Yahoo's Jason King has a nice, long-form story on the rise of downtrodden Kansas football program to its newfound goodness, replete with details like Mangino and assistants personally cleaning years of grubby fingerprints off the walls before recruiting visits and such. It also lets in a hint that Mangino is not very nice, and may in fact be downright mean, something we find shocking--shocking, Nigel!--in a successful head coach.
We imagine this all stems from a deep, unending unhappiness in the hardwiring of Mangino's system. But don't trust us--the film doesn't lie.
But past the puffy, up-from-the-bootstraps vibe and hints of unpleasantness, there's also a well reported flash of a frightening alternate reality and a former AD doing what ADs rarely do: speaking publicly and candidly not only about the hiring process, but about the candidates' own behavior during the process. Kansas could have been Texas A&M '07 had it not been for Dennis Franchione practically oozing sleazegrease in an exchange with former Kansas AD Al Bohl.
One minute Franchione seemed ready to accept the job, the next he'd changed his mind. The end came when Franchione told Bohl he needed a little more time because he wanted to see if he was going to be a candidate for the Notre Dame job, which came open when Bob Davie was fired on Dec. 2. That same day, Bohl rescinded his offer to Franchione and hired Mangino.
Franchione had, at that point, hadn't even finished one season with Alabama and was already throwing it around to both Notre Dame and Kansas. Kansas search committee member Ray Evans puts it better than we ever could, Hedley Lamarr comparisons be damned:
Six years later it looks like we may have dodged a bullet.
A bullet named Dennis, who could be coaching in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Dallas, Texas, or in the Canadian Football League in a few weeks, for all we know.
Bonus weirdness: The strangest post-game interview we've ever seen must be included with this post. The YouTube commenters seem to think Fran is "emotional" there. That is not the word we were thinking of when watching it.