Kansas losingest FBS program of this decade


Kansas head coach David Beaty gives a pat on the back to Kansas wide receiver LaQuvionte Gonzalez (1) after Gonzalez fumbled a punt during the second quarter on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas head coach David Beaty gives a pat on the back to Kansas wide receiver LaQuvionte Gonzalez (1) after Gonzalez fumbled a punt during the second quarter on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Third-year Kansas football coach David Beaty lost some followers with Saturday's loss to Central Michigan, but his team hasn't lost him as a believer. Beaty remains bullish on the Jayhawks.

"We're still a good football team," Beaty said Tuesday at his weekly presser. "That's the thing I'm excited about. We're still a good football team. Nothing's changed."

Nothing has changed, but Kansas hasn't been a good football team since last decade. In fact, nobody in the FBS has been worse than KU this decade in terms of W's and L's.

Staring at 10 games in which it will be the underdog, unless favored against Baylor in Lawrence, the Kansas football program doesn't stand a chance of climbing out of last place among all FBS schools this decade any time soon.

Two games into the eighth season of the decade, KU has a .174 winning percentage. New Mexico State is next worst with a .207 mark.

If KU (1-1) somehow still can squeeze two more victories out of the schedule, it will remain in last place, even if New Mexico State goes winless for the rest of the season.

Turner Gill (.217 winning percentage at KU), hired by Lew Perkins to replace ousted Mark Mangino (.510), coached the first two seasons of the decade. Sheahon Zenger hires Charlie Weis, interim Clint Bowen and third-year coach David Beaty have combined for a .161 winning percentage.

These are facts, which makes them slanted neither positively nor negatively. Cold, hard facts.

Here's how the 20 losingest FBS football programs of this decade have fared:

Record Pct. Current HC (rec.)
1- Kansas
15-71 .174 David Beaty (3-23)
2- New Mexico State
18-69 .207 Doug Martin (11-39)
3 - UNLV
23-67 .256 Tony Sanchez (8-18)
4- Florida Atlantic
23-63 .267 Lane Kiffin (0-2)
5 - Eastern Michigan
24-63 .276 Chris Creighton (12-27)
6- Idaho
25-62 .287 Paul Petrino (16-34)
7 - Tulane
26-62 .295 Willie Fritz (5-9)
8 - Purdue
27-61 .307 Jeff Brohm (1-1)
9 - Akron
27-60 .310 Terry Bowden (24-38)
10 - Iowa State
29-59 .330 Matt Campbell (4-10)
11t - Miami (Ohio)
30-59 .337 Chuck Martin (12-27)
11t - New Mexico
30-59 .337 Bob Davie (28-37)
11t - Buffalo
Lance Leipold (7-19)
14 - Colorado
Mike McIntyre (22-31)
15 - Virginia
.345 Bronco Mendenhall (3-11)
16 - Army
31-57 .352 Jeff Monken (16-23)
17t - Indiana
32-56 .364 Tom Allen (1-1)
17t - UTEP
32-56 .364 Sean Kugler (18-33)
19t - North Texas
36-58 .383 Seth Littrell (6-9)
19t - Hawaii
36-58 .383 Nick Rolovich (9-8)

Georgia State (10-40) and Massachusetts (10-53) did not qualify for this list because they moved up from the FCS in mid-decade. UAB (19-43) also was not included because it discontinued its football program for a couple of seasons.


John Fitzgerald 2 years, 5 months ago

I just don't understand how a football program can be so bad after winning an Orange Bowl. I mean, it's been 8 years of complete utter disaster. Do we blame Perkins? Do we blame Zenger? Do we blame Beaty? Do we blame the players? Do we blame bad luck? Is blaming anyone appropriate? After Saturday's loss I'm at a loss for words. I keep trying to make excuses but I'm out of them. Maybe Beaty needs some tough love so he can give his players and coaches some tough love. Would telling him to win 4 games this year or pack his bags be too harsh or even illogical? We need a fire lit somewhere and it seems lighting it under the coaches arse would be a good place to start.

Titus Canby 2 years, 5 months ago

To answer John's first 5 questions, Bernadette Gray-Little.

Bryce Landon 2 years, 5 months ago

"Would telling him to win 4 games this year or pack his bags be too harsh or even illogical?"

Funny you say that; I had said all this offseason that Kansas could do no worse than 4-8 this season to demonstrate that Beaty's rebuilding project was on track and on schedule.

Brian Leslie 2 years, 5 months ago

Bryce, I think that winning two conference games or one true road game plus a conference game would be "just enough" to show progress, although that is still obviously a dismal record. If we don't win on Saturday, it's impossible to spin it because we are not going to win two conference games after consecutive mid-major losses; the wheels will have come off after week three.

Randy Bombardier 2 years, 5 months ago

How long has the current AD been here? Just asking, nothing implied.

Not sure why Journal World thinks this merits a headline.

Brian Skelly 2 years, 5 months ago

I'll imply it. How many ADs make more than one hire for football? At the FBS level. My guess is the list isnt huge.

Tom Keegan 2 years, 5 months ago

Sheahon Zenger has been the AD for seven years and this is the sixth year the program has been coached by his hire. It's not very common for an AD to be retained to fire one of his hires, but it does happen. I don't know of an AD who has been allowed to fire two of his hires and make a third hire.

Charlie Gaughn 2 years, 5 months ago

Absolutely spot on Tom. The blame is being directed in all the wrong places. Worse yet, he (Zenger) seems to either be completely lost, or is directing a program behind the scenes that looks silly. It's time for Zenger to go. We don't want to struggle through a 1-11 season and be facing the possibility of him hiring yet another coach. I'm not advocating getting rid of Beaty until at least after year four but we've got to get rid of Zenger.

Marius Rowlanski 2 years, 5 months ago

Trust the progress... I like our head coach and want him to build this program into something other than being the WORST FBS school in the NCAA.

Mediocracy would be a great step forward.

Mike Bennett 2 years, 5 months ago

You can't keep switching coaches and move forward. Every time you switch you take at least 1 step back with hope you will take 2 forward later. We fire before we give them a chance at 2 steps forward.

Brett McCabe 2 years, 5 months ago

Have to address this fallacy. People repeat it so often it seems like they actually believe it. Bottom line, you don't have to take steps backwards at all. Look at Purdue this year.

Make a smart hire for once in a decade and you'll find a coach who can immediately begin improving the program. From Day One. Just because Weiss, Gill and Beaty couldn't move it forward doesn't mean that there aren't coaches out there who can.

We've hired a mediocre MAC coach, a fired coach from Notre Dame and a recruiting coordinator to lead our football program. Back up the money truck, hire a coach with an actual track record, a clear plan and a desire to work - then I'll give you five years.

Lawrence McGlinn 2 years, 5 months ago

Just did a little research to see what has happened at other schools. Temple was terrible. Al Golden went 1-11 his first year, then close to .500 the 2nd year. Alvarez years ago at Wisconsin took a terrible team and went 1-10 first year, then 6-5 and up from there. Paul Johnson at Navy went 2-10 with a terrible team, 8-5 the next. Sarkisian at Washington took an 0-12 team and went 5-7 his first year. It took Snyder his 3rd year at K-State before he got it, but real turnarounds usually take about 2 years and almost never more than 3. So, if an AD could use Google like I can he/she would find out that three years is enough to know if you have a winner. If we continue to suck this year I see no reason to think it would change under the current coach. It would be an interesting experiment, though, since I don't think any coach that went 3-33 ever got a 4th year. I said interesting experiment, NOT interesting football!

Al Martin 2 years, 5 months ago

Not particularly disagreeing, but this was an unusual situation in that the roster was ridiculously depleted and due to yearly restrictions, can't be restored quickly.

Richie Wilson 2 years, 5 months ago

Brett, just asking, were you the one who picked us to win 7 games this year?

Brett McCabe 2 years, 5 months ago

Not a chance. However, I did think we'd win the first two and, if we won those convincingly I thought we might break the road streak in Athens. Even did the math with my wife on drive time to see if we could go witness it.

An unconvincing win vs. SEMO had me pretty much shaking my head as I did last year in a ho-hum win against, possibly, the worst college football team in America.

Beaty's been given plenty of opportunity to show improvement. It hasn't come. If the recruiting class continues to fold, which it will, no one will have a choice but to pull the trigger.

That said, my dream is that we beat Ohio, compete against WVU, win vs. either TTU or Baylor and compete in all the other games. If we do those things, then I'd say that the program has improved. 1-11 or 2-10 does not equal improvement - in my opinion.

Armen Kurdian 2 years, 5 months ago

I think Meacham has to go, and Bowen has to go. Our QBs have not developed well, ,and defense is just a sieve. I don't think firing Beaty is going to solve the problem. Are coaches being too nice in practice? Are guys getting punished in practice for dropping a ball, or missing an assignment? Has an outside agency come in to audit the football program?

God I want this to stop already.

Charlie Gaughn 2 years, 5 months ago

This speaks volumes of the ineptness of Zenger. He's into his second football coaching hire and we barely compete with the likes of SEMO. He needs to sit down with Beaty and clearly define what KU football is going to look like. He needs to bring a college atmosphere back to the stadium, get rid of the 23 permutations of uniforms, and demand that discipline is the number one priority. I can't decide if the guy is totally hands off or if he's the one that makes the coaches look stupid.

Forget the $300 M stadium renovation. Won't need it with the crowds we're going to draw until such time that we put a product on the field. And yes, they will come if we win. With the separation of KU Athletics from the University, I'm not sure who's watching the asylum. It seems BGL gave Zenger the big salary boost but does the Chancellor really have the ability to fire him?

This article doesn't go quite far enough. For decades we laughed at K-State for being a joke of a football program. Go research it. Tell me a stretch in K-State football history that was as bad as KU has been under Zenger.

Beaty needs to remain as coach. He had nothing to work with after Zenger's "not gonna come home 'til I hire a coach" debacle with Weis. He (Beaty) has the ability to get us to mediocrity if not even to a bowl game from time to time. However, he needs guidance given his lack of experience in the head coaching position. We need to immediately get rid of Zenger, hire an AD from a long established football program (other than K-State), and build this from the bottom up. Forget the juco quick fix idea. Recruit, redshirt, and build numbers first. Then worry about the next step.

Layne Pierce 2 years, 5 months ago

We have met the enemy and it is us. We don't have a right to say win 5, 6, or all of our games, but we do have a right to see improvement, discipline, desire to win, and pride to be a jayhawk.

I think what the last 4 coaches have shown, and I hope I am wrong, is that without those things, no gimmicks, no great players, nothing can bring sucess.

I would add that fairness would require us as we demand that coach beatty win 4 games this year, that we also demand that the stadium have no less than 50,000 fans per game. How do you think players feel when they come out on the field to a half filled stadium, or when they see fair weather fans leaving at half time.

Just look at the sacred atmosphere of Allen field house. if we could capture 50% of that pride and emotion, we would improve and we would sustain.

Joe Ross 2 years, 5 months ago

I just don't know why with headlines coming out like this year after year why you guys let the fans have it. Its not as if we haven't been whipped enough, right?

David A. Smith 2 years, 5 months ago

As was so well stated earlier in another article- we have to get rid of muscle memory here. Put the torches away and let the season play out.

And btw, I was at the first two games. I was the only fan cheering in my section at times. I think there should be a fanhood pre req before complaining. If they have to do their part...

Doug Cramer 2 years, 5 months ago

Bowen needs to go.

Rediculous that we have kept this guy around for this long.

Bryan Mohr 2 years, 5 months ago

Quote from Lew Perkins: "We interviewed some great people, but I believe in my heart that there was no question that we found the person who we needed to coach our football team at this particular time. For those of you who don't know me, I'm a great music guy, especially 60's music. Coming in this morning, I was picking up Turner this morning, and there was a song that came on: 'Magic Moment' by The Drifters. I started thinking about that, that this is a magic moment at the University of Kansas."

It was certainly a magic moment. Bad magic. Now we're the losingest FBS program this decade.

Joe Ross 2 years, 5 months ago

...some bad juju for sure! The single worst event in the entirety of Kansas football history was the ouster of Mark Mangino.

The story you shared here impresses me with the obtuseness of Lew Perkins, but it also makes me think of how the band on the Titanic played when the ship was going down.

A colossal failure of epic proportions...

Bryan Mohr 2 years, 5 months ago

Quote from Zenger: “I set out to find the best, and I found Charlie Weis... Coach Weis has tremendous experience and success at the highest levels of the NFL and collegiate football. He has an incredible football mind. He’s disciplined, principled and a tireless worker. We believe he is the right coach at the right time to put Kansas in a position to raise the bar and compete in the Big 12 Conference.”

Wrong. Continued down path to achieving "losingest FBS program this decade".

Bryan Mohr 2 years, 5 months ago

Quote from Zenger: "We were searching for someone whose offensive and defensive philosophies fit the Big 12 Conference... Many disciplines in academia today study leadership, and we often hear them refer to specific leaders and having 'it,' or the 'it factor.' I believe what we found in our next head coach at the University of Kansas is a man who has 'it' with a capital I."

Gill was a "magic moment". Weis was "the right coach at the right time". Beaty is "'it' with a capital I". I think Keegan's headline "losingest FBS program this decade" must be fake news because these 3 coaches sound awesome.

Bryan Mohr 2 years, 5 months ago

This says it all... after reading this you will understand how KU royally screwed-up, wronged Mangino, and became the "losingest FBS program this decade":

Zenger should make things right. Bring back Mangino.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.