Tag Archives: NCAA

Kansas Alienates Home Crowd Further With Unsportsmanlike Conduct

Audio: Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield talks to the media  after winning a road game against Kansas.

By Greg Echlin

Of all the Power 5 football conferences (Big 12, Big Ten, SEC, ACC and Pac-12), only Duke’s home game against Georgia Tech over the weekend had a smaller announced crowd (20,141) than the game in Lawrence between Kansas and No. 4 ranked Oklahoma (22,854).

So what did KU’s game captains do to fire up the Jayhawks fans not dressed up in Sooners gear? Refuse to shake hands at the coin toss with Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield.  How about that for upperclassmen leadership!  Really?

To top it off, after the game, when Jayhawks third-year coach David Beaty was asked from the outset of his post-game news conference about the gestures—or in this case a non-gesture—of his captains, he responded, “You’re going to stick your feet in the ground and you’re going to defend your grass.  I think we’ve got to display it better than that, obviously, but I get it.”

Beaty added, “I understand where they’re coming from.  I’ve got to do a better job as their coach.  Maybe teaching them how to manage that a little better.”

Isn’t sportsmanship one of the first basic principles taught at the beginner’s level of any sport?

Granted, Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield didn’t handle himself well later in the game with some of the gestures he made.  But the tone was already set for that type of behavior with KU’s display by its three game captains—Joe Dineen Jr., Dorance Armstrong Jr. and Daniel Wise—before the kickoff.  Then in the Jayhawks post-game interview room, only Lawrence native Dineen Jr. addressed questions while the other two Jayhawks players ducked out.

Mayfield, on the other hand, was openly apologetic in the compact visitors media room and then later on through Twitter.  His actions overshadowed the clinching of a berth in the Big 12 title game by OU (10-1, 7-1).

If KU wants to make statement, here’s a novel idea: Play better than losing to the Sooners, 41-3, and dropping to 1-10 (0-8 in the Big 12) this season.

It’s bad enough to alienate a fan base so badly that, if it’s not a KU basketball game, it largely wasn’t even aware the Jayhawks were playing their last football home game of the year.  It’s not hard to explain why more and more aren’t showing up.  Adding insult, KU is in the midst of a true road game losing streak—45 straight—that’s the worst ever among major college football programs.

The immediate outlook doesn’t look any more promising as KU focuses on its final game of the year at Oklahoma State.

SEC and Missouri Tiger Fans Still Saying “Show Me Football”

Photo courtesy of MU Athletics

By Greg Echlin

Not much has changed for the Missouri Tigers since entering the Southeastern Conference as far as earning respect.  But these days, it comes from MU’s own fan base in the Show-Me state.

Take Missouri’s coach-killing win, 50-17, over Tennessee for example.  For the Tigers’ last home game, a crowd of 50,637 showed up, which in a stadium that seats more than 71,000 looks vastly undersold for a team that had won three in a row, plus moving closer to bowl game eligibility.  The day after Missouri won, Vols coach Butch Jones was fired.

Surely after scoring 63 points against Missouri last year, then allowing 433 rushing yards to the Tigers’ offense this year, the Vols’ reversal was the last straw toward Jones’s dismissal. It can’t be about Missouri’s improvement from one year to the next, can it?

This appears to be the same song-and-dance as winning back-to-back 2013 and ‘14 SEC East Division titles in only the Missouri Tigers’ second and third years in the conference.

Missouri Tigers Mizzou
Missouri Tigers fans supporting Mizzou outside Faurot Field at University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. There’s no “I” in team. Comments encouraged below 

The territorial media brethren in the heart of SEC football country was incredulous.  The narrative during those two seasons wasn’t: How good were the Tigers?  Instead, it was about how much Florida under Will Muschamp had slipped after losing to Missouri in both years, or how Mark Richt was losing his grip on the Georgia program.

It wasn’t long before both of those coaches moved on against their wishes.

This season, in the midst of the Tigers’ best winning streak under Coach Barry Odom in his second year, Missouri’s fan base has been hesitant to buy in.

Missouri Tigers fans file into Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium to watch a Saturday evening game against Tennessee. The Tigers won 50-17.

Before Gary Pinkel retired from coaching after the 2015 season, he practically had to beg for MU fan support every year, besides the 2008 Cotton Bowl, the Tigers earned a bowl game invitation.

The Missouri players, however, have a different view.  Anthony Sherrils, a senior from Hogan Prep HS in Kansas City, says he senses a positive vibe.

“It’s a great climate,” said Sherrils, the Tigers co-leader in tackles against the Vols with six.  Sherrils also recovered a fumble and came up with an interception.  “We’re winning.  Fans are happy.”

With remaining road games at Vanderbilt and Arkansas, the Tigers have a chance to position themselves further for a possible invitation to the Liberty Bowl in Memphis.

Whether that’s enough for the fans in the Show-Me state to climb aboard is the prevailing question this season.

Former KU and MU Football Prospect Pays Off—For Iowa State

Photo credit Iowa State Athletics Communications

By Greg Echlin

There’s a reason the Kansas Jayhawks and Missouri Tigers continue to struggle in football under David Beaty and Barry Odom respectively.  They’re letting the best prospects slip away. Continue reading Former KU and MU Football Prospect Pays Off—For Iowa State

Florida And LSU Seek Series Championship

By Greg Echlin
Though the University of Florida is in search of its first national title in baseball, the Gators are playing in the best-of-three title series at the College World Series for their third time.  Southeastern Conference foe LSU is no stranger to baseball championships as the NCAA’s team of the 90s.  The Tigers, however, are playing in their first title series since 2009.
All in all, these two teams wear familiar colors at the College World Series while the teams located closer to Omaha struggle to get that far.  Iowa and Nebraska made the 64-team bracket, but each failed to get past the first weekend.  The most notable natives of either Iowa or Nebraska are linked to other programs in the College World Series.

Close Call At College World Series Causes Concern

By Ian Echlin

A University of Louisville batter lost his bat on a swing and sent it flying into the stands Sunday afternoon at the College World Series. The fan hit in the head walked away with a minor cut.

However, the incident raises questions about safety at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha. An NCAA official says it’s being addressed. Continue reading Close Call At College World Series Causes Concern

Kyle Korver Shooting For First Taste Of NBA Finals

Cleveland Cavaliers newcomer Kyle Korver connected on two free throws with 19 seconds left in Game 4 of the series-clinching win over the Indiana Pacers.  It gave the Cavaliers a three-point lead, 105-102, before one final free throw by LeBron James sealed it.  In Game 2 of the first-round series, Korver scored 12 points on four three-pointers in five attempts.  On a championship caliber team, the former Creighton Bluejays standout is entering unexplored territory in his basketball career.

Link to the full story at KIOS.org

Active Coaches Who Beat Bill Self at Allen Fieldhouse Are Dwindling

By Ian Echlin

College basketball fans remember Steve Fisher for coaching the Fab Five at Michigan. But Kansas Jayhawk fans will remember Fisher with San Diego State as a scrape on Bill Self’s home record at Allen Fieldhouse – like a healed scar. Continue reading Active Coaches Who Beat Bill Self at Allen Fieldhouse Are Dwindling