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Archive for Monday, October 24, 2005

Wood: Answers found on road

October 24, 2005

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Day 37 of the 42 days away from Lawrence for Kansas University football games.

I'm tired.

I hate airports.

I hate rental cars, and I lost my wallet in Boulder, Colo., somewhere between Outback Steakhouse and Pearl Street.

And I'm not even one of those taking the pad-crunching hits.

KU's football team had the big goose egg in the 42 days between games at Memorial Stadium. Zero wins, four losses. Outscored 105-36. From undefeated to below .500. It could go on and on.

But what did we really learn from these 42 days?

¢ Winning on the road in this conference is hard. KU coach Mark Mangino is now 1-14 in Big 12 Conference road games, while at KU, and 0-1 at a neutral site (the 19-3 loss to Oklahoma at Arrowhead Stadium, Day 28).

¢ Speaking of the Arrowhead experiment, a meeting with associate athletic director Jim Marchiony on Day 30 revealed a lot of optimism about how the game went, save the complete ineptitude of the Kansas offense. Marchiony couldn't say for sure, but wouldn't rule out playing at Arrowhead again, maybe as soon as 2006.

¢ Vista Burger in Manhattan (Day 21) is so good, I almost screamed in the middle of the restaurant.

¢ I'm not accusing anyone of conspiracy here, but linebacker and tackle factory Nick Reid is averaging 13.5 tackles per home game (including the OU "home" game) and 6.1 tackles per road game. As steady as Reid is, pin this disparity on the tinted shades of the stat-keepers. Don't worry: It happens everywhere, and with three home games left, Reid's in good shape to take the conference tackle crown should he stay consistent. And, hey, why wouldn't he?

¢ Day 12. The 50-Yard Line Steakhouse in Lubbock, Texas. As James Lipton (played by Will Ferrell on Saturday Night Live) would say, "There is no word to describe its perfection, so I am forced to make one up. And I'm going to do so right now. Scrumtrilescent."

¢ Props are in order for quarterback Adam Barmann, who has kept his team spirit alive after losing his job and taking a lot of heat for his play. The guy still goes out 90 minutes before every road game to toss the football around with Kerry Meier, high-fives the other dozen quarterbacks after they come out each series and keeps his head high and his smiles plentiful. That can't be easy the way things have gone.

¢ Journal-World sports editor Tom Keegan drives a lot like me - when I was 13. And yet I'm the one with ridiculous rental-car rates for being too young.

¢ If the Jayhawks become bowl-eligible this season - I know, a mammoth if - it will in all likelihood have to be done by going undefeated at Memorial Stadium - and completely defeated away from Memorial Stadium.

"We haven't been able to get a win on the road," Mangino said Sunday, Day 36, "but at least we know we play pretty doggone good at home."

Still want to move another game out of Lawrence?

Think about that comment first.

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