The Kansas University football team headed by Charlie Weis sits at the bottom of a pile. It’s a stinky place to be, all the way at the bottom of a pile that includes 63 teams. Alabama is at the top, Kansas at the bottom. It’s known as Division 4 college football.
It doesn’t exist yet, but the commissioners of the five powerhouse football conferences, plus Old Notre Dame, want it to form, breaking away from the NCAA with players getting paid.
Notre Dame remains an independent in football and the other 62 schools come from the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC.
Every school but one of the 62 has won at least three conference games in the past three seasons, known around here as the post-Mark Mangino era.
Kansas is 1-24 in Big 12 play during that time span, the lone victory a wild comeback against a Colorado team that had a big lead and kept passing instead of eating the clock. Why? Probably because the head coach wanted the quarterback, his son, to break the school career passing record.
Indiana ranks second from the bottom (3-21 in the Big Ten), followed by Washington State (4-23 in the Pac-12), Kentucky and Ole Miss (4-20 in the SEC), Duke (5-19 in the ACC) and Colorado (5-21 in the Big 12/Pac-12).
So why is everybody with even a passing interest in college football talking about the worst team in the best proposed division? Because its coach, Charlie Weis, referred to the product he put on the field a year ago as “a pile of crap.” (Remember, the plan calls for Division 4 players to get paid. What is the going rate for a … oh, never mind.)
Weis, as he has in the past, shared that he used those words in his sales pitch to recruits to entice them to come to Kansas for quicker playing time than they would get elsewhere in a power conference. The national media picks that up and now he’s not just talking to recruits in person, he’s talking to every potential recruit who watches TV. Some might think, “I don’t want to play for a coach who refers to his players in such demeaning language.” Others might think, “Hey, I can play right away there. Maybe I should go there on one of my five recruiting visits.”
Offensive? Sure. Ignored? Nope. He’s making Kansas football relevant. Keeping it on the radar will require winning more games, but when you’re in a place that stinks, at the bottom of a big pile, the quest for relevance must start somewhere.