Sunday, May 29, 2011

Around the Big XII, part 6. kansas

I'm not going to lie.  I've been looking forward to this.  There are very few constants in live, but along with death and taxes, Missouri fans detest kansas and ku fans revel in misfortune that happens to Missouri.  I'm cool with that.  Basketball is king in larry, and they absolutely have a program to be envied, and they have no problem reminding you of that.  In other sports, football included, it's a different story, as was pointed out in this opinion piece that appeared in  The beaks were 3-9 last year and 1-7 in conference play.  Among those losses was the season opener at home where they were dropped 6-3 to FCS North Dakota, who finished a respectable 9-5 but lost to such teams as Northern Iowa, Western Illinois and Missouri State.  Only a huge comeback against Colorado prevented the beaks from an 0-8 conference record and the memories of 2007 are further and further in the rear view mirror.
Last year the crimson and blue replaced Mark Mangino with a former Cornhusker quarterback, head coach and aspiring deity, Turner Gill.  Gill had been passed over by his former coach director  and best friend, Tom Osbourne when he was in charge of replacing the train wreck that was Bill Callahan.  While he wasn't quite good enough to make the cut at the university he played for, former beak athletic director Lew Perkins decided to drop a 5 year, 10 million dollar contract complete with no buy out clause to obtain his services.  For Tiger fans, it was a blessing and an absolute joy to watch.  The beaks have little idea which quarterback will be on the field for them this fall, but the smart money's on Jordan Webb, a St Louis product that snapped up his only D1 offer and moved west to kansas.  A freshman, also from Missouri is Darrian Miller, who enrolled early and now sits # 2 on the depth chart at running back.  He at one time held offers from Iowa and Minnesota but rumors said both of those were retracted, leaving him no where to head but larry.
In 2007 the beaks rode a schedule that didn't include Texas, Oklahoma or Texas A&M from the Big XII south to a 11-1 record, and a chance to be ranked # 1 in the country when they met Missouri in the first Border showdown football game played in Kansas City.   Despite losing that night, the beaks were able to parley that into an Orange Bowl appearance against Virginia Tech, another over rated BCS program.  This year the squawks open with 2 cupcakes at home in McNeese State and Northern Illinois before taking their act on the road against Georgia Tech, who will have something to prove after being one of the beaks 3 wins last year.   I'm calling for ku to go 2-1 in their non conference schedule, but the over-under for conference wins is 1.  In my opinion, the only win they should be expecting, or at least hoping for is against Iowa State, and for ku, it's unfortunate that it's being played in Ames.  But somewhere I think they'll win a conference game, and regardless of who it's against it will be something of an upset.
Next time we'll talk about someone else that had a disappointing season last year, but who's hopes should be considerably brighter, the Texas Longhorns.

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