Have a question about KU football? Then KU football beat writer Matt Tait is your guy. Matt will be answering reader questions starting at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.
Hey guys. This is Jesse Newell, KUsports.com online editor. I'm joined by KU football beat writer Matt Tait. Matt, do you have Linsanity?
It's not a full-blown case yet, but I'm starting to feel the effects. Still trying to get over Tebowmania!
All right, let's get to some questions.
Did you ever have the feeling in the previous two seasons that KU had the talent but not the discipline? If that is the case, what can realistically be expected from the team next season with a new staff?
Discipline was definitely the biggest problem, but I never really thought KU had the talent across the board to compete. They were missing players in key areas - QB, D-Line, WR, to name a few - and because of that the talent that they did have was usually hard to see.
I think this team has talent and I think it has more today than when the 2011 season ended. So that's a reason to be hopeful. Having said that, you can't underestimate the challenges that come with changing staff, changing offenses, changing defenses and all of that other stuff that goes into.
Bottom line: I expect to see an improved product in a bunch of areas and I don't think we'll have to witness the epic blowouts that became commonplace in the past two seasons.
Time will tell...
Hey, Matt--- Thanks for your continued great coverage of KU Football. Now that the new football schedule is out, what one game would you be looking forward to covering in 2012 and why? For me, I think the TCU game in Lawrence on Sept. 15th, could be interesting!
This may not be quite as cool since you took mine, but I'm with you in being pretty excited about that TCU game. For starters, it's the first Big 12 game of the season and the first ever Big 12 game for TCU. In addition, it's in Lawrence, KU should be 2-0 by that point and it's Charlie Weis' first home Big 12 game, as well.
Lots and lots of storylines make that one exciting.
I'm also pumped about going to West Virginia (it's always fun to see new places) and seeing what KU can do in Manhattan.
It's a tough, tough schedule, but it should be a fun ride.
I think there are a lot of us that would like to see the K State game end the season. Has there been any discussion as such?
I heard that they explored that pretty hard this time around but couldn't make it happen for a whole bunch of reasons.... I'm not saying it will happen, but I would be surprised if there's not a push to make that game what the Missouri game used to be. Maybe not at Arrowhead, but definitely at the end of the season.
From the sound of it, the Big 12 was just happy to get a working schedule out this year with all of the obstacles that stood in the way. I think they're going to look at changing things around quite a bit for 2013 and I also heard that this year's format is not necessarily the baseline. What I mean by that is, just because KU is home vs. TCU this year and at Oklahoma doesn't mean they'll play at TCU and host OU next year.
I think the version that comes out in 2013 will be more of the baseline like we're used to, and hopefully it will have the KU-KSU game later in the year.
All I've read about the continuation of the Border Showdown seems to be involving basketball. Has Coach Weis made any statement regarding this issue?
Not that I'm aware of, but, to me, that makes sense. He's never been a part of it and would not be able to speak from experience anyway.
I'm sure he would and does side with what athletic director Sheahon Zenger and hoops coach Bill Self feel is best regarding the Border War, and, as you know, they're both against scheduling it again any time soon.
It seems the backfield will be crowded. WIll Tevan Shaw or someone else be asked to move to the defensive side where we appear to be short on talent? Thanks
I haven't heard that, but that doesn't mean it couldn't happen. Having said that, I think all of the backs that are in place are here to be running backs. Maybe you could see a guy like Tony Pierson moved to the slot or a guy like Tevin Shaw red-shirt his first season, but they're all talented backs with serious skills who should get a shot to earn playing time, at least initially.
As we've seen time and time again, the running back position is definitely one spot where you can't have too much depth, but I do agree with you in that it's hard to envision a way for Bourbon, Sims, Pierson, Cox and Shaw to all get meaningful carries in 2012 if they're all healthy.
That's going to be one of the more interesting situations to follow this spring...
What freshman (red shirt or true) will have a chance to start or have a starter type role?
Cornerback Greg Allen
Linebacker Schyler Miles
Wide Receiver Tre Parmalee
Defensive lineman Ben Goodman
Offensive linemen Dylan Admire, Luke Luhrsen, Damon Martin
That's just to name a few. And that doesn't even include all of the juco guys that Weis brought in on signing day. There will be a lot of new faces out there this fall. The good news for fans is this: They will have names on their jerseys!!!
Two questions, take either one or both:
1) Terry criticized Weis for his demeanor towards the players ("dog cussing"). Have you seen any other players unhappy with Weis or questioning their commitment to the program because of him/the staff?
2) The rip on the staff thus far (namely Campo and Weis) is that they have little recent success in college coaching and have not shown the ability to 'coach kids up'. Have you seen anything that would assuage this worry or is it something that's to be determined?
1. The guys who didn't like it are gone. The guys who are still here expect it and don't seem to have any problem with it. Many of them grew up playing for coaches like that and a few of them were here when Mark Mangino was still the coach.
2. Not yet. It's still way to early to tell how good these guys are at developing players, but they've all coached some of the best who have ever played the game so I'm going to guess that they're solid in that department and choose to wait and see.
From what you know about the upcoming recruiting class for KU, do you think that Weis as enough talent on the team to finish the season with 6 to 7 wins?
I do. They've upgraded in a lot of key areas, most notably quarterback, which can make all the difference in the world.
Having said that, I'm not expecting 6 or 7 wins. Not at all. In fact, KU will have to get a whole bunch of breaks and have just about everything go right in order to approach that number of wins.
You never know what can happen, though, and it's going to be fun to see how it all shakes out.
Time for a few more ...
Who do you think will be the kick returners on ST? Patterson on punts and DJ on kicks as usual, or do you see someone new (Pierson) stepping in and assuming the role?
I have questions about how much Patterson and Beshears will be used as wideouts so I think they'll be locked into those roles you mentioned.
But it would not surprise me at all to see someone else in the mix there to challenge them and give KU some diversity. Maybe Pierson and maybe even a guy like Parmalee or Shaw.
Another area that will be interesting to track.
Love this username.
This may be way too early to tell, but what is your prediction as to which players have breakout seasons this year?
I'm going with McDougald on D and whoever plays TE on O.
Not a bad call... Lots of options at tight end but Charles Brooks the guy from a junior college in Arizona could be your answer there.
My picks - at least right now - are: Victor Simmons on defense (safety) and Taylor Cox on offense (running back).
And I agree with our moderator... nice user name.
With the entry of West Virginia and TCU into the Big 12/10, how much credibility does that add to our football conference?
It depends on how you look at it but those schools have quite a few BCS berths between them where A&M and Mizzou had one... or is it none? A&M went to the Sugar Bowl in 98 but I can't remember if that was the BCS era or not.
Anyway, both A&M and Mizzou have solid programs, but if you have to replace them I think the Big 12 found two great options.
TCU is growing its program and will only get better and WVU is a solid program with great tradition in a new part of the country for the Big 12.
Great pick-ups. The conference should continue to be one of the premiere football leagues in America year in and year out.
OK last one. Ending on a serious note.
Who would you rather go on a date with? Tim Tebow or Scarlett Johansson?
Wow. That is serious!!!
If I were interested in learning the ins and outs of the quarterback position, I'd be tempted to pick Tebow. However, since we have Charlie Weis in town now, I'm good there. Thank goodness.
That means I gotta go with Scarlett Jo........ EEEEEASSSSSILLLLLY!!!!
Someone must've got some inside information there and found out about my soft spot for Ms. Johansson. We gotta find a way to incorporate pictures into this chat!
We'll work on that.
Anyways, thanks Matt for being here, and thanks to everyone out there for hitting us up with good questions.
Thank you, Mr. Moderator.
Scheduling conflict next week means we'll have to take a week off, but we'll be back on March 1 with another edition of "30 for Thursday" and we might even open it up to some March Madness chatter.
It's almost that time, folks. Thanks for the great questions. Talk to you all soon!