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