular. I can’t imagine there’s a better running quarterback in the country. … He’ll make you miss, and then he’ll run over you. His durability must be off the charts. He gets stronger as the game goes on.”
Al Golden, Miami’s head football coach, who watched Klein rush for three touchdowns against the Canes in the second game of this season, sportingnews.com
GH: I have never witnessed a running quarterback have a season like that which Collin Klein had in 2011. I have been witness to some incredible runners like Nolan Cromwell, Jamelle Holieway, Eric Crouch and now Michigan’s Denard Robinson. But all of those running quarterbacks were fleet of foot and used quickness and speed to gobble up yardage. Klein is Paul Bunyan-esque in how he methodically moves down the line and leans into his foes for bruising yardage. Al Golden is right. Klein is simply spectacular.
“He’s a good player. I can appreciate that. He’s a guy who tries to improve his capabilities all the time. But what he means is what college athletics—and life—should be all about. The landscape of college football isn’t about the Collin Kleins of the world, but it should be. It’s a high-finance world right now, all about TV and dollars and cents—Taj Mahal buildings—and, to me, it’s a bad influence on people.”
Bill Snyder, on his 23-year-old quarterback, sportingnews.com
GH: Interesting comments from Snyder on the industry that he has dedicated his life toward. College football has changed, so much so that even HCBS is calling is a bad influence on people. I am not so sure he is wrong.
“Wow, ESPN got a 1-on-1 with Collin Klein. When I was there Tue I got a 1-on-15. Must have forgotten my checkbook to scratch out a rights fee.”
Dennis Dodd, @dennisdoddcbs, Twitter
GH: Dodd was tweeting about an interview with Klein that had aired on ESPN. Do colleges filter what media outlets get prime access to their athletes and coaches? Sure do. As Dan Hawkins might say, “It’s Division I football! It’s the Big 12!”
“While the rest of the college football world is mainly stuck playing meaningless non-conference games against the blind sisters of the poor we can thank the scheduling gods of the Big 12 for giving us a potentially Big 12 championship deciding game in the first week of conference action. Yes, I just said Kansas State and Big 12 Championship in the same sentence. That wasn’t a joke, it’s an actual thought that many folks including yours truly happen to believe could be a reality come the end of November.”
Andrew Coppens, writer, Bloguin.com
GH: While I am thrilled to have the K-State/OU game on my menu this early in the season, it is far from the only big game on Saturday. Mizzou travels to South Carolina for a huge SEC game. Kickoff is at 2:30 and should provide an excellent appetizer to the day’s main event in Norman at 6:50 PM.
“Kansas State fans are tired of the dark horse label, and rightfully so. The Wildcats started 7-0 last year and returned the core of their 2011 roster. … On both sides of the ball, the talent is evident. But entering this week’s game, many doubters remain.”
Ben Glicksman, writer, SI.com
GH: Win and the doubters will quickly turn into advocates for the Purple. The Cats’ fate awaits in Norman. Damn I love this stuff!
GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter/ greghall24