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Big 12 TV deal sees K-State-OK State game banished to streaming service

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Granted, we live in a world where many Pac-12 games might as well not even exist as televised events given the ongoing coverage difficulties of Pac-12 Network, but it’s still an odd sight in 2019 to see a Power 5 conference game flat out not available on television anywhere.

That will be the case next week, as the Big 12 announced Monday that the Sept. 28 game between Kansas State and Oklahoma State will air on ESPN-Plus, which is only available through streaming and exists behind a paywall.

To be clear, this isn’t a surprise. We’ve known this was coming for a while now. But, still, it’s here.

Perhaps most jarring here is ESPN’s game selection. Iowa State fell out of the top-25 after Northern Iowa took them to overtime in Week 1, and the Cyclones received just seven votes in the AP Top 25 following Saturday’s home loss to Iowa.

Kansas State, meanwhile, is “No. 26” after winning at Mississippi State on Saturday, with Oklahoma State just a spot behind the Wildcats. The Pokes visit No. 12 Texas on Saturday and, should they win that one, both teams could find themselves ranked by the time they hit the… Internet in two weeks.

Virginia, Arizona State, Cal, Kansas State make debuts in latest Coaches Poll

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The latest Amway/USA Today Coaches Poll is out heading into Week 4 and there were a handful of movers and shakers after a somewhat quiet weekend that produced four ranked sides going down.

The Pac-12 may be the conference who receives the least respect nationally but fresh off a major upset and continued solid play from others, the league is at least being given its due by the coaches across the country.

Making their debuts in the top 25 were No. 25 Kansas State (after their upset of Mississippi State), No. 24 Arizona State (after beating Michigan State in East Lansing), No. 23 Cal and a No. 22 Virginia side that was ranked by the AP last week but finally sees the coaches coming around to the ACC Coastal Division favorite after holding on against Florida State on Saturday.

The Spartans and Bulldogs were among the four teams that were dropped from the poll as a result, joining USC and Maryland in moving out of the top 25 following losses.

Here’s the full poll:

  1. Clemson (62 first place votes)
  2. Alabama (3)
  3. Georgia
  4. Oklahoma
  5. LSU
  6. Ohio State
  7. Notre Dame
  8. Florida
  9. Auburn
  10. Michigan
  11. Utah
  12. Penn State
  13. Texas
  14. Wisconsin
  15. Texas A&M
  16. UCF
  17. Oregon
  18. Iowa
  19. Washington State
  20. Boise State
  21. Washington
  22. Virginia
  23. Cal
  24. Arizona State
  25. Kansas State

Mississippi State QB Tommy Stevens ‘day-to-day’ for K-State game

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Whether Mississippi State will have its starting quarterback for its third non-conference game of the season remains up in the air, but there appears to be some level of optimism as to his Week 3 availability.

Tommy Stevens, who transferred to MSU from Penn State this offseason and won the starting job coming out of summer camp, sustained what was only described as a lower-body injury at the end of the first half of the Week 2 win over Southern Miss. The injury sidelined Stevens for the remainder of that game.

With a home date against Kansas State on tap Saturday afternoon, Stevens is officially listed as day-to-day and his status will be determined the closer they get to kickoff.

“He came through [Sunday] and got treatment. He’s going to get more [treatment Monday] on the players’ off day,” head coach Joe Moorehead said according to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. “We’re going to see where it goes as the week progresses.”

In his first two starts for the Bulldogs, Stevens has completed 29-of-40 passes (72.5%) for 341 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. He’s also accounted for 37 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries.

If Stevens is unable to go, true freshman Garrett Shrader could get the start. Additionally, Keytaon Thompson, who entered his name into the transfer portal after losing out on the starting job to Stevens only to return to the team less than two weeks later, would be another possibility as well.

First-year head coaches (barely) finished above .500 in 2019 debuts

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For those FBS schools that made changes at the top of its program last year and on into early 2019, the results, at least for the opening weekends of the college football season, were decidedly mixed.

Entering Weeks 0/1, a total of 26 head coaches were in their first games (two coaching a second first game) with their respective schools. Of those 26, 15 won their opening matchups while *uses fingers to do the math, takes off shoes when fingers run out* 11 dropped their openers.

Seven of the head coaches new to their current schools — Akron (Illinois), East Carolina (NC State), Houston (Oklahoma), Liberty (Syracuse), Texas State (Texas A&M), UMass (Rutgers) and Utah State (Wake Forest) — led off with Power Five opponents; not surprisingly, all seven of those ended up exiting Week 1 with a loss.  Exactly half of the 26 kicked off against FCS schools, and just one, Western Kentucky to Central Arkansas, failed to come away with a win.

At the other end was Louisville and North Carolina leading off with matchups against Power Five foes, Notre Dame for the former and South Carolina the latter.  The Cardinals extended their nation’s-worst losing streak to 10 in a row while the Tar Heels got past the Gamecocks in Mack Brown‘s return to Chapel Hill.

Oh, and there was Hugh Freeze‘s official return to coaching from a hospital bed up in the coaches’ box in Liberty’s loss to Syracuse.

WIN (15)
Eliah Drinkwitz, Appalachian State (beat East Tennessee State, 42-7)
Scot Loeffler, Bowling Green (Morgan State, 46-3)
Jim McElwain, Central Michigan (Albany, 38-21)
Brad Lambert, Charlotte (Gardner-Webb, 49-28)
Mel Tucker, Colorado (Colorado State, 52-31)
Les Miles, Kansas (Indiana State, 24-17)
Chris Klieman, Kansas State (Nicholls, 49-14)
Mike Locksley, Maryland (Howard, 79-0)
Mack Brown, North Carolina (South Carolina, 24-20)
Thomas Hammock, Northern Illinois (Illinois State, 24-10)
Ryan Day, Ohio State (FAU, 45-21)
Rod Carey, Temple (Bucknell, 56-12)
Chip Lindsey, Troy (Campbell, 43-14)
Matt Wells, Texas Tech (Montana State, 45-10)
Neal Brown, West Virginia (James Madison, 20-13)

LOSS (11)
Tom Arth, Akron (lost to Illinois, 42-3)
Mike Houston, East Carolina (NC State, 34-6)
Geoff Collins, Georgia Tech (Clemson, 52-14)
Dana Holgorsen, Houston (Oklahoma, 49-31)
Hugh Freeze, Liberty (Syracuse, 24-0)
Scott Satterfield, Louisville (Notre Dame, 35-17)
Manny Diaz, Miami (Florida, 24-20)
Jake Spavital, Texas State (Texas A&M, 41-7)
Walt Bell, UMass (Rutgers 48-21)
Gary Andersen, Utah State (Wake Forest, 38-35)
Tyson Helton, Western Kentucky (Central Arkansas, 35-28)

K-State could move future home game to Kansas City or Dallas

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Missouri announced Tuesday it will move its 2020 home game with Arkansas from Columbia to Kansas City, and now Kansas State could be interested in a similar move.

According to the Wichita Eagle, the program has received inquires about moving a future home game to a neutral site and is exploring the possibility. The most likely venues would be Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium or AT&T Stadium in the Dallas area.

“That is something that we have talked about,” Taylor told The Eagle this week. “We are looking out a few years to see if there is a year that would work for us. We have had some interest and a couple stadiums that have asked us to consider it.”

According to the paper, the most likely candidate to move is K-State’s Sept. 4, 2021 game with Stanford. Not only is that the most attractive matchup to neutral sites, it also comes in a game where the Wildcats have seven other home games slated, so the athletics department can afford to offload one of them to an NFL stadium willing to pay for the privilege of hosting them.

The Advocare Classic — the name of the kickoff game at AT&T Stadium — has no game lined up for its 2021 edition as of yet. Auburn and Oregon will play in the 2019 Advocare Classic on Saturday.