For What it's Worth: The Marshall Plan, KU, KSU and Ned Yost

By Bruce Haertl, bhaertl@kwch.com
Published On: Oct 14 2013 11:29:05 AM CDT

With 12, Payton Manning has more touchdown passes through three games than any quarterback in history. The Broncos are also the second most prolific scorers in history through the first three games. We’ll see how fluid that offense is in November.

Worth every penny---

I see that Gregg Marshall’s restructured contract will pay him $1.6 million to coach basketball at Wichita State this season and $ 1.75 million next year…I bet you don’t hear a lot of argument about whether or not he’s worth it—just think Atlanta.

The rest of the deal---

It was nice to see the pool for Gregg’s staff deepen to over $500,000; those guys are leaned on heavily in all phases of the program and deserve every bit of what they earn. Head Trainer Todd Fagen has already earned well beyond what he’s paid, as he was able to resuscitate freshman DJ Bowles after he collapsed a couple weeks ago during practice. Todd may very well have been the difference between life and death for the Shocker freshman, what price do you put on that?

Hmmm---

A month into the season and what can we really count on at Kansas State? Tyler Lockett, for one—and maybe only. The junior receiver was incredible in setting a new single game yardage record at Texas last weekend and is the only consistent thing Bill Snyder has going right now. What’s more daunting is that after the bye week they’ll be clear underdogs in consecutive games at Oklahoma State and home with Baylor. This feels a lot like the ‘2004 team which went 4-7 a year after winning the Big 12 title. When I say ‘feel’ I don’t necessarily mean the record, I mean the lack of identity. That team nine years ago never found it, the present group has a ways to go for self-discovery. I think it can get there, but 6-6 is on the table and it would be hard, right now, to find more than seven wins.

Crawling before you walk---

Haters point out that Louisiana Tech all but handed the game to KU last weekend, but the ‘Hawks still had to make plays post-charity. Sure, a fumble inside the ten in the waning moments was fortuitous, but you still had to force the fumble. Then you had to be able to move the ball quickly to get into field goal range—even then you’re asking a young man who missed a 28 yarder earlier in the game to win it from 52 yards, which he did. Those are the moments in a game that can really help a team with confidence—while outsiders argue the manner in which a team wins---the team that gets it only knows that they won. Yes, Kansas is struggling offensively, but they’re improved on the other side of scrimmage. The dividends from La. Tech may be nothing more than giving everyone a little more enthusiasm to work and improve in practice this week—but that, in and of itself, is progress.

Outside looking in---

The Royals may finish with their best record in nearly 30 years, but it doesn’t look as though they’ll make the wildcard. It’s interesting to listen to suddenly engaged Royals fans grumble about manager Ned Yost, usually in regards to how he uses his pitching staff. They have that right, of course and he is a poor minus five in the stylish sabermetric stat of WAR (wins above replacement). Five losses in a season like this could be the difference between being in or out of the playoffs—I get it. But I also know that if Ned Yost hadn’t don’t his job pretty well to this point in the season, he wouldn’t be in a position to be so frequently second guessed.