Archive for Wednesday, December 12, 2001

Chinstraps and Mouthpieces

Coach Mangino not taking job as Abercrombie model

December 12, 2001

My job is in jeopardy.

I'm not slender. My physique does not indicate that I play basketball or model for Gap.

Most concerning is the health factor. Because I weigh more than the average 23-year-old, 6-foot-2 male should, there's a chance that I could have health problems that people carrying more weight around traditionally can have.

All of these factors show that I am a definite risk in the work place.

Heck, I even changed my column mug shot in hopes that I might look more photogenic and less slob-like.

Sound silly? Apparently it wasn't for new Kansas football coach Mark Mangino.

Newspapers were filled with stories concerned about Mangino's weight and whether it would affect his position as the head coach. It was like some type of weight discrimination.

Anyone who's seen photos of Mangino knows he's larger than most coaches are and slightly resembles Oliver Hardy of Laurel and Hardy fame.

Does that mean he's not capable of running figuratively speaking a football program?

The man has been one step below Bill Snyder and Bob Stoops at Kansas State and Oklahoma respectively. Snyder has always been known as a workaholic and expects the same from his staff.

Mangino was in Manhattan for eight years. He's been around the pressures of coaching college football for more than a decade.

This is his first stint as a head coach, and the stress factor will be increased (something that is statistically tougher on obese people), but he's been around the game extensively and will handle it well.

Some say taking the job is career suicide, but Mangino will be successful. It will get rough, but that large grin he displayed at his press conference on Dec. 4 should be seen in the future.

If not, he and I might have to "alter" our professions and open Manginoberger's Massive and Wide clothing store.

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De Soto High School has a college atmosphere this basketball season. The boys' and girls' teams have a media guide and Friday's game against Tonganoxie was State Farm Insurance Schedule Magnet Night. Other promotional games include De Soto State Bank Team Picture Night, Sonic Mini-basketball Night, Steve Oliver Dodge Senior Salute Night, Mayor Appreciation Night, De Soto/J-Mart/Carquest Souvenir Cup Night, McDonald's Sport Bottle Night and The Crossings' Ministry Poster Night.

Whew, a fan can really stock up on free memorabilia. The promotions seem slightly extravagant for high school athletics, but it's good to see businesses and the community involved.

The Wildcats could use support after the 2000 football season ended 0-9, and last year's boys' basketball team finished 1-20. This year's volleyball team finished 1-28.

De Soto did make strides in football, improving to 2-7, while this year's basketball team is 1-1 after losing to Tonganoxie, 75-61. The girls' team is 2-0 after their victory against the Chieftains on Friday.

Who knows, a media guide and Sonic mini-basketball might be a nice addition to a Tonganoxie home game.

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For as enjoyable of an experience college football game days are, the prize at the end of the rainbow seems questionable.

Miami deserves one spot in the Rose Bowl, this year's national championship. Nebraska, the other participant, doesn't. Computers and statistics are used to determine team's ratings. But common sense indicates that a team losing 62-36 (Nebraska) probably shouldn't get a shot if the team that beat them (Colorado) also defeats another Top 5 team (Texas).

Colorado must settle for the Fiesta Bowl against Oregon. The Buffaloes lost two games this year, but their finish should prove their legitimacy in the title game. Instead, computer tabulations give Nebraska a slight edge. Nebraska has a 7.23 Bowl Championship Series score, while Colorado has a 7.28 BCS rating.

The Buffs hope for a Nebraska win coupled with their own victory against Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl. Miami would no longer have a perfect record and Colorado would look for a share of the national title with the Associated Press poll vote. The BCS stipulates that the coaches poll must reflect the Rose Bowl winner as the national champion.

The mishap might not be a completely bad thing if it shows organizers that a playoff is needed.

It's doubtful that will be the case, though. Coaches complain that a playoff would make the season too long and student-athletes need time to prepare for finals. It's interesting that the layoff between the season and the major bowl games is about a month. Teams are still practicing during that time.

Next year, teams can have 12 regular season games instead of the current 11-game slate. Many bowl officials wouldn't agree with the playoff format, but sometimes the correct solution doesn't always involve more money at least it shouldn't.

The regular season should include 10 games with a16-team playoff. That would allow for more time between the season and the playoffs. The change should also allow time for final exams.

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