Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Per ESPN, K-State the #20 Program since 1997

I'm late to the party (as usual) but ESPN ranked all 119 Division I-A football programs based on their performance the last 10 years. The boys from The Little Apple ended up 20th. Not too shabby, in my opinion. I could make an argument that we should be in front of a few teams ahead of us, but there's also an argument that we could be lower. All in all, a pretty fair ranking.

It also makes me wonder where we would have been ranked if this would have been done after 2003. At that point, we would have been 100-27 with one conference championship over the previous 10 years. That's a .787 winning percentage, which is better than any team in the nation over the last decade. Obviously we wouldn't have been number one based on winning percentage alone, but my guess is easily top 15, if not top 10.

All that is nice to speculate on, but we need to focus on this season and getting back to that level. At this point, I project us as a 7-5 team this year. Obviously that can change upward if we see improved play on the offensive side of the ball (particularly the line and Josh Freeman), but it could trend downward if the line makes no strides and Freeman is inconsistent like he was last year.

None of this should be construed as me being impatient with Ron Prince. If we go 7-5 or better this year, I'll be content. But that's for this year. I want to see the Cats back to winning nine, 10, or 11 games per year. I want to see some Big 12 North titles. I want to see us challenge the South's dominance of the conference title game. At this point, that might sound like a pipe dream. But K-State football taught me that's not a dream. It can be reality.

God I'm excited for football season. Can you tell?

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