KU can't buy this kind of exposure

The lead image and headline on ESPN.com's college football page made for a beautiful sight.The photo was of Kansas University quarterback Jason Swanson busting through two Houston defensive players for a big gain during KU's 42-13 Fort Worth Bowl victory televised on ESPN. The headline: Kansas Romps.It's the very kind of publicity fourth-year coach Mark Mangino's club has needed. Sure, the victory itself was sweet for a number of reasons. It rewarded KU seniors such as Banks Floodman, Kevin Kane and Nick Reid for their commitment to building the program during the past four years. It rewarded fans who have been patient with Mangino as he has steadily upgraded the program's talent pool. It gave the Jayhawks their first winning season since 1995.But Mangino knows the publicity his program received means a lot more than the payout Kansas will receive as its share of the Big 12 Conference's bowl money. You can't buy the kind of publicity the Jayhawks got on Dec. 23.They pummeled the Houston Cougars and their No. 14-ranked offense during a televised game on ESPN. Throughout the contest the announcers continually lauded the Jayhawks' ferocious defense for its aggressiveness at stopping the run and its overall level of skill. Then came the photo and the friendly headline on ESPN.com.Why is this exposure so valuable? In a word: Recruiting. The top high school football prospects want to play at a program with good facilities, respected coaches, a winning tradition and national exposure. Memorial Stadium is fine. Mangino and his staff are earning plenty of respect for making Kansas competitive again. The tradition : well, that's in the works. But the kind of exposure KU received during and after its Fort Worth Bowl bash are unprecedented for this program.Sports media has made radical growth since Kansas last won a bowl game - the 1995 Aloha Bowl. The media plays a much greater factor in the recruiting game now than it did a decade ago.The paycheck and the winning record are nice rewards for winning the Fort Worth Bowl, but the real reward will come in the next two years when Mangino lands bigger recruits who now believe the Kansas football revival is legit.

Comments

0426Roses 13 years, 10 months ago

Were there only seven or eight ESPNs back in 1995? Not that anyone doesn't like listening to Woody Paige talkin about the same shit ten times a day!! lol

That Fort Worth stadium looked like HINU's stadium minus the track.

cwrist 13 years, 10 months ago

Ha. here are enough crap bowl games these days that it might necessitate making The Ocho a reality! I won't force myself to watch some of those games because there's simply too many of them, but if Kansas is playing then I'll definitely watch -- no matter what bowl it is. I watched the Aloha Bowl reruns on KUJH I don't know how many times during the past few years simply because it was on (over and over and over and over and...)

Jclarkson 13 years, 10 months ago

Wristen, I would rather watch replays of the Aloha bowl, or another football game from 10-15 years ago than whatever is on KUJH now. I wouldn't mind seeing some old basketball games from a few years back, even as far back as Larry Browns tenure.

I thought the win was a good win, especially with the publicity. KU's defense was disrespected before the game, so it was good to keep Houstons players in check on the run game. Great win.

cwrist 13 years, 10 months ago

Agreed, on both points. I was especially pleased to see KU perform well on ESPN after the way John Saunders and the ignorant ABC clowns made up the story about KU's players spending the week prior to the Texas game talking smack on the 'Horns. Instead of announcers making up a story about players running their mouths, the 'Hawks got to let their game do the talking. It looked like there was a great KU crowd on hand, and that also looks good to recruits.

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