Predictably, The Oklahoman has quite a bit of Big 12 football coverage these days. First, I want to direct you to their "ranking" of each team's non-con portion of the schedule. Secondly – and more impressively – they also rank every Big 12 game, from 1-96. KU/Methzou comes in at #2. The next link on our list also showcases KU and Methzou, ranking KU's linebackers as the best in the league, followed by the corps at Methzou. On that same note, they also have a story about KU's linebackers and how the defense will be a huge key if Kansas is to compete for the Big 12. Staying in the Sooner State, the Tulsa World has a short Q&A with Hot Toddy.
The best thing about all of this is that Kansas football is actually generating newsworthy columns in an Oklahoma paper. But something else very satisfying about this is that while every national outlet is writing off last year as a product of their schedule and a fluke, some writers who are much closer to the situation (though would have no partiality towards KU) see that although things are going to be tougher for them the program has turned a corner and is heading in the right direction. Don't get me wrong, I don't necessarily expect KU to win the league, or even represent the north with the way the schedules line up this year. But anyone who truly thinks last year was purely a product of the schedule and can't again be replicated in the future, knows less about football than Skip Bayless knows about anything.
Chuck Carlton of the DMN might be included in that contingent. David R. Henry of The Daily Texan seems to be a bit more open-minded. At this point I'm just beating a dead horse, but there is honestly no way you could watch Kansas last year and attribute their wins solely to their schedule. If so, why did Texas Tech lose to OSU? Why did Texas lose to A&M and KSU? And why did OU lose to Colorado? Clearly the Hawks didn't play the nation's toughest schedule (Why they feel the need to schedule I-AA opponents is beyond me). But somehow, even though each of those supposedly legitimate teams all lost to these "cupcakes" it's only KU's wins in these stadiums that get questioned. This is a little tough to admit, but KU had not won a single road game since destroying Methzou 31-14 in Columbia on November 20, 2004. Now, all of a sudden they win in Manhattan, Boulder, College Station and Stillwater (not to mention beating Virginia Tech in Miami) and apparently it's no big deal. Laughable.
In other good news, it seems that Tim Griffin is taking this blog business seriously over at ESPN. I was a little reluctant to add him to the blogroll to your right – what with it being so prestigious and all – but so far so good, Timmy. Keep up the good work!
One of the links in said blog is from HuskerExtra.com and it discusses the possibility that Marlon Lucky may not have the backfield spot to himself with Roy Helu, Jr. having had a great spring. This was alluded to by Corn Nation last week with the release of the depth chart and I was just as shocked then as I am now. Obviously I didn't expect Lucky to get every touch as Quentin Castille is pretty damn good as well, but to not be the surefire starter at this point is downright stunning. As much as I'm not a Nebraska fan, they may be the most interesting team in the league this year simply because no one has a fucking clue what to expect.
So I just stumbled upon a nice quote from KSU quarterback Josh Freeman that I thought was worth passing along,
"It's all about the style of offense, Daniel, Reesing, Robinson, they play, I don't want to say gimmick because that's not fair to them, but it's more a dink and dunk, set up the big play. Our offense is more pro-style. It fits my style better. Not saying I couldn't play one of their styles, but to each his own."24:26 Any more of a response would be a complete waste of time.
For those of you that never saw it, here is SMQ's look-ahead to Kansas' upcoming season. In a matter of weeks SMQ will be no more as he has accepted a job with Yahoo.
Moving to the hardwood, as expected, every KU basketball game will receive national television exposure next year. Not exactly news, but nice to know.
Sticking with basketball for one more link, for those of you that do not check back diligently for updates in posts and did not see that ESPN has updated their prestige rankings; KU actually came in at #2. I don't necessarily think this "mistake" was done on purpose, but it is interesting that when the article was the feature story on the site it had Duke and UNC as #1 & 2. And as soon as it gets relegated down a few notches, all of a sudden the correction is made without a mere mention of the "mistake." And if it indeed was a mistake, how many more were there? You would think if they were going to edit/double-check any of the figures they would have been the top 10.
And finally, another link from the AD, again reminding you that Wednesday will be the open house for the Anderson Family Football Complex, from 5:30-7:30 pm. And yes, I do think Lew will have to find himself another $8 million. But like I said last week, it's already built so the payment is very secondary at this point. Enormous debt is just the American way, right? Then again, maybe somebody ought to call up to Bear Sterns and check on this first…
On that same topic, this needs no explanation. Just make sure you read the comments - and they wonder why no one bothers to give them a second thought.