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Posts Tagged ‘Kansas’

Among Optimism, One Bastion of Negativity

Twenty-five teams down, 99 to go. When you put it that way, it’s hard to find the light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps I’d be wise to take a cue from the triple-digit portion of this summer’s Countdown, which carries a different feel than in years past. I can think of one clear reason why: For many of the bottom 25, the coming season brings with it tremendous reason for optimism. Not optimism in the traditional sense – in the idea that despite the odds, a program feels it can challenge for a major breakthrough – but in the sense that come win, lose or draw, a program is playing with house money. This is somewhat a result of the four new F.B.S. programs that came off of the board in April: Texas-San Antonio, South Alabama, Texas State and Massachusetts.

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    Five Transfers to Watch in the Big 12

    Charlie Weis’ first recruiting class at Kansas included five F.B.S. transfers, including three from his old stomping grounds in South Bend. The remaining pair will sit out this coming season: Jake Heaps and former Oklahoma wide receiver Justin McCay will be key to K.U.’s success a year down the road, but neither will contribute to the Jayhawks’ cause come September. The three Notre Dame transfers, however, will serve in major roles for K.U. in Weis’ first season.

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      No. 105: Kansas

      Go ahead. Make his day. Try him. He’ll be your huckleberry. See that line in the sand? Cross it, if you dare. All that’s missing is a gun, a holster, a wide-brimmed hat and a six-shooter: Charlie Weis, the new sheriff in town, won’t take any of your sass-mouth, your weak-kneed cowardice, your yellow-bellying. He’d be the Man with No Name, but Weis is far too recognizable a figure to go anywhere, anytime and go unnamed. Instead, he’s rode into Lawrence like Wyatt Earp, bestride his transportation device of choice and with an incalculable degree of confidence — self-christened or otherwise. How has Weis decided to reverse the apathy that has crept up and invaded every nook and cranny of Kansas football? He’s combined two parts schematic advantage, one part N.C.A.A. graduate-student loophole and four parts no-nonsense accountability. Want to challenge the new sheriff in town? Then draw, pardner. But you should pack your bags first.

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        For 13 Teams, Losing Culture Carries Over

        Middle Tennessee State is in the same boat as 12 other programs in college football. The Blue Raiders, like the dozen others, enters 2012 on at least a five-game losing streak. How this team stumbled over the second half of last season raises some important questions about the program’s future under Rick Stockstill, whose career record at Middle Tennessee now falls under .500 after six years with the program. For nearly half of the 13 teams, last year’s sluggish finish has led to significant changes: six have since made a coaching change. Middle Tennessee opted to stand pat, but like every team that heads into the fall on at least a five-game losing streak, changes are afoot.

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          U.K. Joins Florida With Title Double-Dip

          Florida (in 2006) remains the only university to win a FBS and men’s D1 title in the same year. Pretty sure that record stands in 2012.Mon Apr 02 21:23:14 via web

          Florida remains the only university to win a national title in football and basketball during the same calendar year. That was in 2006, when the Gators — football — were led by the quarterback duo of Chris Leak and Tim Tebow, while the other Gators — basketball — were led by the frontcourt pairing of Al Horford and Joakim Noah. Tennessee might deserve a spot on this short list, though with an asterisk: the Volunteers won the first B.C.S. championship in 1998, nine months after the women’s team took home the national title. And Nebraska’s feat deserves another substantial asterisk:

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            The Big 12 Erupts With… Actual News!

            After months of anticipation, the Big 12 entered the offseason with a flurry. Step one: West Virginia, in the fold. The Mountaineers were able to file official separation papers from the Big East, with the two parties agreeing on a $20 million exit fee, though neither could get on the same page when it comes to the fashion with which the program alters its conference affiliation – the Mountaineers say they’re leaping to the Big 12, while the Big East says it voted to “terminate” West Virginia’s membership in the league. Semantics, and where you stand at the bargaining table dictates where you lie on the topic.

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              Weis Begins With Some “Deep Cleaning”

              Well, this happens. The new guy comes in. The old guy slinks off. Unfortunately, the old guy recruited and coached all the players, so there’s due to be some attrition. Some places feel it worse than others; I remember the mass exodus over Rob Ianello’s first year at Akron, which in hindsight should have been viewed as a harbinger of sad days to come. The first round of departures under Charlie Weis aren’t nearly as numerous, but they do send a message: “The tenure of Charlie Weis as Kansas football coach began with some deep cleaning,” writes Austin Meek of The Topeka Capital-Journal, and that sounds about right.

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                230 Things to Occupy 230 Long Days

                There are 230 days until Aug. 30, when a few lucky teams jump ahead of the curve and start the 2012 season on a Thursday, not a Saturday. And for that, the teams in question — I know Utah is one — earn our love and affection. But that lies way, way in the future, and the question now becomes how we fill our college football-free days. For 230 days, here are 230 ideas. Not all are possible; some of us are pretty busy, and the next time I do 230 things over 230 days will be the first time, I must admit. But nonetheless, the list:

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.