In theory, Central Arkansas could have defeated No. 1 Kansas on Thursday night in Allen Fieldhouse. The Bears didn’t, losing 94-44, but since they played on the same basketball court under the same rules, a victory was within the realm of possibility.
Similarly, Hollywood siren Diane Lane could knock on the door of my hotel room door in Austin, Texas, tonight, only to have her heart broken when informed I’ve been married for 26 years. It’s possible Ms. Lane could desire to put a premium on personality at the expense of all else for a night, and again, in theory, it’s conceivable a man could have the discipline to slam the door in her face and call security. (More likely dial an ambulance in the throes of a shock-induced heart attack.)
Next, consider the possibility of an upset less monumental than any of the above scenarios: Walking-the-plank Kansas football coach Mark Mangino scratches the same talent for giving speeches he used to help raise cash for KU libraries and uses the same hand he used to write a $50,000 check for KU libraries to pat his players on their helmets and inspires them to an upset of third-ranked Texas.
What then? Do players and assistant coaches interviewed by internal investigator Lori Williams, associate athletic director/risk management, request a second audience with her to edit their answers? Would the results of the investigation be read any differently by athletic director Lew Perkins, who during his time as Mangino’s boss has raised his salary from $600,000 to $2.3 million?
It’s a gigantic reach to think Kansas could overachieve to the point it upsets the Longhorns in Austin, but not a great deal more of a stretch than to think the Jayhawks could have underachieved so badly five games in a row as to lose by an average margin of two touchdowns against so-so competition.
Quarterback Todd Reesing looked better last week in the Nebraska loss than he had in weeks, and he’s playing in his hometown for the first time. I’m just saying.
In what has been a bizarre year in KU sports, the football coach found himself, early in the football season, answering questions about his players’ fight with members of the basketball team. In Thursday’s postgame presser, basketball coach Bill Self answered questions about the university investigation of the football coach accused of deeply mean-spirited verbal abuse of his players.
I wondered: Does the investigation enter Self’s world?
“I’m not really in the know to what’s going on,” Self said. “I guess it could enter anyone’s world, if you’re in the coaching profession. I don’t really have a comment on it. I feel bad for the situation for everybody and certainly hope it works well for everybody, but I don’t know what’s going on.”
Self always has supported the football team, Mangino the basketball team.
“Mark and I have a good relationship,” Self said. “We talk whenever there are things going on. Right now, from my perspective, I don’t know if it’s the time to do that. He’s got a job right now, and his job is to try to beat Texas. When it slows down a little, I’m sure we’ll visit.”
Maybe, just maybe, they’ll chat about one of the biggest upsets in college football history.