Inside Texas Kansas Picks

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By IT Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2009
Copyright © 2019

IT's Bill Frisbie, Ross Lucksinger, Jeff Howe, Michael Pearle and Clendon Ross give you their picks, and their reasoning for the picks, for Saturday's match-up between Texas and Kansas at DKR.


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Bill Frisbie, Lead Writer – You knew something was internally wrong at Kansas when its high-flying football team nose-dived into five straight losses, beginning with lowly Colorado. Head coach Mark Mangino suggested the current allegations that he mistreated players has more to do with fans who are disqruntled about the losing streak. QB Todd Reesing, however, said it had nothing to do with the team's record.

I'm siding with Reesing. Nobody in Lawrence cares that the football team is 5-5. Kansas fans were more upset that a Jayhawk basketball player injured his wrist last September while fighting members of the football team. During my first trip to Lawrence in 2004, I had to stop and ask three times while on the campus where the football stadium was. Students, literally, didn't know. (I might as well have been asking about the library.) That day, there were more students in line to get tickets for the basketball home-opener against Wofford than there were in the football stadium to witness a near monumental upset of Vince Young's Longhorns.

An argument could be made that Mangino has upgraded the program to where, now, people care enough not to tolerate his alleged anger-management issues the moment the season goes sour. Yet, the allegations reportedly stem from players, former players and former coaches. In other words, they are in-house. Mangino insists his team hasn't quit on him, but his trip to Austin won't be much of an indication. 

Kansas gave a spirited effort Saturday before falling late at Nebraska and, now, Mack Brown's coach-speak is that Mangino's troubles will have a galvanizing effect by rallying the Jayhawks.

Yet, the short-range forecast is that Kansas faces a perfect storm in Austin.  Consider these atmospheric conditions: Texas can clinch a Big 12 title berth, Colt McCoy can become college football's all-time winningest QB, it's Senior Day, it's a televised night game, and Brown has challenged his team to do something it has yet to accomplish at home this season -- get off to a fast start and play four quarters of solid football.  What's more, coordinator Will Muschamp has been in a chippy mood ever since his walk-ons and waterboys failed to preserve the shutout against Baylor.  Add to the mix the allegations against Mangino and it combines for a torrential beat-down of a Jayhawk team that is not only out-talented but, apparently, splintered. 

Texas could hang 50 on the visitors, and there is a very real possibility that Muschamp's defense could outscore Kansas. If the score remains respectable, it's because Mack Brown takes his foot off the pedal. Either way, Mangino takes it on the chins in what could be his last visit to Austin. Texas 52, Kansas 13.

Ross Lucksinger, Editor, Inside Texas – “I do think that when people are talking about their team and their coaches publicly that it pulls them closer together,” said Texas coach Mack Brown.

...Yeah, that only happens when the players like the coach.

If the universal sentiment on the team is that the criticism is unwarranted, that the coach is getting a bum wrap, then, yes, the players will draw together and fight for their head coach.  But if not everybody likes the coach, if the accusations are even partially true, if the team was already pulling away from him before this all dropped, then it'll destroy team morale.

Given the Jayhawks' five-game tumble, I imagine it's the latter.

Understandably Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing, playing back in his home town, will come out guns blazing, but the real problem on the field for the Rock Chalkers has been poor offensive line play...and if an already bad offensive line stops playing for their coach, it's bad news for the QB.

Kansas has its share of offensive talent and will manage to put the ball in the end zone once, but that'll be it, as Reesing is buried by the Longhorn D-line. Texas 45, Kansas 10.

Jeff Howe, Inside Texas Recruiting Analyst – This could not have been the way Todd Reesing pictured the end.

Heading into the season Kansas figured to be a seven-, eight-, possibly nine-win team at this point in the season with Reesing coming home for the first and only time in his college career to start in Austin against the Longhorns with national title implications and a Heisman trophy possibly on the line.

Well, there are national title implications and Heisman hopes hanging in the balance but those have everything to do with the Texas Longhorns and Colt McCoy rather than the Jayhawks and Reesing.

When people look back at the history of Kansas football it will truly be amazing to see how in two years Mark Mangino went from claiming 11 wins and a BCS bowl to being a lame duck on his way out while the Jayhawks tailspin back to Big 12 irrelevancy.

One person who will not be shedding tears for Reesing and the Jayhawks is Will Muschamp. I expect the Texas defensive coordinator to dial up something fierce for a Kansas offense that could be staring down the barrel of a shutout, especially since Muschamp saw a first half masterpiece on defense slip away in the second half of last week’s 47-14 demolition of Baylor.

On the other side of the coin the Horns will go against a Kansas defense that gave up 31 points to a Nebraska offense that has had trouble punching its way through wet toilet paper at points this season.

With McCoy and Jordan Shipley and a host of Texas seniors playing their final home game, I expect a celebratory atmosphere all night as the Horns pour it on as Texas clinches the South Division title in what could be Mangino’s last stand. Texas 52, Kansas 6.

Michael Pearle, Co-Publisher – There’s a scenario floating around that the Jayhawks might use the firestorm surrounding their coach, Mark Mangino, to get themselves so stoked up Saturday that they pull off a shock-the-world win over Texas. No doubt there’ll be a few folks from around the country watching just to see if some kind of high drama of that nature transpires. Especially if it is led by the hometown boy, Todd Reesing, coming home to slay the giant state school that failed to recruit him.

 But the reality is that the Kansas team coming to Austin this weekend bears almost no resemblance to the team that somehow went 12-1 and won the Orange Bowl a mere two seasons ago. Even if Kansas does somehow show up focused and highly motivated, it just does not figure to be able to hang in there with a Texas team that has steadily improved as the season has worn on, to the point it is now absolutely mauling its opponents.

 The Horns take care of business against a reeling Jayhawk team that has lost a shocking five straight conference games, they will clinch the Big 12 South title outright and secure a place in the conference championship game for only the fourth time in Mack Brown’s 12 seasons in Austin. Whatever motivation Kansas manages to summon for this game, Texas will match it and then some. In the final game at DKR for Colt, Jordan, Sergio and the rest, Texas will deliver a knockout blow that sends KU down for the count. Texas 48, Kansas 14.

Clendon Ross, Co-Publisher – I’m not sure what to make of this Kansas team’s situation. It certainly looks like a team and a program on the verge of imploding following five straight weeks of losing football games and several days of allegations and finger-pointing among head coach Mark Mangino and the KU administration and players, both current and former, about the appropriateness of some of Mangino’s words and actions. Without knowing more of the locker room dynamics in Lawrence, I don’t know if all of this will be a rallying cry or a death knell. I tend toward death knell, but perhaps the Jayhawk players will play this one for themselves; an us-against-the-world-including-our-coach mentality.

What I do know is this: Texas is almost the polar opposite of Kansas in terms of stability (and, of course, coaching style). Since Oklahoma, the Horns have methodically (and sometimes spectacularly) dismissed opponent after opponent. No sideline drama and minimal off the field drama. Sure, there’s the possibility for distraction when a contributing player is suspended like kick returner D.J. Monroe was earlier this week, but this has been a business-as-usual week with Monroe’s situation but a blip.

You see, this Texas team is focused, from the coaches and players all the way down to the waterboys, on the goal which eluded them by fractions of a point last year. In previous seasons, what Kansas is or does may have been an issue, but not this year. I expect we’ll see something similar to the last four weeks: a Longhorn squad that isn’t perfect but that takes care of business, regardless of opponent. Texas 48, Kansas 13.

Pat Culpepper, Special to Inside Texas: Texas 45, Kansas 7.

Average of IT Members Picks: Texas 47, Kansas 13.

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