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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Keegan

Kansas football won’t be fixed quickly

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Executing a pair of key completions that didn’t happen and the Kansas University football team could boast a 3-1 record, instead of 1-3. Not only that, the reality of the challenge that faces Charlie Weis could have been delayed, shoved for the moment into the shadow cast by a winning record.

Try telling anybody a quick fix simply isn’t a realistic possibility for a team that has a 3-1 record.

It shouldn’t be so tough to see that now for a program that has gone 6-29 in its past 35 games. Things stand to get worse before they get better, with the remaining eight games all against Big 12 teams and so many starters out of eligibility after this season.

Weis fixed the troublesome academic state of the program swiftly, appointing himself academic liaison and running from the program those not interested in the student half of the student-athlete title. Guys with dirty urine were shown the door as well. In the case of good-guy quarterback Jordan Webb, Weis’ assessment of his talent led to his departure.

Charlie has upgraded the good-citizen aspect of the program. Now he needs to attract more good football players.

On a day when former Jayhawks encountered mixed results — Webb threw for 345 yards in leading Colorado to its first victory; Turner Gill’s Liberty squad, 7-4 a year ago, dropped to 0-4 — Kansas had mounting concerns exposed on the right side of its offensive line and at quarterback.

Looking to 2013, the offensive line shapes up as the most frightening concern. Fifth-year seniors center Trevor Marrongelli, left guard Duane Zlatnik and left tackle Tanner Hawkinson will leave a huge void in more ways than physically.

Three-fourths of the starting secondary also must be replaced. Even if promising young players develop alongside returner Tyler Patmon, the lack of experience will show.

At quarterback, Jake Heaps, whose star faded during his two years at Brigham Young, brings more spontaneity than Dayne Crist, but is handing him the job instead of making him compete for it wise? Competition tends to bring out the best in athletes.

Not all of the hurdles to improving are personnel-related. The quality of the streamlined Big 12 Conference enhances the difficulty of a rebuilding process because such a brutal schedule makes building confidence a stiff challenge. Nearly half of KU’s nine Big 12 games are against schools now ranked in the top 15 and two-thirds are against Top 25 teams: No. 7 Kansas State, No. 8 West Virginia, No. 12 Texas, No. 15 TCU, No. 16 Oklahoma, No. 25 Baylor.

The three unranked Big 12 foes, Iowa State, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, have a combined record of 8-1.

Even if Weis and his staff continue to build on an encouraging recent recruiting run, this shapes up as a long, slow climb from the Big 12 basement.

Comments

offline 1 year, 6 months ago

Ku is ready for the return of M. Mangino, O, the problem is there, that he will be headed to Kansas ST. when Bill S. retires.Ku loses out again.

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Geekinout 1 year, 6 months ago

Nothing wrong with KU fans being upset having to watch more lame coaching and football. Crist has been putting up horrible numbers and not getting the job done against the competition he's faced so far. I've been surprised that it's this one position that is lagging behind this year, especially when this is suppose to be Weiss's expertise. It's only fair to give the other Qb's a chance. The only reason why his numbers aren't far worse is because of a few screens. It's really sad when Mathews, a back up receiver, looks more efficient at the position. Blocking hasn't been terrible, Qb accuracy has. Cummings, Baty, or even Mathews should have a chance to prove themselves in a game like Crist has. With the weekend off, now would have been the time to get one of those guys ready for Kstate. Unfortunately, I'm sure Weis will show that he isn't going to budge on this one.

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Cora Smith 1 year, 6 months ago

I knew that Mangino had the passion when he went off after getting jobbed in the Texas game. I think Coach Weiss needs to find the right moment to show some fire in the gut just to cement him to the job and not just a hired mercenary who will be gone in five years. So far he has chosen to remain calm under all circumstances. Maybe a tirade would make everyone feel a little better about the situation.

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Brian Zachary 1 year, 6 months ago

Yes I much rather preferred getting hammered by 45 than being competitive. Charlie should read these comments and resign because we are a far more superior football mind. SERIOUSLY??? You "fans" tick me off. KU has sucked for 100 years at football. 4 f'n games isn't going to change that. You whine during football. You whine during basketball. You don't deserve HCCW or HCBS. If I was either of them, I would say "screw you guys, I'm going home!"

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 6 months ago

Well, one thing Charlie HAS accomplished is some relevance for the football program. ...even if we bitch and moan and cry at the moon, at least it indicates some interest in Kansas Football as opposed to killing time till Late Night in October.

Won a game, should have won two more games and were competitive in the other game. Can anyone come up with a similar four game streak during the Gill era?

It's not much to go on, but losing games in the fourth quarter has to an upgrade from losing them in the first quarter!!

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Jack Jones 1 year, 6 months ago

OMG - we are the GRAND TOTAL of 4, (that's FOUR) , for those of you whose posts would indicate a diminished intellectual and/or comprehension level - games into Coach Weis' tenure as KU's Head Football Coach -- and yet you somehow feel you are wise enough to pass judgement on his coaching ability, and his football decisions. Give me a break!

Oh, I forgot, this is the way you get your jollies. Excuse me!

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ArgyleJayhawks 1 year, 6 months ago

LJW, please stop dragging Turner and his players through the mud. We get it, you think he was a horrible coach, his players quit late in games, etc. Stop using them as a scapegoat so you can continue to be Charlie Weis' personal public relations firm.

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Andy Tweedy 1 year, 6 months ago

Glen Mason's first team won one game, but was clearly improved. Personally, I think it's too early to tell if this team is improved. While many of the players are the same, we've been led to believe the strength and conditioning program has made them stronger and faster. And a good coach can always get more out of a player than a Gill, errrr bad coach can. So after a few weeks of Big XII play, I think we'll have a better idea of where this is headed. IMO, Crist has been just awful this year. The o-line has been okay at times, and the running game has been impressive in spurts. As far as I'm concerned, there is no reason a Big XII team can only score 17 points on offense against even a decent MAC team. LAME!!!

And as far as the o-line being such a concern for next. I've never really gotten the Zlatnik/Hawkinson lovefest from Matt, Jesse and Tom. They're not bad players, but is it really the hardest thing in the world to replace guys like that? Seriously? If it is, then isn't that really the problem with this program?

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jrbill67 1 year, 6 months ago

Coaching, recruiting, & talent all upgraded, but no more wins this year. Hang in there. This is a project, not a quick fix. It's not gonna be pretty, but it will improve. It has to.

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Mike Nicco 1 year, 6 months ago

We were promised/sold a new and improved Charlie Weis. A hungy, more humble Charlie Weis that learned from his mistakes. The play calling suggests this is not to be true. Charlie Weis sees himself as a pro quarterback guru. In his mind a good quarterback throws the ball and win games. Saturday, Matthews was clearly the better quarterback, unfotunately, he runs the ball. Charlie Weis still doesn't understand that he can still be considered an offense guru with a strong running game. He's not quite Mike Martz, but Weis' ego is killing him just like it Martz.

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Tom Longhofer 1 year, 6 months ago

Our new football coach reminds me of Bud Moore only with low self esteem. I hope I am as wrong about Charlie as I was about Tyshawn Taylor!!

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Sally Presson 1 year, 6 months ago

It will take time to get us up to par, we all need to be patient and give Charlie some room to work, this time next year will be a whole new ball game. when my husband was in school KU was a powerhouse, we can be there again and I feel we will be, lets just give Charlie some working room and be happy when we win!!!

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jhawkrulz 1 year, 6 months ago

I still look at the TCU game and losing 20-6. If I recall we were in that game into the fourth quarter. We haven't had that against a ranked team in a long time (GT ended up not being ranked).

I still think that we will lose quite a few more games; however, I don't think we get blown out in every game like last year. I think the 3 unranked teams we will play well into the fourth quarter.

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Jim Williamson 1 year, 6 months ago

"Bringing in Crist unnecessarily raised expectations for Weis's first year."

No more calls, please. If Crist was that good, Brian Kelley wouldn't have run him off.

Mangino didn't take advantage of the Orange Bowl victory on the recruiting trail. He continued to recruit 2-star kids so he could scare 'em and coach 'em up. Gill was just a trainwreck in all facets of coaching. Weis is having to clean up the mess.

This is KU football, not basketball. There've been a lot more abysmal seasons than there have good ones. This is going to take time.

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Terry N Tom Denner 1 year, 6 months ago

Rome was not built over night people. Yes, even I am upset with what the Jay Hawks has done so far. Synder was not successfully overnight with KST nor was MU's coach when they took over their respectable programs. Give Charlie and his staff a chance and stop being so anal about something that yourselves have no control over.

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KGphoto 1 year, 6 months ago

You get yourself a playmaking QB, and you get a new team attitude.

Nobody knows what this year's team or next year's team is capable of, until a playmaker steps into the huddle and starts leading them. Everything is sparked off the QB. He's the fuse box.

This is why I was up in arms last year when Webb wasn't one of the team captains. What kind of football team doesn't have the QB as one of the captains?! If your QB isn't one of the captains you're dead in the water, because of two simple things.

Good QB play compounds itself throughout the team, and bad QB play does the same thing. This team is on the verge of crumbling under the weight of missed opportunities.

If next year's QB is a playmaker more in the mold of a Reesing than a Webb, you'll see the spark again. You'll see it from the stands. I'll see it from Colorado. It will shine brightly, and then we'll see what kind of team we have.

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patkindle 1 year, 6 months ago

let all of these expert arm chair quarterbacks run the team, they seem to know it all, and they could take turns

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IrishCharlie 1 year, 6 months ago

MORE Kool Aide Tom, more Kool Aide?

how about an article on ku can beat k-state?

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Pbbut 1 year, 6 months ago

We knew what we were likely in store for when the season started. My biggest concern at this point is about recruiting. Wins over NIU and Rice give a glimmer of progress that may encourage players to listen to recruiting pitches and stay committed. The only thing we offer differently from most programs at this point is Charlie Weis, without the Golden Dome gleaming over his shoulder.

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hawkshot 1 year, 6 months ago

Crist is not only slow of foot, he is slow of mind.
Can't think fast enough to make good decisions, is always in panic mode!

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juke4jay 1 year, 6 months ago

Its been apparent for a number of years now to most of us......ever since the fat man was shown the door in a most embarassing way by the University's administration.

We are looking at 2014 to 2015 at the earliest, for having a football program again that we can have pride in (and will be competitive on the field). To see it otherwise, is bordering on delusional behavior. Talent needs recruited, programs need time to be put in place, you don't turn a turd into a nugget overnight.

Anything that is better than this expectation (some upset wins, here and there) is icing on the cake. Otherwise, enjoy the rebuilding process! RCJH!

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troutsee 1 year, 6 months ago

This team has 3 glaring weaknesses, the most important is the play of Crist. He simply must be benched. I feel sorry for the guy. Fans were led to believe that at long last KU was getting a guy that looked and performed like a college QB. Well we fans got it half right. He does look like a modern college QB but he does not perform like one. So Charlie needs to make a difficult decision and get another QB ready to play. The second glaring weakness does not come as a surprise and that's is the weakness of our defense. All of us knew this would be a problem coming in but were hopeful that with returning starters and a blend of JC talent that this problem might be partially solved. I think we are slightly better, maybe. The defense was favored by give aways and take aways in the first three games or the stats could have been much worse. We still have to run the gauntlet these next four weeks and that will be telling. Third weakness, our special teams. Enough said on that.

I guess we long-suffering KUFB fans were hoping for too much. Now are hopes have once again been dashed. When will it ever happen for KUFB?

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Keith Hummel 1 year, 6 months ago

Let me see if I've got this straight. We aren't even half way through this football season, and your already lowering our expectations for the next one? Next year could be even worse? We are likely to win just one game this year, so that means next year we are likely to win what, ZERO games? And we are supposed to be OK with all that because we are in yet another rebuilding phase? I was hoping I would log-on this morning and read why we aren't quite as bad as we looked on Saturday, but instead I read we might actually be worse! Man, Monday's suck when your a KU Football fan.

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hotrodm 1 year, 6 months ago

Rotate Crist, Cummings and even Baty. See who can play. Couldn't be any worse.

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jhox 1 year, 6 months ago

We have very obvious talent deficiencies. Mangino recruited poorly his last couple of years. That was followed by Gill who did a decent job recruiting speed, but not the size and speed combo it takes to win at this level. At least we know Weiss and Campo know what a high level football player is supposed to look like. Let's give them a reasonable chance to put together a decent roster.

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doolindalton 1 year, 6 months ago

Though the football program may not be fixed quickly, here are a couple of hints to speed it up:

1) Get kickers. If you're not going to have a dominant team, you have to be able to punt the ball a long way and kick long field goals.

2) Adapt your schemes to your personnel. If you don't have an NFL quarterback, don't run an offensive scheme best suited for Tom Brady. The triple option is still viable. If you don't believe me, watch RGIII run it for the Washington Redskins yesterday. It was the 'Skins best series of plays and it tends to move the chain and use up the clock.

3) Emphasize fundamentals. It doesn't make any difference what defensive scheme you run if your players don't consistently tackle well.

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Robert Brown 1 year, 6 months ago

Bringing in Crist unnecessarily raised expectations for Weis's first year. I don't believe bringing in transfers with limited eligibility is not the way to build a program. I gives the appearance that you are looking for a quick fix. In retrospect, so far many of the moves seem to have been made to generate a media buzz starting with the hiring of Weis himself. You then have high profile, but underachieving transfers coming and then there was the embarrassing episode of publicly courting some of the Penn State players. I think most fans would have been realistic if Weis hinted this will be a two to three year process instead of bringing in transfers implying we would win right away.

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april28 1 year, 6 months ago

5th year seniors were a recruiting necessity...Weis needed to do something but had almost no time to do anything with high school seniors, so he took what he could get. Nothing wrong with that strategy.

Keegan is right that we would have the same problems if we were 3-1, except 3-1 makes a big difference in the mentality of the team going forward. A confident team might surprise some people on the schedule, which produces a better record, which helps your recruiting.

This is going to be a tough, tough road. There are three questions: Are the coaches up to it? Are the players? Are the fans?

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Enoughsaid 1 year, 6 months ago

It seems history is repeating itself. Bring in a new coach pay him a huge salary and new staff. I remember when Big Head Charlie was hired and talking how bad Gill's record was. It looks like the rest of the season KU will be slaughtered.

Hey Coach at practice quit riding around in the golf cart and walk with a cane if need-be at least you would be in tune with what is going on around you. I Believe if you could organize a game with Lawrence High School, you will won one more game for the season.

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BringBackMark 1 year, 6 months ago

I think, if you read between the lines, what Keegan is saying is that playing a bunch of 5th year seniors exclusively is great if you're competing for a conference championship. When you're facing an almost assured 1-11 finish, it probably isn't doing a lot to rebuild the program.

I very much support giving Weis a minimum of 5 years to get us back to national recognition (periodic top 25). I don't personally think his intention was to be here that long but the way things have started out may have changed his plans. Looking back at the Mason and Mangino rebuilding efforts they started with young, inexperienced, but hungry players. Week to week you could see the confidence and competitiveness increasing.

Those early teams of Mason and Mangino's looked worse than CW's first one does but, that game experience for those young players helped a bunch in subsequent years. It also gave fans something to look forward to. Honestly, after the meltdown last saturday, you kinda have to wonder if next year will be better or worse when you look at what we're losing and the lack of experience that we're gaining. Will we try to plug holes with 5th year seniors again? That seems to be a revolving door that has very little liklihood of paying off in the Big 12.

Lastly, hats off to Weis for improving the quality of student athlete at KU. That was much needed and will in itself aid in the rebuilding process.

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Janet Scott 1 year, 6 months ago

If you say so, Tom. The upcoming KU - KSU game will in comparison make Little Big Horn look like a warm and engaging ice cream social. This KU team is simply terrible, and the coaching so far this year hasn't been any better.

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JHWKDW 1 year, 6 months ago

Hmm I consider what Kansas is going thru, then I heard there are some people on talk radio down in Oklahoma who want Coach Stoops fired. Really? KU would take him off your hands if you do not want him LOL!

No on a more serious note, I second what jmfitz85 is saying and others like him are saying! Give Weis a chance. Though I am no fan of Crist. I am not expecting Orange Bowl appearances in the immediate future, or a team that could compete with a current Alabama, or Oregon kind of team in the near future. All Id like for us to have one day is to have a .500 seasons first off. Then after that, we can have above .500 every season maybe a 7-5 seasons maybe a 8-4 season maybe even better after Weis gets the talent he wants in here, and they can produce.

It is a slow process. Hey hate to bring up the name, but Coach Snyder did not do it in one season. Am I putting Weis in the same light as him? No but it takes time. We do not have to be the laughing stocks anymore. Let us get behind Weis and rebuild this team. I demand more than just being the "Mens Basketball School" Time we demand more. I want a winning football team also, but hang in there, and demand more than just basketball.

RCJH

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John Fitzgerald 1 year, 6 months ago

I think Weis is doing a good job. But, I think he made a deal with Crist, and at this point has to continue with his end of the bargain. I like Crist, and think he CAN be really good, but hasn't had the time to do so. He was given up on in ND which set him back quite some time. And In order for us to turn around our players need to believe in themselves instead of just Charlie Weis. It's great that he's here and he's obviously made positive changes, but our team lacks a bit of arrogance that I think is holding us back from finishing off games. And I agree to split time with another QB. Try Cummings for a few snaps or even have them each split halfs. The fact is, Weis is here to make the University of Kansas better not just one player. if I were Weis this would be my conversation with Crist: "Ya know Dayne, you're a great kid and you have a crap load of talent. And I understand you've been dealt a pretty difficult hand, but KSU is your last chance. Sometimes it just doesn't work out, and it's up to you to make that decision. I'll do what I can to prepare you, but I suggest you get your head straight, deal with whatever fear you have, open your damn eyes, and play some football before you make that choice." As far as strategy to make him better, I think we need to throw more screens. Even if his passes aren't big gains, completions are what will make him better. Short easy passes, then pound the run. If our offense was nearly as impressive as our defense we'd have 4 wins right now and be ranked in the top 25. And watching Crist you can tell he has some sort of fear out there. He knows this is his last chance and I think it's a burden on him. Best way to get over your fear is to face it. I think Weis telling him to his face this is his last shot and that he needs to do EVERYTHING he can to make it count will make the ultimate difference. And, if it doesn't work out, bring on matthews or cummings. Again, it's about the team not just the player. Either way I still have faith and always will. Give Weis at least 3 years to make a difference. RCJH!!

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burnmu 1 year, 6 months ago

we KU fans got a taste of what an amazing football season feels like & we haven't been the same since. we're so use to constant success from the men's bb team, that i feel it's hard to start too really care about football & no one can predict when we'll start to be successful again. i'm gonna keep supporting & stay hopeful. rock chalk

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Charles Logan 1 year, 6 months ago

Where did all of this arm tackling come from anyway??? Anyone remember Gilbert Brown?.... Dana Stubblefield??? Banks Floodman??? They used to make Tackles!!! WRAP PEOPLE UP! !

KU defenses lately don't even try to wrap up runners. They either try to trip up the runner by throwing that one arm at their feet, or they throw a body check. Trying to knock the runner over. That doesn't work. It only gives the runner momentum going further. Most of the time... (examples KSU, OSU, OU, A&M, etc...) The runner just bounces off, and keeps on running.

I know every team practices fundamental tackling... So why doesn't it show up in games.

I know watered down football rules have slowed down the slobber knocking tackles of old, But it's not illegal to wrap up a ball carrier. Also KUs defenders are pretty small...... so.... I guess.....GANG TACKLE! LOL

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pepper_bar 1 year, 6 months ago

So Keegs, are you saying KU would be better off in the Big East?

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ahpersecoachingexperience 1 year, 6 months ago

Add up HCCW salary and the money we are paying Gill and we are spending 4.6 mill to lose to Rice and Northern Ill.

Yikes!!!

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wats211 1 year, 6 months ago

Weis had to make guarantees to Crist most likely for him to come here...and if he wasn't here....we would be much worse....I like Crist and before the end of the year...I believe he will redeem himself....bottom line..we need to block and tackle better...Period

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