Archive for Monday, November 5, 2007

Ryan Wood’s KU football notebook

November 5, 2007

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Jayhawks 9-0 after rout of Huskers

The Kansas Jayhawk football team continued it's Big 12 dominance with a 76-39 victory over Nebraska to improve to 9-0 on the season. Enlarge video

Major jump

Kansas has jumped four spots to No. 4 in the Bowl Championship Series standings, behind only Ohio State, Oregon and LSU.

The Jayhawks came out with a BCS average of 0.8431, slipping them past No. 5 Oklahoma (0.8393).

The top two teams in the BCS standings at the end of the regular season will play in the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 7 in New Orleans.

The Jayhawks are the highest ranked Big 12 team, but not by much: Behind them are No. 5 Oklahoma is No. 6 Missouri (0.7431).

The other polls

As for the human vote, Kansas is No. 5 in all three of the major top 25 polls - the Associated Press, the USA Today coaches and the Harris Interactive - behind Ohio State, LSU, Oregon and Oklahoma.

The Jayhawks haven't been ranked in the top 5 since Nov. 9, 1968, when they were No. 3 for the third straight week en route to an Orange Bowl appearance.

Double trouble

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, when talking to reporters on Sunday, said he had yet to dive into preparation for Saturday's game against Kansas. But he was well aware of at least one Jayhawk: defensive tackle James McClinton, an All-Big 12 candidate.

"You have to double-team him in pass rush," Gundy said. "If you have to double-team a guy in pass rush, the other three guys get single blocks. So it makes a big difference."

McClinton getting extra attention is no surprise. It happens "quite a bit," according to KU coach Mark Mangino.

"He gets a lot of that," Mangino said. "But as we tell James, 'You're good enough to beat double-teams.' And he has. He can be a handful."

Cowboys ailing

Much like Nebraska a week ago, Oklahoma State is battling health issues at the linebacker position.

Patrick Lavine (leg) and Chris Collins (turf toe) both returned for Saturday's 38-35 loss to Texas, but Collins wasn't full speed after being out for about a month.

Another linebacker, Jeremy Nethon, sprained his ankle against Kansas State three weeks ago and hasn't played since. He's not expected to be ready for Saturday's game against Kansas.

"I'm sure he'll try," OSU coach Mike Gundy said Sunday, "but I don't see it happening."

The rash of injuries has forced the Cowboys to move defensive end Rod Johnson back to linebacker.

Up next

Gundy partially blamed his team's offensive line for the Cowboys' collapsing late against Texas on Saturday.

"(The Longhorns) wore us down in the second half, and physically they started to whip us," Gundy said. "We played very average up front again. We're not playing well enough up front to take these games over. Texas is a physical team, and they rotated guys in and they wore us down."

Still, Oklahoma State (5-4 overall, 3-2 Big 12 Conference play) expects to be a formidable foe for Kansas, particularly with it being the Cowboys' last home game of the 2007 season.

KU opened as a five-point favorite Sunday night.

Commitments galore

Kansas on Sunday received oral commitments from a pair of Texas high school standouts.

They are: Trevor Marrongelli, 6-foot-4, 285-pound senior offensive tackle from Westwood High in Austin, and Corrigan Powell, 5-10, 160-pound cornerback from Lakeview Centennial High in Garland.

Marrongelli told Rivals.com he received offers from KU, Illinois, Iowa State, Baylor and others.

Powell told Rivals.com KU was his only offer so far with interest coming from Texas, Miami, Florida, and Oklahoma State.

"They (KU coaches ) told me they liked my nastiness," Marrongelli told Rivals.com. "They liked my ability to hit somebody and then get right back up. In our last game, I knocked a kid out, and it took his helmet off. If you are standing around the pile, I'm going to come up and hit you."

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