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Scout: You Had Me At Recruiting Widget

Are kidding me? I was just thinking today that I'm going to have to figure out something new to keep up with KU football recruiting. So, now unleashes this recruiting widget. Heck, if I would have known you would feed in a rated recruiting list to my site, you would have had me a long time ago. I might even get premium membership now. How about whipping up a schedule widget, maybe standings as well? Although I could use those a little narrower.

I've already got this thing on the Hawk Digest recruiting page, so it'll always be available there (too wide for my front page). Hiphop -- you stay away from this thing I found it first.



Weekend Scraps: Jeff Spikes, Chase Daniel and MU Coaching Staff

A few notes on the Big 12 North from the weekend ...

We got to know quite a bit about right tackle Jeff Spikes in a piece this morning. As we all probably know, he's still developing and is pretty self-aware of that fact. He named the Mizzou game as his best performance and Nebraska game as his toughest. Comments on Huskers battle:

“That’s when I saw the most unfamiliar things happen with the defense. There were things I hadn’t experienced. There were techniques I hadn’t played against. That was really unfamiliar for me, and that made me not play in my element. I wasn’t too sure, wasn’t comfortable. But I learned the most from that game just because I had the experience of going through things like that I hadn’t seen before. I learned more that game than the first three games of the season.”

The Columbia Tribune has an article where Chase Daniel describes a thumb injury that he played with in the later part of the year. I'd definitely buy that it affected his accuracy in the Northwestern game.

Dave Matter from Tribune also reports that LSU tight ends coach Josh Henson is possible target for a position on the MU staff in his Behind the Stripes blog. The main take from this article is the LSU situation is kind of a mess and the Tigers might land a good recruiter out of the deal. Excerpt:

Late last month, it was reported by some media outlets that Henson would be relieved of his recruiting coordinator duties at LSU as Miles was prepared to hire former Mississippi Coach Ed Orgeron to take on that role. However, Tennessee moved in and hired Orgeron first. Miles has since shaken up his LSU coaching staff, adding three new assistants in recent weeks. Henson is widely considered one of the nation’s premier recruiters. LSU’s 2009 collection of verbal commitments is currently ranked No. 1 by


Rivals Has KU at #19

Rivals has released a pre-season top 25 for 2009 and has KU at #19. Nebraska was in the "others receiving consideration" category. It's going to be an interesting perspective next year. I certainly have no experience heading into a season as a division favorite.


Louisville's Bill Miller Joins KU Staff is reporting that Louisville's Bill Miller will join the KU staff as the linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator for Clint Bowen. That means that Steve Tovar appears to be moving on. The shift in personnel was a little surprising, but Miller is a veteran and should be a great asset. The odd thing is that I was thinking we were in the market for a d-line coach.

Bill Miller's Louisville Bio


Saturday Recycle: Kevin Young Part II, Maclin and the Playoffs

A lot of action this week. Let's get right to it ...

I couldn't have been more shocked yesterday to see that Olathe three-star DE Kevin Young de-committed from Nebraska and re-committed to KU. Though I think we are still want to see him on campus before we celebrate, it's hard not to get excited about adding another DE to this class, which happens to be the best of the Mark Mangino era. I'd also like to think that Hawk Digest played a part in the switchback with this post. Thank you Mrs. Rake for those persuasive writing tips back high school. You were right, it finally paid off.

Well, I'm not going to claim to be a superfan of Jeremy Maclin or anything. I mean, I don't think he's ever been to a leper colony and his family wasn't featured for 60 minutes during the Alamo Bowl. Still, that guy can play football, and I am very excited to see him in an NFL uniform and out of the traditional mustard and black. KU-bias aside, it was the right decision as there's really no reason to take a beating next year training a brand new QB. He would have been a heavy target for defenses next year. Despite losing most of their key components, Mizzou fans don't really need to panic. They don't have to play with the all of the projected division winner hype next year and Jayhawk fans can tell you that's not such a bad place to make a run from. For Kansas, beware of the shunned Tiger.

Really, you can use the Maclin text above to describe the Michael Crabtree to the NFL decision. Trade the mustard for red and you might mention the difference between Mike Leach and Gary Pinkel when assessing Tech's outlook for 2009. Best of luck and we definitely will not miss you when we visit Lubbock next year.

Is it my imagination or did KU and Mark Mangino really minimize the amount of game management errors that we had this season? For the most part, Mangino's been pretty good, but the occasional puzzler would come up a few times during the course of the season. Thinking back, I just couldn't come up with anything too big for 2008.

Yes, I am now four players behind on my list -- DE Kevin Young, WR Chris Omigie, WR Erick McGriff and JUCO DE Quintin Woods. All of them are great pickups. Check out our current conference rank and overall rank (32) with Rivals.

You've probably heard that five-star Wichita running back Bryce Brown is taking a visit to Manhattan Tech this weekend. He's currently a soft verbal to Miami. His brother Arthur was a five-star LB that is already on the Miami roster. There are all kinds of rumors surrounding this situation (like Arthur is considering a transfer). So, I'd have to say if KSU does somehow land Bryce that would certainly dispel some of the concerns about whether or not Bill Snyder can still recruit. Of course, landing a player from Wichita is a little different than a Texas prospect. Still, it'll be interesting to see how that one plays out. Also, I have a question. Can someone remind me what KU did to the Brown family?

Listening to some sports talk radio here in Kansas City this week, I caught the last part WHB 810's Kevin Kietzman talking with a member of the staff about college football and the BCS versus a playoff. I didn't catch his name, but he brought up something to consider. We all feel a playoff is inevitable and the interesting thing will be when we look back on the time that we didn't have one. I think he mentioned like fifty years later and his take was that the national championships prior to a playoff won't be viewed the same way. You know they won't be quite as legitimate. I can definitely see that. Sort of like KU basketball fans look at the 1922 and 1923 national championships. So why do we keep letting the years pass by? Of course, KU has a vested interest in the current system, but I'll get into that next week.


Best Division in Football Goes 1-3 In Bowls

And that one win wasn't too impressive. Thank you very little Texas.

I don't think OU fans need a KU blog to pile on, but that was a game the Sooners just couldn't lose. So let me just lay it out there. You've successfully erased any shred of credibility that the Big 12 cultivated this year. After unwrapping the winning golden ticket for the south's slot to the Big 12 title game over Texas, you really owed it to the Horns to go out and clobber whatever opponent you came up against. Instead, you offer up a 24-14 non-effort  to a run-based Florida squad that was trying to give you the game in the first half. Two touchdowns? Is this a joke? Mission fail.

Of course, Texas can't say too much as things really started to fall apart when Tech played Lloyd Christmas in a public restroom to Ole Miss (47-34) during the Cotton Bowl. Ole Miss of course beat the Gators earlier this year in Gainesville (31-30). That alone took Texas out of the mix for me. Barely surviving Big 10 Champ Ohio State (24-21) did little to impress. The Big 10 was 1-6 for the bowl season. You'd like to laugh, but the Big 12 could have easily ended up at 2-5.

As I often do, I'd like to blame Missouri. They kicked off the bowl season with that miserable effort against Northwestern. They squeaked it out despite themselves, but I think they set a bad tone for the Big 12.

On the upside, who looked good for the Big 12 in the bowl season? Yep, KU and Nebraska. Sure, we weren't matched up against the level of opponent that most of the south teams were, but we took care of business and the Huskers actually overachieved. What does it all mean? Well, I know Nebraska isn't going to be in awe of the south division next year and will be looking to make a statement when they face Tech and OU in Lincoln. I think KU needs to wipe the aura of mystique from their eyes as well when they face the big three in 2009. Respect is good, but clearly these guys aren't the indestructible comic-book style mega-forces that we have been sold on all year. It's time to really step into their world and shake it up. 


Mangino's Greatest Hits: KU / ISU 2005

Continuing the series in chronological order, next up is the under-rated battle that took place with Iowa State to finish the 2005 season. The game had a playoff-type atmosphere as Clones needed a win to claim the North for a trip to the Big 12 title game in Houston and KU needed a win to secure a bowl bid. A pretty good number of red and yellow clad Iowa State fans were in house and I remember hearing a "Houston" cheer several times during the game. That was somewhat understandable as ISU actually jumped out to a 14-3 lead in the first half. KU rallied though in the fourth and Brian Luke had to come in to for Jason Swanson when he was injured on a hit after a big completion. Luke scored on QB sneak TD that had to be over-turned by video review. Looking at the replay, it wasn't exactly visible that the ball went over, but the position of his torso and the ball meant that it had to be over the line. It was frightening in that the on-the-field call was no TD, so the video evidence had to be conclusive. From a logic standpoint, it was, but it didn't necessarily provide a clear-cut view of the ball crossing.

Luke then hit Derek Fine for the two-point conversion to tie the score at 14. ISU came back and scored to take a 21-14 lead. In the final minutes, Luke led another drive that featured a 35-yard pass to Marcus Henry then culminated with a 15-yard TD pass to Dexton Fields. Overtime saw the Cyclones miss a field goal on their possession. Enter Scott Webb with a 34-yard field goal that went right down the middle of the uprights for the 24-21 win and a trip to the Fort Worth Bowl. From the east side at that time, the explosion on the sideline from the players was something I've never seen before. Unfortunately, I've never seen any decent video of that as you really would have had to have a camera focused on the entire bench during the kick. A huge win for Mark Mangino, and I'm not sure that Iowa State really ever recovered from that one.




"It was fun, I cleared everything from my head and tried to just do what I do everyday in practice. We're going bowling."
--Scott Webb

"I was just ready. I was excited to get the opportunity again. I'm excited, especially for all us seniors. Lets go bowling."
--Brian Luke

"This feels awesome to end the season like this. I was playing for our seniors. Guys have been here with for five years. We came here and been through some bumpy times, it hasn't been easy by any stretch, but to end it like this is something special."
--Brian Luke

"The kids reached back for a little extra. I'm glad those 20 guys get to play in another game. They deserve it."
--Mark Mangino

6 of 12 | More from Mangino's Greatest Hits


The 2008 KU Football Season in Seven Minutes


Baby Mangino Going for the Title

 National Title?


It's almost too much. First, you get within a couple of games of the BCS title contest, then you win the Orange Bowl, then a National Championship in basketball. Follow that with a sweep of KSU and MU in football and cap it off with back-to-back bowl wins. But wait, there's more. Baby Mangino is going for some sort of national title in some sort of Deadspin contest. The post is written in some sort of hipster code that probably only me and Bill Mayer don't understand, but the jist is if you click on the link below the Baby Mangino photo, you are indeed voting for Baby Mangino. When I voted, he had a slight lead. Could this really be happening?


Mangino's Greatest Hits: KU / NU 2005

The End
It was a 36-year streak and it ended on this day with a 40-15 win for the Hawks in Lawrence. Plenty of big plays in this one highlighted by the 70+ yard TD run by Jon Cornish that broke it open. The run itself was symbolic as Cornish brushed aside that last NU tackler and enjoyed a long jaunt to the endzone. I always notice that toward the end of the run Jon secures the ball one final time. I always took it as a realization of the significance of that one single play -- one of the greatest in the history of KU football. It wasn't all Cornish though -- the defense harrassed Zac Taylor all day and Mark Simmons had a couple of big TD catches as Jason Swanson came into his own. The first Swanson to Simmons TD started the party off right and let the Huskers know that KU was there to play. Simmons' last TD was another circus diving catch.

Photo That Says It All:

More Video:


"The jubilation in the locker room was unprecedented. We have never celebrated so hard and been so happy about one victory."
--Jon Cornish

"We finally took that step where we beat the powerhouse Nebraska. I know they're not the Nebraska of old, but they're still Nebraska."
--Kevin Kane

"Having all those oldtimers come up and thank you for the first win since '68 -- it's such an incredible feeling. To be able to give that back to the fans and let them celebrate and have so much fun, and to be able to witness something lots of people haven't been able to witness their entire lives. Yes, it was one of the best feelings I've ever been a part of."
--Banks Floodman

 5 of 12


Sunday Morning Insight Bowl Film Review

Here's a good way to spend the last day of the winter break. You might as well check out as many video clips of the Insight Bowl that you can find. Here's a few of the best and always remember to watch in high quality when available:

First Play --

Reesing to Meier to tie at 14 --

Reesing to the Breeze (21-14) --



Inside the Tent: Kansas 42, Minnesota 21

The Jayhawks came at the Gophers in three's last night -- Todd Reesing, Kerry Meier and Dezmon Briscoe on one side and James Holt, Mike Rivera and Joe Mortensen on the other side. One trio will return to terrorize Big 12 secondaries next year and the other cements their legacy with a dominating performance in an old-school game of tackle football. Boy, it was beautiful to watch Rivera and Mortensen playing the game the way they were meant to play -- running and smashing. Throw in Holt as Adam Weber's nightmare and it all makes Jayhawk football fans super happy. Hopefully, the NFL was watching their own network last because playing hurt all year against freak spread teams really doesn't show their strengths. Last night did and I sure hope all three at least get some attention from the NFL.

From the offensive side, the Jayhawks just have too many weapons and a chameleon-like ability to adapt. The Gophers went with throwing a ton of heat on Todd Reesing and had some success, but it didn't matter because Reesing again showed the five "d's" of minimizing a pass rush -- dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge (I assume Patches O'Houlihan was a relative). And after avoiding that rush, the gunslinger always comes out firing. Of course, Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier are a lot of fun to watch as they track down those bullets and usually turn up field for something we like to call YAC. Yep, the Gophers played hard, physical football, but the Hawks just had too many weapons.

Overall, the crowd looked small, but geez, I was pretty pleased with what seemed like a lot KU fans in the stadium. Gopher fans seemed to represent pretty well also. Really, it looked there just weren't many neutral Phoenix fans there.

I'll have to go with starting off the Fox/NFL Network HD broadcast with closed caption in the middle of the screen. Also, the back-to-back offensive three-and-outs after the goal line stand in the second half. The first one was somewhat understandable considering starting in your own endzone, but the second sure left our defense out on the field for a long time. 

It's so hard not to think about next year. Of the three north contenders, KU is the only one with a returning QB and we get the Huskers in Memorial and the Tigers at a neutral site. Again, last night was about starting 2009 off on the right foot and consider that mission accomplished. In fact, all of the bowl games (except the "title" game on January 8) have the feel of early exhibitions for the following season. Maybe they should move them to August.

Signing day on February 4.