Advertisement

Advertisement

Friday, September 2, 2011

Tait

KU to a bowl game? It’s possible

Advertisement

Last month, ESPN.com’s Brad Edwards revealed that he picked Kansas University’s football team to play in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl this December.

What?

You heard correctly. Now, let’s see if we can figure out why.

It’s been well documented that people expect three or four wins to be the ceiling for this year’s team. Naturally, the Jayhawks themselves believe it’s higher.

Remember, coach Turner Gill says his goal is to win every game. He means it. And he doesn’t care if it says Oklahoma or McNeese State on the opponent’s helmet.

The players also think winning is possible this year. Many have targeted six wins and bowl-eligibility as an attainable goal. Believe. It’s not just a slogan any longer.

KU’s facing a tough schedule, and, no matter how talented or confident the Jayhawks may be, they’re incredibly young. It’s one thing to think you can hang with Texas, OU and Oklahoma State. It’s another to go out and do it.

I’m not saying they will, and I’m not saying they won’t. What I am saying is I can see why they think it’s possible. Here’s how it could happen.

It sets up like this: In the opener, the Jayhawks welcome an FCS team to town for the second straight season. With the haunting memories of last year’s embarrassing loss to North Dakota State still fresh in the Jayhawks’ minds, you can bet McNeese State will have KU’s full attention. KU won’t win 50-7, but it won’t lose 6-3 either. The way I see it, the schedule sets up for the Jayhawks to pick up a feel-good win right out of the gate.

Next up, a tough Northern Illinois team comes to town. The Huskies had a great 2010 and return a lot of talent. But they’re also going to battle with a new head coach — former KU assistant Dave Doeren — and we’ve all seen how tough that transition can be on a team. KU might not be favored in that one, but it can win. Just like that, the Jayhawks are 2-0 and heading into a road game against Georgia Tech, whom they beat a season ago.

KU’s better than last year. Georgia Tech’s a little worse. Winning will be tough with GT having the revenge factor and home-field advantage, but you have to at least see that the Jayhawks will go down to Atlanta believing they can win — especially if they’re sitting at 2-0.

Remember, you’re thinking like a Jayhawk here, one of the guys who actually suits up on Saturdays. Imagine, if they walk away from their nonconference schedule 3-0 and head into their bye week on Cloud 9. That would do wonders for the rest of their season and would give them a real shot in their Big 12 opener against Texas Tech after the bye week. From there, six wins are at least possible.

As for my prediction, I’m going with 4-8. I think KU wins its first two games and goes on to beat two of the following four teams — Georgia Tech (Week 3), Texas Tech (Week 5), Kansas State (Week 8) and Iowa State (Week 10).

We’ll find out soon enough, but the first step in the process kicks off at 6 p.m. Saturday against McNeese State.

Comments

Mark Lindrud 2 years, 7 months ago

In some ways this year isn't about wins and losses. I am looking at the big picture which yes should be wins and losses, but I am looking at how we play. Obviously that would sound like what you say to pee wee players, but hear me out.

I want to see us improve our offense in regards to protecting the ball, improve our running game and score a lot more often than last year.

Defensively, be able to stop the run better, avoid the big plays and give our offense more opportunities to get back on the field with 3 and outs.

Being more competitive in games, closer scores, upsetting a team somewhere down the line and have something to grow on the following year would be leaving the end of the season on a positive note. Overall improvement this year is how I see it. Would I love to win 5 games or more games? Of course, and I believe we can win 5 games this year, but I believe this is not our potential bowl season.

I think we are a year away from being a bowl team and I will stick to it and hope our team shows the potential to be just that. Anything can happen, we could win 8-9 games and be wowed by our team or win 0-1 and be ready to get rid of Gill, but for now let's hold our heads up high and believe that this will be a better season.

0

yates33333 2 years, 7 months ago

Brad Edwards, where do you get your smokes? I need some.

0

kujayhox 2 years, 7 months ago

i am not a turner gill fan, but i am a kansas jayhawks fan so i will support him until he is no longer the coach. this is his second year here and we have the youngest team in the country, but what if all the players really are faster and understand the playbook better and actually go out and seal the edge against gt, shut down the pass against all the pass heavy teams in the big12 and surprise a few teams. all the fans that are saying "cant wait for bball season to start" will be the ones that are shown on tv when the camera does the closeup of the fans. and that kills me. if i could be at the games, i would be there and cheer on the team. all the fans need to be there to cheer on the jayhawks for the group of us that want to be there but cant. i am overseas right now and have met quite a few ku fans and we have all said that we wish we could spend our saturdays in lawrence this year, but cant. so for those of you that do get to go to the games, cheer your heads off for the TEAM, not the coach. and when the part time/t-shirt fans that try to leave to beat traffic, get ready for a party or finish their beer and get to the liquor store before it closes, tell them that every successful team has a great fan base that cheers the whole time. i know that our stadium only seats 52000 people, but when those 52000 are screaming at a qb, they are almost sure to misread the d and do something dumb that changes the game. i dont expect anyone to think that we will make a bowl or win more than 5 this year, but just go out and cheer as loud as you can. who knows what could happen if we just stop being so whiny and cheer with the same amount of energy...

0

jayhawkintx73 2 years, 7 months ago

That is true. Fans of a legitimate bowl contender every year stay for the whole game.

The "fans" can't leave at half time in a close game and then not take at least part of the blame when Kansas loses. NOISE at memorial stadium effects the opposing team, but it has to be REAL LOUD like in 2004 when KU broke the streak against K-State. At that game, the crowd was louder than Arrowhead Stadium. Memorial Stadium was the loudest stadium that whole season on that night, in the country.

The fans have to stay, you can drink your beer after the game. BE REAL FANS.

0

nuleafjhawk 2 years, 7 months ago

I hope all the "Gill Haters" get their wish, but under different circumstances than they expect. I hope Gill is WILDLY succesful and wins 10 or 11 games per year until his contract is up and then tells us politely to " stick it ", because of all our crappy fans.

The fans have as much to do with KU's success ( or lack of ) as the players and the coaches. Don't think so? Let 1,200 people show up at Ohio Stadium and see how well the Buckeyes do. You can substitute any big time program you like there - the home field advantage is huge in college football.

So, if you are really KU fans and you really want to see them succeed - don't wait till they hire the coach of your particular liking - it probably isn't going to happen, get your butts out to the stadium and stay for the whole game.

0

justinryman 2 years, 7 months ago

If a football game is played and there is nobody there to see it end, did it really happen?

The nay sayers will always be heard the loudest, remember, the squeaky wheel always gets the oil.

Today is the last day of what was. Tomorrow is the first day of what is to come.

An old book title, "Stories from under the bleachers", by Seymour Butts.

0

Randy Bombardier 2 years, 7 months ago

It is going to be a great day tomorrow Jayhawk fans. Enjoy the game. Wish I could be there, but I'm stuck out here on the Coast and will have to watch Oregon most likely. I may give All-Access another shot. Rock Chalk, Jayhawk! If you are not too sure about this team or staff, try praying. It may not get the result you like, but God always likes to hear new voices and he might just do something spectacular just because he can and he enjoyed hearing from you. One never knows.

0

greenworld 2 years, 7 months ago

Who knows, maybe we will go 0-12....I mean come on guys, everbody is so quick to predict and look into the crystall ball that maybe they should just wait and see how we do b4 imagining false negatives. Who knows maybe we will not get off the bus or lets see fall down and skin all our knees up and have to cancel every game because of it. I mean all im saying is wait and see how tough this team is before we all judge them before hand.

0

troutsee 2 years, 7 months ago

I predict we are going to see a vastly improved amd more confident Webb. That's for starters. Furthermore, our run game will be much better as a result of improved QB play. We certainly have the horses for an improved run game. In spite of a questionable defensive line, our D will be better. Our kicking game should also be better. I certainly think we have a legitimate shot at 6 or more wins. We will learn a lot this Sat night.

0

jhwkfan162515 2 years, 7 months ago

I still say Kansas is going 1-11 (0-9 conference) because the schedule, especially the league schedule, is too tough for them. The only victory is McNeese State. After that, things could get really ugly really fast. But I certainly hope the football team proves me wrong.

0

Tony Bandle 2 years, 7 months ago

Predicting wins and losses is folly!!

The phrase.."it's not who wins or loses, but how you played the game.." was never more appropriate for this football season.

All I can hope for is the following:

1] We win the few games we are supposed to win. 2] We compete hard in all the games and upset some teams through sacrifice and intensity. 3] In the games where we are hopelessly out-classed, we never give up, play hard and give'em a scare. 4] Win, lose or draw..the Hawks show improvement every week.

PS I would donate my left nut to beat the crap out of Missouri!!

0

okiedave 2 years, 7 months ago

Jessie Newell predicts we will squeak by McNeese State by a field goal and Matt Tait is considering the bowl possibilites? What is going on at the LJW. Where is Bill Mayer to bring a historical perspective to this confusion when you need him?

0

TheTravellingSalvationShow 2 years, 7 months ago

Alright.

First and foremost...read the article, people. Tait never predicted a bowl game. This is an optimistic article posted by a LAWRENCE Journal-World reporter, which requires a little fluff here and there. But even though the title of the article ignites your desire to immediately rebut, please refrain. Review the article before you make an idiot of yourself.

Secondly…in regards to Mangino. The man doesn’t get enough credit. It was clear that the athletic department started a witch hunt and demanded his head, convincingly because of all they invested in the “History Awaits” season. It didn’t pan out, and they pulled the trigger on Mangino. He did more for KU football than any coach since Don.

We compare coaches not because we despise Turner Gill, but because Mangino was arguably very successful. The one thing I don’t see eye to eye on with Gill is the lack of discipline. Some may argue this, but hear me out. If you attended any games last year, you would have noticed that on the sidelines, coming out of the locker room, etc….our players looked uninterested. Goofing around, laughing, and lackadaisical; all while getting our teeth kicked in.

Be careful what you wish for. We asked for the opposite of Mangino, and we got it. But I want a coach who isn’t afraid to cuss out a player when he does something stupid. Not one who pats them on the back when they improve from fumbling 5 times a game to 4. The intangibles are what I disapprove of. I don’t care if we win every game, but we didn’t even look like we belonged on a D2 college football field last year.

It’s not fair-weather fandom…It’s realism. I want results this year, and we deserve results as fans. I won’t mind a 3 or 4 win season; so long as we look like we belong.

Plug away.

0

greenworld 2 years, 7 months ago

When the stadium is full and sold out every game like allen fieldhouse, we will know that KU football is where it needs to be. Wins fill the seats, losses dont. I do agree however that you have to see the whole picture and not just what you want to see and not expect everything all the time. Once the players buy into Gills philosophies of coaching and the system and start believing in what he is trying to build they will indeed start to reap the benefits from that. Until then just keep in mind young team , 2nd year coach. I heard somebody once say, once you get rid of all the leftover Mangino players then you will know where we stand and there wont be any excuses anymore. We will see in time how it all plays out.

0

Keith Hummel 2 years, 7 months ago

Some quotes transcend time and place. This one is for all the naysayers, dooms-dayers, and Gill haters who are afraid to "believe".


THE MAN IN THE ARENA by Theodore Roosevelt

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

You may not like the coach, or the stadium, or the recliners, or the uniforms, or the cheese they use for the nachos, but if you have any sense of loyalty to KU whatsoever, you will support those players on the field this year. Do your part - go to a game or two or more. Subscribe to the Jayhawk All Access network. Stop tearing everything down and do your part to build this program up. Now more than ever they need our support.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

0

Varlo52 2 years, 7 months ago

I wouldn't mind the negative comments so much if I did not feel that those who have written them didn't somehow wish to see their predictions come true.

0

scottierabs 2 years, 7 months ago

Rob4lb, you do not seem to remember 2007 that well. KU beat KSU at home after the Cats beat Texas by 3 touchdowns on the road. KU handled OSU in Stillwater where Texas Tech had lost to the Cowboys earlier in the year. Texas A&M after losing to KU at home beat Texas by a touchdown. Hell, Colorado beat OU a few weeks before they lost to the Jayhawks. KU at worst was the third best team in the conference in 2007 and could beat the other top teams (OU and Mizzou) on any given Saturday. On top of this, KU handled the best team from the ACC in the Orange Bowl. The 2007 team didn't have the most talent in the conference but that was a good football team that deserved their rank!

0

Randy Bombardier 2 years, 7 months ago

My guess is that of all the posters who think we will win one or two games that none of you saw the end of the Colorado game last year because you had already left. You see, supporting your team to the end in the face of uncertainty, against all odds, will allow you to see things others will not see. There are even times when we win but the score does not reflect how we imposed our will, played more tenaciously, never gave up. We won the battle of the heart but the scoreboard does not see that. Let's not be so shallow. Life and even football is about self-respect. I think our players have that. Many of our fans lack it. My hope and prayer is that Jayhawk Nation gets its self-respect back and looks beyond the scoreboard and can simply enjoy the competition, the effort, and the sacrifice of these young men. Remember, they represent you, and thank God they don't have the mindset of those they represent.

0

rob4lb 2 years, 7 months ago

Mangino was able to move KU up to close to the middle of the Big 12 which was a significant accomplishment. There does seem to be some revisionist history here regarding his accomplishments. Here are some of the facts: - Only one winning conference season in during his tenure. - The Orange Bowl year was great, but you could argue that KU was only the 3rd, 4th or 5th best team in the conference that year. Certainly OU and MU were better. They did not play Tech or UT. That was his best year and we all know that the stars aligned just right that year. -Was not able to take advantage of the 2007 season by bringing in more talented recruits. -Mangino never beat OU, Tech, or UT and only beat O-State and A&M once.

It shows how poor KU has been in football when getting the school up to middle of the conference is considered a reason for exaultation.

0

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 7 months ago

The Wegee Bowl in Bangladesh. Bring your own camel.

0

Randy Maxwell 2 years, 7 months ago

Mangino left Gill with the least amount of talent in the entire confrence NUFF said

0

jayhawk02 2 years, 7 months ago

I just don't get it with all of you Mangino Lovers out there. Yes, he did a lot of good things for our program, but how long did it take him? Why not give HCTG the same opportunity? And can you please take off your blinders? Look at Mangino's last season here. I still think his coaching cost us the T-Tech and Mizery games. Possibly the biggest collapse of a season in football history, with Reesing, Meier and Briscoe........and we are still talking about what a great coach MM was? I don't see it.

0

justinryman 2 years, 7 months ago

How can anyone comment on this years team without seeing them play a game?

I will read all criticism if they lose or play badly Saturday, but til then, WOW some people just need to get a life.

If they win I am sure everyone will have to predict how badly they will lose "next" Saturday week in and week out. No I don't believe they will go undefeated, probably far from it, but to say they suck because of their coach is such a junior high thought process it is no wonder most fans leave at half time cause they don't have the attention span to stay for the whole game.

One game does not make a season. One season does not make a career. One coach does not make program.

0

mustlehustle 2 years, 7 months ago

Is this the same fan base that feels entitled to belong to the PAC 12, or the Big 10, that has to heavily discount their tickets just to get their "fans" to attempt to fill up the stadium? Hmmmmm....now that's a reality check. "If you want to be the best, recruit the best, beat the best, you have to hire the best!"

0

kycamp0 2 years, 7 months ago

@ sevenyearhawk

Yeah thanks again Coach Mangino for the great memories, especially that 0-7 end to the 09-10 season when we had one of the best senior classes and some of the best overall talent we've had here in quite some time. That season still stings because I was so excited to see the seniors have another big year but alas, that season is long gone. I for one will remain cautiously optimistic about this season: "under promise and overproduce." I expect to get to 3 or 4 wins but getting to 6 and becoming bowl elidgible would be amazing for Turner Gill's 2nd year.

0

squawkhawk 2 years, 7 months ago

Hey, if you haven't gotten your FB tickets yet you can buy them on Groupon for 60% off. What does this say about confidence in this team? http://www.groupon.com/kansas-city/?post_subscribe=true

0

Robert Brock 2 years, 7 months ago

I think KU will struggle to get beyond a couple of wins this season. Next year should be better...although, right now, I am not certain of our conference afilliation.

0

mustlehustle 2 years, 7 months ago

Turner Gill is a "punch line" in all the other Big 12 markets.....the most kind comment I have heard came from an unbiased reporter from the Big 12 Coaches Conference when he said "compared to all the other coaches in attendance, Gill seemed to struggle to have a clue."

0

FreddyinLA 2 years, 7 months ago

Last year I was ridiculed for picking the same number of victories as Keegs. This year, 4 wins and a much better product will be put on the field each weekend. Both QBs have a year under their belt which is huge. Better talent was brought in this year and they will contribute as the season progresses.

In addition, the track will look lovely as ever.

0

sevenyearhawk 2 years, 7 months ago

Kansas won't win more than two games ... there's no way in HELL that they're going to a bowl game.

Thanks Coach Mangino for some great memories.

0

Randy Maxwell 2 years, 7 months ago

5-7 is my prediction with a shot at 6-6. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that KU has better young talent (true frosh and redshirt frosh) than either KSU or MU and that's a start my friends.

0

greenworld 2 years, 7 months ago

Anybody that has brains knows that Mangino did more for KU football while he was here than anybody else had in the last 20 years. Lets see Orange Bowl win against a pretty good VT team, beating Mizzou on the final play of the game at arrowhead. Also beating Nebraska which is something that had not happened since 1968. And beating Kstate also a few times. Not bad for a non-footbal school to accomplish a few things in a short time. Well we will see if Turner can take the young team and develop them. All I got to say is take note of this freshman RB Darrian Miller, he was getting 5-10 yrds a carry in the first scrimmage I watched before anybody was even getting a hand on him. And a few long runs as well. Probably the only thing I remember that made me say , we could have something here. Watch out Sims, this kid could have your spot sooner than later. If Gill plays freshman that deserve to play than it doesnt bother me as they could be better than the upperclassman. He will have to decide relatively quick if he is playing for now or playing for the future. He does appear to have several freshman that could see alot of playing time. Hope he utilizes the talent that he has to the fullest.

0

greenworld 2 years, 7 months ago

I think when they got rid of Mangino they got rid of the ability to line up and run a spread offense and put up alot of points. The handoff's up the middle wont win very many games. When its 3rd and 15 and we run a handoff for no gain, thats not playing to win, im sorry. Until we learn how to spread the field and run a high powered offense we wont beat anybody. The only thing all the running plays did last year is slow the game down and put the fans to sleep. The only thing its going to do as far as winning goes is nothing, and will eventually run Turner out of town.

0

goblue8 2 years, 7 months ago

Looking at their schedule, I will say 3-9 this year.

0

squawkhawk 2 years, 7 months ago

Hahahahahahahahahahahhahahah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is a joke right? Hahahahahahahahah! KU better hope the Big 12 disbands and has a chance to move to the Big East. Then the FB team might have a chance to win 4 games each year.

0

rob4lb 2 years, 7 months ago

I still think the ESPN prediction was meant for K-State not KU.

0

HawkDigestCom 2 years, 7 months ago

Just win the home games and we should be fine. OU might be tough, so we should probably think about stealing one on the road.

0

phog1004 2 years, 7 months ago

the thing about this team is, we will be significantly better, but might not show it on the W/L sheet. We have one less non-con this year, and now play every single south school this year, while losing the opportunity to play Colorado (who we beat last year). If this team was playing the same schedule as last year, I'd say bowling....as it stands, I'll take a 4 win season with no blow out losses, and be quite content knowing we are building a good team the right way.

0

Steven Gaudreau 2 years, 7 months ago

Its great to hear that coach Gil Turner wants to win all the games. Its a refreshing change from all those coaches who want to win 1 or 2 games.

0

Number_1_Grandma 2 years, 7 months ago

KU will be lucky to win one game this season!

0

Keith Hummel 2 years, 7 months ago

I agree with this analysis. Chances are they will win 3 or 4 games tops (imho), but it's possible they could win 6. And to all of you ready to pounce on Tait, he said "possible", not "probable". Right now they are undefeated, and all things are possible.

By the way, Georgia Tech absolutely destroyed Western Carolina last night. Yea, it was Western Carolina, but still - Tech simply lit-up the scoreboard. Our defense better be ready.

0

jhawkrulz 2 years, 7 months ago

Health will be one of the key factors.

I've always said the difference between a lot of the schools that are considered elite (e.g. OU, UT, Bama, etc), is that if someone gets hurts, they have 3 guys lining up to take that position.

With KU, we might have a little bit more depth than last year, but the key will be to stay healthy. If we are healthy than our chances significantly increase.

Also, I think we need a dramatic increase in our QB play.

0

blindrabbit 2 years, 7 months ago

When you wish upon a star; doubtful your dreams come true!

0

waywardJay 2 years, 7 months ago

If we get the first three....

Texas Tech, Iowa State, K-State, Baylor and Mizzou could be wins.

Most of this goes to how well we can run the football.... and how well we hold up against the run....

0

actorman 2 years, 7 months ago

I'll be coming into town as the game is going on. Can anyone tell me the best radio station to listen to the game as I'm driving in from Kansas City? As I recall, 1320 AM will have the game in Lawrence, but I doubt I'd be able to get that station at the Kansas City airport.

Thanks.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.