Talk about a bad Thanksgiving weekend. Iowa State suffered a double dose of depression, with Kansas University the common denominator.
First, the Jayhawks rallied for a 24-21 overtime football victory over the Cyclones at Memorial Stadium, a loss that prevented ISU from playing in its first Big 12 Conference championship game.
Later Saturday in Ames, Iowa, ISU's volleyball team blanked Kansas, 3-0, to earn seventh place in the Big 12 Conference final standings and relegate KU to eighth place.
But Sunday afternoon, when the NCAA revealed the field for its postseason tournament, Kansas made the bracket, and Iowa State didn't.
In other words, the ISU volleyball team had finished one rung ahead of the Jayhawks in the league standings and had defeated KU twice -- they won in Lawrence, 3-1 -- and, like ISU's football team, won't be going anywhere this weekend.
Iowa State II: The Cyclones, as you know, lost only four football games during the regular season, and three were in overtime. As if the three OT defeats weren't unusual enough, consider that ISU's other loss was to Baylor. Yes, Baylor. And at home, too.
Schedule Switch: Check out the Big 12 South football standings, and you'll see that the top three teams -- Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech -- were on KU's schedule this season, but that the bottom three -- Texas A&M;, Baylor and Oklahoma State -- will be on the Jayhawks' 2006 schedule.
Carolina Woes: Did you watch the North Carolina-Illinois men's basketball game on the tube the other night? Looks to me like Ol' Roy could use some outside shooting, not to mention a dependable point guard. Not that I couldn't say the same about Bill Self.
Mix Mash: I don't know about you, but I'm having a difficult time imagining how Darnell Jackson, soon to come off NCAA suspension, and Rodrick Stewart, soon to become eligible, will fit into the already crowded Kansas men's basketball rotation.
Nick Reid Indeed: I guarantee you no one -- absolutely no one -- would have predicted KU's Nick Reid would have been named Big 12 defensive player of the year when he was a true freshman back in 2002 and playing outside linebacker basically because Kansas coach Mark Mangino didn't have anyone else.
Remember Rod?: If you're wondering, way back in July the Big 12 media tapped Texas tackle Rod Wright as preseason defensive player of the year. Wright may have been eclipsed by Reid in the postseason, but the 6-foot-5, 305-pounder still earned first-team all-league honors.
Lighten Up: Folks on the Heisman Trophy committee are urging voters to send in their ballots immediately. Sorry, but I'm waiting until after Saturday's Texas-Colorado and USC-UCLA games. As far as I'm concerned, it's a toss-up between Texas QB Vince Young and USC running back Reggie Bush, and to submit a vote before those games are played would be, uh, bush.
Northwestern Redux: A couple of years ago, Kansas opened its football season against Northwestern. Next fall, the Jayhawks will open against Northwestern State. What does it all mean? Nothing, really, but now I'm curious if Northeastern has a football team, or if there is a Northeastern State.