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Monday, December 19, 2011

Witherspoon

Memory of Charlie Weis: No ‘D’

New Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis talks at his inaugural
news conference. Weis was hired Dec. 13 in South Bend, Ind., to
replace the fired Tyrone Willingham.

New Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis talks at his inaugural news conference. Weis was hired Dec. 13 in South Bend, Ind., to replace the fired Tyrone Willingham.

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The pressure of Charlie Weis’ new job certainly will be a relief.

I witnessed his first season at Notre Dame from the bleachers. I attended nine games that season, but one sticks out.

In 2005, Pete Carroll and USC came to South Bend, ESPN “GameDay” set up shop on the quad in front of Touchdown Jesus, and the Irish and Trojans played one of the greatest games in a rivalry that dates back to 1926.

Before the 3-9 season in 2007, the program’s worst ever in many ways — the utter failure on defense in the fourth quarter game after game, the losses to Navy, the loss to hapless Syracuse in 2008, consecutive losses to the academies — before all that, Weis and Notre Dame nearly dethroned Carroll and the Trojans in the midst of the greatest part of USC’s run.

I distinctly remember after yet another inspiring 80-yard drive organized by Weis and orchestrated by his student, Brady Quinn, to put Notre Dame ahead 31-28 with 2:04 remaining that there was only one way USC could win: an epic defensive collapse by the Irish. Through the clouded remains of all the brain cells destroyed that day, I had that thought.

It was a bad thought, because, of course, it materialized.

A sack on second-and-10 of Matt Leinart for a nine-yard loss put USC back on its 16-yard line with 1:44 left. A complete pass for 10 yards to Reggie Bush made it fourth-and-nine with 1:32 left.

We all thought the game was over.

But Leinart dropped back and lofted the ball to Dwayne Jarrett up the east sideline, and Jarrett caught the ball at his knees. Jarrett went 61 yards to the Notre Dame 13. Bush then did most of the work on two carries and pushed Leinart for the final yard with three seconds left, and USC won, 34-31.

Weis’ highlight in five years at Notre Dame was the loss to USC. Then, following the 2005 season, Ohio State drubbed Notre Dame in all the major statistical categories in the Fiesta Bowl and won, 34-20.

Still, the Notre Dame base was riding high going into 2006. At the Blue and Gold spring game that year after the 2005 season, Joe Montana and Tim Brown came back to be on the sidelines for a practice game because Charlie asked them to. The tradition was alive and well because Charlie rallied the army. Everyone was on board.

But things went downhill from there. The 2006 season, though highlighted by 10 wins to compliment the nine of 2005, included three results which clearly kept Notre Dame from the ranks of the nation’s top teams, a 41-17 loss to Michigan, 44-24 loss to USC and a 41-14 setback to LSU in the Sugar Bowl.

The defense experienced new lows in 2007, with consecutive losses to Navy and Air Force, in which Notre Dame gave up 46 and 41.

In 2008 losses to North Carolina, Pittsburgh, USC and, most embarrassingly, Syracuse, the defense could not be depended on.

In four losses to end the overall decline that was his career at Notre Dame, Weis’ defenses could not withstand Navy, Pitt, UConn and Stanford.

And I should have known it in 2005. No fan in Weis’ tenure believed Notre Dame was going to win at the end of a game, not when the other team had the ball.

Comments

DDDHawk 2 years, 3 months ago

The name represents the sorority I was at in college at KU, and is not about the size of a particular item of clothing. That is a riot! I had not even thought about the fact that it could be interpreted in the other way! That gave me the chuckle for the day!

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Ralster Jayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

KU football needs an experienced D-coordinator + some athletic talent/size/speed on the defense--and time to get it working. There is no overnight fix. My sincerest "thanks" to former (non)coach Turner Gill for failing so completely, thus allowing us to assemble a real coaching staff with competence on both sides of the ball...

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Ralster Jayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

KU football needs an experienced D-coordinator + some athletic talent/size/speed on the defense--and time to get it working. There is no overnight fix. My sincerest "thanks" to former (non)coach Turner Gill for failing so completely, thus allowing us to assemble a real coaching staff with competence on both sides of the ball...

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Ralster Jayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Hahahahaha--tell me how this rambling by Witherspoon is relevant? Nice try at starting, "Spoonie", but back to the end of the bench for you...(sorry). I have no pretenses about KU football even finishing .500 next yr, but I'll gladly help to slap someone down in public if they try to take away our 'hope'. Get it, dummy? So peck away on your computer some more, pecker!

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Mangino_Maniac 2 years, 3 months ago

What's the point of this article?

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RockChalk26 2 years, 3 months ago

If I were to make a drinking game out of KU football and you had to take a shot every time you heard or read the words "Notre Dame," you would be wasted in 3 minutes.

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Geekinout 2 years, 4 months ago

Isn't that the same USC team Weis faced that had to cheat and forfeit their wins because of their cheating? Go Reggie Bush, freaking slime ball! What a dirty program. Pretty much everything wrong with college athletics is exemplified at that school. Lane Kiffen is a perfect fit...

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jgrobb 2 years, 4 months ago

Ughh.. I'm getting bored now.. going to watch Mike and Molly.. WHY would they have designed one power transformer to feed an entire pro-stadium?!!!! Redundancy folks!

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jgrobb 2 years, 4 months ago

Another: www.Weisgoes2-10twiceandKUsports dotcomfanscallingforouster.com

This one should sound familiar........

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Matthew Pritchard 2 years, 4 months ago

If I were a betting man, Crist will be going to Wisconsin. There is more of a recent history of success with that football program, BCS bowls in the last two years. What is the word on Dieter, Matt? Is he close to a decision and is it KU? It feels as though things are stalled right now! No DC, QB, or receiving core upgrade. It would be nice to have one of those set in place right now.

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troutsee 2 years, 4 months ago

I agree with the majority of the posters regarding this story. Poor timing. Following two depressing years of KU football, followed by the euphoria of the Weis hier, and then the LJW comes up with this piece of crap.

My definition of a good football weekend. Notre Dame loses. MU loses. KSU loses. The Huskers lose. KU and the Chiefs win. Now that's the ultimate.

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jgrobb 2 years, 4 months ago

Here's anothet link, check this out: www.HCCWleavingKUforFamilyIssues,will receive$10millpayout.com

It's a great read!!!!!!!!

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bville_hawk 2 years, 4 months ago

You've gotta think if you're Crist that "if I go to Wisconsin there is a better than even chance there will be a new OC there next year. The only place I can go where I am assured that the offense will best showcase my talents is Kansas." It seems like a no-brainer, but what do I know.

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whoisjohngalt 2 years, 4 months ago

Hey Witherspoon, just an FYI...growing out your bangs and combing them straight up like a fourteen year old kid doesn't hide the fact that you're going bald.

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jgrobb 2 years, 4 months ago

Please wait on the edge of your seats... check back on this site every 5 minutes.. I'll have the link up soon!!

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Jason Keller 2 years, 4 months ago

Dayne Crist:

"I honestly do not know at this point," Dayne said about choosing between Kansas and Wisconsin. "I visited Wisconsin this weekend. It was a really good visit, but at this point, I have to weigh the pros and cons and go from there."

It was a really good visit, BUT....

Sounds like we're getting Crist. Thank you jesus.

http://www.wndu.com/hometop/headlines/Dayne_Crist_I_will_always_be_a_Notre_Dame_guy_135880568.html

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jgrobb 2 years, 4 months ago

There is another post saying HCCW is ushering in World peace, solving world hunger, and the solving the energy crisis.. let me go get that link.. just wait for me...

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JayHok 2 years, 4 months ago

Another national outlet reporting on Weis, Crist and Heaps. Earth to Topeka Capital and KC Star.

http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Weis-attempting-a-twoQB-coup-at-Kansas.html

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JayHok 2 years, 4 months ago

Great post by ahpersecoachingexperience. Read the article and this post from a ND fan stuck out.

Posted by: Bill Location: mishawaka on Dec 19, 2011 at 04:34 PM

Good luck Mr Crist. Class act every step of the way. Some of us "adults" have no idea the pressure you faced or the scrutinization of your every move. Every opportunity that was given to you, you handled with dignity and class. You are someone to be admired and respected. I wish you all the best. Thanks for your contribution to making ND a better place on and off the field.

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jhawkrulz 2 years, 4 months ago

I do think LJW could be doing more, but to their historic credit, at this time of year, KU Football is usually something that no one wants to talk about. And lets be honest, if TG was still the head coach, not one of us would want to hear a story about the football program, except maybe about new coordinators.

So I'm assuming that LJW had their vacations planned during the down period of football aftermath.

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Micah Mandy Haase 2 years, 4 months ago

Isn't Charlie W. having his surgery today?? I wonder how its going.

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RockChalkAtlantaHawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Gotta give SZ credit on his hire...never in a million years would I think we'd have so many posts about possible football recruits in December. I don't think any other coach we could have hired would have generated this much buzz or national attention. Hopefully we'll see a different attitude from our players and fans this fall. RCJH.

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LAJayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Brian Wagner, Akron linebacker, visited KU. Sounds like we have a decent shot at him... especially since we have one of their coaches. Kid would be an excellent pickup. The staff is clearly going after defense. It's just not being covered as much as the high profile QBs...

http://kansas.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1308683

Subscription required. Here are some highlights:

"Wagner is eligible to transfer and enroll somewhere in January. Last season he led the MAC in tackles and was second in the nation going into his last game. ...

"As a freshman he recorded 132 tackles and made several Freshmen All-American lists. As a sophomore he finished 12th in the nation with 132 tackles. This season he was second in the country going into his last game. A knee injury forced him to miss the final game and he finished fourth with 140. ...

"He has graduated and will be able to enroll somewhere for spring football. This weekend he spent time with new Kansas quarterbacks Ron Powlus, who was part of the staff at Akron.

"'I'm real familiar with him so it was good to talk with him,' Wagner said. 'He's a great guy and a great coach. I know the players loved him. He knows what he is talking about.'"

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Mangino_Maniac 2 years, 4 months ago

Not sure if this has been shared, but here's a nice piece on Dieter and his choice between KU and SMU...

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xmznha_dieter-to-choose-between-smu-and-kansas-after-visit-from-weis_news

I'm with others about the LJW (and KUSports.com) and the lack of coverage... seems looking elsewhere around the country reveals others have a better beat and interest in what some of these kids are deciding with their recruitment.

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mikehawk 2 years, 4 months ago

It's OK, Matt. The KU donor/fan base wants to live in a honeymoon, dream world that one coach, head coach, defensive coordinator, doesn't matter, can turn things around without the players on BOTH sides of the ball. Matt, your readers really didn't like this article because Tom described something at ND that sounded a lot like this year's KU team. It the donor/fan base don't come down to reality that we have two more, at least, tough years ahead, they are going to turn on the Old Ball Coach, and/or his defensive coordinator, once the losses mount. They put all of their eggs in one basket, being Turner Gill was the problem, and if we only had a good coach, all would be good in paradise. The Old Ball Coach is adjusting to the reality that recruiting with a Gold ND on your hat, and now a Jayhawk, are two very different things. What's happend to the stud QB in town? Recruits just don't roll over because you once coached Tom Brady. The donor/fan base must have patience, be realistic, and throw our support behind Coach Charlie and his staff, because it is all we've got. Would I love to eat every word I've written? Turn things around in two years or less, and I'll have my mouth wide open for the dreamers to shovel in every word I've written on these blogs over the past three weeks.

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eddiesuttonschoolofdriving 2 years, 4 months ago

Another link re: Crist' visit to Wisco. Russell Wilson worked him over pretty good.

http://bleacherreport.com/tb/bcG2b

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hihawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Charlie, just cut gill's recruits and tell them to hit the road and go after the high profile ones. Clean house and get started with some good players.

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manginorh00lz 2 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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hihawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Hey gang, we are all happy because we have great football teams here in the state, Kansas ST. in the Cotton Bowl and Pittsburg ST. Champs in their conference. We onlyhave one loser and that is KU.

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HAWKTOPIA 2 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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JayHok 2 years, 4 months ago

Headline tomorrow. "Why Charlie Weis failed to develop Tom Brady into a three time super bowl champion linebacker."

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bigXIImatters 2 years, 4 months ago

Wah, Wah.......What a downer. Could you please write about something relevant next time, Tom.

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Micah Mandy Haase 2 years, 4 months ago

On Dayne Crist twitter he posted

"It's funny that I will fly past where I am ultimately headed on my first flight towards my destination."

He is flying from Sound Bend to California... I wonder if someone could track that flight and see if it goes over KU.

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bville_hawk 2 years, 4 months ago

You know something, jhawkrulz, or are you just speculating? Romeo Crennel would be an incredible "get" as DC at KU. I would guess, though, that if the Chiefs win 1 more game this season under him that he is going to get another chance to be a head coach in the NFL (if not at KC then somewhere else).

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jhawkrulz 2 years, 4 months ago

I remember the game. I thought the referees made one of the worst calls in the history of football (except maybe when KU lost to UT to give UT a BCS game).

I remember that USC actually purposely fumbled the football football and it went out of bounds. They stopped the clock and were able to run the football with 3 seconds left in the game. The clock should not have stopped and ND should have actually won that game.

What Tom failed to remember in that game is that the defense actually was stopping the most prolific offense in college football history. This was a team with Reggie Bush, Matt Leinhart and like 4 receivers that were out of this world. I don't think there was a defense on the planet that stopped that team. Wasn't that the year that OU played USC and basically put 40+ against OU's defense as well?

Personally, watching Romeo Cromell (sp?) take care of the Packers on Monday really makes me happy that he is going to be a Jayhawk in about 3 weeks!!

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 4 months ago

Since most if the football reporting is now up to the "board rats" I'll bring up something very interesting HCCW mentioned during his press conference. Somebody asked a question about a dc and he talked for a while and said "you'll see what I mean when it comes to fruition" which gave me the impression that the dc is in the bag. Maybe we have to wait until the end of bowl season or the NFL playoffs.

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Bangkok_Jayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Moral of the story... Hire a big time D-Coordinator and give him autonomy.

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Ed Brown 2 years, 4 months ago

Who cares Witherspoon about what you did years ago. This should maybe just go in your scrapbook. After the Jayhawk Nation went through all this mess for a few years now at least try and help get the troops rallied behind a new coach and try and get a real football program going.

December 2015...I remember 4 years ago reading Witherspoon's poorly written personal account of how bad a football coach was 4 or 5 years ago. Since then there have been many articles written but they just never seemed relevant or current.

Just sayin

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Keith Hummel 2 years, 4 months ago

Dayne Crist will take "probably another day or two" to decide on his next stop, according to the following article in the Chicago Tribune:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/chi-no-decision-from-notre-dame-qb-crist-on-transfer-20111219,0,1153761.story

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sevenyearhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Any suggestions for Christmas music?

I just found a great Sinatra CD and a decent Johnny Cash Christmas album ...

who are your favorites?

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rob4lb 2 years, 4 months ago

I always find it interesting with this group that if any writer or commenter says one thing negative (or objective), there is a group of people with crimson colored glasses who will pile on that writer or commenter.

Defense is a huge problem. KU hasn't had a good defense since 2007. The last two years of Reesing and Meier we tried to outscore the opponents and that didn't even work that well. We did get to a minor bowl. A good defense is essential for a team like KU to compete and it is appropriate, given Weis's track record and the sorry state of last year's defense to be concerned.

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Matt Tait 2 years, 4 months ago

Hey all - Tom Witherspoon's a part-time copy editor at the LJW who is in law school at KU and was a student at Notre Dame while Weis was coaching there. He's a good dude. Cut him a break.

Just thought his memories would offer a different take on Weis to Kansas.

Here's one thing you have to remember about this whole deal: Charlie Weis is very tight-lipped and only lets out news when he wants to let it out. Doesn't mean we'll stop trying to get it, but it also doesn't mean that we'll be able to get all of the info that you guys are clamoring for every single day. It's a different world for KU football, nd you gotta take the good with the bad. Trust me, though, it should be much more slanted to the good.

Like I said, we'll keep trying, we'll get a lot of it, and there'll be plenty of other things to write and plenty of other ways we can write about the football program.... that's coming.

Hang tight. I've been out the past few days, but will be back at it tomorrow. From there, it'll be an all-out assault on all things KU football.

Stay tuned...

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citizen1 2 years, 4 months ago

This article has no value. What possible purpose can it serve?

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DocBean 2 years, 4 months ago

Who is Tom Witherspoon, and why is he posting commentaries on KUsports.com?

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blindrabbit 2 years, 4 months ago

Give it up on Notre Dame:

Too bad Rockne crashed in Kansas! Didn't like Reagan or "The Gipper"! I don't want any Catholic indoctrination! Digger and Lou Holtz are cads! Don't like "Back Home in Indiana" even though Jim Nabors and Herb Shriner sang it! All other Catholic schools hate them, Villanova, Xavier, Marquette, St.Johns, etc.! Too arrogant to join a conference, except in minor sports! Too closely tied to the Eastern media and their biases! Regis Philbin is a alumna! Don't like shamrocks, leprechauns, St. Paddy's Day, have snakes for pets! Rather have single malt than Guiness or Bushmills Irish!.

Rock Chalk!

.

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hailtoku 2 years, 4 months ago

Listen, at least we have a coach now who has the experience of playing a USC, Michigan, Penn State type programs.

You could hire any coach in the nation and put a magnifying glass up to one certain game or highlight all of their weakenesses.

The fact is, Charlie Weis is a big time coach at a small time program. We should be so lucky.

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MDHawk 2 years, 4 months ago

So...I'm quite sure that anyone who gives a darn about KU football has long since read about HCCW's coaching history, particularly at Notre Dame. I'm also pretty certain that everyone familiar with the situation is anxiously awaiting the announcement of a DC because we've already read about his woeful defense at Notre Dame.

In short, this article was pointless. Hopefully we hear from Tait soon regarding some actual news on the football team.

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Robert Brock 2 years, 4 months ago

I hate Notre Dame. Enough about Notre Dame. I am only concerned with CW's performance at KU. Tough job. He can handle it - and it doesn't have much to with Notre Dame.

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pnl14 2 years, 4 months ago

What an awful article. Please put up something else as the front-page article...this is pointless and depressing.

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VaJay 2 years, 4 months ago

Here's SB Nation's take on football at KU next year. Nothing new, but certainly more interesting than many of the posts above... Must be no-news Monday.

http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-football/2011/12/19/2646085/charlie-weis-kansas-football-dayne-crist-jake-heaps-transfer

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JayDocMD 2 years, 4 months ago

yawn.

Lets hear some DC and recruiting talk - otherwise not really interested in the ramblings of a man who admitted he has destroyed a good portion of his brain cells.

It appears Mr Witherspoon is on staff at LJW, and that this may be his first contribution. If so, I'd like to say "welcome" and there's nowhere to go but up from this effort.

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Keith Hummel 2 years, 4 months ago

OK - since the sports writers aren't giving us anything, here's something I've needed to say.

Ahperse - You were right about Gill and I was wrong. There, I said it. Now, are you willing to say yet that you were wrong about Zenger?

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Bellator 2 years, 4 months ago

Seriously LJW this is a crap article. I agree with apherscoachingexperience in that there are lots of good story lines you could be reporting on with a little legwork.

I am not one of the readers on here that professes to be the journalism police but even I with my low standards can see that this is very poor journalism.

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CHEEZIT 2 years, 4 months ago

Back in the Orange bowl season, 2008 not 1968, I didn't care if the other team scored because we could score in the next 2 minutes. Now that was fun to watch! So I guess I'm saying I'll take an average defense if we can have great offense!!!

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Mike Kendall 2 years, 4 months ago

mvjayhawk said it-----we haven't had a decent defense since Bill Young. It can't be worse than the last two years, right? Uh, right?

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John Mueller 2 years, 4 months ago

i am just worried that i asked for a Keurig for christmas.

I really, really hate frozen pizza.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 4 months ago

Who is Tom Witherspoon and why do we care about a game/season 5 years ago? I'm pretty sure the ND horse has been beaten to death so you can stop now.

Since the ljw is having trouble coming up with stories I'll drop you some leads that your readers have had to find by themselves. 1) we have in offers to 3 #1 rated qb's. 2) a pretty decent receiver from USC was on campus last weekend 3) the dc search continues. 4) head coach is having surgery today.

Step your game up!

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gongs4ku 2 years, 4 months ago

After reading this, I can't help worrying about two things. One, why is it so freaking hard to find crumb donnettes nowadays? Two, remember those tiny pecan pies they used to sell at convenience stores? Have I simply stopped seeing them, or are they no longer being sold? I want one.

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Dyrk Dugan 2 years, 4 months ago

this article is par for the course for a KU fan....we haven't seen any defense since 2007, the last season Bill Young was our DC.

i think it's pretty safe to say, CW will turn over the D to a very viable, experienced D coordinator and we will recruit to his specifications...and CW will run the offense. i don't think it's any more complicated than that.

Next year, KU football will have its 5th DC in six years....and the best thing is, 2013 should be the 2nd year in a row with the same one.

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Dan Harris 2 years, 4 months ago

I thought Crist was announcing this weekend. Anybody know what's up?

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KU_Alumn_2000 2 years, 4 months ago

Not only is this an exciting time because of possible recruits...but also learning which coaches decide to come.

Like some of you did...this article came off very negative.

Who is Tom Witherspoon ? Is this a new guy ? Is he trying to be Tom Keegan ? Wonder if he's a Mizzou grad ?

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frompekka2sasha 2 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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NJHAWK 2 years, 4 months ago

Hey Tom, Its in the past. Let it go. Coach already has admitted that he made mistakes in the past and has learnt from it.

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Michael Pannacciulli 2 years, 4 months ago

Thanks for reminding everyone of his nd challenges yet again. Appreciate that.

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Shawn Otrimble 2 years, 4 months ago

What a crappy article to start Christmas week off here at KU. I would of loved to here about his family, or something positive. Instead of trying to build a man up who has already gave this program national attention. We are already tearing him down like we are some kind of glory job football program. Get a life! This is picking on a guy who was supposed to have surgery today. With articles like this, I can see why coaches wouldn't want to come to our school.

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KU_Alumn_2000 2 years, 4 months ago

At least we're used to having no D. It couldn't get any worse than the previous couple years.

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BillSelf4Prez 2 years, 4 months ago

I just woke up from.falling asleep after getting home from.the.chiefs.game. My voice/throat hurts from yelling,I'm tired,hungry, and now pissed oft there is still no news on the qb's yet. Wow I really sounded like a woman there.

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gardenjay 2 years, 4 months ago

Wasn't Charlie going in for surgery today? I know it seems like every day is open season on that man, but I would just like to say I hope your surgery went well. KU is all about giving people second chances, and I can't wait to see you try. Happy Holidays.

:)

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johnnyhrdwd 2 years, 4 months ago

No one fan believed we would lose with or without the ball, by less than 30.

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Eric Dawson 2 years, 4 months ago

Speaking of holiday shopping, anyone else seriously thinking about a Keurig? It just seems a lot of money to spend up front, and then forever after with the more expensive individual servings, to get just 1 cup of coffee at a time.

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Ryan Lee 2 years, 4 months ago

Does the D stand for diet? Only a joke....Go Weiss, blah, blah, blah...

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bradynsdad 2 years, 4 months ago

Soooooooooo what about a D.C.?

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bradynsdad 2 years, 4 months ago

Thinking about buying a "Forever Lazy". Not sure which I like more, that or a snuggle.

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