Asmussen's Insider: Shame on K-State

Asmussen's Insider: Shame on K-State

Each week, college football writer — and AP Top 25 & Heisman voter — BOB ASMUSSEN breaks down the game he loves

Teams of the Week

Georgia and Clemson

Here is an insane concept: a pair of Top 10 teams actually meeting in the season opener. Bitter rivals, the Bulldogs and Tigers play Saturday in Clemson. The atmosphere will be bowl-like. And the intensity will be felt across the country. College football needs more quality matchups like this, but the guess is teams will become reluctant to load up their schedules for fear they will blow their chance at a title berth. 

Team of the Weak

Kansas State

Bill Snyder and the Wildcats are back to their old scheduling tricks, opening at home against North Dakota State. No offense to the folks in Grand Forks (or is it Bismarck?) but their team should not be visiting the Wildcats. Unless they are playing hockey. Snyder rebuilt the Kansas State program by dumbing down the schedule. It became a college football joke and also the blueprint for other lost teams. The Wildcats are good enough now that they should routinely take on nonconference challenges. So there. Later, they play UMass. Blech.

Top 10

1. Ohio State

So, none of the other AP voters felt the Buckeyes were worthy of a No. 1 vote. Are you kidding me? Didn’t they see how Urban Meyer coaxed them to a perfect season in 2012, without the carrot of a bowl? Amazing work. The guy deserves a medal. Or a whole lot more money. Got a feeling he will win a title — or nine — during his stay in Columbus. Might as well sign him up for the College Football Hall of Fame now.

2. Alabama

Nothing crankier than Crimson Tide fans after you tell them their team isn’t the best. Remind me, did Alabama win all of its games last season? Didn’t think so. It will be tested in the opener against Virginia Tech and later in the season against LSU and Texas A&M. It will take a bad game by Ohio State to move Alabama up a spot on this ballot.

3. South Carolina

Are you going to tell Jadeveon Clowney he can’t play if he signed autographs? Somebody at the NCAA is going to need hazard pay for that job. For now, enjoy one of the best defensive players in years. While you still can.

4. Georgia

The problem with the opener against Clemson is that somebody is going to have to lose. Aaron Murray and buds know how important the game is to their season. They will give max effort.

5. Oregon

Lose the superstar coach to the NFL? No big deal. It is the next guy up for the Ducks, who — as always — are loaded at the skill positions. Opening against Nicholls State sounds like a good chance to score 80. They will have to play better in the third week against Tennessee.

6. Stanford

The Cardinal isn’t going to impress anybody by beating up on San Jose State in the opener. Or the second game against Army. The fun comes after the leaves turn and the sun finally goes away. Until then, Stanford is locked into the Top 10.

7. Louisville

Quick, name the conference the Cardinals play in. We couldn’t, either. Until it moves permanently to the ACC, Louisville plays in something called the American Conference. Somewhere George W. Bush is smiling.

8. Clemson

Way back when, Danny Ford, Perry Tuttle and William Perry led the Tigers to the national title. The talent is in place to do it again. Tajh Boyd can push the team to a bunch of wins. The game against Georgia would be a good place to start.

9. LSU

Les Miles keeps piling up wins in Baton Rouge. And please don’t ask him about returning to Michigan. That ship has sailed around the world. Twice. The opener against TCU won’t be easy.

10. Florida

What the Gators want more than anything: a game to play so they will stop being asked about Aaron Hernandez. It could be worse. At least A-Rod didn’t play at the school. Will Muschamp’s team opens against Toledo. Tim Beckman will check on his former team later. 

Bottom 5

125. Georgia State

Between Tech and Georgia, isn’t the state a little heavy with Division I programs? Heck, the fans don’t even support the Braves, and they win all the time. Maybe it can work here, too. Don’t bet on it.

124. Idaho

This is not the team being coached by former Illini offensive coordinator Paul Petrino. That is Idaho State. 

123. UTSA

Speaking of states with too many football programs, Texas tops the chart. Of course, everything is bigger in Texas, including the egos.

122. Florida International

Welcome back to college football, Ron Turner. After all that time in the NFL, the first year is going to be a pain. But this isn’t Turner’s first rodeo. Give him three or four years and he will win. Then, he will move up in the college ranks. Turner can talk about Illinois in the opener against Maryland and former Illini offensive coordinator Mike Locksley. Should be fun.

121. Hawaii

The Warriors move off the naughty list if they stay within 50 in the opener against Southern Cal. The Mountain West is too difficult for Hawaii. You will see huge scores posted from the islands each week. But, it is a great place to visit.


Conference call

1. SEC

2. Big Ten

3. Pac-12

4. Big 12

5. ACC

6. Mountain West

7. American

8. MAC

9. C-USA

10. Sun Belt


Heisman ballot

1. Braxton Miller, Ohio State. Put up big numbers in the opener against Buffalo and he moves way up everybody’s list. Meyer has shown he likes to showcase his Heisman candidates. Maybe he enjoys the free trip to New York. And the Broadway shows. Is “Cats” still playing?

2. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M. At this point, his only crime is acting his age. If he plays like he did against Alabama more often than not, he will get a long look from all of the voters.

3. Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville. The quarterback is about to turn basketball into the second sport at his school. Yes, he is the third QB on the list. And there are two others who deserve consideration, too. Got to think he will be the first quarterback taken in next year’s NFL draft. Over Johnny Football.


Random thoughts

Can’t wait

Wisconsin and LSU will open the 2014 season in a neutral-site game in Houston. It is a good move for the schools and even better for the Big Ten and the SEC. We will get to compare the progress of the programs while watching a game that could have playoff implications. Don’t forget, the BCS goes away next season.

Select few

To honor the 100th anniversary of the game, the folks in charge of the Rose Bowl are putting together an all-time team. Got to think there will be several former Illini on the list, led by Dick Butkus. Here’s hoping he will be joined by others with C-U ties. The team can’t be just about California.

No need

As the guy from DirecTV updates our system, it becomes clear that the college football package is unnecessary. Why? Not because we don’t love the sport. But because it is already over-covered by all of the sports networks. The latest to jump in  is Fox Sports 1, which will air college games during the season. At this point, I need a bank of TVs lined up against the wall to watch everything. It is overwhelming. A long way from the two games per week we got when we were kids.

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Moonpie wrote on August 28, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Geez, Bob--Illinois plays cupcakes, too. You seem to think it's only K-State.

pblillini wrote on August 28, 2013 at 4:08 pm

You missed Bob's point.  KSU doesn't NEED to play those kind of games anymore.  IL does.  If IL ever gets to KSU's standard then I'd hope we wouldn't play those kind of games either.  But we have a long way to go (thanks Ron Guenther!).

supertall72 wrote on August 28, 2013 at 6:08 pm

As soon as Bob or pblillini figures out a way to turn around a football team that previously by far had the worst division I-A record in all of college football and turn it into a perennial top 25 team with 11 consecutive bowl appearances, then both of you can question Bill Snyder. Until that time, I don't really think Bob, or pblillini or me or anyone else can really question Snyder's tactics even though I too would like to see them play a tougher non-conference schedule. 

jnaour wrote on August 28, 2013 at 6:08 pm

I remember the days of Mackovich, George, an NFL LOADED D, and playing USC, Colorado, etc. in the NC sked.  We were good then.  You have to scheduled cupcakes now b/c we are not good.

Bear8287 wrote on September 01, 2013 at 1:09 pm

It's great to have you back Bob, but you need to get outside of the B1G a little more often.  :-)

No offense to the folks in Grand Forks (or is it Bismarck?) but their team should not be visiting the Wildcats.

Actually, they're located in Fargo, 80+ miles from Grand Forks and 190+ miles from Bismarck (both waaayyyy closer than your prognostication. ;-) )

North Dakota State is playing for a third consecutive FCS national championship.  I suspect that they would also take down a number of your beloved B1G teams too.

Nebraska shouldn't be playing "cupcakes" like Wyoming either, I suppose?  The "pucker factor" seemed pretty high in Lincoln last night.

OSU #2?  I suppose it's better than your last year's pick of Mich #1, but if you want to get on a team for playing an easy schedule...

B1G #2 football conference?  Not based on the performances so far.  Easy schedules?  What's Wisconsin doing playing UMass to open the season?  You aren't going to tell me that UMass is better than North Dakota State are you? (And UMass is also on K-State's schedule.)

Well Bob, I'll have to at least give you this much, you were right about "Shame on K-State!"  :-)  I hear that NDSU fans are ready to make the trip again though.