Archive for Monday, November 28, 2005

KU football fate: Hurry up, wait

November 28, 2005


With 11 regular-season games done and a Big 12 Conference bowl alignment that has yet to line up, this week will be a game of wait-and-see for Kansas University's football team.

KU still is thought to be headed to the Fort Worth Bowl, which is played Dec. 23 at Amon G. Carter Stadium. But other bowls that get to choose earlier have called to chat with Kansas administrators since the Jayhawks' 24-21 victory over Iowa State on Saturday made them bowl-eligible.

"The bowl picture is still very much cloudy at this point," KU coach Mark Mangino said. "We won't rule anybody out, and we'll see how it falls."

Until announcements are made, likely soon after Saturday's Big 12 Conference championship game, Kansas players will be in limbo. They do know they won't practice at the beginning of this week to get over the bumps and bruises that piled up over the last three months.

Meanwhile, assistant coaches are out recruiting, meaning the only work that will be done today and Tuesday is the normal weight-room routine. A more detailed practice schedule will be figured out later on this week.

Mangino reiterated Sunday he had no preference where the Jayhawks end up for the postseason. Besides Fort Worth, the Houston Bowl has been in touch with KU administrators, though a representative has expressed a strong interest in Iowa State and its fan base - if the Cyclones don't get scooped up before the Houston Bowl gets to pick.

The Fort Worth Bowl, meanwhile, really doesn't get to choose which Big 12 team it wants. Of the eight bowls affiliated with the conference, the Fort Worth Bowl is eighth in the pecking order. With eight teams bowl-eligible, that bowl essentially gets what's left.

Prestige, record and fan base indicate KU could be destined for that eighth spot. But nothing's for certain quite yet.

"We'll gladly accept the invitation," Mangino said, "and prepare to play a very good game."

¢ Gordon ailing: Mangino said Sunday he wasn't sure of Charles Gordon's availability for the bowl game, which is at least 3 1/2 weeks away.

The versatile junior sat out much of the second half with an apparent right arm injury. The arm was in a sling after the game.

"He's definitely going to need some rest," Mangino said. "How he responds physically over the next week or two will tell the tale.

"My best guess, knowing Charles, is he'll be ready to play."

¢ Swanson better: Meanwhile, Mangino said KU quarterback Jason Swanson should recover fine from a leg injury suffered in the second half against Iowa State.

"Swanson should be OK here in a short period of time," Mangino said.


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