Big 12 Media Day: Kansas State

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - In the old days, when the Big Eight media would travel around on bus and planes for the old Big Eight Skywriters Tour, there would be a vote at the end of the trip and one of the questions was, who was your most forthright interview? If the Big 12 wants to bring back the old school tradition then Kansas State defensive end Ian Campbell gets my vote.

Last season I thought Kansas State was one of the most disciplined and hard playing teams I had seen. When the Wildcats came into Stillwater and Boone Pickens Stadium off of a win over Texas and doing their "Remember the Titans" style entry and exit to and from the field it symbolized that Kansas State was going to go toe-to-toe with you and you had better be ready. That night the Wildcats, despite an heroic performance by wide receiver Jordy Nelson, were beaten on a late field goal.

I asked Campbell what happened after that because the Wildcats proceeded to fall apart.

Campbell said guys quit on the team. Those are words that are rarely uttered but he meant it, and he meant it when he said he does not intend for that to happen this upcoming season. Campbell said he talked to players and spread the word on what would be expected to be a part of the team. He said the season finale at Fresno State when a win would have made K-State bowl eligibile and they were throttled by the Bulldogs that he was as mad as he had ever been in his life.

Kansas State head coach Ron Prince is one of those guys that does a lot of talking, but Campbell is a man of action whether it is sacking the quarterback or taking some of the new 19 junior college players added to the team out for dinner and a discussion of what took place and how Kansas State football is going to operate with the players for a while.

Campbell complimented his head coach when he said that Prince often points the way to the answer but let's players discover what is needed and what is right. Prince can do that when you have a player like Campbell.

For Campbell's sake I hope it all works out. He is a tremendous player and person that is a shoe-in to become another of the Wildcats that get to play in the NFL.

Maybe he can make it happen, but I will stick with my prediction for a fifth-place finish for the Wildcats. Josh Freeman is a good quarterback but problems at running back and the loss of Nelson at WR will help make that the K-State reality. Campbell will have some help and the if the Cats turn nasty then maybe the defense can get it done. Done in fifth place is still my answer.

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