Days of speculation were put to rest after Kansas University's football practice Wednesday, when coach Mark Mangino announced Adam Barmann would start Saturday's game at Oklahoma.
Mangino informed reporters of his decision with a disclaimer: The Jayhawks plan to use Jason Swanson as well.
"He's our starter at this point," Mangino said of Barmann. "He's earned that right. We just felt like Adam has managed a hostile environment pretty well, so we'll start the game with him."
Mangino said Swanson's insertion -- which was inevitable unless Barmann had "the hot hand" -- wouldn't have anything to do with Barmann's struggles, if it came to that.
"We may pick a series or two where we'll decide to go with Jason for some of the things we've got planned," Mangino said.
Swanson entered KU's last game -- a 31-28 victory over Kansas State -- to "provide a spark" to the KU offense in the fourth quarter. He then threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Mark Simmons that put KU up for good.
Since then, the situation at quarterback was unsettled for the KU football team. Mangino has said all week that using both Barmann and Swanson was a distinct possibility, but he didn't name a starter until Wednesday.
"Adam has not put himself in a position where he's lost his starting job in my eyes and our coaches' eyes," Mangino said.¢
Florida Atlantic on tap: KU has secured its first nonconference football opponent for the 2005 season. Florida Atlantic likely will come Sept. 3, 2005, to Lawrence.
FAU athletic director Craig Angelos confirmed Wednesday the contract had been signed and sent to KU.
"We talked about it a couple of months ago," Angelos said Wednesday. "I think I signed it on Sept. 4, but it's just been sitting on my desk."
The contract between KU and FAU is for one game. Angelos said he usually tried to work out two-for-one deals to get marquee matchups at the Owls' campus, but KU just was interested in filling a home game on its schedule.
Florida Atlantic currently is in a two-year transition to be an NCAA Division I-A school. The Owls followed I-A regulations this year, with the exception of scheduling. Next year, they'll be considered a I-A team, meaning a Jayhawk victory would count toward bowl considerations.
The Owls are hitting up the Big 12 Conference for nonconference games. They have a tentative deal to play Oklahoma State next year, too, and will travel to Manhattan to take on Kansas State to open the 2006 season.
KU associate athletic director Larry Keating said the dates would become official once the entire schedule was complete. KU has two nonconference games left to fill for 2005.¢
Ringing ears, anybody?: KU practiced Wednesday at Memorial Stadium, and the end of the practice was designed to familiarize the Jayhawks with a hostile crowd of 84,000 fans.
The Memorial Stadium speakers blared an extremely annoying sound designed to mimic the crowd noise at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Every once in a while, it would chime in with OU's fight song, "Boomer Sooner."
"It helps," cornerback Charles Gordon said. "It helps us work on our communication and to get our signals straight."¢
Goalposts return: Kickers were able to practice field goals at Wednesday's practice for the first time since Oct. 9.
Goalposts were behind each end zone again, a little more than a week after the fans tore down the last set following KU's 31-28 victory over K-State.
KU alum Jack Clevenger picked up the tab for the new posts, which associate athletics director Jim Marchiony estimated cost around $6,500.