Kansas State’s Bill Snyder has a mantra that goes, “We have to get better every day. Better every week, step by step.” I’m not sure his Wildcat football team did that last week, as they took a 31-10 thumping from the Bulldogs of Mississippi State but it did appear that a lot of the other teams that we all root for did.
Great Bend, Hoisington, Larned and Central Plains all showed marked improvement last week, in their second games of the season. Ditto for the Kansas Jayhawks. There is an old sports adage that says “a team shows the most improvement from game one to game two in a season.” That was definitely true for the five teams mentioned above. Two of those teams that showed the most improvement from game one were Hoisington and Larned and they will square off against each other this Friday in Larned. Which team will improve the most from game two to game three?
Recent history would put Hoisington in the favorite’s role but Larned’s young team showed marked improvement last week as they kept state-ranked Hesston’s coaches nervous until the final minute of play in a 28-21 loss. Hoisington rebounded from a 34-0 thrashing in the season opener from Pratt to beat a good Nickerson team. This one looks like a tossup. Could the talented toe of Larned’s Logan DeMond be the difference?
Great Bend has their hands full with a trip to super-talented Wichita Northwest. The Panthers, though, have taken care of business with their two opening season wins, especially getting past rival Hays in a grinder of a game. The action will be fast and furious against Northwest, however. Put Northwest in the favorites column in your football contest this week!
After two tough games, the Oilers of Central Plains get a breather this week as they host Kinsley. The Coyotes broke a long losing streak last week with a win over St. John but they are no match for the Oilers.
Meanwhile, we have Kansas State, who DIDN’T get better last week and Kansas who DID! The Wildcats should make that improvement this week as they host UTSA. It’s time for the Wildcat offense to show up for the 2018 season IF it is going to. K-State 33, UTSA 9.
In week one the Jayhawks lost a game that they were supposed to win and this past weekend they won a game they were supposed to lose. I don’t think anyone in the world has any idea if they will win or lose against the Big 10’s Rutgers but it is in Lawrence and this team has created a little bit of a buzz with their road win and the performance of freshman running back Pooka Williams. Home crowd pushes KU to 2-1. KU 27, Rutgers 21.
— Serena Williams’ meltdown in the finals match of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships is the biggest temper tantrum in tennis since John McEnroe hung up his racket! Don’t let Williams antics fool you. Young Ms. Osaka from Japan simply dominated Williams. Too bad that wasn’t the story, not Williams outburst. I wonder if the Japanese will label Williams as a “racist” for her behavior around Osaka as is the tendency for many in this country to do in a reverse situation! At the very least the behavior was boorish!
— I think you saw Sunday pretty much what the Chiefs are going to be this year: Exciting on offense and scary on defense. That’s going to make for a lot of close and exciting games!
— Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers showed Sunday night that he is STILL the premier quarterback in the NFL. He earned every penny of that new whopper of a contract in the Packers’ big comeback win.
— Wasn’t it Green Bay’s Vince Lombardi that said: “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing!”? That reminds me of another of his lines: “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
Buddy Tabler is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and his views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.