Well it's been a few days, and by now most of the initial in-your-faceness of Mizzou fans toward KU fans has subsided.
I first want to congratulate you Mizzou fans out there on a game well cheered. You supported your team to a victory and you deserve your moment in the spotlight. And a tip of the hat to the KU fans as well, who stood up to the post-game smack with aplomb. Bloodied but unbowed, they showed themselves to be good sports in a tough loss.
So while the Tiger nation is gearing up for the Big XII title bout this weekend, and the Jayhawks are cooling their heels waiting to see what upper-tier bowl they will go to, it is a good time to make sure we don't overlook the gargantuan contribution of KU head coach Mark Mangino.
You may not have noticed this man, as he tends to keep a low profile on the sideline during games. But what he has accomplished this season should not go unnoticed. In guiding his team to a successful 11-1 season, he has proven the validity of two key coaching strategies.
First is the importance of early season, on-field, non-conference preparation.
By scheduling his team for a veritable gridiron grind house in its first four games verses the likes of Central Michigan, Southeastern Louisiana, Toledo and Florida International, Mangino made sure his troops were tough and battle ready for the brutal Big XII schedule ahead.
Secondly, and most importantly, Mangino understands the need to help his players off the field as well as coach them on the field. When new recruits need academic help, for example, Mangino knows it's the coach's duty to make sure they get that help.
Sure some may call it academic fraud, but the loss of scholarships is a small price to pay for a student athlete's academic progress and the promise of fat bowl payouts.
So we salute you Coach Mangino. You may have more chins than a Chinese phone book, but you have shown us how strong priorities can lead to success on the football field.
tagged: KU, Mizzou, Kansas, Mangino, academic fraud, football, Big XII