Saturday, November 5, 2011


Close loss won’t change opinions on KU, Turner Gill

Kansas head coach Turner Gill bemoans a missed field goal during the second quarter on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.

Kansas head coach Turner Gill bemoans a missed field goal during the second quarter on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Turner Gill

Kansas coach Turner Gill talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 13-10 loss to Iowa State on Nov. 5, 2011.

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— The guys wearing KU ballcaps and blue coats, the coaches, wanted to win the game played Saturday in Jack Trice Stadium on the campus of Iowa State. So did the players wearing nameless jerseys and a “KU” on their helmets.

They were disappointed when it didn’t happen, when the Cyclones scored a 13-10 victory against a Kansas University football team that has lost seven in a row.

Yet, a thought hung in the brain and looped all day: Would the average Kansas fan, hooked to a lie detector and answering in the affirmative when asked if he or she really, really, really wanted the Jayhawks to win Saturday, pass the test?

Publicly, of course, even if hiding behind an anonymous screen name, all would claim so. Who knows? Maybe a victory could have changed some minds about the state of KU football, but it’s doubtful.

The unsightly fashion in which Big 12 competition dominated the Jayhawks the previous six weeks seems to have left the majority of the fan base already checking out on the Turner Gill Era and investing emotions in the search for the next football coach. When will it happen? Who will it be? Which winning coach who lost his job for alleged mistreatment of a player is the favorite? Is it Mike Leach, the offensive genius, or Jim Leavitt, the defensive disciplinarian? KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger knows both men well.

After Saturday’s loss, Gill answered questions of another sort in a room probably about the size of the one Adam James was sent to by Leach during a Texas Tech practice.

The questions sent Gill’s way centered on a pair of fourth-down decisions he made. The first came midway through the third quarter. After Jordan Webb lost a yard on third-and-goal from the 1, Gill decided to let Ron Doherty kick the field goal, rather than go for it on fourth-and-goal from the 2. If that’s seven points instead of three, maybe Kansas wins, 14-13.

“I felt like we should have run it up the middle there,” said KU’s all-purpose man D.J. Beshears.

Me too. Twice with Toben Opurum. If The Fridge can do it the Super Bowl, Opurum could have done it in the Big 12 last-place game.

Gill also was queried about the decision to punt rather than go for it on fourth-and-11 from the 19 with less than three minutes remaining. He said if it had been fourth-and-6 or fourth-and-7 he would have gone for it. Tough to argue with that, though it didn’t work because the KU defense couldn’t get the three-and-out it needed. Jordan Webb was sacked for a 6-yard loss on third down.

Webb would have loved to go for it, which makes him no different from any offensive player ever to play the game, but he would have decided otherwise had he been wearing Gill’s headphones.

“I understand because they were the side that was hot today,” Webb said of the KU defense. “We weren’t as an offensive unit. We weren’t doing what we needed to do and he had to put it in the defense’s hands because they were.”

Wrong call, right call, whatever. Gill didn’t lose this game, and based on how the outcome wasn’t a blowout for a change, he hasn’t lost his team.

Sophomore running back James Sims, forever a team-first guy, stood behind his offensive line and his coach when talking about the game. He was more disappointed in losing a fumble than in gaining 50 yards on 11 rushes.

“We were trying to bounce back from the Texas loss and the offensive line said they were going to do a better job and that’s what they did,” Sims said.

The 43-0 loss to Texas was the most complete a drubbing of so many one-sided KU losses and begged the question of whether the Jayhawks’ spirits had been irreversibly broken. How did that not happen?

“Coach Gill’s motivation got our minds of last week and on the week ahead, on getting better,” Sims said. “And I feel like we got better today, as far as moving the ball. We’ve just got to punch it in the end zone. I can put some of the blame on me, fumbling going into the red zone. I’ve got to take care of the ball there. I’ve got to have ball security going in there.”

Their spirits weren’t broken and the gameplan was sound, but playing better won’t change minds. Staying close in a game that looked about how a game should when a ninth-place team plays a 10th-place one won’t sway opinions. Even if it didn’t register as embarrassing, it doesn’t change the three-word summary of the Gill Era: Not good enough.


kesmithstl1 10 years, 8 months ago

BEAT MIZZOU! That's all I ask. Do that, and I'll think about keeping my 5 million dollars I was going to donate to fire Gill!

Frankenhawk 10 years, 8 months ago

please tell me you're kidding. you sound like a mizzou or k-state fan. caring about the outcome of that game and only that game is their thing not ours.

kesmithstl1 10 years, 8 months ago

well, "we're" not going to beat Baylor or A&M, so I'm hoping for 1 more victory

hawk316 10 years, 8 months ago

This game certainly should encourage any fair-minded KU fan. Like last year, this team is gradually getting better as the season progresses (even in the Texas loss, the defense showed improvement with an impressive goal line stand and a strong 3rd quarter). But more than that, two things argue strongly in favor of staying the course with Turner Gill and his coaching staff:

1) Recruiting. As I have argued repeatedly, this coaching staff can recruit. Though very young, exciting talent is on display before our eyes. Give Gill and staff time to bring in at least two more classes, and then we can make a reasonable judgment. 2) Inspiration. After what this team has been through, any coach who can keep these players from quitting, who can keep their morale high, who can somehow keep them b-e-l-i-e-v-i-n-g has something very special to offer.

Considering the horrendously difficult schedule that has been much chronicled already and the significant youth and inexperience of this team, fans can be encouraged about the future, in spite of the record blowouts. Gill has his weaknesses, but his strengths may be enough to turn this program around yet. I say again...stay the course!

Funhawk 10 years, 8 months ago

Hawk316 is my kind of poster. He's right on all. Coach Gill can recruit. If a Hawk player is not a true freshman, he was brought to KU by Mangino. With most KU players of Mangino's, the only other Big XII school who offered was Iowa State. That's why we could compete with Iowa State today. That is also why Iowa State and KU rank at the Big XII bottom with number of players sent to the NFL. Regardless, KU's guys do the best they can (you can't change genes), and I enjoyed the game. Go Hawks!

kuilander 10 years, 8 months ago

i'm sorry, but two things - 1) he may have a good year recruiting last year, but our recrutiing class this year is off to a woeful start and looks like we'll be losing some already. our current rank is in the 70's. 2) even if he could recruit well, he certainly CANNOT coach it and he certainly isnt capable of bringing in coordinators who can either!!

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 8 months ago

A few points: 1) He has lost the team, in their voices they might not say it, but on the field they have started to give up. Even comments like "i would have gone for it", is second guessing the coaching staff. 2) Gill wasn't hired to turn around the team, he was hired to elevate the team, prior to TG, we were a .500 team, going to a bowl game every other year, beating the lower end of the Big XII and competing against the higher end. Now we are losing handily to the mid-tier of the Big XII, competitive (but losing) to the Bottom, and let's not talk about the upper end of the Big XII. We have been competitive against McNeese State, Northern Illinois, and Iowa State, that isn't improvement. 3) Name one coach that after two years of poor coaching figured it out in the third year? Here are some of the coaches that were bad in their first two years, but were given 3-5 more years all resulting poorly, Colorado Coach that left last year, Neuhesal with UCLA, Houston Nutt Ole Miss, Minnesota Coach, Jimbo Fisher is in his second year...think it will get better? Here are some coaches that were hired and within 1-2 years they were going strong, Urban Meyer at UU and FU, Bob Stoops 2 years, Snyder 2 years, Jim Tressel 1 year, Nick Saban 1 year, Les Miles 1 year at OSU and 1 year at LSU, Jim Harbough at Stanford (and now at the 49ers), the list goes on. If you don't figure it out in year 1 or 2, you just don't get it. 4) Recruiting-His top QB he can't get to come to practice and his top Offensive lineman is at a JUCO. This year he has 12 scholarships and I think he has half of them filled and some of those are backing out already. His recruiting was nearly 30 people last year and that helps your ranking, this year his recruiting has been pathetic. I think he has recruited like 3 undersized QBs so far. Last year he recruited 4 running backs. Where are the defensive players? 5)Anyways time has shown that if you can't do it in 2, you aren't going to be successful, let's just say he is incompentent (which would trigger the "for cause clause" in his contract). We can negotiate a buyout and say goodbye.

Phil Perry 10 years, 8 months ago

Didn't get past your #2 because it is simply not true. The average # of wins in the big 12 over the past ten years is two. Gill was hired to rebuild and clean up the mess. 2007 was a gift based on the unbalanced North/South schedule (Combined with the worst NU team in 50 years, no Bill Snyder, Dan Hawkins at CU, really). 2008 was a disappointment for a team coming off a bowl game with all the skill positions returning. 2009 was a complete disaster. Talk about a coach losing the team.

Not sure where I am at with the current situation but please don't gloss over what TG has had to deal with in REBUILDING the KU football program.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 8 months ago

Check the press conference when they introduced him.

And check the record, I didn't say Mangino won tons, I said he meet the low end of the Big XII and he was competitive in other games.

But you are right beating Viginia Tech was just a scheduling fluke...oh wait that was in a BCS bowl game.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 8 months ago

I haven't seen one Gill Supporter say, but this guy can really coach...the truth of the matter is that he can't coach.

therealjohnleach 10 years, 8 months ago

Its funny that so many Gill supporters tout his recruiting when the reality is that he has gotten 0 five star guys and less four star guys than Mangino got in his last two years. Which is funny because Gill supporters want to talk about how bare the cabinets were when Gill took over. We will see what kind of recruits want to come here when we win 0 conference games. Recruits want to win! Period! Gill's recruiting skils are as much of a farce as him being a winning coach in Buffalo (he had a losing record at Buffalo).

ccarp 10 years, 8 months ago

Beating Mizzou does not save the season, but it would cement the record books with KU on top (or even, depending on which record book you check) of MU all time in football. This year has been an abysmal, but I don't want MU fans having anything over us when they leave. Muck Fizzou!

Cmill1221 10 years, 8 months ago

I would trade one more year with Gill for a win in our last game ever vs Missouri.

Chris Bailey 10 years, 8 months ago

I gotta give you that one! I too would love to beat them!

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 8 months ago

"Me too. Twice with Toben Opurum"

Funniest thing I've ever read on this site. PHOF!

Chris Bruning 10 years, 8 months ago

Take your five mill and shove it! Gill stays! Turner gill! Turner gill! Turner gill! Turner gill!

Gary McCullough 10 years, 8 months ago

I agree. Show some patience. Two years isn't enough to pass judgement. If we start throwing head coaches overboard after two years we won't be able to get any coach with his salt to come here and KU will be doomed to the cellar forever.

otjhawk 10 years, 8 months ago

DrJHawk what have we seen that deserves my patients? If you're telling me that mangino would be in the same situation right now YOU'RE wrong. He knew how to coach and develop players with less talent then what we have on the field now.

Jennifer Nikkila Pressgrove 10 years, 8 months ago

I agree that the loss is still a loss and doesn't necessarily help Gill keep his job. But I will say this, we saw a little bit today what the Hawk linebackers and secondary can do when the defensive line is providing some pressure. I think that if the 'Hawks can find ways to improve the defensive line (all but one guy is returning next year) they can be a competitive defense. On the offensive side, they need a playmaker wide receiver or a more accurate passer. Either the wide receivers aren't getting open or Webb just can't find them.

actorman 10 years, 8 months ago

TK asks a valid question. I wondered myself if I would have any ambivalence about this game, given my feelings about the TG era. But when it came down to it, I was still into the game and hoping KU could end the slide. And they should have won; they certainly had their chances.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 8 months ago

But the coaching staff showed their incompetence and showed why they should exit...clearly we all like to see KU win, but seeing coaching just demolish our team is not something we like.

danmoore 10 years, 8 months ago

It's not in my DNA to hope for a KU loss.

I think Turner Gill's fate has already been sealed. Even a win against mizpoo will not save him.

Geekinout 10 years, 8 months ago

Give me a break! The only reason Iowa St didn't blow this game out is because they played worst than KU and still won.. 3 turnovers? I lost count of the times ISU had a blown play or the Qb scrambled for a 10-15 yard run when his receivers weren't open. That's lousy coaching! Gutless play calling! The fundamentals are terrible, I saw mistackles on almost every play on defense and KU players jogging to the ball in pursuit. KU made ISU Qb look like an all-american, especially on that play where he broke through 5 KU defenders, one of them who was jogging to the play, lowered his head, and literally blocked his own players! I see too many players give up on plays, which is probably why they rank dead last in stats. Webb again played terrible, but still Gill won't give any others a shot, that seriously says something about how bad a coach he is. Tonight, I watched LSU yank their starting Qb Lee early in the game, because the coach knew he was struggling! Take some notes Gill!

No one gets coached or held accountable. This entire staff is a joke, there are way too many teams out there with less talent that produces better results.

741hawk 10 years, 8 months ago

Agree! It's more than the scores . . . it's play after play after play when we can see how poorly prepared the Jayhawks are. The players' abilities exceed the coaching they are receiving.

George Bures 10 years, 8 months ago

How are missed tackles poor coaching? On every play? That tells me they were in the right position, They just flat out Suck. We have no talent. The TV announcers said we are one of the youngest teams in division 1 football with lots of freshman and sophomores. Maybe Gill can't recruit, but I think Mangino left us with poor upper class men. Good players should out trump bad coaching. We have bad players..

Geekinout 10 years, 8 months ago

Good coaches teach and drill fundamentals of tackling. Good coaches hold players accountable when they miss tackles and yank players that constantly miss assignments giving others a chance. Good coaches also pull players that don't hustle to the ball. That Mangino argument isn't very solid, especially if you really think we have that poor of upper class-men, than Gill would be smart to give his younger players time and develop them for the future. Sure we might have a serious lack of talent, but there are teams out there with far less, that are better coached with more wins.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 8 months ago

Didn't you read the article where TG has the players play two hand touch and not tackle during practice?

MM recruited Todd Reesing, Desmon Briscoe, and runningbacks including Sharp and oh Sims (who is getting more playing time than any of the RBs that Gill has recruited). Oh and don't forget that MM recruited TO who is the best DE that TG appears that Gill received a lot more talent than you think he did. I also think that coaches elevate programs within two years else they just limp along, time to cut ties for the incompetent coach.

knighthawk 10 years, 8 months ago

Thanks for the post. I agree with every sentence you stated. Can I add the fact that ISU saved a few of our drives with stupid penalties?

Sparko 10 years, 8 months ago

Keegan missed the fact that the wind was a huge factor. By not going for the TD, Kansas was going to have few chances in the 4th Qtr on the road in the wind. And punting? OMG. KU had only two timeouts anyway. It was a terrible decision. Gill wanted to lose 13-10 rather than maybe lose 20-10. That was all he was thinking about and fans were furious.

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 8 months ago

Anyone else see nick Saban standing in front of the media saying "the blame all starts right here on me"? Not throwing the kicker under the bus, or the punt returner, or the defense in overtime. Turner would of been pushing those guys under the tires so fast!

David Wanamaker 10 years, 8 months ago

Turner Gill simply waved the white flag. If the evidence weren't already in, today is all we need to know about the future of KU Football in his hands. Today, Gill demonstrated to his players that the mantra he's been calling "Believe" all season really is "Surrender."

If Sheahon Zenger doesn't sh*tcan this fraud of a football coach now, well, then I can't imagine what it would take.

TLR 10 years, 8 months ago

I bleed crimson and blue. This is horrible to watch, Gill is a joke. Why don't you think KU wasn't a factor in conference realignment. We need a change now.

Robert Brock 10 years, 8 months ago

We were close - two field goals and about twenty arm tackles away from a win.

middleoftheroader 10 years, 8 months ago

I will never accept futility for long as their are boosters with 5 million dollars :)

middleoftheroader 10 years, 8 months ago

I will however accept a citation from the grammar police for using the word 'their' incorrectly. Maybe I can get a booster to pay the fine for me :).

stm62 10 years, 8 months ago

I'm glad we have an A.D. who I believe knows something about how the game is supposed to be played and who will make the hiring and firing decisions. Some of these posters really scare me. Yes, we might have looked better today, but look who we were playing. Duh.

Gregor Southard 10 years, 8 months ago

Losing 13-10 to a bad team does not equate with progress. Bring back the Phat Man! please

johnnyhrdwd 10 years, 8 months ago

Leach is a nut, but Leavitt is a bit on the psychotic side, Leach is forgivable but Leavitt is too intense for KU. A lot of guys from the kstate/OU coaching tree know how to win with fundamental football. Leach could do a lot with this talent and we should hire him before someone else does, Venables would be a huge hire also. Zenger knows what time it is and will hire the right guy.

Clarence Haynes 10 years, 8 months ago

Leach and Leavitt are Mangino's buddies. They were fired for reasons similar to Mangino. If we are seqrching within Conference Venables might be a consideration.

Yosemite 10 years, 8 months ago

Venables is not desperate enough for a head coaching job to come to KU. He's had plenty of opportunities to leave OU. He certainly won't leave for career suicide at KU.

danmoore 10 years, 8 months ago

Agree. He is a more likely candidate to replace Snyder.

Maracas 10 years, 8 months ago

It's time for the Turner Gill era to end, and the name quickly forgotten. Lew Perkins should be sued for malfeasance.

peoplefoot 10 years, 8 months ago

I noticed in the K-State game how the wildcat defense always tackled at the legs and the KU players went down immediately, the KU tacklers mostly tackled up high and the wildcat runners constantly got extra yardage, that is 100% coaching discipline, making your players tackle the correct way from day 1. We're talking 9 games into the season. If Snyder's players don't do it properly consistently you see them being scolded on the sideline.

troutsee 10 years, 8 months ago

You are absolutely correct. KU tackles too high. I have said so all year. Go for the legs boys. Good college RBs shake off high hitters.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 8 months ago

I wonder if practicing inside, which TG said "only affects are kicking game" affected our kicking game during this game? One has to ponder if TG is really this incompentent.

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 8 months ago

"Maybe a victory could have changed some minds about the state of KU football, but it’s doubtful."

We may never know if a victory will change our minds.

In my opinion, the worst coached game I've ever seen.

Dude can't coach.

blackhawkjayhawk 10 years, 8 months ago

Neither of the 4th down calls were that bad. Bottom line, after the field goal, the game was tied - either team had a chance to win it. Please don't try and make the argument that tying the game means you lose the game.

The 4th and 11? Going for it would have been the surrender play - false bravado to try and show you really wanted it.

Both were the right decisions. The Sims fumble, the broken play inside the 5....these were the things that cost us the game.

I was actually impressed that we were in the game. We were a two TD underdog, playing on the road.

blackhawkjayhawk 10 years, 8 months ago

Oh yeah.....June Jones should be our next coach. And if we're going to go after a questionable coach, why not go for Tressell? He needs a rehab stop - lock him up for 3 years to stop the bleeding and start scanning the landscape for his replacement.

OhioHawkfan 10 years, 8 months ago

NOOOOOO! Tressell is not a good coach. The only Nat'l Championship he won was his first year there, with John Cooper's team. JT only looked like a good coach because he could get almost any athlete he wanted because he was at Ohio State. The school name recruits itself there. Hell, even Gill could probably have a winning record there . . . .

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 8 months ago

1) It is doubtful that TG could have a winning record anywhere, including OSU. 2) Complaining that JT won only one championship in his first year, seems like a horrible thing. I'm sure everyone if JT came in and did some winning that they would say it was because he won with TG's players (which is something I could live with).

3) I'm not saying is the answer, but don't dismiss him as a bad coach, he definitely has recruited a few five stars, that is more than TG has ever done.

MorganR 10 years, 8 months ago

I agree with those that say that, while the loss was disappointing, we should take stock in the improvement. KU could have won the game. The players and coaches didn't give up.

I think we pin too much on a coaching change being a panacea. As Notre Dame and other universities have found out in recent years, there is no assurance that any other coach is going to win immediately. Moreover, some of the coaches that have been mentioned as alternatives may have had some degree of success but at what price? Some have NCAA violations. Others have been guilty of abusing their players. Others don't care about graduation rates. Finally, there is no assurance that some degree of success at another university will be a predictor of success at Kansas or any other university.

Kansas University should demonstrate we will honor our commitments. If, ultimately, it is determined that a coaching change is needed, any future coach will want to know that he has time to build his team.

HawkTronic 10 years, 8 months ago

The problems that observers see with KU football go deeper than any weekly variances in performance. We have better athletes than we've had in the last several years (Mitchell and Beaty can recruit, and Gill can close deals). But its only the athleticism of the players that gives the illusion of progress. This year's team (and last year's) is inconsistent and undisciplined - that's coaching. I would argue that the new norm is poor tackling, questionable play calling, dozens of mistakes in execution, lack of adjustments and fading physicality late in the game. The bright spots are due to random spikes in performance and luck.

I really want Coach Gill to succeed - he's a great individual. The reality is that he can't coach at this level and is unwilling to hire assistants that can cover for his weaknesses.

Mike Barnhart 10 years, 8 months ago

The coaching stinks and Iowa States endless 17 play drive in the 3rd quarter defined why! Penalties, missed assignments, long 3rd down conversions and a fake punt for 17 yards. KU has beter physical talent than Iowa State but they are utterly lost on the fiels of play.

It reminds me of the dreadful Chiefs a few years back; no matter the opponent, you always knew the Chiefs were going to find a way to give up the game.

(BTW, Iowa States fumble at the end of that drive was the exception that proves the rule.)

Nick Cole 10 years, 8 months ago

I like how people seem to point to a single play in a game or two and say "See, we are improving."

Look, the bottom line is this: If KU were improving, it would show on a consistant basis, not once in an entire friggin' game. The defense knew Iowa State was going to run it up the middle to burn clock at the end of the game, yet they couldn't stop them. Plain and simple. This loss was just as, if not more than, pathetic as the rest. Stop the freaking run! That's all they had to do, and they knew it. Yet they still couldn't do it. This is one of the many reasons Gill has to be gone. I wanted our Hawks to win this one (I want them to win ever game), but I just didn't want it to effect Gill's job status (as in going bye bye). Well, I guess I don't have to worry about that.

Dyrk Dugan 10 years, 8 months ago

that game was there for the taking....right there. and if Gill had a QB, this game would have been won.

Webb, bless his heart, can't get it done. Overthrew a wide open Kale Pick on a corner route....yes, the wind was tough but since we really didn't use the wind that much to our advantage when we had it, you have to make that play right there. can't run the option either....Reesing would have tried to bang that in there...and he probably would have scored or got to the 1 foot line....Webb? he sees the horses charging and he backs up....the wrong instinct.

Webb is still winless vs. the Big 12 in his tenure at KU....0-10 now or whatever. wasn't even on the field for the great comeback vs. CU. Until we get a QB that can actually read a defense and has the ability to run a bit, this offense will continue to stall. yes, we have great RBs...but they can be ganged up on. Look at K-State....yes, they have better wideouts than we do (no more experienced however) and their QB STILL puts up points and gets wins because HE CAN RUN.

this game was win or else for me....but after watching it, and the agonizing loss that it was....i'm going one more week. Baylor, with RGIII and his potential 800 yards the Bears might stick on us...i see that now as 550-600 and we can move the ball on them. they've given up tons of yards the last few weeks.

Baylor has never beaten us in Lawrence since the Big 12 has been around. it's a streak we need to keep alive. This is absolutely it for the coach. Win this one, and you stay. Go Jayhawks!

droppinplates 10 years, 8 months ago

Why would a win or loss against Baylor decide the future of the Kansas footall program?

droppinplates 10 years, 8 months ago

The offense didn't score any points against Texas. So see, they improved!

Seriously, it's funny to hear people say if we beat Mizzou, maybe we keep Gill. LMAO, so as long as we beat MU and lose every other game in record fashion, we keep the coach?!?! Again, this is part of the problem with Kansas football as a whole. This team is not good, and if they win any games it's pure luck.

troutsee 10 years, 8 months ago

We will be blown out by Baylor and MU. We might play Texas A & M close, although the game is down there. Following 3 more blow outs, Zenger will put Gill out of his misery.

Paul Rupp 10 years, 8 months ago

Put the money into a DC and Strength coach.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 8 months ago

Put the money in a good Attorney that understands incompetency and dismiss Gill with cause, because there is an incompetency clause in his contract. You might end up negotiating him out of the contract, but it will be for a lot less than 6 MM.

danmoore 10 years, 8 months ago

If he's coaching next season it will be because of the financial equation. Can we afford to pay Lew, Mangino, Gill and a new head coach?

kranny 10 years, 8 months ago

If this were OU, OSU, LSU, Auburn, etc., Gill would have been gone at least 3 games ago. The SEC schools wouldn't put up with it. They also wouldn't offer 5 year contracts either. I imagine the number crunchers are figuring something out. If Gill is back next year, this will be on the AD's head.

Ryan Gerstner 10 years, 8 months ago

The Gill era has 3 games left. He had 21 games to prove he wasn't incompetent. When you're incompetent, he was lucky to get 2 seasons. If he had shown anything at all, he would have gotten 4 or 5. It's really hard to get fired after 2 and Gill has gotten that done. He's been a colossal failure and will go do down as one of the worst coaches in KU history if not the worst and KU's done a good job of picking a lot of losers.

Fortunately, Zenger is smart enough to know when it's time to cut bait and look on the brightside that Gill failed so quickly, it's that much sooner that we'll get someone in here that can coach and turn this program around. I'd much rather have something like this be an easy decision than to have to agonize through mediocrity for 4 or 5 years.

diegohawk 10 years, 8 months ago

I BELIEVE that: we are currently a poor football team by any standard, however we have the best stable of young running backs that I can recall in my lifetime Miller will be 1st team all conference two years from now at RB, Simms and Pierson will likely round out that position and provide the steady back up and home run punch our offense is a legitmate dual threat QB away from being difficult to stop (not even joking) and i'm anxious to see if BB will be the missing piece of the puzzle Gill will right this ship in year 4 if given the chance and we may see a 5 win squad in year 3 Shealy will show marked improvement in year 2 of his system and i'm already starting to see our defense show some of the signs Beaty (sp?) will turn our athletic true freshman receivers into physical blocking studs within the next 2 years and I believe JS & MJ will be solid next year on the receiving end as well.
Gill needs to fire Long and call the offense himself (not joking here either) * our fan base in general is awesome but could show some improvement on the FB side of it. The AD needs to assist in finding ways to get fans to the game, get them involved in the game and changing most of the current game day environment. If the environment becomes a party, recruits will want to come and our players intensity will shoot up a notch or two.. i miss the days of rolling kegs of beer on the hill and want to see the wine and cheese crowd become the beer and brat crowd that I used to know and love. I then want to see it double in size. This can be achieved if the AD gets together with the Lawrence community to find ways to make our environment the best that it can be regardless of the current results. Make the event a can't miss people watching, circus with drum cadets and dancing ladies and beer and brat vendors galore. I want Octoberfest meets Vegas Showgirls meets College Football in one of the best Confernces around. I want the announcers on TV to scream we need crowd control at this place.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 8 months ago

1) Poor standard is an understatement 2) Our best RB is playing DE and our next best will keep Miller on the bench for the next 2 years. 3) A dual threat QB that our coach can't even get to practice 4) It is easy to improve on the worse season ever in D1 football history, but you are seeing something that I couldn't see. Our defense may have been yesterday, but Mother Nature helped us a little. Against UT, I would remind you that Texas got the shut-out not KU. 5) Receiving you actually think will improve? 6) I might agree that Long isn't doing a good job of play calling, but I would throw out there that we are lacking plays to call as well. 7) What are you talking about?

texashawk10 10 years, 8 months ago

1) Agree 2) If Toben truly was the best RB on the team, he would've had more than 500 some yards when he was playing with Reesing and co. 3) Michael Cummings should be the front runner for the QB job next year, not Berglund. 4) Worst team in D1 history, Prairie View A&M during the 90's lost 80 games in a row, worst in FBS history would be the 1981 Northwestern Wildcats. 0-11 and outscored 502-86 on the season. Lastly, this is not even the worst KU team ever, the 1978, 1987, and 1988 teams were all worse than this one 5) Patterson, Shepherd, and Pick are all good at catching so there's some pass catching talent coming back next year if there is a QB that can get them the ball. 6) Based on other calls Gill has made this reason, I think he would be even more conservative than Long, but I agree that Long shouldn't be calling the plays either. I personally would let David Beaty handle the play calling for the final 3 games to see if he could spark the offense at all and if not, replace Long in the offseason if Gill is still around. 7) SZ does need to do something to spur interest into other sports besides basketball. There may have been more people in seats at kickoff during the final couple of seasons under Mangino, but at the end of those games, the stands looked about the same as they do at the end of games this year. It's nice that the players now have facilities on par with the rest of the Big 12, but now SZ needs to improve the fan experience so that people will stay until the end of games or show up to other sports.

blue04 10 years, 8 months ago

Can I have some of what you are smoking? It must be some pretty good stuff...

10 years, 8 months ago

I think you make some very good points.

This next season Gill needs to find a very good D coordinator - someone who can put some fire in the defenses belly.

Offense - continue to build.

If I were Gill I would invest the majority of my scholarships in defensive minded players. Pickup a QB, RB, WR, a couple of linemen ... but most of my efforts would be toward finding hard nosed palyers who love to hit.

Gary McCullough 10 years, 8 months ago

Jumping ship on coaches does not improve the program. I agree Coach Gil is having a tough time in his second year, but this lack of patience will get us nothing. Would you fire James Naismith? Stick with Coach Gil. Two years is not enough time to get his people and system ingrained. What other coach will turn around KU in two years?

danmoore 10 years, 8 months ago

What other coach will turn around KU in two years? No one.

In my mind the biggest question is and always has been, who can we hire? Until we can figure out why coaches keep failing the next head coach is irrelevant.

Bellator 10 years, 8 months ago

I strongly disagree. I think 2 years has been enough time to get Gill's system "ingrained". That is the problem.

oldvet 10 years, 8 months ago

Mangino got Terry Allen's leftovers and took them to a bowl game in his second season... discipline and hard work...

nebjay 10 years, 8 months ago

Mangino didn't play a tough schedule the year they went to the bowl game.

Kirk 10 years, 8 months ago

Mangino didn't suck as a coach, so they went to a bowl game.

djhawk75 10 years, 8 months ago

This is the worst loss of all this year because the opponent gave KU every opportunity to win the game.

All the stuff about having Toben Opurum carry the ball on a 4th and goal, or hiring Mike Leach of Jim Leavitt, or KU fans hoping that KU would lost this game, is garbage. And Turner Gill did not make bad decisions on those two 4th down plays. The team just did not execute well enough to win. They have not been executing well all season. So I assume that next year we will have a new coach, and whoever he is, he will have an uphill battle on his hands to make this team competitive with the rest of the Big (10) 12.

danmoore 10 years, 8 months ago

A close loss to Iowa State is not the benchmark for a football team but it was nice not suffering an embarassing loss this weekend.

beebe1 10 years, 8 months ago

Missed tackles is poor coaching!

Back in the early 40's Elmer Schake coached LMHS. He announced in a classroom setting that he had to worry about Wayne Hurd. (After KU football a KU MD and good surgeon) Heck with the opponent, he had to worry about Wayne hurting one of his team mates. Wayne was the epitomy of a hard tackler! He didn't watch the head; he didn't watch the feet and hands. He watched the belt buckle; where the belt buckle was headed was where the ball carrier was going! About a step and a half before they intersected, Wayne adjusted his route to hit the belt buckle in that space of time. He wrapped the carrier up, and put him on the ground, hard!

That was not an unheard of technique. Parseghian taught it quite well. He had backfield defenders that did it regularly. He also insisted tat they be able to count to 4, maybe even 5, 6, 7, or 8, so they would know what they were, defending against and what with. ( see no evidence that any KU coaches can count to 4, or any other number. Too often they use Cover 2, a useless formation where they wind up defending a territory that no receiver enters..) Parseghian developed the Notre Dame Defense, adapting the Bill Self man-to-man Basketball Defense to football! Naturally about 20 years before Bill Self was born. When AL invited ND to demonstrate their Option Offense; he knew it was coming. And with his ND defenders, they were lucky to get back to the line of scrimmage! Notre Dame won, of course.

Our Defense has been taught 'never let them get behind you', thereby conceding from 6 -to 16 yards, and ultimately a touchdown. Neither AL nor LSU have consistently adopted the ND Defense to today's game, but they did very well with it last night. To defend the pass, you have to stop the ball before it gets to the receiver! They did that well last night, too.

Our team has been taught all of the wrong things! Ask Dolph Simon of the Journal World --he was an excellent FB guard, maybe 10 years behind Wayne Hurd. If you don't know anything about ND Defense, see if you can find a film! It may be 60 years old, but it is a good education on Defense.

jayhawkfanforlife 10 years, 8 months ago

Gill started out in a bad spot from the beginning. He was replacing a coach that many (including this fan) did not feel should have been forced to resign for the things that were brought to light or based on losing the last seven games of 2009. People can differ on whether Mangino deserved to be fired based on whether he won enough or personal actions but for me, he was meeting or exceeding expectations based on our results over his tenure. Nothing that came to light about his interaction with players or others seemed like enough to me especially given that some of it was public record for many years (the parking issues) before being becoming a hot button topic. Another factor is Gill's contract. How much someone gets paid influences how people judge performance. That's just an unfortunate fact of life. When you are the 21st highest paid coach in college football, people expect results (i.e. wins) not discussions about improvement. I can totally understand Gill taking the contract as most people including myself would have taken it as well, but you have to consider what that does to expectations. I think that he’d get a lot more slack if the contract hadn’t been so onerous for KU.
I realize that some of the difference comes from personality. His laid back style doesn't sit well with me especially when he listing of statistics or describing improvement when we've just been blown out. His demeanor also rubs me the wrong way. He talks about building a program like KU has had no success at all. We haven't had much historically but over the previous four years, we went to and won two bowl games, we were bowl eligible another year and one win away from being bowl eligible the other year. We are also almost always competitive on the field. We also have very nice facilities that were upgraded in the previous regime. That doesn’t sound like a complete rebuild to me. Most coaches are judged against their predecessor’s final years unless there have been sanctions or some other significant event to temper expectations.
According to Rivals, which is what Gill supporters use to judge his favorable recruiting, Mangino recruited well. He had the #50 class in 2007, #40 in 2008, and #31 in 2009. Those recruits should have been the back bone of last year’s and this year’s teams. Whether they performed or not is a different question but supposedly, we had talent on the team. I don’t put a lot of stock into Rivals rankings myself except for the publicity aspect but if you are going to use that as a defense of Gill, you have to look at what came before it.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 8 months ago

What are TG's...2011 - 35 and 2012 - 70?

BlackVelvet 10 years, 8 months ago

KU will lose the remaining games this season. Gill needs to go somewhere else.

texashawk10 10 years, 8 months ago

What was the poorer coaching decision, punting the ball down three with 2:30 left when your defense hadn't forced very many 3 and outs on the day or running three passing plays in the shadow of your own endzone up 3 with 2:30 left when the other team only had 1 timeout left with bowl eligibility on the line? I think Mangino's handling of the end of the 2009 MU game was worse based on the circumstances, but yesterday was on that same level. I would rather have seen KU lose 20-10 yesterday because the offense couldn't convert on that 4th down because that is at least letting the players determine the outcome of the game as opposed to the coaches determining the outcome of the game. The phrase, "No guts, no glory" is perfect for Turner Gill, he has no guts (killer instinct) as a coach and therefore will never have any glory as KU's coach.

Larry Ewart 10 years, 8 months ago

Well, as usual, most all of you continue to miss the important part of the game yesterday. The play of our QB is so Sub Par it is unreal. What we need is a QB that can see over the OL and can run for a first down now and then. This guy is not Reesing. Webb continues to throw passes in the turf and make poor reads at critical times during the game. Why he would keep it and try to make a half yard by running around the end merits going to the bench. But yet, TG will not play anyone else. He made a bad decision last year with Webb and Pick. He drove Pick to change positions because he(Pick) knew he was a better athlete than Webb. KSU has a QB that runs and is average at best throwing and yet they are in their games and having a decent season. Why this staff is so set on Jordan Webb is beyond me! I do not mean to say all our problems are strictly the QB position. But, please move on to someone else to give it a shot.

jayhawk1975 10 years, 8 months ago

Look at KU's past. Yes, Webb is no Reesing, but he is a much better QB than any other QB Mangino put out there before Ressing (even Meir - "Barns-whats his name" I'm sorry but was a complete joke). In '04 KU lost to National Champion contender Oklahoma 19-3, and in '05 KU lost to k-state (coached by Bill Snyder) 13-3.

jaybate 10 years, 8 months ago

Stay with Turner unless BGL and ZMan have earned a chit for staying in the B12, and are allowed to hire the D or O coordinator at either OU, or UT.

Leach or Leavitt would be like hiring a case of cancer.

End of flippin' topic.

jayhawk1975 10 years, 8 months ago

I disagree; If Gill is gone I think Mike Leach would be a great hire. Texas Tech fans (who still loved Leach) can think cry baby Craig James and ESPN of sounding a war drum to incite a lynching on Leach that I believe was unjustified. If Gill is fired BRING IN THE LEACH, and watch Bill Snyder, Bob Stoops, and even Mack Brown tremble.

Geekinout 10 years, 8 months ago

The only way T.G. stays is if he can bring in new O and D coordinators. Hopefully one's from solid coaching pedigree and that can recruit. He's probably loyal to his current staff though, which is what is going to sink his own ship.

boknowssports 10 years, 8 months ago

well, no wins in October, so Gill says finish strong. What will the Gill lovers say when we have no wins in November? Will it ever matter to them?

Chris Bailey 10 years, 8 months ago

Can't this season just end! I'm so sick of reading about how bad Gill is and how crappy the team is and how we need to fire him. Can we just end it pay him off and get someone who can coach??? I'm tired of wearing a paper bag on my head on Saturdays! He CANNOT coach! He's a nice man and was a heck of a player but that doesn't mean he can put the X's and O's together. Let's get one of these out of work quality coaches while they are available! Also, I don't think the talent, other than the D-line, is that far behind. Fire Gill! Rock Chalk!

10 years, 8 months ago

The loss of this game lays squarely on the shoulders of the players - not Gill.

There are enough "gill haters" out here who no more can understand the state of KU football. The only thing they can see are the wins and losses - which is idiotic. Based on Saturday's play it is even more evident that at the JR/SR level KU does not have the talent nor does it have players who are going to go out and get a win. This was a game that should have been won on the will of the players - simple enough. It is an attiude that "I'm not going to lose no matter what" - and they didn't play that way. Take the 4th quarter the drive that set IA St up for the field gold that won the game. There were 5 or 6 missed open field tackles by key players on this team. At some point the players have to step up and play. They should have set the attitude early on with hard hits and a nasty defenisve attitude. They play football like some teams play a zone defense in basketball.

You can dislike Gill, hate Gill ... whatever. But the bottom line he has no talent in the JR/SR level. Mangino left the cupboard bear and GIll will take the brunt of this. KU could have a long-term classy coach. Instead many are willing to take someone like Leach who has questionable character. Here I always though KU had class ... guess not when they are willing to sell their souls to win in football.

boknowssports 10 years, 8 months ago

yea the buffalo players were probably responsible for his pathetic record there too....

10 years, 8 months ago

Pathetic ... educate yourself on who Buffalo was before Gill arrived.

And yes the players have a huge responsibility ... the JR/SR leadership on this team lacks. When a high % of your top performers are FR/SO - that says a lot.

boknowssports 10 years, 8 months ago

oh yea, as for the "cupboard bare" theory, last year he had 15 returning starters from the previous year. He lost that team with his coaching style and now this years team is even worse. in case you do not read these articles, several weeks ago he talked about how the defense gets in 6 tackles per practice, then they go to two hand tag to work on their technique..... is that the recipe for hard hits, and a nasty defensive attitude? a team takes on the persona of its coach. we have a soft coach....soft team...

10 years, 8 months ago

boknowssports ... not exactly sure how much bo does know about KU football.

Mangino had about 24-26 commitments in his last two classes - who are now the SR/JR class on this team. Of those two classes of about 50 players only 18 reamin based on a quick persual. These are guys that were rated on scout and rivals. Of the 18 who made the scouting report 12 were rated with 2 stars ... wow. One remains who was rated 4 stars - lineman now. The other 5 were 3 stars.

Now you can have all 15 from the year before - so what given the basic facts of those two classes. They might have played but that does not mean they are worth two hoots and a fart. The fact remains that KU has very few quality players at the JR/SR level and they are competing against TX, OU, OSU, GTech who also recruited 20-25 players each year but whose talent was rated at a minumum of 3 stars, a large # of 4 starts, and in many cases ranked in the top 100 in the country. You don't compete equally with this type of talent when in many cases your best talent is in the FR/SO level.

Sorry but I'll disagree with you on "soft coach soft team". I could name a number of coaches who people view as reserved and do not portray the "in your face yelling cussing blah blah blah" attitude. The attitude comes with playing defense and these guys - who played under the "in your face coach - Mangino" would have had that installed into them. These guys have been playing too long not to know that defense is played with an attitude of hit hard first.

Get the facts - not one's opinion.

jayhawk1975 10 years, 8 months ago

Under Mangino's first year KU won only one game, but at the end of his second season KU had won 6 and went to the Tangerine Bowl. Terry Allen's second year KU won (I think) 5 games. Glenn Mason had a greater task, but after 3 years KU went to a bowl game. My point is this: yes back in October many KU fans were demanding Gill's firing, yet I was trying to be optimistic. Had KU won last Saturday's game at ISU, defeated Baylor, Texas A&M (both whom are starting to struggle), and misery (a rivalry game - anything can happen) they would have finished at 6-6 (at such I would KNOW Gill needs to stay). Now the best they can hope for is 5 wins. What Gill needs for any HOPE to secure his job is to blow out Baylor, Texas A&M, AND ESPECIALLY traitor misery (which I know is a big must). If they lose to Baylor the best KU can hope for is 4-8 which is not good enough. Gill really set himself up in the beginning of the season announcing that the team is much better and faster. To some degree of offensive yards maybe, but when it counts in the end of W-L one more (or even less than) win from last years debacle demands Gill's removal - and I like the guy (he would be an invaluable assistant coach who is a very good recruiter).

10 years, 8 months ago

Pose a question ... how much of an impact on this team would it be to have a decent (not great) defenisve coordinator from the start of Gill's tenure until now?

Would it have been a huge positive?

Would not matter?

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