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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Record aside, senior transfers still proud of KU football experience

Kansas head coach Charlie Weis has a talk with quarterback Dayne Crist and tight end Mike Ragone in the second quarter, Saturday, September 1, 2012 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas head coach Charlie Weis has a talk with quarterback Dayne Crist and tight end Mike Ragone in the second quarter, Saturday, September 1, 2012 at Memorial Stadium.

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When Notre Dame graduates Dayne Crist, Anthony McDonald and Mike Ragone decided to team together for one more season of college football, they envisioned a scenario that played out much differently than the one the senior transfers have experienced this season at Kansas University.

Back playing for the man who recruited them to Notre Dame, Crist, McDonald and Ragone expected to work hard, play harder and pick up a few victories and fond memories along the way.

The memories were created and the work put in, but the victories never came.

Now, as the twice-highly touted trio prepares to enter its final week of college football, each guy is facing mixed emotions about the disappointing season and the end of their college careers.

“This isn’t what we expected,” said McDonald, who plans to step away from football for good following KU’s Dec. 1 game at West Virginia. “We obviously expected to win some more games, and we could’ve; we were right there with a bunch of teams. But this has been a great experience, so no bad thoughts. I’ve had a great time, regardless of the record. I’ve made great relationships with guys on the team who I just met and we’re good friends and a bunch of us will probably keep in touch for a long while after I’m gone.”

While that sums up the experience for all three Notre Dame transfers, who, along with Nebraska transfer Josh Williams, made a combined 23 starts for the rebuilding Jayhawks this season, the benefits to the program they’re leaving have shown up in more places than the field of play.

From understanding how to play for first-year KU coach Charlie Weis to better habits in the weight room, classroom and dorm room, the four guys who chose to become one-and-done players on the back end of their careers helped KU move past the new lows it experienced during the Turner Gill era.

“I just think we tried to change the attitude,” explained Ragone, who said the personal triumph of proving he still could compete after three ACL tears was a huge source of pride. “I think that’s key. You want to buy in to coach Weis, you want to buy in to winning and how to prepare yourself and compete on a daily basis and how to go to work every day. I see these guys working their butts off every day and it’s tough. When you’re 1-9. ... You see teams out there that are 1-9 and they throw the white flag out there and there’s not a guy on this team that’s done that.”

There are plenty of people who deserve credit for that, from the coaching staff, which raised the program’s expectations and restored accountability, to the players themselves and the dozens of unnamed members of the KU football support staff. But, from where Weis sat, it was his transfers and KU’s more experienced holdovers who played the most important roles in his first season at KU.

“It’s tough to create leadership,” he said. “People are either leaders or they’re not. You can’t fake leadership. People will see right through it.”

Nowhere was leadership more on display than at quarterback, where, just a few months after arriving on campus, Crist was voted a co-captain by his teammates. Although he eventually surrendered his starting job after struggling on the field, Crist never coughed up his leadership role, as he continued to prepare as if he were the starter each week.

“You remember, as a young guy, the guys that helped you out and mentored you and you remember what that does for you and, in turn, you pass it on,” Crist said. “I just hope that I was able to help the guys that wanted help and needed help, and I will continue to do so as long as I’m here.”

At one point in their lives, all four of these guys were highly recruited prospects with a ton of talent and unlimited potential. After battling through plenty of adversity and overcoming a number of physical and psychological obstacles, their paths led them to Kansas, where they were given one final shot to be remembered.

Although the Jayhawks (1-10 overall, 0-8 in Big 12 play) will finish 2012 with a record equal to or worse than what the program stumbled to in 2011, there exist plenty of people — both within and outside of the program — who claim significant progress was made during Weis’ first season in charge.

“The goal was to come in and make as many steps in the right direction as possible, get the program to a level to where it’s competitive in this league and where it’s respected,” Williams said. “We obviously haven’t won as many games as we wanted, but I think we made strides. I think it was a great start.”

The fact that the start was actually the end for these guys was tough for each to swallow.

“It’s a bittersweet feeling,” Williams said. “But, at the end of the day, it feels good to know you were a part of that start.”

Added McDonald: “It’ll be nice to say that we were the ones who kind of got it going and picking up steam.”

Like his players, Weis, too, hoped for more of a storybook ending for these four guys. But even though it did not pan out that way, Weis is not shedding any tears.

“I think that all four of those guys will always have a warm place in their hearts for this school,” Weis said. “I don’t think any of them regret coming here, and I think all four of them will always look at themselves as, ‘I’m glad that I spent that year there.’”

Sounds like it.

“Yeah, man. I’m gonna be a Jayhawk to the day I die,” Williams said. “I took it to heart.”

Added Ragone: “I’ll never forget this the rest of my life. I did not regret this one bit. It’s awesome. It’s been an honor to be on the same field as these guys.”

Comments

Jim Erickson 1 year, 10 months ago

I expected something with more substance...

Jack Jones 1 year, 11 months ago

Thanks to each one of you - regardless of this season's record, you can always be proud of the fact that you were an important part of a Kansas University football team that competed with a dedication toward turning around a program in a difficult state, and played with a toughness and skill level not seen for several years. While those games lost despite a terrific effort by everyone who played were painful, not only to Jayhawk fans - but even more so for you players - we (the fans) came away with a respect for the entire team and for the effort and fight displayed during this season - something that will always be your legacy to those players who return next season, and for seasons to follow. My best wishes to each of the members of the 2012 Kansas University football team and coaches.

stm62 1 year, 11 months ago

I saw good effort most of the season and that in itself is a good sign. Were all tired of the losing. Hopefully there will be more wins next year.

actorman 1 year, 10 months ago

You guys are all class, and represent the best of college sports. I'm proud to call you Jayhawks, and wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Thank you for making the commitment to be a part of Jayhawk nation.

Bill Kackley 1 year, 10 months ago

I have been a KU football fan since 1947 and I have never been more proud of a KU football team. If heart were gold, you all would be extremely wealthy. To the beginning.

Phil Leister 1 year, 10 months ago

Absolutely love the quote by Williams at the end of the article.

jhox 1 year, 10 months ago

It has to be especially tough for them watching Notre Dame playing in the BCS title game.

MoralVictory 1 year, 10 months ago

All due respect to Brian Kelly at Notre Dame for his accomplishments but it was comforting to hear that many of the players on the field last night were Weis recruits.

I'm not looking for us to score a bunch of 5-Star athletes, but if Weis can win recruiting battles against mid-level teams, we can get back to respectability in football very quickly. He recruits quality people and that will make a big difference over time.

Boouk 1 year, 10 months ago

KU beat out LSU, Mississippi State, and Iowa for JUCO DE Andrew Bolton, who also had interest from Alabama, Oklahoma, and Ohio State. We're also in the hunt for 4-star JUCO DT Marquel Combs, a teammate of KU commit Marcus-Jenkins Moore.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 10 months ago

The next 3 months will be important for the (immediate) future of the program. There are lots of quality recruits that are considering KU, and many that are JC's. While he has previously commented that this is not the long term plan for building the program, he did comment that he expected the 1st 2 classes to be weighted more towards the JC side of the equation while the build up the long term relationships that lead to commitments from top HS recruits. This almost hidden fact is just 1 more reason it is encouraging to watch CW build this program. There is just an understanding/plan for everything.

KU79 1 year, 10 months ago

I'm a crusty old Jayhawk fan and I hoped for a bowl game, but knew that wasn't realistic. So, I hoped for a few wins and to see an improved program this year. I definitely saw the improvement, and look forward to next year. It was a lot to overcome the job Perkins did in imploding the program at the end of Mangino's run and the debacle that was the hiring of Gill, but I truly believe that Charlie has righted the ship and we'll sail to more victories soon. Thanks guys.

Steve Corder 1 year, 10 months ago

Quality kids that competed is what we have. It's a step in the right direction. They will do well beyond the gridiron.

duanep5ku 1 year, 10 months ago

I whole heartedly agree with all the posters on here. I'm very proud of you guys for coming to Kansas. So thank you guys for coming to KU and good luck in what ever you do in life from here on out.

Steve Reigle 1 year, 10 months ago

Wasn't Crist interviewed? I'd be interested in his comments.

oldalum 1 year, 10 months ago

You must have missed this paragraph. “You remember, as a young guy, the guys that helped you out and mentored you and you remember what that does for you and, in turn, you pass it on,” Crist said. “I just hope that I was able to help the guys that wanted help and needed help, and I will continue to do so as long as I’m here.”

Boouk 1 year, 10 months ago

Thanks to Crist for recruiting Jake Heaps too.

Eric Dawson 1 year, 10 months ago

Anthony, Dayne, Josh and Mike -- thank you, and best of luck, Jayhawks!

Salute!

Tony Bandle 1 year, 10 months ago

From an architect's standpoint, Charlie has cleared the site and poured the foundation...remember, rarely do you see any of the foundation, but it is there. Now it's time to start building the house!! My prediction is watch out for us in Jake Heaps Senior year.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 10 months ago

I'd say he's dug the foundation, maybe laid some rebar, but pouring the foundation will really happen in the next 3 to 9 months. 27 recruits this year on top of how many last year, and many will be JC's - more upperclassmen ready to play D1 FB, means that the majority of the team will be the guys that he has brought in.

VaJay 1 year, 10 months ago

I echo all the above positive comments. If we can get a few 5th year seniors as good as these guys, I'll be happy. I bet they contributed considerably to our positive nature each week and the 100% effort we saw (for the most part!).

Thank you guys!

BainDread 1 year, 10 months ago

As we reflect on progress made this season, let us not forget the significant improvement in academics that the new coaching staff brought to the program. Only a small percentage of college football players will make a living playing the game. The rest (and society) will benefit greatly from the education they received. Thanks players and staff for all the hard work.

Charlotte_Jhawk 1 year, 10 months ago

I apologize, this is off the subject. I took a class in about 1971. I believe it was called "Physical Fitness Through Weight Lifting" I can't remember the prof's name. I think it was his last class before retirement. I believe he used to train shot put. He was a fine gentleman and changed my life. Does anyone remember this guys name? Thanks and sorry for the diversion.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 10 months ago

If he coached the shot up to '71, he was probably also the coach when KU swept the shot at Nationals. The only one I'm remembering is Karl Salb, but here is a quick link (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1082369/index.htm) from 1969.

WindmillGIANT 1 year, 10 months ago

I hadn't noticed before that Northern Illinois had moved into the top 25. They are 11-1; their only loss was their first game of the year, a 1 point loss against Iowa, otherwise, KU was their closest game (along with Toledo). Rice finished the year 6-6; South Dakota State is 9-3; every team in the Big 12, except KU, is bowl eligible. This means every team KU played this season has a winning (or at least .500) record and is bowl eligible. The combined record of KU's opponents is 92-45. In other words, every game KU played was essentially a bowl game and the majority of those games were competitive (despite being handicapped with a non-existent passing and kicking game).

BayPark 1 year, 10 months ago

Thanks for that, Windmillgiant. It makes the improvement on the field evermore apparent.

actorman 1 year, 10 months ago

Wow, I knew the schedule had been tough but didn't realize just HOW tough it had been. Thanks for making an excellent point, Windmill.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 10 months ago

Sagrin lists our SOS as #1 (http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/fbt12.htm) and the team as 83rd. Ironically, mizzoo is #2 SOS, and the rest of the top 10 is a mix of Big 12 and Pac 12 teams. Ironically Rice is #102 (SOS - 111), NIU is #40 (129 SOS).

W Keith Swinehart II 1 year, 10 months ago

Thanks, Matt, for keeping KU football alive on this next-to-last, pre-bowl football weekend with our team an off weekend with nowhere to go after our last game next Saturday (take a breath).

It was sad watching all the football games yesterday with our guys sitting idle. The Notre Dame Saturday night game finished it all off finishing with a No. 1 ranking and a sure-fire Championship BCS Bowl game after New Years. Ironically, during the game, Brent Musberger making an offhand comment about KU's Charlie Weis recruiting some of the night's outstanding Notre Dame players. After hearing Musberger's comment and watching Notre Dame win I was reminded that tradition-rich Notre Dame is what Coach Weis really wants to do at KU.

So I am giddy and hopeful that, during the Bowl Games and after they are over, you (Matt) will continue to write about KU Football, the recruits, coaches and players to keep us pumped for next Fall as we build a KU Football tradition at KU.

As far as this year, all we have to do is finish our season off next weekend with a strong effort and, hopefully, a victory against WV. Regardless of next week and our win/loss record I am proud of the accomplishments of the season. And I am thankful for the help and effort that the Senior transfers brought to the table. We didn't get the victories we expected, but Weis and the transfers brought a new start, enthusiasm and hope for the coming years as Coach Weis builds a program. I can't wait to see new progress.

Doug Cramer 1 year, 10 months ago

First of all...I must say thank you to these guys that decided to transfer to KU.

I also thank Coach Weis and Campo for their coaching. Thought they did a decent job of coaching for our talent level. Also...it improved after we realized Crist wasn't our QB...which should of happened sooner than it did.

Here's my question to KUsports.com. How the hell have we moved beyond Gill's new lows as a program ? We're 1-9 ? Not that I'm a Gill supporter...but I can tell you that the national media have a much different perspective on KU's football program than what KUsports.com has had the entire time since Weis was hired.

You might want to take a look at the 2012 recruiting class...along with our upcoming 2013 recruiting class. It's not looking good for our program folks. Yes...it's getting late in the game...and 2013 recruiting class is not looking good.

So again...knowing that we probably go 1-10...and we extremely lack talent from our 2012 group of freshman...and we extremely lack talent from our 2013 group of freshman...worse than several MAC and Conference USA schools....how the hell have we moved beyond Turner Gill's new lows?

Not buying it yet. Wished I could...but I can't until we start getting some young talent in here...particularly in the trenches.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 10 months ago

Ahe national media sees about as far as the ends of their noses, so why are we worried about that? We're actually 1-10, but every team on our schedule is bowl eligible. I wonder if there is any other program in the nation that can make that claim. In focusing on the WL record, you also have apparently missed the fact that the team was competitive in most of the games this year, among the nation's best in some key developmental categories (penalties), and not only are eligible (vs. 50 failing grades) but lead the league in the classroom. That discipline is the foundation for success that will pay off down the road.

As for recruiting, you seem to be focusing on freshmen, and CW has publicly commented that we will be getting more JC's the first few years of recruiting, because recruiting HS players is more a matter of multi-year relationships. While half the recruiting season is past, the most important half is coming in the next 3 months. You, in focusing on the negative, will likely point out that we have fewer recruits with a lower ranking than most Big 12, but a more thorough analysis would show that we have as many recruits (mid-teens) as several elite program (OU & UT), better recruits (on average) than several other programs, and better than our NC contender to the west.

VaJay 1 year, 10 months ago

Excellent points. If only TRJ had a good memory of the absolute blowouts during the Gill reign (and the confounding lack of any adjustment capability at halftime of each game that was in reach). Yes, our record has not improved, but the signs of progress are there. It WILL take time, but we're on the right track.

jhox 1 year, 10 months ago

I'd venture to say we have the best 1 win team in the history of college football. Unfortunately for us, the Big 12 is really tough from top to bottom. Does anyone believe that KU wouldn't have won at least 1 or 2 games in the SEC? The SEC is good at the top, but top to bottom I'd take the Big 12 or even the Pac 12.

Boouk 1 year, 10 months ago

You must be blind if you think last years team was better than this years. You can't judge a team by only their record.

Doug Cramer 1 year, 10 months ago

Would love to have the same optimism that ya'll and KUsports.com has...but its not realistic.

We heard the same arguments last year from Gill's team...if we only did this...and won this game...and kicked a field here...and didn't throw an interception there...we would of been bowl eligible.

Look - not only do we not have talent coming in for the future...we lose a huge chunk of our offensive line. We lose key D-line guys like Operum and Williams. Tavia ended up being below average. And who the hell knows if McKinney shows up next season.

Lubbock Smith is gone...McDougald is gone...Brown at corner is gone.

Cards are getting stacked...and when I look at the status of this program...and the schedule that we face in the Big 12 year in and year out...it's tough to be optimistic. I think most folks outside of the KU delusional fanbase would agree.

Boouk 1 year, 10 months ago

KU beat out LSU, Mississippi State, and Iowa for Andrew Bolton, who also received interest from Alabama, Oklahoma, and Ohio State. We've beat out KSU for 2 QB's. Marcus-Jenkins Moore had offers from KSU, TA&M, and TTU and Tedarian Johnson had offers from Mississippi State, TTU, and Iowa. Your claim that KU doesn't have any incoming talent is completely and utterly false.

Boouk 1 year, 10 months ago

Also, our secondary won't be worse next year than it has been this year with Colin Spencer, Dexter McDonald, Tyree Williams, Greg Allen, Tevin Shaw, and Dexter Linton. Our DL will be better with the 310 pound McKinney (who will enroll in Jan.), Andrew Bolton (who chose KU over LSU), Tedarian Johnson, and one more year of development for all the returning players.

Boouk 1 year, 10 months ago

Additionally, you should give Heaps a chance to live up to his gigantic ceiling before you say anything like that. We're almost 5-6 right now with horrible QB play and kicking.

Boouk 1 year, 10 months ago

Lastly, we have 8 very winnable games next year in the 3 non-con games, WVU, KSU, Baylor, and TTU at home, and at ISU.

Joseph Kuebel 1 year, 10 months ago

I understand what you are saying, but I really hope you are wrong.

pepper_bar 1 year, 10 months ago

Matt, I realize you hated Turner Gill, but respectfully, it's time for you (and Tom) to let go of the grudge.

"The new lows [KU] experienced during the Turner Gill era" -- how would you support this if someone asked you to back it up? Isn't 0-11 against D-IA competition the program's "new low"? Has KU ever gone 0-11 against big-boy teams before?

actorman 1 year, 10 months ago

Pepper, I have a hard time understanding how you can find fault with that comment. Were you watching the games under Turner Gill? Did you watch this year's team? The record might not reflect it, but anyone who paid more than the slightest amount of attention would have seen the tremendous improvement in a number of areas.

pepper_bar 1 year, 10 months ago

Agreed that the team has improved in some ways this season. But 0-11 is 0-11, and the clunker of a Senior Night -- in Missouri uniforms, no less -- fits my personal definition of a "new low."

The team was about equally soft under Gill and Terry Allen. Valesente's winning percentage was slightly worse than Gill's. So, it seems very petty by Matt and Tom to keep calling out Gill with unsupported pot-shots like this. Gill's gone.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 10 months ago

Definitely agree on the uni's, and it would be nice to see the program move on (Mangino lovers as well), but yes there have been winless teams in the past. The fact that we play more games now than in the past does not make the teams any worse. Has we ever faced a schedule where every opponent is bowl eligible?

pepper_bar 1 year, 10 months ago

KU's last winless season was 1954. KU played only 10 games that season. So 0-11 against D-1A competition is indeed a historic low; given an 11th shot against a team like Rice, who knows if the 1954 team would have gutted one out.

As for "the schedule is tough," that's not much of an argument. Historically, the Big 8 / 12 / 12-2 has had plenty of strong teams. KU did not schedule Rice and Northern Illinois expecting them to be challenging contests. And Rice, Baylor, and ISU got to 6 wins this year because they beat Kansas.

actorman 1 year, 10 months ago

I will give you one thing, though: given KU's sad history, it may not have been new lows under Gill. In particular, I recall the wretched years under Bob Valesente. Then again, I suppose it depends on whether you define "new lows" as "record lows" or "the most recent lows." If you define them as the most recent, it would certainly apply.

milehighhawk 1 year, 10 months ago

KU defense was historically bad on the collegiate level under Gill. Objectively speaking, that is a "new" low.

troutsee 1 year, 10 months ago

Class act, these four. The improvement in the team is there. Unfortunately, we don't match up will against WVU, but if we can play keep away, who knows. It almost worked against some pretty darn good offenses, TT, TU, and OSU. Here's hoping. To all the players and coaches thanks for the effort. I look forward to this Saturday's game and next season.

danmoore 1 year, 10 months ago

Not really. We lost to Iowa State and Baylor by a combined 4 points and Texas Tech by 2 scores when we scored a TD late in the 4th quarter. And 2 of the near wins this season were against ranked teams. Moral victories at best but I believe this team has showed improvement over last season.

Micky Baker 1 year, 10 months ago

My expectations going forward.

First, I do expect this team to win between 4 and 7 games next season because of the work that they have put in and the work I am now confident they will put in during the off-season.

We have 13 spots to fill for the class of 2013. I do expect that we will see another wide receiver or two with good size and at least decent if not good speed like this kid Thomas.

Defensively, it will be the Linebackers who will be the strength a year from now, and I think we will have better size and speed in the secondary, particularly at CB even though Greg Brown is leaving. I doubt Pattmon will be number 1 on the depth chart coming out of spring either. I like Allen and this kid coming from Butler and I think that having a guy that big to go against the Big 12's best receivers is a plus.

At QB, I think both number 1 and 2 will be quality and I also believe that both Matthews and Cummings still have a spot on the team in certain situations. I would like to see Cummings get some more reps though, because he could be a legit threat out of the Jayhawk if he works on his initial quickness. Once he gets loose he is a better player, but he's not that quick on his feet initially yet. It could be just about confidence there but they say Heaps is by far the quickest on his feet right now.

McKay, Ford, Turzilli, and Parmalee will be the 4 WRs on the depth chart, but Omigie will still get his chances, but they need to him to work on his hands and catch the ball. If he can get his hand skills improved during the off season he could be a legit weapon with a couple of TE's that can take the Linebackers out from the middle for a guy like Parmalee to thrive with them short crossing routes over the middle. Mundine I think will be a lot better a year from now but they are going to have to have that threat to take a linebacker or two out of the middle on those kinds of plays.

Overall, the offense looks as if it's going to be better and there are some redshirts coming up plus the kid from Cali that just committed and I think we'll be fine there.

Where we need the most help as depth in the secondary and speed rushers on the D-line to get some sacks and to limit the options for opponents in the Big 12. We have 13 spots to fill and I think Weis will use them wisely, but next year, we're going to have to recruit running backs and WRs heavily again along. But, if we get the passing game going on offense, then 4 to 7 wins next year.

We can win these games:

Iowa State Baylor Texas Tech Texas(even in Austin) all three non-conference games West Virginia (Geno won't be there)

Klein will be gone from K-State, and if our Linebackers improve enough, and it's in Lawrence, definitely won't be a blow out if we do lose. It took until Mangino's 3rd season to beat K-State, and yes, Bill Snyder was still coach then. That is 9 games, but I'm still going to cap it at 7. 7 games is a real possibility next year.

Boouk 1 year, 10 months ago

I agree that we should win at least 4 games next season, with the 3 non-cons and KSU, WVU, and TTU all being very winnable games at home. I think the 6'2 210lb. Mark Thomas, who runs a 4.4 second 40, will be our #1 or 2 WR. I expect almost all of our remaining 13 scholarships to be either WR's, DE's, CB's, and S's.

In the secondary, don't forget about Colin Spencer (4.42 40 time) and Tyree Williams (who didn't redshirt like Greg Allen), and Jacorey Shepard, who's shown flashes of being a Big 12 caliber CB. As for Patmon, I think he should be moved to S due to his inability to play CB in the Big 12 and our lack of depth at S. Hopefully we get at least 1 S on the recruiting trail who can start at S from day 1, and Dexter Linton and Tevin Shaw improve significantly during the offseason too.

I think we'll be ok at NT and DT with McKinney, Tavai, Young, Tedarian Johnson, Agostino, Stowers, and John Williams. DE is a major concern though. JUCO DE Andrew Bolton, who chose KU over offers from LSU, Mississippi State, and Iowa, will probably provide an immediate upgrade over Opurum and Josh Williams. We must get at least 1 more DE who can step in the door and compete in the Big 12 and start for us for day 1, or else we're relying on Ben Goodman or Darius Willis starting and both playing a lot.

Micky Baker 1 year, 10 months ago

I will also say this, KU will not have the toughest schedule next season. The Big 12 will not have Jones, Klein, Terrence Williams, Doege, or Geno Smith next year.

I also think Clint Bowen will fix the special teams issues over the off season, with new personnel.

Our D-Line will need to improve immensely and there are a couple of solid recruits coming in. We'll know more soon enough.

Robert Brown 1 year, 10 months ago

I have to agree with Tablerock. While I want to believe progress is being made, I look at the record and I don't see any. While I would like to believe we are more competitive based on games with Tech and UT, my elation is brought back to earth with a performance like we had against Iowa State.

It is clear that the offense is not very good despite some talent at running back. I'm disappointed that our offensive minded coach who is so quick to remind everyone he coached Tom Brady cannot get this team to score more than 20 points in a conference that plays little or no defense.

Boouk 1 year, 10 months ago

You and your Tablerock pal are completely wrong. Name 1 time during his time at KU when Weis mentioned he coached Brady. What does that have to do with this season in the first place? We also scored 34 at TTU and 23 against ISU despite starting Cummings at QB, Omigie at WR, and Prolago as our place kicker. 390 yards rushing against a defense that knows you're going to run is smart and creative play-calling by Weis. You can't judge a team just by their record. You're blind if you don't see the progress this team has made, and if KU doesn't turn it over and Omigie doesn't drop those passes on 3rd down against ISU, that game is much closer.

Robert Brown 1 year, 10 months ago

I will name a time which I thought was inapproprpriate. I was at the pep rally before the KU-UK championship game in New Orleans and Weis spoke. At first I thought it was pretty cool that Weis had embraced the university. He was giving a talk about how underdogs can prevail and the starts talking about at how Tom Brady was a sixth round pick who worked hard to become a champion. Other than Weis tying himself to Brady, the entire reference seemed out of place.

Robert Brown 1 year, 10 months ago

You referred to two games where we scored more than 20 points. One was an overtime game and in the other we scored a late touchdown in a blow out. I'm not drinking the kool-aid yet. Had we come out and beaten Iowa State I would be more optimistic. This was a home game. Iowa State is one of the worst teams in the league and had just gotten blown out and we stay with them for about a quarter and a half and then get blown out at home.

By the way, I would look at games last season and say, had we been able to convert a 3rd and 2 we would have beaten Baylor. Has we not made a couple of turnovers we would have beaten Tech. Had we been able to make a key third down conversion we would have beaten ISU. I could have concluded that we were almost a five win team and that we should stay the course, but I think we made the right decision by changing coaches.

Robert Brown 1 year, 10 months ago

Everyone is entitled to his opinion and if you feel you have to make personal and insulting comments to get your point across, you are probably not effectively getting point across.

You did contradict yourself when you say the defense is in position, but the ISU QB took advantage of the short routes all game. Wow, if a first time starter can do that, what about all of the experienced QBs in the pass happy Big 12.

You act like I, and other critics, are cheering for failure. Nothing could be further from the truth. I want to believe but the Iowa State game left a bad taste in my mouth. I don't live in the area, but I follow Big 12 sports very closely. The Charlie Weis hire was widely panned when it was made and most people have concluded it was a bad hire. Only time will tell. Weis says all the right things, but his track record in college does not impress me.

BringBackMark 1 year, 10 months ago

Interesting posts all the way around. First, thanks to the transfers for believing in KU and coach Weis. I wish all of you the best. Having said that I'll give my perspective on the program now that the season is nearing the end:

1) Fifth year transfers pretty much waste a scholarship. That is not a reflection on the these players but just a comment in general. This is especially true in a re-building period. That, unfortunately, is what KU has found itself in again. We need to bring in young, quality, talent and just bite the bullet for a few years. There are no quick fixes to building a real program.

2) The reason that almost all of the teams that we've played are bowl eligible is, in large part, due to the fact they had KU on their schedule. This team made almost every quarterback and placekicker look like an All American this year. However, Campo has brought some heart to the defense which is fun to watch.

3) Don't give up on Michael Cummings. He was heads and shoulders better than Crist and he'd never played in a D-I game before in his life. CW needs to get an Offensive Coordinator and relinquish those duties. Had we tailored more of the offense around Cummings' abilities and started him in about game three, I think we'd still be thinking Bowl game. It appears that Heaps has already been annointed QB for next year by Weis. I hope this doesn't turn out to be as much of a debacle as Crist was.

4) The most exciting part of our team wasn't our outstanding running backs but the young linebackers. These kids are going to be fun to watch. They play full speed every play. If we had a couple of defensive linemen, and D-backs that didn't get turned around on almost every play we'd have a very solid defense.

I came in to this season with high expectations as did many KU fans. It was very hard to look at the Big-12 standings today and see KSU at 10-1 and KU at 1-10. Prior to Snyder everyone would have laughed if that were even thought about. Now its become expected. As I've posted before, and been called and idiot or worse, KU has got to find a home for this football program where it can be competitive. If that's in the Big 12 then its got to happen within the next 3 or 4 years. Otherwise we've got to find a lesser conference where we can be competitive and at least keep a football program. If we continue at 1-11 or 2-10 for may more years there will come a time, just like with KSU prior to hiring Snyder, where we're going to have to consider giving up football.

Robert Brown 1 year, 10 months ago

I was with you until the last paragraph. The formula to get bowl eligible is to schedule three winnable non conference games. That shouldn't be very difficult even if it makes September boring to watch football. The hard part is to win three conference games. This is a tough conference. In the eight conference games so far this year, we were in the game with a shot to win in three of the losses (UT, Tech, and OSU), we were blown out in four games (OU, KSU, Baylor and ISU) and were not blown out but not really in the game at the end against TCU.

danmoore 1 year, 10 months ago

Completely agree. Bring on the cupcakes.

danmoore 1 year, 10 months ago

BringBackMark. I generally agree with all the points you’ve made but I have to take exception to your closing comment. The purpose of elevating our football program is to avoid becoming a member of a lesser conference. And if that should happen we can expect our basketball program to decline as well. Bill Self is a great recruiter but I think he’ll have a problem selling the Missouri Valley or Mountain West.

Joseph Kuebel 1 year, 10 months ago

First off, 5th year transfers do not count against scholarship limits... I stopped skimmed through your post after that first in accurate point. Then to say we are going to have to give up football and go to a weak conference so we can keep a football team? Lol. When has this ever been the case in the history of college sports? (oh let's give up 15 million dollars a year in revenue so we can compete in the mountain west and win a conference game).

Furthermore, Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 10 months ago

Sorry, folks. Table Rock and HouTexHawk are correct.

We can speculate all we want on how improved we are in little facets of the game. But at the end of the day, we will will be 1-11, on the nation's longest conference losing streak, and close to the longest road-game losing streak.

Until we prove anything on the field and improve the W-L record, all of our analysis and optimistic outlooks mean nothing.

Especially at QB. Reputation, potential, and expectation mean nothing. I don't care if it's Andrew Luck or Adam Barmann that takes the field for us next year...if they don't deliver, they are worthless.

And speaking of worthless...it's the best way to describe the words coming from this coaching staff. I hate to point it out, but unfortunately, the only improvement that matters is the win column. I don't want to hear about how better fundamentals and team spirit are than under Gill, or even Mangino.

If you don't win, it's all for nothing. Ask every coach who was popular with his players, but fired for failing to win.

Joseph Kuebel 1 year, 10 months ago

I agree. A loss is a loss, if we did this this this and that we could have been in a bowl game, if a bunch of 7+ win teams did this this and that there could be 45 teams in the national championship, but there's not. If your aunt had stones she'd be your uncle, if the queen had stones she'd be the queen...

troutsee 1 year, 10 months ago

We just picked up a committment from a JC wide receiver from New York. I am glad to see Charlie recruiting the nation. When we concentrated only on Texas, we were getting only the left overs. Bill Snyder realized that a long time ago. Way to go Charlie and staff.

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