Monday, December 10, 2012


Opinion: Dismal KU football season featured players and plays to celebrate

Kansas University running back James Sims, left, and linebacker Ben Heeney (31) stood out on either side of the ball during the Jayhawks' otherwise dismal 2012 football season.

Kansas University running back James Sims, left, and linebacker Ben Heeney (31) stood out on either side of the ball during the Jayhawks' otherwise dismal 2012 football season.


Looking back on a 1-11 season without shaking one’s head is not easy to do, but, believe it or not, there were more than a few moments worth celebrating during the 2012 Kansas University football season.

Sure, the Jayhawks’ record worsened for the fourth straight season, and, yes, there were still a couple of lopsided results on the scoreboard.

But there also were signs of progress and, perhaps more importantly, several moments that defined what football under first-year head coach Charlie Weis would look like.

Here’s a quick look back at the best of 2012:

Offensive MVP: James Sims

For the third straight season, Sims led the Jayhawks in rushing, this time finishing with a career-best 1,013 yards in just nine games. After serving a three-game suspension to start the season, Sims responded with a stretch of six straight 100-yard games, which set a school record. The junior from Irving, Texas, looked bigger, faster and stronger all season and became the best back in the Big 12, even if the postseason awards did not reflect that.

Runners-up: Tanner Hawkinson, Duane Zlatnik and Trevor Marrongelli — It was tempting to put sophomore speed back Tony Pierson here, but I think the offensive line, particularly these three seniors, deserve a ton of credit for KU’s success running the ball during a season in which throwing it was not really an option.

Defensive MVP: Ben Heeney

For a guy who played next to no snaps a season ago, the sophomore from Hutchinson came up huge with 112 tackles, good for third in the Big 12, including 12 for loss and one sack. Heeney’s relentless style and physical play made him a player who stood out no matter how bad the score got.

Runner-up: Bradley McDougald — The anchor of the KU secondary, McDougald was great against the run (92 tackles), solid against the pass (three interceptions) and a leader throughout.

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Taylor Cox

Had it not been for Sims’ breakthrough season, the junior-college transfer who runs just like him — perhaps harder — would’ve finished with much more than the 464 yards and three touchdowns on 91 carries he had. With Sims and Pierson both missing time this season, Cox’s presence made life much easier on the KU coaching staff.

Runner-up: Michael Cummings — The red-shirt freshman from Killeen, Texas, injected life into a stagnant KU offense in the fourth quarter of the Oklahoma State loss then replaced Dayne Crist in the starting lineup for the next several weeks. For a guy who had never played a down of college football, Cummings did about all you could ask while functioning as the trigger man for KU’s ground attack.

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Jake Love

Like Heeney, this former Oklahoma state wrestling champion showed no regard for his own body while physically matching up with some of the best players in the Big 12. Despite starting just four games, Love, a red-shirt freshman, finished with 36 tackles and a couple of monster games.

Runner-up: Ben Goodman — By the end of the season, Goodman was playing as well as anyone on KU’s defensive line. Look for him to use that finish, plus the confidence that should come with it, to become a player in 2013.

Game of the Year: Texas Tech 41, Kansas 34, 2 OT

The South Dakota State win was nice but expected. This one was a surprise, and the Jayhawks battled toe-to-toe with the 25th-ranked team in the country. Runner-up: Texas 21, Kansas 17 — On the heels of an embarrassing loss at Oklahoma, KU responded by physically whipping Texas and held a lead until 12 seconds remained.

Offensive Play of the Year

James Sims’ 30-yard touchdown run against Oklahoma State — He called it in the huddle and capped it off with an uncharacteristic biceps flex in the end zone. This was the run when it became apparent that Sims knew he was a beast.

Runner-up: I’m torn here. It’s either Cummings’ 44-yard run on fourth-and-three during the game-trying drive in the final minutes at Texas Tech, or Pierson’s 55-yard touchdown run against Iowa State, when he chose not to pitch the ball to Crist on the reverse and instead kept it and sprinted to the end zone.

Defensive Play of the Year

Ben Heeney chasing down K-State QB Collin Klein at the goal line — Even though Kansas State won the second half 35-2, there’s no discounting how huge this play was at the time it happened. With K-State out of timeouts and driving to go up 28-14 at the half, Heeney tracked down Heisman Trophy finalist Collin Klein short of the goal line and sent the Jayhawks to the locker room with some serious momentum.

Runner-up: Tyler Patmon’s pick-six against Northern Illinois — The junior cornerback’s 54-yard interception return on the second play of the fourth quarter put KU up 23-13.

Special Teams Play of the Year

Nick Prolago 29-yard field goal against Texas — It doesn’t get any bigger than a pressure-packed field goal for the lead with 2:28 to play, and Prolago buried it.

Runner-up: Josh Ford’s blocked punt against South Dakota State — Ford kicked off his special-teams player of the year campaign in style by recording a stat that had been hard to come by around here for the past few years.

Most Improved Player: James Sims

He was good as a freshman and sophomore but became great as a junior. What’s next?

Runner-up: Tony Pierson — The already-dangerous speed back became a weapon in the passing game and proved he could handle an increased workload, particularly during the season’s first three weeks when Sims was out.

Feel-good Moment

News conference when Charlie Weis was introduced — The beginning of the Weis era marked the much-anticipated end of the Turner Gill era. During his introductory news conference in early December, Weis did more to hype up the program than Gill did in two years.

Runner-up: Any time James Sims carried the ball — The Jayhawks may have been beaten up and overmatched throughout much of the season, but you never would have known it by watching Sims run. He ran with pride and toughness on every snap and single-handedly earned KU respect from opponents.

Feel-not-so-good Moment

Getting housed by Iowa State at home — The Jayhawks put all they had into sending the seniors out with a victory. Weis hyped it all week, bought tickets to fill the stands and broke out the black uniforms as a surprise. After an emotionally charged hot start, the Jayhawks fell flat and lost 53-21.

Runner-up: The six-minute stretch in the third quarter against K-State when a 28-16 KSU lead turned into a 49-16 runaway.


pepper_bar 9 years, 1 month ago

I knew it before I even started reading this, Matt. I knew you couldn't write a whole KU football column without making a pointless snide comment about Turner Gill.

David Leathers 9 years, 1 month ago

Here's a thought for you: try getting information from a coach that you publicly blast. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure they aren't idiots.

As far as the comment goes, it wasn't pointless and snide. It had a point: to show how badly KU fans wanted him out. It also was not deragatory in any way.

Rivethead 9 years, 1 month ago

Something tells me the UDK will soon learn that lesson (about trying to get info out of a coach you publicly blast)

ku_foaf 9 years, 1 month ago

No they won't. The writers will graduate (or change majors) and a new bunch will learn the hard way. LOL!

Boouk 9 years, 1 month ago

Completely false. You obviously don't remember Keegan's articles last fall.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 1 month ago

I was looking forward to Turner's program and continud to try to support it well into the second season, but there is no comparison between the 2 coaches.

I love listening to/reading every one of CW's news conferences. So much quality info, and a plan to boot.

vd 9 years, 1 month ago

Going from 2-10 to 1-11 is an improvement, cause the coach sounds so intelligent at his news conferences. Quality info and a plan to boot.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 1 month ago

I didn't say improvement, though history would seem to indicate that maybe there was. Go back and look at recent coaching changes. Coaches like Mangino and Mason (generally regarded as good/successful coaches) had worse records their first year than their predecessors (generally regarded as bad/unsuccessful coaches).

hawk316 9 years, 1 month ago

dagger, I'm in much agreement with you. At the time of his hire, I thought Turner Gill was a good choice. A truly great individual, Gill was someone I strongly hoped would succeed as a coach (I may have been one of the last to support him, thinking that he deserved more time to turn things around). I gradually came to grips with the fact that he seemed over his head and more time was not going to help least in this particular situation. I still wish him the best, hold no ill will and believe that he will experience success in future endeavors because he is such a high quality person. But, like you, I'm extremely impressed with Charlie Weis and believe that he was an outstanding hire. I'm convinced that Weis gives KU fans a valid reason to be hopeful.

Hawk_Star 9 years, 1 month ago

I knew it before I even started reading this, Pepper. I knew you couldn't post a comment without making a pointless snide comment.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 1 month ago

Tyler made several big INT's. He may have been overmatched as a CB much of the time, but that doesn't change the big plays he made.

Bee Bee 9 years, 1 month ago

Amen brother. I m 49 years old and have a knee that needs to be replaced. Having said that, Patmon couldn't cover me!

LogicMan 9 years, 1 month ago

Let's celebrate everyone by giving each a trophy. That would improve their self-esteem greatly. There are no winners or losers in life!

Oh, wait. 1-11.

Phil Leister 9 years, 1 month ago

Tait taking a page out of Keegan's book and writing an opinion piece.

Did all the guys receive a participation ribbon for completing the season? Sims, Pierson, and Heeney deserve accolades to varying degrees, but come on. Pointing out Prolago's 29 yard field goal? This whole article is a reach. I agree that the record doesn't reflect this team's improvement from last year, but let's not hype up close losses. "Almost" doesn't show up in the record book.

Matt Tait 9 years, 1 month ago

I hear what you're saying, but this is an article that's done at the end of every season, with the categories already set. Can't ignore them just because the team struggled.

Stan Unruh 9 years, 1 month ago

Good stuff Matt. However, the runner up feel good moment was when Weis named Dave Campo DC. The Jayhawks are very fortunate to have him and thank goodness he is staying and was even tweeting yesterday from his recruiting trip.

Matt Tait 9 years, 1 month ago

That's a very good point. KU's incredibly lucky to have Campo in town and even more fortunate to have Campo so committed to what's happening here.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 1 month ago

Some are talking about the opp for PT as an incentive for coming, but if we actually listen to what the recruits say we will here that DC is a BIG reason.

Now, CW just needs to pull in a few WR's and OL.

And Combs + 1 DE

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 1 month ago

I made it through another season without "offing" myself...

Marc Frey 9 years, 1 month ago

Penthouse to the Outhouse moment. Our first offensive play of the year...Crist to any Crist pass after that.

Robert Brown 9 years, 1 month ago

It is interesting that the word "hype" was used twice in this article. Hype can have negative connotations especially when the hype is not backed up by performance. As a fan, it is frustrating when you buy into the hype and don't see the performance. That, in a nutshell, describes the admittedly early stages of the Weis era. A lot of hype.

You can make yourself believe whatever you want. You can convince yourself there was improvement and rationalize every bad performance,but the bottom line is that this team's performance was a huge disappointment. They got blown out in as many conference games as last year including a home blow out by one of the worst teams in the conference (ISU).

JayDocMD 9 years, 1 month ago

How sad is this:

"Special Teams Play of the Year: Nick Prolago 29-yard field goal against Texas "

That's right, a TWENTY-NINE yard FG is the highlight of the year?!

Kent Wells 9 years, 1 month ago

At least the lowlight wasn''t a -42 yard snap of the football over the head on a punt. We are measuring improvement on a fairly relative scale. Look at the ups. Next year we might be celebrating a 40 yarder!

Kent Wells 9 years, 1 month ago

I mean, lets not underestimate the significance of a field goal from the freaking 12-yard line!

Darrell Alexander 9 years, 1 month ago

Just as sad...Offensive Rookie of the Year Runner-up goes to a qb that would struggle to make the 3 deep on any other team in the conference.

Boouk 9 years, 1 month ago

We probably would of beat Rice, NIU, OSU, Texas, and TTU if Case McCoy was our QB.

MoralVictory 9 years, 1 month ago

Yes, it was a rough season. However, during every home game in the stands and every game that I could watch on television, there were moments where I stood up and cheered at the top of my lungs.

The point of the article, for those of you who are too thick to get it, is this: there were moments to cheer and there were performances worth celebrating. No one is asking for participation awards but that doesn't mean that there weren't some high points worth mentioning.

To those of you who apparently think that Turner Gill should still be the coach, this news just came in: he was awful. He's being paid $2million a year for the next two years for being awful and he should have been fired after the loss in his first game as coach at KU.

Weiss gets no free pass. Definitive improvement is a must next year and this includes wins. That starts with recruiting. Let's see what happens....

Robert Brock 9 years, 1 month ago

Bringing up Turner Gill is so like bringing up Mitt Romney's dog Seamus.

Robert Brown 9 years, 1 month ago

Turner Gill's Liberty team shared the conference championship. He was a bad fit at KU, but I do believe he has been made a scapegoat for everything that is wrong with KU football.

Darrell Alexander 9 years, 1 month ago

He inherited a very good team and had the worst record they've had in 6 years.

Robert Brown 9 years, 1 month ago

Not entirely accurate. Here is a preseason summary from FoxSports:

OUTLOOK: After Danny Rocco's successful run at Liberty earned him the Richmond head coaching job this offseason, Gill, the former Buffalo and Kansas head coach, was hired to help take the Flames program to an even higher level, specifically the FBS in the future. The transition under Gill has been smooth, but the Flames might take a step back on the field this season after they lost a dominant senior class, including QB Brown, WR Chris Summers and NG Asa Chapman. The quarterback job will be turned over to either Hudson or Woodrum.

Read more:

actorman 9 years, 1 month ago

A very good team?!?!? Seriously?!?!? You mean the team that lost its final seven games the year before AND lost a lot of good players?!?!?

Have you been by any chance smoking some of that legal ganja in Colorado?

Robert Brown 9 years, 1 month ago

The Liberty team was good last year, but lost a lot talent and we supposed to take a step back.

actorman 9 years, 1 month ago

I may have misinterpreted your post. I'm guessing you were referring to his Liberty team, not his KU team.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 1 month ago

He inherited a team on a 7 game losing streak that lost virtually all the bext players.

phi4life940 9 years, 1 month ago

I like this article. I know the season didn't turn out the way we hoped, but it's important to reflect and learn from it.

Next year we'll be better. Rock Chalk.

OmaHawk88 9 years, 1 month ago

Good article, Matt. But I was hoping there would be a special teams play mention of Tony Pierson hustling 70 yards downfield and making the tackle to prevent ISU from scoring a "reverse 2-point conversion" after KU's 2-point attempt was intercepted. That play epitomized Tony's heart and determination, and displayed the never give up attitude that we saw emerge from this team from week to week. Plays like that one show how Charlie has changed the attitude of this program and gives us hope for next year--keep recruiting, Charlie!

Matt Tait 9 years, 1 month ago

Love it! Wish I would've thought of that one, but it's inevitable to forget a couple. Thanks for the reminder.

shelleysue 9 years, 1 month ago

I could not agree more! That play spoke more about Pierson than his 50 plays before that. SUPER feel good moment.

LJD230 9 years, 1 month ago

Next year will be better: 2 wins!! That is an improvement.

flyingfinn 9 years, 1 month ago

Whaaaaat come on Matt if Cummings is runner up for offensive rookie of the year we are in terrible shape for next year, this guy can not find a receiver period. Please Heaps be our answer at QB or we will be in for another long season.

Matt Tait 9 years, 1 month ago

It's a tough one. Who would you have picked? Cummings wasn't great, but he played well enough to keep KU's offense clicking and never seemed overwhelmed by the moment. He was a nice change of pace from Crist's struggles, but Heaps should be a major improvement on both.

Savion Havon 9 years, 1 month ago

Id have to disagree with you finn how many passes hit off wrs hands chest that pass omigie didnt catch against baylor is as clear as day proof we need wr

flyingfinn 9 years, 1 month ago

How many passes were thrown over heads or into the ground would be a better question and if you check his passing attempts per game Weis did not have any confidence in him either.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 1 month ago

That's why the games were close. It's the 1 fault I have with CW this season; He never seemed to realize/learn just how limited Dayne/WR's were this year, and continued to call pass plays as if there were even a coinflips chance of completing them.

Savion Havon 9 years, 1 month ago

While watching games did you notice the number of dropped passes lack of aggressive play to the ball . His passing had us on the cusp of beating ok state had us in the lead till the against UT Ot against Texas tech Weis called plays not to lose instead of calling to win

Jim Jackson 9 years, 1 month ago

We have a strong JUCO class coming in, and we're not even close to being done, recruiting wise.

Let's not forget Mangina turned us into a 6-6 team in his 2nd season after going 2-10 with less talent and inferior facilities (Mangino recruited the heck out of JUCOs).

The Bill Snyder model works; Weis is going to take full advantage of it.

I am confident he is too intelligent to fail, especially after seeing Mangina execute it to near perfection.

Robert Brown 9 years, 1 month ago

That appears to be the model. It will be more difficult for Weis to get us to 6-6 as the 9 game conference schedule results in the ability to schedule one less non-conference cupcake.

I don't know what the conference will be like next year. Some teams will be better; some worse. Winning at least three conference games will be tough, but not impossible. One could argue we were three plays away from three conference wins in 2012.

Suzi Marshall 9 years, 1 month ago

Regardless of the record, this year's team showed great improvement over the last few years. The coaching and play calling was superior. If we come up with an O-Line next this offence fly with the backs we have, the recievers and Heaps passing. Looks like the Defense with the new recruits and great coaching will be solid. Next year, KU will compete for the conference championship....if we get an O-Line.

Suzi Marshall 9 years, 1 month ago

I did not say win the conference championship. I said compete for the conference championship. If we come up with an O-Line, I can see 7-2 (losses to OU and UT) for this team in conference play. Now that, in my opinion, would be competitive. I realize TCU and OSU will be huge wins...have faith in our great coaches Weis and Campo.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 1 month ago

Optimism 101, Lesson 1: Smoke really good stuff.

Optimism 101, Lesson 2: Post on message board.

Optimism 101, Lesson 3: Find something to munch on.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 1 month ago

Seriously, I'm with ralster. I think a 6-6 record with a bowl invite should be the goal. I don't think this team is as far away from that as people might think, but I also don't think we are ready to compete for conference championships.

Bee Bee 9 years, 1 month ago

A conference championship???? You obviously don't know HOW FAR this KU team has to improve just to win 3 conference games. Who do they beat next year? UT, no OU, no, KSU, no and it goes on and on. If they can win 4 games TOTAL next season it will be a good year.

Robert Brown 9 years, 1 month ago

I don't know who everyone has back next year, but from what I can tell: UT- better, OU- will still be strong, OSU-better, TCU-better, Tech-probably worse, KSU-worse, ISU- probably better, WV- probably worse, Baylor- probably worse.

If I were to guess which three games we might win, I would guess Tech, Baylor and maybe an upset of KSU at home. KSU loses a lot.

texashawk10 9 years, 1 month ago

Switch KSU with WVU and I think it's more accurate. For now, let's just start with beating South Dakota and getting a road win against Rice. Louisiana Tech won't be an easy match up even with them losing Sonny Dykes and then we have the Big 12 meat grinder. This team could be significantly better that this past season and still realistically go 2-10. Hopefully they learn how to win and are able to beat some of the lower level Big 12 teams, but until I actually see it happen I'm not assuming this team will be any better record wise.

Boouk 9 years, 1 month ago

WVU, TTU, KSU. KSU loses Klein, Arthur Brown, Meshack Williams, Zy Zimmerman, Chris Harper, both their CB's, Tuggle, and several underrated OLmen, and our recruiting class is way better than theirs.

Boouk 9 years, 1 month ago

I don't see more than 6-7 regular season wins. To win a conference championship we'd have either beat OU, TCU on the road, or Texas on the road, or win two of those three games. It'll be very tough for KU to ever get to that level. In the 2007 season we didn't have to play the 3 best teams in the conference, whereas next season we play everybody.

Sayers44 9 years, 1 month ago

Turner Gill -- After losing his first 4 games at Liberty, Gill turned it around and went 6 - 1.

Gill won six of his last seven games ---he does know what he is doing.

KU paid him 5 million to leave town and he did.

But no reason for you KU cheerleaders to badmouth Gill.

He is a winner, has always been a winner and would have been a winner at KU if patience was showed.

So we move on to a 1 - 11 season and the cheerleaders want to believe there has been progress. Yea Right!

Just because Wies can talk a good game, does not mean he can judge talent (example: Crist).

At the end of the day badmouthing Gill is in poor taste, especially when the new guy went 1 - 11.

TheRealTripleA 9 years, 1 month ago

Sayers44 - Wow...I thought there couldn't be any more Gill apologists left. Progress is seen and you must not have been watching the same teams I was the past few years. Agree with HawkOverseas, you just don't get it.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 1 month ago

If you could back up your support of Gill by citing just ONE thing that his KU teams improved on during his two years I might agree with you just a little. ONE thing. Discipline? No. Wins? No. Conditioning? No. Grades? No. Football acumen/knowledge (a.k.a., not looking like your head is up your butt when you're on the field)? No. What's left?

Darrell Alexander 9 years, 1 month ago

Liberty plays in a terrible conference and is by far the best team in that conference. Here's the teams Gill beat: Gardner-Web, Presbyterian, Concord, Charleston Southern, Stony Brook and VMI. The last time Liberty had two losses in their conference was 2006. Actually I think it's a great place for Gill. The key to Gill's success if he ever gets another shot at a BCS school will be his Coordinator hires because he relies on them more than any other head coach because he was never a coordinator at any level and just doesn't have that skill.

Jayhawker111 9 years, 1 month ago

Gill is a winner. Sayers did not say he was the greatest QB ever, he said he was a winner and he is. Fact: Gill lead Nebraska teams beat KU 4 times in a row.... OUCH that has got to hurt this board of KU cheerleaders.

Gill ended the season at Liberty at 6- 1 --that is impressive in anyone's first year.

You KU cheerleaders keep telling yourself that 1 -11 is an improvement. The only ones who believe it are you pompom wavers.

Kyle Sybesma 9 years, 1 month ago

If this is the Opinion Page then my opinion is to never see the black uniforms again. I liked the white helmet. Do it with the new "KU" logo.

shelleysue 9 years, 1 month ago

I didn't mind the black uniforms since the players really liked them. I did love the white helmet and I would much rather see a Jayhawk that a trajan font KU. Nothing is really right or wrong. Just opinion.

Jim Jackson 9 years, 1 month ago

Gill was atrocious! He was NOT a Big 12 coach; he was too soft. His in game adjustments were astonishingly awful, the strength and conditioning program was run by an obese, incompetent who had been fired from Baylor; academics were disgraceful, conduct from players
was unacceptable and Gill would go home at 6 pm to have family dinner.

When you're head coach in the Big 12, i't's a 14 hour a day commitment. Gill ran the most disoriented program in the league, you should see Dorial Green Beckham's comments on how Gill's staff recruited, I believe a staff member didn't even show up.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 1 month ago

THIS, THIS, THIS!!!! Sayers44, please read THIS!!! This post couldn't be any more on the money.

beebe1 9 years, 1 month ago

Good article, Matt! I think it would support an argument that we have some talent. The comment on Patmon might indicate, given a chance, he could 'cover'. It, along with my early commrnts on #24, 23, and 55, would support an argument that the Defense was not taught to 'tackle'. You can even see evidence in the pro's of inability to tackle. (See SD vs GB in exhibition -- The SD receiver side stepped 2 left, the GB defense guy breezed past him and fell on his face, SD made it to the 6 yd line.)

The talent is way better than before. The biggest problem is inability to use the talent -- on Defense. Our coaches must learn how to teach 'Tackling', "Coverage', and devise a Defensive Scheme to use our people. 'Defense' has fallen out of favor the last 50 years, except perhaps at ND. We could really use a Defensive Coach that understands 'The Notre Dame Defense'!


actorman 9 years, 1 month ago

By the "Notre Dame defense," I assume you mean recruit a lot of 5-star athletes?

Steve Miller 9 years, 1 month ago

You all can paint a hog green, but it's still a hog .. The best thing about this article and this season is that you can scrool the page up and click on "Mens basketball". Football will never be a winning tradition for this university.

David Leathers 9 years, 1 month ago

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

ku_foaf 9 years, 1 month ago

It was once said of K-State. Not impossible.

Boouk 9 years, 1 month ago

Unfortunately, Bill Self won't be here forever.

Bee Bee 9 years, 1 month ago

Any chance we ll see some 4 star recruits? Maybe just one?

texashawk10 9 years, 1 month ago

Marquel Combs is a 4 star recruit and he will be picking between KU and KSU next Tuesday.

Boouk 9 years, 1 month ago

KSU doesn't have any 4 stars outside of Aurthur Brown. Our staff's recruiting strategy is very similiar to theirs: lots of JUCOs and developing underrated high school players.

ku_foaf 9 years, 1 month ago

With rest of the Big 12 being so strong, this is what I expected. Nine bowl bound teams.

We did have some bright moments, and didn't always look like a 1-11 team. It was a shame we couldn't quite close the deal on Texas! One defensive play would have won the game, I didn't see it only listened.

Sam Brockert 9 years, 1 month ago

So I am guessing that you haven't heard the number of JUCO defensive players that have signed with KU already? Like a DB that leads the NJCAA in interceptions?

Ron Prichard 9 years, 1 month ago

I find your post comical and I don't need three paragraphs to explain why.

Whatever, I wear Crimson.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 1 month ago

CW told everyone from the beginning he was an O guy, as in HC/OC, and that's why he got Campo.

CW has stated from day one that the BB program is the flagship program of the Uni and fully embraced the it as a valuable asset. There is no better place to go on a mid-winter day.

Jim Jackson 9 years, 1 month ago

Charlie is very egotistical, which one of the reasons I feel he will stick this out; to prove all the doubters how good he really can be.

Additionally, who is going to hire a 350 lbs 55 yr old guy to a head coaching job when he has a losing record? Weis wants to be the boss, not a coordinator.

He doesn't think getting to 6-6 is going to be that difficult, I agree with him (albeit it won't be that easy in the literal sense).

Robert Brown 9 years, 1 month ago

Charlie thought he could win 4-5 games this year and possibly become bowl eligible. That is the reason he brought in the transfers.

2008KUGrad 9 years, 1 month ago

With a few good bounces, we very well could have been a team with 4-5 wins.

Rice, NIU, TCU, OSU, Texas, & TTU were all games we just couldn't close the deal.

With a good quarterback in Heaps (I'll believe it when I see it), a much improved WR game, & JUCO overload on the roster, I am very excited for the upcoming season. We should be very well improved.

Robert Brown 9 years, 1 month ago

And with a few good bounces, Turner Gill could have won 4-5 games last year. Yeah, there are always a handful of situations that define a season.

-Why did Crist throw the interception against Rice? -Why did the defense let a back-up quarterback drive all the way down the field and score vs. Texas when they had played well all afternoon? -Why couldn't we get just one first down in the 4th qtr when we needed it against NIU?

Good teams make the interceptions that turn the game around ; bad teams drop or throw the interception.

One could argue that Alabama is a few bounces away from 3-4 losses, but I bet they win the national championship

Boouk 9 years, 1 month ago

If Crist played as good as he did in practice, we would of won at least 6 games last year.

actorman 9 years, 1 month ago

I believe he's actually over 60, isn't he?

Robert Brown 9 years, 1 month ago

It is amazing how some will grasp at anything positive, especially recruiting. We hear a blurb on someone who picked us and think we have turned the corner in terms of talent. The current conference rankings by Rivals, an organization who studies recruiting, is on the link below. Despite our heralded JUCO players, we are currently 9th of 10th in the Big 12. I'm sure some will say the ranking don't mean anything, but this is all we have to go by.

texashawk10 9 years, 1 month ago

The ranking you're using is a somewhat flawed indicator of where a class actually is. The better indicator of the talent of the class is to go by the star rankings of the class and KU is 6th according to that. The only reason Iowa St. is 6th right now is because their class has 25 players in it right now so their ranking is inflated by the volume of players they have. Going by the average star rating, ISU has the worst class in the Big 12. The current Big 12 class rankings based on average star rating is Texas (3.71), Oklahoma (3.29), Oklahoma St. (3.1), West Virginia (3.06), TCU (3.00), Kansas (2.93), Texas Tech (2.87), Baylor (2.80), Kansas St. (2.70), and then Iowa St. (2.67).

Robert Brown 9 years, 1 month ago

I understand that and the ranking should improve as it would appear a school like Iowa State is close to done while KU has 10-11 more slots. The real point is that our recruiting is not going to be appreciable different than past years in terms of talent. To me, it comes down to coaching and development.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 1 month ago

The recruiting will be tremendously different if you are willing to factor in the losses from both coaching changes. That was a huge impact, when both Gill and Weis arrived. Just having some continuity to go with player development will be a huge improvement.

Sam Brockert 9 years, 1 month ago

I don't believe JUCO players count towards recruiting rankings.

Boouk 9 years, 1 month ago

Sorry pal, but JUCOs aren't rated nearly as highly as high schoolers, and what do prospect rankings have to do with college performance anyways?

hbjayhawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Matt: As always, your insights, analysis and reporting is outstanding. Your coverage since Charlie's hire has been the best coverage of KU football (start to finish) since I have followed LJWorld in 1982. I can't wait to see if KU football ever emerges. Hopefully we are both still alive, but when you publish that book, "1922-2022: A look Back at Memorial Stadium and the 12 Great KU teams of the Century" . . . I hope your coverage lays that foundation. RCJH!

Matt Tait 9 years, 1 month ago

I'll get started! Thanks for the kind words...

Tony Bandle 9 years, 1 month ago

Some random thoughts presented on a Tuesday.

1] I anxiously await the day when the word "plays" is replaced by the word "games" in the headline above!!

2] For some strange reason, in the last four years I have not seen Kansas lose when I'm actually in attendance at Memorial Stadium....maybe I need to go more often!!

3] I think getting rid of the track is worth at least three more wins a year!!!

4] I think the uniforms and helmets should be the same color as the turf....camouflage green. The Hawks will become invisible!!

5] Student Attendance incentive...give each student a punch card that can only be scanned after the game is completed. If a student has a completed attendance schedule, he or she gets to add an"A" grade to average into the class of their choice!!

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 1 month ago

  1. Next year?
  2. Duh! Ya think? (We all need to go to more games!)
  3. So in 2007 we would have won 15 games?
  4. As long as the put the Jayhawk back on the helmet that's fine with me.
  5. I like it.

Boouk 9 years, 1 month ago

By the way, 6'0 210 pound JUCO S Isaiah Johnson, who runs a 4.5 40, just committed to us.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 1 month ago

A few things after reading some of the crap on this thread:

  1. Turner Gill was awful, and there's nothing wrong with bringing it up occasionally...especially in the unoffensive way Tait did. It goes without saying, I'm afraid, but Gill absolutely did not deserve a third year. It goes much further than record or margin of defeat. The man's priorities were completely off base, his players were failing academically, there was absolutely no authority, his in-game was awful, he was completely unwilling to adapt, and he never fully accepted responsibility for failure during press conferences (almost to the extent he didn't seem to believe he failed). He needed to go, and if we need to remind ourselves from time to time of how inept and destructive he was, so be it. Lash out, Jayhawk Nation.

  2. Weis is not off the hook in any capacity. He was simply wrong in many of his talent assessments. He led us to a worse W-L record with the only possibility of being worse is to lose every single freakin' game next year. He has to accept responsibility for this season. He has failed so far.

  3. It is reasonable to believe Weis' ego will play a significant role. He will be here 3 years tops, and potentially less if he does not perform next year. Someone earlier in this feed suggested that he will stick around longer because his ego demands he succeed as a college head coach, but ego could work the other way in this situation as well. He may seek a position in which he is more likely to succeed and retire on a high note.

  4. The administration and fanbase is a cause for concern. Not necessarily in the case of Turner know...because he was terrible. But if Weis does not succeed next year, there will be people calling for his head. As a fanbase, we're just not intelligent enough to understand that successful football programs take time to build.

In this regard as well...we're basketball-oriented. Football may never have a true chance to succeed here because we give up on it so easily. We're fickle, impatient, and completely oblivious to what it truly takes to build a successful program. I mean, we didn't even know what a BCS victory celebration should look like. Mass Street should have been as chaotic for the Orange Bowl victory as it is for an Elite Eight victory.

We don't honor it like we should, because we don't, and maybe never could, honor it as much as we do basketball. Maybe we're destined to be a one-trick pony forever. Not a bad thing as long as you're dominating in that one trick. But it's precisely the reason you don't see Duke, Kentucky, and North Carolina competing for conference championships in football.

We may just need to accept it.

texashawk10 9 years, 1 month ago

I sincerely hope that's a sarcastic comment.

Jack Jones 9 years, 1 month ago

Ah, it's just too much fun - living in the past. Coach Gill is gone, and I wish him only the best going forward as a Head Coach. Is it just not possible to close the page on that particular period of Kansas University football? Same goes for the Coach Mangino era. It seems to me that it would be far more productive, not to mention relevant, to focus on our current FB program - including those for whom criticism seems to be a significant outlet for them. I believe Matt is on target to point out those things that deserve recognition despite the season's record; and can be built upon going into next year, and the years to come.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 1 month ago

Matt is on target, especially when it is recognized that this is an annual article. That means it is written after every FB season. Good, Bad, or otherwise.

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