Glen Mason spent a long week waiting for the Nebraska-Oklahoma game. Now Mason and Kansas' football team have a short month before the Aloha Bowl.
"I was much more uptight, edgy or nervous for this game than any I coached in, because there was nothing for me to focus my attention on," KU's coach said during a press conference Friday evening.
On Friday, after turning his attention to quail hunting near Virgil, a small community southeast of Burlington, Mason tuned in and watched the Huskers beat OU, 33-9, and assure KU of its first bowl bid since 1981.
"I got my limit before noon, so I was able to watch the game," he said.
NU's win left Kansas and Oklahoma tied for third place in the Big Eight. It also left OU 5-3-2 overall, one win short of qualifying for the postseason and made the Jayhawks, 7-4, a lock for Honolulu.
NOW MASON becomes part coach, part juggler. Between now and Christmas Day he has to pursue recruits while preparing himself and his team to play Brigham Young.
"Next week is Dec. 1st, and I'm already booked into a bunch of homes to go recruiting," he said. "We'll schedule practice around recruiting and have some evening practices during finals."
His first order of business will be to watch film of the Cougars, since he said, "I've not seen BYU play this season. I've heard they throw the ball pretty effectively."
Brigham Young, 8-3 and this season's Western Athletic Conference co-champion, is renowned for its aerial offense. It finished the season with 3,575 passing yards despite losing its top three quarterbacks.
At least the Jayhawks can rest assured BYU is in almost the same boat. Coach LaVell Edwards said he hadn't seen KU this season, either. But the Cougars have had their Aloha bid since Nov. 14 and, "They requested our film last week," Mason said.
KANSAS WILL keep all of the Aloha Bowl payoff of $750,000 and pay its own expenses. The Jayhawks will depart on Dec. 19 on a charter flight that athletic director Bob Frederick says will cost $327,000.
KU is also committed to purchase one-sixth of the seats in the approximately 50,000-seat Aloha Bowl at $20 apiece, which is expected to run between $150,000 to $160,000.
"This is a reward for our football team and staff, and we want to make it as nice an experience as we possibly can," Frederick said.
All eligible players can make the trip, and Frederick estimated the travel squad would number around 95.