Kansas Jayhawks

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 27: Quarterback Peyton Bender #6 of the Washington State Cougars passes the ball during a football game at Husky Stadium on November 27, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. The Huskies won the game 45-10. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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Ex-Wazzu QB Peyton Bender commits to Kansas

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It turned out to be one helluva weekend for the Kansas football program both on the field and off.

One of the people in attendance at Kansas’ stunning upset of Texas Saturday was Peyton Bender, a junior college quarterback in Lawrence for an official visit.  Not only did the Jayhawks secure a win over the Longhorns, they secured a commitment as well as, on Sunday, Bender gave his verbal to David Beaty‘s football program.

Bender will have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2017.

“I’m just really excited for the opportunity and it is a good fit for me,” Bender told the Lawrence Journal-World. “I think I can go in and compete and hope for some playing time. I think it is a good fit overall and I can go in there and hopefully have an impact.”

In June of this year, Bender was ruled academically ineligible at Washington State for the entire 2016 season. He subsequently moved on from Wazzu to Itawamba Community College.

Bender spent the 2015 season as Luke Falk’s primary backup. Because of an injury to the starter, Bender started the Apple Cup loss to Washington in late November. He was also forced into action in two other games because of injuries to Falk.

All told, Bender completed 53-of-91 passes for 498 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions in five games last season. 288 of the yards came in the rivalry loss to close out the regular season.

Kansas named FWAA’s national team of the week

LAWRENCE, KS - NOVEMBER 19:  Fans try to tear down the field goal after the Kansas Jayhawks defeated the Texas Longhorns 24-21 in overtime at Memorial Stadium on November 19, 2016 in Lawrence, Kansas. Kansas won 24-21. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
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The Football Writers Association of America names a Team of the Week each Monday throughout the college football season, and we don’t write about the award often. In fact, I think the last time we did was when Yale claimed the honor back in 2014.

We’re writing about it again, because a similar comet streaked across the FBS sky on Saturday.

Following their 24-21 win over Texas, Kansas has been named the FWAA’s Team of the Week.

The win, in which the Jayhawks trailed 21-10 in the fourth quarter and 21-18 with 58 seconds remaining before rallying to win in overtime, snapped KU’s 23-game FBS winning streak and served as the program’s first defeat of Texas since 1938.

“I want to just take my hat off to our kids. What resilient dudes those guys are,” Kansas coach David Beaty said afterward. “They have continued to work through some really, really difficult situations. And I’ve said it before, I feel like we got the right type of kids in our program. They kept fighting, they got us a chance to win the game, and they were able to steal it there at the end.”

And, sure, handing the Jayhawks an award for winning a game may seem like the dictionary-worthy definition of a backhanded compliment, but Kansas isn’t in a position to turn down compliments — no matter how they arrive.

Sorry Charlie: Loss to Kansas unofficially ends Strong era at Texas

Texas head coach Charlie Strong walks the sideline during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Kansas in Lawrence, Kan., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
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The day began with Texas boosters reportedly exerting “extreme pressure” on those in the administration to fire Charlie Strong and hire Tom Herman.  It ends with the current head coach providing those boosters with all of the ammunition they need to make him the former coach and begin the pursuit of his successor in earnest.

On the strength of six turnovers, including a critical one in extra time, Texas inexplicably stumbled, bumbled and tripped its way to a stunning 24-21 overtime loss to woebegone and woeful Kansas. UT took a 21-10 lead early in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough as KU scored the final 14 points of the game, including the game-winning field goal in overtime a few minutes after the Longhorns tossed an interception on their first possession.

The win snapped the Jayhawks’ 19-game Big 12 losing streak, a stretch that went back to a 34-14 win over Iowa State in 2014.  It was also the Jayhawks first win over the Longhorns since 1938.

Today, though, this is about Texas and the future of its football program.

Simply put, a Longhorns head coach can’t survive a loss to the Jayhawks, especially a head coach who has been on a scorching hot seat for most of the season and with a hot, young alternative champing at the bit to take over in Austin.

At this time, it’s a matter of when not if UT pulls the trigger and makes a change.  Charlie Strong is an honorable man and a good coach, but honor only goes so far when you’re losing to Kansas of all teams.

Results matter, and Strong simply hasn’t done enough.  Losing to Kansas in Year 3?  Unacceptable, and a fireable offense even in the eyes of his most ardent supporters.

Ex-Wazzu QB Peyton Bender visiting Kansas

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 27: Quarterback Peyton Bender #6 of the Washington State Cougars passes teh ball during the first half of a football game against the University of Washington at Husky Stadium on November 27, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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The future at the quarterback position may very well be in Lawrence this weekend.

As he continues to make up his mind as to where he will continue collegiately, Peyton Bender confirmed to JayhawkSlant.com that he will be making an official visit to Kansas this weekend. Bender’s visit to the Jayhawks will begin today and continue on through the Texas game Saturday.

KU head coach David Beaty has pursuing Bender as his potential quarterback of the future and has developed a rapport with the player in selling the program.

“Coach Beaty is a great guy,” Bender told the website. “I really didn’t know much about Kansas football until I got in touch with him. He has been really good throughout this process.”

In June of this year, Bender was ruled academically ineligible at Washington State for the entire 2016 season. He subsequently moved on from Wazzu to Itawamba Community College.

Should he move on to Wazzu, or any other FBS program for that matter, Bender would be eligible to play immediately in 2017. He would then have two seasons of eligibility remaining.

Bender spent the 2015 season as Luke Falk’s primary backup. Because of an injury to the starter, Bender started the Apple Cup loss to Washington in late November. He was also forced into action in two other games because of injuries to Falk.

All told, Bender completed 53-of-91 passes for 498 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions in five games last season. 288 of the yards came in the rivalry loss to close out the regular season.

Dallas Cowboys’ home to host Big 12 title game next five years

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 3: The Alabama Crimson Tide takes the field before the Tide takes on the USC Trojans in the AdvoCare Classic at AT&T Stadium on September 3, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
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Not surprisingly, the revival of the the Big 12 championship game will take place in a Lone Star State football palace.

Friday morning, the Big 12 announced that AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, has won the bid to host the league’s title game beginning in 2017. The home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys will also host the game from 2018-2021.

Kansas City and San Antonio had bid on hosting the game.

“There is great anticipation with the return of the Big 12 Football Championship and we look forward to hosting the event in AT&T Stadium for the next five years,” said commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “The building is a state of the art facility and offers many amenities that will be enjoyed by our institutions and fans.”

The same stadium had played host to the last two Big 12 championship games in 2009 and 2010 before it was abandoned amidst conference expansion.  Kansas City was the host five times (2008, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2000) and San Antonio three times (2007, 1999, 1997).

It was announced in June of this year that the title game would return for the 2017 season. Last month, it was confirmed that he teams with the best and second-best record in conference play will square off in the championship game instead of splitting the league into two divisions.