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Sully says KU can beat MU

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Jayhawks enjoy Arrowhead experience

Video by Nick Nelson

Some names just don’t fit personality types. You never meet a Gertrude or a Matilda who’s an absolute wild woman, a Buddy who’s low-key, a Big Al who doesn’t sell used — excuse my 20th-century terminology; I meant to type “pre-owned” — vehicles for a living.

And then there’s the name Patrick Sullivan. Everybody knows one. Nobody knows one who’s quiet, fades into the background, says “no thank you, but it was kind of you to ask,” when offered a legal beverage. Loud, funny, life of the party, laughs a lot, answers to Sully. You’ve met one, you’ve met them all and can’t wait to meet the next.

Lawrence has one who fits the stereotype. Mix that with an extreme case of Jayhawk love and the result is about what you would think. A color-correct tattoo of the 1941 Jayhawk on his right shoulder, a 1946 Jayhawk on his left shoulder, 14 items — stickers, a license-plate frame, decals, etc. — on one of the family cars pledging loyalty to his alma mater. You know the type.

Sullivan, KU Class of 1991, graduated from Rockhurst High, grew up in Kansas City, Mo., attended the University of Missouri for three months and “absolutely hated it.” He resumed his academic career at KU and has been drinking the Kool-Aid ever since.

This being KU-Missouri week, even during an outrageously horrific football season for the local gridders, Sullivan’s motor runs at an even faster pace than usual, which is to say at about the speed of Dario Franchitti’s. The recent arrest of Tigers coach Gary Pinkel on drunk-driving charges has revved him up even more.

Any man who thinks as much about one game as Sully has thought about what likely will be the last enactment of the Border War for a long, long time, has a shot at offering helpful advice to Turner Gill, who will coach his final game Saturday in Arrowhead Stadium and will be paid the remaining $6 million due him within 90 days of his firing.

Sullivan’s here to help.

“The only way we beat Missouri is to give them something they haven’t prepared for,” he said.

By that he did not mean for the team to come out of the tunnel wearing all white uniforms with white helmets.

“Jordan Webb’s a very predictable quarterback,” Sullivan said. “Why not run Christian Matthews in a wildcat-option set the entire game. He’s proven he knows how to handle the ball in the backfield and has the IQ to make plays. And with (James) Sims, (Darrian) Miller, (D.J.) Beshears and (Tony) Pierson as options, KU can feature their greatest components, speed and the offensive line. If Jordan Webb is forced to make plays, MU is going to blitz and force turnovers, shortening the field and scoring quickly and often.”

Kansas almost never runs out of the wildcat.

“If Chuck Long can add a couple of pass wrinkles for Matthews, a former QB, or one of the running backs, MU will have to make reactive adjustments,” Sullivan said.

An upset would make his month.

“KU can send MU packing to the SEC with a humiliating loss, compounding MU’s shame over the past week,” Sullivan said.

He makes it sound so simple, almost as easy as reciting your ABCs.

Comments

Joe Ross

I want to get on the bandwagon with this article. Really, I do. But after basking in delusions of grandeur for a few moments, reality sets in and I realize Turner Gill is our coach.

11 years ago

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Cmill1221

Let's take a page from the TG play book and look at the positives!! NOT FOR LONG!!

11 years ago

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Cmill1221

This may sound weird but since the 3ed game of the season when we started getting beat down I have had this strange feeling that we would only win one more game this season but that game would be vs Missouri. I had the sane type if feeling in 03,04,08 and the opposite in 07. The only reason I can think of that we should win this game is that there is literally not a single reason we should win. Good always conquers Evil.

11 years ago

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Charles McPheeters

I have been enjoying this game since 1951. Many times the underdog has won. KU has a good chance for this weeks BIG upset. Just in case you havn't noticed the coach does not have on a uniform. The KU players are motivated and they can with a friendly bounce of the ball, win.

11 years ago

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railer20

Yes our players are usually motivated...what makes you think they will be motivated this year, when our coach when asked about the rivalry responds, "it is what it is." You think he is trying to get them motivated? They are probably trying to motivate themselves at practice and he gets mad at them because they are staying "focused on improving"....I see us getting manhandled and come out with zero energy.

11 years ago

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Mike Nicco

If my memory serves me correctly, wasn't it Coach Gill who stopped letting the late Coach Fambrough talk with the team before the Missouri game.

11 years ago

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Joe Joseph

I think he was sick last year. Could be wrong.

11 years ago

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ahpersecoachingexperience

Turner did not let coach speak and the kuad game out with a lame cover up after some fan outrage that coach was sick. Later Fam's son (I think) said that wasn't the case.

11 years ago

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jhox

Wish I could be so optimistic. I'm not even going to watch the game tomorrow (and I never miss watching KU games.) I'll DVR it in the unlikely event that we shock the world and pull the upset. It's sad that I can't get more excited for the last game in the series, but I see this as another blow out, and I can't handle the thought of watching MU and their fans celebrate after every T.D. It's sad that our program has reached this point

I watch other teams, and see players launching thier bodies for tackles, hitting hard, and playing with enthusiasm, trying to punish the other teams players. With a couple of exceptions most of our defense looks like they want to avoid contact at all cost. Until we develop that attitude that we want to punish the opponent with each and every hit, we're not going to be successful. The players say they're supportive of Coach Gill, and want to win for him, but their body language on the field says just the opposite.

11 years ago

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Kevin Long

Your right jhox. I literally prayed that that this is Turner Gills last game. My wife and I used to plan our day around KU football. Now we can harldy stand to watch at all. FIRE GILL!!!!!

11 years ago

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ahpersecoachingexperience

I talked to a pretty big birdie in Larryville last night that told me Turner is going to get another year.

11 years ago

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Funhawk

He should.

11 years ago

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Kenny Terry

If Turner Gill gets another year that in itself will tell me that Zenger is not serious about Kansas football. Go ahead and give him another year and watch the stadium be empty on Saturdays.

11 years ago

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Michael Maris

This information does NOT surprise me at all. I said a few weeks back that I felt that Turner would get another year. They will allow him to bring in a new Defensive Coordinator. But, TG better give up some of his $2,000,000.00 salary to get a DC in Lawrence that will make a difference. Otherwise, TG will not get year 4.

11 years ago

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Kenny Terry

This team needs alot more than a new defensive coordinator. Coach Gill will not hire a d coordinator that will be given the freedom to be hard on players who blow coverages or screw up. He will just be a shell of what our coach is now, which is just a soft nice guy to play for.

11 years ago

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ahpersecoachingexperience

The only thing is Tait and TK seem to act like it's a done deal. But this guy is reeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllllllllllly tied into the program (so much so I might send a personal email to Tait) The only thing I can think is he knows my feelings towards TG and is setting me up for a joke after he is fired.

11 years ago

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Funhawk

Should I go ahead and start this for you now?

Crock Pot Crow
Line the bottom and sides of the crock pot with slices of potato to keep the crow breast from touching the pot. Stack 24 crow breasts which have been pre-soaked into the pot. Sprinkle one package of onion soup mix over the crow breast and add 1/2 cup of water. Cook on high setting for 2 hours and then reduce to low for 4 hours. The crow breasts will be very tender cooked this way. If you like, you can also add salt and pepper to taste, a real onion, and diced stalk of celery.

11 years ago

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Kenny Terry

If they intend on bringing Gill back for another season than why wait till after the season to address that and not make a statement before the game?

11 years ago

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LAJayhawk

"But this guy is reeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllllllllllly tied into the program..."

This "birdie" is really attached to the football program? Or the athletic department? That would be a significant difference....

11 years ago

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ahpersecoachingexperience

Athletic department...which scares the hell out of me!

He also offered me suite tickets/hotel for the game. I told him eff'off because I'm not flying this weekend He joking said I was suspended for cussing.

11 years ago

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Kenny Terry

Well we are already the laughing stock of college football. I can only imagine the remarks and comments from ESPN and other sports reporters if Gill is brought back. This would further prove they have no desire to improve the football program

11 years ago

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Cmill1221

I talked to another birdie that told me he won't. Especially if he loses this game.

11 years ago

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Drew Alan

After our only successful drive of last weeks game against A&M was largely comprised of wildcat plays, I have been preaching this tactic all week to my friends and family.

A few reasons to go for this:

1. "Practice what you preach": KU switched to a 3-4 defense primarily in an attempt to get their best 11 athletes on the field. Now, Jordan Webb has shown that when he is given adequate time, he can make some good throws, but an "athlete" he is not. Putting Christian Matthews or one of the bevy of running backs in as the "quarterback" gets closer to putting our 11 best athletes on the offensive side of the ball.

2. "Element of Surpise": KU has shown a few wrinkles of Wildcat this year. This appeared to be mostly just to give Webb a breather, or try to pick up short yardage while catching the defense off guard. Surely Missouri has spent a few minutes in practice prepping against KU's wildcat offense, but surely not entire practices. If KU committed to the wildcat, they could even throw in crazy wrinkles like a reverse to Webb (lined up as a wideout) with a throwback to the pitch-man (Matthews or a back). This formation actually affords KU the ability to utilize its strengths AND the element of surprise, a possibly deadly combination.

3. "Why the heck not?": KU is 2-9. The coach is likely out. The fan base is demoralized. The Vegas-made point spread was somewhere around 24 and climbing. If we played the best we have played all season, there is still probably a 95% chance that we lose. If it doesn't work? So what! The worst you can do is get blown out, which is what everyone expects anyway. Your head coach ran the option in college, which is an offense much more similar to the wildcat than the hybrid spread/prostyle/terrible offense they have been running much of this season. Gill should practically be an expert at designing the blocking schemes to make this offense work.

Sully and I were clearly on the same wavelength this week. I'm just hoping some of KU's coaches were tuned in as well.

11 years ago

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LAJayhawk

"Jordan Webb has shown that when he is given adequate time, he can make some good throws..."

Yep, agree. When he is given time with absolutely no pressure, he can make some throws (most of the time...). But if you put any pressure on him at all, he completely falls apart and has pin-hole vision and a knack for chucking the ball in the direction of anyone on the opposing team... that is, when he is not running in circles like a dog afraid of his tail....

I agree with this assessment. Take a gamble. Worst thing that happens is it fails as well, and we have to fall back to an offense partway through the game that has already proven it will fail.

There is really nothing to lose by trying it (couldn't be worse than last week), and whole lot to gain.

11 years ago

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Dyrk Dugan

the crux of the article is we would be employing a different QB. Webb is serviceable....but he's NEVER won a Big 12 football game...can't make the plays against big time competition to make a difference in a win or loss.

that being said, Mecham should have been playing the last couple of weeks....he, no doubt in my mind at least, would have won the ISU game. You can chalk up the Baylor game to the non pass interference call....but we scored no points in regulation after the 3rd quarter. Mecham manages one drive there, to get us a FG attempt...with the wind. but again, we were up 24-3. ...so no change was made.

I still equate this to MM changing QBs vs. KSU in 2004. the All American in looks QB Adam Barmann (who never won a league game either) wasn't getting the job done.....so he brought in Swanson....and a go ahead TD pass occurred.

the objective here is to win the football game....ANY game...and HCTG has only one more left. he blew it vs. Baylor and ISU...and now it's all or nothing. how bad does he want this job? maybe he doesn't want it that bad......what does he want his legacy at KU to be? maybe he doesn't care.....

at this point, we have ample evidence, that, at the very least, he "believes" he is getting more time here. He hasn't had the urgency to win football games, no matter what. why else stick with a QB who can't win? last year he got hurt....and Mecham helps engineer the greatest comeback in KU history. This year, Gill has been loyal to Webb....like he's owed him something. Maybe Mecham ticked off the coaches with work ethic....who knows?

anyhoo, the point is, we need to play hard and have the full playbook employed..and personnel. if we lay an egg in this game, and give up 50+ and and score 14 or less...then Gill should be fired not one minute gone after gun goes off. this game...possibly the last game ever vs. two bitter rivals and states...is way bigger than any nice guy issues, or he's only had two years discussions. This football game deserves the absoute best this coaching staff and football team can offer...and then some.

and then let the chips fall.

11 years ago

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ahpersecoachingexperience

I cannot believe that Gill has lost 9 straight games and hasn't even considered switching QB's. Heck! He's not even put in the back up during most of the blowout losses. 9 straight games we have lost and our head coach hasn't even thought about switching QB! QB's that were so closely matched he took all spring and preseason to figure out who would be the starter.

You would also like to think QB would be the one area where some improvement was noticed. I know a whole lot goes into making the qb look good but when we are reminded everyday what great qb's gill and long were back in the day and the players they have coached you would think some improvement would be noted over 2 years.

11 years ago

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FreddyinLA

Ampersand, you are right on, for once. The back-up, (couldn’t tell you his name it’s been so long) actually sparked the team last year.

Gill sees Webb as his meal ticket for contract #2. !st one is already guaranteed, so no need to worry. Gradual, snail’s pace progress is Gill’s goal, not winning. Year 4 of current contract, Webb will be a very experienced senior. Nothing will be done in year 2 to cause Webb to lose confidence, including benching him for doing nothing for the last half of the season.

Year 4, KU goes 6-6, gets into a crappy bowl, and Gill demands 2 more years be added to his contract.

11 years ago

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nuleafjhawk

Sully is wrong.

11 years ago

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troutsee

Last week I thought we would play A & M a good game and we tanked it big time. MU is a better team than A & M. Unfortunately, the match ups in this game add up to a blow out win for MU. I hope I am wrong again.

Matthews must not be able to throw a lick or surely we would have had him throwing out of the wildcat or Jayhawk or whatever you want to call it.

The read option as run by KU is worthless and teams have caught on to it because it really is not a read option, as Webb seldom keeps the ball. Thus, they key on the RB. That is part of the reason that our run game has stunk since the TT game.

11 years ago

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Gary Wirsig

Completely agree. Put in Matthews or someone who may actually keep the ball after making the read, possibly run through a tackle or two and pick up a little yardage (like a certain quarterback at a school not too far to our west). Seems to be working great for them.

11 years ago

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Gary Wirsig

Maybe it's time to rethink our whole philosophy, ala Bud Moore. In the absence of a David Jaynes or Todd Reesing, why not play to our strengths? Moore moved Nolan Cromwell to quarterback to run the option and the rest is history. I know that Chuck Long is a different kind of OC, having a history as a passer, but that's clearly not our strength this year, and probably not next year either, unless Brock Berglund makes a miraculous appearance.

Anyway, my 2 cents - go with the option for the future - get an OC who is an expert with it for next season. And start on it this week - as a previous poster said "nothing to lose".

Oh and go for a real DC, who was hired for that purpose - can Torbush come back?

11 years ago

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FreddyinLA

My thoughts exactly, make yourself different than every other team in the Big 12. Use your strengths. Run the option and make teams try to learn how to stop it in the week they have to prepare for it.

Bud moving Cromwell to QB was bold and brilliant. Who knows where KU football would be right now if the Ransom Rambler didn’t tear up his knee against OU his senior year.

Hopefully, he will be our new coach in a couple days.

11 years ago

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Gary Wirsig

Although MU will probably win, and I appreciate that you're not being too obnoxious about it, just a warning...don't count your chickens....etc.

11 years ago

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Kenny Terry

If beating the worst team in college football is looked at as a accomplishment on your part than you Missouri fans are are pathetic

11 years ago

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Dyrk Dugan

man that is exactly right. i will never let Moo fans live this one down, if KU wins. it would be one of the worst losses in their "vaunted" history. and if they win? big deal, they beat arguably the worst defensive team statistically, in the BCS era.

that's why i think it's a truly nothing to lose game for Kansas...i just hope the coaches agree.

11 years ago

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Kenny Terry

You have been trolling this site the last few weeks with your posts about us getting ready for another beating, and now you say MU might not win? Lay off the pinkel juice

11 years ago

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FreddyinLA

Pinkel Juice......That's classic.

11 years ago

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Gary Wirsig

I comprehend you comepletely, having read all your earlier posts. You expect Mizzou to win. Also please explain your phrase "just sayin'" if it doesn't mean that you have every expectation of winning.

No malice intended at all - I also expect Mizzou to win.

11 years ago

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Mizzoufan

I think just the fact that this will probably be the last game played in the rivalry is what adds weight to this game. Yes, beating the worst team in the FBS is no big accomplishment, I agree. But being able to say we own the series, even by just 1 game, is a lot.

11 years ago

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Drew Alan

Wow. A mizwho fan saying something that makes sense!

As long as Leach doesn't recruit any ESPN employee's kids, I agree!

We could even double up and hire Mike Stoops as a D-coordinator.

11 years ago

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Jeff Coffman

The interim Head Coach of Ohio State might be an option as well.

11 years ago

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Eric Williams

I bet Urban Meyer is denying reports that he's going to Ohio State because he's waiting for an offer from KU...

11 years ago

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Jeff Coffman

I didn't say the future head coach of Ohio State, I said the Interim, who was the defensive coordinator last year. I think he will need a job and may be a viable option.

11 years ago

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milwaukeeJAYHAWK

Would Leach even want to come? KU's not a destination job, but maybe he'd want to stick it to Tech by building a program to beat them?

11 years ago

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Cmill1221

Terry Allen and KU actually beat tech the year before he got there. Why not. Tech was a worse job than KU at the time he took over.

11 years ago

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Gary Wirsig

Hihawk, you are wrong on so many levels,I won't even bother to reply. Learn to read and comprehend.

11 years ago

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Gary Wirsig

Here, I've done a little research for you...

http://edhelper.com/ReadingComprehens...

Enjoy. Look forward to meaningful posts from you in the future!

11 years ago

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Gary Wirsig

...but I'm not holding my breath.

11 years ago

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John Randall

in support of gdkad, the Border War has been that kind of game, from both sides of said border, since before hihawk was born. Not only that, this game will break the 55-55-2 standoff, probably for a good many years to come . . .

Hard to discount that as an incentive, even if your coach doesn't understand it. Get a tape of Fambrough and play it at halftime, while TG is locked in the ladies room.

11 years ago

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bradynsdad

What defensive coordinator worth two cents would even come here? I think turner is doing everything the right way a coach should except the coaching part.

11 years ago

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Clarence Glasse

I like Sully's thinking. If you continue doing the same things - you'll get the same results.
That being said, the football game against MU has, over the years, always been the game that makes the season. It never matters how well the Jayhawks have done in their other games, a really successful season includes a successful outcome for this KU-MU game. Expect the best!
RCJH!

11 years ago

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Dennis Mahorney

I know Sully...He drinks to much.

11 years ago

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texashawk10

I will gladly suffer through remaining 3 years of Gill's contract for a win tomorrow over those dirty, meth-mouthed, inbred, worthless pieces of excrement and the lifetime of bragging rights that will come with a win over Fizzou. Now go win one for Coach Fam!

M-I-Z D-W-I Muck Fizzou!!!!!!!!

11 years ago

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texashawk10

There's that trademarked Missouri spelling shining as dully as ever.

11 years ago

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bad_dog

Meth keeping you from sleeping?

Perhaps the Hawks should both remember and re-enact Osceola at Arrowhead?

Seems apropo given the "Scoreboard" t-shirts commemorating a massacre that Mizzery fans wear with so much pride.

Just a few more hours and then Mizzery can slime their way off to the multiple annual beatdowns awaiting them in the SEC.

11 years ago

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Rich Noever

Isn't great that you celebrate people who thought human bondage was proper. You are a lower form of life.

11 years ago

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Dirk Medema

You mean like Buddy Hackett and Buddy Ryan? Really similar personailities b/c of their first names?

11 years ago

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Dirk Medema

"Kansas almost never runs out of the wildcat."

Actually just the opposite, yes. So much for editting.

11 years ago

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Jeff Coffman

I read that multiple times as well. I thought he might be saying that we don't run the wildcat often, but I think we run it too much...we just never pass out of it.

11 years ago

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Dirk Medema

The headscratcher here is that it appears that a mobile QB is the direction Turner wants to go with the team. So why not start now? I understand wanting to save Cummings redshirt, but not saving Matthews. Good analogy above to Nolan.

11 years ago

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BarkingHawk

If Gill is the head coach past this weekend, I know of $ 1,500.00 in annual season ticket purchases that won't be available for whenever the payoff comes. Unless the Chancellor has handcuffed the AD, and that's not outside the realm, the AD should fire Gill or quit himself because his credibility with many, many of us will be as gone as Gill's.

And, the only guy who can remotely excite me going forward is Mike Leach. Instant credibility, big in Texas, knows the conference, has scores to settle and is smart, articulate and entertaining. Plus, and something lost in the previous hiring decision, a proven BCS winner.

As to MU, we should play them every year. Why puss out just because we're pissed that they're leaving the conference. Hell, this rivalry is bigger than the conference and always has been. I would rather beat them than go to a 3rd tier bowl game any year. We owe that to Fam if for no other reason but, we've got a lot more reasons going all the way back to the 1850s.

(Plus, after they kick our ass tomorrow, do we really want to end the rivalry on that note?)

11 years ago

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SCJayhawker

Interesting reading. Just to add a little something to the discussion.....I have heard that a number of the big Williams Fund folks have already raised enough money to buy out Gill's contract. Anyone else here that and is there any truth to it?

11 years ago

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Kenny Terry

I have heard the same thing, but I'm not sure if there is any truth to it or not. One would have to suspect though that there is general unrest with the boosters concerning the direction of the football program

11 years ago

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bad_dog

I too, have heard it. Music to my ears, if true.

11 years ago

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KUstinks

i can not wait to see MU stomp the guts out of a demoralized and cowardly opponent, the only thing that would make it better would be to do it for every year for the foreseeable future. i hope we run up the score and chant your stinking excuse for a football team back to the crap hole they came from for the last time. please please, accept our invitation for a non-con continuance of the rivalry, in the SEC we will be hard pressed every week, we need the easy win non-con

11 years ago

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Rich Noever

Your scumbag coach Faurot showed his shining moment.

11 years ago

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danmoore

We are 55-55-9 in football, 169-94 in basketball and 1-0 in civil wars. Ya, that’s it, we’re afraid of you.

11 years ago

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danmoore

Relax dude, its called trash talking. Isn’t that the reason you’re trolling in the first place?

You guys are pretty sensitive about the whole slavery thing.

11 years ago

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ZDKC

danmoore: That's great! You nailed them with the cold hard facts, and all they could reply with is the typical "you suck.. no YOU suck.. no YOU suck more," type or response.

haha classic.

A note to methy fans: Please preface your posts with "The past few season, but not overall, however, nowhere close in basketball," if you're going to make comparisons with your mediocre zero accomplishment school.

Thank you!

11 years ago

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danmoore

Hmm, 2007. Oh that was the year we won the orange bowl and you got spanked TWICE by OU (guess you kind of choked there). Then we went on to win the national title in basketball. Oh what horrible times.

11 years ago

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danmoore

Actually Forrest, the basketball reference was in my original post which bears repeating.

Football 55-55-9
Basketball 169-94
Civil Wars 1-0

Does your mommy know you’re up this late?

11 years ago

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bad_dog

Why? Is she your bail bondsman?

11 years ago

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Robert Brock

LOL

11 years ago

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Jeff Kilgore

Leach makes sense for a lot of reasons. First of all, it will put an end to the thought that KU is overly worried about the toughness it takes to win. Secondly, he knows more about the rest of the Big XII and how to coach against them than any other candidate. Third, his fast break style offense would pack the seats, and as a proven winner, he'd be given double the time that Gill will be given. The fourth reason is recruiting. He will immediately be able to bring in a four or five-star QB because recruits know that his players get serious NFL looks. Fifth, he's my age, and I respect anyone with that much energy. Sixth, I love his "fat girlfriends" quote after an unexpected loss. Seventh, he's probably had time to do some scheming and tweaking his offense. Eighth, he's a great interview. Ninth, he'd give us real inroads to Texas recruiting, and with the slavers gone, we could begin picking up their recruits. Finally, tenth, we'd be back to respectibility in three years.

Little? Zenger? Do you read all these comments? We're here on this board because we care. Lots of fans and alums share these sentiments. Hire another inexperienced coach and see where it gets you. Bad decisions can get you fired.

MU play them, don't play them. I could care less. We've got our hands full the way it is to think about the new SEC doormat.

Quiz question: which former school begs to rejoin the Big12 first? CU, MU, or NU?

11 years ago

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