With the release of the Big 12 coaches preseason poll we can see in almost 20/20 vision just how the fortunes of certain college sports fans can change depending on the season.
Both Kansas State & Kansas basketball fans have to be quite excited by knowing they were voted to finish #1 & #2 in the conference by the coaches. This represents a complete U-Turn from the same fans current viewpoints on their football programs. Kansas State fans were full of energy and optimism heading into a nationally televised game at home versus the hated Nebraska Cornhuskers but a blowout loss has completely changed the mood in Manhattan. In Lawrence a opening game loss to D1-AA foe North Dakota State combined with their most recent debacle against Baylor in Waco has many Jayhawk fans questioning the coaching staff.
These recent developments have caused some KU & KSU fans to join together in asking the question:
When does basketball season start?
In no way does this mean that both schools fan bases could care less about their football programs, of course they do especially with a Thursday night tilt approaching between the two teams that is being broadcast nationally on Fox Sports Net. There is just a realization that a greater level of success and happiness can be found from the upcoming basketball season.
This has been the case for a select group of Kansas fans for quite some time, with the exception of 2007, although this could be argued as well since KU did go on to win the national title that season. Some KSU fans are fighting the urge to look forward but a loss to KU this Thursday night could accelerate their yearning to see Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly start playing ball again.
On the opposite end of the spectrum of course are the Nebraska Cornhuskers & Oklahoma Sooners. Only the most diehard basketball fans, or maybe Jeff Capel & Doc Sadler, probably care one bit about basketball practice starting this coming Friday. Picked to finish 10th and 11th respectively in the conference both programs are quite possibly one bad season away from restarting the shot clock with a new coach.
With the destruction of Kansas State fresh in their minds, Nebraska football fans have now started to seriously think not only about the Big 12 championship but a national title as well. This way of thinking in all likelihood extends down to the Oklahoma program coming off their first win over Texas in the Red River rivalry since 2007.
So while some fans can revel in their blowout victories in October and November others have to wait to do the same for games that take place in January & February of next year.