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Monday, May 2, 2011

Keegan

KU football schedule brutal

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The best way to appreciate just how brutal a schedule Kansas University faces in the fall is to consider that nine of its 12 opponents played in bowl games last season, and Texas is one of the three that didn’t.

The Jayhawks looked more organized and faster in Saturday’s annual spring football game in Memorial Stadium, but the competition they faced can’t measure up to what awaits. An argument could be made KU has the nation’s toughest schedule. The reduction of the Big 12 to 10 teams means that Kansas plays nine conference games and now faces the four Texas and two Oklahoma teams every year. Sure, every Big 12 team plays the same schedule. Sort of. But KU’s slate is more challenging than Oklahoma’s because Kansas has to play Oklahoma and the Sooners don’t, and Oklahoma gets to play Kansas and the Jayhawks don’t.

A look at the 12 foes in the order KU plays them:

McNeese State: No chance Kansas loses this one with the memory of North Dakota State so fresh.

Northern Illinois: Dave Doren, once an assistant to Mark Mangino before he left for Wisconsin and gained a reputation as an excellent defensive coordinator and recruiter, landed his first head-coaching job. The ambitious Doren inherits a team that went 11-3 with an explosive offense. NIU averaged 65 points in a three-game November stretch against Mid-American foes Toledo, Ball State and Eastern Michigan, and quarterback Chandler Harnish returns.

At Georgia Tech: Home-field advantage and the revenge factor make this a huge mountain to climb.

Texas Tech: As is Gill, Tommy Tuberville is in his second season after a controversial firing of his predecessor. Tuberville has more talent, but Gill has the home-field advantage.

At Oklahoma State: Quarterback Brandon Weeden and wide receiver Justin Blackmon are back for a Cowboys offense that amassed 597 yards in Lawrence last season.

Oklahoma: All but two starters return from the nation’s 10th-ranked offense, and the Sooners should have an offensive line that manhandles all but the best defensive lines. OU will be a popular national-title pick.

Kansas State: Daniel Thomas is gone, but Bryce Brown, the transfer from Tennessee out of Wichita who was ranked the No. 1 running back in the nation in high school, has a chance to be just as good.

At Texas: Freshman Malcolm Brown, fast and 220 pounds, has a legitimate shot to be the Longhorns’ best running back since Jamaal Charles.

At Iowa State: If the Jayhawks aren’t too beaten up from the previous week’s game at Texas, the Jayhawks could win this one, but it’s an unfortunate scheduling quirk that they have to play it on the road for a second consecutive season.

Baylor: Robert Griffin III is back directing the offense that torched KU for 680 yards a year ago.

At Texas A&M: Good guy Mike Sherman was an unconventional choice when hired, but it sure has worked out. The Aggies won six in a row before losing to LSU in the Cotton Bowl.

Vs. Missouri at Arrowhead: The underdog is always a threat to win this one.

Comments

Joseph Kuebel 2 years, 11 months ago

Kirk- manginos teams competed??? I tend to recall in his team losing 64-0 at home to kstate... and having a real good first year too. Thank god u think that getting rid of the coach was such a bad move...ya, that never beat Texas, Oklahoma, or tech... in how many years??

It was turners first year. If we expected zero recruits we should have kept mm. Ya, no self respecting athlete was gonna sign after mms actions and his statements... its a no brainer we had no choice but to get rid of him... u saying that getting rid of mm was the worst decision?? Well thatd be why u r not in charge, and thank god cuz ur view on recruits is far from that of a college aged mind... and apparently ur view of competing is too...as 64-0 vs. Kstate doesn't seem like a competing team to me.

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John Percival 2 years, 11 months ago

Unless your last name is "Anderson," not much you can do as fans but shrug your shoulders (or gripe on here). Boycotting our teams is not an option.

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mustlehustle 2 years, 11 months ago

47-54-1 for Glen Mason...and Mangino was 50-48.....while the argument might be made that Mangino didn't leave much in the cupboard after his departure, Mason's exploits of taking the UGA job, only to renege and elect to "stay" at Kansas for one more season. was the equivalent of taking the cupboard out-back and running it through a wood-chipper!!! They couldn't get any commitment from any high school kid to commit after that stunt! Again, the "brain-trust" of the search committee, allowed Mason to come back to his job!!! That is my whole point entirely.....but thanks once again for supporting my claim of the Jayhawk fans taking the "shrug of the shoulders and oh well" approach to "well we're stuck with him." Again, if you want to be a 2nd tier football program, continue to hire second tier coaches and athletic directors...

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actorman 2 years, 11 months ago

I don't have the numbers with me and I'm too lazy to look them up, but I would venture a guess that Glen Mason's numbers aren't that different than Mangino's. Mangino had the one great year, 12-1. Mason had the one great year, 10-2. Mangino's team imploded the next year, as did Mason's. And although Mangino ended up with a winning record, it was barely over .500 (and way under .500 in the conference) and I would guess that Mason's record wasn't far behind.

The fact is that other than one glorious year (with a very easy schedule and everything coming together at the right time), Mangino did not do a great job. On top of that, his incredible abusiveness was starting to catch up to him and he would have had a harder and harder time getting recruits. I'm not at all convinced that Gill will do a great job, but his recruiting has already been better; imagine how good it could be if he started winning some games. And it's nice to have a coach that has some character and is not a complete a-hole, someone that we can be proud of as a representative of KU. I realize that's not on the level of wins and losses, but it certainly counts for something.

But most of all, as others have pointed out, we're stuck with Gill for the time being so we might as well see what he can do. None of us expect this year's team to even sniff a bowl game, but it would be nice to see them at least be a lot more competitive than last year. That's one way we can measure progress.

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whitechocolate 2 years, 11 months ago

Woah, do they still make quaaludes? I think you'd be better off taking some codeine, seconals, or sniffing some good old fashion ether while watching a game this year.

The thing I'm starting to hate is that every conversation this year comes back to the actual fact Gill is our coach. For better or for worse, that's not going to change this season. I feel like even if he somehow produces a winning season, people would find any reason not to give him credit.

Criticism is good. Pessimism just makes the rest of us as angry as you are.

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mustlehustle 2 years, 11 months ago

Thanks ATLJaybird for some interesting fodder to contemplate. I appreciate some gravity and depth to your misplaced retort. In reverse order, I appreciate the diagnosis and my ADD meds are in need of a radical chemical review.

Since 1966, there has only been "1" head coach that has posted a career winning football record at Kansas and that was Mark Mangino. My ADD has endured the likes of the "Bob Valsente and Terry Allen reign, the Glenn Mason implosion, the Mike Gottfried experiment and again, leading up to the ONLY coach that managed to assemble a respectable and winning record in Mangino. By my ADD abilities, that equals 45 years of "short-term" pain.

None of the coaches I named were using their current coaching stops as "stepping stones." Tuberville was at Auburn prior to Texas Tech, June Jones, the architect of the "run and shoot offense" left Hawaii of all places, to "Death Penalty U" (SMU), Mike Price was at Alabama prior to UTEP, Franchione was at Alabama and Texas A&M, recently taking the Texas State University job, and Mike Sherman left the NFL coaching ranks to coach at Texas A&M.

Anybody who thinks "Turner Gill" is a "long-term" solution, much less using "Kansas" as his "stepping stone" to an inevitable coaching position at Nebraska or the NFL, is laughable at best. The reason "Nolan Cromwell" an "All-American quarterback at Kansas, 4 Time Pro Bowler in his 10 year NFL career, current receivers coach at St. Louis, coached in the NFL and Division 1 College since 1992,"makes "more" sense than Turner Gill is he's a Jayhawk and Gill is a Cornhusker!!!

As I mentioned, both Gill/Zenger won the lottery to come from irrelevant athletic programs like Buffalo and Illinois State to a Big 12 Conference school. Why wouldn't you tap an "assistant"under the tutelage of "Deloss Dodds" at Texas that generates an estimated $35M a year to their athletic department? I happen to know Kansas had that opportunity. Kansas apologists felt betrayed when of all people the Tulsa A.D. reneged on their offer!!! My point has been simply the question "why?" Why is Kansas, with their storied tradition and elite baskeball program, even finding themselves in a conversation with "second tier" Athletic Directors and coaches?

So...."give them a chance?" How about raising the expectation and demanding the very best and having a "search committee" when these positions are available that have some/any desire and vision to hire from winning programs. The haves and have- nots continue to become a wide distance apart, if you don't agree with anything I have said, the "give a chance" mentality had Kansas at one point last summer "hoping" the "Mountain West Conference" would consider them!

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Ethan Berger 2 years, 11 months ago

Still amazed about how many people are butt hurt about the Names off the back of the Jerseys.

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Geekinout 2 years, 11 months ago

One of the only things I don't like about T.G. is the nameless jerseys. Pretty funny considering KU's football website is Turnergill.com. Seriously, that's something a high school coach does. T.G. should have to wear the number of what place he finishes in the conference every year if he's going that route.

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mustlehustle 2 years, 11 months ago

Thanks "Hawk 90" for allowing my thoughts to "smoke-out" another of the Jayhawk Apologists!!! You pose the question to me..." do I know how hard it is to hire first tier coach with KU's football tradition?" Again, thank you for making my point. Its that mentality that prohibits what was once the "largest endowed school in the Big 8 Conference, from ever competing in football. How about the traction from winning the "Orange Bowl" of a few years ago!!!

How hard is it to hire a "first tier" coach...not very hard at all!! "June Jones" left Hawaii after putting that program on the map, to take over an SMU program. Texas Tech attracted "Tommy Tuberville" to of all places Lubbock, Mike Price is at UTEP, and El Paso is nothing more than downtown bullet-ridden Juarez, Florida dipped into the UT pool of coaching talent and stole their "coach in-waiting, Will Muschamp, Texas A&M dipped into the pro ranks and hired Mike Sherman that has turned that program around. Dennis Franchione, who was waiting for a job, started his career at Pittsburg State.

If you wanted to bring "tradition" back to Kansas Football...how about hiring "Nolan Cromwell" who is good enough to the the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M a chance? Who does Kansas hire...Turner Gill...the pride of Nebraska football of all places....who's coaching resume brought him from the football powerhouse the "University of Buffalo!!!" You know the same guy who in this day and age, of trying to compete for top talent in the country, decides its a great idea to take the names off the players jerseys!!!

As far as Athletic Directors....how do you determine an A.D. at "Illinois State" has the blueprint to lead Kansas University into being a competitive athletic program with the likes of Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State? My guess is when they began talking to the now A.D....the "big picture" search committee for the new A.D. thought he would be "Mountain West Conference" material. Then again I am sure the "Jayhawk Apologists" will say I am being "too hard" on these guys..and to "give them a chance." Don't get it twisted boys and girls...my fault isn't with these guys...this was a lottery win for both of them....its the braintrust that continues to make these mediocre decisions and wonder why Kansas football magically ends up in the bottom 1/3 of the Conference every year and complain "how hard" their shedule is each season!

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KSseahawk 2 years, 11 months ago

One win. The team may be faster but they're younger with less experience. This could be a good thing for TGill. They may actually listen. Then again, we don't know about his ability to actually coach or these players' ability to actually play the game.

TGill will steal another $2 million from the university while he continues to 'evaluate players'.

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John Sheehan 2 years, 11 months ago

Comparing Gill and Mangino isn't fair to either. Mangino did great things, but truly had an easier path. He had low expecations, following Terry Allen. He had opportunity to win the 4 layup non-con games, had an easier KSU, Baylor, OSU and ISU team to beat and had one magical year (with a considerably easy schedule by Big XII standards) with some very special players.

Gill will likely never equal a 12-1 season, but may end up being the winningest Coach in KU history if he gets through his first contract and Bo Pellini never leaves Nebraska. He's doing things the right way and bringing in some studs and moving some other studs to the right positions for us to win and them to have a shot in the NFL (see Opurum and McDougald).

As much as I didn't want to lose Mangino, it had to happen after everything came out and he lost those games to end his last year...nobody was going to save him. Recruits would've stopped coming b/c of the things that came out / were going to come out in that investigation.

IMO, Gill was the best fit for what we needed and was one of the few guys that would take the job. He can recruit and is a Big 8 legend which is a big deal to players and parents. Parents want their son to play for him as much as the kids want to play for him. If I were a kid or a parent of a son that played football I'd love to be part of his program.

All that said I predict 3-9 this year...7-5 next year...then 9-3...then 10-2. He'll win 3 bowls in 5 years to match Mangino's bowl wins and bail on us, remembering what pricks so many people were to him early on during the tough years.

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texashawk10 2 years, 11 months ago

I think it's very realistic that this could be a much improved team and still end up with the same record as last season. McNeese was a 6-5 team last year so I don't see KU losing to them, but you never know after last season. After McNeese, the only other two games I see KU having a realistic chance at winning are KState and Iowa St. Georgia Tech looks like they're on a downward trend right now so that's a possible upset, Texas Tech is replacing their top two QB's but I honestly don't think Seth Doege is going to be bad but you never know. Missouri is always going to be a toss up game because it's a such an intense rivalry, but MU is going to have the more talented team. Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor, and Texas A&M are all going to battling for the Big 12 title this season and I don't see KU beating any of them. A couple of close games against those 5 teams would be nice but I just don't see it yet.

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Ethan Berger 2 years, 11 months ago

Reason to be optimistic- Will have a strong group of running backs. A healthy o line, healthy linebacker crew, healthy safeties, Older qbs.

Reason to be pessimistic- this team last year look lost and out manned most games. All we can bank on his how the practice against each other.

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mustlehustle 2 years, 11 months ago

As long as the Jayhawk faithful continue to settle for the "we're having an off-year" or "we're a basketball school, or its "tough to recruit to Kansas" mentality, every football season will be met with the same trepidation. If it wasn't for the aggressive, forward thinking, schools in the Big 12 and their Commissioner, Kansas would be in precisely the same circumstances in the "Mountain West Conference." The Jayhawk football apologists would still find themselves with a mediocre-at-best football program, struggling against the likes of "tcu, byu, Boise State, Colorado State, etc, and still ending up near the bottom of that Conference. Until the Jayhawk apologists stop being content with settling for the hiring of second tier athletic directors and head football coach,that level of expectation will continue to produce the same result.

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caddie733 2 years, 11 months ago

Hailtoku...not completely fair to hold Gill to the standard of Mangino's second season. Look at the schedules...in 2003, no OU and no UT. Much harder schedule for Gill's second season. As mentioned earlier, Mangino's one "great" year came by not playing OU or UT.

I'm not going to say that Mangino didn't do somewhat good things at KU, but he had one winning conference record in 8 years. He was 23-41 in conference.

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hailtoku 2 years, 11 months ago

Hopefully the people who talked about Manginos first season will hold Gill to the standard of Manginos second season-- 6 wins and a bowl game.

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BigAl 2 years, 11 months ago

In Mangino's 8 seasons, he managed just 4 wins against the south. Some people on here talk as if Mangino was the second coming of Knute Rockne. He wasn't.

Give Gill a chance.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 11 months ago

If gill wins 3 games he should be national coach of the year

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jhawkfan1981 2 years, 11 months ago

i can see 1 SURE win, but i can also make a case for 4-5 wins...im not as down on gill as alot of people, so that could be clouding my vision. i really think this team will show alot of improvement, it has too!! this next season might be a stepping stone for even better recruiting classes to come. if gill can put together another class like this years, or better, next year, the hawks could get to a bowl game in a couple years. the reality of it is the big12 is dominated with great to good programs year in and year out, and it will be hard for KU to be a top tier team in this conference....but no matter what, RCJH...ill be there!

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Ethan Berger 2 years, 11 months ago

I can see us going anywhere from 5 wins to 1 win. Last year our biggest enemy was our age. We were young, our good talent got injured. Can Webb lead us? Can our line block? Can we stop a pass? Lets not forget guys, we gave Nebraska a tough game, only to be blown out the next week. Nothing uncommon for a young team. With a full spring, everyone is a year older, I think we can pull out 4. Just make those 8 loses competitive. Y'all remember the 6-6 season before orange bowl? I remember losing 4 games on the last drive. Close games gives confidence to win the next time around. Keep em close boys.

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milwaukeeJAYHAWK 2 years, 11 months ago

Here's some realistic expectations:

  1. Play hard and try not to get blown out vs. big boys like OU
  2. Compete with and/or beat KSU & MU

That's all I can ask for.

I'd like to have 4 wins. If we have only 2, make it against rivals and continue trying to build a good team.

Let's understand----we're KU and need to understand that success doesn't come overnight. Took Mangino years to get good, and even then he had the luxury of the divided conference to work with.

The schedule isn't so forgiving any more.

But hey...maybe better competition would be good for the team?

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jhwkfan162515 2 years, 11 months ago

Wow, the standards have sure plummeted since the Orange Bowl...Thanks a lot, Lew!

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hailtoku 2 years, 11 months ago

Annnnd were back to being satisfied with 2-10 seasons as long as we "compete"

Ahhh the good ol days of being pissed off at a 5-7 season....

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Chris Bailey 2 years, 11 months ago

I had no idea that N. Illinois was a bowl team and had an 11 win season. Wow we are in trouble with this schedule. We MUST remember as fans that we have to think long term! We need a couple more great recruiting classes to get back to being a winning program. I hear a lot of complaining that Gill needs to step up and coach but not many coaches have freshman winning bowl games not with 3 star recruits. Give the man a chance! Come on Apers. You are his biggest doubter. I know you want our team to succeed we just need to be patient and support these men! RCJH!

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ChicagoJHawk 2 years, 11 months ago

Is it really fair to say we have the toughest schedule in the nation just because we suck?? It should have more to do with the quality of your opponents. Sure we play Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas but I'm sure there are teams in other conferences, like the SEC, that have a lot of tough opponents like that. Even in the Big 10, they may not have teams in the top 5 or top 10, but they do have a lot of above average teams in their conference which probably means a tougher schedule than us.

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actorman 2 years, 11 months ago

"He never beat Texas, Texas Tech, or Oklahoma."

Actually, that's not true. Or do you think that was REALLY offensive pass interference???

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eastcoasthawk 2 years, 11 months ago

Last year we won 3 games against a seemingly easier schedule and lost five games by over 4 TD's. So, my measuring stick for this tougher schedule is still win 3, only two blowouts and be within 2 TD's or less in other losses. Baby steps. Can't be spoiled from the good years. 4 plus wins is a major success.

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Ashtin Meerpohl 2 years, 11 months ago

Here's how i see it. We have 3 games we win for sure. Those being our first two, and either Iowa State or K-State. That gives us 3 or 4 wins. I can see this team pulling a win out that is improbable. This gives us a 4 to 5 win season. I will be happy with that if we don't get killed in rest. I just dont wanna see blowouts like we saw last year. Good Luck Gill and players!

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turbomax 2 years, 11 months ago

Praying for a miracle. It could happen, right?

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Phoggin_Loud 2 years, 11 months ago

Hey, We're Americans! "We don't have to have to worry about whether or not we've practiced... All we have to doooo, is to be the great American fighting soldier that is inside each one of us!... Fall in!!"

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/addfe1834c/stripes-preparing-for-graduation-from-stripesfan

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nuleafjhawk 2 years, 11 months ago

I've seen Memorial Stadium empty out at halftime when we were AHEAD two touchdowns !!

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Raider 2 years, 11 months ago

I wouldn't exactly call Memorial Stadium a "home-field advantage". You're talking about KU football, not baskaetball. I remember when Tech was in town in 08, undefeated, KU had one loss, and it was homecoming. The stadium was maybe 3/4 full in the first quarter that day, and when the team got behind by a couple of scores the stadium emptied out. Do you think the "fans" will really show up this year following the poor performance last season?

So no Tom, if anyone has an advantage it's the visitors when they come to Lawrence. Apethy always helps the visitors.

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Dirk Medema 2 years, 11 months ago

"the competition they faced (in the Spring game) can’t measure up to what awaits"

What an ignorant statement, tho on par with about half of the blog comments.

The measuring stick in a team sport like FB is how well you play against your opponent, so it is tough to tell from a scrimmage - playing against your teammate, if you are getting better since your teammate isn't your true competition. Actually, a skilled football person is able to evaluate the improvement of players. It just takes more effort than making a knee jerk reaction from behind a computer. Fortunately, the LJW has Jesse on staff to provide quality sports coverage, and Matt is learning (lose the "Wildcat" comments) too.

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Nick Cole 2 years, 11 months ago

My prediction: 3-9.

I think we win two early and give us fans some hope, then fail miserably in the following weeks while stealing one we probably should have lost (i.e. Colorado last year). Four wins and I'm still not happy, because we have seen that winning is possible at Kansas and I am not going to settle for mediocrity. Gill, get these young men to play hard and win some dang football games.

And fans, get out there and cheer this team on. I will be cheering from Tampa, FL and will be in Atlanta for the KU vs. G-Tech game cheering on our Hawks.

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minnhawk84 2 years, 11 months ago

Hey McFly, what are you? Chicken?

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Marty_McFly 2 years, 11 months ago

Undefeated and winning the BCS Championship. You heard it here first.

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Dyrk Dugan 2 years, 11 months ago

4-8 and it's a good season......3-9 wouldn't be bad. i've said all along....our football team will be better in 2011, but our record won't significantly improve.

our focus must be on ISU, MU and KSU. from 2003-08, we were 15-9 vs. NU, KSU, MU and ISU. the previous 5 years, we were 3-17.

the last two years? 1-7. so with NU out of the league, these three schools are our measuring stick. compete with and beat them, and everything else takes care of itself.

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Scut Farkus 2 years, 11 months ago

3-9 is realistic. 4 or 5 wins would be fantastic. All I want to see is improvement on the field. Be competetive. This is not a make or break year for Gill but he has to show improvement.

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Larry Smith 2 years, 11 months ago

Considering Mangino only had 4 wins against the south in 8 years, I think that this may be a tough road. It doesn't set up well, but with more team speed and improved effort, who knows.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 11 months ago

Step 1: catch Osama Bin Laden

Step 2: get turner gill fired.

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TenaciousD 2 years, 11 months ago

My prediction is 6-6 and a bowl game for this year.

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Keith Hummel 2 years, 11 months ago

Wow - what a bunch of Debbie Downer's this morning. My prediction is 4-8 with fewer blowouts and overall better play. They will win the first two, then take 2 more from the T-Tech, KSU, ISU, and MU games.

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newmedia 2 years, 11 months ago

2-10 or 1-11. At least you shouldn't have any trouble finding a seat at a home game. See, the glass is always half full!

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Carter Patterson 2 years, 11 months ago

I remember Glen Mason's first year. We didn't win a lot but we played hard and got a lot better. I can live with 2-10 or 1-11 if we play hard and competitive every week.

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Pwnage 2 years, 11 months ago

And if the headline said "Kansas basketball schedule brutal" there would be 500 posts.

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bluefirebird 2 years, 11 months ago

Over/Under: 1.5 wins McNeese St. SHOULD be a Win. Not sure where the second would come. I could see wins against KSU, ISU and MU but we likely will be underdogs in every game after our opener.

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Cmill1221 2 years, 11 months ago

2-10. But there is still the gill factor that could make us 1-11 if he coaches his way out of a win like the first game last year. =/

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