Thursday, December 3, 2009


Musings during massacre


Audio clips

2009 KU-Alcorn State

KU basketball dominates winless Alcorn State

Kansas basketball used a 36-0 first-half run to put away Alcorn State. KU moved to 6-0 on the season, Alcorn State 0-10.

Reader poll

Which better describes your emotions after the Jayhawks' victory over Alcorn State?

  • I love watching any KU win, no matter the opponent 29% 927 votes
  • I'm ready to see KU play some better competition 70% 2167 votes

3094 total votes.

The Alcorn State basketball team shouldn’t feel too bad. After all, even Tiger Woods couldn’t defeat an unbeaten opponent.

And Tiger shouldn’t feel so bad about his facial lacerations. My eyes are bleeding from watching No. 1 Kansas spank Alcorn State, 98-31, in front of 16,300 witnesses. Going into the game, Alcorn State was ranked 347 out of 347 in the best of the computer rankings, the Sagarin predictor.

Then again, if not for that 36-0 run Kansas went on, it would have been only a 31-point game.

What’s a basketball fan to do when watching such a massacre?

Scour the Internet for Tiger Woods jokes.

Why did Tiger crash into a tree and a fire hydrant? He couldn’t decide between a wood and an iron.

What’s the difference between an Escalade and a wedge? Tiger can back up a wedge.

What’s the difference between a golf ball and an Escalade? Tiger can drive a golf ball 400 yards.

What were Tiger and Elin doing up at 2:30 a.m.? They were out clubbin’.

That got old after a while, so it was back to doing what has occupied most of my time for the past two weeks: answering questions about the Kansas football coaching situation.

Do you think Mark Mangino will be back next year?

No way.

When is the 21 days up?

The clock on 21 days hasn’t started ticking. If Kansas fires him with cause — which means it tries not to pay him any of the $6.6 million he has coming — Mangino has 21 days to appeal that ruling. A three-person panel is chosen — one person chose by the chancellor (with the help of athletic director Lew Perkins), one by Mangino, one the two parties agree upon (good luck finding that person).

So Mangino would still be the coach for those 21 days?

No. He would be appealing the “with cause” portion of the firing, not the firing itself.

When do you think the clock will start ticking on the 21 days?

My best guess is it won’t ever come to that. The two parties will agree on a portion of the $6.6 million, and the announcement will be made that Mangino resigned or was fired. Part of the agreement will be that no details of the Lori Williams Report will be released.

How much money do you think Mangino will get in lieu of a gold watch?

Pure guess: more than half the $6.6 million his contract says he has coming.

Is Perkins going to Los Angeles with the basketball team for the game against what’s left of UCLA?

No. Associate athletic director Larry Keating will make the trip.

Can you name a good fit to replace Mangino?

No. That wouldn’t be classy. Mangino’s still the coach.

You have ice cream stains all over your tie, and you’re talking to me about classy?

Fair Point. Houston’s Kevin Sumlin.

How soon will a new coach be named?

Depends on whether the new coach is in a bowl game and insists on coaching in it.

Wouldn’t every potential candidate be coaching in a bowl game?

Not necessarily. Buffalo’s Turner Gill went 5-7.


lv_jhwk 11 years ago

Kevin Sumlin...recent success at a non-BCS school (including two wins over Big 12 teams this year...more than our Hawks), Big 12 experience as an assistant, would excite the fan base with a potent offense (but iffy defense...sounds familiar), decent chance of keeping majority of the recruiting class.

Turner good season last year at a non-BCS school (although even this year's performance is good compared to their prior history), Big 12 experience as an assistant, would be a tougher sell to a fan base wanting a "successful" coach, good chance of keeping majority of the recruiting class.

Of the two, my preference would be Sumlin. However, I still think Lew is after bigger fish. Obviously he has ties to Edsell and can probably easily talk to other BCS coaches. But I would be curious if he isn't beating the bushes for a Name coach to bring off the sidelines. Someone who would be excited about coaching again in a top conference at a program with vastly improved resources that still has plenty to prove and thus let him make his mark.

I actually brought up Phil Fullmer's name as an example the other day (before the Louisville interest). Doubtful he would want to get this far out of the South, but there have to be others that fit the mold.

James Miller 11 years ago

Bill Self can coach both. They have two way athletes. He can be the first two way coach.

beakem_in_LA 11 years ago

Chris Petersen is about to go undefeated again and not get a shot at a natl title. Big 12 schools get to play for titles when they go undefeated (albeit harder to do). Forget keeping our commits, we'd have kids backing out of commitments to other schools!

whitechocolate 11 years ago

As good as Boise State has been, everyone is looking at what happened when Colorado put Dan Hawkins in charge of a BCS conference program. I think that has people in the Big 12 hesitant to grab Peterson, although all they need to do is take a look down south and see what Urban Meyer has done.

mwilliam 11 years ago

Houston will do everything in it's power to keep Sumlin, talks are going on now; they know he will be a hot commodity. He will probably get tons of dollars. I think Peterson is a good shot and I think he could win in the Big 12. He definitely has an eye for talent and he would do well in recruiting out west. But who knows what Lew has up his sleeve. Guarantee you he has been talking with someone already.

nckujayhawk 11 years ago

I just hope we look outside of the Big 12, and find someone without loyalties to head coaches currently at other Big 12 schools. There is too much incest in Big 12 coaching and a transfusion of new blood would be good for KU.

Steve Brown 11 years ago

three person panel MM nominates B. Knight. LP nominates Marth Stewart or Rachel Ray.

Going to take a while to find someone they both agree with.

how about Colin Powell, he has seen tough discipline, leadership and training.

tongue in cheek folks...some of you take blogs too seriously.

Dyrk Dugan 11 years ago

since it is pure speculation now, why not look at Nolan Cromwell? if he's at all interested, this would be the time to get him. He's 54, and he has now been at A&M two years as their offensive coordinator. so he knows what big time college athletes should look like.

and he coached for years in the pros under Mike he knows what it's like to compete for championships at the highest level.

He's a KU alum, who would have all the best interests of the school at heart. and he played college football on both offense and defense, so he knows what players on both sides of the ball go through.

i've always wavered on Nolan in the past, but now that he's a college coach, he knows what it's like to organize and recruit college kids. i think he would be just fine at Kansas.

KU 11 years ago

Guys, I like Sumlin BUT his defense is HORRIBLE! Yeah, we might score a whole lotta points against the cupcakes, but when it comes down to it--defense wins championships. It's surprising Sumlim's defense is so bad. He played linebacker in college; you'd think he would take more pride in stopping people. Listen to some of his interviews--he concentrates almost totally on offense. Too much of what we have grown accustomed to over the past several years--all offense and no defense. And getting slaughtered for 58 points by UTEP??!! KU made them look totally inept.

Edsall just me. Nothing to get excited about. If you're talking former Nebraska guys, I'd rather have Solich than Gill.

I could get excited about Chris Peterson. Nolan Cromwell would be a logical, safe pick. Other than that, I haven't really put much thought into it.

KU 11 years ago

And one more observation: I think it's great that KU football fans have highjacked a basketball story to make comments about KU football. In years past, every football story was highjacked by comments about basketball. We have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go! Rock Chalk.

d_prowess 11 years ago

Charlie Strong from Florida! He is currently linked to the Louisville job, but I would love to have him help us tap into the Florida recruiting pool!

jdavidholt 11 years ago

June Jones NFL Head Coach Took a school located three time zones west of the West Coast with horrible facilities to a BCS game. In second year at SMU, has them bowl eligible for the first time since 1984!

jaybate 11 years ago

Editor's Red Pen Required:

"A three-person panel is chosen — one person chose by the chancellor (with the help of athletic director Lew Perkins), one by Mangino, one the two parties agree upon (good luck finding that person)."

How about " person chose(n) by..."?

Or is there an arcanity of grammar that recommends different tenses within this sentence?

jaybate 11 years ago

Nolan Cromwell. Period.

The Ransom Rambler is all Kansas. All Man. And would instantly be the handsomest head coach in Division I, pushing USC's pretty boy Pete Carroll aside.

Plus: Nolan has to be saved from College Station. No one deserves to go there even for a promotion. And while we're at it, how about getting Turg out of there, too. Coach Self, as soon as Joe Dooley replaces Calhoun at UConn, name Turg your assistant head coach, at least until Turg can land at a major?

Life is too short for College Station.

jaybate 11 years ago


There are two June Jones.

There is the June Jones that you mention.

And the Jejune Jones that performed so poorly at several other stops.

Whether he should be a candidate depends on which one could be hired. :-)

jaybate 11 years ago

Isn't there some law against a Sports Editor highjacking a basketball thread with golf and football?

11 years ago

jaybate ~

I have Guinness Book of World Records on the line. I think you be in contention for the most basketball-related posts made by an individual before penning a football-related post :^)

Seriously, good points (except for the aTm slam) and nice to see you weigh in on the subject!

jaybate 11 years ago

Re: Tiger Woods...

Has anyone noticed how much he's Hudy-ized his upper body the last few years?

Frankly, I'd like to see Tiger retire from golf for a year, the way MJ retired from hoops.

Tiger needs to walk on at KU as a combo guard. I think a year, or two, with Bill Self would reconnect Tiger with the joy of sports and get the entourage and sychophants off his back.

Tiger went to Stanford, but, really, he was so committed to golf that he probably missed the fun of college almost entirely. And most certainly he never spent time with a Pied Piper of Feel Good on a par (pun intended) with Bill Self. Self has the gift of not only getting people to work harder than they ever have, but he has the vastly more profound gift of connecting them with the true joy of competition and team work. It partly has to do with Eddie and his American Zen game of 70-point-take-what-they-give-us style of play and wheat-husk-yin-and-corn-husk-yang view of the greatest team game ever invented. It has something to do with Self's own innate Okie Karma and mystical charisma. Tiger, Bill Self is connected as deeply to the river of life in sports, as any man I have ever seen since John Wooden. Tiger, the Wizard is too old, or I would send you to him. Tiger, fortunately for you, Bill Self is walking a path toward wizardry and is far enough along to share some with you.

jaybate 11 years ago

Golf is such a lonely game. At the level you play it, each round is 18 holes of solitary confinement, it is 10,800 yards of solitaire, it is 32,400 feet of shutting everyone out.

Tiger, let yourself play a team game for just a year.

Come, Tiger, shock the world and come to KU and partake in the greatest team sport the world has ever known. Just for a year. The feeling of "team" you will get at Kansas will fill the void in you for team play and teach you how to build a team around you, instead of drag an entourage of sychophants and a reputed gaggle of paramours around with you.

KU basketball (and KU sports) have always been about waaaaaaaaaaaaay more than games. KU is about attracting the greatest phenoms of games to a tiny, out of the way place, to the sports equivalent of a Tibetan monastery, to quest not only for excellence, but for self-enlightenment. It is about James Naismith. It is about Forrest Allen. It is about Glenn Cunningham. It is about Al Oerter. It is about Wilt Chamberlain. It is about Billy Mills. It is about Jim Ryan. It is about Gale Sayers. It is about Danny Manning. It is about Lynette Woodard. It is about Brandon Rush. It will be about Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins and Xavier Henry. It could be about you, too. It is not about being the greatest, though several of the persons mentioned above certainly were among the greatest of their kind. It is about digging the deepest into who and what they are to unleash not only the excellence, but the self-enlightenment and deep wisdom of sport. Everyone on the list above, either achieved, or will achieve the sporting equivalent of lasting enlightenment.

Tiger, you are a practicing Buddhist. Come to Basketball Tibet. I know you probably can't play a lick yet. Maybe you never will be able to. But basketball and Kansas can give you the one thing you lack in your life right now--the joy of competing in a team game in a sacred place under the tutelage of great masters.

jaybate 11 years ago

Tiger, you are one of the ten finest professional athletes in all of sports that I have ever seen. You have many magnificient moments ahead of you, if you will just pair away the complexity and enjoy the game again. Liquidate everything and clip coupons. Tell Elin you have to do this more than anything you have ever had to do. Take the same plunge into the unknown that MJ took. Do what mere mortals cannot even comprehend doing. Your soul needs it as surely as MJ's needed minor league baseball.

Play college basketball for a year at KU, if the NCAA will let you. If they won't, use some of your money to convince them to create a Tiger clause. The rules have to be altered sometimes for the greatest, not to coddle them, but to recognize the uniqueness of their circumstances.

Play basketball at KU to reconnect with the thrill of it all and reduce the burn of the spotlight. Then come back to the PGA tour in two years and go four straight years of grand slams and cement yourself as the greatest golfer of all time, then go enjoy your wife and kids like you never thought possible.

Tiger, don't succumb to the burdens of business and empire building.

Tiger, the game is the thing.

beebe1 11 years ago

Kelly from Cinti grew up in Defense. His offense isn't so bad either. Get a Defense Expert. Half the pay of MM. But, he may be headed for ND.

adamwiz65 11 years ago

Phillip Fulmer. Fulmer has the SEC recruiting connections (the SEC region of America seems to have excellent talent, the majority homegrown. For examples of the results, see the end of season polls for the last 5 years) Fulmer also seems to have that good ole' boy mentality like Bill Self.

Some suggest Skip Holtz from a name recognition perspective. I don't buy that at all due to the whole Charlie Weiss debacle at Notre Dame. He had a name and couldn't do much with it.

KU 11 years ago

beebe1.......I would LOVE to get Kelly. I'm afraid he would consider KU a step down from Cincinnati, though. He's right in the middle of a pretty big recruiting hotbed--granted, it's overshadowed by TX and FL, but there are tons of great football players in the rust belt.

crestdr 11 years ago

Classy is posting Tiger Woods jokes and feeding this media frenzy.

Dyrk Dugan 11 years ago


you and i have disagreed on here at times, but you are truly entertaining in some of your posts. the Tiger Woods stuff to KU above is hilarious.

and, you and i agree on Nolan Cromwell as FB coach (if it comes to that...again, pure speculation at this point.)

Nolan still held the record at my high school for the long jump at a sophomore meet from like 1970. and that was 14 years later! he was such a stud athlete.

hawk316 11 years ago

Whomever Lew selects, it will be an extremely important hire for the future of KU football. If we get the right guy, our program could continue on the upward swing with increasingly better recruiting classes and won/loss records. More importantly, with the right person, this could be accomplished with the same kind of class that we have come to expect from our basketball program.

On the other hand, the wrong selection could mean a rapid plunge to the kind of football we witnessed for many years PM (pre-Mangino).

This is a critical crossroads with respect to KU football, and this is why Lew Perkins gets the big bucks.

Dirk Medema 11 years ago

mvjayhawk says - since it is pure speculation now, why not look at Nolan Cromwell?

Was wondering if anyone would bring it up, and think it is a great idea. Fortunately, I'm confident that Lew will make a good pick no matter who it is (the other intriguing suggestion I've seen is Tommy Tuberville), and that KU FB will continue to grow stronger.

Rock Chalk

Eric Williams 11 years ago

Turner Gill is younger and connects with players well. I like him to give our program some much needed energy.

If Lew effs this hire up, he could find himself on the chopping block in 3 years. With all the focus on better facilities, more club boxes, packing the stands, if the product on the field gets much worse the fans won't come, which means KU won't recoup it's costs.

JBurtin 11 years ago

I'm starting to get pretty sold on Cromwell.

He'll be solid in his job as KU would be reluctant to fire him if he gets hired. This could feel pretty safe for recruits.

Twenty years of NFL coaching as a special teams and Wide receivers coach, and success followed him where he went.

His offense at A&M this year was balanced and ended up ranked 6th in the nation despite being in a tough Big Twelve South division. In the low 20's in both running and passing.

Get the right defensive coordinator to compliment him and we could have a pretty good team.

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