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Monday Rewind - Baylor: Bears did what Bears do; time to move on

Kansas linebacker Schyler Miles is slung out of bounds while trying to bring down Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk during the first quarter on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013.

Kansas linebacker Schyler Miles is slung out of bounds while trying to bring down Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk during the first quarter on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013. by Nick Krug

Typically, these Monday Rewinds are spent looking back at a certain aspect of KU's most recent game that either impacted the outcome, added to a trend or simply was eye-opening enough — good or bad — to merit further discussion.

And while last week's loss to Baylor certainly included a few of those things, I thought I'd take a break from examining the Jayhawks' struggling offense or trying to pinpoint how or why things unfolded the way they did against the Bears. The reason? I want to talk about the Bears themselves.

It's not every day you watch one of the best offenses in college football history. It's not every day that you think the team on the other side of the field might be the best in the country. It's not every day (even if it may be every year in the ultra-tough Big 12) that you walk away from a game thinking to yourself that you might have just watched the national champions play.

But I thought all of those things when I watched Baylor and, to be honest, I'll quietly be rooting for it to happen. The Bears are a great story and are a team full of confident and talented individuals who come together to create one heck of a unit. Sure, running back Lache Seastrunk may be a little outspoken and may have caught people off guard when he said last summer that he was going after the Heisman Trophy. But I like it. And can you blame him? He can clearly back it up. The only problem with Seastrunk's bid to win the Heisman is that Baylor has been up so big so often this entire season that he hasn't logged enough snaps to put up truly ridiculous numbers. If that weren't the case, and if the Bears needed him for four quarters each night, I think he'd have a great shot.

Another guy who should have a great shot but isn't getting talked about much in the conversation is quarterback Bryce Petty. I'm not sure what more you want a guy to do to warrant Heisman chatter. He's deadly accurate, throws for a ton of yards and touchdowns and even can run it a little bit himself. Heck, his 12 incompletions vs. Kansas over the weekend were a season high and even with that his completion percentage still hovered around 65%.

It's not like Baylor isn't getting respect nationally. The Bears are ranked 6th in the latest BCS standings and are finding their way onto all kinds of highlight shows for their insanely entertaining offensive performances week in and week out. But because they've played most of their games at home and have yet to do what they do against a ranked opponent, they're not getting the same kind of love as the Florida States, Oregons and Alabamas.

They should be. And I know that now after seeing them at Memorial Stadium with my own eyes.

The reason for saying all of that — aside from sharing my enormous respect for Baylor's program? I think it's important to remember exactly who Kansas faced last weekend when talking about the Jayhawks and their continued quest toward improvement and that elusive conference victory.

There certainly are areas of this KU team that can and should be criticized, and we've covered those plenty so far throughout this season. But if you're looking to pile on because of the Baylor game, I think you're misguided.

I have no doubts that the Jayhawks worked their butts off all week to get ready and entered Saturday with a solid game plan. Sometimes, the other team is just that good. I mean, did you see the socks that Seastrunk wore? They had lightning on them! And, hey, Baylor's done this to everybody, and likely will continue to do it to everybody the rest of the way.

Rather than dwell on it and use it as more fire for the anti-KU football movement that's out there, I think it's best to burn the film, leave it in the past and move on to the next challenge.

Vegas had the Bears as 35-point favors for a reason, and, outside of KU's locker room, where I'm sure they truly believed they had a shot, last Saturday's outcome was not a huge surprise to anybody.

But I think it's more because Baylor's that good, not because KU is that bad.

With five games remaining in 2013 and a schedule that softens just a little, we'll find out.

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Comments

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Thomas Sr. 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Winning football at the college and pro levels is dependent upon scheme and philosophy. Unfortunately it is difficult to divine what our scheme and philosophy is. Play hard... get better... run the ball... throw the ball... improve the kicking game.. play to your strengths... learn how to win??? If KU was putting up 25 - 30 points per game but still losing I feel it would at least be fun to watch and would show that we have the coaching staff that can devise a plan to compete. But who wants to see the underdog get mercilessly bloodied week in and out? Are the players at KU that inferior to other schools? Are we Jayhawks destined to suffer in the fall more to relish the games of winter? I am hopeful that we will be more competitive as the season winds down but must say that the pile of carp out there that I have seen this fall during football season has mostly been the playbook.

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Mike Pressgrove 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Matt - It seems you would like us to stop having any expectations for KU football? As a long time season ticket holder I have sat though beatings before and will again. But two days after giving up a near record amount of yards you suggest we shouldn't complain, just move on and burn the film? A friend that watched on TV said the announcers said Baylor's coaching staff left the booth in the 3rd quarter and he had not seen that before, is that true? I have seen some progress on the defensive side, but the offense continues to get worse. Changing the play calling duties have not improved the results other than Charlie has more time to stand on the sideline with his hands behind his back and wonder what to do next.

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Robert Brown 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Matt- While I agree some of your comments, perhaps living away from Lawrence, I am not aware of an anti- KU football movement. It was ironically, the Baylor game in 2010, that I realized that there was a huge talent gap between KU and most of the rest of the Big 12.

However, while you point out that Baylor is a great offensive team and that the results should not have been surprising. You also mentioned in your summary of the game on Saturday that the team lacked energy througout the game. To me that is a coaching issue.

We can all point to Baylor as a blue print for what KU wants to do, but the difference between Baylor, loser of 29 straight conference games and Baylor today, starts with picking the right head coach. I guarantee you that with KU's current personnel being coached by Art Briles (or Kliff Kingsbury or Mike Gundy) the offense would at least be able to drive up and down the field and get into some occassional shoot-outs with some superior teams. And if that we happening, there would not be an anti-KU football movement because people would be seeing progress.

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Brett McCabe 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Matt, here is what I would have hoped for vs. Baylor. 1. Beat the spread. 2. Hold them to 600 yards (I can't believe that I just typed that). 3. Score 17 to 20. Well, okay then, on to next week and the rest of the season...

This year, we are essentially playing the same schedule as last year. KSU is down, but TTU is up, OSU may be slightly less potent but Baylor is more potent than ever. All in all, it's about the same. We could quibble the home-and-away, but I think that it all boils down to about the same thing.

By the end of the season, we'll be able to use statistical measurements to see if the team improved. I think that the defense dropped to 102 in the country with the Baylor game on the books. Because we were so bad on both defense and offense last year, I think that a 20 to 30 team jump in both rankings would be achievable. I can't see it happening on the offense, but the defense has a shot.

We have two remote chances at wins with WVU and ISU, we won't top 30,000 attendance again until Aggieville invades for the last game of the season. I posted this comment on another article but it is serious gut-check time right now. Half-measures being proposed by Weis are not going to get it done. If we are going down for the count, then let's go down swinging and let's go with our strengths and see if teams can stop us.

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Chandler Accipiter 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Great article. I completely agree. The only real takeaway from seeing Baylor this weekend up close was the prevailing question, "Why can't we do this at Kansas?" And that is where the debate about the state of the program gets pretty involved. Combine that with teams like Duke(two seasons in a row now), Buffalo, and Tulane all becoming bowl eligible and it just rubs salt in the wound. Not even Mizzou blowing that 17 point lead on the cusp of national acolades could cheer me up as much as it once would when they were a true rival (okay, that was still pretty great).

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David A. Smith 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Yeah, that. You're exactly right. We're half way through season two, and anyone that can't see the obvious improvement and dedication (even in the middle of tough times) is just not being objective. Players and coaches- keep sawing wood! Your hard nosed work and dedication is obvious to anyone with a brain. It'll pay off!

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Doug Cramer 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Matt - Maybe there is an anti-KU football movement out there. But be careful with crossing that movement...with the folks that love KU football...but are realistic with their opinions of the program.

To be more specific...realistic about the shape of the program...the team's performance...and it's expected future performance based on the coaching staff and player's talent level.

I fell back in love with KU football watching Mangino bring the program back from the dead...and making us competitive again. Only to watch an athletic director single handedly tear it back down to Terry Allen status...which is when I was at KU.

It's easy to see that this program doesn't have the discipline that Mangino instilled into it since he was forced out. Without that discipline...and a coach that knows how to recruit the trenches...we go no where...and thats pretty dang frustrating.

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