While strolling through a Lawrence grub stop the other day, I spotted a stack of those wallet-sized Kansas University football schedules that show up about this time every summer. So I picked one up and checked it out.
Guess what? After two years of "Where Will You Be on Game Day?" ad nauseum, the KU marketing braintrust finally has come up with a new slogan.
It's "This is What Saturdays Were Made For."
Not bad, really. The expression sounds familiar and serves the purpose of emphasizing that the college football game-day experience is special enough to transcend triumphs.
The new slogan is definitely better than 2003's "Chains Measure Distance. Heart Measures Destination," which may have been the worst in the history of KU football slogandom. A close second would have to be 1998's "KU Football: Make It a Part of Your Life." Blah.
Perhaps the time will arrive when KU doesn't need to market and promote football as heavily as it does during the summer. Maybe the time will come when you'll have to sell your car so you can contribute enough money to the Williams Fund in order to become eligible to purchase a KU football ticket.
But perhapses and maybes have been dangling out there for decades and probably will continue to be as long as the Jayhawks are members of the Big 12 Conference.
You have to remember, back in the mid-1990s when the notion of forming a mega-conference by adding four Texas schools to the Big Eight Conference arose, Kansas was feeling euphoric about its football program. In 1995, Glen Mason's Jayhawks had compiled a 10-2 record - the school's first 10-win season in 96 years - and the moguls on Mount Oread just knew KU would be competitive in the new expanded conference.
As we know now, the great expectations were pie in the sky.
In the 11 years of Big 12 Conference football, Kansas never has compiled even a .500 league record. Five times KU has wound up with a 3-5 mark, three times 2-6, twice 1-7 and once 0-8. In other words, Kansas has been a consistent second-division football entity in the Big 12.
Moreover, those sub-.500 records might be even worse if the Jayhawks had to play all six of the league's South Division teams every year instead of just three per season. KU's record against the South schools is a woeful 5-28. Kansas has beaten Baylor and Oklahoma twice and Texas Tech once and gone winless against Texas, Texas A&M; and Oklahoma State.
Kansas has been better against the North Division, posting an 18-37 record against the five schools it plays every autumn. Overall, though, KU is 23-65 as a member of the Big 12. Only Baylor, slumming along at 11-77, has a worse record since the first conference football games were played in 1996.
KU's latest attempt to stop the bleeding involves the removal of thousands of cubic yards of dirt from once sacrosanct Campanile Hill in order to relocate the football offices, lockers, etc. as well as the practice fields next to Memorial Stadium.
If the latest tactic doesn't work, then they'll probably say they need to remove the running track from the stadium as well. But that's Kansas football. They're always looking for the answer.