Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Opinion: Noise needed to slow Bears


Second-year Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis needs your help. No, not to block, run pass patterns or call plays. You’re not eligible to fill those roles, even if you might feel qualified.

Weis needs your help Saturday, moments after the Campanile booms six times, when the KU defense takes the field for the first time to try to slow down Baylor’s breakneck-pace offense.

Weis wants you to keep all of your frustrations toward professors, siblings, boyfriends, girlfriends, parents and football coaches bottled up until you see the offense dressed in green and white take the field. Then he wants you to unleash everything bothering you with as much fury as possible. And repeat the cycle until the game ends.

“They can yell bad things at me, I don’t care,” Weis said. “Just make it very loud the whole time we’re on defense.”

The coach is asking for help because he honestly thinks a crowd that participates, instead of just watching and cheering the good plays, can muddy the waters for the nation’s fastest speed boat.

Baylor (6-0 overall, 3-0 in the Big 12) has scored 69 points or greater five times. The lone exception came in its only road game, Oct. 12 at Kansas State, where the Bears won, 35-25.

Clint Bowen, who coordinates the defense and coaches linebackers, said he doesn’t remember a Big 12 team ever playing with faster tempo than this Baylor squad.

“Last week, you saw (Oklahoma quarterback Blake) Bell just went to the line of scrimmage and went from tackle to tackle, told them what the play was and then backed up,” Weis said. “Signal out to the wide receivers and then run the play.”

Different story with the Bears, who live with all five fast-forward arrows engaged.

“When you run the play as fast as they’re trying to run it, they’re counting on verbal commands for everyone to know what the play is,” Weis said. “How does the line know what the play is? They have to be given some sort of command to know what the play is. So it’s a lot easier when you can yell it to them. When you have to walk up and tell it to them, that can slow down the tempo.”

It’s not as if KU’s offense will turn you too hoarse to help the defense to try to intercept Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty’s commands in hopes that doing so leads to Dexter McDonald, Isaiah Johnson, JaCorey Shepherd, Cassius Sendish or Victor Simmons intercepting a pass.

“I’m hoping for a 6 o’clock, loud, boisterous crowd to not make it so easy on them,” Weis said. “And I think that’s what they got when they were at K-State. It was a loud, boisterous crowd.”

Even with a 24-game Big 12 losing streak, can a KU football crowd pump up the volume the way K-State’s fans did for Bill Snyder? We’ll find out Saturday evening.


Doug Cramer 4 years, 7 months ago

Good Post. Lew will go down as the worst athletic director in the history of the Bug 12.

Robert Brown 4 years, 7 months ago

Chuck- Here are some stats. Up to the Orange Bowl trip in 1968, KU was very competitive in the Big 8. They usually finished in the top half of the conference. In 1969, they started the season ranked but finished 1-9. In the last 44 years since the Orange Bowl season, KU football has 6 season with a winning conference record; 9 bowls (5-4 record) and 4 seasons where they finished ranked in the Top 20/25. I doubt that any other Big 12 or former Big 8 school is anywhere close to this level of mediocrity. I don't know why we have been so bad. I don't think you can blame the emphasis on basketball. From 1969-1983, KU basketball was good but not great.

It is quite possible that KU has struck out many times in coaching hires. To me. coaching is the biggest factor in success of a program. Don Fambrough is a legend, but if he did not success the first time, why hire him a second time. We made two good hires with Mason and Mangino, but both were only able to elevate the program to mid-level in the conference. Each has one break out season which they were not able to sustain.

Robert Brown 4 years, 7 months ago

Brett - I agree with the need for a system coach. Weis clearly does not have a system. Against, Tech, he came out in the spread and against OU he came out in a smash mouth running formation. That is not a system.

To your point, the opponents get surprised and fall behind, but one adjustments are made the offense is pretty much shut down the rest of the game. Charlie Weis is supposed to be an offensive guru. I don't see it.

David Williams 4 years, 7 months ago

Robert - interesting stats, thanks. To add to your information -

I would agree (somewhat) that you cannot blame the emphasis on basketball. IMHO, it was a result of KU not making Football a fundamental priority cornerstone in the Athletic Dept, and building on the success of MBB.

Coaching hires do make a critical difference; to retain them you have to have the commitment of the Admiistration and AD to move the program forward. I believe that KU's success in the last 44 years has been more in spite of this rather than a result of this (w/exception med/late 2000s). That is partly the reason why Mason and Gottfried before him left to other schools, which then left "successors" such as Val and TA. We did go to the Sun Bowl in 76 and played Pitt, who would be national champions the following year. One year in particular that is a head-scratcher, which KU did not appear to make much noise about, was 1995 when they went 10-2 under Mason and finished the season ranked #10 in the nation. If the University was not going to get excited and invest long term in the program at that time, why should a coach hang around? Mason left one year later (although almost left to go to Georgia in 95; this became a bowl game-day distraction...fortunately the players shrugged it off, Mark Williams had an amazing day at QB, and we blew UCLA out of the stadium). Now KU Admin and Zenger appear to "get it", let's see what the future holds.

From 1969-83, Owens-led KU MBB made the Final Four twice, in 1971 and 1974, and won a few Big 8 titles/tourneys here and there. They were poised to do well in 1978 (?) as a top-5/10 team, however lost in the first round to UCLA in the infamous "Curt Gowdy" game. I would concur that MBB was generally good but not great. However, it is interesting to note that during Roy's time at KU (1988-2003), we made the FF three times (91, 93 and 2003). While Roy racked up way more Ws and elevated the program's prominence nationally, the postseason performance was not that much different, ironically. Then you look at Brown's tenure - five years, two FFs, one NC. He was efficient.

Robert Brown 4 years, 7 months ago

Sounds like we have similar memories, especially 1978 "Curt Gowdy" game. I would argue with you regarding the post season success between the Owens and Williams eras though it is difficult to compare. Up until 1975, only conference champions made it to the NCAA tournament so getting in was harder. But, once in, all a team from the Big 8 needed to do was win two games to get to the Final Four. It was also a true regional as only teams from the Midwest played in the Midwest regional. One of the reasons that UCLA made it to the Final Four so many years was because there were very few regional powers in the West.

In 1975, at large teams were invited and moved to other regionals, and ironically, after the 'Curt Gowdy' game vs. UCLA, seeding started. In 1978, KU, UCLA, Arkansas, and New Mexico were all Top 10 teams that were sent to the West Regional. KU would have gone to St. Louis had they won the Big Eight post season tournament.

Back to Williams, after the first year, he made the tournament every year and won at least one game in the tournament every year. It now takes four wins in the tournament to go to the Final Four. Williams teams won or shared a conference championship 60% of the time. From 1969-83, I think KU won only four regular season Big 8 championships.

Gary Bedore 4 years, 7 months ago

I'd think the game is a big part of dad's weekend, Brett. Is 9 or 9:30 too late to start the party for the ol' dads? I don't think so, do you? I'd think the dads would enjoy going to a sporting event with their daughters, but sure, I could be mistaken. Interesting point of discussion at least.

Casey Osburn 4 years, 7 months ago

Of course noise will help, but it's not realistic. Fans are sick of losing. We're angry and flat out tired of it. We demand people do their jobs and get some wins, whatever it takes.

Most fans, unfortunately, have moved on to basketball. This season is unfolding like most other seasons, and fans just want to embrace a program that makes them feel good about themselves. That's basketball. Football has a chance every single year, and it always fails.

Keith Gellar 4 years, 7 months ago

wow..this is what its come to? Charlie Weis..the offensive guru unveils his smartest mind boggling scheme yet...Fans cheering. really..if this what he's counting on...oh who cares...KU Basketball in 5,4,3,2.....

Joe Ross 4 years, 7 months ago

Fans cheering to one thirty-seven, seven didn't hurt Kansas City in its bid to defeat Oakland though.

Eric Guinan 4 years, 7 months ago

Opinion: Minefield, barbed wire and machine gun nests needed to slow Bears.

Dan Spurgin 4 years, 7 months ago

I will shake my keys REALLY LOUDLY. Is that our defensive plan this week? Also, Weis has announced that he'll no longer be shaking his keys. He'll delegate a member of his staff to determine when and where to do the shaking. He'll only offer 'strong' input.

Dan Spurgin 4 years, 7 months ago

Article Keegan SHOULD have written:

Good KU team needed to generate noise, which is needed to slow Bears

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