Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Opinion: ISU didn’t conspire against Kansas


The Kansas University football team defeated West Virginia by a dozen. WVU topped Oklahoma State by nine points. OSU hammered Baylor by 32 points, and Baylor clobbered Iowa State by 64.

Based on those four outcomes, KU should have beaten Iowa State by 117 points, but lost by 34, a swing of 151 points.

Unless you don’t put 100-percent faith in comparative scores, something just didn’t add up Saturday in Ames, where the Jayhawks spent the night running not to fall down, and the Cyclones adjusted to the grass-and-ice field far better.

Conspiracy theorists might find it interesting that Iowa State ranks 10th in the 2013 QS World University Rankings by subject in “Ag & Forestry.”

If I had anything to do with Iowa State football, I certainly would mine the fertile brains of every nearby grass expert not lost in thought listening to Grateful Dead tunes while marveling at how lava lamps seem to have minds of their own, and such creative ones at that.

I would ask them what could be done to a grass, crowned football field to prepare it in such a way as to make the surface outside the numbers on the field more fit for hockey than football. And then I would bring every variety of shoe I had to the grass expert and ask which would work best on ice. Next, I would equip receivers and defensive backs with just such shoes and let the guys who spend most of their time in the middle of the field stay with more conventional cleats.

I certainly am not accusing anyone at Iowa State of altering the field to the Cyclones’ advantage, I’m just saying that’s what I would have done.

Gamesmanship is part of playing games. Hayden Fry, one-time Iowa coach whose tree spawned so much quality fruit, including Kansas State living legend Bill Snyder, painted the visiting locker room at Kinnick Stadium pink because he had read that the color has a calming effect. Calm and violent go together about as well as figure skating and football. KU hasn’t had a winning football team since 2008. Nevertheless, the Jayhawks are much better football players than they are skaters.

If it were just the wide receivers slipping all over the place, well, they haven’t had the best of games on the best of fields, but KU’s cornerbacks, JaCorey Shepherd and Dexter McDonald, are two of the top players on the team, and they had trouble running with conviction.

Afterward, Shepherd said he thought “it’s more of a Nike and adidas thing, just the way that they make their cleats.”

James Sims wondered if longer cleats would have helped, but unlike in the NFL, the normal cleats are the longest allowed. Coach Charlie Weis said some players switched to shorter cleats, believing they would have less chance of getting stuck.

Whatever the reason, Iowa State was more prepared to play under the rare conditions, a failure on KU’s part.


Brandon Deines 8 years, 10 months ago

I think you mean "the University of Kansas."

Bryce Landon 8 years, 10 months ago

What kind of inane, incoherent article is this????

Jeffery Barrett 8 years, 10 months ago

What, is this the first TK article you've read?

Michael Leiker 8 years, 10 months ago

Tom, I think a better more appropriate article would have been, "ISU didn't PERSPIRE against Kansas."

Jim Jackson 8 years, 10 months ago

I se what you are trying to do Keegan and I agree, it just seemed as if our guys were slipping way more than theirs; giving way to the fact that they were may more prepared/ informed of what was to come.

I don't know if we would have beaten them on normal conditions, they were playing with fire that game, most of our guys were just going through the motions.

Robert Brown 8 years, 10 months ago

I can't believe we are still talking about the field conditions. The score was 34-0. That the field was icy should not have been a surprise. So is all about preparation and the it would appear the KU coaching staff was not prepared for the weather, which again was not a surprise.

There is always an excuse with this organization. I have never heard Weis say, "It's on me-- I did not have this team ready to play"

David A. Smith 8 years, 10 months ago

We'll never know the "could have, should have, would have's", but anyone with eyes could see the enormous disparity between how the ISU players could run and cut vs the major struggle the KU players had. Coach Weis is doing exactly what he should do with this situation- nothing. Anything that he could say or do in regard to the playing conditions would only be construed as sour grapes and excuses. But the condition of the field, for what ever reason, had the function of a decided ISU advantage.

Robert Brock 8 years, 10 months ago

Did the condition of the field cause our receivers to drop perfectly thrown passes?

W Keith Swinehart II 8 years, 10 months ago

I agree, and we had better walk away with a lesson well learned. However, we shouldn't judge the season on one game. Just no repeats of poor preparation.

Al Martin 8 years, 10 months ago

I'm not that forgiving. Preparing for field conditions is part of the job for a coach. The coaching staff totally dropped the ball.

Nick Cole 8 years, 10 months ago

This performance was the repeat. It's been happening for the past 4 years.

Randy Signor 8 years, 10 months ago

In 1961, Lawrence High School (ranked 1st in state) played Topeka in Topeka; the field was frozen much like ISU's except that word was the school ran its sprinklers to create the ice; Topeka's players wore gym shoes and had decent traction; LHS players wore cleats and couldn't stand up. The equipment manager for LHS drove to Lawrence and raided the gym lockers, returning with a few dozen pairs of sneakers that LHS wore the second half, pulling out a win to remain undefeated. Thus I have no problem believing this kind of gamesmanship. It was all I thought about while watching the game Saturday.

Eric TheCapn 8 years, 10 months ago

You didn't think about food or sex at all? Maybe a Toyota Tundra or cheerleaders?

Billy Smith 8 years, 10 months ago

Hard to say KU should have won by 117. I doubt they have scored that many points all year long.

Jeffery Barrett 8 years, 10 months ago

It's almost as if the regular commenters from BF - Before Facebook - have all gone away and been replaced with new ones.

Joseph Kuebel 8 years, 10 months ago

I agree (The poster formerly known as CaliHawk33 here). This is my 1st or 2nd post AF (after Facebook). I'm not sure if people don't say their BF (before Facebook) but it does appear to be a new crowd. Some are easily recognizable (AsadZ, JRoss & Oakville) but it seems to have made regulars (like myself) not want to post. I also no longer check this website as religiously/prettu much daily as I had prior to the Facebook change. If I'm LJworld/ editor I'd say it was worth a try but change back. I also imagine people feel much more comfortable not putting their full names out for all to see.

Jeffery Barrett 8 years, 10 months ago

I agree. I'm sgtjb123. If anyone can tell, I usually offer differing opinions. Can't stand sheeple.

Armen Kurdian 8 years, 10 months ago

Don't forget how many passes receivers dropped when Heaps came in to QB. The game was pretty much over at that point, but Heaps threw some great passes to his credit, and there were 3 big drops on that drive, one of which was a sure TD. Cozart running the wrong way was another sure touchdown. The field may have been part of it, if we didn't have the right equipment to play, but it was not the only factor.

We have good, quality players on our team. We have talent. You see it in the individual effort at times. I'm just at a complete loss to understand how this team has been so poor for so long.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 10 months ago

Oakville here. If you are 8-3, you can blame the field....if you are 3-8, you'd better blame yourself.

Lesson learned..Charlie, leave the sprinklers on for the next four days. Heck, leave them on when the game starts!!

It's probably just me, but even with a worse record, I keep feeling we were in more games last season than we have been this season. The "Suckage Meter" between 1-11 and 3-9 is only marginally better.

With a loss Saturday, we will be 9-39 for the last four seasons....Mangino's 50-48 overall record for eight seasons doesn't look quite so bad, does it??

Robert Brown 8 years, 10 months ago

You are absolutely right in your comparison from last year to this year. The 'optimists' on this board continued to point out that were could have easily won four more games last year (Rice, NIU, UT, Tech). In each of those games, we had a 4th quarter lead.

You can't really say that this year. We did have a 4th quarter lead at Rice and I think it was close going into the 4th qtr with TCU, but in all other games, it was clear by the beginning of the 4th qtr that we were not going to win.

Remember, too, the league is weaker. There are only six teams going to bowls, compared to nine last year.

Bryan Mohr 8 years, 10 months ago

Weis is likely 4-20, which means he would need to go 46-28 over six years to match Mangino's 50-48. To go 46-28, Weis would need the following in the next 6 seasons: 8-4, 8-4, 8-4, 8-4, 7-6, 7-6. But, Mangino didn't have to go against ice trickery so it's not a fair comparison. Maybe KU should plant catnip on the Wildcats sideline.

David A. Smith 8 years, 10 months ago

I'll never drink orange juice while reading one of your comments again. Nearly went up the nose.....catnip:classic.

Mel Deutsch 8 years, 10 months ago

blahh blahh blahh. what keganan should have written about was the fact that ku gets to redzone it 10-0 isu, and your coach decides to go for it on 4th down. ????? why not get 3 at that point and maybe just maybe ku's players? would have had a different frame of mind . not only once but done this twice. coach is a joke to say the least and for you writer to try and hide that is also a joke

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