Tim Griffin of the World Wide Leader has done the impossible, increase our blog hits to over 10 in a week! (take that Mormon Tabernacle Sports Blog!) A lot of hateful venom has been spewed in our comments in response to blogger savant Hiphopopotamus' latest post.* I am sure he will have a retort to defend himself, not that he needs to. This is a blog centering on KU sports. It is speculative and often finds us posting predictions that are more hopeful than realistic.
*They should do a Bud Light Real Men of Genius: Mr. Anonymous Message Board Poster.
To be honest, I agree with almost all of his picks, but would mark Nebraska in the W column and MU in the L column (most likely, ruling out a Big 12 Championship appearance). My defense for expecting pretty great things from 2008's version of the Fighting Manginos is simple...Mangino and Hot Toddy.
Last year, the Jayhawks defeated 5 teams with more talent than they had: Colorado(road), A&M(road), Nebraska, Oklahoma State(road) and Va. Tech(neutral) (based on average number of recruiting stars per Scout.com, rankings from any news outlet that put out a ranking, NCAA '08...etc....etc.)
This year, it does get tougher. A quick rundown of teams with equal or greater "talent": South Florida(road), Colorado, Oklahoma(road), Texas Tech, Nebraska(road), Texas, Missouri(neutral). Let's just throw out OU, barring a slight miracle...yeah, not gonna happen. Take out MU, because I think we lose to them, and you have 3 games at home(KU has lost 2 games at home in the last 3 years) and winnable games against teams not as good as KU(per my three-tiered, unquestioned ranking) on the road.
So, back to topic, Mangino and staff are the reason the Hawks tended to finally click and play mistake-free football against teams with greater talent on the field last year. We had seen signs of this great turnaround for awhile, better team play all over the field. What Mangino needed was a QB that could be durable('07 was the first time he had a single quarterback start more than 7 games in a year) and run the spread to ridiculous accuracy and explosiveness. A stout, smart defense was Mangino's cornerstone at KU, just waiting for the offense to find its head from its ass.(to be noted again, even without all the peices in place, KU has only lost 2 home games in the last 3 years)
Are we hopefully optimistic in our predictions? Of course, this is our blog and we aren't writing for ESPN, CNNSI or anything like that. But, to just write off last year as an absolute product of: scheduling, few injuries, TO margin, or as one commenter put it, a freak year, is just pretty ludicrous. Just because most of America hadn't been exposed to the mounting turnaround doesn't mean it happened overnight.
Enough ranting, it should be very fun to see what happens this year. Please make sure you all come back by and visit(but you won't, anonymous blog poster) after we take out TTech and Texas at home...with inferior talent of course. Make sure and tell us it was because of a freak TO margin, a freak injury, or a freak schedule that let us avoid them on the road. We all know it couldn't have been due to Mangino or Reesing.
Couple of quick links...
Cornflakes doesn't like Mangenius's nondisclosure plolicy.(I think he should focus on important things, like filling that gaaaaaping hole at linebacker)
Dawgsports thinks we are overrated, this link is for those who have commented.