Time to move on from college football

I like col­lege foot­ball. I also like the NFL (this may make me unwel­come in some places, but there it is), but there’s some­thing about the semi-pro nature of col­lege foot­ball, and the sheer num­ber of pro­grams, and the rival­ries, and the radio announc­ers, and the ter­ri­bly flawed bowl system(s, past and present)… it is messy, but some­times out of the mess comes some­thing as won­der­ful and fun as the 2007 sea­son was for us, here at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Kansas.

It start­ed with a cream­puff non-con­fer­ence sched­ule that was delight­ful to watch, as we piled up points and yards and spec­tac­u­lar plays on unsus­pect­ing teams. Nobody thought much of it, but it was fun for us. But when KU start­ed win­ning con­fer­ence games (albeit with­out meet­ing any high cal­iber teams like Texas, Okla­homa, or Mis­souri), it got even more fun. We nev­er got much nation­al media atten­tion until this last week before the Mis­souri game, but that was fine. We did spawn a nick­name, the Fight­ing Mangi­nos, as well as some unmen­tion­able t-shirt slo­gans, and the Gov­er­nor of Kansas was the guest of hon­or in our Home­com­ing Parade (that didn’t hap­pen at Iowa). The whole town had fun with it.

We were lucky enough to be in Iowa in 2002 ((Wikipedia has a pret­ty com­plete page on the 2002 Iowa Hawkeyes)), when they had their excel­lent sea­son that end­ed 11–2. And now we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy this sea­son at KU. A sea­son which will hope­ful­ly end 12–1, not 11–2. No offense to the Iowa team (which had play­ers the likes of Dal­las Clark, Bob Sanders, and Nate Kaed­ing), but the bowl game in 2002 was dis­as­trous. I hope for bet­ter from KU this year. At least Iowa lost the game to Car­son Palmer and USC (my mother’s always-root-for team).

The game in Kansas City this past week­end was dif­fi­cult to watch, though we are glad we stuck with it, as the team did account for itself well in the last twen­ty min­utes of reg­u­la­tion. We switched to the radio announc­ers at half­time, even with the HD video being about twen­ty sec­onds behind the radio (it was like always-on instant replay!), and we had a much bet­ter time, despite the los­ing part. But now it is over.

Every­one here in Lawrence is very hap­py for the foot­ball team, and very con­grat­u­la­to­ry on their sea­son (despite send­ing impos­tors out for the first half against Mis­souri… real­ly, we could have won that game). And every­one is, en masse, turn­ing to bas­ket­ball.

There’s anoth­er unde­feat­ed team in town.