Chat Wednesday with J-W Sports Editor Tom Keegan

January 9, 2008

This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.

Got something you want to get off your chest about KU's ranking in the final AP poll of the year? Or Aqib Talib and Anthony Collins deciding to turn pro? Or KU hoops? Journal-World sports editor Tom Keegan is your guy. He'll be here at <strong>2:30 p.m. Wednesday</strong> to answer your questions.


Hello everyone, and welcome to today's chat session. I'm Ryan Greene, online sports editor for the Journal-World, and joining today to chat for a little bit is the man who everyone knows picked Virginia Tech to beat Kansas in the Orange Bowl. That's J-W sports editor Tom Keegan, in case you missed it. Tom is here to talk anything and everything KU today. Tom, how much verbal flogging have you suffered since your return from Florida? (And thanks for joining us, too)

Tom Keegan:

Verbal, digital, optical, you name it, I've been flogged in that manner. That's what happens when you pick the wrong winner. I deserve what I'm getting. Good thing I'm not a political pundit because I didn't think there was any way Barack Obama would lose to that woman, Mrs. Clinton, in New Hampshire.


Hello Tom-
Did you eat your post orange bowl crow in a pie or on a sandwich with mayo?

Tom Keegan:

That's the most creative flogging yet. Good job. Actually,I smothered it in peanut butter and melted chocolate. Then again, I smother everything I eat in peanut butter and melted chocolate.


This one isn't so much about KU, but how is it that Missouri is ahead of Oklahoma, when Oklahoma beat them not once, but twice?

Tom Keegan:

It gets really, really confusing when you start looking just at head-to-head games. For example, Missouri beat KU on a netural field, yet Kansas lost just one game and defeated a Virginia Tech team that was ranked No. 3 in the BCS and No. 5 in the Associated Press. Oklahoma lost to Colorado, which was a bad loss. Neither Missouri loss was a bad loss. I think Missouri deserved to be ranked ahead of Oklahoma.


Alright Keegs, I know your a big anti-Arrowhead guy. But, will you conceed that the grand scale of the Arrowhead game gave us a leg up on the grand scale of the Orange Bowl? The Arrowhead game had the feel of the national title. Is it a big reason we were able to come out with our best opening drive of the year and a 17-0 lead in Miami?

Tom Keegan:

I think the Arrowhead game meant more than the Orange Bowl game, but it wasn't because of the venue. The Arrowhead game had national title implications for both teams. There was no way either Orange Bowl team was going to win the national title, regardless of the outcome of the game. I still maintain the KU-Missouri series would have a better flavor if played on the campuses.


Why is there not a Big XII-SEC Challenge in football? Talk about a ratings generator for a weekend in September. For example

LSU - OU :Conference Champs
Tennessee - Mizzou : Runners-Up
Georgia - Kansas : #2 vs #7
Florida - Texas : #13 vs #10
Auburn - T.Tech : #15 vs #22
Kentucky - Oklahoma State
Arkansas - T. A&M
Miss.St - Colorado
Alabama - K-State
S.Carolina - Nebraska
Vanderbuilt - Iowa State
Ole Miss - Baylor

Look me straight in the eye and tell me the networks would not be drooling over those top four or five games.

Tom Keegan:

I love that lineup and I love that idea. The rub: Schools don't like to give up home dates, but if the networks can jack the payoff high enough, let's do it. "The Ranger35 Big XII-SEC Challenge," brought to you by (fill in the sponsor's name). ... When it happens, do yourself a favor: Cut the grass on Friday so it doesn't become an issue on Saturday.


In your opinion, what specifically is the KU football team's biggest obstacle in maintaining the positive momentum it has going?

Tom Keegan:

(I'm on my back on the couch, staring at the ceiling, thinking about my childhood. Got on any ink blots you'd like me to study?)
Great question. The football team's biggest obstacle is the basketball team's biggest advantage: Recruits and their hangers-on tend to want to slot schools and until now, at least, KU hasn't been one of the ego-boosting football schools that recruits and hangers-on like to boast about as much as a Texas or an Oklahoma. Here are the advantages Mark Mangino has over those schools: He has shown he is willing to give true freshman immediate playing time (Chris Harris, Dezmon Briscoe) and he and his staff have proven they are great at developing talent. Chris Dawson, the strength coach, should not be overlooked when handing out praise in that area.


With Georgia's president saying we need to change to a playoff system, what is the earliest time frame we could see this happen? KU would have done well in a college football playoff!

Tom Keegan:

Kansas had that magic about it this year, so I agree there is a chance it would have done well in a playoff. Kansas might have won it. As for what is the earliest time frame, I don't think anybody knows the answer to that yet. My guess, and it's only a guess, would be it would take at least five years because of commitments. You've given me a good issue to explore. Thanks.


All right, lets switch gears to hoops. We've got Tom here for about 20 more minutes.


Tom, I'm sure you've gotten your fair share of emails lampooning your VT pick in the Orange Bowl, so I'll not pile on by mentioning it. Oops. Anyway, are you ready to duplicate your 2006-07 40-0 prediction for the 2007-08 KU basketball squad yet or should we expect a couple of losses here and there in the Big 12?

Tom Keegan:

Fundamental, Thanks for paying attention and, ahem, not piling on. It's often said that geniuses are so far ahead of their time that they aren't understood until they are gone. Well, in my case, I think people are beginning to understand where I was coming from with last year's 40-0 prediction. I was just a year ahead of my time. ... I have one more wild prediction for you: Kansas State will defeat Kansas in Manhattan. The Wildcats have so much talent that it's bound to come together for two consecutive halves. Kansas has been so consistent that the Jayhawks are bound to have a game in which they play their two worst halves. If those two strange happenings intersect on the same night, the Bramlage Coliseum streak will perish.


I expect Brandon Rush and possibly Darrell Arthur to be gone after this year. What do you think are the chances of Collins or Chalmers leaving early?

Tom Keegan:

I'm not convinced Brandon Rush will be gone. Chalmers will test the waters and if he's told by the NBA that he will be drafted in the first round, he'll bolt. If not, he'll stay. That would be my guess. I wouldn't be surprised to see Collins do the same. You can only test the waters once and neither player has done so yet.


I'm enjoying my Jayhawks just like how i enjoy my Caramel Macchiattos in da morning......

But Talk about Loaded Big East..
Can you tell me where does your Marquette lie in all that mess...??
Who will finish at the top in Big East?

and try Extra Caramel souce next time ;) it's awesome.

Tom Keegan:

Try some chocolate-covered graham crackers with your caramel macchiato. ... Thanks for asking about Marquette. The Warriors (I still call them that) are as deep at guard as Kansas and as shallow in the post as a wading pool. I think Georgetown will win the Big East. After that, it's anybody's guess. Marquette hasn't played well the last two games, but should be in the mix for a high seed at the Big East tournament. And don't forget that Bob Huggins, a terrific coach and one of my favorite interviews in sports, is at West Virginia now. K-State could have used him this year.


OK, time for two more questions.


Hi Tom,

Enjoy your work...coming off a great Orange Bowl victory I'm hungry for even more. Do you think the basketball Jayhawks have the toughness and right make up to make a deep Championship run? What do they need to shore up to get things to a Championship level?

Tom Keegan:

Thanks, DSommersby. I do think the Jayhawks have the toughness and right makeup to make a run at the title. They need Brandon Rush to continue coming back to life physically and to play as he does when he's ticked off. When that happens, he tends to score in bunches. I thought it was a good move by Bill Self to rattle his cage. That could make him play with a little anger. The more consistently explosive his knee gets, the better he'll be at both ends. This team is so mature that Self can keep pushing them to get better and the players have the toughness to take it. It could be an exciting March/April. I'm just sorry I won't be in Lawrence to see the town empty onto Mass. St. Well, I guess I won't be that sorry since I'll have a pretty good seat for the action.


Will Darnell Jackson get drafted and make an NBA roster next year?

Tom Keegan:

If you asked me that two months ago, I would have given you two answers: No and no. Now I'll give you two different answers: Yes and yes. Call me crazy, but I think he might have what it takes to be an NFL tight end as well. Antonio Gates played in the NCAA Tournament for Kent State.


All right, well that's all the time we have. Tom's gotta get going. Thank you for joining us, Tom, and thanks to everyone for submitting your questions. If we didn't have time to get to yours, apologies. You can send them to Thanks again, and we'll see you at our next chat session.


d_prowess 10 years, 3 months ago

Remember when Keegan was dressed as a pumkin on The Drive. Awesome!!

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