As far as I know, Mark Mangino never has done anything to infuriate the God of Quarterbacks, if such a deity exists.
Still, you have to wonder why Mangino, during his four years as Kansas University football coach, has had to suffer through one quarterback injury after another.
Under Mangino, KU quarterbacks have been as vulnerable as bowling pins, as brittle as bric-a-brac and as snake-bitten as Cleopatra. No Mangino quarterback ever has started every game in a season.
In 2002, Mangino's first year, Bill Whittemore missed three games with a knee injury. Then in '03, Whittemore missed another three games, this time with a shoulder injury.
Next came 2004 and the Ripley-esque succession of injuries that forced Mangino to start four different quarterbacks - Adam Barmann, Jason Swanson, John Nielsen and Brian Luke - in the last four games.
Finally, last season, Swanson missed the first six games because of an injury before taking over and guiding the Jayhawks to four victories in the last six outings.
Under Mangino, seven quarterbacks have started at least one game - Whittemore, Barmann, Swanson, Nielsen, Luke, Zach Dyer and Jonas Weatherbie. Seven in four years. Amazing.
Adding to the curiosity is the fact Mangino's predecessor, Terry Allen, had only a few injured quarterbacks (notably Zac Wegner) during his five years.
Allen, in fact, didn't have a quarterback miss a game because of injury during his last three seasons on Mount Oread. Dylen Smith started every game in 1999 and 2000, and Mario Kinsey would have started every game in '01 if Allen hadn't suspended him in the opener for citizenship issues.
Now Mangino heads into his fifth season as KU head coach, and you have to figure the law of averages owes him a complete season out of a quarterback. At the same time, however, you have to wonder if Mangino is keeping his fingers crossed based on the history of the football-playing Meier family.
Kerry Meier, a red-shirt freshman, is the Jayhawks' starting quarterback going into preseason camp. Meier has not suffered any injuries, although a medical condition was a contributing factor in the decision to hold him out of competition in '05.
Two of Meier's older brothers also were football players last fall, and, between them, they played in a grand total of one game.
Shad Meier appeared in just one NFL contest after suffering a knee injury in New Orleans' preseason camp. A tight end, Meier has had an injury-plagued five-year pro career and was, in fact, recently released by the Saints.
Meanwhile, Dylan Meier, a Kansas State quarterback, missed the entire '05 season due to a shoulder injury. Dylan Meier, now a fifth-year senior, has had only one injury-free season in Manhattan, and that was the year (2003) he was used primarily as the holder on place-kicks.
On paper, the injury histories of Mangino and the Meier family are cause for gloom. And yet, because of the vagaries of injuries, those two negatives just might turn into a positive.