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If you could change the outcome of one KU game in history, which would you pick?

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Kansas head coach Bill Self walks the sideline during the second half of KU's loss to Virginia Commonwealth Sunday, March 27, 2011 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Kansas head coach Bill Self walks the sideline during the second half of KU's loss to Virginia Commonwealth Sunday, March 27, 2011 at the Alamodome in San Antonio. by Mike Yoder

I recently saw something on Deadspin that seemed like it might be a good idea to bring to Jayhawk Nation.

The article, which ran last Thursday and was inspired by a Tweet from Grantland writer @SheaSerrano, was short and sweet and asked one simple question: If You Could Change Any Championship Outcome, Which Would It Be?

For KU fans, this might be easy, but there are more than a few options:

• The 1940 or 1953 title-game losses to Indiana

• Wilt's triple-OT loss to Carolina in 1957

• The 1991 loss to Duke in Roy Williams’ third season at KU

• The 2003 loss to Syracuse in Roy’s final game

• The 2012 loss to a stacked Kentucky squad in New Orleans

And that’s just basketball.

You might even throw a football game or two in there, most notably the 2007 loss to Missouri at Arrowhead that cost the Jayhawks the Big 12 North title and a spot in the Big 12 title game but wound up working out just fine.

And, if you want to take this a step farther and include games outside of just championship-type contests, the list expands big time.

What about Mark Mangino’s final game as KU’s coach at Arrowhead against the Tigers? Could Lew Perkins really have forced him out if Mangino had just knocked off Mizzou to secure a third straight bowl berth for the Jayhawks?

How about the loss to VCU in the 2011 Elite Eight? The road to Bill Self’s second title had opened up that year and the Jayhawks were loaded.

Heck, even last year’s loss to Villanova might be the choice of some of you.

Either way, I thought it was an interesting exercise and figured it would be fun to narrow it to just Kansas athletics and bring it to KUsports.com.

So what say you? Which KU game — in any sport — would you reverse the outcome of if you had a magic wand for one day?

Comments

Clinton Laing 5 years, 4 months ago

1969 Orange Bowl. You had to have been watching it to appreciate the kick in the gut.

Titus Canby 5 years, 4 months ago

I'm with you Clinton. All you'd need to change was one play. One play!

Option #2: The final football game against MU. The last game in the oldest football rivalry west of the Mississippi. All time series tied. And Turner Gill refers to it as "just another game."

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 4 months ago

That was my immediate thought when thinking of football. That loss stung. Love to turn that around, especially after all the Paterno stuff came out.

Frank Dunn 5 years, 4 months ago

Clint - I was watching it - from the KU end zone in the Orange Bowl that night with my brother, Mike. You're absolutely right, it was a kick in the gut. But I've been a Jayhawk for 50 years and had many more high moments than low - Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!

Brandon Correll 5 years, 4 months ago

Paul Pierce losing to Zona. Best KU team I've seen.

Brandon Correll 5 years, 4 months ago

Paul Pierce losing to Zona. Best KU team I've seen.

Jason Roberts 5 years, 4 months ago

2 games I'd change:

1) The game where Wayne Simien hurt his shoulder during the 2007-08 season. I know that Jeff Graves proved to be an invaluable replacement during the season and may not have if Simien wasn't hurt, but we would have won the national title and, most importantly, would have shot much better than 14-30 from the FT line in the championship game.

2) The regional semifinal loss against Michigan in 2013 - I would have had whomever was guarding Trey Burke pick him up at full court. He should NOT have been able to get of a 30-foot jump shot with no defense applied to him.

Brandon Correll 5 years, 4 months ago

Paul Pierce losing to Zona. Best team I've seen.

Brandon Correll 5 years, 4 months ago

Paul Pierce losing to Zona. Best team I've seen.

Andy Hess 5 years, 4 months ago

Top 3 that I would change would be (1) 2007 Border War game at Arrowhead, (2) 2012 National Championship, and (3) the 2003 National Championship.

Brandon Correll 5 years, 4 months ago

Paul pierce losing to zona. Best ku team I've ever seen

Bryce Landon 5 years, 4 months ago

We get it, Brandon, you're bitter about the 1997 Sweet 16. You only need to post it once.

Jaxson Freeman 5 years, 4 months ago

It would easily be the 2007 Border War. I don't think we could have competed with Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship that year, but to have a shot at a undefeated season and a possible National Championship berth is something that we might not see in our lifetimes again for this program. We are always gonna have a shot to win it all in basketball.

Dirk Medema 5 years, 4 months ago

Glad you brought it up, because while it is always nice to beat mizzoo, using 1 auto-win for the opportunity to be pasted by OU just makes no sense to me. There really was no realistic shot at an undefeated season. That would have involved beating OU and one more.

Titus Canby 5 years, 4 months ago

Three others:

1981 (?) Sweet Sixteen game against Wichita State. If Darnell makes that layup, we win the game.

1977 (?) basketball game against Kentucky. The Ken Koenigs timeout game. Koenigs is a great guy, but I'll always remember him for that.

1996 (?) tournament game against Arizona. Paul Pierce's last game. The angriest I've ever been watching a game in any sport.

Mangino's last game against MU. Field the punt and we win the game and keep our coach.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 4 months ago

Had a chuckle with the '77 UK game when Ken called the timeout. Koenigs was one of the smartest players to ever put on a KU uniform. Since he graduated as a first team All-Big 8, collegiate academic All-American (4.0 average with Chemistry major), KU and Yale Med Schools....he can use a dose of humility as a reminder about being human.

However, I thought it was the KSU game.

Titus Canby 5 years, 4 months ago

The timeout was definitely the UK game. I believe we blew a 7 point lead in the last 30 seconds. But there was a game at KSU when they threw chickens at him. K-State fans never known for class.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 4 months ago

I remember that UK loss like it was yesterday. FYI, The play was on the north baselineI. I was sitting directly behind Owens when that happened. Someone on the bench near Owens was yelling "time-out" as well as several of the fans behind the bench but not me. Ken said he knew the team was out of time-outs before the play, although but in the heat of the moment when the bench was screaming for a TO, he called it. To his credit, he never called out the bench or the fans and like a class act took all the heat.

The chicken thing was incredibly immature and did not phase Ken at all.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 4 months ago

Basketball:

  1. '57 National Championship loss to UNC. Would love to have a NC for Wilt.

  2. '03 National Championship loss to Syracuse. Would love to have a NC for Roy at KU.

  3. Paul Pierce losing to Zona. Best team I've seen.

Football:

  1. '69 Orange Bowl loss to PSU.

  2. '07 Border Loss to MU.

  3. Mangino's last loss to MU in Arrowhead. Perkins, the criminal jerk, would not have been able to fire Mangino had we won that game.

Brian Wilson 5 years, 4 months ago

I agree with all of your choices Suzi. Spot on.

The one non-championship game, which may have cost us two National Championship’s was the 1986 game against Duke. When there was no 3 point line.

IMO, in 1985-86, KU had the best 3pt tandem in KU history in Special K and Calvin Thompson. Kellog at times was unconscious and could put up over 30 points just 2 points at a time at the same time Calvin put up 20+ most from long range.. Had the 3 -point line existed and a very important injury not occurred I think KU would have walked away with the Championship in 1986 and maybe have had another shot at it in 1987. KU's best shot at.possibly three Championships in a row.

In 1986, in the National Semi-final against Duke, KU was up 3 points in the 2nd half when Archie Marshall tears his ACL and the game fell apart. The injury was devastating as ACL surgeries at that time were pretty much unheard of and the team was visibly shaken.

Then in 1987, Archie was recovering and did not play. He would have made a big difference on a KU team that was short on talent. Even still, KU played into the Regional final and would they have been a much better team had Archie been healthy.

Then in 1988, after Archie recovered, prior to March Madness, and against Duke again, he hurt his leg for a second time, essentially ending his realistic chances at the pros, just prior to KU (Danny and the Miracles) going on to win the National championship while Archcie watched from the sidelines on crutches.

Although I would not want to give up the 1988 Championship, sometimes I wish I could have seen Archie not get hurt and playing out his career healthy and wish I could have seen Calvin and Ron Kellog getting their chance to shoot the three in the 85-86 season.

Len Shaffer 5 years, 4 months ago

Well said, Brian. I was at that '86 game, and it was a devastating loss.

One minor quibble: KU lost in the Sweet 16 in '87 (to Georgetown), not the regional final.

It's pretty near impossible to pick just one game that I would want to overturn, but I could narrow it down to two if I had to: the '97 Sweet 16 game against Arizona, and the 2003 championship game against Syracuse. Those are the games that are still the most painful for me.

On the other hand, if I was to go purely by my own self-interest, I would reverse the 2012 championship game against UK. Not only would it have deprived the Evil Empire of a title, but I would have won every pool that I was in, totaling $3,000. Instead I didn't win a penny and was out the $100 I had shelled out for pools.

Ryan Goodwin 5 years, 4 months ago

2007 Border War is a layup choice. No doubt about. Never been as crushed as a KU fan after a game.

But my 2nd choice is another football game that hasn't been mentioned. 2009 KU at CU. This was the game that started the 7 game losing streak to end the year and the current road losing streak we have now. We were 5-0 heading into that game and this is also the game Reesing initially hurt his leg. And we still had a chance to win on the last play as Briscoe had a shot at a leaping touchdown catch. We win that and Reesing doesn't get hurt who knows how many more games we win that year, we would've been in our 3rd bowl in a row and 5th in last 7 years and most importantly...no way Lew can push Mangino out.

Brian Skelly 5 years, 4 months ago

The beauty of this exercise is that it'll be different for everyone. To some degree. My guess is most 'picks' for this will be from a handful of games, including many you've included in your list.

But for me personally, the loss to Arizona in the 97 tournament would be it. Yes, it was 'only' a Sweet 16 game, and would assure nothing beyond that. But that 96/97 Jayhawks team was the best KU team ive ever seen, and I might use the word 'easily' as well. And its certainly the best hoops team KU has had that didnt win it. That team falling short of the Final Four to me is galling. I'll never forget that loss as long as I live.

Obviously we've won since, and had teams loaded to the hilt since. But to me, that will always been the one that got away.

Thats the beauty and curse of the tournament though. The best team doesnt always win.

Chris Teegarden 5 years, 4 months ago

The 91 loss to Duke. It's the first bad loss I remember and it still haunts me. I was nine and remember being inconsolable for days.

Titus Canby 5 years, 4 months ago

How about the '86 final four loss to Duke. That was the best KU basketball team I've ever seen.

Or the '02 final four loss to Oregon? Is Oregon right? That was the 2nd best team in my opinion.

Or how about this one? The last baseball game against MU? It was the last time we played MU in any sport before they left the Big 12.

Matt Tait 5 years, 4 months ago

Maryland is who you're thinking. KU played Maryland in the Final Four and Maryland went on to beat Indiana in the title game. Hoosiers knocked off OU.

Titus Canby 5 years, 4 months ago

Thanks Matt. Geez, I can remember '86 but not '02.

Armen Kurdian 5 years, 4 months ago

1: KU loss to AZ in 1997 tourney

2: KU loss to NI in 2010 tourney

Gavin Fritton 5 years, 4 months ago

I don't know that this wins my vote, but I also think the 1986 Final Four loss to Duke deserves more discussion. That was a great team that had already beaten Louisville, the eventual national champion. Had we beaten Duke in that game, there is every reason to think that we'd have another National Championship banner hanging in Allen right now.

Len Shaffer 5 years, 4 months ago

As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure that we had already beaten Louisville TWICE that year. Of course that could have made the chances of beating the Cards a third time pretty tough.

Aaron Paisley 5 years, 4 months ago

KU was really close to winning 4 national titles in 5 years in basketball. KU was the best team in the country in 2010 and 2011 was a few missed bunnies away in 2012. So 2010 UNI, 2011 VCU, amd 2012 Kentucky.

In football, let's go with the 2006 season. KU lost 2 games in OT and blew 4th quarter leads in 2 others and was basically 4 plays away from being 10-2 that year.

Doug Cramer 5 years, 4 months ago

1: Loss to Michigan in 2013 2: First Mizzou Football Loss at Arrowhead

Saad Saifeddine 5 years, 4 months ago

1- Syracuse 2003 title game 2- Maryland final four loss 2002 3- Paul Pierce's last game 4- This year's loss to Nova 5- The 2013 Michigan incredible meltdown 6- Kentucky 2012 title game 7- VCU upset

Robert Fast 5 years, 4 months ago

Hard to pick: '57 loss for Wilt (if anyone ever deserved a National Championship, it was him) '97 loss to Arizona (what a disappointment) '65 when they disallowed JoJo's last second bucket

Randy Signor 5 years, 4 months ago

Football: the 69 Orange bowl; baseketball: the '57 3 OT loss to UNC (Wilt shoulda had a title)

Danny Hernandez 5 years, 4 months ago

The 57 OT Game, JoJoWhite's 1966 regional bullshiz loss, The 2003 loss to Syracuse when we shot 14 for 30 at the Free Throw line and lose by 3 plus the Elite 8 game to VCU.

Kansas easily could have had 4-6 more Championships to add to its 3 giving us either 7 to 9 total.

Rob Zerwekh 5 years, 4 months ago

Football: 2009 at Colorado. A win secures bowl eligibility and probably avoids the rabbit hole that was Turner Gill and Charlie Weis.

Basketball: 1997 sweet 16 game vs. Arizona, for all the reasons mentioned above

Brian Skelly 5 years, 4 months ago

The funny thing is Rob, no one would likely mention that 09 at CU. But your right that game result might have had a disparate impact on whats happened to the football program since. Crazy to think that way, but your on to something.

David Kemp 5 years, 4 months ago

Totally agree that the Fb program died with the Colorado loss. All momentum of the season killed. Had we won and kept winning a bowl and better recruits might have saved the current state of disaster

Robert Brown 5 years, 4 months ago

I agree with many of the suggestions. Here are some additional thoughts:

1968- Instead of the Penn State loss in the Orange Bowl, how about the regular season loss to OU. KU was ranked #3 at the time. They may have ended up playing Penn State in the Orange Bowl anyway.

Also from football, the lose to Colorado in Mangino's final year started a seven game losing streak. Had we pulled that out and won, would the season have been better and Mangino be given an extra year?

I think if KU could have won two additional national titles in the Williams-Self era, the overall perception of KU basketball would have been even more elevated.

Here is another 'what if' scenario that is reverse of the original question. What if KU loses to K-State in the 1988 Regional Finals and KSU wins the national championship? Does Lon Kruger stay and build a power that makes it difficult for KU, who would be on probation the next year, to compete.

Eric Harrison 5 years, 4 months ago

1a. Can we just say the hiring of Turner Gill? Biggest loss in KU history (followed shortly by the Valesente, Allen and Weis hires)

1b. Mangino's Mizzou loss. Undefeated seasons rarely happen in college football ... and it seems like they will never, ever happen for KU football. And if by some miracle we beat Oklahoma? Kansas playing for a football National Championship? I can't even comprehend it as a possibility any more. 2. The loss to Kentucky in 2012. Thomas Robinson is one of my favorite Jayhawks and beating that Kentucky team would have been amazing (might be the best team in CBB in my lifetime). 3. 1957 NC game. 4. 2002 Maryland final four. That game was the defacto championship game. Neither Indiana nor Oklahoma compared to KU or Maryland. Plus I wanted Self to win a championship before Roy did, so I had to put one of his losses up there first. 5. 2001 Syracuse game. Winning back-to-back would have been amazing. 6. 1953 national championship game. 7. The last loss to Mizzou in football. Wanted to win the series and end on a win. 8. The VCU loss in 9. The Michigan loss in 10. The Penn State Orange Bowl (I don't know enough about that era, and the ways it might have changed our football trajectory)

Chris Blake 5 years, 4 months ago

1997 Az for Basketball 1993 Nebraska for football (June Henley would have risen to legend status on that one) 1996 Missouri, if we would have won, would Mason have stayed? (and not had 10 years of misery?) 2009 Is there a game that Mangino would have won, that would have made Perkins need to keep him and not spiral into being the worst team in Div 1?

Brad Avery 5 years, 4 months ago

The 81-80 alleged loss to Texas Western in 1966 in the Midwest Regional when Jo Jo White was called out of bounds after hitting what would have been the winning shot. KU was the best team in the tournament that year.

Michael Brady 5 years, 4 months ago

I remember that game clearly. The sense of loss is still there.

Todd 5 years, 4 months ago

Hard to choose. For my own history, I'd actually pick the game vs Vince Young's Texas that we were screwed out of winning by the referees. That would have been a huge program boost to beat Texas on national TV.

For basketball, it has to be either 2003 or 2012. If forced to choose, I'd say 2003. If we just made some free throws, we win. 2012 takes more to reverse since UK was so good.

From a historical point, I'd change the title game Wilt lost to North Carolina. It''d be great to have that little cherry on top of his already great career to have won a championship at KU.

Andy Godwin 5 years, 4 months ago

"The 2012 loss to a stacked Kentucky squad in New Orleans". I was at that game and even though they appeared to be outmatched, there were several positions that could have dramatically changed the outcome in a positive way for the Jayhawks. Further, just think, Bill Self would have two National Championships and John Vincent Calipari, none. And Self would have likely been inducted into the Naismith College Basketball Hall of Fame by now. Whereas "John Calipari is one of only 6 active coaches enshrined (Mike Krzyzewski, Larry Brown, Jim Boeheim, Roy Williams, Rick Pitino)".

Second would be the "Wilt's triple-OT loss to Carolina in 1957". That lead to arguably the greatest basketball player of all time taking a 40 year sabbatical from Lawrence and his alma mater. The game also elevated UNC basketball to national prominence.

Titus Canby 5 years, 4 months ago

Here's one that ruined a football season. '76 loss to Oklahoma State (I think). We were undefeated, 5-0 or 6-0, and ranked in the top 10 going into the game. Nolan Cromwell got a season-ending injury, and we lost that game and every game through the end of the year.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 4 months ago

JC Titus....did you have to remind us about that! That was tragic. Anytime Cromwell's name comes up, I always think of him going Hollywood....divorcing Ellen to marry Mrs. Hollywood. Ellen landed on her feet by falling in love and marriage to that dead broke basketball GA named John Calipari.

Robert Brown 5 years, 4 months ago

Almost correct. We started out 4-0 and were ranked probably outside of the Top 10. We then went to OSU and lost a close game. The next week was homecoming and OU came to town. KU had beaten OU the previous year. I think this was a nationally televised game and the campus was really into the game. The game was a tough battle and tied when Nolan carries the ball into the line. It was pretty non descript, but we he injured his knee and was out for the season.

Titus Canby 5 years, 4 months ago

Thanks Robert. The thing I remember the most was the next Monday on campus. Total silence. It was like the entire student body was still in shock two days later.

Harlan Hobbs 5 years, 4 months ago

Wow! What great memories you all have. As an old timer, I will vote with Suzi and a few others and pick the 1957 triple overtime game. Wilt was so dominant that he deserved a championship, even though UNC was undefeated. Also, it would have provided a tribute to Phog Allen who recruited him, but who wasn't allowed to coach him due to the state's mandatory retirement age policy, which of course couldn't happen today.

I also pick that game because I was there as a young boy, and I cried all the way home to Topeka.

Finally, I pick that game because, when Wilt returned to KU in connection with the 40th anniversary of the game, he said that he felt like he had let the fans down, which of course wasn't true at all. He carried that burden for a long time which may have been a major factor in why he didn't return to KU until 1997. Then, he only lived two more years. Thank God he returned when he did and received the kind of adulation that he deserved as the greatest individual basketball player of all time, in my opinion.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 4 months ago

I completely agree Wilt was the greatest player of all time, although I was a huge Bulls/MJ fan who attended many home games in the 90s.

Yes Kansas had the mandatory retirement age limit but Murphy could have extended an exception to him. Instead Murphy was a first class jerk who wanted his own man, Harp, who was a big time supporter of the Fellowship of Christian Athlete BBall group (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Harp). Murphy and Harp were all about sweetness and spice instead of winning games.

Self, IMO, has the proper balance of winning vs Sweetness and Spice.

Lance Hobson 5 years, 4 months ago

The 2008 heartbreaker to Davidson. Oh wait, they didn't let Curry take the final shot.

So... 1. VCU '11 2. UTEP in '92 3. '03 title 4. RI in '98 5. Syracuse in '96

Michael Lorraine 5 years, 4 months ago

Matt, why must you torment us? But since you're asking I'd have to go with the 3ot loss to UNC even though it was before my time.

Bryce Landon 5 years, 4 months ago

Definitely have to go with the 2003 national finals.

Garry Wright 5 years, 4 months ago

As a long time fan, there are several games that I'd like to have seen turn out a little differently. But narrowing it down to one game I'd have to go with the 1957 national championship game. Not only would that have given us another title, it would have insured the return of Wilt for another year and an excellent chance at another title. I'm also upset that KU wouldn't allow Coach Allen to return for three more years. I've always felt that with him coaching Wilt we might have won three titles in a row. Harp was a good man but Allen was a much better coach and he's the one who got Wilt to come. I think he would have utilized Wilt much better. KU made a huge mistake forcing Allen to retire at age 70. Just my 2 cents worth.

Len Shaffer 5 years, 4 months ago

Great points about how different things might have been if Phog could have coached Wilt. Phog should have sued the university, but he probably thought that was unseemly, and they didn't sue as much in those days.

One thing, though: I think it's likely that Wilt still would have left KU before his senior year. I don't think his leaving had to do with not winning a championship, so much as him being tired of everyone collapsing on him on defense and him not having the freedom to move around as much as he would like. Now if they had a 3-point shot in those days, that could have really changed things.

Garry Wright 5 years, 4 months ago

Wilt felt that everyone was blaming him for KU not winning the championship game. It was a major factor in him not returning for his senior year as well as not returning to KU for many years. He was overwhelmed at the positive reception he received when he finally did.

Robert Brown 5 years, 4 months ago

For clarification, Wilt did play the next year. KU did not win the conference title and were not eligible for the post season tournament. They lost four conference games, two of which were from teams that had a losing conference record, and finished 2 games behind K-State.

Garry Wright 5 years, 4 months ago

Yes, Wilt did come back for his junior year and KU lost four conference games due to Wilt being ill and missing games. Had Coach Allen be there, perhaps he could have helped Wilt as he was a doctor so he wouldn't have missed the games he did. That's only speculation. And being a better coach, Allen might have helped them win those games anyway or at least enough to qualify for the tournament. Yes, back then only the season conference champ went to the tourney.

Andrew Bary 5 years, 4 months ago

Football? Yeah, I'm all with everyone else on Mangino's last game vs mizzou.

Basketball? I know it's crazy but... the loss at home vs Texas after T-Rob's mom passed away the night before. Not only for Thomas and family, but continuing that home win streak would have been nice.

Joe Ross 5 years, 4 months ago

The Zona loss has to rank up there for this question. All title losses must be candidates as well, and there have been many for KUBB. 2012 KY has to rank up there in this category. Coach Self would be seen as clearly greater than Cal, by virtue of the fact that KYs talent in 2012 was >> Kansas', and because Self beat Cal in 2008. I think it may also have had a positive impact on recruiting versus Kentucky. And, as with any title game, you add to your banner count.

Shannon Gustafson 5 years, 4 months ago

Seems like a no-brainer to pick losses in the National Championship games as changing the outcome guarantees another National Championship victory. Then it seems logical to pick a game from 2000+ so it's more meaningful to the current population's opinion of the program (and helps recruiting). So 2003 or 2012 NC is my choice, I'd probably lean towards 2012 just because it would have taken a NC away from Kentucky/Calipari.

Maria Ungaro 5 years, 4 months ago

Football: KU VS UT.... Lawrence , KS Memorial stadium was empty..With Vince Young, Cedric benson, Derrik Johnson and may other 5 star UT players, KU was dominating the entire game. By halftime the stadium was full. Coach Mack Brown was about to have a heart attack on the sidelines.

Texas woke up and began a comeback scoring 2 td's. KU took the lead and then Texas was stopped and punted, putting KU deep on its 5 yard line.

Charles Gordon did the unthinkable, caught a long pass on 3td and long. First down - Game over. BUt NOOOOOO, Yellow flag on the field. Pass Interference on Gordon. Mangino went nuts and rightfully so.

We punted and Vince does what Vince does shake in bake TD.... Game over.

Classic Mangino press conference..... Fun game should have won.

Harlan Hobbs 5 years, 4 months ago

Mick, if you are out there, can you confirm Suzi's comment about Chancellor Murphy having the ability to waive the mandatory retirement rule for Dr. Allen, but chose not to do so because he wanted Dick Harp to be the coach? I don't doubt Suzi, but it would certainly add stature to her comment if you can set the record straight. I have never heard that story before.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 4 months ago

The story, with all its details, were widely known and discussed amongst KU people at the time.Kevin Willmott captured the Phog-Murphy discussion, and Wilt's feelings on the matter in his film 'Jayhawkers,' which you can order from KU Bookstores, Williams or Alumni organizations.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBFILPgRPiw

Brad Sherp 5 years, 4 months ago

November 11, 1995, KU lost to #1 ranked Nebraska, who later went on to win the national title.

If KU beat Nebraska that day, they would have had a tie breaker over Nebraska and probably a shot at the national title that year.

That was before a conference championship game, so there wasn't an additional hurdle, whereas in 2007 beating Mizzou would have only lead us to a game against OU. That game was our best shot at a football national title.

Instead, we were in a three way tie for second place in the Big 8 with Colorado and K-State.

Steve Jacob 5 years, 4 months ago

All those bad losses. let's talk about the gift win. 2008 Championship, KU down two with 16 second with Memphis at the line shooting two.

Harlan Hobbs 5 years, 4 months ago

Unfortunately, Len, in those days, it wasn't illegal to force someone to retire due to age. In fact, until the Civil Rights Act of 1964, discrimination of any kind wasn't even illegal. Thank God we have come a long way since then.

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