Just how bad was the last century of KU football?
When Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino last Thursday joked about the Jayhawks' limited football tradition, it got me wondering: Just how bad was KU football during the last century?Here's Mangino's quote: "Our football tradition is not really a great one. But anyone can have a bad century."Mangino is preparing to take the Jayhawks to their third bowl game - the Orange Bowl on Jan. 2 in Miami - in his six years at the helm. Prior to Mangino's arrival, however, things weren't quite so rosy.At times they were downright pitiful - as in the Terry Allen years - but there were some good times, during the last century.This season's Orange Bowl appearance will be the 11th bowl trip in KU football history, and the third since the turn of the century. The other eight bowls took place between 1948 and 1995.That doesn't mean that the other 92 years of Kansas football were awful during that century, though. In fact, all it really means is that there weren't so many bowls around. Bowls have been added in recent years, and the criteria to qualify for them has changed, too.In fact, if the same number of bowls and the same criteria that we have now were in place during the last century, KU football history would look quite impressive.Did you know KU had a .500 or better winning percentage 52 times during the last century? KU had 42 winning records and 31 seasons with six or more victories.Also, if today's bowl criteria existed in the 1990s, KU likely would have had a stretch of four bowl appearances in five years (1991, 1992, 1994, 1995). During that span the Jayhawks posted records of 6-5 (1991), 8-4 (1992, Aloha Bowl), 6-5 (1994) and 10-2 (1995, Aloha Bowl).It's also worth noting that if the criteria hadn't changed and bowls hadn't been added, KU likely would not have played in the Tangerine Bowl in 2003 or the Fort Worth Bowl in 2005.This season's Orange Bowl berth, however, would have happened under the standards of both the last century and the present century.