In the Book of Revelations (or perhaps Bill and Ted’s Mock Journey) it is written that in the end times all mountains and valleys will be leveled to the plains, and we assume that from these Great Plains a Jayhawk will rise from the ashes.
Well, the apocalypse is upon us. Thank you Lance Leipold.
Yes, Kansas is 4-0. And it’s not just a timely, razor-thin 4-0. The Jayhawks upended the undefeated Duke on Saturday, throwing for 324 yards, rushing for 204 and looking like one of the most dynamic offenses in the country. This follows an overtime win over West Virginia and a surprise upset against Houston.
Kansas, dare we say it, is real.
Daniel Hishaw Jr. breaks tackles left and right while going 73 yards for the Kansas touchdown.
To understand how wild that sounds, remember that the last time Kansas won four games in a full season, “Avatar” was in theaters. (OK, we’re told that “Avatar” is sort of back in theaters now. Is this season in Kansas all James Cameron CGI?)
The Jayhawks went to the Orange Bowl in 2007, won eight games in 2008 and stumbled to a 5-7 finish in 2009. What followed was the most prolific comedy run since Bob Hope. What are we going to laugh about now? Will it be even fun next time Kansas beats Texas?
Kansas spent a decade trying quick fixes from the past like Charlie Weis and Les Miles and up-and-coming coaches like Turner Gill and David Beatty. We’re pretty sure the Jayhawks eventually resorted to a Tibetan shaman and a wax statue of Bear Bryant. None of that helped. Then came Leipold, and it was as if the program had awakened from a long sleep.
Consider the litany of players who have come through Lawrence over the past 15 years. Seriously, think of them because, honestly, we can’t remember any. For a generation of college football fans in Kansas, Baby Mangino was the closest thing to a celebrity, and he’s now a retired plumbing worker living outside of Sarasota, Fla. and earning Social Security (again, we assume).
But now there are stars. Jalon Daniels threw for 324 yards, rushed for another 83 yards and scored five touchdowns on Saturday. Jayhawks boosters might as well start filling in for a statue of the guy right now. Four different receivers from Kansas caught a touchdown against Duke. In 2020, four different Kansas receivers have caught a touchdown all season! Kansas has a cornerback named Cobee Bryant. Sure, it’s spelled differently than the more familiar Kobe, but “C” is a more versatile letter than “K,” and the extra “E” stands for “Excellence,” which, to paraphrase Ricky Bobby, these Jayhawks have been. are easing so far this season.
And no, it probably doesn’t mean the end is near. Had Kent State pulled the fuss over Georgia, or Central Michigan stayed with Penn State, or Wake Forest ended a win over Clemson, maybe it would be time to head down to the underground bunker.
But these are strange times. The Jayhawks aren’t just relevant, they’re really good.
Perhaps there is a lesson here for all of us – something about persevering through adversity and knowing that hard work will one day be rewarded. Or maybe it’s like you should never give Charlie Weis a long-term contract. Both options are good advice.
The remaining schedule gets tougher with Iowa State, undefeated TCU and then three opponents in a row. Maybe this is the Jayhawks high water mark for 2022. If so, that’s fine. Because we’ve seen a new horizon for a team that’s spent the last 15 years constantly running into a brick wall like a video game character after your cat sits on the controller. But now Kansas is more — a program with pulse, a team moving in the right direction, a fan base that’s not just counting down the days until basketball season.
Punt-a-palooza on The Plains
Saturday might have been the day it all ended for Bryan Harsin in Auburn, as Missouri — the SEC’s version of the boy in “Old Yeller” — put him out of his misery.
The college football gods wouldn’t let him off that easily.
Instead, Harsin — and the rest of us — were forced to endure as unfortunate a pillow fight as the season is likely to offer (though Iowa will certainly try to match it).
A quick review of the second half drive chart, with a score of 14: punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, turnover on downs, missed field goal.
(To answer your question, yes, Kevin Warren made both teams an offer to join the Big Ten.)
That last ride was the most insulting. Auburn hadn’t done anything offensively and was dependent on his fourth QB. Missouri drove to the 3-yard line for a first-and-goal with 45 seconds left. Then the Tigers — the, uh, Missouri ones — got down on their knees twice to set up a game-winning field goal in third place.
And of course the kicker missed.
Missouri RB Nathaniel Peat fumbles at the goal line after a touchback in overtime to hand Auburn the win.
Auburn won it in overtime, 17-14, after kicking a field goal after a drive in which he ran three games and lost two yards. But to be fair, Mizzou really lost the game after fumbling the ball in the end zone when he had his chance to win in OT.
So Harsin had to cancel his start time next Saturday with great pain in order to be able to coach this team again. Hasn’t the man suffered enough?
Bowers bangs on the rocks
Brock Bowers is a tight end. He’s an incredibly talented tight end, of course, but a tight end nonetheless.
And yet Georgia has seen fit to use Bowers as a runner three times this season. Those three carries resulted in a 5-yard touchdown, a 75-yard touchdown, and a 2-yard touchdown.
As a reminder for those who aren’t too good at math, that’s three rushes and three rushing touchdowns.
Brock Bowers takes over the handover and makes it 7-0 for the Bulldogs.
How impressive is that? Well, Massachusetts is an entire football team. Bowers is a guy. UMass has 201 rushing attempts this year. Bowers has three. UMass has two rushing TDs. Bowers has three.
We can’t help but wonder if Mike had Bobo Bowers in his backfield instead of just Todd Gurley and Sony Michel and Nick Chubb and Keith Marshall, how much heartache could Twitter users in Georgia have been spared?
Big bets and bad beats
DJ Uiagalelei may have saved Clemson from the abyss of losing to Wake Forest on Saturday, but he didn’t save a large contingent of bettors. Clemson finished as a 7.5-point favorite at Caesars, with 82% of the tickets and 87% of the money at the Tigers. When the two teams made it to a second overtime, things were well set up for Clemson to actually muster shocking cover. The Tigers scored first and then had to go to 2 by rule. However, Uiagalelelei’s pass was incomplete and Clemson won 51-45.
https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/page/gamedayfinal092422/college-football-week-4-highlights-top-plays-games-takeaways College football Week 4 highlights