Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Keegan: North title up for grabs


Audio clips

2008 Oct. 21 press conference

The rules dictated that somebody had to represent the Kansas City Royals in the 1969 All-Star Game. The American League needed another catcher, so Ellie Rodriguez made the team, despite carrying a .260 batting average, two home runs and 12 RBIs into the break.

You think those numbers made Rodriguez, his family, friends and members of his fan club (both of them), any less proud of him when he was called to the line in pregame introductions? Rodriguez, a .245 career hitter, finished with 16 home runs in nine seasons, but he was a two-time All-Star (1972, representing the Milwaukee Brewers). An All-Star is an All-Star.

Similarly, the rules stipulate that in the Big 12, the football title game must be played between one team from the South and one from the North, not the two best teams. (Such a matchup could take place in the BCS national championship game, pitting Texas against Oklahoma in a rematch).

The school that represents the North in the Big 12 championship game won't care at that point how many teams from the South are ranked ahead of it in the polls, how many games it lost in conference and how badly the South teams might have dominated it and how many points the South would be favored by in the title game. The players, coaches and fans only will care that they have the opportunity to play for the championship of the best conference in college football.

Kansas could be that team without winning a game against a team from the South, which has gone 7-1 against the North.

Think about it. If Kansas (2-1, alone in first in the Big 12) can defeat the Cornhuskers in Lincoln, Neb., and stave off an upset from Kansas State in Lawrence, for the second year in a row, the Jayhawks would face Missouri in Arrowhead Stadium with a berth in the Big 12 title game on the line.

Missouri, K-State, Nebraska and Colorado are tied for second with 1-2 records and Iowa State is 0-3. Mizzou has the easiest remaining schedule (Colorado, at Baylor, K-State, at Iowa State, Kansas). Nebraska is at Oklahoma, plays host to Kansas, travels to K-State and finishes at home against Colorado. KSU welcomes Oklahoma for homecoming, then is at Kansas and Missouri and finishes at home against Nebraska and Iowa State. Colorado has remaining games against Missouri, Oklahoma State and Nebraska, so forget about the Buffaloes.

Winning out against the North is one way for the Jayhawks to make it to the conference championship game. Kansas isn't thinking about those games now, of course. Next up is Texas Tech on Saturday in Memorial Stadium at 11 a.m.

The natural fear going into the game is that Graham Harrell will have his way with the Kansas defense the same way Sam Bradford did. Maybe, but the eighth-ranked Red Raiders scored just 31 points in regulation before winning in overtime against a suspect Nebraska defense and that game was in Lubbock.

Texas Tech tends to be far more vulnerable on the road than at home. Last season, for example, Tech went 3-1 at home and 1-3 on the road. Still, it won't be easy. Harrell has thrown just five picks and has been sacked once all season. Oh well, it's not as if it's a must-win on the path to a potential spot in the Big 12 title game.


barackchalkjhawk 14 years, 1 month ago

They are already planning a new track facility, which means the track will be going. Let's face it, money is tight right now (eg. Kivisto), so it probably won't happen for another year or two. Regardless, our crowd is weak, particularly on the press box side. I often need to hold a mirror down at the noses of the people sitting in front of me to see if they're still breathing. If you want to sit and watch a game, go to a bar or watch it from your La Z Boy at home and give your tickets to the people who want to stand and get loud.

Ryan Gerstner 14 years, 1 month ago

The crowd is going to have to dial up the crowd noise this week and give KU every chance to win the game. The crowd's going to need to have a big game to help the KU D get off the field.

741hawk 14 years, 1 month ago

Hey, Kool,You must be kidding.The Relays attract a few thousand on a rainy weekend in April. No comaprison to the impact FB has from an image and a financial perspective.

quigley 14 years, 1 month ago

Well, since the coaches don't say anything about crowd noise....and people like KU and I feel weird about getting real loud around boring people, then the only thing left that can help us are the people who put on the video board entertainment clips. Let's hope they come up with a bunch of NEW montages/pump up clips to get even the casual fans excited.

Eliott Reeder 14 years, 1 month ago

The Kansas Relays have a greater tradition than Kansas football. They will never remove the track. Just sayin'...

rolo2383 14 years, 1 month ago

I thought this was the last year the relays were going to be held at the stadium.The crowd will get loud this weekend. Our fans get loud for games like this but they have trouble getting loud and staying focused for not so high profile games.We aren't going to lose all three south games. We are going to win this Saturday and I still think we have a chance against Texas. Mack Brown is still their coach. He's a great recruiter but not the most talented coach in the world.

Rick Arnoldy 14 years, 1 month ago

The stands are also much steeper at OU, bringing the fans sitting higher up closer than those in than the same number of rows up at KU.

741hawk 14 years, 1 month ago

It's pretty certain the track is coming out, but NO assurance they are going to add seats. (See the staduim Lew built at UConn. They could fit a track between the stands and the sidelines.) Discouraging. Taking out the track and NOT adding seats would be a travesty, especially when KU is ready to increase capacity by about that much. That would put Mem Sta at about 60,000 seats. Just right as we build the program.

741hawk 14 years, 1 month ago

A big part of it is the stadium!Quoting from the Game Day Program at Oklahoma . . . "The first renovation of Owen Field was in 1949 (60 years ago!) when the track was removed, the filed lowered and 7,000 seats added (all right up next to the sidelines). Let me tell you, it was LOUD in Norman on Saturday.Hey, Lew . . .get with the program. Get us a stadium where the fans can create a home field advantage. They'll never do it separated from the players by 8 lanes of track! (Please note Nebraska, Oklahoma State, all SEC, all Big 10, etc, etc.)

eastcoasthawk 14 years, 1 month ago

If you think the North is a two horse race then Keegan brings up a solid point in that we could lose two more games and win the North as long as we beat Missouri. Thanks for that.

KU 14 years, 1 month ago

I'm not conceding the TT game. I think KU can win the game. I'll do my part, but it's awkward yelling when all the people around you are just sitting there like it's a July baseball game.If they lower the floor of the field, I bet they could put in a low-rise endzone section on the south end that wouldn't obscure the view of the Hill. If they squeezed about 9,000 seats below the existing seating sections, I bet they could put about 3,000 seats in the south endzone with a conservative, 20-row addition

KUFan90 14 years, 1 month ago

The track will be gone soon. Hopefully our fans are "learning" to be better engaged as well as interest in the team has improved. Hopefully that coupled with the track removal and lowered field will really make an impact.

quigley 14 years, 1 month ago

Any ideas about this besides "they shouldn't have to ask"?

railer1122 14 years, 1 month ago

Our crowd is terrible, ESPN says we are the second worse fans in the Big 12 ahead of only Baylor. They said Memorial Stadium is consistently stale. Our students leave early, too concerned about drinking and I hate the fact that the only games where people are standing up the entire game is the K-State game, cause K-State fans stand up the whole game pretty much, so we have to as well. Our fans are weak, and everyone knows it.

Dale Koch 14 years, 1 month ago

Hey people, you've forgotten. KU is a basketball school. No place like Allen Field house.

quigley 14 years, 1 month ago

I always wondered, why don't coaches (Mangino/Self) ever address the crowd noise in their weekly press conferences and interviews? I always wanted them to say, "this is a big game, and we need the crowd to give us every advantage we can get" (get loud) I always thought that if the coach asked for it, they would get more than what they expected in return.

JBurtin 14 years, 1 month ago

I figure we have a strong student section that knows how to make noise. As those students graduate, many of them will live near enough to start buying season tickets on the west side.As for now, many people on the west side are old and bitter, and seem to relish the fact that they don't believe KU will continue to be good at football. They're still sitting quietly on their hands and waiting for the program to crumble.With that kind of attitude, crumbling is exactly what will happen if somebody doesn't challenge them for their tickets. Keep getting sellouts and soon the ticket price will raise by a couple hundred dollars. Graduated students will be excited enough to pay for them, but the johnny come lately crowd isn't going to pay that kind of money. They'll move quietly on to sit at home and grumble.It will take a few years, but we'll get there.

number1jayhawker 14 years, 1 month ago

Last time I checked, I could yell just as loud sitting on my ass, as I could standing on my two feet. Amazing!

kansas22 14 years, 1 month ago

I don't know what it would take to get KU fans and students to yell more, but it seems like the only time people really care and make noise is on 3rd down. But the thing is, there are 4 downs! Why is it so hard for some people to show support and yell for this team? We have a chance to actually build a football program here. I don't think you've been able to say something like that in my 20 year lifetime. It's frustrating to hear us make minimal noise all game but I'm slowly realizing that it will probably never get to the level that I and many others want it to be. Just think if KU had the stadium of an SEC school... And actually filled it! I can dream can't I?

JBurtin 14 years, 1 month ago

Good point on the social loafing.Perhaps KU should put in a microphone on the video board that measures how loud the crowd is yelling. They could put a meter on the board to give the crowd feedback on whether it was a weak amount of noise or a strong effort.Just get a baseline figure for how many decibels it should be when the crowd is yelling full force, and have a meter that climbs toward that goal as the noise increases. Several steps could be added to give feedback (e.g. polite clapping, makin' some noise, getting loud, thunderous, deafening).A noise level above the goal could give the crowd a reward by showing a special graphic that only pops up due to an extraordinary effort.After a while the crowd would get trained as there would be more social pressure to make some noise.

thiknthinhawk 14 years, 1 month ago

The microphone on the video board is a great idea!

rockchalkblock 14 years, 1 month ago

I got an idea.. how bout we get rid of resurved seating and make it all GA and it will be first come first serve and then maybe all those people that show up in the second quarter will not come to the game and it will be the people that wanna be there bright and early ... and as for being able to yell just as loud sitting down.. when your standing your diaphram can work better and produce a better sound, thats why chiors stand not sit! and runners stand straight up after a sprint not sit down. And another reason people dont seem to yell as loud KU has a big problem with social loafing at game, if you dont know what that means look it up.

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