Todd Reesing reflects on KU football's remarkable 2007 run in new interview


Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing pulls back to fire a pass during the second half of the Border War Saturday, Nov. 24, 2007 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing pulls back to fire a pass during the second half of the Border War Saturday, Nov. 24, 2007 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. by Nick Krug

It’s been nearly a full decade since Kansas caught the college football world off guard, finishing the 2007 season with a 12-1 record and an Orange Bowl victory.

The Jayhawks’ quarterback at the time — the last exceptional QB to suit up for KU — Todd Reesing paid homage to that remarkable run in an interview with SB Nation’s Bill Connelly for a feature that focused on the unexpected rise of Kansas and rival Missouri that season.

Reesing reflected not only on an epic Border War that decided the winner of the Big 12 North at Arrowhead Stadium — a 36-28 Tigers victory — but also the path that led to it in the aptly titled article, “That time Missouri vs. Kansas was suddenly the rivalry of the year … in football.”

After Kansas obliterated non-conference opponents Central Michigan, Southeastern Louisiana, Toledo and Florida International in Sept. 2007, Reesing told SB Nation it was KU’s Big 12 opener, a 30-24 road victory over Kansas State, that established the Jayhawks as a legit threat that season.

"That was a place we hadn’t won at in 18 years. Our team had been historically poor on the road, poor in Manhattan, et cetera,” Reesing told Connelly. "Our offense was putting up pretty staggering points and yards and everything else, but everybody was saying, ‘Yeah, but they haven’t played anybody. That’ll change when they get to the Big 12.’ So to go up there and really not even have that great a day offensively — I think I threw three interceptions — but be able to show our grit in getting a late score on offense and a stop on defense ... that was really the point where everyone said, ‘We’ve got something here.’"

Reesing’s memory proved accurate. In that victory, which propelled KU into the top 25, he completed 22 of 35 passes for 267 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions.

He would experience far fewer struggles four weeks later, when the Jayhawks really began turning heads, with a 76-39 drubbing of traditional power Nebraska. Reesing went 30-for-41, with 354 passing yards and six touchdowns.

“I remember talking to a coach on the sideline and saying, ‘Hey, let’s try to score 100!’ They had beaten the pants off of Kansas for, what was it, 50 straight years before we beat them in 2005?" Reesing tried to recall. (It was 36, Connelly points out.) "And often by pretty lopsided margins. I thought we could get them one real bad whoopin’! That was one really enjoyable game to play. It was a beautiful day in Lawrence."

Since Reesing finished his KU career in 2009, the program has won three or fewer games every year.

This fall, third-year coach David Beaty and his 2017 Jayhawks aim to become the first KU team to win at least four games since the era of Reesing and former coach Mark Mangino.

— Check out the full article at SB Nation to read more from the perspective of Reesing, and his Missouri counterpart, Chase Daniel.


Brett McCabe 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Back on my soap box....

Todd Reesing's name should be up in the stadium RIGHT NOW. KU's requirements put the decision out of the hands of Jayhawks and into the hands of national writers. The requirements also puts the emphasis on how guys perform as compared to other national players instead of focusing on what is important: what did they do for the Jayhawks?

Total KU Passing Yards: Reesing 1st with over 11,000 yards. Who is second? Frank Seurer with just over 6,400 yards. That's almost a 5,000 yard differential.

Passing TD's: Reesing: 93 Who is second? All-American and great, great KU QB David Jaynes with 35.

Guess which KU QB has the top three all-time single seasons for KU in yardage and TD's? Guess the only KU QB to win a BCS game?

Just because Reesing wasn't an All-American doesn't mean he isn't an all-time KU great, who deserves to have his name up in the stadium - sooner rather than later.

Arguments could also easily be made for Kerry Meier (most receptions), June Henley (most rushing yards) and Tony Sands. If you are the all-time statistical leader, you've earned a place in the stadium - period. Period.

Also, the idea that we should wait forever to put these guys' names up also needs to go the way of the DoDo bird. It's actually better for the program to recognize the greats as soon after the conclusion of their careers as possible. What's the point of waiting? Strike while it is hot.

Bottom line, anyone with a top-five career statistical season should be considered for automatic inclusion. Anyone with a top-three single season should be considered.

You can argue Reesing, Jaynes, Cromwell, Hadl as the best all-time KU QB's. If you are in that discussion, your name should be in the stadium.

Dillon Davis 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you Brett! Could not agree more! Talib, Meier, and Reesing should all likely be up in the Ring of Honor, today.

Titus Canby 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I agree with Brett that Reesing needs to have his name up there. But you left out one of our greatest QBs. Bobby Douglass.

Marcus Balzer 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Beaty needs to step in and amend the current guidelines for the ring of honor. If Reesing isn't on it I'm not sure why we even have it.

Lonnie Ross Dillon 11 months, 3 weeks ago

One could argue though that the game had changed. Look how many attempts he had compared to those guys. Not saying he wasn't an amazing QB...what he accomplished is worthy of every award we can throw at him...but direct comparison is unfair to the older QBs. It's like comparing the stats of modern basketball players to those in the 50's.

Randy Bombardier 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Absolutely correct Brett. This should be part of the stadium upgrade. Lonnie, your point about football Style today is valid but I wouldn't compare it to basketball. I can't see anyone ever breaking Wilts record of 100 points in a game and that was quite some time ago. Brett, you nailed it when you said, what did they mean to KU? I would also like to see something honoring our best coaches, too, special games like that Nebraska beat down. That was epic. A multmedia memory lane or some such area in the complex, a modern museum of Kansas football.

Stephen Johnson 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Spot on Brett. Reesing did as much for KU football as any player. His name should be in the ring of honor.

Clara Westphal 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I agree. What fun it was to watch those players and teams play.

Robert Lofthouse 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Good argument, but while we're at it, shouldn't the whole team from that historic run be recognized? That was a bunch that gelled together and achieved one solid Orange Bowl victory with defense and special teams excelling. Reesing led the charge, but he had a whole team on the train.

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