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Old 12-03-2007, 08:45 AM  
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Orange Bowl picks KU - The Capital-Journal

http://cjonline.com/stories/120307/haw_222349859.shtml
Jayhawks will face Hokies in Miami
By Tully Corcoran
The Capital-Journal
Published Monday, December 03, 2007

LAWRENCE — The juices splashed and ran down James McClinton's chin in this, the ultimate celebratory move for a defensive lineman.

Kansas athletic director Lew Perkins walked into KU's meeting room with a bag of oranges, and everybody knew. The Jayhawks were Orange Bowl-bound, and McClinton could think of only one way to celebrate. He caught the orange, jammed it into his mouth and chomped off a bite bigger than Miami.

Kansas has an allotment of 17,000-18,000 tickets, on sale at orangebowl.org.

"I thank the Lord for this game," he said.

And that was the general sentiment. For a program that has never been to a BCS bowl and hasn't been to the Orange Bowl since 1969, Sunday's announcement, coming at the tail end of the winningest season in Kansas history, was hard to take for granted. Especially for tight end Derek Fine, who committed to what once was a moribund program and was on the team in 2003 when the Jayhawks went to another Florida bowl, the Tangerine Bowl.

"I like oranges better," Fine said. "They taste better, they're bigger."

Win or lose, playing in the Orange Bowl means the 2007 Jayhawks will go down as one of the top three teams in Kansas history, alongside the Orange Bowl teams of 1947 and 1968. For a program that five years ago was a conference laughingstock, 2007 has been one giant leap.

"It was just great to stand in that room and watch those kids when they found out," KU coach Mark Mangino said. "It was like when my kids were knee-high and it was Christmas morning."

The selection pairing the No. 8 Jayhawks (11-1) against No. 3 Virginia Tech (11-2), as always, is not without controversy. And it didn't spare any hearts, especially those in Columbia, Mo. Missouri, which beat Kansas and is ranked a spot higher in both major polls, lost to Oklahoma on Saturday night in the Big 12 championship game. Sunday, fell out of the BCS entirely, accepting a bid to the Cotton Bowl.

"Missouri and Kansas were basically back-to-back next to each other," said Orange Bowl CEO Eric Poms. "With the result of the (Big 12 championship) game, having a two-loss team versus a one-loss team was probably the biggest thing we looked at. We knew whatever way we went, you could make a case for the other side."

There were no tears shed in Lawrence, where Joe Mortensen was asked if he felt sorry for the Tigers.

"No," he said.

There also wasn't much suspense in Lawrence, not within the Kansas athletic department, anyway.

Since Saturday, Perkins had been working the phones, literally all day and all night, talking to bowl representatives, ironing details, scenarios and, to a lesser extent, making KU's case. He felt all along KU would wind up in a BCS bowl. He just didn't know which. Heading into Saturday's games, KU was a candidate for the Rose, Orange, Fiesta and Sugar bowls. Once Illinois qualified for BCS play, KU was eliminated from Rose Bowl contention. Once Hawaii qualified, the Sugar Bowl was out. Then game the Orange Bowl, which got to choose its teams ahead of the Fiesta Bowl.

"The Orange Bowl was very strong, really pursuing us," Perkins said. "We were talking quite often, regularly through the whole process.

"The good thing that I was pleased about was everybody was interested in Kansas. That was the most important thing."


If the Orange Bowl hadn't chosen KU, the probability the Fiesta Bowl would have was "very strong," Perkins said. Instead, the Fiesta took West Virginia and Oklahoma. Since the BCS rules allow just two teams from one conference into its bowls, that left out Missouri, which brings up the song that has played all season at KU, a tune about the Jayhawks' schedule, which includes no wins against teams ranked in the final Top 25 and ranks among the softest in the nation.

Perkins said the schedule was never part of the discussion.

"We don't have any argument," Perkins said. "We're in the BCS. So we have no argument. Our schedule didn't bother us. We don't have to be apologetic about anything. What people don't realize is schedules are made a long way out, so you don't realize how things are gonna happen
, and we had no problem with our schedule. We're playing in the Orange Bowl."

As it is designed to do, the Orange Bowl will create an intriguing matchup between the nation's No. 4 defense and Kansas' No. 6 offense. But that is a discussion for another day.

Sunday, the Jayhawks were soaking the moment, and the orange juice.

"It's been a great journey here for my five years," senior running back Brandon McAnderson said. "The opportunity that's in front of us is huge."

Tully Corcoran can be reached at (785) 295-5652 or tully.corcoran@cjonline.com.
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:03 AM   #2
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Ah this feels good! Rock chalk Jayhawk!
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:03 AM   #3
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KU in January is a bigger name than MU in January. You couple KU basketball playing Boston College (an ACC school), at Boston College on Jan. 5th, with KU playing VT (another ACC school) on the 3rd, and that's a bigger week than MU taking on the Roo's at the same time.
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:10 AM   #4
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"For a program that five years ago was a conference laughingstock, 2007 has been one giant leap"


We're still laughing. Go Hokies!!!
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:12 AM   #5
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:15 AM   #6
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You know, all KU really has to do to justify the pick is beat VT.
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:16 AM   #7
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That Lew Perkins stuff confirms the scuttlebutt yesterday. Some Tiger fans are blaming Mike Alden for being outhustled by his rival.

As far as the Orange pointing to the 1 loss vs. 2, that's a crock. Both teams lost to only one school. KU's one loss was to MU. MU earned its second loss because it beat KU.

MU won the head-to-head with KU, finished higher in the Big 12 North standings, has higher poll and BCS rankings and a much, much higher SOS.

No matter how the Orange spins it, there's no logic to their decision. They just wanted KU, regardless of everything else. Lew did a great sales job. Selling ice cubs to eskimos is illogical, too, but if you can pull it off ...

Again, this isn't bagging on KU. They didn't do anything wrong. It's bagging on the system and the Orange reps.
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silock
You know, all KU really has to do to justify the pick is beat VT.
Bottom line.

And if MU gags vs. Arkansas, they're gonna look really bad.
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:21 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by siberian khatru
That Lew Perkins stuff confirms the scuttlebutt yesterday. Some Tiger fans are blaming Mike Alden for being outhustled by his rival.

As far as the Orange pointing to the 1 loss vs. 2, that's a crock. Both teams lost to only one school. KU's one loss was to MU. MU earned its second loss because it beat KU.

MU won the head-to-head with KU, finished higher in the Big 12 North standings, has higher poll and BCS rankings and a much, much higher SOS.

No matter how the Orange spins it, there's no logic to their decision. They just wanted KU, regardless of everything else. Lew did a great sales job. Selling ice cubs to eskimos is illogical, too, but if you can pull it off ...

Again, this isn't bagging on KU. They didn't do anything wrong. It's bagging on the system and the Orange reps.
I think it was a little bit of both. Perkins is a Helluva AD and salesman, IMO. The other thing I took from that article is that the Orange decided that MU getting crushed by OU was another factor in the decision to go with KU. Perhaps if the game were close and MU still had lost, the Orange would have picked MU. I'm not saying it is fair, but MU had their chance on Saturday night and they really blew it. Just like KU had their chance a week prior and blew, albeit not nearly as badly. If KU had been the one going to the Cotton and MU to the Orange, I would not have complained.
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:22 AM   #10
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"For a program that five years ago was a conference laughingstock, 2007 has been one giant leap"


We're still laughing. Go Hokies!!!
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:23 AM   #11
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ok if 1 loss vs 2 loss is a big deal why is MU #7 and KU #8?
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lzen
I think it was a little bit of both. Perkins is a Helluva AD and salesman, IMO. The other thing I took from that article is that the Orange decided that MU getting crushed by OU was another factor in the decision to go with KU. Perhaps if the game were close and MU still had lost, the Orange would have picked MU. I'm not saying it is fair, but MU had their chance on Saturday night and they really blew it. Just like KU had their chance a week prior and blew, albeit not nearly as badly. If KU had been the one going to the Cotton and MU to the Orange, I would not have complained.
I just don't see how style points in the title game that one team didn't qualify for supersede the result of a head-to-head meeting. OU is a superior team. KU benefits from not beating an MU team that earned the right to lose to the best team in the Big 12.

That's apparently what happened. But it shouldn't. Hence my railing against the system and the bowl reps.

If that's how it works then, if MU ever has a chance to run up the score on KU, don't complain.
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:28 AM   #13
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:34 AM   #14
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:34 AM   #15
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It's not the loss record. It's that MU got shellacked in the 2nd game vs OU.

Blame a few things on MU not getting a BCS, even though they deserve it.

1st- no conf. can have 3 BCS teams.
2nd - Ill. getting the Rose b/c the Rose typically takes Big 10 & Pac-10 teams. You want to complain about a team getting a BCS game, look to Ill, which lost 3 games.
3rd - Fiesta wasn't going to take MU b/c OU was already going there, no point to watch a 3rd game.
4th - Fiesta would have probably liked to see a KU-OU game, but the ratings will be much better by pitting Big 12 schools vs East Coast opponents.

I think Lew did a good job of selling the team, but reality was Mizzou got jumped simply b/c their play on Saturday left many with a sour taste in their mouth.

After the NC game, the rest is simply a popularity contest. No different than the pollsters voting...

The Bowl Selection Committees clearly thought KU was the more attractive squad... why? You'll have to ask them.
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