Sunday, September 9, 2012


Don’t give up just yet


A Kansas University victory, even an unimpressive one, against Rice would have guaranteed a sellout for Saturday’s 11 a.m. kickoff against TCU in Memorial Stadium.

Instead, Kansas reacted to late-game pressure about as well as Linda Blair’s stomach did to pea soup in “The Exorcist.”

Now the thinking is, it’s impossible to compete against TCU, so why bother going to the game?

Well, for one thing, nothing’s impossible. Kevin Costner can’t act even a little and has been paid tens of millions of dollars to act. William Shatner once thought he could do justice to Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” and millions have watched it on YouTube. You too?

Just two years ago, Kansas defeated Georgia Tech one week after losing to North Dakota State. A year ago, in the midst of a 2-10 season loaded with lopsided losses, the Jayhawks took a three-touchdown lead into the fourth quarter against Baylor and Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III. That would be the same RG3 who in his NFL debut Sunday averaged 12.3 yards per pass play, threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns and led his Washington Redskins to victory against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.

It’s highly unlikely Kansas will upset TCU, but it’s not impossible. It’s too early to blow off the football team with 10 games remaining on the schedule. Is it really such an ordeal to show up for a tailgate, eat great food, consume your favorite spirits, share the company of friends and exchange opinions on which players will get better through the course of the season, which will look worse against better competition and which just plain don’t have it?

Is it really a chore to sit outside for three hours with friends, watching Tony Pierson slither through small openings up the middle over and over and then bust a big one running outside? Pierson’s averaging 122 rushing yards a game, and Taylor Cox averages 100 rushing yards. It will be interesting to see which running back’s talents translate to better competition, when blowing open holes won’t come as easily for the offensive line.

Is the view of the hill really such a bad backdrop for three hours in the sun on a day in which the extended forecast calls for a high of 81 degrees and a zero-percent chance of rain (although rain’s not impossible; nothing is).

This team has problems — an inefficient passing game, a stagnant pass rush, a less-than-rugged run defense, a roster that’s a healthy snapper, plus one strong foot and 15 yards shy of a legitimate kicking game — but fan apathy this early in the season isn’t going to make things better.

Kansas has lost its last 11 against FBS foes and its last 12 Big 12 games. Those futility streaks likely will grow Saturday, but that doesn’t mean the number of witnesses has to shrink.


Keith Hummel 1 year, 7 months ago

What's a sure sign that our football team is struggling? When the Mangino dead horse gets dragged out and beat to death again, and again, and again....


Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

...and to those grinchin' about Mangino, I could care less. That doesnt help us build a team right now, does it? Zenger is serious about rebuilding football, and so are the army of alums that wanted something different than the direction of the last 2yrs, that backed Zenger fully in doing what he had to do. Now we slowly begin the climb.


Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

mvjayhawk => Perfect post. I will take a competent Weis offense. His play calling doesnt really shine unless he has alot of weapons and a decent O-line (true for any offense really), and the QB/rcvrs really need to have their timing in sync. Personally, I like the NFL because of the execution and the talent level, but if we can get a pro-style offense and execution to go with it at KU, I'm all for it. Having a similar competence on the defensive side of the ball is the other key to a tough football team. I'm thrilled to have a guy like Campo. He clearly stated more than once that he needs more size, speed, and talent to be able to have a chance against BigXII foes. He already knows what it will take. Give him time and bodies. Give Weis time and bodies. Lets be honest. This program degenerated over 2-3 yrs...It will take 2-3yrs to show a rebuilt, reliable, fan-trustable performance on the field. You could get Jim Harbaugh or Urban Meyer in here, but honestly, until they get their recruits and system efficiently operating on-field, you wont see the full benefit. Some fans here have lost all analytical objectivity, and have lost their patience...thus whine like babies. It took exactly 1 close loss to bring out the doom-sayers--> Nice job, fair weather "ku fans"!


Sam Constance 1 year, 7 months ago

Mark Mangino.

First off, he got a raw deal in the way he was ousted. If Perkins' had any notion of keeping Mangino on staff, then he would have addressed the alleged problem in a completely different way. It was clear to me that Perkins did it that way because it had the potential to create a huge rift in the team. HOWEVER...

To suggest that this meeting was to blame for Mangino's unacceptable final season is wrong and based on completely false information. Someone suggested that the meeting occurred prior to the Colorado game, which was the first of the 7-game losing streak. For anyone who actually cares about facts, rather than just spouting somewhat correct-SOUNDING information that supports their point, here is the timeline for that season:

10/10 - KU's Big 12 schedule begins against Iowa State

10/17 - KU plays Colorado and loses

10/24 - 11/14: KU plays four MORE Big 12 games against Oklahoma, @Texas Tech, @Kansas State and Nebraska, losing all four, in spite of being in position to win at least two of them (KSU and Nebraska come to mind).

11/16 - Lew Perkins meets with players

In other words, KU was 1-5 in Big 12 play prior to that meeting and had looked unimpressive in the non-conference games prior to Big 12 play. It's just a flat-out falsehood to imply that the 7-game losing streak is due to Perkins' (admittedly shady) power play to oust Mangino. More likely, Perkins saw the struggles and fan displeasure and saw the time as ripe to use the player abuse issue as a catalyst to get him out. And honestly, though I disagreed with the way everything went down, Perkins might have been correct that it was the only way to get rid of a guy who had earned status among a large portion of the fanbase as infallible. We continue to see evidence of Mangino attaining this status, the way a small group stalwartly defends him and claims that the answer to our problems is to bring him back, while rationalizing the guy's shortcomings with presumption and misinformation.

In my opinion, he needed to go. Maybe not when he did and under the circumstances he did, but he wasn't the long-term answer for KU football, and I, for one, am glad that he was removed before his cult status would have made it extremely hard for future AD's to fire him. KU has a long tradition of stinking in football, but that doesn't mean we need to accept someone like Mangino because he gave us our first glimpse of sustained postseason appearances in an era that is littered with meaningless bowls.

Whether or not the Manginolites want to admit it or not, there are significant questions about his skills as a head coach. Obviously being at a football also-ran like Kansas makes it harder to parse out just where the coach's skills end and the program's predisposition begins, but that doesn't change the fact that Mangino's accomplishments were only gilded by the comparative drought of prior KU football success.


phogphan2000 1 year, 7 months ago

I'm sure HCCW wants KU to become QB-U, so he's got a lot of eggs in the Crist basket this season. No doubt he should have run the ball more and taken the safe bet at winning the game, but in the long run this year is about Weis showing recruits that he's a great offensive coach and can mold talent on that end. Also Campo has the defense playing tougher than last season's which has to be at least a little bit encouraging.

Personally I'm not that big of a football fan, but it's still easy to enjoy going to a game. Putting a good football team on the field is only going to heighten exposure for the bball team, and a winning culture across the board in an athletic department is also a positive for every team. So people can write off fball, I know cfb completely lost me last season with the BCS title game they put together, but if fans support the team it could have a positive effect on the bball program and school as a whole.


Dyrk Dugan 1 year, 7 months ago

Mangino was a ticking time bomb....(and he did have several mini explosions....) but the fact that he isn't in coaching right now, almost three full years after resigning at KU, then that tells you something. his reputation has not allowed him to be to get back in. i'm not saying i know he wants back in.....but c'mon...he's been a coach for a long, long time....NCAA assistant of the year, BCS bowl winning head coach...he's had too much success, NOT to have a job right now, if he really wanted one.

did i like the way it all went down? of course not....this was a Perkins led deal...and I think Lew Perkins will go down one day as one of the worst ADs this athletic dept. ever had...but that's another story.

all of this being said, what's being written above is just plain idiotic. it's expected...because this fan base is soooooo insecure, it's unbelievable....but it is wrong. we lost to Rice. it was a good game....Rice isn't a bad team...they have good coaches, some decent offensive players, and they actually played UCLA pretty tough (UCLA just beat Nebraska...and the Bruins have an excellent young dual threat QB).

we were 2-10 last year....3-9 the year before. we had the worst defense in football last year....not near the bottom...the BOTTOM. we brought in a QB who knew the head coaches' offense, although he has two bad knees, and is basically a shell of his former self. we cleaned house, so we're playing with 5th year guys, and brand new guys.

just like I said with HCMM, it's going to take some TIME to turn it around. I mean good grief, c'mon. HCTG did not have a clue...and we took definitive action, and our new AD went out and hired the best man he could for the job. you MUST give him some time to put in his stuff, recruit his kids, and get it going. will we go 1-11 this year? maybe so....but as the long as the seeds are sown for improvement in the future...then it's all good.

if we don't have a crowd for this week's game, so be it. i blame no one for not showing up to games. people want to see exciting, competitive play (i will be there rain or shine). and if there is something better to do, then so be it. the fans weren't really coming to the games in 2002 or 2003 this is not at all new. but my goodness, were they there in 2007 and 2008...and to quite a bit, 2009.

let the program does NOT happen overnight. this sounds obvious, but with this crowd, it has to be explained over and over and over and over again.


Noweigh 1 year, 7 months ago

Final word on Mangino......still say he should never have been fired. His long, drawn out public execution was inexcuseable..for any program. Regardless of schedule, regardless of conference arrangment, etc. The University of Kansas went to four bowl games in a row, won three of them, including the Orange Bowl. Nuff said, no other coach in the past comes remotely close to that. Maybe they could have at least put him on short leash for poor behaviour at times, with a no-tolerance policy going forward. Ok, I'm over it....sort of.


nuleafjhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

Maybe people just can't take the Jayhawk mascot seriously enough.

What if we were to change our name to

The University of Kansas Angry Beavers ?

Rock Chalk Angry Beavers !!

Rock Chalk Angry Beavers !! by nuleafjhawk


nuleafjhawk 1 year, 7 months ago


Keegan Don’t give up just yet

They left off the sub-title -

Wait until next week.


Lucas Town 1 year, 7 months ago

Don't give up huh? Besides being a great scholastic institution all we have is men's basketball. So for 75% of the year we are the laughing stock of the Big 12, and when a team beats our basketball team that makes their year. I can't understand why we are not able to win in any other sport consistently.

Besides the parking, a fan base that really only truely goes crazy for basketball, why would a recruit want to come play for us after they have sat through one of our football games. I watched on TV, the stadium looked pretty full but sounded like it was about half full. I also watched the KSU game, their crowd was going crazy, I watched the Virginia vs Penn St. game, Virginia's stadium went nuts over their win, I watched multiple games and by comparison our stadium's enthusiasm was lame IMHO. If it wasn't for basketball we would be a D2 school. Sorry for the rant...we should be better and expect better.


Phoghorn 1 year, 7 months ago

BREAKING NEWS Brock Berglund has just transferred to the University of Siberia!


Tony Bandle 1 year, 7 months ago

There must be some type of Karmatic Universal Balance at work here.

Outside of brief bursts of success, the Gods of College Basketball [Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke, Indiana, UCLA] have generally and consistently sucked at football.

I, for the life of me, cannot come up with any logical explanation.

The opposite doesn't necessarily apply as dramamtically [Alabama, LSU, USC, Texas, Oklahoma, Michigan, Michigan State] have all had relatively long term competitive bball programs at one time or another.

It's probably Lew's fault.


Jim Jackson 1 year, 7 months ago

Anyone disagree that we need to start playing the taller receivers more often? Let's start with Josh Ford and Omigie. Will certainly help Crist with his accuracy, which has been awful.

Throwing fade routes to 5'9 receviers is just pathetic and futile.


Jason Montgomery 1 year, 7 months ago

I miss Turner, anyone know how the whole Jordan Webb Colorado thing is going? Couldn't be any worse then losing to Rice right?


Kent Wells 1 year, 7 months ago

Would it be a good time to point out the pirate already has an upset win in the shadow of Oregon?


stinkybulldog 1 year, 7 months ago

One day closer to basketball season.


Joe Ross 1 year, 7 months ago

I still have faith in Charlie Weis, but I miss Mark Mangino.


Mike Plank 1 year, 7 months ago

So I posted this last night on a different article, but it goes better here I think.-----

First of all, I just want to say, long time reader, first time poster. Season ticket holder for the past three years.

Losing to Rice is VERY embarrassing. And I am Angry, with a capital "A". When Weis said we would be competitive, I thought he meant with Baylor and TX Tech and etc. Not with Rice and SDSU. We should never lose to Rice. Ever! Except in baseball.

Consider: In the last three years, Rice has lost to UAB, Tulane, and Marshall. In those last three years, they have won 2, 4, and 4 games. This is a BAD team. This was their first win over a Big 12 team since the formation of the conference! This is embarrassing, and we should be upset about it.

Most of the mistakes have been talked over already. Missed tackles, the passing game, etc. But I want to talk about coaching and defense. 1st - Apparently, Weis must have thought he had a better shot at a 40 yard field goal into the wind than converting a fourth and 1... right? That's the only explanation. And if that's so, I'm worried and upset. 2nd - I thought Campo said in the spring that we would be playing tighter coverage on the corners. All day long, we lined up 8 to 10 yards off the Rice receivers, and they ran quick slants and hitches up and down the field. The failure to make adjustments was maddening.

So we have the right to be upset about it. We shouldn't be content with just going to the game and having fun (while it's still close, that is). We buy tickets. We buy parking. We buy concessions. We donate to the Williams Fund. It's expensive. So I am mad. Not only am I mad about the loss. I'm mad about about feeling like I've wasted my money the last three years.

We are a Big 12 team! Big 12 teams don't lose to Rice!!! We DESERVE a real football team, a real football program, a program that doesn't embarrass itself, its fan base, or its conference!

When the season started, I was hopeful for for 4-5 wins. But now, my friends... I'm sorry, we're staring 1-11 directly in the face. As I detailed above, Rice is terrible. They are the worst D1 team on our schedule. If we can't beat them at HOME, with an 11 point third quarter lead, with a 100 yard rusher, then I'm sorry, who ARE we gonna beat?

I'm just trying to be a realist here. I am one of those very few people who enjoy football more than basketball. Ever since my very first game back in 1993, Nebraska at Kansas, when we missed the two point conversion late in the game and could have won, I have loved this program.

But I am so frustrated with this program. Saturday was such a miserable day, with the way KSU played and the way we played, only slightly mitigated by Missouruh getting killed and Nebraskuh losing. You all remember them... the ones who don't care about history, tradition, or rivalry. Anyway, I digress.

I just... I'm getting close to the edge, and I really, really want to jump off. Tell me why I shouldn't...


Keith Richards 1 year, 7 months ago

I'll be there. If for no other reason than to enjoy the nice weather, drink some beer, and hangout with friends. Even with a not very good football team, being at game beats doing a lot of other things.


WindmillGIANT 1 year, 7 months ago

It's a catch-22 of sorts, fans don't want to come because the team is bad, but it's going to be hard to recruit better players when they see a half-full stadium when they visit. The stadium atmosphere even against Rice wasn't that impressive, in fact, it was kind of sorry. There were empty seats to start, then a good number emptied out during halftime. The dance team did a number to "I want to dance with somebody" - is that 80's Whitney Houston I think - wow getting us pumped. The band wasn't really that great - their uniforms are terrible. The PA was crappy even. The only time they played music was on kickoff and for some reason the music was half the volume of everything else they announced and played on the PA. The cheerleaders only have one cheer: Stadium left - rock chalk, stadium right - jayhawk. My point is that we need to develop some more traditions and be more creative in our collective cheering. The team may struggle, but the atmosphere could still be more fun.


VaJay 1 year, 7 months ago

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


Andy Tweedy 1 year, 7 months ago

I'll be there Saturday. As a student in the late '80s, early '90s, I can assure the younger crowd that KU football has been way worse than this, and I've never stopped coming! But I have one major problem with Keeg's article. Personally, I think Kevin Costner is an "okay" actor, certainly better than Keanu Reeves and the late, great Patrick Swayze. Give the guy a break, Keegan, Dances With Wolves won best picture.


Noweigh 1 year, 7 months ago

I'll state the obvious. Mangino should never have been fired. Winning 3 of 4 bowl games in four years...we long for those days. It turned the KU football clock back five years, at least. That being said, we do need to give Charlie a chance and demand effort and intensity, even with lesser talent. I hate this "start over" strategy KU has had forever but I'm not throwing in the towel quite yet.


KansasRedLegger 1 year, 7 months ago

Never understand KU's fanbase. Lawrence is a 35 minute drive from Johnson County, where we have tens of thousands of alumni; if you come from the Missouri side, add another ten or fifteen minutes onto the drive and tens of thousands more alumni. We should be selling out every game, even with an inferior product on the field. Lawrence in the fall is beautiful, and it's only six or seven Saturdays a year. Even if the team sucks (which they do), why not go to Lawrence and enjoy the day, reconnect with old friends or make new friends, get free or deeply discounted tickets, and head on into Memorial to enjoy the day, even if KU loses?

Never understood KU fans apathy toward football. I know the team has usually been mediocre to bad, but is the experience of tailgating for a BCS football game really that repugnant to a large portion of our alumni and fanbase? I look forward to football tailgates in Lawrence all year, regardless of whether the team stinks, and I wish more of our fans would, as well.


dfybaby21 1 year, 7 months ago

On the other hand, I would say to absolutely give up. I'm new to this area, but is this Keegan always such a fanboy? This was very hard to read and take seriously. Rah Rah, go team. Is this a paid writer for a newspaper, or just some fan blog?


Doug Cramer 1 year, 7 months ago

The Chiefs suck...KU sucks...the Royals suck.

Pretty much par for the course...but at least we have basketball.

And at least we got to watch Mizzou lose...and watch their spread offense not work in the SEC.


milehighhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

With forced references to The Exorcist, Kevin Costner and William Shatner, Keegs should give up.


Cmill1221 1 year, 7 months ago

Idk what is worse, Royals baseball or Kansas football. I just want to see improvement. Give me a reason to watch.


Kansas1241 1 year, 7 months ago

It's TCU's first Big 12 game. I think they'll want to make a very definitive statement in their opener. If KU keeps it within 30 it should be considered a moral victory...isn't that what Turner Gill taught us for the past two years? Just go out and try your best and everybody will be happy! Ha what a joke...


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