Now that it's official Ron Prince won't be back next season, let's give the Kansas State administration assistance in assembling a short list of candidates.
Candidate No. 1: Gary Patterson, TCU. He loves coaching his 11th-ranked Horned Frogs and loves having the Dallas Metroplex in his back yard for recruiting purposes. Why give up that base to come to Kansas State? He probably won't, even though he did play for Kansas State. Those who know Patterson believe he only would jump for a super heavyweight job such as Texas, which won't be opening any time soon.
Candidate No. 2: Turner Gill, University of Buffalo. A Heisman Trophy finalist and long-time Nebraska assistant, Gill has put the UB program on the map. He earned Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2007, his second year on the job, after coaching the Bulls to five victories, quite an accomplishment considering the school had won 10 games in its first seven seasons as a Division I-A school. Gill already has reached the five-victory mark this season, against four losses (at Pittsburgh and at Missouri among them). Buffalo has won nine MAC games (and counting) in the past two seasons, or one more than it won in the previous eight years combined.
A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Gill established Big 12 recruiting contacts during his years working for Nebraska, he's extremely personable, a tireless worker, a brilliant offensive mind and a born winner.
Sure, it would mean that one member of Kansas University's dance team would have to sit one game a year, but that's not a deal-breaker. Jordan Gill, Turner and Gayle's oldest daughter, is a freshman member of the KU dance team.
Candidate No. 3: Todd Graham, Tulsa. A native of Mesquite, Texas, Graham coached Rice University into overachieving and earned Conference USA Coach of the Year honors his one year there, which earned him a return trip to Tulsa, where he had worked as an assistant coach. Tulsa went 10-4 last season, Graham's first at the helm, and is 8-1 this season, ranked second among others receiving votes in the Associated Press poll.
Candidate No. 4: Bret Bielema, Wisconsin. Bielema's record in his first 18 games as coach of the Badgers: 17-1; Bielema's record in the 17 games since: 8-9. If he's feeling the heat already, in his third season in Madison, maybe he'd like to return to Manhattan, where he was co-defensive coordinator under Bill Snyder in the 2003-04 season.
Candidate No. 5: Bill Snyder, retired. Athletic director Bob Krause said Wednesday he could have a replacement in place by the end of the season, triggering reporters to ask if that means Snyder is a candidate. Krause said he would like to consult Snyder during the search. Remember, Dick Cheney was a consultant in George W. Bush's vice presidential candidate search.
This week's picks:
Kansas 35, Nebraska 31: The Cornhuskers run the ball more often than most Big 12 teams, a big part of why they consistently control the clock. This isn't necessarily bad news for the Jayhawks, who still defend the run better than the pass.
Missouri 59, Kansas State 21: No telling how many trick plays Prince will run in this one.
Texas Tech 42, Oklahoma State 38: Trying to stay undefeated in the Big 12 South is a bear.
Colorado 27, Iowa State 17: The winner will talk about what a huge step in the rebuilding project this game was, a program-turner, a game-changer. Blah. Blah. Blah.
LSU 28, Alabama 27: You can just smell this one coming.
Boise State 42, Utah State 10: Undefeated Broncos should exceed an average of 426.9 yards in offense per game in this one.
Congratulations to Jeffrey Gettler of Coffeyville, who was the Week 10 winner in the Kream Keegan contest. Gettler predicted all six winners and was the closest to the tiebreaker (he said Todd Reesing and Josh Freeman would combine for 350 passing yards; they combined for 369 passing yards). Will you be this week's winner? Sign up using the entry form below.
(The contest is currently closed. Good luck to all who entered.)