And yet, even in Lawrence, it is still football season.
Sure, basketball is still the king sport in Lawrence, but for the first time in a long time people aren't already thinking basketball. For the first time in what seems like ages, Midnight Madness "crept up on me", no countdowns or anything of the sort. When was the last time that the football 'Hawks had yet to lose on the night basketball season started? 1995. That is 12 years ago.
Still, here we are, basking in the glory of having two ranked teams at the same time. The footballers are ranked 20th in both polls, and while the preseason rankings have yet to come out for men's basketball, we will be in the Top 10. Using Luke Winn's power rankings (1-31; including the 'On the Cusp' category) as a measuring stick and the AP Top 25, these are the teams that, like the Jayhawks, have both their men's basketball and football program ranked:
Wisconsin (19th in football; 29th in basketball)
LSU (1st; 24th)
Kentucky (18th; 20th)
Ohio State (3rd; 19th)
Oregon (9th; 16th)
USC (10th; 12th)
Kansas (20th; 5th)
Using a clever mathematical equation (football ranking + basketball ranking/2), we can crudely tell who has the best combination of these two sports. All of this is based off of writers' opinions and Luke Winn's, and the math is crude at best, but it is still a fun little exercise. The results:
t1) USC (11)
t1) Ohio State (11)
t3) Kansas (12.5)
t3) LSU (12.5)
t3) Oregon (12.5)
6) Kentucky (19)
7) Wisconsin (24)
One-dimensional no longer.
As sweet as that is, that wasn't the point of this post and while I will get into this subject another time, most likely next week, it won't be now.
No, this post was supposed to discuss the beginning of the best season in Lawrence. Basketball season.
We went to the Elite Eight last year, and lost only Julian Wright. Now, "only" doesn't do Julian any justice, but the fact that only one player is gone is remarkable, not to mention the two highly acclaimed recruits we are bringing in, Tyrell Reed and Cole Aldrich. While this will be Cole's first Late Night in the Phog as a player, this will be the 5th one he has attended, as he has come down each and every year since 9th grade to soak it in. This year's team has a legitimate chance to take it home, and we will have plenty of time to talk about that. Just today wer were voted the best team in the Big 12 by the coaches themselves, and there are two Jayhawks (Brandon Rush and Darrell Arthur) on the six man All-Big 12 team. But, even though basketball season officially starts tonight, it won't be on campus for awhile longer.