Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Opinion: KU football at bottom of new pile


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.


Joan Kalivoda 9 months ago

Ku got rid of the pile of crap, Turner Gill.


mikehawk 9 months ago

Please, Charlie, give us a small pile of crap on the field this year!


JHWKDW 9 months ago

The thought that a team that historically was never good at Football, and never will be well has kind of been shattered by Louisville so far. They were only known as a Basketball school like us. But so far they are turning heads.That myth was shattered so far by the way they played Football this last season. Rick Pitino was at the College World Series saying how the AD At Louisville sat down and told all the sports teams there, and told them you tell me what you need from me the AD, and make sure to coach them well, and make sure to keep the athletes are keeping their grades up.I think that is what Zenger is doing. He will get what ever Weis needs or any coach here needs.Weis has the support of Zenger and brings in results, things will get better in the long run, if not Weis someone will.This football team has been broken for a while, so people should not expect miracles.

Also the whole view of what is revenue making in college sports is outdated.They say Baseball and Track are Non Revenue makers. Really? When I see games at LSU,Alabama,Texas A&M, UCLA,Oregon, or Arizona for example do you know what I see full packed houses whether it is track Baseball or Softball.Heck even in some schools in the SEC or Pac-12 Volleyball and other sports are sold out.Those 2 conferences in addition to the B1G always find ways of making money in everything.

Hey our football and all of our sports can make revenue.The Basketball does not have to be our only source of money making..I think hiring Charlie was god since he was with the Chiefs when they were winning he was a part of it.

Hang in there people.


Ralster Jayhawk 9 months ago

actorman has a good point. There are enough Kansas-area kids that like football and may have families that root for NFL teams/Chiefs/etc...(over the years). Evidence right there in AFH when at the end of the National Anthem, they say "...and the home...of the...(Cheeeefs!). Happened a lot more when KC was a playoff contender. Like when Charlie Weis was the O-coordinator at KC....ahh, we have stumbled onto something here...


JHWKDW 9 months ago

JHFT has put it best!

We can only hope that Dr Zenger can be as good as Perkins was in certain aspects, but without the drama we had with the Football coach, and without scandals like the ticket deal..

KU Athletics must keep moving in the 21st Century, and beyond.And yes in terms of not just KU Football but all of KU Athletics.If you want to see us move ahead and be relevant. If you piss off some of the "We Care About Basketball Only" crowd well tough luck.Hey BB Only crowd it is not always about you. We appreciate the history and all, but look around the country, and the schools that are successful. They have have great Academics and Athletic programs.They have more than 1 good program.If you do not like it, go root or give your money for some Cinderella Mid Major team we hear about ad nauseam when the tournament comes around.You have to tell the Basketball Only people Evolve or Die. And tell them without the success of other athletic programs other than Basketball. KU hoops needs to and has to have other Athletic programs to succeed if it wants to mover forward.

Honestly though, if you want to see a team that has turned their Athletics around and had a "Care About Basketball Only" crowd is Louisville.They did not want to be a 1 trick Pony organization anymore. And guess what it has paid dividends big time for them.They are getting out of that lousy Big LEast/American whatever conference, and are getting into a better conference ACC.Plus all the accomplishments they are getting in other sports get them recognized.

Like I have said before schools across the country are getting better in all sports not just 1 sport anymore.Hell K-State is doing it especially with the Triple Crown they won.Why cant that be us one day?

Well people have we not seen some good results so far under Zenger? I think we have.

First off Women won the National Championship in Track under him.Hey look at Ladies Volleyball team, they got to the Tournament.Ladies Basketball did way better.Same with the Softball and Baseball they both had good seasons.

Hey also he made sure that Track, Soccer Field, and Softball fields were still built, hey he could have backed out of that.Since the Track team will get a new place it is time to start talking one day about what is next for upgrades for the Football Stadium.

Zenger is trying to get the football team back to respectability.I really think Is. I think HCCW from what Ive seen in terms of his effort and coaches he has seems like a fit so far!

People let us step back and let us watch Zenger get KU Sports back to respectability and more.


hawkfan20 9 months ago

Nice revisionist history Tom. I'd expect as much from a CU fan, but not from a KU writer that was at the game. The KU comeback against CU didn't happen because CU was chucking the ball over the field. CU literally ran 4-6 plays between KU being down 28 and KU tying the game up. They turned the ball over and KU scored fast.


Randy Bombardier 9 months ago

The day they start paying college football players is the day I stop caring, stop following and stop watching. Doesn't anyone see that this is just getting the nose of the camel in the tent? Eventually the whole thing will be an auction and guess who wins? Guess who loses?


Fred Whitehead Jr. 9 months ago

My only observation is a simple one. You anly have to open the sprots page on this newspaper to get some idea..

Almost weekly there is an article or two on the latest one-year wonder that is considering the KU Basketball Academy for the NBA. Not much ink for the team that must go on the field to face the football powerhouses like Texas, Olkahoma, and Oklahoma State..

It would seem to me that an equal devotion the support the program might make a difference in the results that have put KU football in the depths of despair for the past milennia.


guithawk 9 months ago

Hey at least basketball season starts soon. October 4th is Late Night. Can't wait.


Bob Bailey 9 months ago

KGphoto was quite right. The problem with our 7 losses was the QB injury. He should have taken an 'injury' year off. All would have been well the next year

Mangino was too concerned about his 'coaching image'. He made a lot of mistakes, but they alone perhaps would have been unworthy of getting fired. Had he bit a bit more of a person, he might still be here with KU doing pretty well. Maybe the Orange Bowl got to his head.


Robert Brown 9 months ago

I was at the Orange Bowl and it was great but that win doesn't make up for the downward spirial that has followed. The next year, we were a last second Reesing to Meier TD pass from being 6-6. 2008 was a disappointment. 2009 was supposed to be better as we were ranked for the first part of the season, but turned into a disaster.

I would trade the Orange Bowl win for more sustained success. I understand that the stars aligned just right to get us to the Orange Bowl- weak schedule, back room dealing with the Bowl committee, etc. As long as we have a round robin schedule, that won't happen again.

We look at the Mangino era with a revisionist slant, all because of the 2007 season. In his other seasons, he never had a winning conference record and the three other bowls we went to were all very low in the Big 12 pecking order. Two bowls were played before Christmas and the Insight Bowl the 6th of 7th at best. Mangino elevated the program from 11th or 12th in the Big 12 to maybe 7th or 8th.


jgkojak 9 months ago

If those 63 teams break away, they will have to allow other to join -

BYU and Navy would certainly have to be included for multiple reasons. Other teams with recent success (Boise St, even Cinci) would be hard to keep out as well -

So it will probably end up being the American Athletic and Mtn West which get to the party as well.


JayHawkFanToo 9 months ago

Many posters seem to delight in bashing Lew Perkins and blame him for all of KU problems. Lets look at his biggest achievements and failures in perspective and then judge the man.

The good:

  1. Perkins just about doubled the athletic budget and brought it yelling and screaming into the 21st century. Yes, he antagonized some fans, particularly basketball, in the process, but he got KU to do what most other schools were already doing; run the program as business and not as a hobby. He also negotiated the biggest sports contracts ever at KU. The additional revenue paid for all the facility improvements that we are so proud and that help recruit better athletes; look up the list, it is very impressive Time magazine selected him one of the to sports administrators in the world; the only collegiate executive in the list.

  2. Without Perkin KU does not go to the Orange Bowl, period.

  3. Andrea Hudy. The gift that keeps on giving, enough said.

The bad:

  1. Hiring Turner Gill. I cannot understand why one would hire a mid major coach with a consistent losing record and only one decent season, and would expect him to win consistently at a BCS program. On top, you give him an outrageously high contract with a buy out clause that must have been written by the coach's attorney and not by the university. The KC Chiefs did the same thing hiring Romeo Crennel, a coach with a consistently losing record and only one winning season. I guess the pros are equally as bad a collegiate executives when judging coaching talent.

  2. Firing Mangino. I am not going to say whether Mangino should have not been fired, but sometimes is not what you do but how you do it, and his firing was handled poorly and unprofessionally. Mangino deserved better than what he got, and I don't think he took any solace seeing the program completely crumble under Gill.

  3. The ticket/gift scandal. Since it happened under his watch , he takes the blame whether he deserved it or not.

When you look at the entire picture in context, IMHO the good outweighs the bad; I am sure other posters will disagree.


Randy Maxwell 9 months ago

KU wins at the least 5 games this year, I'm predicting 6 , but 7 wouldnt shock me


AzHawk97 9 months ago

So does Charlie Weis at the very least need a win over a ranked team and a conference win this season to have more on field accomplishments than Turner Gill in his two seasons at Kansas? Let's just play devil's advocate here and answer "Yes." I think we can agree that while wins and losses are definitely a measurment of a program's success, it is not how we are judging Kansas football at this time.


Wisconsin2Kansas 9 months ago

Why are so many people confident that Charlie Weis is going to revive our school's football program? Did people forget about his five years at Notre Dame, or do most of you just chose to ignore those five years? If you're Notre Dame, what was more embarrassing, your football team, or your head coach, because, honestly, both sucked.

The only thing Weis was good at while at Notre Dame was running his mouth. Like when he said, "Notre Dame would not lose to Michigan State on his watch," yet had a losing record against the Spartans in his five years at Notre Dame.

Let's not forget the below-average seasons Weis had at Notre Dame with a roster filled with four and five star recruits. It was not like Notre Dame was playing an extremely difficult schedule those seasons, either. And when they did play difficult teams, such as Penn State and USC, Notre Dame, rarely, contended in those games.

I realize KU needs a coach to rejuvenate our program, but, like Notre Dame, Charlie Weis will not be that coach. Two years from now, Weis, in my opinion, will be placed in the same category as most of you are placing Turner Gill.


Gregor Southard 9 months ago

Since some people decided to blast the Orange Bowl winners, and amazingly some are still trying to say Mangino drove the program into the ground, first off, 5-7 is not driving a team into the ground, and second, that 5-7 team was about five plays away from being 10-2. If someone other than Bowen was the DC that year, well


Brett McCabe 9 months ago

The Weis comment is fading and won't even be relevant in another few days. If it was so damaging, then why did we just get a commitment announcement?

A deep breath is in order.

Weis needs 4 wins and a competitive team on the field every week this year. No easy feat in a 10-team round robin league. He'll get it done, though.


Edward Coan 9 months ago

I think the "pile of crap" comment was intended to motivate his current players and I think it will help making them hungry, angry, and play with a chip.


YoMomma 9 months ago

Lew's incompetence and arrogance buried this program.


Ludwig Supraphonic 9 months ago

I understand some sportswriters, and more gentile media types with delicate sensibilities, may have a visceral reaction to crap. The players we recruit understand the molecular theory of olfaction and readily ingest and absorb this metaphor.


farnamjayhawk 9 months ago

Probably some corn in that pile also


CrystalJones 9 months ago

This is how you embark on a "quest for relevance"?

Was the effect of the "pile of crap" comment a net positive or negative? From what I'm seeing, it was the latter. The local apologists are rationalizing it as "any publicity is good publicity," but that's just not true. We all want to think the best of our coach, but it wasn't good publicity; it was bad publicity.

Charlie was "brutally honest," but nationally it has been regarded as simply brutal, i.e., KU football was already seen as a bad program, but Charlie just strengthened that perception. In the eyes of the national media, the head coach just called his program, the very program that he manages, a pile of crap. It sounded like a desperate cry for attention. It sounded defeatist.

I really hope Charlie succeeds, and by that I'll just be happy to become a .500 program and get to a minor bowl every 3-4 years. But before that happens I'd rather our coach just shut his mouth, keep a low profile, get to work, and start doing the one thing that he hasn't done yet and the only thing that matters:

Starting winning games. That how you become "relevant."


Kevin Kelly 9 months ago

If they left the NCAA then they could only play each other. They won't do it like that and they know it. Michigan State would never go to a bowl again because they would be in the bottom 1/3 of that group. Never mind what we does UCLA and Boston College feel about it?

They need the wins.....they need the guaranteed home games and the money it brings. Its a negotiating position and there is a reason that the Big 12 Comish said he hadn't met anyone who serious said they would fully leave.


JHWKDW 9 months ago

Nowhere to go but up people!

You know it is not like we have never had good things come out of KU football historically.Gayle Sayers, John Riggins, Dana Stubblefield, Gilbert Brown just to say the least.Hey we have won Bowls in the past.In comparison to Indiana, Kentucky, or Duke lifetime overall we are not as bad as them.When did those 3 produce players like them?Also where is Illinois on that I do not recall them being so great either.As for Miss and Washington State, and Colorado they have had their ups and downs like KU.But overall as a football program I would say we certainly are not the worst.Last season in terms of W/L yes but overall no.

The problem with KU Football historically been not enough consistency,we get to bowl games 3-4 times a decade, but not consistently, in addition we have lost good coaches. For example we had Terry Donahue before he went to UCLA and did well there, in addition in the 80s we had the current head coach of Denver John Fox on our staff who has done well.We have to get rid of the Jekyll and Hide from the team.We either are good or we really stink we got to keep at least .500 if anything.

Let's hopefully make some good headlines.Hopefully we can shock some people out there this season.Good luck Ill be watching and hoping for many more wins!


Michael Johnson 9 months ago

Mangino ran this program into the ground. Not Turner Gill.


jhawkrulz 9 months ago

So we are in the 64...that is all I need to know...


Steve Corder 9 months ago

Type this out between commercials?


ahpersecoachingexperience 9 months ago

Yeah but do IU, ole miss, CU. and WSU have a bcs trophy in their display case? I know we've fallen hard (thanks Turner) but at least we've proven it can be done here.


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