Thursday, October 26, 2017


Tom Keegan: Jayhawks must prove they can play on Saturday before worrying about Sunday

Sweat pours from the face of Kansas defensive tackle Daniel Wise as he prepares for a squat at the Anderson Family Football Complex on Thursday, June 29, 2017.

Sweat pours from the face of Kansas defensive tackle Daniel Wise as he prepares for a squat at the Anderson Family Football Complex on Thursday, June 29, 2017.


In explaining his well-meaning post-game tirade directed at some teammates not playing with enough passion, junior defensive tackle Daniel Wise just might have unwittingly exposed a deep-rooted flaw in the team’s thinking.

“Some guys might not take it as serious … I’m not quite sure why,” Wise said. “But we just try to not harp on it too much, but let them know, ‘Hey, this is a game we’re all trying to have a future in,’ and just try to get them on the same page as we are.”

Whoa! The cart is way ahead of the wagon there.

Nobody on a team coming off the lowest offensive production (21 yards vs. TCU) by an FBS school this century, a team outscored 118-0 in the past nine-and-a-half quarters, should be thinking about Sundays when they need to prove they are worthy of playing on Saturdays.

Podcast episode

KU Sports Hour

Comparing post-Mangino KU football teams

On this episode of the KU Sports Hour, hosted by KU football beat writer Benton Smith, the staff discusses KU’s 43-0 loss to TCU. Topics include: Ten horrible KU football statistics (open), comparing the teams of the post-Mangino era (starting at 19:25) and the football mailbag — cage ...

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Wise is one of a small group of Jayhawks with the potential to reach the NFL, but if he thinks all of his teammates are trying to have a future in football, then he and they need to look at things more realistically.

Wise works hard year-round to grow stronger and improve his conditioning. He plays and practices with passion and is vocal in the meeting room and on game day. It’s admirable that he’s doing everything he can to give himself a shot at joining his brother Deatrich Wise of the New England Patriots as an NFL player. But if that’s what motivates him to play on Saturday and he uses that to try to inspire teammates, that’s not a team-first tactic that will result in bonding. It actually excludes those who know that they, like the vast majority of college football players, have no future in football beyond the uniform they wear. That uniform means everything to them, and they want to create great memories with their current teammates. They're using Kansas football to get a degree and to become part of something that a select few high school football players get to experience, trying to score upsets they'll savor for decades.

Trying to inspire teammates to play with more passion so they can chase an unrealistic goal isn't a team motivation, it's an individual one that badly misses the mark. Football's about carrying out assignments precisely, very often so that a teammate can make a play and get the glory. Playing Saturday while keeping one eye on Sunday isn't the right mindset. The focus must be 100 percent on the here and now, on playing for teammates and the uniform, not for a vague, distant and in most cases unrealistic goal.


Doug Cramer 2 years, 1 month ago

You wouldn't see a Mangino led football team make comments like this.

You wouldn't see a Mangino led football team chuckle on the sidelines after totaling 21 yards for 4 quarters.

You wouldn't see a Mangino led football team talk about America getting to see "ME" play because they are on Saturday Night Prime Time.

No leadership has led to a bad culture with no discipline and a "me first" attitude.

If Mangino instilled his culture and led the current players on this roster, this team would play with discipline and probably have 5 wins by seasons end.

I agree with Snyder, the talent on this team is better than the execution and performance on the field.

Sorry to all the Mangino haters (wussified crybabies), I know you won't like hearing this, but for future endeavors, lets not go impulsive and fire coaches that are winning bowl games and national coach of the year awards.

This program may NEVER recover for as long as we live. I know thats a bold statement, but it's very very possible given this programs historical track record in football. We won't find a better coach than Mangino that instills a culture and focus on the right details that leads to a competitive program.

Mike Barnhart 2 years, 1 month ago

Getting fired from a clueless goof-fest like KU football could happen to any good coach. So, please explain why Mangino is currently out of work and has not been offered another HC job in the last decade.

Len Shaffer 2 years, 1 month ago

Careful, Mike. Don't start arguing with logic, or Doug might accuse you of being a wussified crybaby ...

Jerry Walker 2 years, 1 month ago

Since Beaty brought up the "levity" of the's a little levity from the misery loves company department.

"Counting every team’s conference games only, Mizzou’s defense has ranks 118th among 125 teams in points allowed per game (43.8), and is 117th in yards allowed per game (505.8)...

Low-scoring Florida has lost two in a row at home going into Saturday’s neutral-site game against No. 3 Georgia, and the program is in turmoil...

Tennessee is a wreck, going 0-4 in conference games while being outscored 127-36...

Vanderbilt is 0-4 in SEC games, and last season’s late momentum has completely faded... Commodores get busted up for an average of 49.7 points in the four SEC losses...

Arkansas has lost five of six, is 0-4 in the SEC, and the defense has been rolled for an average of 41 points by SEC offenses."

Jeff Coffman 2 years, 1 month ago

I said it before when the players are better than the coaching, you have a coaching issue.

I would say there is a lot of talent on our team, but they aren't being coached correctly.

In the last game, it was apparent that the safety was out a few yards too wide and the QB from TCU immediately exposed it. Little positionings like that and where a TV analyst in seconds can show how the defense is broken, should illustrate why we have a coaching issue.

In a game of inches, we are yards away.

David McNickle 2 years, 1 month ago

There is very little talent on this team. If you think they are being coached incorrectly, ok. But Saban couldn't win more than 3 games with this talent.

Jeff Coffman 2 years, 1 month ago

We disagree on that. I believe that Saban and several other coaches would win and win big with the players on the roster.

As I pointed out, the players are in the incorrect starting spot on defense and are exposed, that is a coaching element. False starts a coaching element. Improper substitutions, coaching. Gap assignments, coaching. I'm sorry, but I do really disagree that there aren't several coaches that with the talent on this team, they would have won 3-7 games if they had the offseason to work out the players.

John Fitzgerald 2 years, 1 month ago

What makes Snyder such a great player developer is the type of players he recruits. He finds the guys with the right attitude who put everything on the line. Talent is great to have, and you want a guy that has the size as well, but the hardest thing to find is that grit and toughness. Look at Ben Heeney, he wasn't highly recruited and he turned out to be a stud. It was because he was tough and gave 100% EVERY play even if he was tired. You didn't see him once half-arse a play. So, if I'm looking for recruits I'm looking at attitude and personality first, and then I'm looking at talent and size. Because you can teach a player technique and understanding of the game and beef him up, but you CANNOT motivate them.

Jerry Walker 2 years, 1 month ago

Did or will somebody on the staff talk to Mike Lee and any other cohorts with the same delusions.

“I’m really excited, because it will be my first time playing on national TV, where everybody can see how I really play and stuff like that...Now we can show people that, yeah, (the Jayhawks) have some great talent on their team and they can play with anybody.”

When I first read that quote I passed it off as just pregame bravado but it appears it's a real world fantasy that this rudderless team is caught up in.

Dale Rogers 2 years, 1 month ago

Sorry but I'm not a big Mangino fan. He did some terrific things at KU. But how quickly we seem to forget his final season, when his start quarterback had graduated and his team had a losing record including the final five games. He's a pretty good coach but if you take Reesing off his KU teams I seriously doubt we'd hear people talking about what a great coach he is. He got lucky. He got a really good quarterback and developed an offensive line that got him time to show what he could do. That said, the current situation is not acceptable.

David Kemp 2 years, 1 month ago

Mangino went to 2 bowl games and won 6 or more games 3 seasons without Reesing , so let’s not say he was just lucky. He could develop players, olineman, great linebackers, and a flurry of rbs and receivers.

Doug Cramer 2 years, 1 month ago

You know nothing about coaching, and you forget to mention that as soon as Perkins announced the investigation, the players were done. Had nothing to do with Mangino's ability to coach. But hell, we still had 5 wins that season. Given the state of our program right now, I'd take that anyday.

Joe Ross 2 years, 1 month ago

Taking Mangino back is as simple a no-brainer as it gets.

I've seen tons of people talk about how "dismal" the last season was, but they never utter a single word in lipservice regarding how Lew began a investigation in October that split the team apart, emptied morale, and likely distracted Mangino himself (because who can work under that pressure). You're talking like the final season's record occurred in a vacuum, though, when clearly it did NOT! And don't pretend for one second that the punishment (and the THREAT of punishment) fit the crime. Mangino instilled toughness, and with his departure we've been trotting sissies out onto the field. Say what you will about his methods, but his players played a kind of football that made fans proud.

Furthermore, Reesing was not around when Mangino took over, and evidence was available IMMEDIATELY of the improvement in football, so let's not rewrite history. You also make a mistake in saying Mangino got lucky with Reesing. He alone picked out Reesing as a diamond in the rough who had the potential to be a star. He alone had the wherewithal to bench a starter in front of him. He alone made damn sure Reesing would be coached to his potential in both ability and knowledge. Your arguments are the same ones that get recycled ad nauseum in these comments, but they're just not true.

Steve Corder 2 years, 1 month ago

Joe, you write well. I appreciate your comments.

Marius Rowlanski 2 years, 1 month ago

This is a great comment. Can only hope more people read it.

Jeff Coffman 2 years, 1 month ago

The final year with Mangino they did have Todd Reesing...they won the first 5 games, spirits were high, and then he was not allowed to coach. No game plan, no preparation, and we still nearly won 3 of the last 6 and we were not shut out in any of those games.

Philip Bowman 2 years, 1 month ago

You may have forgotten what happened during Mangino's final season. As I recall, the team was doing quite well until the wonderful sweet Lou (Mangino wasn't his hire and wasn't pretty enough) and the chancellor stepped in and announced they were investigating the coach because he was too tough on the players. Once that knife was inserted in Mangino's back the team never won another game. Following that KU suffered from incompetent leadership from the top down, hiring once doomed to failure coach after another. I had hoped that after getting rid of Lew and the chancellor things would improve. I think it is too early to talk of getting rid of Beaty. The program has suffered a long time and it will take a long time to get over the damage done by the administration that ran Mangino off. That said, perhaps it may come to pass that football at KU is dropped.

John Brazelton 2 years, 1 month ago

Tom Keegan, you'll do any thing to TRASH to KU football program, including criticizing one our best defensive players, who will play on Sundays if he doesn't get hurt in his college career. If you had worked for me during my 30 year media career, you would have found yourselt out on the streets living on food stamps.

John Fitzgerald 2 years, 1 month ago

Question of the day:

Who is John Brazelton?

A.) Beaty’s Wife

B.) Zenger’s Wife

C.) Tait or Benton pranking Tom

D.) Lew Perkins

Barry Weiss 2 years, 1 month ago

These somewhat weird comments keep coming up on this team. It was a couple of weeks ago in an article that a few players were quoted about not liking to play the early Saturday games because the could not "sleep in" or something to that effect. Even more alarming, one of the coach's laughed about it and said something about well, they are college kids. I thought, wow, Saban or most coach's would probably kick a player off the team if he was whining about having to get up early for a game. Maybe I took it wrong, but that comment and some others just keep coming up that makes me think something is just not right on this team.

Brett McCabe 2 years, 1 month ago

The problem is that the conversation had to held in the first place. Daniel Wise has his career in front of him, I don't blame him for having a passion for excellence.

Tom has missed the mark. We should never criticize a young man who is pursuing excellence, even if his form of communication may not hit every note, cleanly.

More power to Daniel. If the guys around you aren't serious about their craft, then call them out. Too bad if it hurts their feelings. This is a high-performance activity. Don't announce on Twitter that you've accepted a scholarship, then date a cheerleader, then tell all your friends at home about your escapades if you aren't willing to do the work.

Cheers to Daniel. Let's hope some of his teammates get a friggin' clue.

Craig Alexander 2 years, 1 month ago

I know some of you like to bag on Keegan for the articles he writes and generally I just read the articles and don't do much commenting. If you watch Keegan's style though you will see he is a little bit of a bandwagon guy. Before the season, we could potentially go to a bowl game with Bender at the helm as QB and all the improvements going to happen. As that didn't materialize over the first couple losses, there were a lot of comments on here about letting Beaty go and the team character on the sidelines. Then over the next couple of weeks the articles started to be tailored towards being stories written directly from the comments on this board with a little bit of other commentary.

Without solid evidence of horrible play from the football team, Keegan is a cheerleader despite receiving the feedback on comments here with skepticism. He is now simply echoing what people on here have been saying for awhile. He just tends to take it a little too far by targeting certain players, especially the ones who you can see do put in the work required.

Armen Kurdian 2 years, 1 month ago

I hear Tom's point, but DW is basically saying, "Look, you can't treat this like a joke. Some of us want to make a career here." So if a good portion of the team isn't trying, then it hurts those trying to put forth the real effort.

HCDB needs to chew some ass and get mad. No more optimism.

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