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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Football notebook: Jayhawks land on early preseason lists

Kansas running back James Sims salutes a pack of KU fans after his touchdown against Texas Tech during the first quarter on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas.

Kansas running back James Sims salutes a pack of KU fans after his touchdown against Texas Tech during the first quarter on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas.

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Prediction season begins

The arrival of June often marks the beginning of the prediction season for the upcoming college football campaign, and the first batch of predictions regarding the Big 12 Conference are now out.

Of the 112 Big 12 football players listed on his four preseason all-Big 12 teams, college football analyst Phil Steele reserved just four spots for Jayhawks.

Senior running back James Sims leads the way with a spot on the second team. Junior linebacker Ben Heeney earned third-team mention and newcomer Marquel Combs and veteran kicker Ron Doherty both earned fourth-team nods.

Sims and Heeney are no strangers to all-Big 12 accolades. Both earned postseason honors in 2012 and are, without question, two of the Jayhawks’ top returning players.

After finishing third in the conference with 112 tackles, Heeney was named second-team all-Big 12 by the coaches, the Associated Press and Steele. Sims, who led the Jayhawks in rushing for the third straight year and finished with a Big-12-best 112.6 rushing yards per game, earned first-team honors from ESPN.com, CBS Sports and Steele and was a second-team selection of the league’s coaches and the AP.

Combs’ inclusion on the preseason list speaks to his status as the nation’s top junior college recruit. The 6-foot-5, 300-pound defensive tackle is one of the most high-profile players to come to Kansas in quite some time and, clearly, he brings with him expectations and a heck of a reputation.

Doherty, who made Steele’s list as a punter, is in the middle of a stiff competition with newcomer Trevor Pardula for the starting job.

Chip Brown taps KU 8th

Count Texas Longhorns reporter Chip Brown, of OrangeBloods.com, as one of the media members who believes good things are in store for KU during Charlie Weis’ second season in Lawrence.

Brown recently released his predictions for the final Big 12 football standings of 2013 and slotted the Jayhawks into eighth place with a 6-6 overall record and a 3-6 record in conference play. Brown picked KU to finish above West Virginia (9th) and Iowa State (10th) and said: “KU takes three non-conference games against South Dakota, at Rice and home against Louisiana Tech before losing six Big 12 games in a row but finishing with wins against West Virginia, at Iowa State and home against K-State.”

Weis family’s big move

Kansas coach Weis and his wife, Maura, began preparing themselves for a major transition when their daughter, Hannah, turned 18 in April.

Hannah, who as an infant struggled with developmental delays and at age 12 was diagnosed with a rare epilepsy syndrome that affects cognitive function, is the inspiration for Hannah & Friends, the Weises’ not-for-profit charity dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with “different abilities.” With Charlie coaching the Jayhawks in Lawrence, Maura had been caring for Hannah, who will now move away from the family’s South Bend, Ind., home and become a permanent resident at the Hannah & Friends property outside of town.

Although the big move to the Hannah & Friends community is exactly the reason the Weis family founded the organization in the first place, it does not come without some emotion, which Charlie Weis expressed via Twitter Friday afternoon.

“Thank God for my wife,” Weis began in a four-part message. “My daughter moves into the Hannah and Friends community tomorrow and my wife has had to do everything alone. Hannah’s move will be a tough transition for both Han and Maura. It will take some time, but it will be great for both of them in the end. Hannah will be around people she loves outside our family — people with what we call Different Abilities. Maura will get well-earned rest. After Hannah transitions, Maura will be freed up to spend most of her time in Lawrence. Charlie Jr. and I are looking forward to it.”

Longhorn Network again?

According to a recent report in the Austin American-Statesman, the Longhorn Network will air three University of Texas football games during the 2013 season, with the Nov. 2 match-up between UT and KU slated as one of them.

A 2011 match-up between KU and UT was televised on both the Longhorn Network and the Jayhawk Network, with fans in and around Lawrence being able to pick up the game through KU’s broadcast.

The last time around, the Jayhawks received compensation for agreeing to the deal and the broadcast had the look of any other Tier-3 KU football or basketball broadcast, complete with KU announcers and local advertising.

KU has made no official announcement regarding this year’s game.

Comments

Adam Gerval 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm reluctant to say this, but... Marquel Combs came into Jefferson's tonight. On his bill, he wrote to his waitress: "Your tip. My d*ck."

Says a lot. I was pretty shocked. I'll be rooting for him on Saturdays, but wow. What a piece of crap.

David Leathers 6 years, 6 months ago

At least he didn't hold up a weed dealer with a toy gun....

Adam Miller 6 years, 6 months ago

"At least...toy gun..." -- Perhaps he was just having a hard time adjusting to a place with no dispensaries...

Robert Brock 6 years, 6 months ago

Why is KU playing the fool? Longhorn Network is crapola!

Foster Coburn 6 years, 6 months ago

I sure hope this LHN news is false. For KU fans living outside of Kansas, this is a death blow to our chances of watching the game.

Foster Coburn 6 years, 6 months ago

No, it won't be on TV because only a small number of cable operators in Texas carry it! This is horrible news for fans.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 6 months ago

If the Jayhawks' record looks anything like it did the last time we appeared on LHN, why would KU fans want to watch?

Andy Godwin 6 years, 6 months ago

If true about Combs, hard to support, even as a loyal Jayhawk, that kind of d*ck.

Alex Fletcher 6 years, 6 months ago

Did Combs do something wrong, or is this about Martin

ahpersecoachingexperience 6 years, 6 months ago

SheahoRn returns! I wish our administrations would show they have a spine and say NO to TLN

Jim Jackson 6 years, 6 months ago

"Sources" nothing concrete, tell me that Martin will serve a 3 game suspension.

mojayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Thanks, JHWKDW. Really good articles that I would encourage everybody to read. They shed a little more light on the Longhorn Network situation which, from the beginning, I have found very confusing. The devil in the details has never fully come to light, though you know all of the conference AD's know exactly what Texas is doing. As the CBS article states, Texas is backing itself into a corner with their network, and ESPN is just as much to blame. No matter what happens, it will be $$$ that make the decisions for everyone.

CrystalJones 6 years, 6 months ago

Most of the grousing about UT is, in my opinion, misplaced. After the scare of two years ago, I am actually grateful that UT decided to keep the Big 12 together. If it hadn't, I'm not sure where KU would be right now. I don't know that we would have ended up in a BCS conference. Yes, I know about the alleged Pac 12 overture, but that was tenuous at best. Whether it would have made geographic sense is highly questionable.

I don't care one whit how much money UT makes. They will always make more money than KU, and they should...they're a much bigger enterprise. The Big 12 schools are now getting more conference money than ever before. Thank goodness UT and OU didn't let the conference fall apart.

Randy Bombardier 6 years, 6 months ago

I like Chip Brown's prediction. I think we could easily end up bowl eligible although I don't see us beating K-State. I see us beating WVU, Tech and Baylor. ISU is a question mark for me. Three conference wins sounds entirely plausible.

CrystalJones 6 years, 6 months ago

I don't want to say beating KSU is a lock, but I think it's highly likely. We played a good 1st half against them last year, and they're bringing back almost nothing on D. I think we'll score a lot of points on them in Memorial, and I think Charlie really wants to establish in-state dominance.

Lance Cheney 6 years, 6 months ago

Am I the only one who finds it interesting that: a) Doherty was picked as an All-Big 12 punter in the first place, and b) that our "All-Big 12" is fighting for his job? Wouldn't you think that if he were as great as billed (he's not), he'd have the position all but locked up?

actorman 6 years, 6 months ago

"All-Big 12" is a bit of a stretch, since he's listed as fourth team. That makes him only the fourth best punter out of 10 -- i.e., pretty much average. I was still a little surprised that he would be fighting for his position, but it's not like he's considered one of the best in the conference.

Lance Cheney 6 years, 6 months ago

Good point. And since when did they start doing 4 all-conference teams? Seems like overkill to me, because once you get to that 4th team, you really start reaching for some players (like this). And 2 years ago (if my memory serves me correctly), Doherty was a great punter, then last year, he dropped way off, and at times looked like he'd never kicked a ball before in his life.

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