View Full Version : Miami Herald: Jayhawks arrive focused on goal

12-28-2007, 08:32 AM
Posted on Fri, Dec. 28, 2007
Jayhawks arrive focused on goal
They said goodbye to the snow.

They said hello to the sunshine.

Now they're ready to prove they belong.

Players and coaches of the Kansas University football team began arriving in Miami on Thursday afternoon to begin preparations for next week's Orange Bowl.

The Jayhawks (11-1), who are ranked No. 8 in the Bowl Championship Series standings, will face Atlantic Coast Conference champion Virginia Tech at 8 p.m. at Dolphin Stadium next Thursday in what will be the school's first BCS appearance. The third-ranked Hokies (11-2) are scheduled to arrive Friday at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport.

Kansas players wore business attire and appeared to be enjoying the abundant sunshine and the jovial reception from the Orange Bowl Committee that included a water cannon salute by a pair of firetrucks.

''It's wonderful,'' Kansas running back Brandon McAnderson said. ``The sun, it's hot. People are spraying water on our airplane and everything. It's nice.''


McAnderson was one of 33 players on the Kansas roster who arrived at about 2 p.m. at Miami International Airport. Kansas coach Mark Mangino said the temperature was ''under 40 degrees'' when they left Thursday morning (actually it was 24 degrees), and it had snowed in Lawrence this week.

It was a stark contrast for the Jayhawks, who have no players on their roster from South Florida and only one from the entire state -- redshirt freshman wide receiver Tertavian Ingram, who played at Jefferson High in Tampa.

Kansas will begin practicing Friday at Barry University and have a ''Beach Party'' at its hotel in North Miami Beach, a bowling outing, and visit a local hospital this weekend.

Mangino said the rest of the players would be arriving on separate flights later in the day. He said that while his team plans to enjoy its stay in Miami, it is focused on making the best of the opportunity to play in a BCS game.

''This is a very mature team,'' Mangino said. ``Our players understand when it's time to work and when it's time to have fun. They've been able to do that all season long and this won't change.''


Mangino, The Associated Press National Coach of the Year, coached as an assistant at Oklahoma in the 2000 Orange Bowl. He has led Kansas to three bowl appearances the past five seasons.

The Jayhawks, however, have not played in a major bowl since the 1969 Orange Bowl. This will be Kansas' third Orange Bowl appearance.

Kansas' first BCS berth has been criticized by some around the nation since it was neither its conference champion or runner-up. The Jayhawks were undefeated and ranked No. 2 nationally before losing their regular-season finale to Missouri. The loss prevented them from advancing to the Big 12 championship game.

However, Oklahoma beat Missouri to win the conference title and earn a bid to the Fiesta Bowl. The Orange Bowl chose the Jayhawks, who were one of three Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I) teams with one loss or fewer, ahead of Missouri.

''Since when is an 11-1 record not good enough to play in a BCS game?'' Mangino asked. ``I don't have control over the process, but we're an 11-1 team and I think that speaks for itself.''


12-28-2007, 08:48 AM
I have friends in Lakeland. She said she was in shorts on Christmas day. I would definitely like to be down there right now. Hope the Jayhawks can keep focused on the task at hand.

Mr. Laz
12-28-2007, 09:30 AM
I have friends in Lakeland. She said she was in shorts on Christmas day. I would definitely like to be down there right now. Hope the Jayhawks can keep focused on the task at hand.

12-28-2007, 10:55 AM


12-28-2007, 11:12 AM
I'll just post this article in here so that nobody cries about multiple KU threads. Some quality quotes from Barry Switzer in here. ROFL
Posted by
Kevin Haskin

There's no telling what Barry Switzer likes stirred with his citrus, but he did squeeze the juice out of the orange when asked about Kansas' surprising ride into the Bowl Championship Series.

Asked for any recollections on how the Jayhawks could be bullied during his time in the Big Eight, the legendary coach instead rattled off the stars of the last KU team to reach the Orange Bowl.
"I was an assistant coach at Oklahoma and let me tell you something, Kansas, when they had John Riggins, Donnie Shanklin, Bobby Douglass, Vernon Vanoy, John Zook they had some great players,'' Switzer said.

"Pepper Rodgers had some outstanding football teams and they were hard to beat back in that day. People don't understand that Missouri and Kansas were really outstanding football teams and could win seven, eight, nine games a year. They were better than some of us at that time.''

Not quite as good as Oklahoma, however. The Sooners handed the Jayhawks their only regular-season defeat in 1968, a 27-23 decision in Lawrence, when Switzer served under Chuck Fairbanks.

During his 16 seasons as OU's head coach, two of the defeats on Switzer's 157-29-4 record were against KU. Nolan Cromwell engineered the Jayhawks to a 23-3 stunner in 1975, and KU also beat Switzer's Sooners 28-11 in 1984. OU went on to be crowned national champion in '75 and captured the Big Eight title in '84.

As an analyst these days for Fox, the network that will carry Jan. 3's Orange Bowl matchup between Kansas and Virginia Tech, Switzer offers some interesting insight based on his acquaintance with Mark Mangino.

"I saw him do a fantastic job (at Oklahoma) as the offensive coordinator for a team that won the (2000) national championship, then move on and prove himself (at KU),'' Switzer said.

"I know the guy needs a dollie to roll him out on the field, but Mark, he's something and I love him. I've had a few meals with him myself. He's done a fantastic job.''

Since Switzer broached the subject, a follow-up seems appropriate. As a coach who strolled the sidelines himself for many years, winning a Super Bowl with Dallas after guiding the Sooners to three national titles, is Mangino's heft a potential detriment?

"No. To his health it probably is, but to his coaching? No,'' Switzer said. "It doesn't have anything to do with how he coaches, or the respect his players have for him.

"I observed that in a couple of practices I went to at Oklahoma. I knew immediately that this guy is a helluva football coach.''

Kevin Haskin can be reached at (785) 295-1159 or kevin.haskin@cjonline.com.