Ten years ago — heck, maybe even five — it probably wouldn’t have gone down this way.
But times have changed, expectations are different and pressure, of both the good and bad variety, can create quite a mess in quite a hurry.
That we’ve seen already with first-year Kansas University football coach Turner Gill.
Though Gill’s time at KU got off to a rocky start, the Jayhawks regrouped quickly and Gill guided his team to an inspiring upset of nationally-ranked Georgia Tech one week after falling to FCS foe, North Dakota State. At the time, the prevailing thought from those around Lawrence was: “Here we go.”
My have times have changed. Three losses and two brutal blowout beatings later — including a 59-7 setback to in-state rival Kansas State last week — Gill finds his name associated with phrases like “fire him” and “buyout” on message boards and in newspapers throughout the area.
While those close to the program — both in terms of proximity and familiarity — may be charged up a little by emotion, one place that most certainly is not is the Omaha World-Herald, where longtime writer Lee Barfknecht addressed the topic in his most recent Big 12 blog.
Just so you understand, this isn’t just some out-of-towner writing a tale about something he has no clue about. Barfknecht has known Gill for quite some time. He covered him when the KU coach was a star at Nebraska and has even been down to Lawrence for a game this season. So, though he might not be around for the day-to-day doings of the Jayhawk program, Barfknecht is a guy who has kept a close eye on Gill’s start at Kansas.
I know this blog entry typically is about the upcoming opponent and what the other side is saying about Kansas. But, right now, with the way things are going with the KU program, the ins and outs of each game aren’t nearly as important as the big picture.
For those still interested in following the Jayhawks and what others are saying about this week’s matchup with Texas A&M, listed below are our regular “Around the Web” links regarding Saturday’s homecoming contest.
Robert Cessna of The Eagle in College Station, draws a parallel between two programs making too many mistakes.
Cessna also examines the pressure A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson is facing with his team off to a 3-3 start
Here’s one Jayhawk fans will like; Aggies embarrassed by loss to, of all teams, Missouri.
Austin Meek, of A&M school paper, The Battalion, writes that it’s time for the Aggies to pick up the pieces and move forward
Turner Gill’s not the only coach in the Big 12 feeling the pressure of a slow start. A&M's Mike Sherman also may be on the hot seat.