Advertisement

Posts tagged with Football

Charlie Weis hints at change in his role with offense

Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis has shown he’s not afraid to shuffle the deck if something’s not working. His depth chart frequently changes and his offensive game plan shifts week to week, based on the strengths of the opposing defense. After last season, he tweaked the roles of defensive coaches Dave Campo and Clint Bowen.

So when Weis said at the end of his weekly Monday night radio show with veteran broadcaster Bob Davis that he was going to be “more involved with that this week,” talking about the chemistry between the quarterback and his receivers, it sent the imagination wandering. (I know, I know, if my imagination is going to drift, it probably should find more scintillating topics than KU's offense, but what can I tell you?)

Could it be Weis is going to get more hands-on in one area and relinquish duties elsewhere? The mere fact I’m asking that question makes me look forward to today’s noon press conference with Weis, moved up an hour from its usual time. His sessions never are boring, but this one could more newsworthy than most.

What could the coach have meant? Well, sometimes duties are split by having one coach wearing the title of “passing game coordinator,” another “running game coordinator.” Maybe Weis will take on the “passing game coordinator,” title, work more closely with receivers and have either wide receivers coach Rob Ianello or quarterbacks coach Ron Powlus calling plays from the press box?

That’s wild speculation, but with the offense ranked 117th out of 125 teams, nothing is too radical to consider. Under that scenario, someone else would be named “running game coordinator.” Running backs coach Reggie Mitchell, offensive line coach Tim Grunhard and either Powlus or Ianello would be the candidates, with Mitchell making the most sense.

Going outside the staff to recruit an offensive coordinator who installs his own offense with new terminology and schemes is not something that could take place in mid-season. That would have to wait until after the season.

Reply

KU offense rich with skill, but will the blocks be there?

The Buffalo Bills mid-to-late ’70’s offensive line known as The Electric Company didn’t make O.J. Simpson famous. O.J. made the men in front of him famous.

Quick, decisive, creative quarterbacks and running backs make blockers look better to the extent players constantly referred to as underrated sometimes can become overrated.

Nevertheless, now that the receiving corps has been upgraded, offensive line is the unit about which there is most cause for concern on the 2013 Kansas football roster.

More than 100 career starts are gone with the departures of Tanner Hawkinson, Duane Zlatnik and Trevor Marrongelli. Given that, is it realistic to expect that the same blocks that were there a year ago for James Sims and company will there this fall?

“I think, to be honest with you, in a couple of cases, we should improve in run-blocking,” second-year head coach Charlie Weis said. “I’m not going to get into particulars right there, but your view of how they run-block and my view of how they run-block isn’t exactly the same.”

That’s a relief, considering I’m a ball-watcher and don’t have the binoculars on the guys who start games with misshaped knuckles and finish them with swollen, misshaped knuckles.

Still, considering Hawkinson was drafted in the fifth round, Zlatnik was a main-stay strong man and Marrongelli brought so much experience, replacing them presents a tough challenge.

“I think that a couple of guys who are involved there now, that is their forte,” Weis said. “Their forte is run-blocking. I think that there’s a chance in a couple of cases that we could actually improve.”

As is the case with just about every unit on the team, Weis will rely on junior college recruits to protect the quarterback and pave the way for the talented running backs.

Moving from left to right, a look at the battles expected to be waged during summer camp:

At left tackle, Pat Lewandowski and Riley Spencer, neither of whom has started a game in college, compete for the starting spot. Lewandowski, a converted defensive lineman, is in his second season as an O-lineman. His quick feet grabbed the attention of Weis. He stands 6-foot-5-1/2 and weighs 287. Spencer, 6-6, 302, has more experience at the position but missed the final 11 games of last season with an injury.

At left guard, juco recruit Ngalu Fusimalohi will be pushed by third-year sophomore Damon Martin, who made one start a year ago. Martin has a reputation for being assignment-sound, but could bring a little more fire. Fusimalohi likely is one of the players Weis referenced when he talked about run-blocking being his forte. More than one player told me Fusimalohi is the nastiest football player on the team. Reading between the lines of what Weis said about last year’s O-line it was easy to infer that the coach wanted a meaner bunch in his second season.

At center, Weis has options. Juco transfer Mike Smithburg showed a nasty edge during spring practice, but his snaps in the spring game weren’t the smoothest. If he can iron those wrinkles, he has a strong shot to win the job. If not, he’ll compete for snaps at guard.

Sophomore Dylan Admire, is a bit short on size, but long on smarts. Brains come in handy at center, unless Admire is one of those super-intelligent athletes who think too much and suffer from paralysis through analysis. Gavin Howard brings smarts, but lacks stamina and isn’t exceptionally quick or strong. Howard also has experience at guard and tackle.

Senior Randall Dent made 10 starts at right guard and encountered mixed results, which isn’t necessarily discouraging considering his lack of experience. It’s not a stretch to project more consistency this season from the strong man whose forte is run-blocking.

Senior Aslam Sterling, who reshaped his body and shed more than 60 pounds since arriving at KU last summer, projects as the starter at right tackle. He had enough talent that even though he was way out of shape and was juggling heavier academic requirements, tougher practices and learning a complex new offense, he was given eight starts, six at right tackle, two at right guard. Red-shirt freshman Brian Beckmann, 6-6, 298, showed enough during the spring that Weis put him second on the depth chart at right tackle.

Better conditioning and more experience should make the right side of the line better than it was a year ago. If one of the candidates at left tackle can emerge in a big way, that would be huge. Listening to Weis talk about Lewandowski’s athleticism is a bit reminiscent of the way Mark Mangino talked about Hawkinson when he moved him from defensive end to left tackle.

Spencer? I remember former KU O-lineman David Lawrence, now a KU broadcaster/Free State High freshman football coach, watching film of Spencer on signing day and coming away from it impressed with his feet. Spencer opened Weis’ eyes during the spring.

If neither Lewandowski nor Spencer takes a big step this summer, the sleeper for protecting the blind side of Jake Heaps is juco recruit Zach Fondal, who turned down Arkansas, Texas Tech and South Florida to sign with Kansas. He will trail Lewandowski and Spencer in terms of knowledge of the offense and conditioning, but if he’s talented enough, Weis will want him on the field sooner than later.

High school recruit Joey Bloomfield, 6-6, 305, of Louisville shapes up as a likely candidate for a red-shirt year.

Reply

NFL Draft should become busier for Kansas in 2015

The most shocking aspect of Thursday night’s coverage of the first round of the NFL draft involved the amount of shock expressed over Notre Dame middle linebacker Manti Te’o not getting drafted. Why did anyone consider him a first-round talent? He’s slow and stiff, not nearly agile enough to project as a front-line NFL player.

Te’o couldn’t tackle Alabama running back Eddie Lacey in the BCS title game. The surprise should have been over Lacey not getting drafted. Anybody who had Te’o ranked higher than Lacey must not have seen that game.

During the second round must we endure more speculative talk of teams trading up to get Te’o, when it’s clear he’s not talented enough to motivate a team to go to all that trouble to get him?

Might as well speculate that teams are trading up to get Tanner Hawkinson and Bradley McDougald, the two top prospects from Kansas in this year’s draft. Prediction: Hawkinson will be selected in the seventh round Saturday, McDougald either the same round or not at all. For Hawkinson, a lack of strength by NFL lineman standards will be what keeps him from getting drafted Friday, when the second and third rounds take place. For McDougald, unsure tackling will keep him from being considered earlier than late Saturday.

A year from now, James Sims will be a draft prospect and in 2015 several Kansas players could hear their names called.

Andrew Bolton, a defensive end who was bound for LSU out of junior college until he suffered a knee injury, has more of an NFL look than anybody on KU’s roster. He is expected to report this summer and if his knee has recovered sufficiently projects as a 2015 draft pick.

Defensive tackle Marquel Combs and safety Isaiah Johnson, junior college transfers on course to join the team in the summer, also have a lot of potential. So do defensive linemen Chris Martin and Keon Stowers, both spring standouts. Does Ben Heeney have a big enough frame to add enough weight? Wide receiver/running back/return man Tony Pierson has speed that will capture the attention of NFL scouts. Wide receiver Justin McCay has everything but blinding speed that scouts like in a receiver.

“McCay reminds me of Keyshawn (Johnson) when I first got to the Jets,” Weis said. “Routes were always a little short, not the fastest guy in the world, big, strong, tough, will catch everything you throw to him, will block everyone with physicality. Keyshawn was the first pick in the entire draft, so if he reminds me of Keyshawn ... They even wear the same number (19).”

McCay’s favorite receiver: “Keyshawn Johnson.”

Jake Heaps is on the small side for a pocket passer, but that won't stop him from getting drafted if he throws with a great deal of accuracy during his two years running the Jayhawks' offense.

KU connections in Thursday's first round were indirect ones. Tight end Tyler Eifert, recruited to Notre Dame by Weis, went to the Cincinnati Bengals with the 21st pick. Wide receiver/return man Cordarrelle Patterson was chosen by the Miami Dolphins with the 29th selection. Stowers and he are cousins.

Reply

Position-by-position look at Kansas football: wide receiver

Throughout spring football, I’ll be writing a series of blogs looking at each position unit on the Kansas football team, starting with the one that on paper — rather in cyberspace — looks like the weakest and building to the strongest. Wide receiver has the dubious distinction of batting leadoff.

Logic says if a wide receiver couldn’t earn playing time as a junior on a team that didn’t have a single touchdown reception from the position for the entire 12-game season there is no reason to believe he’ll do anything memorable as a senior.

So why am I thinking, yet again, that things finally will click for Christian Matthews? Maybe it’s because when he does do something well he does it in a way that makes it look as if a big-time athlete is trapped in there waiting to bust loose. This will be his last chance and that senior sense of urgency sometimes can lead talented athletes to stop thinking and start playing.

In limited action the past two seasons as a running quarterback in the wildcat formation, Matthews has blended speed with sharp cuts to make moves that would seem to translate well to yards after catches. So far though his spring-game success hasn’t carried him into autumn. He followed a 37-yard TD reception in the 2010 spring game with a 53-yard score in the 2011 game. His regular-season receiving stats: A 41-yard catch in 2010, 11 receptions for 100 yards in 2011, no receptions in 2012.

Without having anything solid to back up my hunch about Matthews in 2013, I thought about keeping it quiet. Then I asked tight end Jimmay Mundine for his opinion as to the best wide receiver on the squad.

“If I had to pick a guy now I’d pick Christian Matthews,” Mundine said. “He’s working hard. He’s starting to take more of a leadership role. We’re expecting more out of him than last year, that’s for sure.”

Why?

“His work ethic,” Mundine said. “When we’re out there doing seven on seven, he’s catching the ball, finishing his route, exploding upfield, things that you hate doing. You hate the coach being on you about it. When you see a guy doing it when no one’s telling him to do it, it makes you realize he really cares.”

Mundine said he thinks Matthews and Chris Omigiee are the two hardest workers among the receivers participating in spring football.

“I’m going to try my hardest senior year,” Matthews said. “I don’t want to go out like a sucker, so I’m going to give it my all.”

Matthews lined up at receiver at the end of a few games last season but said he didn’t have a single pass thrown to him. He’s listed behind Tre’ Parmalee on the depth chart at the slot, a big step toward more snaps.

Matthews has something in common with every player except one listed on the roster at receiver in that he is seeking his first career TD catch. Andrew Turzilli, who is entering his red-shirt junior season, caught a TD pass against Georgia Tech in 2011. That makes one Division I TD catch on the entire roster at the position. (Junior-to-be JaCorey Shepherd, who shifted to cornerback last season, had two TD receptions in his first college game, against McNeese State in 2011, and picked up a third against Oklahoma State.)

Asked to name a receiver who has caught his eye, Matthews said, “Drew Turzilli. He’s big. He can catch, fast. Can’t stop that.”

Things didn’t work out at Oklahoma for Justin McCay and the Sooners had no trouble signing off on letting him transfer to another Big 12 school. Chances are he never would have played his way onto the depth chart in Norman, but that doesn’t mean he can’t make an impact for Kansas. He’s not a burner, but he’s not slow either. He’s physical with sure hands.

With no sure things on hand, the Jayhawks needed to score big at this position in recruiting and didn’t. Or did they? Mark Thomas, a junior college receiver from New York, runs a 4.4 40 and was overlooked early because he played in a run-first offense. West Virginia recruited him late and the Mountaineers don’t mess with slow receivers. Something about the way head coach Weis looks when he talks about Thomas indicates he thinks he might be the sleeper of the recruiting class.

Weis talked up the receiving unit a year ago at this time and, next to quarterback, it became the team’s most disappointing unit. Don’t look for disappointment to enter the picture this year because expectations hang low.

Reply

Charlie Weis deserved one more year at Notre Dame

He never says anything around which quote marks could be placed to prove it is so, but KU football coach Charlie Weis appears to harbor bitterness toward Notre Dame, his alma mater.

He uses phrases such as “another institution where I worked,” or “while working at another school.” If he says “Notre Dame,” it’s only in a printed release. Nobody actually hears the words roll off his tongue. The question is not whether Weis harbors resentment toward Ole Notre Dame, rather why?

The answer: Because he’s human.

A closer look at his Notre Dame career suggests 2010 very well could have been a turning point season so successful that if he had been allowed to stay one more year it’s entirely possible he would have been on the job for the duration of his 10-year contract.

Think I’m crazy? By that I mean do you think that even more so than usual? Think again.

Weis got shafted by his school, the very same university at which he used to sit in his dorm room and second-guess every move made by then Notre Dame coach Dan Devine. Never mind that Devine won a national title Charlie’s senior year. Weis was a football-crazed college student. What’s the point of investing your emotions into a football team if you can’t second-guess the coach?

To understand what must boil inside Weis’ belly every time he thinks about what might have been in 2010 requires a close look at his fifth and final season at Notre Dame. The 2009 Fighting Irish went 6-6, not a record that sits well with alumni from a school with such a rich football tradition. But look closer. Not one of those six losses was by a margin of greater than a touchdown. Add up the margin from all six losses and it’s a paltry 28 points.

If Weis had returned, it requires no great leap of faith to believe quarterback Jimmy Clausen would have delayed his NFL career by a year and would be a better NFL quarterback today for having done so. Clausen’s improvement each year under Weis was significant. Plus, he could have contended for the Heisman Trophy. With Clausen and Weis back, maybe receiver Golden Tate returns as well. Both players announced they would forego their senior seasons six days after Weis was fired.

An additional year of experience from countless returning players easily could have turned most of those close losses into close victories. No need to venture outside KU football history books for evidence of a 6-6 football team plagued by close losses bouncing back with a 12-1 team driven to the top by coming out on top in the close ones.

Mark Mangino’s sixth Kansas football team went 6-6. Two of the losses (Toledo and Nebraska) came in overtime, two others (Baylor and Texas A&M) by a combined margin of four points. A year later, Mangino was holding up an orange with that signature semi-smile, an image that represents what is possible when a stubborn football coach is given time to do it his way.

That doesn’t mean Weis would have executed a similar leap forward under the Golden Dome, but the similarities between KU in 2006 and ND in 2009 certainly tickle the imagination. Weis’ first KU season included five losses by margins of seven points or less. That doesn’t exempt the coach. Sometimes close losses can be traced to the head coach’s decision-making.

In the home loss to Rice, the Owls never could have closed the 11-point deficit if Weis, who doubles as offensive coordinator, had stayed with the run. The Jayhawks’ offensive line was manhandling the visitors. Not yet aware he did not have an accurate passer in the huddle, Weis mixed in too many passes instead of staying with the run and opened a door through which Rice stormed.

In the overtime loss at Texas Tech, a surprising pass-play call on second and five at the Tech 15 predictably failed and took the momentum right out KU’s upset bid. Kansas had started that fourth-quarter drive on its 11 and gained 75 yards on six plays, all runs. A Nick Prolago field goal tied the score with 45 seconds left. Nothing suggested Tech was going to keep KU from getting five yards on two more running plays. By then, Weis had changed quarterbacks and knew accurate passing was not Michael Cummings’ forte. It was a strange call in a game Kansas might have won had Charlie called a run play there.

With promising Brigham Young transfer Jake Heaps at quarterback the next two seasons, Weis’ team has a chance to perform better in close contests. Even if it doesn’t, that won’t change the reality that Weis deserved one more year on the job at ND, a year that might have been so successful it earned him many more.

Reply

Table set for Dayne Crist to go out in style

Morgantown, W.Va. — West Virginia ranks last in the nation in pass defense, allowing 346.2 yards per game. The Mountaineers have allowed 36 touchdown passes and have just eight interceptions. What makes those numbers look even worse is they don’t have to face their own high-octane offense.

The Kansas pass offense ranks 117th out of 124 with 151.5 yards per game, seven touchdown passes and 12 interceptions.

This is Dayne Crist’s last college game. So, might Charlie Weis have a number of plays ready for Crist to come off the bench and finish a career that fell far short of expectations with one of his most productive days? It’s possible, but if Crist doesn’t show a hot hand right away, KU will return to its running offense.

Remarkably, Kansas wide receivers don’t have a single touchdown reception all season. The seven TD catches: Tony Pierson two, Jimmay Mundine two, one apiece from Brandon Bourbon, Mike Ragone and James Sims.

Today’s bold prediction: Kansas will have two wide receiver TD receptions, both thrown by Crist, who won’t have a single turnover in his career finale.

Reply

Kansas great John Hadl reflects on position switch

An All-American running back, John Hadl obviously didn’t let that get to his head. He had enough humility to look at two running backs on his team and figure they could beat him out. So he paid a visit to coach Jack Mitchell’s office.

Sitting in a leather chair in his Williams Fund office, where he holds a job as closer extraordinaire with the big-ticket donors, Hadl explained how that visit went: “I just walked into his office and said, ‘You’re looking for a quarterback. Why not give me a try? We’re running the Oklahoma split T so I’ll be like a running back anyway.’ He said, ‘OK.’ Then of course when he talked about it he said that the coaches had discussions about it and decided this would be the best option.”

Hadl became an All-American quarterback and had a great career at the position with the San Diego Chargers and Los Angeles Rams and also played with the Green Bay Packers and Houston Oilers.

What motivated Hadl to take the bold step of visiting his coach, the same coach who convinced Hadl’s father it was in the best interest of his son to switch his commitment from Oklahoma to Kansas?

“Curtis McClinton and Bert Coan were flying past me in practice every day,” Hadl said. “I figured I better change positions because those guys were so much faster than I was.”

Hadl said he never regretted turning down Oklahoma and legendary coach Bud Wilkinson.

“They would have put me on defense and nobody ever would have heard from me again,” Hadl said.

At Kansas, he played some defensive back, returned punts and once led the nation in punting with an average of 45.6 yards. He had a knack for big plays long before he made so many for the Chargers. At KU, he returned an interception 98 yards and had a 94-yard punt.

Hadl also has the distinction of having been Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young’s first professional head coach with the Los Angeles Express of the USFL in 1984, and Hall of Fame QB John Elway’s first professional quarterbacks coach with the Denver Broncos in 1983.

On the topic of position switches

For a man who weighs 218 pounds, fullback Brandon Bourbon runs so swiftly and exhibits so much agility that it’s tough not to picture him playing linebacker. Excluding quarterbacks, Bourbon ranks fifth on the team in rushing attempts (11 carries, 38 yards), behind James Sims, Tony Pierson, Taylor Cox and D.J. Beshears.

Couldn’t Bourbon help the team more at linebacker? One of the nice things about KU first-year coach Charlie Weis is you can ask him a question like that and he’ll give an honest answer. So I asked and he answered.

“If Brandon Bourbon were good on defense, he’d be playing defense,” Weis said. “OK. I love when people say, ‘God, he looks like he’d be a great linebacker.’ Well, come to practice and you’ll get answers to some of those questions.”

The early segment of Tuesday and Wednesday practices were open to the media this season, so I went out to Wednesday’s practice. Man oh man, you should have seen Bourbon get low and hit hard during a running back drill in which the players blast what looks like a boxing heavy bag.

“Those are the type of things you don’t do during the season,” Weis said of switching positions. “Those are the type of things if you’re going to give it a shot you do it in the spring time when you can do it full-time. I don’t think in a week or two, you can transfer a player from one side of the ball to the other. You can, if you see a guy buried in the depth chart, where there is no end in sight.”

Weis sounds as if he believes Bourbon will help Kansas carrying the football before he graduates.

“Remember, the kid’s only a sophomore and he’s got a lot of time left here,” Weis said. “OK? But the kid’s a natural runner and he’s playing at a position where there are a lot of good players. But if you’re buried in the depth chart and it’s the spring time and you want to take a look, that’s the time to do that. But based off the evidence I see I think he’s playing the position he’s best suited for.”

Must an athlete want to play defense to become a good defensive player?

“Well there’s hitting and then avoiding hitting,” Weis said. “So offensive guys are trying not to get hit. Defensive guys are trying to hit. So when you’re spending your whole life trying not to get hit and then have to go start hitting, it’s not usually a good match, in case you’re wondering.”

Reply

Former KU coach Mark Mangino on Colorado’s radar

Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn swung and missed on his first two coaching hires, Dan Hawkins and Jon Embree. So it’s no surprise that the first name to surface as a candidate to become Colorado’s next coach is a proven winner hungry to get back into coaching: Mark Mangino.

Bohn, a 1983 graduate of Kansas University, where he played football and baseball, knows how tough it is to build a winning football program at KU. Bohn knows his KU history well enough to know that Mangino was the first football coach to leave Kansas with a winning record since Jack Mitchell.

Colorado is in the midst of seven consecutive losing seasons. Mangino inherited a Kansas program coming off six consecutive losing seasons.

If Bohn is allowed to make the hire, nobody should be surprised if he picks Mangino.

Living in Naples, Fla., Mangino’s interest in returning to the sidelines was put on hold last season while wife Mary Jane battled breast cancer. Friends are happy to report Mary Jane is doing well and has completed treatment.

“She’s given me a directive: Go find a coaching job,” Mangino told the Oklahoman in an October interview. “So we’ll see what happens. I don’t know where it will be. Could be anywhere.”

Could be Colorado.

If Mangino lands the job, he could become quarterback Jordan Webb’s first and fourth coach. Webb redshirted one season under Mangino at Kansas, played two for Turner Gill at KU and one for Embree at CU.

Mangino’s former assistants thriving

Dave Doeren left Mangino’s staff for Wisconsin, where he worked his way up to defensive coordinator. Doeren’s in his second season as head coach at Northern Illinois, where his team is 11-1 and ranked 19th in the nation. He has a two-year record of 22-4 (1-1 vs. KU) and is in line for a BCS conference job. His name has been mentioned in speculation for the Purdue job.

Doeren’s recruiting coups at Kansas included James Holt, Kevin Kane, James McClinton, Joe Mortensen, Mike Rivera, Darrell Stuckey and Aqib Talib.

Former KU defensive coordinator Bill Young left Mangino’s staff for Miami, where he spent one year and has been at Oklahoma State since then.

Ed Warinner, offensive coordinator for Mangino, left his job as Notre Dame’s offensive line coach to join Urban Meyer’s Ohio State staff as co-offensive coordinator/O-line coach.

Ineligible for the postseason, the Buckeyes went 12-0. He’s ready for a big head-coaching job.

John Reagan is offensive coordinator for the Rice squad that upset Kansas in Memorial Stadium in September.

David Beaty knows better than just about anybody the value of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel’s Heisman Trophy worthiness. Beaty is the Aggies’ wide receivers coach. Brandon Blaney is a defensive assistant coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Bill Miller is assistant head coach/linebackers coach at Minnesota. Je’Ney Jackson is strength and conditioning coach for Tom Crean’s top-ranked Indiana basketball team.

Louie Matsakis handles special teams and running backs and is recruiting coordinator at Youngstown State, where Tom Sims is assistant head coach/defensive line.

Chris Dawson has been Kansas State’s strength and conditioning coach since getting fired with Mangino. Dawson reportedly accepted an offer from Washington State’s Mike Leach shortly after his hiring, but quickly changed his mind and decided to stay with Bill Snyder.

Tommy Mangino is Hutchinson Community College’s offensive coordinator. He apparently inherited his father’s fiery personality and was ejected late in an early season game Hutch won, 49-12.

Reply 1 comment from Paul R.  Getto

Former KU coach Mark Mangino on Colorado’s radar

Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn swung and missed on his first two coaching hires, Dan Hawkins and Jon Embree. So it’s no surprise that the first name to surface as a candidate to become Colorado’s next coach is a proven winner hungry to get back into coaching: Mark Mangino.

Bohn, a 1983 graduate of Kansas University, where he played football and baseball, knows how tough it is to build a winning football program at KU. Bohn knows his KU history well enough to know that Mangino was the first football coach to leave Kansas with a winning record since Jack Mitchell.

Colorado is in the midst of seven consecutive losing seasons. Mangino inherited a Kansas program coming off six consecutive losing seasons.

If Bohn is allowed to make the hire, nobody should be surprised if he picks Mangino.

Living in Naples, Fla., Mangino’s interest in returning to the sidelines was put on hold last season while wife Mary Jane battled breast cancer. Friends are happy to report Mary Jane is doing well and has completed treatment.

“She’s given me a directive: Go find a coaching job,” Mangino told the Oklahoman in an October interview. “So we’ll see what happens. I don’t know where it will be. Could be anywhere.”

Could be Colorado.

If Mangino lands the job, he could become quarterback Jordan Webb’s first and fourth coach. Webb redshirted one season under Mangino at Kansas, played two for Turner Gill at KU and one for Embree at CU.

Mangino’s former assistants thriving

Dave Doeren left Mangino’s staff for Wisconsin, where he worked his way up to defensive coordinator. Doeren’s in his second season as head coach at Northern Illinois, where his team is 11-1 and ranked 19th in the nation. He has a two-year record of 22-4 (1-1 vs. KU) and is in line for a BCS conference job. His name has been mentioned in speculation for the Purdue job.

Doeren’s recruiting coups at Kansas included James Holt, Kevin Kane, James McClinton, Joe Mortensen, Mike Rivera, Darrell Stuckey and Aqib Talib.

Former KU defensive coordinator Bill Young left Mangino’s staff for Miami, where he spent one year and has been at Oklahoma State since then.

Ed Warinner, offensive coordinator for Mangino, left his job as Notre Dame’s offensive line coach to join Urban Meyer’s Ohio State staff as co-offensive coordinator/O-line coach.

Ineligible for the postseason, the Buckeyes went 12-0. He’s ready for a big head-coaching job.

John Reagan is offensive coordinator for the Rice squad that upset Kansas in Memorial Stadium in September.

David Beaty knows better than just about anybody the value of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel’s Heisman Trophy worthiness. Beaty is the Aggies’ wide receivers coach. Brandon Blaney is a defensive assistant coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Bill Miller is assistant head coach/linebackers coach at Minnesota. Je’Ney Jackson is strength and conditioning coach for Tom Crean’s top-ranked Indiana basketball team.

Louie Matsakis handles special teams and running backs and is recruiting coordinator at Youngstown State, where Tom Sims is assistant head coach/defensive line.

Chris Dawson has been Kansas State’s strength and conditioning coach since getting fired with Mangino. Dawson reportedly accepted an offer from Washington State’s Mike Leach shortly after his hiring, but quickly changed his mind and decided to stay with Bill Snyder.

Tommy Mangino is Hutchinson Community College’s offensive coordinator. He apparently inherited his father’s fiery personality and was ejected late in an early season game Hutch won, 49-12.

Reply

Football pop quiz No. 3

Matt Tait and Nick Krug are snoring away in Lubbock, Texas, getting a solid nine hours of sleep.

After covering Friday night’s season-opening basketball victory, Jesse Newell and I are sitting in Kansas City International Airport, awaiting our first of two flights. With any luck, we’ll get to Lubbock in to time to catch kickoff for today’s Kansas football game against Texas Tech.

Tait will start the live-game blog before handing the baton to Newell.

As Tait and Krug snore and Newell and I fly, feel free to try your hand at a KU football pop quiz that’s not too difficult, but more challenging that the last one.

  1. He leads the Big 12 with 124.7 rushing yards per game.
    a.) Andrew Buie (WVU)
    b.) John Hubert (KSU)
    c.) Joseph Randle (OSU)
    d.) James Sims (KU)

  2. Seven Jayhawks share the team lead in sacks with one. Which player does not have any?
    a.) Tunde Bakare
    b.) Ben Goodman
    c.) Jake Love
    d.) Josh Williams

  3. Averages a team-best 23.6 yards per kick return.
    a.) D.J. Beshears
    b.) Brandon Bourbon
    c.) Taylor Cox
    d.) Tre’ Parmalee

  4. Three of these players are Texans, one a native of Tonkawa, Okla. Select the player from Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plains.
    a.) Marquis Jackson
    b.) Dexter Linton
    c.) Jake Love
    d.) JaCorey Shepherd

  5. This player has more solo tackles (one) than he does touchdown passes thrown to a wide receiver.
    a.) Dayne Crist
    b.) Michael Cummings
    c.) Christian Matthews
    d.) Blake Jablonski

  6. Among players who have at least 25 rushing attempts, he leads the team with a 5.4-yard average per carry.
    a.) Taylor Cox
    b.) Michael Cummings
    c.) Tony Pierson
    d.) James Sims

  7. KU’s losing streak against schools from the Football Bowl Subdivision, formerly known as Division 1-A, stands at how many games?
    a.) 10
    b.) 13
    c.) 18
    d.) 20

  8. KU’s losing streak in Big 12 games stands at how many games?
    a.) 10
    b.) 13
    c.) 18
    d.) 20

  9. He leads the team with 54 solo tackles and ranks second to Ben Heeney with 70 total tackles.
    a.) Greg Brown
    b.) Jake Love
    c.) Bradley McDougald
    d.) Huldon Tharp

  10. Kansas is 1-12 all-time against Texas Tech. The only victory came in Lubbock in overtime by a score of 34-31. Name KU’s head coach in that game.
    a.) Terry Allen
    b.) Turner Gill
    c.) Tom Hayes
    d.) Mark Mangino

  11. Three of the four men on the case in Lubbock for KUsports.com graduated from Kansas. Name the Marquette graduate.
    a.) Tom Keegan (first career third-person reference)
    b.) Jesse Newell
    c.) Nick Krug
    d.) Matt Tait

Answer key: 1. d; 2. d; 3. c; 4. c; 5. a; 6. a; 7. c; 8. c; 9.c; 10. a; 11. a.

Reply

1 2 3