Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Movin' to Miami, gonna eat a lot of ORANGES

Apparently, not very many people agree with Tim and me that Kansas deserves a shot at a national title. Well, Howard Schellenberger, Florida Atlantic's head coach, voted Kansas second. You may remember Schellenberger from his bizarre one year stint at Oklahoma in the 90s (when OU stunk - that was weird wasn't it?), but he also built the Louisville and Miami football programs, which is a good thing I guess.

I'm not angry about KU not playing for a title; the point wasn't that KU was one of the two best teams, but that the system is arbitrary and stupid, and that everyone would love to have a playoff. I give up though, this is what we have. KU has smart people that know how the game is played, and they can schedule with the BCS in mind. Next year, KU goes to South Florida in September, and will play Texas and Oklahoma. That's plenty, now they just have to win all those games.

But the system is stupid right? Last night the Patriots pulled out a late win to clinch a place in the "Super" Bowl, likely against Dallas. Other potential match-ups are the Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers, which would showcase two of the better quarterbacks in the league; the San Diego Chargers have grabbed control of the AFC West and will likely face the Seahawks, though a game with a fellow AFC team like the Jaguars is possible. See how stupid that would be? Oh well.

KU got a great deal. The Jayhawks are going to the Orange Bowl, a game that means a ton to its fanbase, is played in primetime all by itself on January 3rd, and is in fabulously warm Miami. One of my first memories of KU football was at an ESPN Thursday night game against Cal back in 1992. When KU scored early in the game, oranges flew out of the stands and onto the field, as (very optimistic) KU fans were hoping for a Big 8 championship and the automatic trip to the Orange Bowl (KU finished 8-4 winning the Aloha Bowl, the only bowl Glen Mason was allowed to attend for some reason). For some reason, the Big 12 champ now goes to the Fiesta Bowl, and the ACC champ goes to Miami. Nothing is sacred.

I know Mizzou fans are screaming (more than usual at least) that KU completely benefited from this "screwed up" system. I have seen Mizzou fans posting on the Miami Herald website, on Virginia Tech football message boards, the Kansas City Star, and of course their own and KU message boards. They're all screaming about KU's fraudulent selection to the Orange Bowl. You guys are retarded. Mizzou's beef isn't with Kansas (any more than usual at least), who at 11-1 deserves to be in. Your beef is with the stupid BCS, just like everyone else. Illinois is in the Rose Bowl, and MU beat them head-to-head. Yes, MU also beat KU, but Illinois has 3 losses! Three! They're Texas Tech with a win over an overrated Ohio State (but I repeat myself). West Virginia is the biggest bunch of chokers in the world, why are they in over Mizzou? Winning the the Big East gets an automatic bid? Why, because they beat UConn and Rutgers?

Besides, once you steal an election in Kansas that determines whether or not that state will allow people to own other people, which then leads to several years of bloodshed in that state, as well as a massive war throughout the continent, you have to wait at least 200 years before bitching about your football team being shafted by Kansas. So, come back in 2070 Mizzou fans.

Why did the Orange Bowl select Kansas? I don't know. Why did Robert E. Lee abandon his brilliant defensive war at Gettysburg and send a massive frontal assault across a mile of open ground against a superior Union force that had the high ground? Why did Hitler invade Russia knowing that Napoleon tried the same thing, and despite being the most brilliant military mind in Europe, had his French Army utterly destroyed? Why did the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor when the key to the US Navy, its aircraft carriers, were safe and out at sea? I don't know why these things happen, I'm just grateful that things worked out for the best.

I'm tired of Mizzou though. It's as if KU fans are obsessed with Mizzou, without regard for their own team, and vice versa (hahaha my blog is called Missouri Sucks I'm obsessed hahahah). KU is going to a great bowl. Mangino gets a month with his team, which is just gold. They have a great chance to build huge momentum to take into spring practice and into next year. With the Border War game at Arrowhead, and a huge game with #3 Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl, KU will have gained a ton of experience in playing big games at neutral sites in front of a nationwide television audience.

I watched Mangino's television show last week, after the Mizzou game, and came away feeling great about the team. Mangino was clearly not happy. He's not sitting on 11-1. He's scheming about how to beat Mizzou. It has to kill him that he's lost the big game two years in a row. He repeated a few times that KU just wasn't able to get pressure on Chase Daniel, which killed KU. He knows he doesn't have the defensive line that he needs, and I bet he fixes that by next year.

So we have a month until the game. We'll look at Virginia Tech, we'll look at the past season, and probably some recruiting. There's also some basketball going on I think, so maybe we'll cover that as well.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


Guest blogger Tim told you this would happen with this post. He knew this would happen. He was so worked up about it, he had to volunteer a long post about the Ohio State nonsense. I'm sure the fact that he is a Michigan alum has nothing to do with his feelings on the Buckeyes.

This BCS crap makes me angry. When it was other schools getting the shaft, I didn't really care as much. Sure, maybe last year Michigan deserved another shot, but they lost to Ohio State. Auburn was undefeated in 2004, as was Utah. But I watched Southern Cal, and they seemed to be the best team.

That's why this is insane. People all over the country watch the games and write articles and blogs on who they think is the better team. This happens in every sport. All sports have so-called power rankings and endless speculation by sportswriters.

But in college football, those opinions determine the championship. Do I think Georgia or LSU would beat Kansas? Honestly, yes. I think they would be too much for the Jayhawks. But I want to see the game so I know Georgia is better. This isn't some hypothetical discussion where we're comparing the 1985 Bears to the 1989 49ers. These teams exist! They are all sitting around right now! We could, you know, get them on airplanes, sell tickets, and have them play each other!

Where is the tradition poll posted?

The greatest thing is Kansas gets hosed. Usually there's a good excuse to exclude the team the voters don't think should win the title. There are two other teams with one loss, for example. Or, there are three or more undefeated teams, so the people can pick who they want. But this year, KU will just get flat out ignored. What, KU has one-loss and plays in a BCS conference? We don't care, screw you.

But KU hasn't played anyone! This is true. But KU's loss was to top 10 Mizzou at a neutral site. Side note: nice job against Oklahoma! Really broke my heart to see you fall down like that after your fine victory and classy celebrations last week in Kansas City.

Ohio State gets a free pass, because they have history. What the fuck is that? Is this Europe? We don't have inherited titles here in America, oh Lord Tressel of stink Columbusland. Since Archie Griffin went to OSU, they get ahead of KU in line? Gale Sayers will come to your house Archie and kick your ass.

For the record, here's Ohio State's schedule:

Win over Youngstown State (7-4 - Gateway Conference) 38-6
Win over Akron (4-8 - MAC) 20-2
Win @ UW (4-8) 33-14 (currently winning at Hawaii)
Win over Northwestern (6-6) 58-7
Win @ Minnesota (1-11) 30-7
Win @ Purdue (7-5) 23-7
Win over Kent State (3-9 - MAC) 48-3
Win vs Mich State (7-5) 24-17
Win @ Penn State (8-4) 37-17
Win vs. Wisconsin (9-3) 38-17
Loss to Illinois (9-3) 28-21
Win @ Michigan (8-4) 14-3

The wins @ Michigan, vs. Wisconsin, and @ Penn State are at least as good as any win KU has. I think Ohio State should be in the title game, against KU. Can't say KU deserves to be in over Ohio State, but can't really say that Ohio State deserves to be in over KU either.

Which win really separates Ohio State from Kansas? @ Penn State? Come on. Would Penn State go to Stillwater and win? Would Wisconsin? Who knows?

Play it off you morons. It'd be the biggest deal ever. I promise. 8 teams, 16 teams, don't care. You'd have 7 games that matter, rather than one title game and a bunch of consolation bowls like now. Take the 6 conference champs (Big 12, Big East, Big 10, ACC, PAC 10, SEC), and two at-large. There'd still be plenty to write about loser writers. Who gets the at-larges? Hawaii? Kansas? Georgia? Missouri?

Sadly, it'd probably be Florida picked. The best 3-loss team in the history of football.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I'm Sorry Todd Reesing

I suppose as a blog that owes its identity to the undeniable fact that Kansas is better than Mizzou, I must show up and comment on the game this past weekend. I would say that KU may have lost the battle and will win the war, but the game of the century just played was called the Border "War", so I guess we did lose the war.

I'm not sure we made any specific predictions here, but mine would have been about 35-34 KU, which is about what we got. But, here's a video of some exuberant predictions in the parking lot before the game.

I'll spare the sour grapes (Why was Reesing wearing gloves for the first time this year, and just happened to grossly underthrow two balls that resulted in crucial turnovers? Why did formerly dependable Scott Webb miss two field goals, leaving us at zero at the half and definitely without any momentum? What the hell was up with playing a neutral game that could've been played in front of 52,000 KU fans? Why did we not have just one more timeout, which would have left KU 1:15 instead 20 seconds to make the game winning drive?) and say that Mizzou was simply the better team Saturday night. Chase Daniel was perfect, and the Tigers didn't turn the ball over, while KU did twice.

Where were the red leggings KU usually wears? More political correctness nonsense? At least the fans were prepared...

I'm not sure about the Arrowhead deal. I had a great time in the parking lot, after the hour plus wait to get in, but I would have had the same amount of fun in Lawrence, or more. And I definitely did not like sharing the stadium with Mizzou people, or having to leave with them celebrating, or having to get out of Arrowhead.

Certainly did not feel like the 70-30 split KU fans were told to expect by AD Lew Perkins, but that may have been because MU got off to a great start and KU was a bit deflated early. But it was closer to 50-50 than 70-30. Here's a video of me not feeling the crowd on the way into the stadium:

Ok, I am sure. It was a retarded move. Play the game on the campuses. If I wanted to sit with thousands of Mizzou fans I'd go to a road game. I don't like road games, I like games in Lawrence. Plus, anything that helps Carl Peterson is just necessarily evil. I will never attend another KU game in Arrowhead. Unless I'm in town next year for Border War. The team still deserves support, even if the KU administration is retarded.

I do admit to having some bad thoughts about my team as KU went down 21-0 and then 28-7. I was calling for a series of Kerry Meier after the second pick Reesing threw. Nothing against Todd, I just felt that he was rattled and maybe Meier could change the tempo. But Reesing came out and rallied Kansas to within a touchdown with 2 minutes and change left, which included a naked bootleg dive into a couple of Mizzou defenders for the touch. I also leaned over to my brother and said at one point, "I'd rather be 8-4 and win this game." I'm sure that's not true, but perhaps 10-2 with this win? Oh yeah.

11-1, though, is an amazing accomplishment for this team. Missouri is good, no doubt. Everyone had a great year. Need to go and get some better athletes on the defensive line, a bit more depth on the offensive line, and maybe an explosive weapon like the Tigers' Jeremy Maclin. Another year of recruiting, a year to build the offense to Reesing's strengths, develop Meier as an all-purpose weapon, we should be good to go next year. At least we're not home for the holidays, like the Wildcats are!

We did get to do the Rock Chalk, but only the pre-game version. Overall, the game sucked. Maybe next year. More on the bowl game picture later when the depression lifts (just kidding, I'm not really depressed, but I don't want to write a bunch about potential bowl games four weeks from now when KU just lost the biggest game in their history).

The BCS is Terrible, or, Why Jayhawks Should Hate Ohio State

By Tim Slovik

Note: If both West Virginia and Missouri win out, them my argument is only half-valid. However, the valid portion was valid last year, is valid this year, and will be valid until there is no more BCS stupidity, so read on.

Ah, my poor fellow victims of BCS madness. Struggling through a season, accomplishing goal after goal, never truly believing that it would happen, yet poised to take that step to National Title triumph, the Kansas football program will take the BCS shaft up the rear.

I know what that feels like. Last season, I screamed my lungs out watching my Number 2 Wolverines lose to the Number 1 Buckeyes. Only, it wasn't for the national championship. It was the final regular season game, and it was for all the marbles. Despite the fact that Michigan and Ohio State were easily proving to be the best two teams at the time, the voters considered Michigan's one and only loss (since it was late in the year) enough to push them down in the rankings, and let another one-loss team - Florida - rise up for the spot in the title game (and in searching their hearts, most voters would tell you that the reason to put Florida ahead in the rankings was to avoid a UM-OSU rematch for the title game). Looking back it might seem foolish to suggest that Florida didn't belong there... but if not for the ridiculous BCS system we would never be having such foolish discussions in the fist place.

Like many a team before them, Kansas has played a great season but will not be playing for the national championship. Sure, if they could have proven it on the field by beating out the competition they'd definitely be there. And if monkeys had wings, there'd be a witch with a pretty big army of the damned things looking for some ruby slippers. But we're talking about reality. And THIS reality has NO undefeated team which will play for the ultimate in Sears' glass football trophies.

Let's not take this opportunity to discuss how Hawaii is undefeated. I don't understand how a team can do MORE than win every game they play. However, I DO understand that if your schedule includes the prep school down the road, or some really tall eighth graders, you don't get to play in the title game. Not yours.

This situation only further fuels the argument of which I'm about to make, that the system is broken.

Back to the title game. As it stands, West Virgina and Missouri will play if they win out. They are both "1 loss" teams, and if playing for the championship, will have won their respective conference championships. So... okay... I guess we could live with that sort of title game. Two teams that have only lost once, and through attrition have gotten to the top of the heap. We'll think of them as teams who've not screwed up yet... except for the one time they each already lost...

But the real problem begins when one of these teams loses. And in a year where the top two rankings have been squandered repeatedly, a year where Appalachian State wins at the Big House, and a year where Kansas is even in the title hunt to begin with (no offense)... you KNOW that one or both of those teams will lose, and the BCS will prove to be the gigantic sham that everyone knows it is.

WVU has a relatively easy road in beating Pitt, so let's assume for a moment they win. That leaves Missouri to beat the one team who already knocked them out, who is favored, and who had the tradition of smacking them around year after year in general dominance in the Big 12 - the Sooners. I don't watch a lot of Big 12 games - I'm a Big 10 man - but if I learned anything from Drew over the years... it's that Missouri Sucks. They'll lose and that makes me want to cry.

Because that means Mr. Sweater Vest and Co. will be returning to the title game.

The Ohio State Buckeyes will play West Virginia for the title. Why? Because they are a one loss team. Through attrition, they've stuck around long enough to be at the top of the heap. Sounds a lot like West Virginia, Missiouri... and... oh, wait a second. There's another one-loss team? Who?

Yep, the Jayhawks.

"But the Jayhawks haven't beaten anybody," I keep hearing. That's amusing. Who did the Buckeyes beat? The Big 10 underacheived as it's been doing the last few years. And a strangely disheartened (and thoroughly injured) Michigan didn't put up any fight, so just who did the Buckeyes beat to deserve to play in the title game? I say OSU-KU push on this one.

How about losses? Kansas loses a rivalry game, on a neutral field, under intense pressure, to the current NUMBER ONE team in the country. Ohio State lost at home, to Illinois, to Ron Zook for God's sake. 'Nuff said.

But Kansas isn't the Big 12 champion, so they shouldn't play for the national title, right? Nebraska got to do it a few years back. They got the shit kicked out of them by Miami, but that's not the point - they got to play. The argument of the BCS has always been "the best two teams" not the "best two conference champions." In a season where everyone loses ONE game, shouldn't the teams with losses to better opposition be considered ahead of those who lost to lesser competition? What does it matter if the loss was the last game of the year or the first game? If you're better than everyone else 11 out of 12 games a year, you should probably be playing for a championship.

Having said all that, if Missouri or West Virginia lose, Ohio State will get the spot. So WHY SHOULD THE BUCKEYES PLAY AND NOT KANSAS?!?!?

WHO FREAKIN' CARES!?!?! It could all be settled with a GOD-DAMNED PLAYOFF!!!

College football doesn't need ridiculous matchups on the field for the sake of supporting this system designed only to line the pockets of the athletic directors. College football needs a playoff now more than it has EVER needed one before.

I don't want to hear ANY excuses about the difficulties for the schools or the athletes. Division 1-A (or whatever the hell they are calling themselves now-a-days), Division II, and Division III HAVE PLAYOFFS. They determine which team is champion on the field amongst the top teams. ALL the top teams.

I don't want to hear that a playoff will reduce the significance of the regular season. Are you kidding me? If you've ever been to a college football game, you know that for the three and half hours you watch that game, it IS the season. A loss that would devastate a team by knocking them from contention for the title would only motivate them to up their game and keep themselves in the hunt for the playoffs. Essentially, the football could IMPROVE.

I don't want to hear that it could be unfair for the unbeatens to be forced to play some teams who've already lost. C'mon... seriously? We rarely have the nice package of two undefeated teams. Either there are three undefeated squads, or there are 5 one-loss teams. Is it fair for an undefeated team to lose to a one-loss team in the finale and despite losing the same number of times, NOT be a champion? None of it makes sense.

I also don't want to hear that the same arguments about getting the top two slots (and hence a chance for the title) will just be reiterated for getting into the top 4 spots, or 8 spots, or 16 spots. No one will care that the 9th best team in the country got shafted. WE DO CARE that one of the top two teams gets shafted.

And I certainly don't want to hear that the full season is really like one big, long playoff. Bullshit. If it was, then the best teams would play on the last game of the year. And we wouldn't be left wondering, what if this team played that team, etc., etc., etc.

College football needs the best teams to play one anther in a post-season tournament. Keep the bowls, use them as part of the tournament, do whatever you have to do, but let the top teams play against one another to determine a freakin' champion. I'm sure the revenue in doing so could offset the loss of the current stystem if the NCAA marketted the thing correctly. Not that I'd expect them to do that.

And what if BOTH Missouri and West Virginia lose this weekend? Ohio State will play one-loss Kansas right? Wrong! They'll face two-loss LSU! I won't go through the explanation... but if the voters don't let a "non-conference champion" play in the big game, they'll have to move down the list to VTech and LSU, and since LSU destroyed the Hokies, they'd get the nod. This ASSUMES they win their conferences. Oh, I DID just go through the explanation. How ridiculous is this getting? And how much easier would it be to just have a playoff?

Why not let the two teams with the best uniforms play for the national championship? How about the teams with the best quarterbacks? Hottest cheerleaders? What standards are we using to rank teams anyway? How many rules and sub-rules and unwritten considerations need to be placed? The BCS has changed itself over and over again to get it right. The AP Poll isn't even considered in the numbers any longer. We've heard about too much power to computers, too much power to humans...

WHEN? OH WHEN are we going to have ALL the power with the players... on the field?

Be upset Jayhawks. Be very upset that your season has been lost in a broken system, and the Buckeys might steal your moment in the spotlight. But more importantly, when recalling this season, and wondering if you could have beaten West Virginia or Ohio State or Oklahoma for that matter... remember that there could have been a way to see those games, and there could be a way to have true champions.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Missouri, Opressors of States' Rights!

By Chris Thompson

It’s great to be back on this blog. I guess my last one was so successful, it brought the blog to a standstill for a year. But I’m back to offer some quasi insightful historical jargon to Border War week.

I was extremely excited to see that KU made the cover of Sports Illustrated, but I am a little miffed. Just like Todd Reesing was left out of the photo, my family and I were crudely cropped out. If the photo had extended just a few inches further, you would have seen us clearly as a bunch of dots just above the section 41 sign. (See photo for detail). I guess the editors at SI don’t care about who they hurt.

But one thing I did like about the cover, besides the obvious fact that KU football is on it for the first time ever, was that Sports Illustrated straight up called it the Border War - none of this Lew Perkins and Mike Alden PC sensitive Border Showdown stuff. Yes America is in a war, but if we had to stop using the word war to describe things during times of conflict we’d never be able to talk about any history. And what would sports announcers use to fill the void if they were not able to use the cliché of war when describing football. “Yes Kirk, the linemen down there are really battling it out in the trench… wait I mean they are aggressively contesting each other while playing football which is just a game.”

I think the Border Showdown should be changed because I still find it too offensive, because a showdown reminds me of an old west shoot out at High Noon. It should be called “The Football Game between two neighboring states that respect each other tremendously and in no way is it comparable to any armed conflict past or present.” But all this worrying about calling it a war is superfluous. Why? BECAUSE WE ACTUALLY FOUGHT A WAR!

Now get ready for a good old rehash of the Civil War, mainly Bleeding Kansas. I’d like to address a movement that is en vogue among Missouri fans nowadays. They think that the University of Kansas should not have the name Jayhawks, because it is reflective of a group of free state soldiers that defended Kansas from invading forces and ran raids into Missouri. They like to call them “terrorists,” which drives me nuts in and of itself. Missourians can’t believe that we could have a mascot represented of a group of people who killed innocent civilians. Now I would like to dismiss their accusations as completely false but there were a few raids into Missouri where Jayhawkers in their red leggings killed civilians. Nowhere near the amount of Kansan civilians that were killed by Missourians, but sadly they did do it.

However, if you were to not honor American soldiers who killed civilians while fighting a war, you could never celebrate any veteran’s participation in war. No war in American history has been fought without civilian casualties. Am I justifying the killing of civilians? No, but sometimes it is either a side effect of war or a necessity. What if a school were to have a mascot named the Bombers, honoring the brave men of World War II that led raids into Germany and Japan, would we denounce that and call them terrorists? American bombers in World War II purposefully targeted civilians to ensure victory. American bombers killed millions of civilians in World War II. Ever hear of the fire storms in Dresden and Tokyo, and, oh yeah, the atom bomb? But would you ever walk up to a World War II veteran and call them a terrorist for these acts? I wouldn’t.

The thing is you have to be fighting for a more just cause than your opponent. Civilian casualties are a sad part of warfare, but in modern war it is a side effect of wiping out cruel institutions such as slavery and Nazism. So I am proud of the Jayhawkers. It is sad that they killed a few dozen civilians to protect our state from invaders and slave masters, but it was part of a just cause. Killing over 150 people, including women & children, in defense of a state’s right to hold and own other people just seems a little more vicious.

While were on the subject of state’s rights, let us turn to the hypocrisy of Missourians claiming the Civil War was not fought over slavery, but was actually fought for "States' Rights" (a common claim amongst southerners during the War). I’ve never quite understood this argument. The tyranny that the South was facing after the 1860 election was that of a popularly elected government.

How can you call the government a tyranny simply because it is not representative of your views? There will always be a minority in a democracy. It might have helped had the Southerners not split the Democratic party by geographical sections, but you know whatever. But how does a president win the popular vote and the electoral vote and then be called an oppressive administration all before he gets into office? Seven states seceded before Lincoln was sworn in. When did the administration even have time to start oppressing people?

And Missouri especially should never stand by the state’s right argument. Because I can think of no better assertion of a state’s rights then its right to come into existence. When Kansas was given the right to choose whether it was to be free or slave, the Missourians oppressed democracy in the worst way. The first election of the new Kansas Territory in 1854, to elect a representative of the state, was marred by Missourians getting whiskeyed up and coming into Kansas to stuff the ballot boxes. They felt due to their proximity to the Territory it was their right to ensure it held the same values they did, even though the voters held no property in Kansas.

The Border Ruffians as they came to be known harassed any one going to the polls in that first election, and if found to be against slavery voters were taunted and not allowed to vote.
This was of course the start of the conflict between Missouri and Kansas. Not all migrants to Kansas were abolitionists; they just were not in favor of slavery taking hold. It’s hard for immigrants to find work when unpaid forced labor is their competition. So I ask which is more tyrannical and oppressive of state’s rights, a freely, legitimately elected president who does not share your values nor is even in office yet, or a phony state legislature with ballot boxes stuffed by non-residents who are imposing their values on a budding state?

The sad thing is that all this posturing on the Civil War, which was apparently fought over 140 years ago, will do nothing to help Todd “Sparky” Reesing and the Jayhawks win on Saturday. Nor will it do anything for Chase “Bugger Eater” Daniel and The Slaver… I mean Tigers.

What I do know is that wearing Jayhawks across their chests does not make my football team supporters of terrorists. I could see their point if we were the University of Kansas Radical Jihadists. And this were our mascot (see right). But sadly it’s not, so it leads to one logical conclusion: Missourians are idiots. How was that for a childish way to end a post?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

There are no words...

Ok, maybe there are some words.

Border War, border war, border war BORDER WAR!

After surviving Iowa State (thanks for coming down Cyclones, you were accommodating guests as usual), we can all officially do what we've been doing since KU left College Station with a win to go to 8-0: thinking about the game against Mizzou.

Of course, KU has no chance in this game. Why? Because Mizzou played Oklahoma! How can Kansas compete with that? The Jayhawks played BAYLOR! Baylor is no good!

What's interesting, however, and a fact that seems to be conveniently left out by Mizzou fans, is that THEY LOST THE GAME! Yes, Oklahoma in Norman is a tough game. There's no shame in losing that game. We'll ignore for now the Colorado game when Oklahoma decided to take a nap in the fourth quarter - always a sign of a great team, and also ignore last weekend's 34-27 loss at the hands of Texas Tech in Lubbock - a more defensible loss considering OU's all-star QB Sam Bradford was injured and couldn't play most of the game. It is also a sign of a great team when they completely fall apart after an injury, especially on defense (apparently Bradford was also a key player in the Sooner defensive backfield).

So, Mizzou lost to Oklahoma, a team much better than anyone KU has played. They even led late in the game! That's almost worth a championship! Of course, there was another time that Missouri led a highly regarded opponent late in an important game...

This is known as the "Mouse that Roared" argument. "The Mouse that Roared" was a book and a 1959 movie about a tiny European country that figures out the best way to economic development is to lose a war to the United States, which will result in generous economic assistance from the Americans to help rebuild the country. In the movie, the country accidentally wins the war, resulting in some 1950s hilarity. Missouri luckily collapsed after leading OU and was outscored 18-7 in the fourth quarter, which fulfilled their plan.

The Wall Street Journal also ran a story about the rivalry this morning, which is interesting. The best part is the following quote from a former Tiger football player:

"It's enough to start former Missouri player Brandon Barnes, who is African-American, wondering whether Tiger fans are "hating the Jayhawkers for something I might celebrate." But then he remembers the time that Jayhawk fans threw ice at him and footballs at the Missouri team bus."

Just a fabulous fabulous sentiment. Hmmm, maybe it's odd that I, as an African-American, support the fans that use the burning down of the free state capital as a rallying point. But this one time a KU guys threw some ice at the bus. Screw KU. Although I suppose the ice hitting the bus was a more tangible attack than some old Civil War stories, as obviously there are no racial problems in Missouri today - I bet it's been nothing but reconciliation and outreach since 1865.

We'll have more about the historical background of the 1850s and 1860s surrounding the conflict. Oh, we may also have some sort of football analysis. But I wouldn't count on it...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

3, 2, 1 (uh oh, there go the Ducks)

Kansas (10-0, #3)
Loss: What? They haven’t lost to anyone? Weird.
Wins: vs. Central Michigan (6-4) 52-7; @ Kansas State (5-5) 30-24; @ Texas A&M (6-5) 19-11; @ Oklahoma State (5-5) 43-28
Remaining schedule: this week vs. Iowa State (3-8); 11/24 vs. Mizzou (9-1, #5) in Kansas City; possible Big 12 title game – likely vs. OU

Not since the 1900s has Kansas been atop the college football world as they are now. I bet you didn’t know that Kansas was the dominant Midwest football power back then. I sure didn’t know. I mentioned Buddy Owens yesterday in talking about Oklahoma, but there are quite a few other notable Jayhawk football personalities from the olden times. Look out! Lots of ancient history – scroll down or prepare to be bored!

John H. Outland went to KU, and played both football and baseball in 1895 and 1896. Outland was the founder of the Kansas Relays. Outland is the namesake of the Outland trophy, given to the best offensive lineman in football.

Fielding “Hurry Up” Yost coached one year at Kansas in 1899 and going undefeated, Yost left to coach Stanford briefly, and then went on to coach at Michigan and start their fantastic football tradition. He was at UM from 1901-1926 (going 165-29-10). Yost invented the position of linebacker, and co-created the first ever bowl game, the 1902 Rose Bowl. He also invented that MEE-she-gan thing. He’s probably the most important American of the 20th century for coming up with bowl games.

Here’s the schedule for the 10-0 1899 team (thanks to College Football Data Warehouse, which has a fabulous collection of team results, polls, pretty much everything). Gotta love the big win over Missouri in Kansas City to cap off the year.

9/30 W 12-0 Haskell Institute (KS) Lawrence, KS
10/7 W 35-0 Washburn (KS) Lawrence, KS
10/14 W 29-6 Ottawa (KS) Lawrence, KS
10/21 W 29-5 Drake (IA) Lawrence, KS
10/28 W 18-0 Haskell Institute (KS) Lawrence, KS
11/4 W 29-0 Ottawa (KS) Ottawa, KS
11/11 W 35-0 Emporia St. (KS) Emporia, KS
11/18 W 36-20 Nebraska Lincoln, NE
11/25 W 23-0 Washburn (KS) Lawrence, KS
11/30 W 34-6 Missouri Kansas City, MO

I bet that second match-up with Washburn was exciting!

The aughts were then the time of Coach A.R. “Bert” Kennedy (53-9-4), who put together the following seasons:

1904: 8-1-1 (lost to Haskell, tied Colorado)
1905: 10-1 (lost to Colorado in Denver)
1906: 7-2-2 (lost to @ SLU, @ K-State, tied Mizzou 0-0)
1907: 5-3 (lost @ Washburn, home to Nebraska, and @ SLU)
1908: 9-0 (beat Mizzou 10-4 in KC) – Missouri Valley Champs
1909: 8-1 (lost to Mizzou 12-6 in KC)
1910: 6-1-1 (lost to Nebraska at home 6-0, won @ OU 2-0, tied Mizzou 5-5 at KC)

KU had an 18-game winning streak, which started in 1907 with a 4-0 win over Mizzou and ended with a loss to Mizzou in last game of the year in 1909.

After 1910, Kennedy was no longer the coach, and I haven’t been able to figure out why. Apparently he coached at Haskell for awhile. I can understand losing Yost to Michigan, but losing your coach to Haskell? I was hoping KU fired him after the home loss to Nebraska in 1910 so I could make up a whole curse thing. When your chasing your first title in a century, you need a good curse story right?

Kennedy was also a dentist for 60 years in Lawrence, so someone out there must have gone to him for a teeth cleaning. If you did, let me know why he quit coaching. His son Ted Kennedy (no not that one) lives in Lawrence, and Tom Keegan at Lawrence Journal World wrote a column on him, but didn’t say why he quit coaching.

KU still hasn’t played anyone this year, but it doesn’t matter, as they haven’t lost to anyone. I’m having hard time deciding on how I feel about the Jayhawks right now. Should I enjoy the fact that KU is 10-0 and will have their best season in over a decade (and there were some bad seasons in there, especially while I was attending school – 1998 to 2002)? Or do I get wrapped up in thinking about winning the whole damn thing, and risk being disappointed in a crushing manner?

I think it’s time to throw myself into it – KU will beat Mizzou! I hope.

Outlook: Win out and will be in the title game. Will it happen? Does Dorothy crush the wicked witch with a house? She does do that right?

Oregon (8-1, #2)
Loss: vs. Cal (6-4) 31-24
Wins: vs. Houston (6-4) 48-27; @ Michigan (8-3) 39-7; vs. Fresno State (6-4) 52-21; vs. USC (8-2, #11); vs. Arizona State (9-1, #8) 35-23
Remaining games: Thursday night @ Arizona (4-6); 11/24 @ UCLA (5-5); 12/1 Civil War vs. Oregon State (6-4)

Well, as I sit here the Ducks are getting smoked 24-11 to Arizona in the second quarter, with their great Heisman candidate QB Dennis Dixon injured and out of the game. Things look grim. Hopefully Dixon can get back in the game and maybe lead the Ducks back.

But if he doesn’t, here comes #2 for the Jayhawks!

Oregon is definitely a nouveau riche program, with Nike dollars pouring into Eugene from alum Phil Knight. The Ducks are also home of the oddest uniforms, but they seem to have their stride. They actually look pretty good tonight (other than the whole football playing part of the game).

Uh oh, make that 31-11 Arizona.

Oregon went to the 1963 Sun Bowl, but then was absent from postseason play until 1989, when they beat Tulsa 27-24 in the Independence Bowl. Since then, however, the Ducks have been to 13 bowl games, highlighted by a breakthrough appearance in the Rose Bowl in 1995 (lost to Penn State), followed up by a 1996 Cotton Bowl (lost to Colorado).

Oregon probably should have gotten a shot at the 2001 title, but were instead sent to the Fiesta Bowl. That was the year that Nebraska got annihilated at Colorado on Thanksgiving weekend 62-36, but still went on to play Miami for the “title”, and got smoked. Oregon finished with one loss and ranked #2.

Oregon has three good wins this year – at Michigan, and at home over USC and Arizona State. If Kansas loses and Oregon wins out (looking dimmer and dimmer as Oregon is sacked out of field goal range at the end of the first half), the Ducks would likely be in the title game.

Outlook: Barring a second-half rally, Oregon is cooked.

This just in! Ryan Leaf’s younger brother is playing QB for Oregon, and Ryan is on the sidelines! The Ducks have no chance! They do get a FG, now 31-14.

LSU (9-1, #1)
Loss: @ Kentucky (7-3, #23) 43-37 OT
Wins: vs. Miss. St. (6-4) 45-0; vs. Va. Tech (8-2, #10) 48-7; vs. South Carolina (6-5) 28-16; vs. Florida (7-3, #12) 28-24; vs. Auburn (7-4) 30-24; @ Alabama (6-4) 41-34.
Remaining games: this week @ Ole Miss (3-7); 11/23 vs. Arkansas (6-4); possible SEC title game – likely vs. Georgia (8-2, #9) or Tennessee (7-3, #20) – slight chance it will be Florida

Bayou Bengals! Death Valley! Halloween night 1959 - Billy Cannon returns a punt to beat #3 Ole Miss! They have numbers on the five-yard lines!

The Tigers have tradition. They have two national titles – 1958 and 2003 (split with USC). I don’t understand why they share both the Tiger mascot and the Death Valley thing with Clemson. I bet there’s some fun bourbon-fueled southern boy arguments over which school is the rightful owner of the “Death Valley” moniker. No offense to Clemson, but I think LSU is more intimidating over the last decade or so.

My favorite LSU game was in 1997, when they beat #1 Florida in Baton Rouge 28-21. LSU kept running over them: like 5 running backs got hurt, but it didn’t matter. Kevin Faulk was killing the Gators, and after he got hurt big fatty Cecil Collins came in and kept rolling. I think I really hated Florida, as they usually beat Florida State, which I had some weird rooting interest in for awhile. I think it was because they wear those sweet helmets with the arrows on them (I talk about uniforms entirely too much don’t I?).

So, LSU is the greatest this year, blah, blah. I don’t think they’ve played all that great, but man they have talent. Glen Dorsey is a beast on the defensive side.

Dixon is done, the Oregon coach just told Erin Andrews so. And yes, Erin looks nice.

LSU gets tons of credit from the start of the season when they killed a decent Mississippi State team and a good Virginia Tech team. Since then, they’ve seemed bored and beaten their SEC opponents, mostly at home (Florida, Auburn, and South Carolina). I’m not sure that Auburn and South Carolina are much better than, say, Texas A&M and Texas Tech. Better coached? Definitely. More talented? Not by much.

LSU better be careful with Arkansas, but they should win that one. The only real test left is the SEC championship game. Georgia’s been playing really well lately, but they may not get a shot at the Tigers. Tennessee can win out and be in the SEC title game, as they hold the tiebreaker with a win over the Dawgs (both teams have two conference losses). I think Georgia gets in though, and gives LSU a good game, but falls short.

Outlook: Win and they are in the title game. I think they’ll do it.

National Championship: LSU vs. KU.