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Baylor has become the game to circle on Kansas football calendar

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Kansas head coach David Beaty, right, screams from the sidelines during the third quarter on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio.

Kansas head coach David Beaty, right, screams from the sidelines during the third quarter on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio. by Nick Krug

Kansas head coach David Beaty, in his third season of trying to build something out of the rubble left him, went out of his way to praise the school's football fan base at his weekly press conference.

"I would just say that we've got unbelievable fans," Beaty said. "They've been patient. We certainly appreciate it. There's no doubt about that. But the plan is a great plan. We believe in it. We know it will work. There's no doubt in our mind."

During the offseason, Beaty underrated the importance of experience and physical maturity and talked in a way that made many believe he tought a bowl game was possible this season. Reality has set in.

"We've got some young guys," Beaty said. "We're not going to use that as an excuse. You know what, we've got some young dudes. Probably 53 percent or more of our roster that we traveled with the other day were sophomores or juniors. Only three of them, three of those guys were redshirt juniors in Joe (Dineen), and Keith (Loneker), guys like that. You're talking about there's a lot of youth there."

Young doesn't necessarily mean eventually good. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn't. You can guess which side Beaty stands on with that one.

"I would say that the future looks bright," Beaty said. "The good thing is we're 1-2. That's where we're at. There's a bunch of teams out there that are 1-2. I would just say, Hey, listen, don't make it more than it is."

Beaty didn't mean that 1-2 is a good record when the only victory came against Southeast Missouri State, an FCS program, followed by a pair of losses to MAC schools Central Michigan and Ohio. He meant that 75 percent of the season remains and it's too early to tune out.

"We've got a great opportunity this Saturday against West Virginia," Beaty said. "Show up. Be there. Bring five friends. Let's get after 'em."

At this point, KU probably needs to show something on the field for that fan-recruiting talk to resonate. As is the only appropriate focus for a football coach, Beaty's attention remains trained on the next game, against a team blessed with a quarterback, Florida transfer Will Grier, well-armed to shred the Jayhawks' secondary.

I like the "bring five friends," pitch though. And if every KU student who goes to KU football games talks five friends into coming to one game, the more time she or he has to make that pitch, the better. So it's not difficult to know which game on the brutal Big 12 schedule is the best one for KU fans to circle if they can make it to just one game this season: Baylor.

The beleaguered Bears visit Memorial Stadium on Nov. 4, which we'll call, "Bring Five Friends Day." Baylor has lost to Turner Gill-coached Liberty, 48-45, UT-San Antonio, 17-10, and at Duke, 34-20.

Circle it, bring five friends, and in the event that Kansas should win, know that you had a part in what very well could be a victory that keeps the Jayhawks out of last place, a sign of progress.

Comments

Titus Canby 1 month ago

I've been saying all along that we'll steal a Big 12 game somewhere along the way. Baylor looks like our best chance. Heck, Texas is having a bad year so far too. Maybe our 1st road win there?

John Fitzgerald 1 month ago

They hung with USC pretty well and that was at USC.

Tom Horner 1 month ago

Went to the game at Athens and stayed until the end. My question; are the D backs taught to "try" to tackle by merely throwing their body at the runner? I noticed many such cases against Ohio where they did not "wrap up" the runner and he just kept running. I have also noticed what seems to be a trend towards this while watching TV games on Saturday and Sunday. I played at KU a LONG time ago and when we tackled we wraped our arms around the runner and hung on for dear life. Just asking if things are taught differently today.

Chris DeWeese 1 month ago

I think some of the D backs, including Mike Lee, have gotten into a bad habit of ramming the ball carrier with hopes of knocking them down or out of bounds. Lee got some highlights doing that last year. That only gets you so far.

John Fitzgerald 1 month ago

I think Bowen prefers to teach them ballet instead. He's a softy at heart.

Tom Keegan 1 month ago

I'll ask a coach about that next week. Good question.

Brett McCabe 1 month ago

Thank goodness we didn't have Liberty on our schedule. Talk about comeuppance.

Baylor's result against Duke suggest that, right now, they are better than us. Believe me, they'll be circling the same game.

I sincerely hope that Girod is currently working behind the scenes in regards to a new coach. If we go 1-11 or 2-10, it will be too late at the end of the season to conduct a search. We need to use the momentum of the stadium announcement (assuming there is one) to get things in play. Whatever has to happen, has to happen. No excuses about extensions or payoffs. It must be done. We need a credible football program.

The cynic in me says this about our current state of affairs: Zenger talked Bernadette into an extension based on "bowl" talk coming out of the football offices, plus the upcoming stadium announcement. Then, Zenger extends Beaty, adding a hurdle to eliminating the coach. Through these two steps, Zenger has provided himself with some cover to try and prevent a regime change if things turn south. Not that I blame him, nor do I think it is evil, but I just don't want to hear these extensions being used as excuses for not doing what is right for the program, the fan base, the students and the athletes.

Also, side note, those who love Reggie Mitchell as an RB coach, why not bring in the Calhoun option and bring Reggie in to work his wonders with the backfield?

John Fitzgerald 1 month ago

Not sure if you saw this post or not, but Ohio has 70 guys on their team that had at one point red-shirted. KU apparently has around 7. Now, I got this information from another person who posted it on this site, but if that's accurate, that's pretty telling why we aren't able to compete as much as we had hoped. Before most of their guys even step on the field they're getting a year to learn and condition.

But, to your point of letting the AD and HC go, If you can show me a coach that came into a program, with only 60 of 85 scholarship players on the roster, and with the small number of red-shirts KU has, and that's in a Power 5 conference, that has created a team that can win 4 or more games and compete in the other games by year 3, then I'll believe everything you're saying. I'm not saying there isn't one, I'm just asking you to show me.

Tom Keegan 1 month ago

I think KU needs to be more disciplined with freshmen. For example, Antione Frazier played in one game as a freshman and burned his redshirt. Watching him now, it's evident he needs another year to develop. It's possible he could be really good by his fifth year, but now there won't be a fifth year.

Brock Wells 1 month ago

Again... AD Zenger and the University of Kansas hired HCDB with the expectation of 4-5 years minimum to get this program winning some football games. HCDB is here to stay... It would be insane to fire him and start over. He is laying a very solid foundation based on faith and hard-work. It will only be a matter of time before the W's will start piling up. Plus, HCDB played a lead role in getting the $300 million stadium renovations underway; the football program donors respect him.

The team had a goal of going to a bowl game this year (and I jumped on board, predicted 7-6) but obviously they will need to get things turned around in a hurry.

Don't think anyone predicted how bad our secondary was going to be and why we haven't made any adjustments to the QB's getting the ball out quick, double-teams and not letting Armstrong or Wise to get any pressure.

Rock Chalk and send article to 5 friends!!!!!

David Kemp 1 month ago

Our receivers are good, and an occasional running back but every other position is sub par and secondary is nonexistent. This team at best is staring down the barrel of 2-10 and 1-11 isn't off the table. I'm not saying his recruiting is bad it's pretty decent but the jury is still out on whether he can coach and keeping Bowen on staff may ultimately spell his demise

John Brazelton 1 month ago

I repeat myself until I'm blue in the face. Please check KU's football coaching history. We've never had a long-term winning football coach (15 to 20 years). When coaches created a winning record (Rogers, Mason, Mangino), they left for greener pastures or in Mangino's case, got fired. The coach who followed them had a worse record and was fired. It usually takes 5 years to recruit and develop your players. Don Fambrough did it twice. Mason did it twice after his girl friend refused to go to Georgia. Fans now days look for immediate results. There are some coaches who can produce those results, but they've on the move. They're not going to stay at Kansas after a winning season (or two).

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