I’ve thought about this post for about a week1. Not enough that I’m about to write some Pulitzer prize winning mildly read blog post, but with the streak K-State is on this year, maybe we can go ahead and take one of those home too2.
3 teams. 83 wins. 3 trophies. 1 attitude.
You saw it in the football team. A team that took far too close scores into halftime against teams that no one even knew had a football program, like Missouri State and kU3, and then blasted them in the 2nd half. You saw a team leader that no one even bothered to set expectations for make a run all the way to the Heisman ceremony. You saw a team that kept hearing how they did ok beating Oklahoma, but the real test would be West Virginia. Then Oklahoma State. Then TCU. Then Texas4. Even when it felt like there was nothing left to play for, this team came out with a swagger and celebrated a Big 12 title after being picked 6th in the conference.
You saw it in the basketball team. A team that struggled to find an identity, or even an offense, until they took care of the unwinnable game against Florida on a decidedly purple neutral floor. You watched as K-State hung with a tough Oklahoma State team in the first conference game, only to see a senior leader dominate the 2nd half and set the season on the right track. You saw them continue to win all the games they should with poise we haven’t seen on a K-State court since the days of Hartman or Kruger. You not only saw that last second shot drop in Waco, but you watched on DVR over and over and over and over… You saw an attitude take them all the way to the final game of the Big 12 tournament… and oh yeah… cut down the nets for a Big 12 title after being picked 5th in the conference5.
You might not have started watching right away, but as the season went on you started to realize there was something special going on at the diamond, too. Flirting with #1 in the country in batting average, and hanging out at the top of the Big 12 standings got everyone to start taking notice6. Then came the sweep at kU including a come from behind 9-6 win with the Cats scoring 9 straight runs. By the time a wild pitch scored the Big 12 championship winning run everyone was watching. And it got even bigger, hosting and sweeping the first home regional ever in Manhattan. Not bad for a team picked to finish 7th in the conference.
Whether or not this was the best year in K-State sports history isn’t even up for debate any longer7. Add in a tourney appearance for women’s volleyball and respectable run in the WNIT by the women’s basketball team, and we only add to the legend. We may never see a year quite like this again, but the end of this year isn’t the end for any of these teams. The future is bright for K-State. 2012-13 is just part of the journey, not the destination.Notes:
- I was really hoping for the about to start the College World Series version, but the year wrap up version will have to do. [↩]
- Like John Currie winning AD of the Year. We just keep winning [↩]
- Cheap shot or just honest? [↩]
- Yes, I know I skipped one there. But that wasn’t even really supposed to be much of a test. Dammit. [↩]
- Sensing a theme? [↩]
- Some sooner than others. Remember halfway through conference play when we realized that the OU series may be the one that decided it? [↩]
- There was a lot of talk comparing it to 2003, but the thing that makes this not even close is recognizing that the teams that didn’t win in ’03 weren’t even close. The ones that didn’t in ’12-13 still had good years. [↩]