Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ron Prince turns up the heat on Mark Mangino

There was plenty of criticism of the University of Kansas Head Football Coach Mark Mangino going into last weekend but the recent success of Kansas State Head Football Coach Ron Prince is really turning up the heat on Mangino.

After Mangino’s first winning season at KU, he was given a 5 year contract extension worth $1.5 million a year. This makes Mangino 21st on the list of highest paid NCAA football coaches. Ahead of the likes of Lloyd Carr, Steve Spurrier, Les Miles, Tommy Bowden, Rich Rodriguez, and Houston Nutt. He ranks 92nd based on winning percentage of active coaches. KU is not getting much return on their investment.

Mangino in his first four plus seasons has an overall record of 24-34 and is on his way to the his 4th losing season in 5 years. He is also responsible for landing the Jayhawks in hot water with the NCAA which resulted in a three year probation and the loss of three football scholarships. His biggest win as KU’s Head Coach would be a win over 23rd ranked Missouri in 2003. He has managed to increase home game attendance through his first four years, but it looks like it will be dropping slightly after this year.

All of these “great” accomplishments led to the 5 year contract extension mentioned above. After KU finished the 2005 season strong, including Mangino’s first ever bowl victory over the University of Houston, spirits were high in Lawrence.

It didn’t take long for that to change. An early non-conference loss to Toledo and several games that KU let slip away have led to much criticism of Mangino. The small fire that was slowing building was doused in gasoline on Saturday night when first year KSU Coach Ron Prince led the Wildcats to victory over the defending National Champion and 4th ranked Longhorns of Texas.

Nearly every preseason prediction had the Wildcats finishing last in the Big 12 North. Some had Kansas as high as 2nd. But with only a few weeks remaining in the regular season, it is KSU sitting in 2nd place and KU looking up from the bottom half of the division. In his first year, Ron Prince was able to do something Mangino could not… beat a top ranked team. With a win Saturday over the Jayhawks, Kansas State will finish the season 8-4 and be headed to a good bowl game and potentially finish in the Top 25.

If Mangino loses his next two games and KU finishes the year at 5-7, KU could be looking for a new football coach after this year. At least Basketball season is here… oh wait… KU just lost to Oral Roberts and Kansas State just landed the best recruiting class in the country.

Looks like the Jayhawks could be relegated to the 2nd best team in Kansas in Football AND Basketball.


Anonymous said...

Prince turns up the heat on Mangino? I think we found out who the best football team in Kansas is tonight.

Does Cingular Wireless have a 'most awful player of the week' award? If so, I'd like to nominate your freshman sensation of a quarterback. Is he closing in on the record for most turnovers by a quarterback in a season? Yeesh.

Hawk Digest said...

KU is 3-1 versus the division during a season when the 'Hawks obviously were not able to re-load as expected. Like KSU, the younger players have been learning on the fly and both teams are now coming together. Next year should be fun. I'm not sure if I understand the negative tone of the post, but whatever works I guess.

Anonymous said...

Oh wait... K State extends its home losing streak to 24... second in basketball... yeah right... KU's on top... same old story!

--Nick Paradise