Before the moment passes, let's get one thing straight.
Kansas is No. 1.
Sure, the BCS and polls say something different, but take it from someone who has seen all the contenders. Oregon might be playing the best. LSU probably has the best athletes. Kansas deserves to be at the top.
|Dodd's Heisman Watch|
|1. Tim Tebow, Florida|
|2. Dennis Dixon, Oregon|
|3. Sam Bradford, Oklahoma|
|4. Chase Daniel, Missouri|
|5. Todd Reesing, Kansas|
In the craziest fall since the 2000 election season, being undefeated should speak loudest. Ask W. All these wacky upsets and KU -- that's what we call it here in Kansas -- is the only BCS conference team sporting a bagel, a doughnut.
Zero, as in number of losses.
That counts most in this season when top five mob hits have abounded. As someone who has lived 30 miles from the campus for the past 26 years, I can't believe I'm writing this, but it's true:
The stadium that once was the venue for a Huey Lewis and the News concert (what, you missed Hawkstock '83?) is the home of the No. 1 team in the country. Or should be in this week's Horse and Buggy Bowl.
Kansas hasn't been 10-0 since 1899. Iowa State last won a conference title (shared, actually, in the Missouri Valley) in 1912.
The winner gets free lamp oil for a year.
Football really isn't that antiquated at Kansas. They've been playing there since 1890, a year before that Naismith guy nailed up his first peach basket.
But almost never like this. What does No. 1 mean? It means Kansas didn't blow a 13-lead lead to what is now a three-loss Kentucky (as LSU did). Kansas didn't blow a 17-point lead and lose to a currently 5-6 Colorado (as Oklahoma did). Its only loss isn't to a Cal team that has lost four of the past five and dropped out of the rankings. But Oregon's is.
The Jayhawks, though, have won them all.
We will entertain your argument regarding Kansas and Hawaii, but not Kansas and the other one-loss teams. It's a short argument. Hawaii plays in the WAC, enough said. Kansas plays in the Big 12, which is sporting three top six teams at the moment.
If it gets to a BCS bowl, Hawaii will have beaten one ranked team (Boise State), survived San Jose State in overtime and conquered two I-AAs. If Kansas gets to New Orleans, it will have finished up by beating two top six teams -- Missouri and Oklahoma.
That's two more top 10 teams than Ohio State will face in getting to the national championship game. What's that? The Buckeyes lost to Illinois? There goes another one-loss pretender.
|Playing over their heads? Maybe, but the Jayhawks' 10-0 record can't be ignored. (US Presswire)|
College football is the only sport where 10 decades of tradition count more than 10 weeks of excellence. Humans still hold the most sway over the process. And the humans who vote in the polls sure have blown it on this one. A large portion couldn't spell Todd Reesing, much less know how much heart is beating under that crimson-and-blue jersey of the Kansas quarterback. They probably don't know that Marcus Henry has turned out to be every bit the receiver that LSU's Early Doucet is.
One is all-anonymous. The other was preseason All-SEC.
That's part of college football's good old boys club. It doesn't readily admit new members, much less admit they can actually play tackle football at such far-flung outposts as Lawrence. There are some folks in Baton Rouge who couldn't tell you what conference Kansas is in.
Didn't we learn from Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl that any team can win anywhere? Haven't we learned from the past three months?
Your next argument will be about strength of schedule. Because of the Big 12 schedule rotation, Kansas doesn't play Oklahoma or Texas this regular season. So what? Like we said, it's going to be decided on the field. Kansas will likely play Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game if it stays on course. Texas already has lost by 20 at home to Kansas State, a team that lost by 42 to Nebraska on Saturday.
So what are we talking about here? A soft non-conference schedule? Mark Mangino wasn't trying to massage a national championship run when he put this schedule together. He was trying to get to a bowl game, keep his job. It worked for Bill Snyder. Kansas State's former coach played non-conference schedules far easier than this one, and look what it got him -- a top 10 program and a Big 12 title in 2003.
Take out the magnifying glass, and KU's non-conference opponents aren't exactly eight-man football either.
Central Michigan won the MAC last season and is in the MAC title game this season. KU beat the Chips by 45. The Jayhawks lost last season at Toledo in overtime. They won the return game two months ago, but the point is this: How many Big Ten teams in the area have played at Toledo lately? Let's check: Hmmm, there have been two this decade.
Which team should be No. 1?
Total Votes: 28,656
Wonder why? Major-college teams are 2-3 at Toledo since 2000.
Southeastern Louisiana and Florida International we'll give you. But don't just blame Kansas. Teams have been falling all over themselves trying to get FIU on the schedule. In the past two seasons, the Golden Panthers have taken guarantee checks from Penn State, Miami and Texas Tech as well.
Nevertheless, the Jayhawks are not going to fluke their way to New Orleans. As mentioned, they are going to earn it. If everyone wins out, all indications are that the Jayhawks, currently No. 3 in the BCS, are going to vault into the top two.
Any problem with a 13-0 Big 12 champion as the only major-college undefeated team playing for it all? There had better not be, because it has never not happened.
You wonder how Harvard on the Kaw is going to deal with it. It's a basketball school. That will never change. Naismith's grave is tucked away humbly in the back of a modest cemetery in Lawrence. But if you visit this week, you will notice that the ground around the site has been disturbed. Obviously Ol' James himself has been tossing and turning lately.
The last time KU was 10-0 in football, basketball was just starting up on campus, with Naismith as the first coach.
Since then, Kansas has become famous for a lot of other things. If you've got 45 minutes, I'm sure someone will think of one.
Right now, though, it's the center of the football universe.
No. 1 with a bullet -- usually from Reesing to Henry.