Is KU deserving of No. 1 spot? Lots of national voices say yes


A few links while wondering how West Virginia coach Bob Huggins will spend his $25,000 if his team upsets Kansas on Monday night.

The new national polls come out in a few hours, and Kansas (18-1) is one of two teams, along with Michigan (19-1), that should get the most consideration for the top spot.

What's the national view on who should be No. 1?

Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo! Sports says KU deserves the spot because it has a more impressive list of marquee wins.'s Eamonn Brennan looks at the arguments for both teams, saying KU's "case is just as good, if not better, than anyone else the voters could plausibly pick Monday afternoon."'s Sean Keeler says KU's resume "stacks up with anybody's in the high-rent club," noting the Jayhawks' 7-1 mark against RPI top-50 teams is elite compared to other programs.

And finally, 41 Actions News sports director Jack Harry kinda, sorta says he thinks KU should be No. 1 in his latest "Jack's Smack."

• Our own Gary Bedore mentioned the new "Jeff Withey block party" video in his game story from Saturday's 67-54 KU victory over Oklahoma.

Here's the last part of the video for those who might not have seen it.

For the second straight game, KU guard Rio Adams impressed with his sideline dancing, as the cameras found him this time doing some crazy, dead-arm bowing on the KU bench.'s Seth Davis sits down a few minutes with KU coach Bill Self in his Fast Break column, with Self saying a few interesting things in the interview.

Here's one of Self's quotes from the Q&A:

... I think our bench is getting ready to get good. They're just young. (Perry) Ellis, (Jamari) Traylor and (Naadir) Tharpe have the potential to make a difference. I actually think we can be better offensively when we go to our bench.

Later on, Self also calls Ben McLemore "the most gifted athlete I've ever been around."

• The New York Times' Dick "Hoops" Weiss covered KU's game against Oklahoma, and he gives a national perspective on KU, starting his article by saying:

Because Kansas is located in the heartland, far from the media centers of Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, and plays in the least powerful of the BCS conferences, there is a reluctance to think of the Jayhawks in the same way as Duke, Carolina, Kentucky, UCLA and Syracuse. But make no mistake, Kansas is, and always will be, one of the nation’s elite basketball programs.

A final look at some highlights from the KU-OU game from KU Athletics:

Thanks to clevelandjayhawker on our site for sending me the link to this article, as last week, Kansas State forward Shane Southwell made somewhat of a controversial statement after he failed to get a defensive rebound that cost his team three points in KSU's 59-55 loss to KU on Tuesday.

This quote comes from a Friday story in the Kansas City Star/Wichita Eagle by Kellis Robinett.

"I should never have let that guy get that rebound. I mean, it’s Kevin Young."

That probably didn't come out how Southwell wanted it to, but the funny thing is, statistically, Young is KU's best offensive rebounder, and it's not very close.

According to, the senior is 74th nationally in offensive rebounding percentage. KU center Jeff Withey is the only other Jayhawk to crack the top 500 (472nd).

• And finally, we mentioned this in another story on the site but here's the full story from the Dallas Morning News on former KU forward Zach Peters transferring to Colin College in Texas. It details some of the struggles Peters has faced with his multiple concussions, which includes being in a fog and having difficulty finding chapters in books.


Reuben_J_Cogburn 8 years, 4 months ago

I have a dilemma.

For the life of me, I can't decide who the bigger tool is. Jack Harry or Kevin Kietzman?

Look, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but these two men operate in news syndicates and claim to be unbiased reporters and commentators. They clearly have strong affiliations and allegiance to their respective universities.

That's fine, but don't use the veil of professional impartiality. And don't play the victim. I'm all for freedom of speech, but ff you want to report on how great Mizzou or K-State is and how overrated and corrupt KU is, then go become a reporter in Columbia or Manhattan for a news organization targeted at a specific sect of audience.

But you broadcast this in Kansas City, a town of many affiliations, and claim to do so honestly.

You deserve for the KU fanbase to call you out.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 8 years, 4 months ago

I did like his "Kansas will be lucky to finish higher than fifth in the Big XII" comment last year.

Proving him wrong feels fantastic.

JayHawkFanToo 8 years, 4 months ago

When it comes to uninformed and biased commentators, Jack "smacked" makes Kietzman look like a piker. Not even close.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 8 years, 4 months ago

Yeah, but to be fair, Kietzman did close the gap a little this past week with his endorsing of the NCAA/Haith/KU conspiracy.

texashawk10 8 years, 4 months ago

Missouri people will always be bigger tools that KSU people.

TexasRockChalk 8 years, 4 months ago

Amen :) my aunties excluded of course. LOL!

TexasRockChalk 8 years, 4 months ago

Growing in the late 70s & 80s in the Midwest I used to like Jack, especially in his coverage of the Royals in their hey-day, but clearly, a little bit of senility is setting in...

HawksWin 8 years, 4 months ago

Jesse, I enjoy your compilation of these links! It's been very helpful and informative. Also, I don't know how you and the board rats can simultaneously watch the game, post and read other posts! I tried, but obviously can't multi-task :-)

Let us know about your travel to WVA compare to Lubbock. Begin to wonder if the travel is effecting the WVA players as they travel out of their neck of the woods because they have been playing awful. Hope they don't rebound on us.

PSM 8 years, 4 months ago

Just remembered BMac injured his ankle a couple weeks ago.

riverdrifter 8 years, 4 months ago

Somebody needs to tell Mr. Weiss that Allen Fieldhouse is on Naismith DRIVE.

KGphoto 8 years, 4 months ago

I never heard if the cow tippers ended up using that "Sweet Sixteen" video last week before the game. I couldn't tell from the broadcast.

riverdrifter 8 years, 4 months ago

Gotta love tha $25K incentive thing for Huggy. Ya think THAT isn't bulletin board material?!

texashawk10 8 years, 4 months ago

Why would that be bulletin board material. Most coaches have incentives like that in their contracts for special accomplishments and beating a #1 ranked team certainly would qualify. I'm assuming Bill Self has a similar bonus in his contract for knocking off a top ranked team. Other common bonuses include winning the regular season conference title, post season conference title, reaching different rounds of the NCAA tournament, making a Final Four, and winning a national title.

bad_dog 8 years, 4 months ago

It strikes me as more like "Comedy Channel" material. Huggy really needs a 25K incentive to beat a conference opponent? Do they actually believe an incentive bonus will help? Smacks of desperation in WV's athletic dept.

Memo to Zenger: Quick! Re-negotiate HCBS' contract so he gets 30K for beating WV. It must work, right?

texashawk10 8 years, 4 months ago

Like I said, the $25k bonus almost certainly has nothing to do with WVU specifically beating KU, but rather beating a #1 ranked team which KU is in the coaches poll. It's not an uncommon incentive bonus for coaches because beating a #1 ranked team is a big deal for teams.

KGphoto 8 years, 4 months ago

It's not a #1 thing. It's a Kansas thing. He gets 25k every time he beats KU in the regular season.'

actorman 8 years, 4 months ago

I don't think it's a question of actually being a motivation. Perhaps "incentive" is the wrong word to use; it's more like a perk that's added in as part of the negotiations.

But if there's something wrong with it, then Mangino shouldn't have gotten a $50,000 bonus for beating Nebraska. I think you're finding a problem where none exists.

Ryan Shelton 8 years, 4 months ago

The Big XII is the least powerful of the BCS conferences? Did Dick "Hoop" Weiss mean this year or historically? If it's this year, then why did he add UNC to his list?

clevelandjayhawker 8 years, 4 months ago


Thank you for all the links, the block party video is great because on espn you could hear the crowd going nuts but could only see 3 secs of it and from the nose bleed seats.

One small favor: Coach Self wore some gray Adidas for the Coaches versus Cancer fundraiser on Saturday, they had a mesh look to them, can you tell me the name of these shoes? I might have to go get a pair.

chezlog 8 years, 4 months ago

I have no doubt Southwell meant his comment to be a slam on Young. He was trash talking KY the entire game. I don't always dislike K-State players but that one I do.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 8 years, 4 months ago

And he's got a target on his back come the AFH game.

You chose poorly, Southwell.

bad_dog 8 years, 4 months ago

My thought exactly. Kind of a stupid thing to say with the return game yet to be played @ AFH.

Jim Dickerson 8 years, 4 months ago

Let us hope that Mr. Southwell drives the lane and Mr. Withy emphatically inserts the BB in Mr. Southwells rather big mouth. That might give Mr. Young something to talk about.

ParisHawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Jesse, you are dishing some serious copy this season. Count me among the admiring and grateful for this series, the close-ups on opposing teams and other new regular features.

blindrabbit 8 years, 4 months ago

KU not a great team, but no one else is either. Seems to be a race among top 5 or 6 teams to the "best of the mediocrities"..

Joseph Bullock 8 years, 4 months ago

Personally, I would have thought a coach having a clause in their contract, to get a bonus for beating K.U., would only have been Missouri or K-State. For them to have that in there at West Virginia, is pretty cool. After all, this is their first year, first time, ever playing K.U. That, to me, is the Ultimate sign of Respect! Now I'm wondering what other coaches, even outside of the Big 12 have a clause like that in their contracts.It definitely shows how we always have a target on our backs, but that goes with being Jayhawks. I love it. ha ha ha ha

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