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Bulls Looking For A New Tradition


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I'm not sure what the headline has to do with most of the article, other than possibly going to our 4th bowl game, but it's a good story anyway about KU football.  ;D

Bulls Looking For A New Tradition

By JOEY JOHNSTON | The Tampa Tribune

Published: September 9, 2008

TAMPA - The University of South Florida's 12th-year football program is seeking its fourth straight appearance in a bowl game.

The Kansas Jayhawks haven't made bowl trips in consecutive seasons - ever.

Note: Kansas began playing football in 1890.

As Coach Mark Mangino famously said last season: "It's a program that has had a tough century."

But KU no longer is a lightweight. The No. 13-ranked Jayhawks (2-0), who face the No. 19 Bulls (2-0) in Friday night's nationally televised game at Raymond James Stadium, are coming off the best year in school history.

The big question: Can the Jayhawks, led by under-the-radar Heisman Trophy candidate Todd Reesing at quarterback, sustain this new-found success?

"Of course we can," said Bucs rookie cornerback Aqib Talib, an All-American with the Jayhawks last season. "I know the skeptics are out there. But you've got to understand Coach Mangino's mentality. He raised the bar. He wasn't settling for any more of those seasons with three and four wins. The players have completely bought in."

Now Mangino has something to sell.

Last season, KU was 12-1 with an Orange Bowl championship and a No. 7 ranking in the final Associated Press poll. Mangino was a runaway choice for National Coach of the Year.

"They deserve everything that has been said about them," USF defensive coordinator Wally Burnham said. "Great turnaround. Great story."

"You've got to give credit to the Kansas administration, too," said Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, Mangino's former boss, who served on the same Kansas State staff with him and USF coach Jim Leavitt in the 1990s. "Mark has built it the right way and that doesn't surprise me. But the administration gave him the opportunity, even when there wasn't much success in the first few years."

Mangino, hired in 2002 from Stoops' staff at OU, needed that time.

His first KU team was 2-10 - with victories against Missouri State and Tulsa - and 0-8 in the Big 12. Other than a handful of recognizable former KU players - such as Gale Sayers and John Riggins - there was little tradition for Mangino to draw upon.

"You can't change things overnight," Mangino said. "It just doesn't happen. Now you could go to a program with great resources and tradition that just hit a low area. But if you're taking a team that hasn't won in a long time, you're talking about a change of culture, a change of habits, a change of attitudes. That's an ongoing process."

That process hit overdrive last season.

KU's non-conference scheduled helped speed things along. The Jayhawks faced Central Michigan, Southeastern Louisiana, Toledo and Florida International.

"Nobody in December remembers who you played in September," Mangino said. "I don't understand the criticism. We should have opened up with Ohio State and USC and Penn State?

"I have to do what's in the best interest of our team and the future of our program. It was appropriate for us to play the type of non-conference schedule that we did."

Things have changed.

USF is a ranked non-conference opponent. Three new Big 12 opponents have rotated onto KU's league schedule - Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech.

Still, the Jayhawks are expected to challenge Missouri for supremacy in the Big 12 North. And if that happens, well, just wait until KU's second straight bowl trip.

"I wasn't aware of that KU's long-term lack of success," USF junior quarterback Matt Grothe said. "But I don't think it means anything. The team Kansas is bringing in here, that's a pretty darn good team."

And a pretty darn good story, too.

Reporter Joey Johnston can be reached at (813) 259-7353 or jjohnston@tampatrib.com.

http://www2.tbo.com/content/2008/sep/09/sp-a-new-tradition/

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A new tradition huh??  How about Rocky cold cocking, with a green and gold shovel, the opponets mascot at mid-field just before kickoff?    ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) :o :o

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A new tradition huh??  How about Rocky cold cocking, with a green and gold shovel, the opponets mascot at mid-field just before kickoff?    ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) :o :o

**** I wish that woulda started LAST SATURDAY !!!    >:D

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I think Talib should focus on not getting burned 4 times in a game instead of talking about his overrated team

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heres a new tradition.

End the season ranked in the top 25 and win your bowl game.

I'd settle for that one.

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I knew there had to be something wrong with THAT headline.

It's now been changed:

Kansas Looks For A New Tradition

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