The big football news is, of course, that KU won't have back-to-back winless seasons. Rock Chalk!
And, basketball is just a few weeks away.
Umass is an overachiever. Everyone said they were much better this year, and wouldn't be near the bottom 25. But look what they've accomplished! They always seem to find a way to lose.
There are some things that can't be taught. You either have it, or you don't. I think both Kansas and UMass have amply demonstrated they have it. Kudos to them.
And Wyoming, recently also a contender (in the bottom 25), well, how about tonight! One would have assume SF was there (big game, lots of coeds), but my guess is he wasn't...
I guess a lot of people have a general sense of how good Kansas basketball is, but how many outside of the Jayhawk faithful *truly* know?
I was listening to some sports radio a few days back, and they were talking some pre-season hoops, going though how some of the traditional powerhouse programs looked for the season. You know, schools like Florida, Louisville, Syracuse, NC, Michigan State, Kentucky, Duke, and Coastal Carolina and such.
I hadn't been listening that carefully, and when they mentioned Coastal Carolina, I couldn't believe I had heard right, and maybe I didn't because right then the radio signal went dim (I was driving up in the hills), and by the time the signal came back I heard them say: "and then there's Kansas." As they started talking about Kansas, it sounded like there was an awestruck tone in their voices. A few of the things they mentioned were:
--they sell out all their home games; the last time they didn't sell out pre-dates stuff like Chipotles, the iphone, waffle makers, and even Pizza Hut (fun fact: if you go to Pizza Hut in Lawrence--there are two locations--and order the "Jayhawk Special" you will get a pepperoni pizza where the pepperoni they use are made to look like little basketballs)
--they've built a new, pretty high end dorm for the players that includes practice facilities and even classrooms, marking Kansas as the only program in the country where the basketball players don't go to class but rather the class goes to them
--included on the roster are no fewer than 17 players 6' 8" or taller, and 4 players who can dunk the ball without leaving their feet
--the coaches recognize that they longer they can keep their players, the better they get; the team averages over 4 years of Division 1 starting experience per player, and last year they even had one player that had started for a record 23 straight seasons for the Jayhawks before they finally let him graduate (they didn't mention the player by name but I think that must have been Perry Ellis)
--Kansas has won so many consecutive Big 12 Conference Championships that the conference just lets them keep the Conference Championship trophy permanently, and the conference has a "traveling" trophy for the runner-up team
It went on.
Finally, they got to one of the oddest games ever played, a couple years back when Kansas played San Diego State at home. Kansas hadn't lost a home game in over 7 years and many fans honestly weren't even aware that Kansas ever lost at home. San Diego State came ready to play and took it to the unbelieving Jayhawks, amassing a big lead with about 10 minutes left or so.
But was anyone in Allen Fieldhouse worried? Of course not. How can you worry when the team hasn't lost in over 7 years at home. It was just a question of how they would come back and win.
And they did come back, getting within 2 points with about a minute and a half left.
Maybe it was time to worry now? Of course not. Because by that time, everyone in the facility--fans, Kansas coaches, Kansas players--was looking at the score and clock and relaxing. Obviously the scoring table had made a mistake and had reversed the scores of the two teams. Because, you know, Kansas never loses.
So when San Diego State ended up winning by 4, *everyone* was happy. San Diego State was happy because they had won the game. The Kansas coaches and players were happy and effusive in their praise for the other team as they went through the hand shaking line ritual (thinking they, Kansas, had won). And the fans left the building ecstatic over their team having achieved yet another glorious comeback victory over a very good opponent.
To this day most Kansas fans have no idea they lost that game.
And what to say about the Cowboys, except that to pretty much everybody's surprise, they seem to have played themselves out of contention for the bottom 25 rankings. Pre-season, they had been picked to finish *last* in the Mountain West. Quite mystifying.