Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Jayhawks begin quest for ninth straight Big 12 title with ISU

Kansas players come to a huddle while trailing Temple during the second half on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas players come to a huddle while trailing Temple during the second half on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Kansas University’s basketball players and coaches tonight begin their two-month quest for a ninth straight Big 12 Conference regular-season title.

If successful once again, the Jayhawks, who went 12-1 in the nonconference season, will not only be elated, but, yes, relieved.

“Everybody always talks about not being ‘that team,’ the one that messed up the streak. How would that look?” KU sophomore backup point guard Naadir Tharpe said Tuesday.

“The dudes I played with last year ... that’s all they talked about, ‘It can’t be us. We’ve got to get focused. We’ve got to make sure this, that.’ That’s all Tyshawn (Taylor) and Thomas (Robinson) talked about. They always said, ‘We can’t be the ones.’

“It’s that way this year. Elijah (Johnson), Travis (Releford) and those older dudes are all saying the same thing. We have to make sure we all help them out the best we can,” Tharpe added.

KU coach Bill Self acknowledges his squad, which meets Iowa State (10-3) at 6 tonight in Allen Fieldhouse in the Big 12 opener for both teams, views winning the league as more of a “responsibility” than an “opportunity.”

“Everybody wants to motivate from an opportunity standpoint,” Self said. “We have a chance to do something special. There is also responsibility we don’t want to get our butts beaten and certainly be the team that doesn’t do it. I think we’re motivated both ways.”

KU’s school-record streak of eight straight conference titles ties for the seventh longest string in NCAA history.

UCLA won 13 conference titles in a row in the Pac-8 and Pac-10 from 1967-79. Gonzaga won 11 straight West Coast Conference titles (2001-11); UConn (1951-60) and UNLV (1983-92) 10 straight Yankee and Big West Conference crowns respectively; and Idaho State (1953-61) and Kentucky (1944-52) nine straight Rocky Mountain and SEC titles.

As far as current streaks ... just three teams enter league play having won as many as three titles in a row.

Belmont, Ohio State and Murray State have won or tied for titles in the Atlantic Sun, Big Ten and Ohio Valley the past three campaigns.

“I didn’t start it, but I’d like to continue it, go out there and work hard and help my teammates win,” freshman guard Ben McLemore said. “Eight in a row is great. I want to keep that going. Nine in a row would sound great.”

Tenth-year KU coach Self acknowledged that eight straight league titles, “is pretty good. We’re proud of it. We don’t have nine, we’ve got eight. The ninth would be certainly as difficult to win as any of the others.”

KU has won 55 regular-season conference titles throughout history. Kentucky is second with 51 and Penn third at 37.

“If you want to talk impressive,” Self said, “watch what Alabama is doing in football. That humbles you a little bit. To win three (national championships) in four years is a remarkable feat. No matter what we’ve done here locally, on the national scene there is a lot more to be done if we want to be considered elite like what they’re doing in football.”

Self senses no complacency in his team.

“It was kind of neat watching tape yesterday,” Self said. After we watched Temple tape (69-62 win on Sunday), the guys were really excited about talking about what lies ahead in starting the second season.”

Self, whose Jayhawks went 16-2 in the conference last year, said he has no idea how many victories it would take to win No. 9 in a row.

“Between 11 and 16,” he said, smiling. “You know you’re going to have to win a lot of games to win the league. Not everybody is going to go .500. You’re going to have to probably win 14 or 15 I would think to have a reasonable shot at it. We’re 0-0, so we’re getting way ahead of ourselves. We haven’t played a game yet.”

Tharpe added: “It’s what everybody talks about — that KU is the favorite to win. How can we be the favorite to win? We’ve not even played a game in the Big 12. We just have to come out and show it.”

Self said the Big 12 winner annually can expect to be a national title contender.

“If we’re not the best in our league we don’t deserve to be considered the best in the country is the way I look at it,” Self said. “I don’t think our players are ever satisfied, overconfident or relaxed based on the Big 12. That’s a stepping stone to where you want to go. It’s a big step, important step, one we take great pride in.”

Tonight, KU opens against an Iowa State team that has played just one game in the last three weeks. The Cyclones, whose only losses have come to Cincinnati, UNLV and Iowa, rank first in the Big 12 and seventh nationally in scoring at 82 points a game. The Cyclones also lead the conference in rebounding at 43.4 boards per game and rebound margin at +10.8.

Senior guard Will Clyburn averages a team-leading 14.1 points and is second on the team in rebounding at 7.4. Junior forward Melvin Ejim averages 10.5 points and 9.4 rebounds. Senior guard Korie Lucious averages 9.7 points and 5.4 assists. Senior guard Tyrus McGee, who averages 13.4 ppg off the bench, has hit 48.1 percent of his threes.

“They score easier than anybody in our league,” said Self, whose team averages 77.7 ppg while allowing 59.2. “They shoot a ton of threes (118 of 330 for 35.8 percent to KU’s 84 of 223 for 37.7 percent). They are a terrific rebounding team.

“There really are no guys that you can play off of. That puts pressure on your defense and other areas. They are probably the best offensive team in our league, I would say, watching tape.”

Hoiberg on ‘Hawks: ISU coach Fred Hoiberg was 4-5 versus KU as a player and is 1-3 as a head coach.

“It’s a fun place to play. I’ve never won there in six chances as a player and coach, but it’s a great experience for the players to go experience that atmosphere,” Hoiberg said. “We are in a stretch we played one game in 21 days. Our guys are sick of each other right now. We’re ready to start playing some other people.”

Of KU’s team, he said: “It is impossible to simulate Kansas’ pressure in the way they get after you, especially the first six, seven minutes. It’s almost like playing eight guys on the floor. The big thing is you have to play with effort. If you don’t match their intensity the first five minutes, a lot of times it’s over by the first media timeout. We are going to go down there, lay it out there and see what happens.”

Of KU senior center Jeff Withey, Hoiberg said: “I was thinking of putting paddles on our big guys’ hands playing the scout team (at practice to simulate Withey’s blocking ability). You’ve got to be so selective as far as taking the ball to the basket. When he blocks a shot, it’s a dunk on the other end. The kid has a chance to be a terrific player for a long time (NBA).”

Familiar foes: KU’s Tharpe and ISU’s Ejim were teammates at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire (2009-10).

“We won our conference and national championship together,” Tharpe said. “He’s a good player, a good guy who works real hard. He rebounds. He can step out and shoot the ball well.”

This, that: ISU is the only team in the country to score 70 points in every game this season. ... KU leads the all-time series, 171-59, dating to 1908 and has won 12 of the last 13 meetings. KU is 47-9 vs. Iowa State in Allen Fieldhouse. KU has won seven in a row vs. ISU in Allen. The Jayhawks have won 99 of their last 100 games at home.


Scott MacWilliams 9 years, 4 months ago

ALright already!! time for the league season, and all those familiar faces. I guess that the newbies aren't going to do too much, with TCU and WV not making much noise as of yet.

The Mayor will have his guys ready to play, so get up and get busy, Jayhawks!!

Jayhawks by 18.

en1gmatikk 9 years, 4 months ago

"The Jayhawks have won 99 of their last 100 games at home".

That's pretty staggering no matter how you look at it.

AsadZ 9 years, 4 months ago

I was in the game that they lost, against Texas. That was my 1st time in AFH in 10+ years and took my family as well.

It turned out to be a very sad day as players, coaches and fans were mourning death of Lisa Robinson.

archercc 9 years, 4 months ago

They get a pass for breaking that streak. Staying up all night, working through a life event like that. You could tell they tried very hard but they were tired.

RJ King 9 years, 4 months ago

"KU has won seven in a row vs. ISU in Allen."

My only return trip to the Phog since college was a loss to ISU in 2004. It was the second loss of 3 in a row. In fact, that team closed out at 3-5 and then lost to Bucknell (with an F). I promise to stay far away from Allen today, to watch the start of something big. . .

One starts the Run

Two makes a Queue

Three is Key

Four is Lore

Five to Archive

Six for Kicks

Seven is Heaven

Eight Straight, oh wait . . .

Nine would be Divine

Ten? Let's do it Again! Rock Chalk!

RJ King 9 years, 4 months ago

yup - sorry 2004-2005 season. It was in February, and I'm quite certain they lost :-( To add insult to injury the tickets were way overpriced on Stub Hub. I guess I blocked part of it from my memory.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 4 months ago

In a sixty-four team format, similar to the NCAA tourney, I would say there is almost no way Alabama wins the last 3 of 4 National Titles. Not to take away what Alabama has accomplished, but winning a title in football vs basketball, really are not even comparable, imho.

dylans 9 years, 4 months ago

If KSU had beaten Baylor, they would have been playing ND and probably win that game. Mull that one over. As it stands KSU is 12. Oregon vs Bama in the second round of the 4 team playoffs would be entertaining. I don't like KSU I'm just pointing out how messed up college football is without a playoff- corrupt as a senator.

Dale Stringer 9 years, 4 months ago

I can see a tourney be able to fix college football. However, only if you go to16 teams with the conference winners getting an auto-bid(caveat: a conference winner must also be in the top-25 to get an auto-bid). Kids these days want to get their name known and nothing is better than starting for a team and playing as many post season games as possible. A starting position for let's say Utah St will get you more air time than 3rd stringer for Alabama in the same post-season game.

John Randall 9 years, 4 months ago

Not to worry about BXii football, with nine teams in bowls this year.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 4 months ago

drgnslayr: Excellent post.

I believe firmly that more than ever, the college football "champion" is a fraud. This season was an example, the year LSU had two losses and won was an example. As minnhawk mentioned below, Bama loses at home to Texas A&M. They get a free pass. Why? They are Alabama. Everyone just assumes they are good.

So to Self's point, I think he is right, you can't compare college football to college basketball, but he is dead wrong regarding what's more impressive. It's much more impressive to be excellent, "elite" year in, and year out, in college, because of the crazy turnover, the fact that it's hard to bring in elite guys with an elite player in front of them (vs. football).

Alabama may .. may .. be the best team in college football. Fine. But being the "best" is much different than being a "champion." I suggest KU was the best team in college basketball in 1997. Big deal. League championships are won by attrition. National champions, true national champions, are won by winning a tournament. That holds true in really every other sport, whether college or pro, and of course has always been the case in pro football and college football at all other levels (DII, III, NAIA). Tournaments test a team's mettle much differently than does a the war of attrition. -- they are two different tests.

Alabama is no "national champion" .. there just isn't one.

Phoggie_Thinking 9 years, 4 months ago

I agree with part of your post, but Alabama didn't win anything last year. The joke of a title game gave them a second chance against the team that beat them in regular season. That just shouldn't have happened.

The same silly system gave ND a chance this year. I really don't see any difference between what Alabama did to ND and what Oregon did to a better than ND team KSU.

Until College Football goes to a 8 team playoff there is just no comparison to basketball, but Bill Self the master motivator says, "Boys you haven't done nothing." I love the guy.

Martin Rosenblum 9 years, 4 months ago

Sorry, I tried to read what you posted but was so distracted by the photo (your avatar) that I have no idea what your comment said.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 4 months ago

I've heard the such and such college team could beat this really bad NFL team before, and it's a preposterous proposition!

An NFL team, even the worst has a roster full of NFL draftees. Alabama will have probably 20-25 NFL draftees on their roster, that's not only kids who will get drafted this year, but get drafted in the future. Heck Alabama didn't beat one college team this year and if not for Les Miles gambling, wouldn't have won another game.

And I am impressed with a team winning 3 of 4 national championships.

John Randall 9 years, 4 months ago

No team has ever won a national championship in football, much less 3 of 4. The mythical BCS charade is no more legitimate than the popularity polls of years past, it just adds one game after the popularity contest is over.

Lash 9 years, 4 months ago

And you are an expert on blow-up sex dolls, how?

minnhawk84 9 years, 4 months ago

Wait a minute.....Alabama got their asses kicked by Texas A&M this year. AND, Notre Dame was yet another creation of the national media -- they weren't that good to be in the national championship game. Who did they play, who did they beat? Teams wax and wane over time. Oklahoma so dominated college football in the fifties it is a wonder opponents even showed up to play. Alabama "escaped" with a victory in several games this year, and there are definite cracks in the program. The SEC wants you to believe they are dominating college football, and the conference probably is, except several of those teams lost their bowl games. Auburn went from national champs to national chumps in just one year. It all evens out in the end.

What is boring is the NFL. College football will always have the emotion of college kids, game day, bands and cheerleaders.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 4 months ago

NFL, boring....REALLY?!?!?!?

EASILY my favorite sport among what I call the 6 major ones (NFL, NBA, College Bball, College Fball, NHL & MLB).

College Football probably my 2nd least favorite after the NHL.

College Football.....1 loss & your season's basically over. They can't decide a champion. Been too many dynasties in my life, whether it be nationally or within the conference.

And to argue the passion isn't there in NFL stadiums?!?!?! WHAT A JOKE!!!!! I would argue at the best venues likely EXCEEDS college atmospheres. Tell you what....go catch a game at Qwest (or whatever they're calling it now) (the Seahawks home stadium) and then get back to me about NFL vs. College!!!!! :)

I probably in terms of my fandom go: 1) NFL, 2) College BBall, 3) MLB, 4) NBA, 5) College Football, 6) NHL....although that may now be Golf.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 4 months ago

Bill Self is so simple, yet so complex.

Hoiberg is a very smart coach. Right up there with Self. I get nervous everytime KU matches up against ISU. I cannot say that for ANY other Big 12 team.

I don't see Withey having a big game tonight, In fact, I anticipate he'll be a non-factor other than a few boards and some points. There will be too much perimeter play and really bad match up for Jeff.

Speaking of Jeff: I love seeing the show Withey is putting on even in the wake of DMan leaving. It is so very refreshing to once again have one of our bigs dominate the lane and the headlines. What is even more refreshing, there are no 'mean mugging', 'elbow dropping', 'straddle-over-you-while-you-are-on-your-back" reputations that accompany Mr. Withey.

Rewatching all of the NCAA tourney games today as I put them on disc. A couple things continue to amaze me. Tyshawn was really really really fast. Duh, huh :) Second; what spectacular luck it takes for even a really good team to get the Title game. I wonder what that UNC game would have looked like with a healthy Kendall Marshall.

Rock Chalk

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 4 months ago

WHAT?!?!?! Can't say that about ANY other Big 12 team?!?!?!

I would argue that Oklahoma State has EASILY been our biggest "thorn in the side" over the past 5-10 years. I can only remember winning in Stillwater like maybe 2 x over the last decade!!!!

Ron Franklin 9 years, 4 months ago

I'm not really talking about the past, bud. But since Ford has taken over OkSt and Hoiberg ISt, Self has lost once to each coach. So they are even from a record standpoint. The point I was trying to make is that Hoiberg, imo, is the second best coach in this league and the only coach I believe can match wits with HCBS.

Woody Cragg 9 years, 4 months ago

I'd agree, Stillwater can really be a beach. I've set behind the visitors bench there & when that damn mascot starts shooting his pistols, that's the most unnerving thing I've ever encountered at an opposing area.Just rattles the krap out everyone. And the sides of the friggin' place go almost straight up, seems like to the clouds & man, that makes it sooooooooooo loud. I always thought it was an absolute snake pit. Still trying to figure out how they can get kids to go to school there-Esmiko Joes is about the coolest thing around, & that's probably off limits to athletic students.

Allen Shepard 9 years, 4 months ago

Funny, i have seen ISU fans predicting Withey goes for 25 and him being what really scares them. Apparently their post defense has been suspect all year.

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 4 months ago

You have a right to voice your opinion.

And I disagree with almost all of what you just said.

Fred Hoiberg is a class act, and he's done very well giving some good players a second chance and a fresh start at ISU.

Their fans are nothing special, but they do have a good home court environment, and they're definitely not as bad as the classless fans at Mizzou and the whiners over at K-State.

I agree with Rock Chalk Jayhawk, and that's it.

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 4 months ago

I love that Bill Self called out the Big Men for not stepping and defending their teammates after a hard foul earlier this year.

Was it Tharpe who was fouled and EJ stepped up and took the Technical? Then Bill Self said that it should have been a Big to step up and be the enforcer?

clevelandjayhawker 9 years, 4 months ago

That photo makes it look like Tharpe is leading this team, not EJ

Tony Bandle 9 years, 4 months ago

Maybe it's a glimpse into the future of this season!!

Robert Murphy 9 years, 4 months ago

With Johnson's health concerns the picture is more truth than fiction. Tharpe has been playing more and more like a big time point guard and in many ways holds the key to our success going forward. .

FearlessJayhawk 9 years, 4 months ago

Iowa State always plays tough. All we have to do is stay focused and take care of the ball. Turnovers is the one weakness of this team. If any of you players are reading this, keep it under control. Don't play like a scatter-brain. THINK!

REHawk 9 years, 4 months ago

Fans who appreciate "out of the box" maneuvering have got to love Hoiberg. He represents a fresh breath of life to Big 12 hoops. Utilizing Royce White to run the point was a brilliant move. Even coping with Royce's complexities has to rank right up there with Bill Self's nurturing of Tyshawn Taylor. I am braced for a very different brand of game in The Phog tonight. My Hawks to Rock: Ben and Perry.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 4 months ago

I agree with Brock. Picking Ben for every game is a no brainer. I need to see an actual "breakout game" by Perry before he gets a pregame nod. PS I hope you're right, however!!

Kit Duncan 9 years, 4 months ago

If ISU's plan is to drag Jeff away from the basket, it means Kevin Young will have to be the on-basket defender. He should have a big game... Fear the 'Fro!


theend 9 years, 4 months ago

Remember......ISU almost beat us last year at Allen. So KU needs to be ready tonight. I think KU will win......but I always worry. It's my nature.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 4 months ago

"almost beat us last year at Allen"...with Royce White.

And remember, we weren't nearly as talented last year...especially at this point in time.

We dominate tonight. End of story.

Steve Kubler 9 years, 4 months ago

Sorry Mr Hoiberg, strapping paddles on your players won't help much. Might extend the reach but you can't simulate the timing and body control. Not that I wouldn't like to see you give it a go, there is one YouTube video that would go viral.

I agree with Blownjay in that Jeff is likely to have a slow night on D stat wise. He is going to be dragged all over the perimeter, unless of course HCBS see's this possibility and schemes around it. Is it time for Jaybate's 1-3-1, 2-1-2 or box and 1, is it time for mixing things up and muddying the water for future teams scouting reports? Heck a box and 1switching everything would be fun to watch and with KU's team speed just might prove effective from time to time.

Oh well, it's about 9 hours to tip-off and I'm about worked up to game time fever already. Better start pacing myself a bit!

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 4 months ago

Regardless, Self is aware of the possibilities,

But consider this...what makes Withey so defensively dominant isn't just his wingspan, but his footwork as well. I'm not entirely sure that pulling him out to the perimeter will have the effect Hoiby hopes for.

Withey can get from the perimeter to the paint pretty quick to keep altering shots.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 4 months ago

I could see the possibility of losing to ISU in Hilton......but, no way in Allen!!

Still, this game will be a good initial guage of what Kansas will have to do to take NUMBER NINE!!

Steve Gantz 9 years, 4 months ago

I heard that a coach, I think it was in the SEC was advocating for their league to go to a full round robin schedule, 26 games. Wouldn't that be great to see in all conferences? For a number of years there when Texas was really good, the whims of the schedule meant we'd either play there or they'd play here, but rarely at both places. That robs the league of a marquee matchup.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 4 months ago

Watching us play Temple tells me we lose at least 3 in Big 12 play. Maybe 16-2. But I'd bet 15-3.

We are good. But we're not that good yet. If we finish with 3 or 4 losses, that's still probably a number one seed. But who needs that? A #2 is fine. See 2003 and 2012. Matchups are what matters. But more, it's building to be ready.

The key for this team is being ready to play in March. To be that fine tuned, well oiled machine that can deal with adversity, that can deal with foul trouble, that can deal with the hot shooting team, that can deal with a down night. A team that has a clear character to it.

I am proud of the Big 12 titles. But I would trade all 8 in this stretch for one national title .. perhaps the one last season. But that's just me.

Now, with the run of titles, what builds legacies, what cements teams as "great", and programs as "great", and coaches as "great", are national titles. It's not the entire story, it just sets the concrete. One for coach Self is not enough.

I simply want coach Self to prepare this team for March. The best way he can. Think March. Think national title. It's fine to think .. "what do I need to do to win tonight" .. but please be thinking "what do I need to do for this team to be at its peak in March." Have that thought as the overriding thought in decision making.

If we had a bit of a collapse, lost 5 league games, and OSU surprises and wins the league ... but we win the national title ... no one will care that we didn't win the league.

This is a chase for a real national championship. With the hardware we have, that is absolutely all that matters from here on out. This is a team that can win it all.

NebraskaJayhawk 9 years, 4 months ago

Agree wholeheartedly. We will drop some games in league play. But I too think this team is poised to win the title at the season's end.

HawkKlaw 9 years, 4 months ago

You’re right, HEM. Matchups are what matter. If KU doesn’t win its conference, there’s a decent chance we don’t end up as a #1 or #2 seed. Being further down the bracket makes for much tougher matchups. The best way to ensure the easiest possible route (on paper) and to have momentum going into the NCAA tournament is to win your conference.

Also, comparing Big 12 titles to National titles is like comparing apples to oranges. They both serve completely different purposes. While winning the national title may be the most important aspect for Bill Self's coaching legacy, winning the conference is the most important (and first) step to winning the national title (which Bill Self is far more concerned with than his coaching legacy).

I’m not trying to be confrontational, but your last few paragraphs make it sound like Bill Self is a short-sighted nitwit of a coach. Of course he thinks about how to best prepare his team to peak in March. What do you think he’s doing all year? Lol. That’s one of the biggest aspects of his job. If you don’t think he’s preparing his team for March with every practice, sprint, tape session, media session and game, you’re not seeing the big picture.

I know we would all be elated to win the NC, but if KU's streak of conference titles came to an end this year I would be pretty upset (I hope I’m not the only one). I'd obviously still be happy for the NC, but I probably wouldn't regard this season as highly 2008, for instance, when we won both the conference and national titles.

I agree though: This year is ripe for KU to win it all. It’s one of those years that we should win it all. But winning it all starts with winning the conference and carrying that momentum into the NCAA tournament.

Ludwig Supraphonic 9 years, 4 months ago

Bill Self is a brilliant tactician and does not make random comments without an objective. No one is winning 3 of 4 NCAA basketball championships in today's tournament. Wooden could do it in another era with a 16 team tournament and no media/social media microscope. The appearance of dominance that Alabama currently enjoys in football will not occur in NCAA basketball and for many of us makes hoops that much more entertaining.

The BCS format engineered what seemed to be a compelling battle of traditional powers and most of the gameday talking heads were questioning Bamas being 9 1/2 points better. In hindsight, everyone is now clear it was a mismatch. Oklahoma's home beatdown by the Irish helped establish ND as legit. Alabama had match up problems with a Freshman quarterback on a team one year away from mediocrity in the Big12. Match ups often make games and I don't think Bamas or the SECs dominance is permanent. Next years four team playoff, isn't much, but is a speed bump against a hookslide through a mediocre, nonconference schedule into the championship game.

As Coach Self notes, most of us would be delighted if our hoops program could produce 3 NCs in 4 years. In a competitive atmosphere with great athletes and HOF coaches that can never happen. Unless the deck were stacked in a way that limits competition. UKs current status suggests we aren't there yet.

JayDocMD 9 years, 4 months ago

On the recruiting front, wondering if we have a real chance at Tyus Jones ('14 PG - Rivals #3 player?) Anyone know if he is still planning on a KU visit? He had mentioned last Fall making a trip to KU.

I know we've got Mason, Frankamp and Selden coming this year with Tharp (and Rio?) still here. But it would be nice to have an elite pure PG prospect for a change.

justanotherfan 9 years, 4 months ago

Football is so much different than basketball.

In football, its easier to win the title (not easy, but easier) because you don't have as much in the way of random occurrences. For example, a really strong team like Alabama won't lose very many games because they are strong in every facet. There seems to be a team that flirts with going undefeated every year in college football. In basketball, the last unbeaten usually falls in late January, or by mid February at the latest. In basketball, one guy can get hot and carry an average team to a win over a great team. In football, that's much less likely.

I think the equivalent of what Alabama has done would be going to 4 straight FF's with a couple of titles mixed in. Proof of how tough that is, though, is to look at Kentucky this year. FF, national title, this year probably won't make it past the round of 16. Or look at KU. Top notch teams each of the last 6 years. Elite 8 in '07. Won the title in '08. Lost in the Sweet 16 in '09. Lost in the round of 32 in '10. Elite 8 in '11. Title game last year. Looks like they could run to the Elite 8 or further again this season. But they could get tripped up like the 2010 squad, because upsets happen in the tournament, even to the best teams. But that's basketball for you. Still, KU has a mini dynasty going right now on the national level.

jgkojak 9 years, 4 months ago

The problem is solved if they have an 8 team (not 16 or 32) team playoff in football.

Take the top 5 conference champs as ranked by the BCS (or your selection cmte, whatever)

Take the top 3 ranked non-con teams

Seed 'em

Top 4 conf champs host a home game 3rd week of Dec

Final Four teams play Jan 1

This year the first round is 8 N Illinois at 1 Notre Dame, 7 Stanford at 2 Alabama, 5 Florida at 4 KSU, 6 FSU at 3 Oregon St

On New Year's we would have likely seen 1 Notre Dame vs. 4/5 KSU or Florida 2 Alabama vs. Oregon St

You wanna pick the winners of those games? Any of those teams could end up in champ game - and that Bama - OSU game would have been awesome

Micah Mandy Haase 9 years, 4 months ago

Last year when Tharpe was put in, I cringed (although it was usually only 1-2 minutes at a time) The beginning of this year I started to do the same, but now I'm actually growing fond of him. Ben has been my favorite so far and I am looking forward to seeing them all in person when they come down here to Norman on Feb 9!


Micah Mandy Haase 9 years, 4 months ago

Luckily the fan base for OU basketball isn't as bad. My wife is born and breed here in Norman and a huge OU fan. I was born and raised in Kansas and moved down here when I got out of the Navy for a job. All in all it hasn't been too bad. I proudly wave my KU flag at my house and on my vehicle.

jjarmstrong 9 years, 4 months ago

Those Cowboy fans are so much fun to hang with, nutzooldle!

jjarmstrong 9 years, 4 months ago

In the photo at top it looks like the guys are sadly observing a dead squirrel on the ground.

GreatJake 9 years, 4 months ago

Does anyone know when a replay on ESPN will be? I recorded the game and missed the last 20 seconds of regulation and the entire OT.

Cant watch channel 6 cable as we have Dish.


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