Wednesday, October 31, 2007

One More Year?

Alrighty, so we have been burned recently enough by Julian entering when he said that he was not. But this quote from Mr. Talib makes me think next year is a lot more up in the air than it used to be...

Talib: I couldn't be having any more fun right now – and it will get even better next year because everyone is coming back. Having Coach Young coach us for another year is going to make us that much better.

King: Hold on – you just said everyone is coming back. Are you including yourself? Does this mean you're not going to enter the NFL Draft like so many people expect?

Talib: I'm coming back for another one, as of right now. We're doing too good. I can't leave. I'm not going to talk about it anymore until the end of the year. But I'm just saying – that's how I feel, as of right now.

King: OK, so there are no guarantees, right?

Talib: As of right now, this is my team and we're going to finish out the year. Let's leave it at that. We'll talk about the future after the season.

you can view the whole interview here...

think about only really losing McClinton off this years D, though he is a huge...HUGE part of it

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Chase Daniel.....

Eats boogers....

so my brother came up with this great t-shirt idea. Though I do think Dudley Dawson is way to classy to wear the piss and black of mizzou.

Monday, October 29, 2007


Saturday's game forced me to do some photoshop...Magic Mark is bring velour back...yeah....those other coaches don't know how to act!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Recap of Picks


This Week - Against the Spread: 4-1, Straight Up: 4-1
Season (3 weeks) ATS: 14-3, SU: 14-3


This Week - Against the Spread: 4-1, Straight Up: 4-1
Season (3 weeks) ATS: 11-6, SU 14-3

Since we're talking picks...Colorado - nicely done. And Missouri - is that the Pinkel slip'n'slide getting hosed down and ready for take off? I know you won by 2 whole touchdowns, but 28 points to Iowa State in Columbia...I mean, Toledo only let them score 35. Sorry to hear about Pig Brown, by the way. BMcMich1 can especially sympathize. But enough stalling, how 'bout those Jayhawks?! Holy shitballs! 8-0 for the first time in 98 years. 3 conference road wins against teams with winning records and going to bowls. By the way (and I'll elaborate in the post-mortem) there were A LOT of points left on that field tonight for a variety of reasons. This was not a one score game.

I'm trying to decide how I feel about the other 4 undefeated teams staying unbeaten as well. Part of me likes it because I think it helps to stay a bit under the radar, and part of me wants KU to be the only unbeaten soaking up all the press they can get. With that said, B-Mac, Sharp, Angus, and CBA ought to be able to run for about a buck apiece this week as the Jayhawks steamroll the hapless Huskers to move to 9-0. I don't want to jinx anything, but hey - I'm a fan and don't need to be focused - and Nebraska truly has the worst rush defense KU has seen all year. And yes, I'm inclding SE Lousisiana. In case you hadn't heard, Jamaal Charls had 216 yards and 3TDs against the 4th quarter.

Rock Chalk!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Weakly Picks.....yes, that was spelled as I intended

Alright, I have been dreading making my picks this week because of my horrible job last week and also due to the fact that other than the KU-eaTme game there is nothing really very exciting. I am also just a little bit too jacked for this game today, I think there is a good possibility that I could just wear myself out thinking about this well before 6pm.

Kansas (-2.5) @ Texas A&M

Little man doesn't go back to Texas quietly...and on that note...Lee Corso can eat shit, seriously fuck that self-promoting, horrible coaching, pompous bastard. I honestly heard him make a comment that was like "look at Kansas's schedule, I think even I could win games playing against teams like that, hell I'd still be coaching." You would still be coaching if you knew anything about talent and also weren't a douchebag.

Any way... Fighting Manginos 28 Texas A&M 15

Nebraska @ Texas (-20.5)

I just plan on picking the rest of these with seemingly no rhyme or reason, but my plan here is go with all the favorites to win yet not cover. After last week I think we are starting to see this trend in the Big 12, KU and Missouri being the exceptions.

Nebraska 10 Texas 28

Baylor @ K-State (-25.5)

This is a tricky one, could be close to that line

Baylor 17 Kansas State 35

Iowa St. @ Missouri (-28.5)

Again could be close to that line, but I have to give this scientific theory a chance.

Iowa State 21 Missouri 48

Colorado @ Texas Tech (-13.5)

Buffs are going to struggle to keep this near the line.

Colorado 21 Texas Tech 28

For those of you not around Lawrence, it is pretty crazy/awesome to hear people all over Lawrence talking KU football that normally don't speak words of KU sports during this part of the year. While doing some blogging at Bistro Bella this morning it has been the talk of the coffee shop. Keep it up and whether you want the fair-weather on the bandwagon or not, they may be in it for the long haul.

Rock Chalk

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Kansas @ Texas A&M Preview

Saturday's tilt in College Station is a true gut-check game for Kansas. There is no magic formula to beat the Aggies; stop the run and protect the ball. If Kansas does those two things, they will eclipse the 7-0 mark for the first time since 1909. More importantly, they will be 4-0 in the conference with 3 "home" games remaining. Ok, so they sold their third home game, but the other 2 are legitimate and are against perennial doormats, Iowa State and Nebraska – win those and they can't have any more than 1 loss heading in to Arrowhead with the north division on the line.

**Side note** Maybe I have just gone crazy and am reading WAY too much into nothing, but does anyone else think that if the football team continues to have success, the basketball team will reap the benefits as well. Obviously recruiting would be positively impacted for both by having more good programs and facilities on campus, but I'm talking about this year in particular. Here are my reasons – and if at any time you think I'm a jackass, feel free to skip down to the pregame analysis.
1.Decreased emphasis – Obviously Allen Fieldhouse is the best place to play basketball in the world, with some great fans, but it can definitely be argued that it's not the best home court advantage. We're educated, loud, loyal and supportive – and because of that (along with a 19 year drought) we can be demanding. Despite the lack of ultimate success, it is obvious that Self coaches for March and not December. However, we are still going to games and analyzing play from the tip-off of the first exhibition game. Now, imagine if we actually had a football team to think about, watch and cheer for during December and possibly even January. (And yes, I know had a bowl game 2 years ago Dec. 23, but I'm talking about 1 that the majority might actually care about.) I think if we did, maybe we wouldn't be living and dying with every Chalmers theft, Kaun shotput or Sherron drive. (i.e. If nothing else, an early season loss to Oral Roberts might not be such national news/complete panic if the football team were playing OU in the Big 12 Championship that week. I'm not saying I want a decreased emphasis on basketball – if anything I wanted it amped up as well – but I really think a prolonged football season will take some pressure of the basketball team.
2.Friendly competition – The basketball players have been saying all the right things, like "we all wear Kansas on our chest," etc. However, with any good athlete, especially ones that are recruited to a place like Kansas is a sense of pride in how they are perceived. Think about how many people on campus didn't know who Todd Reesing, James McClinton or even Aqib Talib was last year. Now, those guys can't get near Wescoe Beach without expecting to be harassed by students. It's probably really annoying at the time, but you know they all love it and as recently as this summer, the basketball players were the only ones getting that treatment.
3.National recognition – Obviously Kansas basketball is highly regarded throughout the nation. Even so, they rarely get the kind of press the football team is garnishing right now until at least late March. They get more games on national TV, but football is America's sport (apparently) and as analysis and print media go, the football team is really raking in the pub lately. **Note within a note** Since writing this, this article appeared on and the LJWorld ran this as their main sports article. However, I still want to think my theory has some validity. I've was wrong once before though.**End note within a note**

That's probably enough of my theory for now – if you don't agree with it now, you will when they are cutting down the nets in San Antonio and we're all happy as pigs in shit. In order for any of it to have any validity however, the Kansas football team must nut-up and stop the best rushing attack in the conference (statistically anyway). If you just look at the stats, this shouldn't be a problem. Kansas is 7th in the nation, allowing a mere 78 yards per game. Ya, but they built up those stats against a creampuff non-conference slate! But to that I would say, "No Corso, dig a little deeper and you'll find that Kansas has actually tightened up since conference play started, allowing 53, 48, and 66 yards to KSU, Baylor, and CU, respectively." Not bad for a team that wasn't ready for conference play. Amazingly, Kansas rush defense statistics have greatly improved since getting by the likes of CMU, Toledo and FIU. Imagine what the stats would be like if those teams had not run on almost every play trying to end the game as quickly as possible.

Special Teams: Let's switch things up a bit and lead with the special teams analysis. First off, as much as anything, special teams won that game last week – Scott Webb's continued success, Kyle Tucker's punting, especially late from the end zone and of course the coverage. Aside from a mysterious defensive delay of game on Pat Resby, these units were flawless. A&M is much like Colorado in this area as they do nothing spectacular, but they don't get burned either, ranking 8th and 9th, in punt and kickoff coverage, respectively. In looking at these units, the only real difference between the two teams is Marcus Herford – aside from that, both cover well and neither needs points from these units, a la the Power Towels.

Where Kansas has the advantage is with the place kicker. Whereas both teams have made 11 field goals, A&M has made them on 19 attempts while Kansas has needed only 12. Scott Webb looks better than ever (except for maybe when he beat Cy in 2005) and could prove to be the difference in this one if it stays close. Edge: Kansas

Kansas Offense v. Texas A&M Defense: To say the A&M secondary has been suspect this year would be like saying Mark Zuckerberg is going to be financially stable. So maybe that one is a bit more of an understatement, but their secondary really has been terrible – not too mention injury riddled. They are even worse than Baylor, surrendering 266 yards a game via the pass. They have only been torched once (Tech for 425), but when taking out their best and worst (133 – LA Monroe), they have given up at least 194 in every other game and are remarkably consistent allowing between 259 and 304 in the other 5. Suffice it to say, if the Kansas receivers hold onto the ball, Hot Toddy could have himself quite a day throwing the ball. Despite the publicity of Tom Keegan and GingerBalls, he probably won't get into the Heisman mix, but he could lead KU to 8-0. Especially if the game is close and Kansas needs a quick drive, this should prove to be a large advantage.

A&M is better against the run, but not infinitely. They come in giving up 135 on the ground, 125 in Big 12 play (Baylor, Tech, Neb., and OSU). Kansas comes in averaging 213, 195 in Big 12 play. By those numbers alone, Kansas should not have a whole lot of trouble here either – which is key. Despite A&M's inability to stop the pass, Kansas' ability to run the ball could be a larger factor. I have all the faith in the world in Hot Toddy to take care of the ball and get things done, but there's no better way to win on the road than to run the ball, especially given Kansas makes all their calls at the line. Splitting the difference and getting even 150 would be gravy and probably enough to ensure a W. Edge: Kansas

Kansas Defense v. A&M Offense: All you will hear about is how A&M runs the ball – they are 5th nationally at 260 per game – and rightly so. However, how Fran has managed to not include Martellus Bennett into their offense is absolutely stunning. Once a prized recruit and a still a physical specimen, when asked if he would have to showcase his skills at the combine, Bennett said, "I have to do it somewhere." He leads the Aggies with 24 catches for 276 yards in A&M’s run-oriented offense. I absolutely want the Hawks to concentrate on stopping the run, but if they are, let's hope the Aggies don't remember Bennett is on the roster as I always fear the good tight end against this defense.

Despite how productive Bennett has the capability to be, we all know that this game will come down to how well KU can stop A&M on the ground. They have an extremely capable backfield of McGee, Lane and Goodson and they all do something a little different. It's important to keep them out of 3rd and short situations as stopping 270 pounds of Jorvorskie Lane can be pretty difficult. Hopefully the Kansas defense never resembles this train chasing him. Even more importantly, they need to stop Stephen McGee. As I said earlier in the week, Nebraska/Fran may have done Kansas a favor as McGee carried it 36 times last week. I have to imagine he has been sore all week – it may not help Kansas directly, but it definitely can't hurt them either. From my perspective, stopping him is more important than anyone else. However, Mike Goodson is probably the most dangerous of the three as he has the breakaway speed. However, A&M has been unable to get him around the corner, where is the most explosive – given the speed of the Kansas linebackers I think and hope this problem will persist for another week. This Kansas defense is not as good against the run as the one in 2005, but they are better than last year's team, which only surrendered 157 yards to this same backfield. If they can duplicate that effort, the defense will have done their part in winning this game. Slight Edge: Kansas

Intangibles: A&M is playing at home, a week after pummeling Nebraska in Lincoln and they are underdogs to the Kansas Jayhawks. They also have the added incentive of trying to become to team to end Kansas' joy ride into the BCS picture as one of only 5 remaining unbeaten teams. If that's not enough, they are playing in front of the "12th Man" and Kansas can't win on the road - you know, except of course this year…but who cares about that?! And lastly, they HAVE to win this game as they close @OU, @MU and against UT. Edge: A&M

Aside from intangibles, Kansas has the advantage in every other area. The only thing A&M does better than Kansas is run the ball and Kansas isn't exactly lacking in that department, only averaging 37 yards less per game. Factor that in with Kansas' enormous advantage throwing the ball and on the defensive side of the ball and Kansas should win this game. Hot Toddy and the Jayhawks seem to have exercised their road demons and I just think they are too balanced for A&M to be able to keep up for 60 minutes. Kansas 31 Texas A&M 21

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Little Texas' Heisman Talk Breakdown

I was curious as to the sort of stats our Great White Hope has been putting up this year as compared to the "big" guys from the "big" schools. Well...without further ado...

Tim Tebow, QB, Florida, Sophomore
2007 Season Stats:
Passing: 1,711 YDS | 17 TD
3 INT | 66.1 CMP%
Rushing: 578 YDS | 10 TD

Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College, Senior
2007 Season Stats:
Passing: 2,184 YDS | 17 TD
6 INT | 64 CMP%
Rushing: 27 YDS | 1 TD

Andre Woodson, QB, Kentucky, Senior
2007 Season Stats:
Passing: 2,200 YDS | 26 TD
4 INT | 64.7 CMP%
Rushing: -123 YDS | 3 TD

Dennis Dixon, QB, Oregon, Senior
2007 Season Stats:
Passing: 1,728 YDS | 16 TD
3 INT | 69.3 CMP%
Rushing: 416 YDS | 7 TD

Colt Brennan, QB, Hawaii, Senior
2007 Season Stats:
Passing: 2,395 YDS | 20 TD
10 INT | 69.5 CMP%
Rushing: 38 YDS | 6 TD

Booger Eater, QB, Missery, Junior
2007 Season Stats:
Passing: 2283 YDS | 17 TD
7 INT | 69.2 CMP%
Rushing: 198 YDS | 3 TD

Todd "The Gunslinger" Reesing, QB, The Kansas University, Sophomore
2007 Season Stats:
Passing: 1805 | 17 TD
4 INT | 58. 6 CMP%
Rushing: 215 | 1 TD

Obviously the sophomores on this list, Tebow and Reesing, are doing pretty impressive things for being first year starters. Tebows numbers are very good, he does have a lot of talent around him, but take nothing away from him and his play-making. I will say that all of these guys are talented guys on good teams and the stats do show that. Some are products of the system more than others (I'm looking at you Colt and Chase.)

The stats do show how comparable all of these guys are. Trying to differentiate one of these guys to the next gets awfully hard when just looking at these stats. Todd keeps up with almost all of them in most categories other than completion percentage...which I will somewhat attribute to his receivers but is also a product of his playing style.

You really have to look at the affect the player has on the team. Most of these teams would maybe be a loss worse without their #1 signal caller. Whereas Missouri and especially Kansas would be in totally different territory without there #1's. Kansas would likely be two losses worse off without Reesing, I just don't see Kerry Meier going into hostile territory and having the balls to quarterback come from behind scores when the momentum has shifted strongly in the opponents favor. Daniel has that same "stay with me boys, we are scoring this drive" mentality when it comes to keeping his team in games, even with Gary Pinkel trying to screw them out of games.

I guess my point would be that if the Heisman voters looked at what the player meant to his team, then yes, Reesing would be at the top of many lists. However, if you are looking for the guy that looks the best in a uniform, playing for a 5 star team, putting up nice stats then Reesing is probably not your guy.

The next three weeks will go a long way towards bumping Reesing up that ladder, not to mention the whole season. If Reesing can average 275 through the air with 3 touchdowns and some huge, game winning drives to lead us to 10-0 after A&M, Nebraska and Okie State you cannot tell me he is not a top five Heisman candidate. There would be no one else in the entire nation that has meant more to his team and his record than our Sparky and he would have the stats and wins to show it. So if Kansas needs more proving to show if they are for real or not, then so does Reesing.

Something tells me this kid is up to the challenge.... and so are his Jayhawks

“It gets frustrating. You hear it time and time again,” Reesing said. “You put up better numbers, have a higher completion ratio, make more plays with your legs and everything. But they’re the better players simply because they’re taller.

“It gets old.”

“I’ll get to play against some coaches that didn’t give me a chance,” he said. “And I can prove them wrong.”

- Todd Reesing, before freshman year

Rock Chalk Hot Toddy, Rock Chalk

Weekly Big 12 Picks

If you have trouble giving points, stay away from this week's Big 12 favorites and probably the entire slate. Of the five games on the docket, only in one can a team win by less than two touchdowns and cover. The only one that can, Kansas, must beat a home dog in A&M in front of the self-proclaimed "12th Man" made up of silly Texans pretending to be Cadets. Other than the Jayhawks and Aggies, as the lines would represent, this is a lackluster Big 12 schedule.

Game of the Week

Kansas (-2.5) @ Texas A&M

Obviously you can expect more analysis and justification for this pick tomorrow, but for now I'll give you the basics. If Kansas takes care of the ball and contains A&M's ability to run the ball, they will win this game. The Aggies are better than Kansas at exactly one thing – running the football. As we saw against Miami and Tech, if they are unable to completely enforce their will, they will not win. Stephen McGee can physically pass the ball, but he is never going to win a Big 12 game this way. Additionally, the A&M defense's most impressive game to date was holding OSU to 23 points. Although, this was after they fell behind 17-0 and the Pokes forgot Adarius Bowman was on their roster. Oh ya, and Oklahoma State had 459 yards of offense – how they only came up with 23 points is beyond me. Kansas 31 A&M 21

Nebraska @ Texas (-20.5)

In my humble opinion, coaches who can honestly say this, "I’ve done an excellent job in every area. It’s hard for the media to know, but what we’ve done off the field, and what we’ve done on the field. I think it’s well-documented.” (Coach Callahan) usually are not 3 touchdown underdogs unless they are playing the Patriots.

How NU wins: 1) Tackle. This has been objective #1 for Nebraska ever since the Ball State showing and they have yet to attempt accomplishing this lofty goal. I know it sounds crazy, but it really does work better. 2) Expose the Texas linebackers. Any team that is patient enough to max protect against their good d-line and pick apart their linebacking corps has great success against Texas. Among others, Kansas St. did a terrific job of this and Mack has yet to realize why, and thus, the problem persists. Mack was able to finally realize a wonderful mistake he made though, saying, "Anybody that didn't recruit him, including us, made a mistake"
How UT wins: 1) Run, Forrest, Run! I'm not sure we'll see much of him, but this might be a good week to get John Chiles a few snaps under center. Every other team has known he was going to run every time he comes in and he has still been relatively successful – think about what he could do against Nebraska. Said Jorvorskie Lane after the Nebraska game, "I could have driven my car through the holes the line was giving me." Not to say their line isn't good but I don't think it's a coincidence that of his 130 yards, 80 came on 3 runs of 31,27, & 22 yards each, his 3 longest from scrimmage on the year. 2) Pressure Sam Keller. This guy might have the best arm in college football, but he is slightly less intelligent and accurate than Rick Vaughn. Among other variables, last week was the first game in which he failed to throw an interception.

This is a tough game to call…because of the spread. Trust me, I have absolutely NO faith in Nebraska to play well, but Texas trailed Baylor for a while and entered the fourth quarter only ahead 17-7. Personally, if Nebraska wins this game, I think the players should give Callahan a Gatorade bath - the Lions would – but for some reason I'm going to say they cover. Texas 38 Nebraska 21

Baylor @ K-State (-25.5)

Can you imagine having to live in either Manhattan or Waco? Yikes! If the Purple had not completely blown their game last week in Stillwater, I would feel better about Baylor's chances. As it is, the Towels really need this one if they want to stay in contention for the North. Combine that with Baylor's lack of ability to play football and I'll take the home squad.

How BU wins: 1) Turnovers. If they can force enough turnovers and steal some easy points, they could stay close. But, since they are 106th nationally with a minus-9 margin, this isn't all that likely. 2) Run the ball. It's not like they are as bad as Nebraska, but pretty much everyone can run over the Purple. However, Baylor again sucks at something; ranking 115th by averaging 72 yards a game on the ground. What a dead end.
How KSU wins: 1) Scoring more than Baylor. I truly have no idea how Texas struggled with Baylor for 3 quarters, because they are utterly worthless. After what happened to them last week, if the Towels haven't ended this one by halftime, they should be ashamed of themselves…which they should anyway. 2) Purple Wave.

Seriously, Baylor does absolutely nothing well on a football field. The Towels do nothing well, except when on a football field – when occasionally they have the ability to make a play or two. Kansas St. 45 Baylor 13

Iowa St. @ Missouri (-28.5)

Despite how unconvinced I am that Missouri has a real defense, if they can hold Tech to 10 points they should probably be able to hold ISU to about negative-7. Hell, even Nebraska held them to 17.

How ISU wins: 1) Run? I still have no idea how it happened, but in last year's game, their fullback Ryan Kock (who had about 150 yards the rest of the season) ran for 180 to beat Missouri in one of the all time Gary Pinkel collapses. 2) Um…they don't. It pains me to say this, but Missouri is a good team. This does not mean than they are half as good as they think they are or that Gary Pinkel is halfway competent, but neither of those things need to be true this week.
How MU wins: 1) Don't let this guy near the field
What do you say we get that extension signed ASAP...
Missouri 42 ISU 7

Colorado @ Texas Tech (-13.5)

Until last week, they had me fooled. Even though I was in no way convinced Tech had a defense, I thought their offense was good enough to keep them in any game. I could not have been more wrong. Putting up 10 points on that Missouri defense is just pathetic. I would love to think Colorado will go down to Lubbock and win this game, but Tech is a lot different down there. Plus, I think Mike Leach just forgot about the game and thought about pirates all week. Yarr!

How CU wins: 1) Time of possession. Harrell and Crabtree are going to be itching to put up some points after last week and the best way to prevent that is to keep them off the field. Without their best tailback, Missouri ran for over 200 yards last week. If Hugh Charles doesn't get at least 125, they don't have a prayer. 2) Get to the #6. Colorado has a better defense than the one that dominated Tech last week. Missouri proved that Harrell will throw picks if he is pressured. Despite having thrown only 3 for the season, he threw 4 on Saturday, the first of which for a touchdown, and the urine colored tigers never looked back.
How Tech wins: 1) Execute. Colorado does have a good defense – they tackle well, they don't blow assignments and they are athletic. However, they don't do anything exceptionally well and they don't get a ton of pressure. If Tech is patient, runs their routes and protects the ball they will be able to score plenty to win. 2) Stop Hugh. I'll keep saying it until he proves me wrong, but Cody Hawkins isn't ready to beat a good football team. He is going to be a good quarterback, but he is learning on the job and if Colorado can't run, they can't score enough to hang with Tech. Texas Tech 35 Colorado 24

Be sure to check back for the KU/A&M preview that should be up either tomorrow or Friday. Until then, Hot Toddy!

Last week: Against the Spread 4-2, Straight Up 5-1
For the Season (last 2 weeks): Against the Spread 10-2, Straight Up 10-2

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

KU/CU Post-mortem

You know what, this Kansas team just keeps doing a little bit of everything – and doing most of it well. Can you believe they are heading to College Station to play a 6-2 Texas A&M team, fresh off a pasting of Nebraska and Kansas opened as a 3 point favorite?! I have not checked on the line since - and I would be shocked if it doesn't move – but Hot Toddy! Now, maybe that's not based as much on respect as it is on the fact that Kansas has covered in every game this year…Vegas likes to adjust for that. But I'll tell you one more thing – I could not be happier. The longer and more publicly this team is disrespected, the better. I have been saying all year to not underestimate what confidence does for a college football team. The only thing more dangerous than a team playing with confidence is one with confidence and a chip on its shoulder.

Offense: I know Tom Keegan has beaten it to death, but in his lowest passing effort of the year, Todd Reesing has never looked better. His pocket presence is fantastic and he really does have an unbelievable calm to him, no matter what the situation. Those two second half touchdown drives were unbelievable, and not because they were flawless or beautiful, but because of their timing and their structure. Obviously Colorado's focus was to take away the pass and specifically the big play – which they did. This will not beat Kansas this year for two reasons: 1) Though not nearly as flashy, the running game is just as solid; and 2) Todd Reesing plays within himself and with what the defense gives him. For a guy who loves to make plays and throw the ball all over, he has an uncanny ability to make the right decisions – most notably where not to force the ball. In a game where the offense kind of sputtered, it would have been easy to try and make something happen, but instead he took what he was given, trusted his defense and grinded out a win. As much as anything, the key to this win was not throwing any interceptions. And for the season, he has now thrown the ball 220 times and only completed it to the wrong team on 4 of those passes, 2 of which hit the intended receiver and bounced into enemy hands. Not bad for a guy who had not started a game prior to the year.

On the other side of the spectrum, I'm not sure 19 points will win many remaining games, with the exception of Iowa State. Fortunately, I'm also pretty confident that was the best defense Kansas will see all year (B12 champ, bowl excluded). I know it was decimated by the Purple just a week earlier, but I really don't think you can underestimate how different of a team Colorado is in Boulder. Plus, I think the best defense left on the schedule is Missouri and you know how I feel about that unit (though I remain impressed with the holding of T-Tech to 10 points). As much attention as the Kansas offense gets, I like Kansas' Big 12 chances largely because of their defense. In my opinion, there are really only 2 defensive units you could now argue are better: Oklahoma and Colorado (I include them because they held a much better offense in check than did the Kansas defense). Contrarily, you could argue that OU, MU, Tech and even Okie State have more high powered offenses, though I'm much less impressed with OU and Tech after last week. Balance, baby, balance!
**Note** After writing that, I realized I may not have made my intended point, though I like what ended up being illustrated. This is two straight games under 200 yards passing – which included Baylor – and I don't think we want that to become a regular occurrence. I absolutely do not want to force the issue for the reasons outlines above, but in order to keep this winning streak alive, they will need a threatening passing attack (Nebraska game excluded).

Defense: I could not have been more impressed on this side of the ball. Even though it sometimes felt like C-Hawk could find DeVree any time he wanted (7/90/1), I was shocked to see that he threw for 287 yards. It really didn't seem like nearly that much, which I think is mostly a product of why all those yards only accounted for 2 scores, the first of which should have never occurred (crap delay of game on the defense penalty on a punt). Hugh Charles had come in with 4 straight 100 yard rushing games with 110 out of the 161 they ran for against OU. Kansas held Charles to 39 (3.5 per) and Colorado to 66 (2.0 per) – that is what wins ballgames. I don't think they will be able to post stats nearly that gaudy this week, but if they do anything like they did last year in holding the same A&M backfield to 157, they will win that game.

My biggest worry here continues to be the ability to cover the tight end. This is a very good defense that is playing relatively mistake-free, but year in and year out, the tight end seems to be the Achilles heel. Historically, Colorado has been the only team to consistently expose this weakness, but since Missouri has the two best tight ends in the history of football (and don't try and tell me differently!) it could be an issue at Arrowhead. Even Gary Pinkel can't miss this one.

There is officially no denying that Kansas is a team capable of winning all of its remaining games. Given the events of this football season, I'm not sure if that makes it more or less likely that they will accomplish this feat. I mean, if up is down and black is white, then why can't the Jayhawks win out? When you look at the facts, they match up pretty will with every team left on the slate. I have little doubt they will be able to score on each of them and with a defense only allowing 78 ypg on the ground, they should be able to stop or slow most of them as well. That tells me if they don't beat themselves, they have the ability to get through the conference unscathed. Do I think it will happen? – Probably not, but just knowing that it's not unrealistic is satisfaction enough for me.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Just a quick hit...

Kale Pick out of Dodge City HS who retracted his commitment from Arkansas yesterday has committed to Kansas according to Rivals...
He's a dual threat QB, runs a 4.5 40-yd dash. He hasn't thrown since their first game this year because of a broken thumb on the throwing hand. Obviously Arkansas saw something in him and I he is the #6 player in the state, #11 QB in the nation. Some video here...

#9 in the BCS!

I have officially reached wet dream status with this Kansas football season. And on another note, had I commenced drinking even 1 hour earlier than I did Saturday, I may not have made it through the game alive as my heart and lungs were cruelly overworked – I don't know how Tim Riggins does it! It's funny; I keep getting asked basically the same two questions about this Kansas team: 1) Can they make the BCS and 2) Did anyone see this coming? I have always stood firm on the latter as I think any committed fan knew they had the potential and the schedule to start this season just as they have. However, I was not entirely sold on the former until rather recently, but now I am not so sure it's that unrealistic.

First things first, Kansas must win the North division. This is looking increasingly more probable. In addition to controlling their own destiny, they also have the advantage of Missouri having already lost and owning tiebreakers over the only other possible North contenders, CU and KSU. Want it to sink in how much of a reality winning the North is – no matter what any other team does, if Kansas wins only its remaining home games (Arrowhead included), it is the North champion. Now, obviously we all hope that doesn't happen as that would greatly lessen the big bowl resume they are currently compiling. With that said, if Kansas goes 10-2 and earns a shot against OU for the outright Big 12 Championship and a BCS bowl, I won't be bringing out the pitchforks. With that, let's move on to the Big 12 Recap and as has become customary, I will rank each team as I view their chances of winning the division. (Note: I still owe you a KU/CU post-mortem, so don't worry – it's coming.)


1. Kansas (7-0, 2-0) Won @ CU 19-14. This was easily the worst game of the season for the offense and yet when they had to they came up with a 94 yard touchdown drive that gave them a cushion that would prove more than sufficient. Even more importantly, the defense completely shut down Hugh Charles and the Buffalo rushing attack from start to finish. Just like in Manhattan, this was game that last year's team would have lost. If the Hawks can win the next one in College Station, things could get pretty crazy. Hot Toddy! (Remaining: @A&M, Neb, @OSU, ISU, MU in KC)

2. Missouri (6-1, 2-1) Won v. Tech 41-10. I am very impressed. With the Kansas game starting during halftime of this one, I was unable to see most of the damage as it was only 17-10 MU at half with an INT return being the difference. I'm not sure if it was something Missouri specifically did or if Tech was just a product of poor competition, but causing Harrell to throw 4 INTs when he had only thrown 3 all year is good stuff. They also control their own destiny, but cannot afford any more slip-ups – is Gary Pinkel up to the challenge? (Remaining: ISU, @CU, A&M, @KSu=U, KU in KC)

3. Kansas St.(4-3, 2-2) Lost @ OSU 41-39. Despite the remaining schedule, I don't think they will contend any longer. I didn't actually see this game, but from what I know, it was pretty crumbling, especially since Josh and Jordy dominated (404 yds passing, 176 receiving, 3TDs apiece) and took the lead with 1:10 left. But KSU has trouble winning when they lose the special teams battle, and they definitely did by allowing a 98 yard TD return and then allowing one back to the 42 to set up the game losing FG. (Remaining: BU, @ISU, @NU, MU, Fresno St.)

4. Colorado (4-4, 2-2) Lost v. KU 19-14. I said last week that a loss here would effectively eliminate the Buffs. The only way that doesn't prove true is if KU starts losing a lot as they own the tiebreaker. I don't think that will happen, but I definitely think Colorado's defense can keep them in each of their last four – whether their offense can push them over the hump or not is another story. (Remaining: @Tech, MU, @ISU, NU)

5. Nebraska (4-4, 1-3) Lost v. A&M 36-14. I must say, I have never been so appreciative of Nebraska. Due to their COMPLETE inability to stop a running game, Coach Fran ran his quarterback 36 times (albeit for 167 yards). Even though Nebraska cannot tackle a human, he has to be a bit sore even if he tripped all 36 times. I know McGee is good with his feet, but if A&M really has the conference's best 2 back combo in Goodson and Lane, I can't imagine why they wouldn't have used them more than 23 times combined and let their quarterback get beat up all day. But then again, I can't figure out why a guy making 2 mil annually sold a dozen illegal subscriptions to his newsletter for $1200 a pop. (Remaining: @UT, @KU, KSU, @CU) I told you a few weeks ago they might not win again…

6. Iowa State (1-7, 0-4) Lost v. OU 17-7. By far their most impressive outcome this year. I know they beat Iowa, but neither team even reached the end zone in that one. I have always said that I can't see this team winning a Big 12 game – I'm not sure anyone was prepared for a world in which this squad beats this OU team. That said, I'm becoming less impressed with OU as the weeks go by. (Remaining: @MU, KSU, CU, @KU)


1. Oklahoma (7-1, 3-1) Won @ ISU 17-7. We need to start accepting the fact that OU is not the runaway favorite to represent the Big 12 in the BCS. Their most impressive win thus far is a 10 pointer against Missouri, in Norman, that they trailed going in to the 4th quarter. Maybe Missouri is a top 10 team, but a dominant team wins that one easier and flattens the current semblance of a team from Ames. They very well could be the best, but I'm not entirely convinced that Colorado game was as much of an anomaly as it's being made out to be. (Remaining: A&M, BU, @Tech, OSU)

2. Texas (6-2, 2-2) Won v. Baylor 31-7.
Trust me, I do not think, "they're back" as everyone else seems to. However, after Tech was dismantled in Columbia, I have lost my faith in them. And since I never really had any faith in either A&M or OSU, I will put Texas here by default. I reserve the right to rescind this as soon as they again forget they have the best athletes in the conference. (Remaining: NU, @OSU, Tech, @A&M)

3. Texas A&M (6-2, 3-1) Won @NU 36-14.
Remember when this would have been a big deal and scared the next opponent? I actually think OSU is in better shape, but since A&M already beat them, I'll give them the edge for now. They have an excellent running game with 2 good backs and a QB than racked up 167 yards, but I think they will need to use the air in order to beat Kansas next week. Unless they can keep the Kansas offense off the field for 2/3 of the game, they have such a putrid defense that I don't think they can score with Kansas. And if they don't win this one, they may not win again. (Remaining: KU, @OU, @MU, UT) – Ouch!

4. Oklahoma St. (5-3, 3-1) Won v. KSU 41-39. I do think they are in much better shape than A&M, but I refuse to rank them accordingly with identical conference marks and A&M holding the tiebreaker. However, they have the athletes and the talent to make some noise the rest of the way if they can eventually slow a competent offense. (Remaining: UT, KU, @BU, @OU)

5. Texas Tech (6-2, 2-2) Lost @ MU 41-10.
Well I guess we can quit wondering if they really were that improved on defense. Only putting up 10 on that Missouri defense is absolutely mind-boggling though. They will face a better defense this week against Colorado – but a much worse offense as well. If they have any hope of contending, they have to dominate in this one. (Remaining: CU, @BU, @UT, OU)

6. Baylor (3-5, 0-4) Lost v. UT 31-10.
Game was closer than the score indicates, but who really cares? (Remaining: @KSU, Tech, @OU, OSU)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Recap of Picks


For the week: Against the Spread 4-2, Straight Up 5-1 - thanks a lot OU and Texas - really impressive!
For the Season (last 2 weeks): Against the Spread 10-2, Straight Up 10-2


For the week: Against the Spread 2-4, Straight Up 5-1
For the Season (last 2 weeks): Against the Spread 7-5, Straight Up 10-2

Obviously I can't bother to post without mentioning the Jayhawks' big win yesterday amongst the hippies in Boulder. This team is living off its confidence and balance - 2 things that can take a football team a long way. Since I have nothing to do with games, I have the benefit of being able to look ahead and in doing so...things have a chance to get special if they can win in front of the 12th man next week. Take that game, and the only thing between them and heading to Arrowhead at 11-0 is a roadie at Okie State. Lots of football left, but since they have already matched the high win total in the Sandwiches era, it's hard not to start playing out some 'what-if' scenarios. I'll be back later for the Post Mortem, and no I don't mean the death of Nebraska football.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The REAL Big 12 Picks....Vegas Take Note

Texas Tech @ Missouri (-3.5)

No way Mizzou can stop Tech, no way Tech can stop Mizzou. As my colleague mentioned it will come down to the little things. I just don't see how in a year Pinkel has washed the Pinkelstink off him from his numerous coaching blunders over the years. This may be an upset pick brewing as I just think Missouri finds a way to lose this one. Give me Leach over Pinkel with similar talent.

Texas Tech 49 Missouri 35

Kansas State @ Oklahoma State (-3)

Has Okie St really found their defense? Can Kansas State keep rushing as they did last week against the Buffs? I think that Ok St has improved their D and nothing helps that more than playing at home. Running the ball will be tougher for KSU and I foresee the OSU offense playing well again.

Kansas State 17 Oklahoma State 28

Texas A&M @ Nebraska (-2)

How do you even put a line on this game? Unless the '97 Blackshirts go on the field I don't see Nebraska stopping anything up the middle and really that is all that matters in this game. Time of possession, that is what wins this game.

Texas A&M 24 Nebraska 10

Texas (-24.5) @ Baylor

Not going to waste mine or your time.

Texas 83 Baylor 5(2-point runback and a field goal)

Oklahoma (-29.5) @ Iowa State

Not going to waste mine or your time.

Oklahoma 47 Iowa State 13

Kansas (-4) @ Colorado

A favorite on the road...basically by a touchdown as well, wow. Anyway, the better team all-around will win this game. If the turnovers are equal, I see no reason that Kansas doesn't win this game. Throw the ball, catch the ball, run the ball and conversely stop the run and pass and you win the game...simple right. We are a solid team, no real weaknesses up against a younger, less consistent team. CU can win this game, but not unless we give them the help. I expect to see a confident bunch of Jayhawks line up and show the nation a road win outside of the state of Kansas. My prediction is that the Jayhawks come out like a bunch of Chuck Norris clones and fuck up the Buffs.

Fighting Chuck Norris Jayhawks 38 Colorado Walker Texas Ranger Extras 17

ROCK CHALK...I will be coming home from Boulder a happy Jayhawk

Big 12 Picks

Three out of the six games this week should intrigue any football fan, especially one of the Big 12. The other three…not so much. That being the case, I'll get things kick started amongst the Piss and Black clad Zou, where 2 ranked teams face off…possibly for one of the last times? (Note: I have no idea how true this is, but take it for what you will...)

Texas Tech @ Missouri (-3.5)
Now this is a tough game to pick. Before last week, I would have had no problem picking Missouri. However, though I think no differently of Missouri than I did before the OU game, I am not so sure on this one for 3 reasons: 1) Gary Pinkel – we have seen these slides before; 2) MU Defense: I expected OU to score about like they did, but MU got absolutely NO pass rush – if that happens against Graham Harrell - watch out; & 3) Tech Defense: Maybe it said more about A&M than Tech, but holding them to 7 points is mildly impressive either way.

How MU wins: 1) Correct the aforementioned pass rush. If Harrell has as much time as Bradford did, Tech could easily put up a fiddy spot. Think about these numbers…MU is allowing 265 passing yards a game, good for 100th nationally, along with almost 11 yards per completion. Tech, on the other hand is passing for a touch over 500 yards a game. A little something extra to consider…Illinois, averaging 150 yards passing (113th) and who could only put up 6 points on the same Iowa team that couldn't handle the Cyclones scored 34 on Missouri on 316 yards passing. I'm guessing Graham Harrell soiled himself a bit upon hearing about this. 2) Win all the other battles. You here this more in basketball, but sometimes you need to just "concede" the fact that someone is going to get theirs. Tech is going to pass and score on Missouri. Missouri needs to win all the other battles (i.e. Take away the tech running game, establish a running game of their own, make some plays on special teams, convert third downs, turnover battle, etc...). Unless Tech has magically improved their defense by promoting a new DC, they still only do one thing well, which is pass, and usually that's not enough to beat a good team on the road. Too bad they aren't playing in Lubbock.
How Tech wins: 1) When they don't have the ball they should play defense. If they really have improved their defense and can at least stop the running game, this team has a chance to be scary. As previously mentioned, Tech is always going to score, but in order to win in football, you have to score more than the team you are playing, and Missouri can score too. Chase Daniel and the MU offense is good, but they aren't good enough to score with Tech if they can't run to compliment the pass. 2) Win turnover battle. Harrell has not had much trouble throwing to only his team this year (only 3 INTs on 347 attempts). This must continue as I'm definitely not sold on the Tech defense.

My instinct here is to take Tech, but I also have a feeling this is a different Missouri team from the ones we have seen in the past, so maybe they won't crumble and ultimately lose to an ISU team that can't beat anybody. Then again, their defense is worthless, but so is Tech's. If their defensive units are equally bad and Tech has the superior offense, you would think I would go that way. Instead, I'm taking Missouri in a shoot-out and this way if they win, I'm right and if they lose, I can take salvation in knowing they are 1-2 and the collapse has officially begun. Missouri 48 Tech 42

Kansas St. @ Oklahoma St. (-3)
Another very tough game to pick, especially with the line indicating that these teams are equal on a neutral field. The KSU resume includes destroying UT and CU with tough losses @ Auburn and to KU. The OSU resume includes a win over Tech, and humiliating losses to Troy and Georgia, along with a loss to A&M. Oh, and they beat, Nebraska. What I find hard to grasp here is that last week OSU was an underdog in Big Red Country, but after beating the Corn (albeit handily), they are now favored against a ranked opponent. Vegas usually knows best though.

How KSU wins: 1) Stop the run. Up until the KU game, the Purple were so confident in their defense (run specifically) they again assumed the self-proclaimed Lynch Mob nickname. After doing so, they have allowed 437 (R-170) and 411 (R-188) yards to KU and CU, respectively. Dantrell Savage is on tear recently, averaging 141 ypg. over the last 4 games. However, the opponents were Tech, Sam Houston, A&M, and Nebraska – not exactly a wrecking crew. Keeping him under 100 should be good enough for the W. 2) The Power of One. When Freeman turns the ball over, the Power Towels lose. When he throws it to the Purple team, they usually win. Seems simple enough doesn't it?
How OSU wins: 1) Kick at your own risk. OSU is 115th nationally in punt defense, allowing 19.25 yards per return. On punts - are you kidding me!? Fortunately, their punter hits his kicks about 43 yards per, but that's an average net of just over 20 yards. Why even bother? 2) Utilize Adarius Bowman. The Towels definitely can't single cover him (who can?) so going to him early either generates points directly or opens up the aforementioned running game. 3) Play their defensive coordinator instead of the players - what a nut!

This game may be even tougher to pick than the first, so I am going to take KSU with the same strategy in mind – if they win, I'm right and if they lose, I get to revel in the knowledge that they have 2 conference losses. Plus, Mike Gundy is on the other sideline – I have a hunch he forgot about this game with the Longhorns coming to town next week. KSU 37 OSU 34

Texas A&M @ Nebraska (-2)
Can you believe Nebraska is favored after last week?! And against a 5-2 team that has those 5 wins entirely because they can run the ball? That makes about as much sense as Fred Thompson becoming our president…which could happen. And that is why this game is tough to pick as well. These two coaches/teams have sunk so low that I'm starting to wonder, "How bad was Terry Allen, really?" OK, it hasn't quite reached that point, but given where these programs have been and where their fan bases expect them to permanently reside, it might as well have.

How A&M wins: 1) This is going to sound crazy, but I would suggest running the ball. If you aren't interested in hearing the stats again, feel free to skip the next few lines. Nebraska has allowed 209 rushing ypg. and 18 rushing TDs – holy schnikies! Included in there is the 77 yards and 0Tds to Nevada. Take out that game and in their last 6 they are allowing 231 yards and 3TD per game on the ground – double schnikies! Oh, and A&M runs for 246 yards a game on 5.3/carry. 2) Play-action pass. If by chance the Blackshirts are loading up to take away the run, then and only then, go over the top after a play-action fake. Otherwise, forget the forward pass was ever invented, which should not be a problem for Stephen McGee.
How NU wins: 1) Tackling. As stated in last week's picks, I'm not sure this is possible. Watching Nebraska play defense has eerily resembled the sight of someone practicing foosball – the little defenders are still out there, they just don't move, react or purposely stop the ball. (Side note here: I realize there are 10 others not contributing to this defense, but can we all finally agree that Bo Ruud is not an All-American caliber linebacker? I thought so, thanks. 2) Score early. As I also said last week, if Nebraska doesn't score early, the clamoring 'Brasky faithful might bring out the boo birds. Instead, they all just left the stadium. Because of that and A&M's utter dependence on the run, an early lead would prove pretty valuable in this one.

I'm not yet convinced that the loser of this game will be fired…on the spot that is. Win or lose, each of these coaches are gone upon the conclusion of this season. Amazingly, I think Nebraska has the better team so I want to pick them. However, I also now believe Callahan will try and get fired so that he can get bought out for just over $3 million. TAMU 33 NU 24

As for these next two, I think we all know what is about to happen, so I'll keep it short and sweet.

Texas (-24.5) @ Baylor
Why Mack and Greg only utilize their superior athletes against the absolute worst competition, I don't know. However, that won't be a problem this week when they venture down to Waco. Baylor goes into this game without their offensive line coach and quarterback. It doesn't matter either way and the Bears should expect a long day. UT 55 Baylor 13

Oklahoma (-29.5) @ Iowa State
Until today, I had not heard this statistic, but since 1960, OU is 37-1-1 against ISU, losing 33-31 in 1990. Let's go ahead and chalk another one up on the big board. And since Bob Stoops has no problem running up the score, I'm guessing they cover that spread as well. OU 63 ISU 14

Kansas (-4) @ Colorado
See below

If you still haven't had enough Jayhawk football after reading the expert analysis from this blog, there's a good article by Schlabach even though he is one of the few holding Kansas out of his Power 16 (bottom right). And another , from the Fort Worth Star Telegram.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kansas Kansas Kansas

I used to struggle a great deal trying to find as much as I could read about Kansas Football. This season has been like no other in terms of publicity, already it is just crazy compared to years past and may just get even better. Most years basketball season has already overtaken many of our thoughts and many of the ljworld and kusports daily articles. I check so many sites for just any shout-out or blurb concerning the hawks...thank you Fat Man for this season so far and all the talk of Kansas Football. Just read this Big 12 Mid-Season Report, it has to be unlike any other mid-anything report not involving Kansas Basketball I have seen...I am as happy as Britney Spears on a coke-filled, poon showing, K-Fed teabagging bender

How about the National Mid-Season Report...Aqib as first team defense also Marcus Herford as first team Kickoff Returner, not to mention McClinton as an honorable mention defender. Some love to the team as a whole, being ranked ahead of USC.

How impressive has our freshman Chris Harris been in helping build up our secondary? Great article here on the relationship he has with his mother and why he tries his ass off. His open-field tackling has been so impressive, I mean he is no Amadi twin....but who is? (in case you wondered, they both are playing for the Green Bay Blizzard of the AFL2, there are 2 AFL leagues?) With Kendrick Harper back in the fold and making plays we finally have secondary playmakers to go with Mr. Talib.

Some RUMORS of Callahan being ousted...again, RUMORS. I thought also-ran governor Osborne might take a little more time in shoring this program up, but the spoiled babies at Cornhole U might not have that luxury. Guess what up and coming program that borders them might like some of those de-commitments.

Rock Chalk, see some of you in the beautiful yet pompous city of Boulder...

Kansas @ Colorado Preview

In an apparent effort to post every day this week, here is my humble prediction for what could transpire when Kansas plays at Colorado this Saturday, 4:31 CST on ESPN (HD). Here's to hoping that the Kansas players have no trouble playing in front of an afternoon ESPN audience as this is the team's first appearance on ESPN in 12 years. Hot Toddy! Colorado, fresh off a dazzling 2-10 season, will be making their third appearance this year on the worldwide leader, looking less than stellar in their previous two, humbling losses to FSU and KSU. Despite their ineptitude in those games, experience is still experience, and that is an early edge for Ralphie. Despite what the Kansas players are saying – if they are acknowledging it, it's an edge – the Fuffaloes also have an edge in the stamina department, given that whole mile high thing. Then again, straight from Hot Toddy, "… I've been skiing before. I know what it's like. I'm not too worried about the weather." I like the attitude, but I saw Oklahoma look a touch below worthless in the fourth quarter just 3 weeks ago, so I'm not so sure skiing is exactly the same as battling a Big 12 opponent for 3+ hours.

Will this...

...end up like this?

Kansas Offense v. Colorado Defense: Prior to last week's performance in the Rotten Apple, I was worried about this match-up. Thus far, Colorado and Texas are the only teams to hold Oklahoma to less than 41 points and the Buffs accomplished it in much more convincing fashion (allowing only 230 yards as opposed to 414). However, as luck would have it, both teams have played amongst the purple and the acid-washed jeans. In their respective games, one defense performed admirably, the other, much less so. In allowing 47 points, Colorado was literally run over by the Power Towels to the tune of 249 yards rushing. Their previous high games were 221 and 153 when playing against Missouri St. and San Jose St., respectively. Kansas, on the other hand, held the purple wildcats to 53 yards, second only to the 27 Auburn allowed (Auburn has also effectively shut down Tebow and McFadden). Since I pretty much know what the Kansas defense can do and I have seen the KSU rushing attack on more than one occasion, this tells me Kansas should be able to run the ball effectively. They will need to do more than that to win, but that is a good way to start when trying to win a conference road game.
Furthermore, this will be the third time Colorado has faced a balanced offense on the year. Their first went quite differently. Against ASU (in Tempe) they allowed 33 points on 407 yards (P-269, R-138) while they held OU to 24 points on 230 yards (P-112, R-118). Again though, they were still run on. Hence, Todd Reesing/pass-protection could be the difference. Sam Bradford has looked great in 6 games this year and like a red-shirt freshman in the other – that game was against Colorado. Since Kansas should be able to run, they need to utilize and expand upon that weapon with: 1) some play action; 2) some deep balls to spread the Buffs out; & 3) some quick hitters, especially to extend drives on third down. The Kansas offense has been brilliantly balanced all season long – if they can do it again, they should have no trouble putting enough points up to win the game. Edge: Kansas

Kansas Defense v. Colorado Offense: In previewing the CU/KSU game, I said little C-Hawk was starting to look like a legitimate Big 12 QB, but that he wasn't quite there yet. He went 19/41 for 223, 1TD & 3 INTs, or in other words, about as expected. All in all, he is a very serviceable quarterback but is learning on the job and prone to make a few mistakes each time out. If Kansas can get the same kind of pressure KSU did, I would expect similar results. If that happens and Kansas nabs 3 INTs, they will be sitting pretty. But stopping C-Hawk is not what will win or lose this game – stopping Hugh Charles on the other hand could be. He has missed some time, but still leads the team with 522 yards on 6.1 per carry and is coming off a great game last week in which he ran for 171. As a team Colorado ran for 188 yards and still lost by 27 – if the Kansas defense can keep them around 100 and eliminate any big pass plays, that should be plenty to win the game. Edge: Kansas

**One other note that applies to both** - Kansas is plus-9 in turnover margin while Colorado is minus-8. If that trend continues, advantage Kansas. Additionally, Kansas has only been penalized 22 times this year (least in the nation) while Colorado has garnered 50, rather average nationally. Penalties and turnovers can kill teams on the road – if Kansas can break-even in these two categories, the rest should take care of itself.

Special Teams: Though Kansas has scored 4 touchdowns on special teams, it proved against KSU that it doesn't need those points to win. However, getting them never hurts. All I want from the punt return unit is to secure the ball each and every time. Marcus Herford and the kickoff unit will hopefully do a bit more. Kansas leads the nation with a kick return average of 31.4 yards (2TDs) while Colorado allows 19.7 (28th) – he doesn't have to take it all the way, but unless that thin air floats all the kicks through the end zone, putting the offense around the 30 is a more than reasonable request. Basically, Colorado doesn't do anything spectacular here, but they don't get burned either. Kansas has burned several teams, but have also had some near "fuck my ass" moments – eliminating the latter would be just peachy. Edge: Kansas

As far as I can tell it, Kansas is better in every phase of the game. And not only that, they have proved it by emerging victorious where Colorado did not come close. In doing so, they fought off a few road demons and costly blunders that ultimately only prevented them from winning by a larger margin. One would like to think some of these mistakes will be eliminated by having now played and won on the road. If that happens and the altitude does not prove to be a huge factor, Kansas should be able to keep Colorado at least at arms-length. As most other teams are as well, Colorado looks to be a much different team at home, especially since their home is 5,430 feet above sea level. As Fuffalo Coach Dan Hawkins would say, "It's Division I football!! It's the Big 12!!!!" so anything can happen. Personally, I think the OU game was a bit of an anomaly. The pick: Kansas 34 Colorado 20

P.S. I realize these teams also have a common opponent in the Baylor Bears, but I didn't feel like wasting my time or yours in including them in the analysis. I'll say this though - Kansas played arguably as bad as they have all season and won 58-10. I didn't see Colorado's game so I can't tell you how well they played, but they also won comfortably, 43-23.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Road "Trippin"

First off, I would like to post this link about a really "pissed" Baylor coach. Hey, it happens to everyone... more often to the "Flan Man" however

I really don't know what to think about our Fighting Manginos and their first game outside the beautiful state of Kansas. I think we are a tougher, more confident team than we have seen since the Glen era. That being said this game still scares the crap out of me since Boulder is a bitch of a place to play. Before, during and after the Baylor game is was really positive to hear the talk of the fans focus on who was making it up there for the game next week. It seems like a lot of Hawks from the Lawrence and Denver area will be en route and I am really excited for our team to have a fair amount of fan support. I hope none of those classy CU fans kill a Jayhawk.

Looks like the great one is returning to Cornhole U as interim A.D. Hope he has a little greatness left in him, they need him now more than ever. It will be interesting to see how many of their "greatest fans in college football" show up for the game in Lawrence.

Down a little in the link but collegefootballnews has us against LSU in the Sugar Bowl...interesting.
8. LSU – Sugar Bowl
The LSU schedule eases up big-time, with the two road games left, after a home date with Auburn, coming against Alabama and Ole Miss. Nick Saban will pull out all the stops against his former team and give the Tide the early signature win in his tenure. The Tigers will still win the West and will still go on to win the SEC title, while also eliminating the East representative from the BCS chase. LSU will sell out the Superdome against …

Kansas – Sugar Bowl
If you’re waiting for the schedule to get nasty, it doesn't get too bad, with road games against Colorado, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, along with home dates against Nebraska and Iowa State. 13th in the initial rankings, Mark Mangino’s team will keep moving up and up as others start dropping with key losses late. KU won’t win the North, losing to Missouri in the regular season finale, but it won’t be by much. Mizzou will lose a rematch in the Big 12 title game to Oklahoma.

You have got to see this question to Tom's hoping Todd Reesing and Marcus Henry are
doing the Jitterbug while the Buff's secondary is doing the Charleston.

How can you not appreciate JT shotgunning a beer at the Packers game? Do you think every waking moment, even if he just stepped in a huge pile of
James Van Der Beek's crappy acting, JT says to himself, "I am the luckiest man alive, thank God Britney dumped me and found her K-Fed"? What an odd trio anyway, JT, Dawson and Manica Biel(still sexy, not gonna lie) at a Packers game no less. By the way, you gotta see this video of Jessica Biel getting f-ed. (in case you didn't know, that is called a rick roll...crazy interweb) And just because we are showing the best videos ya go

If I don't post before the game, here is to hoping that I make it back alive and without incident. If I do not, to steal a line from The Flan Man, "we will make sure and write 7-o on your headstone...under that we will put BCS Bowl Bound...because you won't know any better anyway."

I wouldn't have it any other way...unless you add "Missouri can go to hell" on there as well

Big 12 Mid-Season Awards

Best Offensive Player: (tie) Graham Harrell - Tech, Michael Crabtree - Tech
Chase Daniel has had a great year, but these two are so far ahead of everyone else, I could not choose just one. I'm doubting that either can continue at exactly their current pace against Big 12 competition, but in lieu of recent years, I'm not so sure each won't be breaking a slew of records. The stats really say everything in this case, so here they are. Graham Harrell (7 games): 258/347 (74%) for 3151 yards and 31 touchdowns. You can have Colt Brennan, I'm taking Harrell. Michael Crabtree (7 games): 78 receptions for 1248 yards and 17 touchdowns. To steal a comparison, take a look at 1st round draft prospect Limas Sweed's career (3+ years) stats: 124 receptions for 1915 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Best Defensive Player: Jordon Dizon – CU
This is always one of the toughest awards to give out. Unless you watch every game a team plays, it is very difficult to pick out the most valuable player on a defense, because stats usually do not tell the whole story. I am especially hesitant on this one after KSU ran all over Colorado, but I'm thinking it would have been a lot worse had Dizon not been on the field. Needless to say, this one could change when it's all said and done, but he has 89 tackles (most in the conference) and 3 sacks through 7 games in a conference that has yet to display a stand-out defensive unit/ player. (Side note: I would love to give this award to Aqib Talib because of how much he means to the Kansas defense, but can't for these reasons: 1) He only has 6 pass breakups, 3 of them INTs (then again, he is rarely thrown at), 2) Jordy Nelson burned him, and 3) As great as he is, I'm not sure he is any more valuable to Kansas defensively than James McClinton.

Best Surprise: Kansas Jayhawks
To steal a line, if someone had told you before the season that Kansas would be ranked ahead of USC in the first BCS standings, you would have punched them in the brain. The Fighting Manginos have a lot to prove, but at this point, they are the best surprise in a season full of them. I know there are still a lot of doubters, but statistics aside, I like to remind them of how important confidence is to a college athlete and right now, Kansas is bursting at the seems with it. Hot Toddy!

Best Disappointment: Nebraska Cornhuskers
Everyone has already heard the bad news, so I am going to focus on the good. The Nebraska football team probably had its best day of the year yesterday as Callahan's ace in the hole, AD Steve Pederson, was gladly shown the door. I'm not exactly sure what the buyout figure is on Callahan's contract, but if the Bugeaters don't win out, I think that figure may become slightly more accessible. I have no idea how interested he is, but I would also suggest that the 'Brasky faithful come up with enough money to lure Tom Osborne back into the pit as their new AD. He wanted to be their governor, why not the AD instead? I know which position I would choose if given the option. ***Edited after*** Nebraska has hired Tom Osborne as interim-AD. On a similar note, ""I know in my heart of hearts I'm doing an excellent job, a good job," Callahan said.

Best Team: (tie) Oklahoma Sooners and Kansas Jayhawks
I run the risk of some homer criticism here and if you feel that way, I cannot blame you. In fact, we will have a much clearer picture after this Saturday when Kansas attempts to emerge victorious where Oklahoma could not. From what we know right now, it's hard to definitively say that Oklahoma has been better than Kansas this year. Oklahoma has the better win of the two, in defeating Missouri last week in Norman. However, they were not exactly stellar in doing so, turning it over twice and allowing 418 yards, while only accumulating 384. Kansas, on the other hand, won in a hostile Manhattan environment against a team fresh off dominating UT in Austin, something OU was unable to do a week later in Dallas.

Look, I'm not trying to say Kansas is as good as Oklahoma. However, to this point in the season, they have been. Their overall schedule has been weaker, but they have handled each game exactly as they should have. Part of what makes up a good team is not taking plays (or games) off and Kansas has yet to do this, whereas Oklahoma did it enough that it allowed Colorado to score 20 unanswered points and beat them.

Worst Team: Iowa State Cyclones
Through 7 games they have beaten...Iowa, and that’s it. Amongst their 6 losses are heartbreakers to: Kent. St., Northern Iowa, Toledo and Nebraska. I cannot imagine them winning a conference game.

Needs Recognition but Doesn't Have a Category: Big 12 North
There are still five or six conference games left for this to either continue or be squashed, but the balance of power has clearly resided in the North thus far. I anticipate them being on relatively level ground the rest of the season. Unfortunately, Nebraska and Iowa State probably won't win the rest of the year, but then again, neither should Baylor. It will be interesting to see how the 9 functional teams do against each other and if all 9 can make it to bowl games.

Stay tuned for a KU/CU preview and a look at this week's Big 12 match-ups.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Big 12 Recap...some Nebraska musings included

I would be remiss as a Jayhawk fan not to open with a little commentary on the inaugural 2007 BCS standings, which place Kansas University 13th, directly in front of two teams that can stake a claim to 3 out of the last 4 national championships. I've said it before and I'll say it again, that is surreal. I'm not sure Kansas is the 13th best team in the nation any more than I'm sure South Florida is the 2nd (or Ohio State is 1st, for that matter). What I am sure of though is that they deserve to be ranked as though they are. Out of 119 teams, they are 1 of 6 that remain unbeaten. Despite the competition, given their record and the nature of their 6 victories, until proven differently, they should be ranked as one of the nation's elite teams in 2007. I feel this way about every unbeaten team, except Hawaii. On account of Colt Brennan's (probably unwarranted) hype, I have had a chance to watch more of Hawaii this year than I have in the previous 5 seasons combined…and I'm not impressed. June Jones' system is undoubtedly an impressive aerial attack, but as a team, Hawaii is little more than a poor man's Texas Tech. They have absolutely no defense, running game or ability to play within the contiguous 48 states. Unfortunately, I fully expect them to win their next 3 games (New Mex. St., Fresno St., Nevada) heading in to their final 2, both at home against Boise St. and Washington. Neither are that formidable, but here's to thinking that one or both knock off the Rainbow Warriors. Hot Toddy! (Then again, Boise St. did just let Nevada score 67 points - even Nebraska could stop them - so Brennan may have a field day against the Broncs.)

Back to Kansas, the Baylor game went pretty much as planned, aside from the weather delays. As predicted, Kansas was able to exploit Baylor in a completely balanced manner. Hot Toddy was not nearly as sharp as you'd like to see him, yet he passed for just under 200 yards, with 2 TDs and 0 interceptions. The ground attack was even more impressive in racking up 236 yards and 4 TDs on 50 totes (Sharp with 110, 1 TD and B-Mac with 53 and 1 TD). Angus Quigley and Kerry notched the other rushing scores, each looking solid in doing so. And despite all of that offensive success, the first touchdown of the game went to Marcus Herford with an 88 yard kickoff return after Baylor had notched a field goal to tie the game at 3.

Though the defense was the lone unit not to account for a score, they did have a very impressive day limiting Baylor to 3 offensive points and 202 total yards, while picking off 4 passes. It's no secret that Baylor is going nowhere fast, but to limit their acclaimed aerial attack to 154 yards is damned impressive. With that said, especially after the Power Towels posted 47 on them, I am also a bit more suspect about Colorado's celebrated defensive unit. In the games I had watched I thought they looked pretty solid (I didn't watch the ASU game though). Also, they were the first team to keep OU under 50 points and did so by holding them to 24, yet they surrendered 23 points to Baylor. Either Kansas' defense is even better than I imagined or Colorado's is worse. I'm thinking it's a combination of both.

Amazingly, Tom Keegan wrote a coherent article this morning on Kansas' balance. I have been saying this for a while and Coach Genie shed some light on it last week, but there really is no glaring weakness that hurts this team. That will all start to change though if the punting (and return) units do not improve within the next 5 days. I have no idea what is wrong with Kyle Tucker – he has the shanks worse than Tin Cup before the Open – but it has to end now. Two years ago, he was counted on (and delivered) as pretty much Kansas' best offense. Not only could he boom them deep and into the coverage, but he could also land them inside the 20 and let the defense go to work. Now…we have our backup quarterback handling both the regular and pooching duties – this cannot continue. (Side note: Under the right conditions, I absolutely love the idea of using Meier in the quick-kick role. If he can get off good kicks, it's a win-win every time. The opponent either has to squander the opportunity for a return or gamble on not defending a QB who easily could have been the starter and is a threat to either run or pass. The return game is similar: 10 guys are doing their jobs just fine, but the one handling the ball is having some issues. I don't care if they don't get another return yard all season as long as they don't muff the kick. Find someone who can catch the ball every time and put him back there, please.

It's pretty strange to be in the middle of October and to have only found one true flaw in the Kansas football team. The same cannot be said for the perennial powerhouse, class of college football, Husker Blackshirts. With that, on to the Big 12 wrap-up. Again for fun, the teams will be listed in order of their chances to win their respective divisions.


1. Kansas (6-0, 2-0) Won v. Baylor 58-10. Whether or not you think Missouri is better, Kansas is undefeated while Missouri has already notched an L and probably has the tougher remaining schedule. As fun as Arrowhead will be, I really, really, really… wish we had not given up home field advantage in that one. Very tough game in Boulder this week – if they pass this test, we could be looking at something pretty special.

2. Missouri (5-1, 1-1) Lost @ OU 41-31. This game went pretty much exactly as I expected - I don't think any more or less of either team. As Oklahoma State and Iowa confirmed, Missouri's wins over Nebraska and Illinois were not all that magnificent. They definitely have one of the top offenses in both the country and the conference, but an offense can only take a team so far. If Missouri is going to win the north, they need to shore up the defense – and quickly – as they have Tech next week.

3. Kansas State (4-2, 2-1) Won v. CU 47-20. I didn't have a chance to see much of this one, but although the outcome doesn't surprise me, the score does. As I said earlier, either Colorado's defense is worse than I thought or Kansas' is better (we should know in 5 days). As I said last week, every game left on their schedule is winnable. By far the two toughest are this week in Stillwater and later on v. Missouri. Other than that, they should coast. With Kansas playing in Stillwater in a few weeks, I'll be very interested to see how the Purple do down there.

4. Colorado (4-3, 2-1) Lost @ KSU 47-20. They have the easiest remaining schedule of all 4 teams in contention. However, I think they are only the fourth best of those teams (plus they just lost to KSU). I have special interest in their game this week for obvious reasons, but I think a Kansas win this week effectively eliminates them. After that they have to travel to Lubbock and I really doubt they can score with the Red Raiders, which would give them 3 losses with Missouri, @ ISU and Nebraska on the slate. Even if they win out, I doubt 3 losses (and losing TB with KU and KSU) gets it done.

5. Nebraska (4-3, 1-2) Lost v. OSU 45-14. I don't even know where to start. After they celebrated the ISU game (a 35-17 win), I said Nebraska had reached a new low and probably would not be favored again the rest of the season. What happens? They get pasted by MU, 41-6 and somehow end up a favorite the next week. Despite Tom Osborne's speech to the team and honoring the 1997 national champions, Bill Callahan's boys came out looking as uninterested as I have ever seen a football team. When OSU is engrossed, they have all the components of a good, balanced offense. This does not mean that they should ever run for 317 yards against a Big 12 opponent, let alone the Cornheads. And it definitely does not mean that they have any semblance of a defense. The same unit that gave up 562 yards and 41 points to Troy held Nebraska's west coast masterpiece scoreless for over 3 quarters. I was not watching at this point, but I'm not even sure OSU had their starters in as they were already up 38-0. Many 'Brasky fans are calling for a no-show this week. I'm guessing very few fans oblige as there is little else to do in Lincoln, but I'm not entirely convinced some players won't. From another angle, is everyone entirely convinced that Callahan and Pederson are not in cahoots to destroy the Nebraska football program and get rich in doing so? However, in the last 3 months, each have received 5 year extensions, Pederson's worth $500K annually and Callahan's at $1.75M per year. Um…wow! If the Bugeaters don't win this week, there is a good chance they will not win again. By the way, this week they play TAMU, who is rushing for 250 yards per game. (Side note: I am also unimpressed with TAMU, but how can they not be licking their chops at the chance to run for about 500 yards next week. I honestly don't know why they would ever have Stephen McGee attempt a forward pass. Then again, a play action pass once a quarter might not be all that bad an idea.) ***Edited after original post*** Nebraska has just fired AD Steve Pederson. I know it would be an expensive buyout, but I am now under the impression that Callahan will be fired if the second half of this season goes the way the first half did. On that same note, Cosgrove may not even make it through the year. Then again, scheming may not be all that is wrong here?

6. Iowa State (1-6, 0-3). Lost v. UT 56-3. I watched the 1st quarter and then some, but could take no more after that. On offense, ISU's coaches were raping Texas', yet they could only muster a field goal. Defensively, Texas only moved the ball on broken plays, yet they scored at will. Basically, it went exactly as anyone who has watched Texas figured it would. Can you imagine what a real coaching staff could do with those players?


1. Oklahoma (6-1, 2-1) Won v. MU 41-31. Clearly the class of the conference and definitely back in national title contention. I don't understand why this team does not run more. They have 3 great backs and an outstanding offensive line. Bradford has looked solid all year, but why throw when you can run? Also, they rapidly need to remedy their field goal unit, as the last 3 PAT attempts failed as well as a 2 point conversion try. They are in an enviable position as that is their biggest weakness, but they are not nearly dominant to be immune to having the kicking game ruin their season. A trip to Lubbock is all that separates them from the Big 12 Championship game.

2. Texas Tech (6-1, 2-1) Won v. TAMU 35-7. Again, not surprised with the outcome, but definitely the score. Any time this team holds an opponent to 7 points they will win the game. However, I don't see that happening again this year. Another note here: They are again 2nd by default, but probably have the toughest remaining schedule with Missouri, Colorado, Texas, and OU still on the docket.

3. Texas (5-2, 1-2) Won @ ISU 56-3. Said all I need to say here in the ISU recap. Next real game isn't until Nov. 3 @ OSU. There will be a lot of orange there.

4. OSU (4-3, 2-1) Won @ NU 45-14. Should I just talk about how bad Nebraska is again? Their fans will think it's because people are more obsessed with them losing than their team's winning, but in fact it's just fascinating to watch a storied program completely crumble and have no one even attempting to resuscitate it. As for the 'Pokes, if they can use this game as a jumping off point, they have the athletes to either make some noise or spoil a season as they have KSU, UT, KU and OU all left on their slate.

5. TAMU (5-2, 2-1) Lost @ Tech 35-7. How they did not run all over Tech for more than 7 points is beyond me. 233 rushing yards isn't bad if you are not a team entirely dependent on running the ball and are not playing a team without a defense. If those things are true, though, you need to rack up a few more. You should also be able to score more than 7 points with 366 yards of total offense. With only 1 loss, they are in good position – I just have no faith in this team.

6. Baylor (3-4, 0-3) Lost @ KU 58-10. I won't kick them while they are down, but I'll be shocked if they win a conference game.

I'll be back later in the week with picks for the upcoming games and to preview Kansas/Colorado. In the meantime, here are some Kansas stats to enjoy. I know they won't last the season, but it's still a pretty site halfway through.

Total Offense: 515.8 - Ranked 7th nationally, 3rd in Big 12
Scoring Offense: 50.3 - Ranked 2nd nationally, 1st in Big 12
Total Defense: 240 - Ranked 3rd nationally, 1st in Big 12
Scoring Defense: 9.5 - Ranked 2nd nationally, 1st in Big 12