There is plenty of random, assorted stuff to get to, and while we will get into the heavy-duty preview stuff tomorrow (if you want a simple preview, here you go: Grothe is really good, their LBs and Ss are really frickin' good and George Selvie is a beast), I thought it would be a good idea to sift through all of the random news clippings and such tonight.
- First off, Dexton Fields is not going to play on Friday night. The news certainly is not good, as he is an excellent receiver, but it is definitely easier to take following Daymond Patteron's emergence as not only a tremendous punt returner, but as a viable starting option in the slot. Plus, while he isn't as good as Dexton is yet, he provides an element that no one else in the receiver core provides in his incredible quickness, while Dexton is awfully similar to the way Kerry Meier is being used. Because of this, it could almost be intrepreted as a positive that Daylight is the one seeing the field, not Dexton. I'm not making the argument, just saying the argument could be made.
- Later on in that article, it discusses Kendrick Harper's situation. First off, it appears that his trip to the hospital was merely a precautionary measure, and he is A-OK as far as the serious stuff goes. However, he won't be playing for awhile, and Coach Mangino would only say that "Harper would be back in uniform “not too far down the road.”
- In another injury update, Jesse Newell in his Sideline Report with Dezmon Briscoe, quotes Mangino as saying: "Mangino said that Blakesley practiced and looked fine Wednesday (there was some concern Blakesley might not play because of an injury). We'll see what happens." Hopefully he will be ready to go Friday night, as we he was playing quite well prior to the injury. Plus, I want to keep the DTs as fresh as possible throughout the evening. If we are going to win, we are going to have to create more pressure than we have the previous two games, and that all starts with rest and is heavily benefited by Caleb Blakesley being in there.
- In a depth chart update, it appears that true freshman Tim Biere has surpassed Bradley Dedeaux on the depth chart. Biere came to Kansas with a reputation as a good blocker, and with us putting four WRs out there on nearly every passing play, the TE is now being used primarly as a sixth offensive lineman. Thus, the switch the better blocker in Biere makes sense. However, don't be surprised if this opens up some more snaps for A.J. Steward as well, as whenever we have 3rd-and-long, you wouldn't want Biere in there.
On some mostly unrelated notes...
If you have never found yourself wondering over to PollSpeak, you should. It analyzes all of the AP Voters and their ballots, giving you the option of either breaking it down team-by-team or voter-by-voter. In case you were interested, here is a side-by-side comparison of how voters rank Kansas compared to South Florida (H/T to KJ-IBT). Not really sure how some have USF above Kansas, but whatevs. The most pro-Kansas person out there is Molly Yanity of the Seattel Post-Intelligencer who has us ranked 5th nationally (USF is 22nd). The most anti-Kansas of the bunch is Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News, who has Kansas ranked way down at #24, compared to USF's ranking of #11. Of course, Wilner is generally regarded as one of the worst voters out there (check out the poll on top; 125 for good and 728 and he is the "Lead Bad Vote Getter"), but it still is mind-blowing how idiotic some can be. Just in case you were interested, the best ballot out there, as voted by people on the internets, goes to Chris Fowler of ESPN, who is apparently much more sensible when he is submitting polls as opposed to being on College Gameday. He only as two 'EXTREME' rankings, having Arizona State quite high and BYU quite low. In case you were interested, he lists Kansas 17th and USF 23rd.
In Week 2 of the BlogPoll, Kansas actually slides back two spaces down to #16. Obviously, people are worried about our running game enough to overlook a 400+ yard passing day from Todd Reesing and a shutout of a team that beat Mississippi State last week. Although, us dropping two spots assuredly had everything to do with the dominant early-season performances of East Carolina (who shot up 16 slots from NR to 10) and Penn State (up 6 to #12) which allowed them to leapfrog us, not that we dropped because we lost. And, frankly, that is how polls should work. The voter distribution for Kansas is fairly well distributed, with three bloggers ranking us as high as #7 and Rakes of Mallow, a ND blog, ranking us #25. Oh, and (by my count, at least) two bloggers failed to rank us at all.
Like I said, more meaty stuff tomorrow...