Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday morning sports coffee (or "the day after the Border War")

- The Border War needs to return to the respective campuses of the University of Missouri and the University of Kansas. (The current deal is in place for two more years.) Yesterday's game only drew about 56,000 fans, the smallest crowd of the four KU-MU games played in Arrowhead since 2007. And, contrary to the suggestions made by Sam Mellinger in today's Kansas City Star, a campus location not only preserves this game for the students and the two college communities, it also provides a built-in level of interest even when one or the other program is down.

- By the way, give Mellinger credit for trying to figure out how to make this game work in K.C. But, his suggestions aren't well-considered--hoteliers aren't going to provide discounts on the biggest travel period of the year and retailers already have Black Friday/holiday weekend traffic. As for booking KU and MU basketball games in Sprint Center, that then inhibits the teams from traveling to Las Vegas, Maui and other holiday destinations for tournaments, which are alluring to recruits.

- Quote of the college football weekend: Rich Rodriguez, after losing--again--to Ohio State, said, "I'm ticked. What do you want me to do? Hold hands with all the Buckeye fans and sing 'Kumbaya?'"

- The off-season coaching carousel got off to an early start yesterday with the firing of Miami's Randy Shannon. That means that the Colorado job and the Miami job are open, and one has to wonder about Rodriguez's future at Michigan.

- It looks like TCU is headed to the Rose Bowl. It's too bad that Wisconsin will likely be the Big Ten representative there as it would have been very interesting to see TCU play Ohio State, given OSU president Gordon Gee's comments about the Horned Frogs and Boise State this past week. Gee doesn't feel that these two schools deserve to be in BCS national title consideration, given the schools they play on their schedules. You mean, teams like that powder puff Michigan team you rolled over yesterday?

- How big is that last second, come-from-behind win by Oklahoma State over Texas A&M which occurred back on September 30? Those two teams, plus Oklahoma, are tied in the Big 12 South and the BCS standings will now decide which of the three will play Nebraska next weekend for the conference title? OSU needed a win over OU last night to clinch the South but fell for an eighth straight time to the Sooners.

- Let's give a shout-out to Jim Harbaugh at Stanford. Harbaugh has developed a powerhouse in Palo Alto and the program hasn't received the national recognition it deserves. The Cardinal have only lost to Oregon this season and are the best one loss team in the country right now.

- Kansas coach Turner Gill lost to both Kansas State and Missouri this season by a combined score of 94-14. That's not a prescription for energizing a fan base or appealing to local recruits.

- Speaking of recruits, juco QB Zack Stoudt, if he signs with KU, would be an instant starter when he sets foot on campus for the second semester. The Jayhawks' personnel deficiencies go well beyond the quarterback position, but it's obvious that Jordan Webb and Quinn Meacham are not the answer. Any incoming QB will look at the offensive line to see if he can survive a full Big 12 season and, in Kansas' case, Gill and staff have placed a premium on recruiting that position. In addition, KU will get former starter Jeff Spikes back after he sat out this season due to injury.

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