Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Kansas’ bowl destinations dwindling


The bowl picture has cleared up slightly - though it still doesn't look good for Kansas University's football team.

One of the two at-large bids floating around was gobbled up Tuesday, as Northern Illinois accepted an invitation to the Poinsettia Bowl.

The Huskies will play TCU on Dec. 19 in San Diego.

With that decided, there are only two more options for KU if it wants to get a bowl bid. One is to beat out Oklahoma State for one of eight Big 12 Conference tie-ins. The other is to hope Saturday's games play out so that the Motor City Bowl - the only bowl to have an at-large bid unaccounted for - is free to pick Kansas if it chooses.

Motor City Bowl executive director Ken Hoffman said Tuesday "there's no question" that Kansas is being considered for his game, which is played Dec. 26 at Ford Field in Detroit.

But, he added, a lot has to play out before matrimony even can be considered.

At 6-6, KU is at a disadvantage compared to 7-5 teams. The Big 12's seven-win teams - there are seven of them - must be taken care of before 6-6 teams (Kansas and Oklahoma St.) can be considered. It's believed that Oklahoma State will join the Big 12's winning teams in getting a conference bowl invitation.

That would make the Motor City Bowl the last option for KU. However, the 7-5 rule applies to at-large bids as well, meaning any 7-5 team with no conference-affiliated bowl invitation moves to the front of the at-large line.

Right now, there are none. But two Sun Belt Conference teams - Troy and Louisiana-Lafayette - are 6-5 and shooting for victory No. 7 this weekend. Both are favored to win their games.

If they both lose, Middle Tennessee State would be the lone 7-5 team in the Sun Belt and would get the conference's only bowl invite, to the New Orleans Bowl. That would leave the Motor City Bowl free to choose any uninvited 6-6 team it wants.

"It's not exactly a huge pool," Hoffman said, "but it's a good pool."

The major candidates likely would be Kansas, Pittsburgh, Washington State and Arizona out of BCS conferences. Alabama also would be available, but only if the SEC doesn't get two BCS bowl bids.

Geographically, Kansas and Pittsburgh would have an edge, and Hoffman admitted that's being taken into consideration.

"It's an important factor," Hoffman said. "It's certainly not the determining factor.

"I think bowl games in general, other than the real big games, are regional games with national exposure. That's what allows you to get a good contingent from the two cities."

The Motor City Bowl had an at-large bid surface when the Big Ten didn't have a team available to play in the game, since both Ohio State and Michigan will play in BCS bowls.

The bowl's other invitation was accepted Tuesday by Central Michigan, marking the first time the 10-year old bowl will have an in-state team.

"It's a cause for celebration here," Hoffman said.

Coincidentally, Central Michigan and Kansas are scheduled to kick off the 2007 season with a nonconference game Sept. 1 in Lawrence.

If either Troy or Louisiana-Lafayette wins as expected, Kansas can't be considered for the Motor City Bowl. But if Saturday plays out in KU's favor, the Jayhawks likely will be on the short list for the one remaining at-large bid.

"Kansas is a Big 12 team," Hoffman said. "It's BCS. It's a big-time program."


Kuku_Kansas 13 years, 1 month ago

"Kansas is a Big 12 team," Hoffman said. "It's BCS. It's a big-time program."

Well gee willickers Dad, we are, aren't we?!!?

GIHAWK 13 years, 1 month ago

Let me refresh your memory: We could easily be 11-1.

calvin 13 years, 1 month ago

I love the Hawks, but let me refresh your memory, we are 6-6. Coulda been doesn't count.

cmr 13 years, 1 month ago

biggunz is absolutely correct, no team should be rewarded for winning only 50% of its games and (GIHAWK) to say that they should be 11-1 means nothing the bowl selection committee doesn't care how many games you should of won it all comes down to how many you did win.

Jayhawk3 13 years, 1 month ago

Basketball is a sport that rewards you for only winning half your games. There's almost always some team in the NCAA tournament that did poor in the regular season, but happened to win it's conference tournament and keep a more deserving team out. Or how about the NBA? 16 teams make the playoffs! That's insane! More than half the teams get in the playoffs. You don't have to be good to make the playoffs, just better than half the rest of your conference.

Or football. It's rare, but sometimes an 8-8 team makes the playoffs. It may happen this year in the NFC. Would those teams be more deserving than say a team like the Chiefs last year that finished 10-6 but didn't get in the playoffs? Not really, but until they allow the top 12 teams regardless of conference into the playoffs, it will continue to happen.

brauny 13 years, 1 month ago

A six win KU football team that plays in a tougher conference is ten times better than any Sun Belt team. Who were the big wins for Middle Tennessee State? Nobody, they got trounced by South Carolina 52-7. Troy? Nobody, Nebraska put up 56 on them and shut them out. LA-Lafayette? Again, noone. They lost to Troy by two touchdowns.

I think that next year the NCAA or whoever runs the bowls should change the rule that a 7-5 team has to be picked over a 6-6. In basketball they don't look just at a team's record when picking them for an at-large bid. They look at who the team played and the scores of the games as well as how the team has been doing lately. Pitt has lost it's last five, Washington State, it's last three. 'Zona like KU has won three of it's last four.

truefan 13 years, 1 month ago

I agree with brauny. We may not deserve it record wise, but we still deserve it over a Sun Belt team who beat no one of importance and lost every big game they were in. We beat K-State that beat Texas. We didn't get routed by Nebraska like Troy. LA-Lafayette is just another cupcake team that im pretty sure KU beat in the last few years by a large margin. Middle Tenn. State can't handle a team from a larger confrence. And as far as our losses go. Texas A&M turned out to be a damn good team. Oklahoma State gave everyone trouble. Toledo is still at the top of their conference. Nebraska is the best in the North. And Baylor, though I hate to say it, is much improved and only had a bad season because they have to play everyone in the south every year. And Missouri's strong point was our weak point. We deserve a bowl game for our recent improvement and our tougher schedule.

Larry 13 years, 1 month ago

Sure we could have been 11-1, but we also could have easily been 2-10 or 3-9. I've been a KU fan for as long as I can remember. I attended and earned two degrees from KU. Yet - I hate to see a team rewarded for blowing so many games and barely winning a few others. I'd rather have this team get hungry over the off-season thinking about what could have been and how close they were to a BCS bowl, yet ended up bowl-less.

KURiggins 13 years, 1 month ago

Okay Jimmy Dean. It appears you are loyal to this loser Mangino. I am going to look stupid? We'll see. Frankly I like my chances better than yours. He sucks at playcalling, he sucks at coaching. Oh, and at least Larry Coker has proven he can win. So has John Cooper. I still ask why we did not run Cornish more against Misery? I still want to know why Todd Reesing did start the 2nd half against Misery? After all, Reesing not Meier is the QB that spanked Colorado in one half. Mangino sucks. He can not win on the road, he can not beat average or better teams(thank you Jayhawk 84). I agree. If Mangino is good, let him prove it. Where is the 10win season? Fabio, our program was not that bad to begin with. Not K-State bad when Synder took them over. Stick to basketball Jimmy D. and Fabio its obvious you do not know football

Todd 13 years, 1 month ago

I agree that we may not deserve a bowl, but regarding cmr's comment I disagree. If the bowl committee's only looked at win/loss then Ohio State would be playing Boise State in the title game and 3 loss teams such as Oklahoma and Notre Dame would not have opportunities for BCS spots.

Alan Halvorsen 13 years, 1 month ago

Mangino is such a bad play caller that Bob Stoops had him as his offensive coordinator at OU. You say at least Coker can win, I guess that's why MIAMI FL. fired him. Meier started cause he was the starter. I would like to see Reesing from this point on. I think he would be the better QB for us. (Good thing they are both young.) USF K-State, those are two better than average teams that Mangino beat this year. (In a rebuilding year) Name me off the last time you remember Ku to have back to back 6 win seasons? Yeah our program was that bad! It was a joke.

William James 13 years, 1 month ago

That hurts my feelings when you say that KURiggins. I know enough to know who is going to be our head coach next year. THINK BIG!

cmr 13 years, 1 month ago

doublej25 - first notre dame is special, there is a special clause in the BCS rules that allows them to have a BCS spot when they are ranked at a certain spot. Boise State is a joke, the reason they arent in a BCS game is because they are in a joke conference that is not a BCS conference. It all comes down to wins and when you only win half you should be last on the bowl selection list. On OK, they are going to win the Big 12 and then they will earn a BCS bid.

William James 13 years, 1 month ago

Larry Coker has proven he can win-with somebody elses players. Then when they graduate he sucks! He was fired for a reason. Miami is one of the most furtile recruiting grounds in the nation and he was the coach at a very prestigous school. He was in over his head. If he came here, he would win for the first couple years with Mangino's recruits and then it would be back to losing to KSU 62-0 with a 2-10 record. Coker sucks-THINK BIG!

Joe Ross 13 years, 1 month ago

This was supposed to be a breakout year for the KU football team. Not a rebuilding year. True, we utilized a freshman quarterback, but with Cornish in the backfield establishing the run (and having a record-setting year in doing so--congrats to him), a lot of pressure was released on the quarterback. A running game takes the load off of any QB, so that all he really has to do is manage the game and not make any major mistakes. Prior to the season the consensus among the league, press, and the KU football coaches was that we'd go about 8-4, maybe 9-3. The schedule was favorable and we had good personnel with a lot of experience. The fact that we COULD BE 11-1 only strengthens the argument against a bowl bid because it says we're a team that just can't get it done when it counts. Think back to all of those close games where we had our chances and just couldn't put a win together. That's a reflection on the team, I'm sorry. Now here we are on the outside looking in, lamenting the fact that we didn't have one more win??? Well fellow "Hawks, it's like John McEnroe says, "You CANT be SERIOUS!!!? I LOVE KU, I have been watching them for over 30 years. But the fact of the matter is, we dont DESERVE a bowl berth. If we get one, Ill be the loudest one rooting. But I have to be honest and say there are probably teams out there that deserve it more than we do.

cmr 13 years, 1 month ago

(correction to earlier comment)....BCS championship game

William James 13 years, 1 month ago

Actually, I dont remember which magazines I read before the year but 6-6 is almost exactly where everyone picked KU to finish as well as I can remember. The only place we had a lot of experience was the O-Line and Cornish-that's it. You also said the only thing the QB had to do this year was not make mistakes. Well, anytime you let a freshmen run the offense mistakes are going to be made. How many times did Reesing fumble the ball against Colorado and Iowa State? One was returned 90 some yards for a TD. That is just how it goes.
I dont care how many yards Cornish or anyone else rushed for this was a rebuilding year.

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