Archive for Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Mangino: What’s good for ‘Cats good for KU

September 18, 2007


Talib shines on offense

Three games into the season, the Kansas Jayhawk football team has been firing on all cylinders on offense. Already KU's top defensive player, Aqib Talib has been a big part of the offense pulling down a TD catch in each game thus far. Enlarge video

O-tackle commits to KU

Ben Lueken, a 6-foot-5, 318-pound offensive tackle from Chaminade High in St. Louis, has orally committed to KU's football team, reported Monday night. He is's No. 20-rated player in the state of Missouri.

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More and more every day, you get the sense that the "Bill Snyder approach" to nonconference scheduling at Kansas University is here to stay.

KU's football team, if all goes as expected, will win again by a wide margin Saturday when Florida International (0-3) comes to Memorial Stadium.

FIU has lost its last 15 contests, the longest drought in the Bowl Subdivision.

The Bill Snyder approach is familiar to football fans in the state. Snyder, Kansas State's former coach, often scheduled games that weren't expected to be tough, keeping them in Manhattan and making sure K-State's record was rosy as conference play approached.

For example, when the Wildcats were in the national-championship picture in 1998, their nonconference slate consisted of 50-plus point victories over Indiana State, Northern Illinois and Louisiana-Monroe.

KU coach Mark Mangino, of course, was an assistant under Snyder for eight seasons. Among other things, scheduling strategy seems to have rubbed off.

"I was with a team one time that used to win a lot of games in September and then went to bowl games in January and December," Mangino said after KU drubbed Toledo, 45-13, on Saturday. "It worked out great there, and we're hoping it works out great here, too."

Such strategy at KU dates back to 2003, when Kansas bought its way out of a road game at San Diego State and instead played Division I-AA Jacksonville State at home.

Since 2005, only one team from the six major-college football conferences has played KU during nonconference play: South Florida, currently a Top 25 team that traveled to Lawrence last year and will play host to the Jayhawks next season in Tampa, Fla.

KU has another big-conference team on its future schedule, but it's hardly a heavyweight. Duke, which just snapped a 22-game losing streak, is scheduled to play host to Kansas in 2009 and play in Lawrence in 2010.

Mangino makes no apologies for this year's slate - or for future schedules that include Louisiana Tech, Sam Houston State and Rice. As for this year's criticism, he's quick to point out that Toledo beat Kansas last year, and that Central Michigan, a 52-7 victim in Week One, was the Mid-America Conference champion in '06.

Still, Mangino's scheduling creed isn't far away when the subject is brought up.

"There aren't many people questioning in November who you played in September," he has said more than once.

But at this point in the season, some observers are wondering just how legitimate Kansas really is.

Kansas is 3-0 and has outscored opponents 159-20, causing some pundits to hop on the bandwagon. CBS Sportsline, for example, projects KU to play in the Alamo Bowl, the fifth-best bowl tied to the Big 12 Conference, this winter.

But the combined record of KU's four nonconference opponents right now is 2-10 - and one of those victories came as a result of Central Michigan and Toledo playing each other.

So just how good are the Jayhawks? At this point, there's no telling. There are nine more games - with much more challenge - left to determine it in full.

Mangino, though, said Saturday he thinks it could be a pretty good season in Lawrence - even when the opponents get significantly tougher in a hurry, starting Oct. 6 at Kansas State.

"We feel like we need to continue to get better," Mangino said. "We still know where our weaknesses are and what we need to improve on, there's no question about that.

"We feel like we're making progress, but right now we're about where we ought to be."


commonsense 10 years, 8 months ago

Totally disagree with Mangino on this one. Soft schedules kept KSU in the top 10 for a few years, but no one really respected them. Yes they beat Nebraska a couple of times, but it didn't matter, because they would lose their major bowl game after crying about how they should have been in a BCS game. I remember College Game Day totally disrespected them one Saturday morning, and wouldn't even discuss them because of their soft scheduling. And this team was touting themselves as a National Champion contender. But, as usual, it all comes down to money. A big bowl game is a nice payday, and going 4-0 helps you get there. This is the philosophy that he learned at KSU, and it will serve him well if that is his intention. Unfortunately for the players and the fans, we'll have to kick back on Saturday and watch a boring blowout that brings only a few dollars in from out of town, no TV rights, and a somewhat lethargic sense of pride. I'd rather play UCLA like we did a few years ago and enjoy a nice PAC 10 vs Big 12 matchup. If we lose, so what. IF we win, that's bigger than the 4-0 creampuff record.

ontheotherhand 10 years, 8 months ago

People sure all jealous of the Wildcats. :)

Royals 10 years, 8 months ago

When will K-State be able to afford the rest of Willie The Wildcat's Uniform?

Sean Livingstone 10 years, 8 months ago

My question is: You think USC, Texas, and UCLA are scared of the other teams like us? Nope, I think KU should become one of them, and not try to get into the big one by having one of those teams that we should be bothered to play with. I come from Southern California, and USC is big. We should have an attitude like them, and I think KU has that for basketball, why not Football? Honestly, fire this guy!

gogoplata 10 years, 8 months ago

I think he has the right idea for now. If he gets us to the point where we really are good then bring on the ranked teams. But for now playing a ranked team would probably put one in the loss column. The only reason we hated it when KState did it was because they were constantly telling us how great they were. I had no problem agreeing with them that they had a good football team. They were just never a great football team. Great football teams don't lose big games. ie 1998 vs Texas A&M in the Big12 Championship

So I say let Mangino win some games and build the program. He's a good coach.

guesswho 10 years, 8 months ago

I agree with gogoplata (or whatever wrestling move he/she is up to)

Mangino needs to get some wins to get the team together and learn what it feels like and recruit based on the overall win record. Much better then Terry Allen's scheduling of some very tough non-conference opponents and losing those games and then the conference ones, too.

oldvet 10 years, 8 months ago

To build a winning program you have to be able to recruit... sitting home every December is not the way to get quality recruits interested in your program... you go to enough bowl games, you get TV exposure, you get better and better recruits every year... then you start adding a tougher non-conference schedule, when you can get a home&away series... right now we are in the middle tier of football teams... the big guys might add you to their non-conference schedule, but they won't give you a return game... that is what the bottom tier and the II-A teams do, they go on the road, take a beating, and get the big payday to help fund their athletics programs. It will take a while to build up our program and along the way we have to make winning a habit... as for the cupcake schedule, I have noticed 40,000 seats sold and filled... so they leave early... big deal, that only talks about the quality of the fans, not the team. I prefer to see winning become a habit here, and that may take some time... Good Job, Coach!!!

oldvet 10 years, 8 months ago

I also remember a quote attributed to Coach Bear Bryant... "When your team goes 9-1 for the year, nobody asks who the 9 were..."

KS 10 years, 8 months ago

Mangino should not make the same mistake that Synder did. Too many cupcake teams for too long. At some point in time, you need to grow up and play some tougher teams That will build a great program for a long time. Just because you go to a lot of bowl games doesn't count, unless you win a bunch. That historically has been a sucess point for KU Basketball. K-State has a terrible record post season. If KU stays this course for too long, they too will loose respect, just like K-State. Meanwhile, it really is nice to see KU win some games. Just too bad they are by such big margins.

b_asinbeer 10 years, 8 months ago

"Just too bad they are by such big margins."

Check your writing, am I reading that correctly?

Blowing out teams we're supposed to beat and blow out=Good!

A squeaker against a team we're supposed to blow out=BADDDDD!!!!

Love Mangino! Much better than the mediocre Terry Allen and the inconsistent Glen Mason!

commonsense 10 years, 8 months ago

People have been using the words "build a program." This isn't UCF, or Florida Atlantic. This is Kansas, home to Gayle Sayers and John Riggins. This is home to the oldest stadium West of the Mississippi. We've been around for a long time ladies and gentlemen, so don't give me this "build a program" nonsense. Cupcake scheduling doesn't work, and Snyder proved that. KSU would cry everytime they got snubbed by the pollsters, then they would choke because they weren't used to the level of competition. Look at our Big 12 counterparts the past few weeks: OU vs Miami, Colorado vs Colorado St, Arizona St, & Florida St., K-State vs Auburn, OK State vs Georgia, Nebraska vs USC, etc. etc. Personally, I watched most of these game on television instead of going up to campus to watch KU play. Fact is, I'm a KU alum, I love the Jayhawks, I want them to be successful, but what bluechip recruit wants to play for KU in front of 50, I mean 47 thousand, when they can go to one of these other schools and be on national television. Playing cupcakes and going 4-0 may be great for for some of our diehard KU football fans, but it's simply uninteresting to the diehard COLLEGE FOOTBALL FAN. Sorry Mangino and Lew Perkins, but until things change, I'll be watching ABC and ESPN. Don't even get me started on the Missouri game being moved...$$$

CaliforniaJhk 10 years, 8 months ago

I'm sticking with Mangino...and the Athletic Director who is also calling some of the shots about scheduling...those easy games get all the kids on the field, and a little experience goes a long way for confidence and recruiting. The Big 12 schedule is plenty tough and if you win the division you get a Championship game and a guaranteed bowl somewhere. Fans let a little success go to their head awfully easy.....How many years have we heard Mizzou fans groan that they were only one player away from a Big 12 championship after winning a few early games, then the Jayhawks and the Cyclones slap 'em like a step-child. How many of you have your tickets for Arrowhead?

George_Braziller 10 years, 8 months ago

Ick. Mangino makes my skin crawl every time I see a picture of him. Reminds me of my high school basketball coach who sprawled on the bleachers screaming at us that we were "lazy" while he was wolfing down on dounuts. Mangino would just top the doughnuts with BBQ sauce.

b_asinbeer 10 years, 8 months ago

And you would top your comments with misspellings, I see? Good luck with writing in the future, "dounuts"-head.

If he's getting the job done, don't knock the weight. Seriously, what does his weight have to do with him getting the job accomplished? What do you care?

George_Braziller 10 years, 8 months ago

Ok - dounuts or doughnuts - he still makes me want to hurl when I see him. And his "job" is what?

b_asinbeer 10 years, 8 months ago

Mr. Ramirez...The facts speak from themselves:

Terry Allen: Zero (0) bowl games

Mangino: Two (2) bowl games. Bowl eligible Three times.

'Nuff said.

scatfu 10 years, 8 months ago

I just love the way Jayhawk fans try to rewrite history. How soon they forget that KState was the winningest program in the Big XII in CONFERENCE GAMES up until 2004 when we tanked. During that time we played all cupcakes, but other than KU the cupcakes didnt come into play in conference. At the time KState led the BXII in conference wins, we were considered a top conference, second only to the SEC. Look at KStates bowl record over that same time, we beat a lot of good Pac10 and SEC teams because of our bowl tie-ins. Cmon Squawks, the bottom line is your coach wants to save his bacon (for a snack later). Get over yourselves your football team is a joke. You are (and soon were) a basketball school. Your bball team has 8 schollies to fill for 08 and you only have interest from 3 star talent to fill em. Frank is going head to head with hairpiece Bill Self and he is winning the recruiting battles. Time aint on KU's side. Maybe you can start cheering for your Medical School, they deserve it.

gogoplata 10 years, 8 months ago

I'm not so sure history is a friend of the KState football program.

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