Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Mark Mangino Controversy in Lawrence

University of Kansas Chancellor Robert Hemenway has had several closed door meetings with Head Football Coach Mark Mangino, after reports surfaced that several items had disappeared from the Natural History Museum. Items missing included two stuffed Polar bears, three stuffed moose and several other smaller animals.

Several members of the museum staff had seen members of the KU football team carrying some of the items out of the museum to a waiting truck with Mangino at the wheel.

When asked about the reports, Mangino explained that he has been in a dispute with local Dillon’s grocery stores regarding the amount of meat they stock.

“Over the last several months, I have been buying every pound of beef and pork I could find but they are always out of stock towards the end of the week.” Said Mangino. He continued, “I tried some of the chicken, but it just seemed too healthy.” “I have a very high metabolism rate and I have to eat a lot of sausage and pork chops or I start to get weak and have even passed out”.

Dillon’s Regional Manager, Gary Jenkins, says they have struggled over the last few years stocking enough meat for Coach Mangino. “We have expanded our Meat departments at all of our Lawrence based stores and even increased the number of deliveries during the week. However, we have been unable to keep up with the Coach’s demand for fatty foods.”

Coach Mangino has offered to return two of the moose and one polar bear but he will have to replace the animals that he ate. “I had a helluva bar-b-que with that first polar bear. I had never eaten polar bear and thought it was kind of tough, then the Chancellor told be it was actually stuffed and I had eaten about 400 pounds of foam” “I will eat anything if you put enough bacon fat and butter on it” Mangino said when asked about eating the stuffed moose.

The plant and vegetation section of the Museum was untouched.

Big 12 Athletes in the NFL

The Big 12 currently has 202 players listed by the NFL Players union. Here are some interesting facts about the players and the Big 12 schools the represent.

Nebraska leads the Big 12 with a total of 37 players in the NFL. Texas A&M and Kansas State are next with 25 each. Then Oklahoma at 24 and Texas at 22. Colorado has 21 players and then there is a big drop off to Oklahoma State at 11. Kansas, Missouri and Iowa State are tied for the fewest at 6 each. Here is the breakdown:

Nebraska 37
Texas A&M 25
Kansas State 25
Oklahoma 24
Texas 22
Colorado 21
Oklahoma State 11
Texas Tech 10
Baylor 8
Missouri 6
Iowa State 6
Kansas 6

I am a little surprised that Texas and Oklahoma are not higher on the list considering the level of play over the past several years at each of those schools.

The Big 12 is known for tough defenses and of the 202 players, 54% are on the Defensive side of the ball while the Offense accounts for 41% and Special Teams 4%. On Defense, the Defensive Line and Defensive backs account for 75% of the players with Linebackers the other 25%.

DL 41
LB 28
DB 41

Offensively, the O-Line accounts for 42% of the players currently active.

OL 35
QB 6
RB 15
WR 18
TE 9

The Big 12 has 9 Special Teams players as well.

Interesting facts:

Defense and Offensive Line account for 84% of all Nebraska players in the NFL

Four Teams are split evenly between offense and defense: Kansas State, Texas, Baylor and Missouri

Three teams are heavily weighted to one side of the ball: Oklahoma – 67% Defense, Iowa State – 67% Defense and Kansas – 67% Offense

25% of Baylors players are Special Teams players.

Schools with strong positional representation:

Kansas State – DB
Texas – DL
Texas A&M – DL
Nebraska – DB
Oklahoma – DB

Quarterbacks: The Big 12 only has 6 Quarterbacks in the NFL and Chris Simms is the only starting Quarterback at this time.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Spring Game Draft

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Kansas State football program conducted its inaugural Purple-White Spring Game Draft Thursday at the Vanier Football Complex with defensive coordinator Raheem Morris and offensive coordinator James Franklin selecting their respective squads for Saturday's spring game at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
Morris, who will coach the White team, didn't waste any time putting his defense in place and made senior linebacker Zach Diles the first overall selection, according to K-State head coach Ron Prince.
Purple head coach, offensive coordinator James Franklin, also went with defense with his first pick, selecting redshirt freshman defensive end Eric Childs.
The balance of the two teams were filled out in less than an hour, Prince said, with the two coordinators alternating selections.
On Friday, the two teams will practice separately for Saturday's spring game, with Morris' White squad preparing in K-State's indoor football facility and Franklin's Purple charges working out in Snyder Family Stadium.
The workouts are open to all K-State students, faculty and staff with I.D.

Purple Roster

White Roster

Thursday, April 20, 2006

2006 Big 12 Games of the Week

September 2nd
Can’t Miss: Louisiana Tech at Nebraska
Hit or Miss: TCU at Baylor
Must Miss: Northwestern State at Kansas

September 9th
Can’t Miss: Ohio State at Texas
Hit or Miss: Washington at Oklahoma
Must Miss: Northwestern State at Baylor

September 16th
Can’t Miss: Nebraska at USC
Hit or Miss: Oklahoma at Oregon
Must Miss: Kansas at Toledo

September 23rd
Can’t Miss: Colorado at Georgia
Hit or Miss: Louisville at Kansas State
Must Miss: Southeastern at Texas Tech

September 30th
Can’t Miss: Texas Tech at Texas A&M
Hit or Miss: Kansas at Nebraska
Must Miss: Sam Houston State at Texas

October 7th
Can’t Miss: Texas vs. Oklahoma in Dallas
Hit or Miss: Nebraska at Iowa State
Must Miss: Baylor at Colorado

October 14th
Can’t Miss: Nebraska at Kansas State
Hit or Miss: Iowa State at Oklahoma
Must Miss: Baylor at Texas

October 21st
Can’t Miss: Texas at Nebraska
Hit or Miss: Texas A&M at Oklahoma State
Must Miss: Kansas at Baylor

October 28th
Can’t Miss: Texas at Texas Tech
Hit or Miss: Iowa State at Kansas State
Must Miss: Texas A&M at Baylor

November 4th
Can’t Miss: Oklahoma at Texas A&M
Hit or Miss: Missouri at Nebraska
Must Miss: Baylor at Texas Tech

November 11th
Can’t Miss: Texas at Kansas State
Hit or Miss: Nebraska at Texas A&M
Must Miss: Baylor at Oklahoma State

November 18th
Can’t Miss: Kansas State at Kansas
Hit or Miss: Missouri at Iowa State
Must Miss: Oklahoma at Baylor

November 25th
Can’t Miss: Texas A&M at Texas
Hit or Miss: Colorado at Nebraska
Must Miss: Kansas at Missouri

Colorado Spring Football Outlook

In the Rearview Mirror
After winning 7 of their first nine games last year, Colorado went on a 4 game losing streak to end the season. Including being outscored 100-6 by Nebraska and Texas in the season finale and the Big 12 Championship game. The four game losing streak was one of the reasons Colorado has a new coach this year.

Looking to the Future
Dan Hawkins, 53-11 as a head coach, will have a number of issues to address to repeat as Big 12 North Champs this year. The defense was solid last year and returns eight starters from last years squad. On the other hand, the offense only returns 5 starters and must replace QB Joel Klatt.

Biggest Questions for 2006
Offense: Quarterback – The Buffs must replace Joel Klatt at Quarterback. Going into Spring ball the position was wide open with SR James Cox and JRs Brian White and Bernard Jackson battling it out for the top spot. White played with the First Team offense for three possessions and Jackson with the Second Team for another three possessions. Jackson led the Spring Game in Rushing with 60 yards on 10 attempts. They are both listed as starters but my money is on Jackson being the man at the beginning of the 2006 campaign.
Defense: Defensive Line – With the loss of James Garee and John Guydon, Vaka Manupuna from the front four, there are a lot of holes to fill up front for Colorado. SO George Hypolite and SO transfer from Notre Dame, Brandon Nicolas should be able to pick up the slack. Thaddaeus Washington could have an All-Big 12 type season, but that will depend on whether the front four can keep him freed up to get to the ball.
Special Teams: Punter – Ray Guy Award runner-up John Torp is gone as well as his back-up Matt Hammond. Replacing him will fall onto redshirt Freshman Matt DiLallo and Daniel Agostino. Long Snapper Greg Pace is gone as well. All these changes could lead to some early problems on the Punt team.

Team Strength in 2006
Offense: Wide Receivers
– SR Evan Judge is the only loss from a talented group of Receivers. Returning are JRs Dusty Sprague, Stephone Robinson, Alvin Barnett and Reggie Joseph as well as a few talented young players that will push for playing time. Dusty Sprague led the spring game in Receiving but the key may have been the play of Sophomore Patrick Williams who had 3 catches for 41 yards.
Defense: Linebacker – Returning starters Thaddaeus Washington and Jordon Dizon will be the anchors for the 2006 Colorado Defense. Sophomore Brad Jones is expected to be the third starter. Washington will be mentioned for the Butkus Award in the pre-season and should have another great year.
Special Teams: Place Kicker – Lou Grouza 2005 Runner-up, Mason Crosby returns this year and has his sites set on making a record breaking 70 yarder.

Sep 09 Colorado State at Denver
Sep 23 Georgia at Athens, Ga.
Sep 30 Missouri at Columbia, Mo.
Oct 21 Oklahoma at Norman, Okla.
Oct 28 Kansas at Lawrence, Kan.
Nov 24 Nebraska at Lincoln, Neb.

2006 is Successful if…
Someone steps up and Quarterback and is able to execute Hawkins Offense effectively. There is little time for learning once the season starts with games against Colorado St, Arizona St. and Georgia in the non-conference schedule.

2006 is a Failure if…
The Defensive line is unable to free up their linebackers to run the field and make plays.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Oklahoma Football Spring Outlook

Oklahoma Football Spring Outlook

In the Rearview Mirror
Oklahoma finished the 2005 campaign strong, winning 6 of their last seven games to compile an 8-4 record overall. A very young team and the a schedule that was the most difficult in college football is part of the reason for the drop off. They also fought injuries to key personnel including RB Adrian Peterson.

Looking to the Future
The Sooners have 26 players back from last year that have starting experience, including standout RB Adrian Peterson and QB Rhett Bomar. On Defense, OU returns their leading tackler, Rufus Alexander and leading sacker Calvin Thibodeaux. The Sooners will once again be a dominant team in the Big 12 and should battle Texas to represent the South in the Big 12 Championship game.

Biggest Questions for 2006
Offense: Offensive Line – The Sooners only have one starter returning from last years team, RT Chris Messner. OU does have several players with starting experience
Defense: Defensive Line – OU’s defense is looking pretty stout heading into this year. The loss of Dusty Dvoracek will be a big hole to fill in the front four.
Special Teams: Punter – Coby Freeby was booted off the team earlier this week which means OU will have a new punter for the 2006 season. Freeby had a solid year last year averaging 42.3 yards per punt. He also was the holder on Place Kicks. This combined with the loss of Long Snapper Jacob Rice will be an area of concern for Coach Bob Stoops.

Team Strength in 2006
Offense: Running Back – Adrian Peterson missed most of 4 games last year battling an ankle injury and still managed to gain over 1200 yards and average 5.0 YPC. If the Offensive line can reload, Peterson should be back to his Freshman form when he finished 2nd in the Heisman Trophy voting.
Defense: Defensive Backs – Oklahoma was very young in the Secondary in 2005 and has a lot of players with experience returning. This from a group that in Big 12 games last year ranked #1 in Completion Percentage Defense, #2 in Passing Efficiency Defense and #3 in Passing Yardage.
Special Teams: Kicker – Garrett Hartley handled all the kicking duties last year and he has a strong leg. More then half of his kick-offs went for Touchbacks and he was 14-22 on Field Goals, including a 52 yarder against Texas.

Sep 02 UAB Norman
Sep 09 Washington Norman
Sep 16 Oregon at Eugene, Ore.
Sep 23 Middle Tenn Norman
Oct 07 Texas at Dallas, Texas
Oct 14 Iowa State Norman
Oct 21 Colorado Norman
Oct 28 Missouri at Columbia, Mo.
Nov 04 Texas A&M at College Station, Texas
Nov 11 Texas Tech Norman
Nov 18 Baylor at Waco, Texas
Nov 25 Oklahoma St at Stillwater, Okla.

2006 is Successful if…
The Offensive Line can reload and fill the holes from last year.

2006 is a Failure if…
They lose to Texas.

Bennett Coming to Kansas State

Jason Bennett, a 7-foot-3 Center from Jacksonville, FL has signed a letter of intent to play for the Wildcats and Coach Bob Huggins.

Bennett averaged 12.5 points, 13 rebounds and 8 blocks last year and led Arlington Country Day High School to a second consecutive Class 2A state championship.

Bennett had verbally committed to Cincinnati last year but decided to follow Huggins to Kansas State.

"I saw what they did with their big man as far as teaching him and helping him gain weight and get stronger," Bennett said during a signing ceremony at his high school. "Coach Huggins has gotten a lot of players to the NBA. I think he can get another one there."

"I know I have to improve my offense - my jump shot and my moves in the post," Bennett said. "I feel comfortable with where my defense is, but my scoring has to get better."

“Jason is going to be the centerpiece of what we build in the future here at Kansas State,” said Huggins. “He is an outstanding shot blocker. He has a great presence around the goal and that will enable us to do more offensively. I fully expect Jason to come in and contribute immediately to this program. He is going to get nothing but bigger, stronger and better as we move closer to the fall.”

Friday, April 07, 2006

Kansas State Football Spring Outlook

Kansas State Wildcats Spring Outlook

In the Rearview Mirror
Another disappointing year for the Wildcat faithful as KSU landed in last place in the Big 12 North in 2005. The Cats finished 5-6, including a 2-6 record in Big 12 play. The year was not without a number of bright spots, including victories over state rival Kansas and the final game of Coach Snyder’s career, Missouri. Of course, THE story of 2005 was Coach Snyder announcing his retirement. After bringing K-State from the basement of the college football world to a penthouse suite Coach Snyder decided it was time to walk away. Regardless of the successes of Ron Prince or any other future coaches, Bill Snyder will always be thought of as the Heart and Soul of the KSU Football program.

Looking to the Future
Coming off a 5-6 season, you might think Coach Snyder left the cupboards bare for incoming Coach Ron Prince. Not so fast my friend. KSU has no fewer then 41 returning Lettermen and 20 starters back. However, everyone will be learning a new system and this team will need some time to adapt to all the changes. Coach Prince has said every position is open and all the players are starting with a clean slate.

Biggest Questions for 2006
Offense: The Quarterbacks - The Wildcats have 3 Quarterbacks on the roster this year with starting experience. However, when you have three quarterbacks with starting experience, it is usually because one has not stood out above the rest, and that is the case here. Additionally, Redshirt Freshman Kevin Lopina and true Freshman Josh Freeman are also expected to get looks from the coaching staff. Perhaps the favorite is Dylan Meier, after sitting out all of last year recovering from surgery. All five QB’s have the talent to lead the Wildcats this year, the one who is able to quickly adapt to Ron Princes system will be the starter when Illinois State come to the Little Apple. In my opinion, that guy will be Dylan Meier.
Defense: The Secondary – The Wildcats are returning plenty of talent from last years team, including Marcus Watts at Free Safety. After the switch from Wide Receiver, Watts finished 2nd on the team in Tackles and was selected as Honorable Mention All-League by the Coaches and the AP. The big question will be how the new defensive schemes work in the Big 12. New Defensive Coordinator, Raheem Morris will most likely implement a version of the Cover-2 or Tampa-2 Defense at Kansas State. This will be a huge change at KSU and it is yet to be seen how that defense will translate to the college game.
Special Teams: Punter – OK, maybe this is a stretch, but the Wildcats seem to be pretty solid in Special Teams. With virtually everyone of importance returning on Special Teams, Punting is the one area that could use some consistency. Tim Reyer averaged nearly 3 yards more per punt last year then he did his freshman year and was not as consistent as the coaching staff would have liked. If he can get back to his ’04 form, the Wildcats should be in great shape on Special Teams.

Team Strength in 2006
Offense: Offensive Line – Could this be the year we manage to make it all season without any major injuries to the Offensive Line? The injuries could turn out to be a big part of the O-Lines success this year. K-State returns seven lineman with starting experience. Because of the injuries, players got much needed playing time at multiple positions. Not to mention, the O-Line is Ron Princes baby. He is an experienced O-Line coach and will take great interest in the success of this group.
Defense: Linebackers – K-State is returning both the starting Outside Linebackers and has a Middle Linebacker with a lot of experience. Senior Brandon Archer has led the Wildcats in each of the last two seasons and should have another great year. Maurice Mack made the transition to the Weakside Backer last year and started all 11 games, finishing with 53 tackles. Zach Diles appears to be the man in the middle when the season kicks off. Diles managed 50 tackles last year in limited play. I also think Matt Wallerstedt will have a positive impact on this group. Matt was a standout at Manhattan High School and at K-State before starting his coaching career.
Special Teams: Punt and Kick Returns – Jermaine Moreira and Yamon Figurs should provide solid options in the returns.

2006 Schedule
Sep 02 Illinois State Manhattan, Kan.
Sep 09 Florida Atlantic Manhattan, Kan.
Sep 16 Marshall Manhattan, Kan.
Sep 23 Louisville Manhattan, Kan.
Sep 30 Baylor at Waco, Texas
Oct 07 Oklahoma State Manhattan, Kan.
Oct 14 Nebraska Manhattan, Kan.
Oct 21 Missouri at Columbia, Mo.
Oct 28 Iowa State Manhattan, Kan.
Nov 04 Colorado at Boulder, Colo.
Nov 11 Texas Manhattan, Kan.
Nov 18 Kansas at Lawrence, Kan.

2006 is Successful if…
Someone steps up at Quarterback.

2006 is a Failure if…
The team is slow in adapting to the new systems.

University of Nebraska Football Spring Outlook

Nebraska Football Spring Outlook

In the Rearview Mirror
Nebraska finished last season on a high note by beating Michigan in the Alamo Bowl, 32-28. The finished 2nd in the Big 12 behind Colorado with a 4-4 mark in conference play. It was the second year for head Coach Bill Callahan and first year for JUCO transfer QB Zac Taylor.

Looking to the Future
The Huskers are returning 16 starters from last years squad, 8 on offense, 7 on defense and a kicker. Zac Taylor will be in his second year leading the Husker offense and should have a great year. He broke most of the Nebraska passing records last year and should do it again this season. The Husker defense is returning 5 of the starting front seven and returning Husker players accounted for 34.5 of the NCAA best 50 sacks last year.

Biggest Questions for 2006
Offense: Offensive Line – NU returns two of the starters from last years unit, but the anchor, Kurt Mann will miss spring ball due to off-season shoulder surgery. He is expected to be ready for the regular season. However, NU must replace the right side of their line with the departure of Seppo Evwarye and Brandon Koch. The Huskers do have some experienced players that can step up into the starting role but will have to do so quickly with USC looming the third week of the season.
Defense: Secondary – The Huskers graduated both of their Safeties after last season. With three experienced CB’s look for one to switch to Safety during spring ball. They seem to be solid at cornerback but lack depth at Safety and in the Secondary in general. This is evident by the 5 scholarships given to DB’s in the ’06 recruiting class.
Special Teams: Punter – Nebraska will need to replace two-year starter Sam Koch who set the single season Nebraska record averaging 46.5 yards per punt. There are several candidates that will be fighting for the starting Punter position but it almost certainly will be a drop-off from last year.

Team Strength in 2006
Offense: Quarterback – Zac Taylor spent last spring trying to learn a new offense and fighting for the starting role. This year he enters spring ball as the #1 guy and can focus on getting better. He had an impressive first year, passing for 2,653 yards and throwing 19 TDs. He also had a 55.1% completion percentage. In ’05 he threw 12 picks and needs to cut down on those numbers.
Defense: The Front Seven – NU returns it’s linebacking corps in its entirety and both starting defensive ends. They lose the interior d-lineman but have some experienced players that should be able to step in right away. This group looks like the Blackshirts of yesteryear.
Special Teams: Place Kicker – NU returns Sophomore Jordon Congdon who after missing his first PAT attempt of the year, connected on 31 straight to finish the year. He connected on 19-23 field goals and will spend the spring focusing on extending his distance.

2006 Schedule
Sep 02 Louisiana Tech Memorial Stadium
Sep 09 Nicholls State Memorial Stadium
Sep 16 USC at Los Angeles, Calif.
Sep 23 Troy Memorial Stadium
Sep 30 Kansas Memorial Stadium
Oct 07 Iowa State at Ames, Iowa
Oct 14 Kansas State at Manhattan, Kan.
Oct 21 Texas Memorial Stadium
Oct 28 Oklahoma State at Stillwater, Okla.
Nov 04 Missouri Memorial Stadium
Nov 11 Texas A&M at College Station, Texas
Nov 24 Colorado Memorial Stadium

2006 is Successful if…
The Offensive line can reload after last years losses.

2006 is a Failure if…
They fail to find the right combination and depth in the Secondary