Friday, May 18, 2012

Big 12 Orientation: Kansas' famous alumni

The KU Alumni Association claims to have information about 440,000 graduates of the school. That means there has to be plenty of famous Jayhawks to keep an eye out for at future KU-TCU sporting events in addition to the athletic alumni mentioned earlier in the week. Here are a few of the notables:

-Mandy Patinkin.  While most of you know Patinkin best from his role as Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride, you should probably check out this Kansas grad's more recent work in Homeland on Showtime.  He was also in Dick Tracy.  

-Bud Adams.  Did I just get under your skin a little bit, Houstonians?  Before Adams became famous for moving the Oilers out of Choke City and flipping off Bills fans from his suite at a game in 2009, he earned an engineering degree from KU. 

-Bob Dole.  The longtime senator from Kansas and 1996 Republican presidential nominee might be known best to our generation by the impersonation Norm MacDonald did of him on SNL back in the 90s.   Did you know, though, that he played football, basketball and ran track for the Jayhawks while an undergrad at KU?

-Paul Rudd.  Not very long after graduating from Kansas, Rudd landed his first major Hollywood role as the know-it-all stepbrother in Clueless.  Since then, he's been in some great movies (The 40 Year Old Virgin, Wet Hot American Summer), some ok movies (Anchorman, The Ten) and some horrible movies (Dinner for Schmucks, Night at the Museum). 

-Scott Bakula.  Before his most well-known roles in Quantum Leap and Necessary Roughness, Bakula dropped out of KU after just a few semesters.  Before you say anything about how much you like him, remember that he was in Major League 3, which may be the worst movie I've ever seen.

-Samantha Ryan.  I don't know much about her, but she's apparently a porn star and went to KU.  Her wikipedia page says she's also dabbled a bit in directing, so she's probably super smart.

-Don Johnson.  Most people know this former KU student for his role in Miami Vice, but let's not forget that he also played an asshole U of H alum in Tin Cup and co-starred with Cheech in the incredibly unwatchable Nash Bridges that somehow lasted six seasons on CBS.  As you can see from the picture above, he's famous enough to have been invited to some kind of red-carpet event thrown by the WB.  I wonder if he got to meet Dawson.

-Jason Sudeikis.  The incredibly un-talented Sudeikis, seen above with the ridiculously talented Jon Hamm, didn't actually attend KU.  But he publicly presents himself as a huge Jayhawk fan, serving as the embodiment of their nerdy bandwagon fanbase. 

Great Moments in SMU Hate

Hey Orsini, I think my office is looking for interns...
Perhaps yesterday's biggest sports schadenfreude for you was the Heat's complete meltdown in Indianapolis, and I'd certainly agree that watching that brought me a lot of joy.  But as scalding hot as NBA hate gets at times, it's still not as deeply entrenched in my heart as college football hate, so I was even more amused to see the unexpected news that SMU had fired their athletic director, Steve Orsini.  Normally I'd let Sir Wesley Willis cover a story like this in his fabulous "Lessons in SMU Hate" series, but he's not around today and this isn't really a lesson as much it is a celebration.

Why is this such a good thing?  Well, for one, SMU's recent mini-athletic resurgence appears to have been largely built on debt.  A few weeks ago, the SMU Daily Campus reported that the school's athletic department had lost...wait for it... $113 million over the past seven years.   Those high-profile hirings of June Jones and Larry Brown? Largely financed by wealthy donors.  That's nice and all that they have donors will to throw money at the athletic department, but the need for alumni to help the athletic department make payroll is a clear indication that Mustang athletics isn't quite the sturdiest ship in the college athletics ocean.  It's also kind of funny because if SMU alum Jeff Skilling weren't already in jail, his criminal accounting techniques could've been relied upon to paint a very different portrait of the department's financial situation and today would probably just be another day at the office for Orsini.

The Dallas Morning News is reporting that this move is a result of an ongoing feud between Orsini and SMU president Gerald Turner.  The rumor sent our way from a friend of Spit Blood that, for legal reasons we want to clarify we can't prove or disprove, is that Orsini was overheard drunkenly disparaging his boss at a social function over the weekend.   The school has reportedly already launched a national search for his replacement- and while I'm sure there are plenty of SMU alumni that will be willing to give Daddy's money to pay the new AD, how many top-notch execs are going to want to step into this atmosphere right as the school moves into the shaky-as-ever Big East?

TCU-SDSU Preview

Brance Rivera is looking to close out his TCU career with another conference crown
 For a second straight week, the margin of error for the TCU baseball team is razor thin.  Entering their regular season-ending home series against San Diego State, the Frogs' magic number to clinch their seventh consecutive MWC title is three.  That means that any combination of TCU wins or New Mexico losses adding up to three would clinch it for Coach Schlossnagle's squad.

It's not going to be very safe of a bet to count on New Mexico losing this weekend, though.  They've got Air Force at home, and won the first game of that series 22-4 last night.  If they pull off what feels like an inevitable sweep of the Falcons, it will force the Frogs to sweep the Aztecs or else give the Lobos the title and the #1 seed in next weekend's conference tournament.

Andrew Mitchell is slated to start tonight's game against SDSU sophomore Cole Swanson, who carries a 3.44 ERA into the game that will be just his 4th start of the season.  Last time out against the Aztecs, Mitchell lasted just 4⅓ innings after 7 walks inflated his pitch count to 92 early in the game.  Freshman Preston Morrison, who gave up just 1 run in 7 innings against SDSU earlier in the year, will face the Aztecs' Ryan Doran on Saturday.  Doran picked up the lone win for SDSU in that series.  Sunday's game, where the conference crown is likely to be on the line for the Frogs, will feature Stefan Crichton taking on "TBA" for San Diego State.  To tell you the truth, I haven't seen TBA pitch much so I couldn't tell you much about his stuff.

Morning Dump


TCU needs three wins to clinch 7th (and final) MWC title Star-Telegram

Frogs hosting SDSU this weekend to close out regular season

Circling the Bases:

Men's Golf:

TCU charges into lead at NCAA Central Regional Star-Telegram

Freshman Brun leads Frogs to NCAA Regional lead after Day 1

Men's Tennis:

TCU ranks 3rd nationally in home attendance