NCAA Football Free Pick: Texas Longhorns vs. Kansas State Wildcats

Texas Longhorns
(4-4, 2-6 ATS)

Kansas State Wildcats
(5-3, 4-4 ATS)

Two teams that are in dire need to get back in the saddle in the Big XII are going to be meeting in the Little Apple for a college football betting affair televised on ESPN. The Kansas State Wildcats will try to extend the misery for the Texas Longhorns.

What in the heck is going on with the Longhorns this year? They really didn’t lose all that much from last season’s team that went to the BCS Championship, but since the title game, they have won just four of their L/9 games outright. The good news is that this is the last road game on the season, but the bad news is that Texas hasn’t won a game at home since September 11th and has three home games left to the season. A bowl game isn’t a foregone conclusion, though that would certainly be the case with a win in Manhattan on Saturday. There’s a point in the year when HC Mack Brown just has to realize that the QB Garrett Gilbert experiment is failing. Gilbert is only completing 59.6 percent of his passes for 1,788 yards with six TDs and nine picks. There’s a point that backup QB Case McCoy deserves a shot. Something should change in the rushing game as well. Texas has always utilized a plethora of backs, but this is getting to be absurd. No one even has 300 rushing yards this season, and we are eight games into the year. The Horns rank No. 80 in the nation on the ground at just 140.6 yards per game.

The Wildcats have taken it on the chin in three of their last four games overall, getting creamed by the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Oklahoma State Cowboys in the interim. This is the last home game of the season, and marks one last chance to at least have a potential gripe of going to one of the higher end bowl games that the Big XII is affiliated with. RB Daniel Thomas should get to the 1,000 yard barrier on his first carry of the game, as he has 996 yards and ten TDs this season. Thomas will certainly be honored by the Wildcat faithful on Saturday night, as he was a no name on defense before converting over to become arguably the best running back that the Wildcats have had since RB Darren Sproles graduated. QB Carson Coffman still has plenty of home games left in his days in Manhattan, but he is going to want to leave the hometown crowd with a great taste in its mouth. Coffman has just 1,315 yards through the air with eight TDs and six picks on the season.

We’re puzzled as to why the oddsmakers continue showing faith in the Longhorns. They’re just not that good. If this exact same team had the name “Baylor” on the front of its jerseys, the Wildcats would be favored by somewhere between six and eight points. That’s exactly the margin of victory that we’re banking on seeing the hosts win by in their swan song for this season.

College Football Expert Pick: Kansas State Wildcats +3.5


The Beacon News – Aurora (IL) May 9, 1997 Full-length, earth-shattering, heart-thumping, smoke-filled, nitro-burning funny car burnouts. Ah yes, fond memories of a youth fortunate enough to grow up near the old Oswego drag strip, and at a time one might call the “golden age” of funny car racing.

Back then, without a doubt, the nationwide undisputed king of the funny car burnouts was the Chicago based Chi-Town Hustler.

Those of you who were not as fortunate as myself to have witnessed those patented crowd-pleasing displays of raw power, take heart.

You just might get a second chance.

Former driver Pat Minick and son Wayne have begun to restore the most famous of the Hustlers, the 1969 Dodge Charger, and could campaign the car as early as this summer. go to website 1969 dodge charger

In the mid-’60s, when the funny cars evolved from the altered-wheelbase production cars to tube chassis and the flip-top fiberglass-bodied rockets, the team of John Farkonas, August Coil and Pat Minick turned the heat up a notch in funny car competition.

Full-track burnouts gained the team nationwide acclaim.

It wasn’t just the burnouts though, as Minick often would win the event. Let the record speak for itself: five United Drag Racing Association; two International Hot Rod Association and two National Hot Rod Association championships.

“Everyone’s independent championship at least once,” Minick said.

He remembers the burnout phenom came about as somewhat an embarrassment at a track near Springfield.

“We were racing against a fuel dragster at a time when dragsters had high gear only, and couldn’t back up,” he said.

“The rail did quite the burnout and proceeded to back up to the staging area.

I went wow, that’s pretty impressive, so I figured I had to outdo him.

Well, I went the whole length of the track.” The trademark was born … site 1969 dodge charger

Success involves teamwork, and the Farkonas Coil and Minick co-op clicked from the start.

Minick and friend Farkonas started in the early ’60s while attending high school in Argo.

“We liked cars, and one of our shop projects was building a car.

So, it kind of evolved from there,” said Minick.

“John had a few bucks and managed to procure some cars that ran pretty good.

I drove for him, and it snowballed.” One day about five years later, a very young Austin Coil stopped by the shop for some tips on running his super stock.

“He became so enamored with what we were doing,” said Minick.

“He sold his super stock and joined forces, and the rest is history.” Force is the key word here, as Austin Coil is crew chief for eight-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force.

Things were different in the ’60s and ’70s, claims Minick, a recent inductee into Drag Racing’s Hall of Fame.

“It was a situation where there was no rule book back then,” he said. “Changes came pretty fast.” “It’s totally different now.

Back when I was racing as a driver you have to recognize the era.

The drag strips are prepared so beautifully that you couldn’t ask for better traction.

The tires have gotten significantly better and the big thing is, these guys know how to make some real horsepower.” According to Ron Leek, president and general manager of Byron Dragway, the Chi-Town was more than tire-blazing burnouts and record setting runs.

“They always provided people with such a show … this guy was a showman,” he said.

That is what the Minicks want to duplicate.

“Wayne has previously drove the Chi-Town Hustler and can easily capture the essence of the ’69 car,” says Minick.

“We want to show how it used to be done.

The long smoky burnout and no computer-aided anything.

Let’s have some fun with it.

“It was really fun back them.

We lived through the hey-day and didn’t realize it.” It’s time for that endless summer once again.

Don’t let it pass by. Next week: a conversation with the father of Funny Car racing, Arnie “The Farmer” Befwick.

Nostalgia fans of drag racing may get an opportunity to see Pat and Wayne Minick’s 1969 Dodge Charger as early as this summer. The famous funny car is currently being restored by the Minnicks. | (Jon Asher photo)

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