Friday, January 25, 2008

Kansas hires Rice's Beaty to coach running backs - Emily Carlson

By Tom Dienhart, Sporting News

Sporting News has been told by two sources that David Beaty will be named running backs coach at Kansas.

Beaty coached receivers at Rice the last two years, helping develop Jarett Dillard into one of the top wide receivers in the nation.

Before joining Rice, Beaty was a successful head coach at MacArthur High in Irving, Texas, going 33-11 from 2002-05 and winning districts titles in 2004-05. He also was the head coach of North Dallas High in 2001.

Beaty, 37, is a native of Garland, Texas, who played football at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo.

Beaty's deep connections to Texas high schools is key, as it will help Kansas continue to recruit a state that it relies on for talent.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

AS I SEE IT: As did KU, Obama will overcome - Emily Carlson

I thought this article was very interesting. Only KU football fans will appreciate it, thought. So for all you Jayhalkans, here you go!

By ANDREW MCDONALD, Kansas City Star

MacDonald Few in August projected the University of Kansas football team in a Bowl Championship Series game, while Virginia Tech entered the season in the Associated Press top 10, expecting to return for a fifth major bowl.

In December, though, the Orange Bowl announced the unlikely match-up between the Jayhawks and the Hokies. Pundits hailed KU’s inspiring Cinderella story. But even Lou Holtz agreed that the more experienced Hokies would crush the untested Jayhawks.

When Aqib Talib high-stepped into the end zone in the first quarter, it was clear that the Jayhawks possessed an intangible element that not even the vaunted Virginia Tech juggernaut could stop. The Jayhawks’ feeling of destiny trumped the Hokies expectations of inevitability in Miami.

Destiny and inevitability also squared off hundreds of miles away that night in Iowa. And from the tropical rains of south Florida to the icy tundra of rural Iowa, destiny bested inevitability. “Our moment is now” promises Barack Obama, encapsulating the unique essence of his campaign.

Unlike the incessant claims to experience coming from Hillary Clinton, which necessarily emphasize the recent past, Obama speaks to the hopes of a future inspired by collective myths of American destiny. Their post-caucus speeches juxtaposed not just campaign styles, but philosophies of history and politics.

Surrounded by former Cabinet members, Clinton ticked off the challenges facing the country and claimed that her political acumen uniquely enables her to cut the deals that can change policies. The visual and the verbal combined to form a rhetoric of steady but incremental change. Obama, in contrast, constructed a narrative of national unity in the face of national challenges. By evoking Washington, Roosevelt, and King, he contextualized present challenges in the story of the nation.

Clinton promises to implement Democratic solutions to policy problems while Obama offers democratic responses to national challenges.

Clinton recalls the mediocrity of the 1990’s while Obama has the audacity to tap into America’s latent feelings of Manifest Destiny. Unlike the 19th-century land grab, though, Obama promises to live up to America’s boundless potential.

The spirit of the age calls for a leader who can weave contemporary problems into a coherent and inspiring story of American possibilities.

Clinton may better navigate the halls of power, but Obama can harness the zeitgeist to power the ship of state in a new direction.

Inevitability relies on the past, but destiny promises the future. Destiny overpowered conventional wisdom on the football field in 2007, and I think it is fated to give an encore in the voting booths in 2008.

Andrew MacDonald is a history and political science major at the University of Kansas. He lives in Lawrence.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Kansas' Mangino caps big season in style - Emily Carlson

Kansas coach Mark Mangino entered an elite group of coaches after winning the Bryant Award on Thursday.

Surprising run by 12-1 Jayhawks earns Bryant Award

By BRANDON C. WILLIAMS, Houston Chronicle

Having already been named the Associated Press Big 12 Co-Coach of the Year and the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year, the University of Kansas coach won the 22nd annual Paul "Bear" Bryant Award Thursday night at the Hyatt Regency Downtown.

"This is really quite an honor," said Mangino, who led the Jayhawks to a 12-1 record, including a win in the Orange Bowl, during the 2007 season. "To receive an award in the name of Bear Bryant is special to me. I'm really thankful that among these great coaches who were up for this award, I'm the one who received it."

The award, sponsored by the American Heart Association, went to a Big 12 coach for the second time in three years. Texas' Mack Brown received the honor in 2005.

A well-coached team
Kansas was one of the nation's surprise teams, winning its first 11 games before losing to Missouri and taking the school's first trip to the Orange Bowl since 1969. The Jayhawks finished seventh in the final AP poll, largely behind a well-disciplined philosophy that saw them have the fewest penalties and best turnover margin in the country.

Mangino, who coached under Jim Tressel at Youngstown State, Bill Snyder at Kansas State and Bob Stoops at Oklahoma, joins his mentors as Bryant Award winners. Tressel won the honor at Ohio State in 2002, Snyder in 1998 and Stoops in 2000 after a season in which the Sooners won the national championship with Mangino serving as offensive coordinator.

"The most important part of this award is the coaches and players who helped make this happen," said Mangino. "We have some very talented young men, and we have some who just go out and play hard. Any coach will tell you that the better the players, the better the coach."

Mangino talked about how he grew up reading all he could about Bryant, the former Alabama and Texas A&M coach who won 323 games and six national championships. It was a conversation with former Crimson Tide quarterback Joe Namath a day before the Orange Bowl that helped Mangino truly understand Bryant.

"Not only did he talk about how great a coach Bryant was, but also what he meant to him as a man," Mangino said. "It was truly an unbelievable conversation."

Glittering competition
Mangino won the award over Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer (who could not make it to Houston because of bad weather in Virginia), Mississippi State's Sylvester Croom, former Hawaii and current SMU coach June Jones, national championship-winning coach Les Miles of LSU, Missouri's Gary Pinkel and Illinois' Ron Zook.

Jones welcomes the challenge of rebuilding the Mustangs. SMU is already on pace to have one of its best recruiting classes in a decade.

"I've had a lot of 18- to 20-hour days, but I'm excited about it," said Jones, who coached with the Houston Oilers from 1987-93.

Because of NCAA rules, Jones could not comment on the status of Katy quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, who currently is a part of Hawaii's recruiting class but has recently pondered a change to join Jones at SMU.

The night also featured former Nebraska coach Tom Osborne receiving the Bear Bryant Lifetime Achievement award. Osborne, who won 255 games and three national titles with the Cornhuskers from 1973-97, was joined on the stage by more than a dozen of his former players, including current Texans Kris Brown and Ahman Green and former Oiler Jamie Williams.

"To have this number of players who came out is a great honor for me," said Osborne. "To coach against Bear Bryant was a meaningful experience. ... He was the gold standard of coaching."

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Kansas Football Team To Be Recognized Feb. 23 - Emily Carlson

Kansas head football coach Mark Mangino holds an orange from one of he trophies after their 24-21 win over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl college football game at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, Thursday Jan. 3, 2008. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Fans are invited to a public recognition of the 2007 University of Kansas football team, which set a school record with 12 wins, including a victory in the FedEx Orange Bowl this season.

The football awards presentation, which is free to the public, will take place in Allen Fieldhouse Saturday, Feb. 23, at 7:30 p.m. Additional details will be released when available.

"Our coaches and players worked extremely hard this season, and together we accomplished many great things," KU Coach Mark Mangino said. "Our fans were also terrific throughout the year, and we wanted to have a celebration in a venue that could hold as many of those fans as possible. We're all looking forward to a great evening."

Press release from the University of Kansas

Monday, January 14, 2008

The 13 Greatest Hits of the 2007 KU Football Season - Emily Carlson

With 6:08 left in the first quarter, Raimond Pendleton returned a Central Michigan punt 77 yards for a touchdown. The celebration got him an earful, but it also got him a standing “O.”

By Kevin Romary, LJ World

2007-2008 was easily the most successful season in Kansas football history. Tonight we look back at the most memorable play from each of KU's 13 games. Kevin Romary breaks down the list. Watch

Photo by Nick Krug

Kansas University cornerback Aqib Talib pulls in an interception with a smile. He returned the ball 100 yards for a touchdown against Florida International, and 6News sports director Kevin Romary deemed it the play of the game in the Jayhawks’ 55-3 rout of the Golden Panthers on Sept. 22, 2007.
The 6Sports, Journal-World and staffs combine to come up with a list of the most memorable plays from each weekend this fall during KU’s historic 12-1 run to the Orange Bowl title. Watch them all right here.

WEEK 1, KU vs. Central Michigan: We should have known it would be a magical season on September 1. With 6:08 left in the first quarter, Raimond Pendleton returned a Central Michigan punt 77 yards for a touchdown. The celebration got him an ear full, but it also got him a standing ovation.

WEEK 2, KU vs. Southeastern Louisiana: Marcus Herford stole the show in Week 2. Midway through the first, the Jayhawks’ kickoff return specialist raced 74 yards for the score.

WEEK 3, KU vs. Toledo: Aqib Talib showed he could do more than just shut down receivers. The proof came from 58 yards out, including a six-yard leap for pay dirt.

WEEK 4, KU vs. Florida International: A week later, Aqib did his thing on defense against FIU. A school record 100-yard INT return made KU 5-0 when wearing crimson tops.

WEEK 5, KU at Kansas State: The legend of Todd Reesing began. Moments after the Wildcats took the lead in the fourth quarter, the native Texan hit Dexton Fields in stride from 30 yards out to put the ‘Hawks up for good.

WEEK 6, KU vs. Baylor: After a slow start and a rain delay, Marcus Herford opened up the flood gates.

WEEK 7, KU at Colorado: A week later, it was senior Derek Fine capping a 15-play, 94-yard drive against Colorado. Turns out, KU needed those points to stay perfect.

WEEK 8, KU at Texas A&M: In College Station, Brandon McAnderson ran for 183 yards, including a three-yarder in the fourth quarter that put KU on top 19-0.

WEEK 9, KU vs. Nebraska: This one ushered in history. For the first time every, the Nebraska blackshirts gave up 70 points, with Brandon McAnderson doing the honors.

WEEK 10, KU at Oklahoma State: Marcus Henry returned to his home state, racking up 199 receiving yards and dazzling the home folks with a late 82-yard catch and run.

WEEK 11, KU vs. Iowa State: Seven days later, it was Dexton Fields’ time to shine. Against ISU, he caught a school record 11 passes, including a 17-yarder early to put KU up 7-0.

WEEK 12, KU vs. Missouri: The only down play of the season comes in the only loss. At Arrowhead Stadium, Todd Reesing’s throw to Dexton Fields in the end zone is two yards short, and Kansas falls for the first time and only time in 2007.

ORANGE BOWL, KU vs. Virginia Tech: And finally, the play that will define the 2007 season. Aqib Talib in the Orange Bowl. It’s a 60-yard play that Tyrod Taylor will never forget.

And there you have it, the top play from each of the 13 games played in the greatest season in the history of Kansas football.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Jayhawk football reaches new heights - Emily Carlson

By Brad Banks, The Miami County Weekend

The University of Kansas is no longer a one-sport school. Coach Mark Mangino arrived in 2001 and promised to get the “Blue Wings Rising” — and he wasn’t talking boneless chicken. He has delivered, becoming bowl eligible four times. But this year, the Jayhawks soared to rare air indeed, making their first Orange Bowl appearance in 39 years and their first BCS appearance ever. In their last trip to Miami, the ’Hawks fell in overtime to coaching greenhorn Joe Paterno.

Many years of bad football later, Mangino has elevated KU to a winning program and has brought an excitement to the team that is usually reserved for the basketball squad. Big money is being spent on new practice facilities, and fans have finally started filling Memorial Stadium on Saturdays. Hoops-crazy Lawrence finally caught football fever. After KU’s first win in Manhattan since the early Bill Snyder regime, fans knew they wouldn’t have to wait until basketball season to see a winning team.

The Jayhawk faithful adored the gritty team, led by a quarterback and coach who are criticized for their size (although for vastly different reasons). Quarterback Todd Reesing draws comparisons to Doug Flutie because of his size, toughness and improvisational skills. The pocket-sized signal caller led KU through a dream season, becoming the first Jayhawk quarterback to exceed 3,000 yards passing in a season and become the school’s all-time leader in passing touchdowns in his first full season of play. Since Mangino pulled Reesing’s redshirt at halftime of last year’s Colorado game (in which he engineered a comeback), the Jayhawks have lost only twice, and Reesing has already begun rewriting the record books. Expect to see Reesing on Heisman award watch lists this off-season.

Virginia Tech entered the game as an established powerhouse, making its 15th consecutive bowl appearance under coach Frank Beamer. The success experienced in Blacksburg fed Tech’s confidence, who called themselves “America’s Team” from the support shown the Hokies after last spring’s tragic shooting, and generally overlooked Kansas, who many considered just lucky to be in Miami.

The experts thought KU might have been “Mangino’d” by its cupcake schedule and Beamerball would simply overpower the Jayhawks. Beamerball was coined to describe VT’s attack — win the turnover battle, play strong defense, and make plays on special teams — that is practiced against dominant East Coast powerhouses such as the likes of Duke, North Carolina and NC State.

In a strange twist of fate, KU turned Beamerball on the Hokies. Indeed, the Hokies played tough defense, but the KU secondary intercepted two passes, and All-American cornerback Aqib Talib returned the first for a touchdown. And sure, VT made a few plays on special teams, such as the reverse-punt-return for a touchdown, but KU blocked a field goal that wound up making the difference. The Jayhawks exorcised the demons they had since losing the 1948 and 1969 Orange Bowls. Mangino proved why he was the National Coach of the Year, Talib proved his worth as the Orange Bowl MVP, and the Jayhawks proved they belong among the nation’s elite.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

No. 8 Kansas Defeats No. 3 Virginia Tech in Orange Bowl 24-21 - Emily Carlson

Wow, what a game. What a game. Sometimes sloppy, suprising, and weird, the Jayhawks sure did keep the Orange Bowl exciting. All you doubters, and you know who you are, suprised? Yes, Mangino is an excellent coach, and KU is for real.

By Bob Bensch

The University of Kansas beat Virginia Tech 24-21 in the Orange Bowl last night to finish the college football season with the most wins in school history.

Aqib Talib returned an interception for a touchdown and Todd Reesing threw for one score and ran for another as Kansas completed a 12-1 season at Dolphin Stadium in Miami.

Kansas, the No. 8 team in the Bowl Championship Series rankings, was playing in a major bowl game for the first time since the 1969 Orange Bowl. The Jayhawks finished with a 6-6 record last season.

Justin Harper returned a punt 84 yards for a touchdown for third-ranked Virginia Tech (11-3), which lost its fourth straight BCS game. Harper also caught a touchdown pass from Sean Glennon.

Kansas took a 7-0 lead when Talib intercepted a pass from Tyrod Taylor and ran 60 yards down the sideline for a touchdown. It was the first interception return for a score at the Orange Bowl since 1968.

The Jayhawks increased their lead to 17-0 in the second quarter as Scott Webb kicked a 32-yard field goal and Reesing threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Henry.

Virginia Tech pulled within 17-7 on Brandon Ore's 1-yard touchdown run 1:24 before halftime. The Hokies then used special team trickery to make it 17-14 early in the third quarter.

Eddie Royal caught a punt and started running to his right. He pitched the ball to Harper, who was running in the opposite direction, and he returned it 84 yards for a touchdown.

Blocked Field Goal

Virginia Tech drove to the Kansas 7-yard line on its next drive before Jud Dunleavy's field goal attempt was blocked. Kansas would get to the Hokies' one later in the quarter, but Reesing threw an interception after two penalties had backed the Jayhawks up to the 29-yard line.

Kansas's Justin Thornton intercepted a Virginia Tech pass early in the fourth quarter, returning it to the Hokies' 2-yard line, and Reesing ran for the touchdown that increased the Jayhawks' lead to 24-14.

Harper's 20-yard touchdown catch would pull Virginia Tech within 24-21 with three minutes remaining. Kansas's Raimond Pendleton then recovered the ensuing onside kick and the Jayhawks ran out the clock.