Kansas coach complained after loss
LAWRENCE, Kan. -- A livid Mark Mangino implied that Texas got help from friendly officials Saturday in a come-from-behind 27-23 victory over Kansas.
Vince Young scored on an 18-yard touchdown run with 4:11 left and then threw a 22-yard TD pass to Tony Jeffrey with 11 seconds to go, keeping the Longhorns in the running for a lucrative BCS bowl bid.
But Texas (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today, No. 6 AP) might not have gotten the ball for its final drive if not for an offensive pass interference penalty on Charles Gordon with a little over two minutes to play.
Mangino, in remarks that could bring a stiff fine from the Big 12 office, seemed to suggest that officials wanted Texas to win so it could bring a BCS windfall into the league.
"You know what this is all about, don't you? BCS. That's what made a difference today in the game," Mangino said. "That's what made the difference in a call in front of their bench. Dollar signs."
The Jayhawks were leading 23-20 after Young's 18-yard TD run and faced a third-and-7 from their own 26. Quarterback Brian Luke hit Gordon for a 16-yard gain that would have given them a first down.
But officials called Gordon for offensive pass interference, making it third and 20. Kansas had to punt out of its own end zone, and the Longhorns got the ball on the Kansas 47 with 1 minute, 53 seconds to go.
Mangino said Gordon was called for making a "swim move" that high school, college and NFL coaches all teach their wide receivers.
"All of America sat at home and watched the play," Mangino said. "All college football fans who watched the game, we'll let them be the judge about that call."
Mangino said he was not worried about a fine.
"I've got a football team to fight for and I'm not going to be pushed around, or this university be pushed around because we're not the big spenders, we're not the big BCS team in the league," he said.
Mangino backed away from his comments in a statement released Saturday night.
"After an emotional loss, in our seniors' last home game, I made remarks that I regret," Mangino said. "Any implications that BCS standings played a role in Saturday afternoon's game was inappropriate. I have always supported the BCS system and will continue to do so."
In his postgame news conference, Mangino seemed to challenge reporters to ask him about the penalty, calling several of them by name.
"Normally, I give credit to or opponents but I'm not going to do that today because our kids outplayed them and should have won the game, deserved to win, and it just didn't work out," he said.
Texas coach Mack Brown said he did not want to get drawn into a controversy.
"I know he's really proud of (his team) and I also know he's really frustrated," Brown said. "The other thing I would say is I think we had 100 yards more penalties than they did. So obviously, those are comments for the Big 12 office, not for me."
The Longhorns were penalized 10 times for 103 yards. Kansas drew three penalties for 23.
Mangino stopped short of saying absolutely that he believed officials tried to influence the outcome.
He was asked, "So you believe the officials wanted Texas to win so they could get into a BCS?"
He replied, "You said that. I didn't say that."
Told, "I would take that from what you're saying," Mangino said, "I'm not saying it. You've got to draw your own conclusions."
Gordon, who was obviously upset after the call, said he had "no idea" whether officials tried to help Texas.
"I don't know what the refs were thinking," Gordon said. "I can't even say."
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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