Thursday, November 06, 2008

Thursday Night Beer: Is Kansas the Acid Test?

The Nebraska/Kansas game might be the make-or-break game for both squads this season. Kansas is bowl eligible, but finishes up with Texas and Missouri. Nebraska's coming off of a pasting by Oklahoma, and would like to regain the momentum they had in October. Win, and Nebraska is potentially looking at an 8-4 regular season. Lose, and Nebraska needs to find a way to win at Kansas State or against Colorado to become bowl-eligible.

Speaking of Kansas State, it's no surprise that Ron Prince is out after this season. In today's world, college football coaches don't get much time to prove themselves anymore. Prince got off to a hot start in his first year, but after knocking off Texas last season, the program has gone steadily downhill. That lack of progress is probably the main reason that Prince was let go, but you also can't dismiss Prince's actions in leading the Wildcat program. He ran off Allan Evridge, then he ran off the equipment manager, who they named the athletic department's loyalty award for. His coaching staff was a revolving door as turnover was excessive. You know what they say: winning cures whatever ales you. But when you don't win, you'll find yourself without any support. Prince's signing of 19 junior college players was a desperation move that failed. You recruit junior college players because you need a quick fix, and in that quantity, that indicates you know you have a lot of needs. Judging from what I've seen of Kansas State this season, they've still got a lot of needs. And the big problem with so many junior college players in this class is that also means there aren't many freshmen in the program either. So the Wildcats will be feeling the pain of Prince for several years to come.

So who will replace Prince? BringOnTheCats' have endorsed TCU's Gary Patterson. He'd be a good candidate. South Florida's Jim Leavitt will also get some mention. But the leading name appears to be none other than Bill Snyder. Some people might think that would damage Snyder's reputation if he failed to bring K-State back to the success the Cats enjoyed around the turn of the century. Maybe, but Snyder's turnaround at Kansas State was a miracle, and failing in a second try shouldn't tarnish that accomplishment one it.

The real question is whether Snyder would want to do it? That hasn't been said yet, but there's a good chance that Snyder is interested. Legends frequently don't know what to do when it's over. Tom Osborne rejected job offers from Houston and Michigan State after retiring from Nebraska, then decided to become a Congressman for six year before then running for governor, teaching, then finally becoming athletic director. Bill Parcells has retired how many times as a coach? Let's be honest, coaches don't know when to retire.

On the stadium front, in the Sugar Land, Texas election, all four stadium proposals to fund and build a stadium was approved earlier this week. So that moves Sugar Land into the lead in the race for the Omaha Royals. Sarpy County revealed this week that they plan to use increased sales taxes to fund the stadium. The devil is in the details, but this might be more palatable to some folks in Sarpy County, though I'm still skeptical that it would be sufficient to build a stadium. These developments pretty much put the pressure on Omaha if they really have any interest in having the Royals play downtown. I sense that MECA didn't take Sugar Land or Sarpy County seriously, and wanted to sign the Royals on their terms. Which might still happen, but seeing that the Royals now have options, might be a gamble that failed miserably.


Anonymous said...

you missed the fact that Kermit Brashear has been hired by Sarpy County to negotiate with the O-Royals and to work on financing mechanisms and possible legislation.

Husker Mike said...

I didn't miss it. Just didn't think it was particularly newsworthy. When Sarpy County lays out how they are going to fund this project, I'll take their plans seriously.

Anonymous said...

Just like Omaha using the model with Creighton, the Royals and CWS to help fund the new "CWS" stadium downtown...didn't matter to the city or to future taxpayers that only 1/3 of those 3 will use the facility.

Husker Mike said...

Uh, did you pay any attention during the entire stadium debate? The new stadium is going to be primarily funded by hotel and rental car taxes and private donations. In fact, it's been said that it might be a money loser for the stadium if the Royals played there, since the Royals will probably demand more from the stadium than they will generate.

The reason why it's a good thing for the Royals to play downtown is that it enhances the multiplier effect of development downtown. So there is a benefit to the city for the Royals to play downtown, though it may not necessarily be a money maker for MECA.