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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

TTU, Kansas coaches in familiar spot

Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury, left, and Kansas interim coach Clint Bowen

Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury, left, and Kansas interim coach Clint Bowen

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Texas Tech football coach Kliff Kingsbury knows a thing or two about the position Kansas University coach Clint Bowen is in today.

Hired two years ago by his alma mater as the head football coach, Kingsbury viewed his return to Tech as the chance of a lifetime and, on the day of his hiring, said “... I couldn’t be happier, beyond ecstatic to be back. It feels like home.”

Sound familiar? It should. Bowen, who has spent 16 of his 19 seasons in college coaching at Kansas, called the head coach’s office at KU a destination job when he was introduced as the temporary replacement for former Kansas coach Charlie Weis three weeks ago. And in the days since, just about everything he has done to give KU football a lift has come from a place of passion.

Although the two situations differ in that Bowen, 42, is currently KU’s interim coach and Kingsbury was hired to be the full-time guy, both have made no secret about the fact that leading the programs they once suited up for is an incredible honor. However, according to Kingsbury, a Texas Tech quarterback from 1998-2002, it’s not all fun and games.

“The biggest thing is, you can’t ever get away from it because all of your friends and family and everybody you know, most of ’em have some tie into that university,” he said Monday morning. “Win, lose or draw, you end up always being brought back to the game. That’s probably the toughest deal, just that your closest circle is usually tied to that university.”

Behind an avalanche of support from Red Raiders supporters and a re-energized roster, Kingsbury, 35, guided Texas Tech to an 8-5 season and Holiday Bowl victory during his first year in charge. That run included a 7-0 stretch to open the 2013 season that elevated Texas Tech to a No. 10 ranking and had the fan base in Lubbock, Texas, thinking it had hit the jackpot. Five straight losses in Big 12 play followed the fast start before Kingsbury stopped the bleeding with a 14-point bowl victory over Arizona State.

It hasn’t gone the same way for Bowen, who, through two weeks in charge of the Jayhawks, is 0-2 but has led Kansas to noticeable improvement in several areas, with Saturday’s near-upset of No. 16 Oklahoma State providing the biggest sign of progress to date. Unlike Kingsbury, who had an entire offseason to prepare for the transition, Bowen has been forced to put his stamp on the program on the fly.

“From the day I took over, we put an emphasis on creating an identity of what Kansas football has to be,” Bowen said. “... Playing extremely hard, physical and tough and smart. In this past game, I believe our kids played hard and played physical. But we didn’t play smart, so there’s two out of the three. And that cost us the game.”

Although he’s still trying to find his footing in Year Two, Kingsburgy, whose team sits with an identical record as the Jayhawks (2-4 overall, 0-3 Big 12) heading into Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. showdown in Lubbock, has taken note of Bowen’s impact on the KU program in a short time and admitted that nothing about it surprised him.

“You can tell he’s got ’em playing hard, and that’s not an easy position to come into, with those players and that program,” Kingsbury said. “But they’ve stayed motivated. He’s got ’em playing at a high level, and that’s a credit to him and what he’s about. I have a lot of respect for him. I’ve known about him a long time in this profession and heard nothing but great things.”

Mundine on watch list KU tight end Jimmay Mundine, who recorded a career-best 88 yards on five receptions in last week’s loss to Oklahoma State, was one of 33 players — two from the Big 12 — named to the John Mackey Award’s midseason watch list.

Red Raiders favored Texas Tech, which has lost four straight after opening the season 2-0, entered the week as a 13.5-point favorite over Kansas, and the line since has gone up to 14.5.

Comments

Jim Stauffer 7 years, 1 month ago

Does this need fixing?

Red Raiders favored Texas Tech, which has lost four straight after opening the season 2-0, entered the week as a 13.5-point favorite over Kansas, and the line since has gone up to 14.5.

Micky Baker 7 years, 1 month ago

No, It's a heading, which is why it's in bold. It is consistent with the other heading.

If Kansas wins this Saturday, what will need to be fixed is the odds makers.

They picked WVU to win by 27, then Oklahoma State by 21.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 1 month ago

The oddsmakers are just responding to the bettors/public. They aren't nearly as concerned with the actual results as they are with having the numbers produce a profit, which is reflected in the change in the line during the week. Wasn't it WVU where it changed by 10 pts during the week?

Micky Baker 7 years, 1 month ago

I don't think it changed by 10 points during the week. Maybe 3 or 4 points. I could be wrong. I don't pay attention to those odds that much.

I'm not sure why raising the spread by 1 point will help the oddsmakers make a profit. It seems that they're trying to get more people to bet for Kansas to beat the spread rather than getting more people to bet on TTU covering it. Kansas has covered it two times in a row and they probably did make a lot of money as a result because of the coaching situation. A lot of people lost money last week if they bet the spread in favor of Oklahoma State. The majority probably did that, but this week it's bet $100 for Kansas to cover the spread to win $115. It's bet $115 to win $100 for TTU to beat the spread(have to win by 15 points). Raising the spread makes it harder for them to make money, doesn't it?

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 1 month ago

Texas dropped by about a TD during the week leading up to that game.

Gary McCullough 7 years, 1 month ago

However, this is a run on sentence:

Although he’s still trying to find his footing in Year Two, Kingsburgy, whose team sits with an identical record as the Jayhawks (2-4 overall, 0-3 Big 12) heading into Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. showdown in Lubbock, has taken note of Bowen’s impact on the KU program in a short time and admitted that nothing about it surprised him.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 1 month ago

That's not a bad sentence, but who's Kingsburgy?

Paul Niland 7 years, 1 month ago

@Jim, Why would it need fixing? Apparently TTU opened as 13.5 favorites. That line brought in a lot of $$$ on TTU, so Vegas bumped the line to 14.5.

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