Big 12: Charles Gordon

Kansas' all-decade team

January, 19, 2010
1/19/10
6:23
PM ET
It was an eventful decade for Kansas, which celebrated its first BCS bowl and first back-to-back bowl appearances in school history.

The demise of Mark Mangino's coaching tenure can't take away from what he accomplished earlier in his career as he made the Kansas program relevant for the first time in the school's Big 12 history.

Here's a look at the players who shaped Kansas' football history during the past decade.

OFFENSE

QB: Todd Reesing

RB: Brandon McAnderson

RB: Jon Cornish

WR: Dezmon Briscoe

WR: Kerry Meier

WR: Mark Simmons

OL: Anthony Collins

OL: Justin Hartwig

OL: Joe Vaughn

OL : Ryan Cantrell

C: Joe Vaughn

DEFENSE

DL: James McClinton

DL: Nate Dwyer

DL: David McMillan

DL: Charlton Keith

LB: Nick Reid

LB: Joe Mortensen

LB: James Holt

DB: Aqib Talib

DB: Charles Gordon

DB: Darrell Stuckey

DB: Carl Nesmith

P: Kyle Tucker

K: Scott Webb

KR: Marcus Hereford

Offensive player of the decade: QB Todd Reesing. He wasn't the most imposing physically, but Reesing was ideally suited to direct the Jayhawks as a starter for three seasons as the most statistically proficient quarterback in school history.

Defensive player of the decade: DB Aqib Talib. While dabbling as a two-way player, Talib's biggest talents came as a lockdown cornerback. He earned All-American honors as a junior after leading the nation in passes broken up as a sophomore and claiming All-Big 12 honors in both seasons.

Coach of the decade: Mark Mangino. Despite the controversy when he left the Kansas program, Mangino made the Jayhawks a challenger for the Big 12 North title and took them to a BCS bowl game for the first time. In the process he directed Kansas to three straight bowl victories and earned national coach of the year honors in 2007.

Moment of the decade: An opportunistic defense forced three turnovers to pace the Jayhawks to a 24-21 triumph over Virginia Tech in the 2008 Orange Bowl. Aqib Talib's 60-yard interception return for a touchdown started the scoring and earned him game Most Valuable Player honors. It capped a 12-1 season where the Jayhawks notched a school record for victories.

Texas facing tricky challenge in Lawrence

November, 15, 2008
11/15/08
12:30
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

The most important Big 12 game today will be the first one. Texas travels to Kansas in the only game in the conference today with any real Bowl Championship Series consequences.

The Longhorns need a convincing win over the Jayhawks and some style points along the way wouldn't hurt. And Texas struggled in an almost identical situation four seasons ago.

In 2004, Texas needed some heroics from Vince Young and a questionable offensive pass-interference call on Charles Gordon to escape with a 27-23 victory in that game. Kansas coach Mark Mangino complained bitterly and was even fined by the Big 12 for his postgame comments, but the Longhorns kept winning and later advanced to their first BCS berth that season.

It will be a similarly bitter-cold day at Memorial Stadium, but I'm betting that's where the coincidences end. The Longhorns should have a decided advantage in the trenches, even though they will be missing starting center Chris Hall with a sprained knee. Freshman David Snow gets his first career start.

Texas sack specialist Brian Orakpo is listed as questionable for the game, as is Lamarr Houston. But I still think Texas' substitutes should be able to generate enough pressure to keep Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing discombobulated, particularly if the Jayhawks don't protect him any better than they did against Nebraska's defensive front last week.

The Kansas game is also important because of the North Division title ramifications for later in the evening. If Texas can win, it will provide Missouri a chance to wrap up its second-straight Big 12 North title-game berth by winning at Iowa State.

So I'm betting that the Longhorns have a lot of fans in the "Show-Me State" for the next few hours.

Kickoff is just around the corner, so let's go check it out.

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