August 12, 2008

2008: Grading the non-conference schedules


We've created a vicious cycle in college football. Sure we all love the fact that just about every game is on TV nowadays. And because coaches and athletic directors want their teams to look good on TV, so they schedule a lot of limp fish opponents. Because wins beget bowl games. Bowl games begets job security. Job security begets more money. Thus, more money is insured by wins. You spin me right round baby right round, like a record.

No longer do college football teams across the country take chances. Or, well, rarely do they. Have you noticed how boring Septembers have become, except for the occasional Appy State upset of Michigan or Ohio State showdown with Texas?

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January 04, 2008

The Kansas Jayhawks Are Your 2008 FEDEX Orange Bowl Champions!!

MIAMI, Fla. - In a game that saw a role reversal of sorts, the Kansas Jayhawks silenced the critics as they triumphed over the Virginia Tech Hokies in the 2008 FEDEX Orange Bowl by a score of 24-21.

Virginia Tech is known for their stout defense and outstanding special teams, but tonight it was the Jayhawks turn to show off in those two areas. Kansas recorded three interceptions on defense, but were even better on special teams converting on a fake punt pass as well as blocking a crucial field goal.

"Our special teams were overlooked," said Jayhawks head coach Mark Mangino. "From the outside, the media just didn't pick up on the type of success that we've had on special teams."

Coming into the game all of the talk was about Kansas' offense versus Virginia Tech's defense, but that wasn't the case when the players took the field as the Jayhawks defense, behind Orange Bowl MVP Aqib Talib, wreaked havoc on both Hokie signal callers. Talib made the biggest play of the game in the first quarter as he intercepted Tyrod Taylor's pass and returned it 60 yards for the game's opening score.

We saw a lot of outs on film," said Talib, "and Coach had us in the call where I was able to jump any route. So I just kind of slowed down in my back‑pedal and he ran the out; and the quarterback was a little late on the throw and he threw me the ball."

The one bright spot for Virginia Tech was its rushing attack as Branden Ore had only his second 100-yard rushing performance of the season accumulating 116 yards on 23 carries, but because of the fourth quarter deficit the Hokies had to go away from their ground attack and put in the air, playing right into the Jayhawks hands.

The Hokies gave some hope to the fans when they cut the Kansas lead to only three points with three minutes remaining, but the Jayhawks recovered the onside kick and a couple first downs later, they had the victory.

Jayhawks quarterback Todd Reesing needed only two words to describe Kansas' remarkable run this season and almost flawless record of 12-1. "It's ecstasy."

January 03, 2008

Virginia Tech Gets Another Shot

MIAMI, Fla. - On fourth-and-one at the Tech 22-yard line, Kansas decided to go for it, but was unsuccessful as the Hokies batted the ball out of the air, giving themselves another opportunity to try and put together a scoring drive as Tech still trails 24-14 with a little over five minutes remaining in the game.

Huge Mistake by Tech Gives KU 24-14 Lead

MIAMI, Fla. - Tech's defense had been outstanding in the second half, but it was the offense that turned the ball over on a Sean Glennon interception resulting in an easy one-play touchdown drive as KU quarterback Todd Reesing ran it in from two yards out to give the Jayhawks a 24-14 lead with a little under 11 minutes remaining in the game.

Another Three-and-Out for Kansas

MIAMI, Fla. - Virginia Tech's defense has continued their strong second half performance as they forced another three-and-out from the Jayhawks offense. All of the momentum is on Virginia Tech's side, so we'll just have to wait and see if Tech can turn that into points and possibly their first lead of the game on this next possession.

Trick Play Helps Jayhawks, But Hokies Defense Stands Strong

MIAMI, Fla. - On fourth down at midfield, KU coach Mark Mangino out-Beamered Tech coach Frank Beamer as the Jayhawks went for a fake punt pass which was successfully converted. On the very next play, KU quarterback Todd Reesing threw a bullet to receiver Dexton Fields putting the ball at the Tech one-yard line. However, penalties killed the Jayhawks as they garnered a personal foul penalty and then a holding penatly on back-to-back plays giving them a second and goal all the way back at the Tech 29.

Reesing then threw a perfect pass, but right to a Virginia Tech defender as the Hokies seem to have figured out this potent Jayhawks offense here in the second half. The Jayhawks still hold a slim 17-14 lead, though, as the third quarter has come to an end with Virginia Tech driving.

Crazy Play Results in Huge Gain for Hokies But Kansas Responds with Blocked Field Goal

MIAMI, Fla. - After Hokies quarterback Sean Glennon threw a prayer up to Eddie Royal causing the ball to bounce around, Virginia Tech tight end Greg Boone took the ball off of the bodies of Royal and two Kansas defenders resulting in an unprecedented catch and another huge play for the Hokies early on in the second half.

However, the Jayhawks special teams came up with a huge play as they blocked the short field goal attempt by Jud Dunlevy to maintain their 17-14 lead.

Momentum Has Definitely Shifted the Hokies Way

MIAMI, Fla. - Virginia Tech defensive tackle Carlton Powell slammed Todd Reesing to the ground for a sack and Vince Hall nailed running back Jake Sharp well short of the first on third down as the Hokies seem like a completely different team after the second half whistle. We'll have to see what adjustments Mangino and the Jayhawks now try to make as the Hokies look like the more confident team out there now.

Hokies Come Out Strong in Second Half

MIAMI, Fla. - After the Hokies defense stood strong and forced a punt, Eddie Royal pitched the punt return to Justin Harper and on the reverse, Harper returned it 84 yards for the touchdown as Virginia Tech closed the gap to 17-14 and sent all the momentum to the boys in the orange and maroon. Let's see if this is the spark that gets the Hokies up and playing like their true selves. Kansas and quarterback Todd Ressing need to respond now as the crowd which is heavily favored towards the Hokies is starting to get louder and louder.

Hokies Get on the Scoreboard Right Before Half

MIAMI, Fla. - After Kansas went up 17-0 on a Todd Reesing touchdown pass, the Hokies drove down the field and running back Branden Ore capped it off with a one-yard touchdown run to cut the Jayhawks lead to 17-7 with under two minutes left in the second quarter. The Jayhawks ran the clock out and now hold the 10-point advantage as both teams head into the locker room for halftime.

Both offenses seem to be a step faster than the defenses, but Kansas has two interceptions resulting in two scores while Tech has yet to force a turnover; thus the advantage for the Jayhawks on the scoreboard as we enter halftime.

Kansas ' Defense, Not Virginia Tech, Looks Strong Early On

MIAMI, Fla. - After intercepting Virginia Tech quarterback Sean Glennon on the first play of the second quarter, the Kansas Jayhawks worked their way into field goal range and Scott Webb converted a 32-yard field goal to give Kansas a 10-0 lead.

Kansas Dodges Bullet

MIAMI, Fla. - After Kansas went on top 7-0 in the Orange Bowl, Virginia Tech drove down the field behind quarterback Sean Glennon, but Jud Dunlevy missed a 48-yard field goal which the Jayhawks returned back to their own 39-yard line.

Kansas Strikes First

MIAMI, Fla. - Kansas All-American Aqib Talib made the first huge play of the game intercepting Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor and returning it for a touchdown to put the Jayhawks up 7-0 midway through the first quarter.

Virginia Tech Fans Are Out in Force

MIAMI, Fla. - The Orange Bowl has just kicked off and you can definitely tell that the Hokies outnumber the Jayhawks in terms of fans. A huge storyline coming into this game was whether or not Virginia Tech middle linebacker Vince Hall would play after sustaining a knee injury in a team event. Well, on the first Kansas possession Hall made his name known making tackle after tackle and showing no ill effects from the knee injury that made him questionable to play in the game.

December 01, 2007

Thinking it over

SAN ANTONIO - There may never be another college football season like this one.
But let's hope there is. Maybe it will produce a playoff. Most important, it would mean another college football season like this one.

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November 25, 2007

No comeback for the Jayhawks

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas put together a late rally but didn't have enough to hang with Missouri.

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November 24, 2007

Kansas mounting a comeback?

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas just marched 57 yards in 1:27 to cut the Missouri lead to 12 points.

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Kansas running out of time

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - As Yogi Berra might say, it's getting late early for the Kansas Jayhawks.

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Kansas gets on the board, trails 21-7

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - It took two and a half quarters, but Kansas' offense has finally come to life.

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Tigers jump out to 14-0 lead at the half

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Missouri engineered two long scoring drives and held the Kansas offense in check to take a 14-0 lead at halftime.

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Missouri offense proving too much to handle

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Missouri offense is making a strong case for the title of "Best in the Nation".

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Big drive for the Tigers: Mizzou leads 7-0

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Tensions are high here at Arrowhead. Missouri just scored on a one-yard pass to tight end Martin Rucker on fourth-and-goal.

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Mizzou misfires early

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Missouri blew a perfect scoring opportunity by getting greedy and attempting a fake field goal.

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Gearing up for the Border Showdown

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kickoff of the biggest college football game of the season is just minutes away and the atmposphere at Arrowhead Stadium is electric.

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November 17, 2007

Kansas runs out the clock on Iowa State, leading 38-7

LAWRENCE, Kan. - As the minutes left on the scoreboard dwindle, fans are heading for the exits in Lawrence.

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Kansas leads 31-7 after an uneventful third quarter

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Kansas added three points to its lead and Iowa State to 35 total yards in the third quarter.

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Todd Reesing continues to impress, Kansas leads 28-7

LAWRENCE, Kan. - At this point, the question isn't whether or not Kansas will hang on and defeat Iowa State. It's if Todd Reesing is a great quarterback or the greatest quarterback.

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Penalties hurt Kansas, which leads 21-7 heading into the half.

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Iowa State avoided being completely dominated by finally finding the end zone late in the first half.

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Kansas piling on the points, leading 21-0

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Generally speaking, midway through the second quarter is a little too early to call a game officially over. With this Kansas team, I think it's safe to say this one's done.

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Reesing adds to his Heisman resume

LAWRENCE, Kan. - He may still be on the outside looking in, but Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing is making a compelling case for Heisman candidacy.

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The Jayhawks strike first

LAWRENCE, Kan. - As has been the case often this season, Kansas found its way onto the scoreboard first.

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Iowa State looks to spoil Kansas' dream season

LAWRENCE, Kan. - This is the classic trap game scenario: Kansas enters the game at 10-0 and primed to move into the No. 2 spot in the BCS with a victory. Iowa State is 3-8 but has won two straight games after hanging with Missouri and Oklahoma the two weeks prior.

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November 10, 2007

Kansas holds on, wins 43-28.

STILLWATER, Okla. - Kansas weathered a second-half storm of offense from Oklahoma State and held on to earn its tenth victory.

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The Cowboys strike back

STILLWATER, Okla. - Just when the Oklahoma State Cowboys looked buried, finished, kaput, they have rallied to pull within five points with 13:08 remaining.

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The Jayhawks get their stop

STILLWATER, Okla. - Time is running short for Oklahoma State as the Kansas defense is bearing down in the second half.

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The rout is on

STILLWATER, Okla. - The Cowboys kept it close for the first half, but Kansas has looked like the better team in the third quarter.

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Todd Reesing equals Doug Flutie?

STILLWATER, Okla. - Wow. Todd Reesing is lighting things up in a big way here in Stillwater.

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Kansas leads 20-14 at halftime, OSU's Bowman injured

STILLWATER, Okla. - Oklahoma State ended the first half by punting twice, but that might not be the worst of the news for the Cowboys.

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Goal line opportunities

STILLWATER, Okla. - Both teams ended their last two drives inside the opposition's 20-yard line. Unfortunately for Kansas, Oklahoma State ended their drive in the end zone.

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STILLWATER, Okla. - There's something out of the ordinary about this early-November tilt between Kansas and Oklahoma State. It could be the fact that a writer from the New York Times, Brent Musberger and several bowl representatives are milling around the press area.


October 27, 2007

KU-A&M: Still unbeaten!

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The Kansas basketball team opens their season Tuesday with an exhibition game against Pittsburg State, but for perhaps the first time since James Naismith nailed up the peach baskets, the hoopsters won't be the talk of the town.

The Kansas football team withstood a late Texas A&M rally, including a couple of Hail Mary attempts, to pull off their 8th win of the season, 19-11.

The win puts Kansas at 8-0 for the first time since 1909. Yes, 1909!

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KU-A&M: Too little, too late?

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- A&M is finally on the scoreboard!

The Aggies got a 21-yard FG to make it 19-3, although much of the crowd groaned/booed when the kicker trotter onto the field.

Unfortunately for A&M, the 78-yard drive was very time-consuming, and only 7:20 remains in the game.

KU-A&M: Aggie nightmare

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Aggies pride themselves in never booing and never leaving a game early, but this fan base has been beaten down enough that both are happening right now.

Kansas just punched in another TD to make it 19-0.

The Jayhawks went 43 yards in four plays, scoring on a 3-yard TD run by Brandon McAnderson. McAnderson, who also had a 40-yard run on the drive, now has 152 yards and two TDs on 15 carries.

A&M set up Kansas with a short field thanks to more offensive ineptness. After getting their first first down of the half, the Aggies turned the ball over on a fumble. With Stephen McGee in the shotgun, Mike Goodson was coming in motion to receive an inside handoff, but a low snap threw off the timing of the play, and the handoff bounced off Goodson's thighs and was recovered by DE John Larson.

KU-A&M: Jayhawks take control

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Kansas has added a TD and another FG and leads Texas A&M 13-0 at the end of the 3rd quarter.

Kansas' second drive of the half ended with a TD on a 6-yard run by Brandon McAnderson.The drive went 54 yards in 6 plays, with Todd Reesing completing passes for 14 and 15 yards to soften up the defense against the run.

The Jayhawks' third drive went 44 yards in 8 plays and culminated with a 33-yard FG by Scott Webb. Reesing is now 21-30 for 180 yards.

A&M went 3-and-out for the third consecutive time this half, and went backwards for the second consecutive drive.

I heard a smattering of boos after a 2-yard pass on 3rd-and-13, and I'll bet another 3-and-out will really bring out the boo birds.

No one has supported Dennis Franchione more than QB Stephen McGee, the leader of the team, but the Aggie offense has been completely ineffective because the KU defense is daring A&M to throw and they can't. It's time to try someone else.

A&M's offense officially had -9 yards in the quarter, and the Aggies have been outgained tonight 318-127.


COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- It's only a FG, but YAY POINTS! (Yes, I'm honestly just rooting for points.)

Kansas leads 3-0 on a 31-yard FG by Scott Webb.

After Texas A&M went 3-and-out on the first possession of the second half, Kansas marched the ball 51 yards in 10 plays, converting two third downs on the drive.

Maybe that will be an icebreaker for the A&M offense...

KU-A&M: Spirit of Aggieland

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- If you ever hit the lottery and decide to spend the fall heading to a different football game each Saturday, seeing the best stadiums, sights, and players the nation has to offer, I think a visit to College Station has to be on that list. (And I say that even though I collect a paycheck from the University of Texas in my other life.)

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KU-A&M: Would you believe a scoreless half?

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Believe it.

At halftime, Texas A&M and undefeated Kansas have yet to dent the scoreboard.

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KU-A&M: Not what you'd expect

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. -- At the end of a quarter, Texas A&M and Kansas are still scoreless.

But things aren't going as expected here.

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KU-A&M: Leaders of the Pack

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. -- A couple of months ago, I sat down with the Big XII schedule and put a big circle around October 27th, because that was the day the top team in the North would visit the top team in the South.

Technically, I was correct. Honestly though, I was off by about a hundred miles. While Texas and Nebraska have hit serious ruts in the road, Texas A&M is an unlikely co-leader in the South, and Kansas is not only looking to go 8-0 for the first time since 1909 (1909?!?!?!), they're also ranked ninth in the BCS. What in the name of Phog Allen is going on here?

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