Book Details
Tigers vs Jayhawks:  From the Civil War to the Battle for No. 1 $18.95

By Mark Godich

16 page color photo insert section

Missouri and Kansas went from unranked at the start of the 2007 college football season to playing for No. 1 in the country on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so no wonder Brent Musburger chose his words carefully as he addressed a national television audience moments before kickoff of the rivals’ historic meeting.

“Let this sink in,” Musburger, the long-time broadcaster, said. “If either Kansas or Missouri wins their next two games, they will play for the national championship.”

Kansas and Missouri? Really?

Really. The 2007 college football season was unlike any other. Yet in a year filled with unfathomable twists and turns, Missouri and Kansas kept winning, setting up the biggest game ever played in the oldest rivalry west of the Mississippi. Tigers versus Jayhawks: From the Civil War to the Battle for No. 1 dissects the monumental meeting, but it does much more than that. This book traces the bad blood between fans of the schools to the Civil War and before. It examines how Coaches Gary Pinkel of Missouri and Mark Mangino of Kansas built Big 12 doormats into national-title contenders. It deconstructs the deal that was struck to move the 2007 game to Kansas City, Mo., denying the Jayhawks the opportunity to host the biggest game in program history on their campus. It explores the Orange Bowl’s head-scratching decision to invite Kansas over Missouri. Most important, this book takes the reader inside Arrowhead, inside the locker rooms, inside the huddles, inside the headsets, inside the heads of the players and coaches and administrators.

The unquestioned leader of the Tigers was defensive tackle Lorenzo Williams. He describes in chilling detail the shocking death of teammate Aaron O’Neal, who collapsed in front of him after a voluntary workout in July 2005. Williams talks about the circuitous route he took to Columbia as well as the direct path he took to sack Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing for a safety on the game’s signature play. Tight end Martin Rucker, who signed with his home-state school because he wanted to be the guy who put the Tigers back on the football map, recalls the special satisfaction he got when he scored on a fake field goal against Nebraska. Chase Daniel reveals why he honored his commitment to Mizzou even after his beloved Texas Longhorns made an 11th-hour offer. And the follow-the-book Pinkel explains why he broke one of the tenets of Coaching 101 with the message he delivered to his captains two days after an October loss to Oklahoma.

Mangino reflects on the fall afternoon in 2004 that was a turning point for his program, when after a bitter loss he showed his players he had their backs. Reesing shares how a star quarterback from Austin ended up in Lawrence and how he played with a chip on his shoulder after one Texas school told him he was on its B-list of recruits. And Carl Peterson discusses how he worked tirelessly for 15 years to bring the game to Arrowhead, finally fulfilling a dream of Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt. It would arguably be the city’s biggest sporting event ever. The atmosphere was electric. “You could feel the hostility in the air,” Mizzou backup quarterback Chase Patton says.

These are just a few of the storylines surrounding the biggest game two bitter, border rivals will ever play, a game a former President called the best he has ever seen. As the 2007 season played out, Missouri and Kansas became the talk of the college football world. And for one frigid November night, all eyes were on Arrowhead Stadium. Missouri-Kansas? Really!

Tigers vs Jayhawks
From the Civil War to the Battle for No. 1
By Mark Godich

Mark Godich has been a senior editor at Sports Illustrated since 1995. In 2007, he was the magazine’s college football editor. A graduate of the University of Missouri’s highly acclaimed School of Journalism and a former instructor there, he has had a career in sportswriting and editing that has spanned five decades. Before joining SI, he also made stops at the Abilene (Texas) Reporter-News, the Dallas Times Herald, The Associated Press, The National Sports Daily and Golf Shop Operations. He lives in Plainsboro, N.J., with his wife, Leigh, and son, Steven
6 x 9 Soft Cover
September 2013
*Cover subject to change

Upcoming Releases:

It's a Sunny Life:  An Adventure Fit For Rain or Shine!
By Gary Lezak
 Illustrations by Rob Peters

When the skies darken and the thunder rumbles, if you’re like most of us, you’re probably quick to grab the TV remote and check the weather. You want to know how bad the coming storm is going to be.

In much of the midwestern United States, that means you’re checking in with Gary Lezak. Known as much for his effervescent personality as he is his professional accuracy, Gary is the most trusted and popular weather guru in the region. And he puts his celebrity to good use as well, often through his close relationship with the non-profit animal welfare organizations Wayside Waifs and the Humane Society. His own pups have all been rescues, bearing names like Stormy, Breezy, and Sunny, and they’ve become famous in their own right, due to their outreach work in area schools and appearances with Gary on TV! For more than 20 years, children have fallen in love with the antics of Gary and his dogs. In fact, Gary and his dogs have been featured on Animal Planet’s K-9 to 5, and the Oprah Winfrey Show during an episode on dogs that work.

Now, Gary brings his meteorological expertise to a new medium — children’s literature. “It’s A Sunny Life!” is, as the cover indicates, an adventure for rain or shine. It tells the story of Sunny the Weather Dog, as she becomes separated from Gary, only to use the very same information he uses on-air to avoid hazardous weather and make her way safely back to him.

Also included with this bedtime tale is a special section, “Sunny’s Weather Academy,” which provides fun answers to all sorts of weather-related questions. What are the different types of clouds? Why does the weather change so quickly sometimes? And, of special interest to parents, in the event of severe weather, what should you and your family do to stay safe?

“It’s A Sunny Life!” is as entertaining as it is educational; as full of personality as its author. It’s a great book for kids of all ages!

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