Archive for Friday, November 19, 2004

Woodling: No publicity bad publicity for KU football program

November 19, 2004

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Ticket to Kansas University-Texas football game -- $35.

Fine levied on Mark Mangino for blasting official after game -- $5,000.

National publicity over incident -- priceless.

Way to go, Mark Mangino. That's the best $5,000 you ever spent.

Even though Mangino's unpremeditated outburst sent him to the Big 12 Conference woodshed, the impact has been far more positive than negative.

Mangino's postgame eruption was repeated over and over Saturday night on ESPN's SportsCenter. Millions of people saw it, and regardless of whether they agreed or disagreed with what Mangino said, they heard and saw something about Kansas football.

Remember, there is no such thing as positive and negative publicity. There is only publicity.

Football is a game of emotion and what the millions watching SportsCenter saw was a coach venting his emotions. I wonder how many high school football players watching Mangino thought, "Hey, that coach stands up for his players. I like that."

Kansas had a football coach a few years ago named Terry Allen. He was a fine man, but he would never erupt after a game like Mangino did.

In fact, after taking successive lickings from arch-rival Kansas State, Allen meekly said he was "disappointed" when he should have raised his voice and vowed he would never allow Kansas State to trample his team again.

Mangino earns upwards of $700,000 a year so five grand is just a drop in the bucket. But what a splash it made. Mangino will have to watch his p's and q's from now on because the next incident probably will lead to at least a one-game suspension, particularly if he reiterates his unfortunate remark about a call being Bowl Championship Series motivated.

It would be nice, of course, if all of Mangino's frustrations -- losing quarterbacks to injury in three straight games, five losses by six points or less, etc. -- would end Saturday at Missouri, but it isn't likely.










Then again, the Jayhawks could stun the Tigers. What do you think? Enter the Wanna Whack Woodling? contest on the Web at KUsports.com for your last chance to earn a We Whacked Woodling T-shirt. The contest shuts down after this weekend's games.

Incidentally, since only three Big 12 games are scheduled Saturday, I added three rivalry games to fill the slate. Here are this week's picks:

Kansas State 26, Iowa State 9 -- Road-challenged Cyclones' bid to go from worst to first (in frozen Big 12 North, anyway) suffers blow as Wildcats use incentive of Senior Day to unleash Darren Sproles. ISU's lone win outside of Ames, Iowa, this season was one-point decision at Baylor.

Oklahoma 50, Baylor 13 -- Sooners tune up for Big 12 championship game against a team that probably will give them as little trouble as the North champ will Dec. 4 at Arrowhead Stadium. Jason White enhances repeat Heisman chances with another impressive, yet unspectacular, performance.

Auburn 37, Alabama 6 -- Tigers won't fritter away national title hopes by sleepwalking against Crimson Tide. In fact, like all other BCS contenders, Auburn will pour it on, if at all possible.

California 29, Stanford 16 -- No. 4-ranked Golden Bears can't afford to stumble in Battle of the Bay, but strange things have been known to happen in this series. Just ask that Stanford trombone player. Cal favored by more than three TDs, but Cardinal (4-6) will beat spread.

Ohio State 17, Michigan 9 -- Seventh-ranked Michigan has won nine of 10 while disappointing Buckeyes only are 6-4. So why are Wolverines only a five-point favorite? That's how tough it is to play in Columbus, where 100,000-plus fans seem like twice that many.

Missouri 22, Kansas 8 -- Jayhawks have been punchless on road all season and now they're down to fourth-string quarterback and don't have their leading rusher. Tigers, refreshed by weekend off, are eager to avenge last year's 35-14 loss in Lawrence and end four-game skid in home finale.

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