Okay, we'll take a few days off from the "Mangino's Greatest Hits" series, as it's time to focus in on the Gophers. First, we need to catch up on a little news.
Denverjhawk at RCT has done it again with another great interview, this time with four-star running back Toben Opurum. Go there now.
Hot pot of coffee, folks. Mark Mangino and his staff have put together a great class. While I was celebrating Festivus in central Kansas, Rivals reported that the Jayhawks landed four-star JUCO defensive end Quintin Woods from Bakersfield, CA. Woods is 6'6"/245 and runs a 4.65 forty, according to the recruiting site. Looks like he chose KU over KSU, Washington State, UTEP, and Boise State.
NOW FOR THE BAD NEWS
Seriously, Justin Thornton and John Larson are out for the Insight Bowl? C'mon. Throw in the flu for Jake Sharp, and I'm wondering what is going on here. All indications are that Sharp will play, but it's still a concern. It's too bad to see a senior like Larson miss his final game. I've always liked this kid and rooted for him. Hopefully, he'll be feeling better soon.
JUSTIN THORNTON EXPANDED THOUGHTS
This one hurts. The Minnesota game is really the start of 2009, and I really think having a big corner like JT is one of the key factors in facing the Spread 12 conference. I'm not sure if the NFL is in his future, but I'd certainly be thinking about it if I was him, and I'd be preparing for next year. You get one shot at this, so I'd leave nothing to chance.
Of course, that's easy to say sitting in my chair, but sometimes you wish you could give these young guys a visit from the ghost of football future.
That wasn't exactly the emphatic statement we were expecting from a Big 12 vs. Big Ten matchup. There are a number of things to comment on, but I'll start with KU better start taking Minnesota a little more seriously. Maybe Mizzou is just an emotional shell after...well, I don't know what you would call the 2008 campaign for them. Maybe Crouching Tiger, Hidden Quality Wins.
Anyway, hopefully OSU can be a little more effective against Oregon. If not, get ready for Big 12 exposure.
THE CHASE DANIEL COMEDY HOUR
It was more like three hours. Seriously, not to pile on Chase Daniel, but something has to have happened. He really looked bad. I didn't see the wind whipping around inside the Alamodome, so that probably wasn't the factor on misfiring on virtually every open MU receiver deep.
How about running up to the line of scrimmage on 3rd-and-5 and heaving it out of bounds instead of diving for the first? How about the bomb into the stands that got the Mizzou fans booing as Tommy Saunders jogged down the sidelines? If a guy ever played a football game stoned, that's what I think it would look like. Strange, but maybe it was just a case of a senior pressing too hard in his final games.
GARY PINKEL'S GAME MANAGEMENT MASTER CLASS
So, you're approaching the 20-yard line with a little over 30 seconds left and two timeouts in a tie game at the end of regulation. You run off 15 seconds just for fun and do two running plays that lose five yards to get to the center of the field for a 44-yard field goal attempt? Hmm.
Maybe he was afraid of Chase producing some sort of turnover, but I'm thinking I would have even thrown the ball one more time to get near the 15 or more. Still, even if I'm running, I would have come up with something a little more serious than an empty backfield Chase Daniel run.
By the way, that field goal would have been good from 39. It all ended up okay, but still, overtime seemed unnecessary.
NOT MUCH ON THE GOPHERS HERE
Hey, I work cheap. We'll get some real content up for the big game.