Saturday, November 5, 2011


Kansas pretty spitty


— Step into the manager’s office of any sub-par baseball team from any city in any decade, and the same mouth that spits tobacco juice into an empty cup on his desk will spill the same tired words of a man trying to make himself feel better about his fate.

“When (spit) we hit (spit) good, we don’t (spit) pitch good (spit),” he starts. “When we pitch good (spit), we ain’t hitting (spit) worth a (spit). Then, when we pitch good (spit) and hit good (spit), we can’t (spit) catch (spit) nothing.”

The manger desperately seeks confirmation that it’s just bad luck dogging his team. He wants to believe that’s the case. Once the luck changes, so too will the winning percentage. Even if he can’t bring himself to say it, he knows better.

Well, nobody associated with the Kansas University football team has been able to make such a claim, at least not during the six-game losing streak the Jayhawks will try to end today in a game against Iowa State that kicks off at 11:30 a.m.

Starting with the nonconference finale in Atlanta against Georgia Tech, it’s pretty much been a total breakdown in all areas for KU.

Obviously, Kansas has a better offense than it does a defense, but it’s not better than any other Big 12 offense, according to the numbers.

A statistical look at the Jayhawks strictly in Big 12 games reveals KU has the worst rushing offense, worst total offense, and next-to-last passing offense.

On a brighter note, Kansas averages 6.4 fewer penalty yards than its Big 12 foes, so over-aggressiveness clearly isn’t the problem.

So if that’s not the issue, what is? Pretty much everything else.

Kansas ranks last in the Big 12 in the following defensive categories:

• Total defense (559.2 yards). Baylor is ninth (515.8).

• Pass defense efficiency (161.4 rating). Baylor is ninth (153.2).

• Opponent first downs (145). Oklahoma State (135) is ninth.

• Sacks (three). Texas Tech has four.

KU is last in these offensive categories:

• Scoring offense (20 points per game). Iowa State is next at 23 ppg.

• Rushing offense (121.8 ypg, 3.2 yards per carry, seven touchdowns). Texas Tech (126.8, 3.5, nine TDs) is ninth. Four teams have eight rushing TDs.

• Total offense (308 ypg). Kansas State is next with 337.4.

• First downs (82). K-State has 99.

• Third-down conversions (28.9 percent). Iowa State is ninth with 37.1 percent.

Also, KU is last in kickoff coverage (37.1 yards from the point of kickoff that opponent takes possession). Texas is ninth at 40.

There is reason to believe the numbers will get better because Kansas already has faced the top three teams in the Big 12 standings and still hasn’t faced three teams with losing conference records (Iowa State, Baylor and Missouri).

But the weaker schedule only has relevance if the players still believe in the coach’s message, which best can be summed up in one word: Believe.


gardenjay 10 years, 8 months ago

OK, so in this article, I believe. I believe being a fan is like being part of a family, and for KU this family is really dysfunctional. Would it be too hard to ask for some fan support to help the season improve? Some positive reinforcement?

Studies will show that record numbers of negative KU football fans have caused a record bad season this year.

I believe that this season will turn around: KU 42 ISU 35. Beak 'em hawks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ben Kliewer 10 years, 8 months ago

You're absolutely right. The KU fan base is like a dysfunctional family. And you're like the mom who keeps telling the kids that everything is fine while the dad is beating her. I'll tell you what. I believe too. But I don't believe in the same things you apparently believe in. I believe in KU, not in the terrible coach that our last AD screwed us with. I believe in the Crimson and Blue, not in Turner Gill and his lack of coaching prowess. I believe in the Kansas Jayhawks doing everything they can to field a successful football team, and sometimes, God forbid, that means getting rid of a terrible football coach. As you can see, my loyalties lie with the University. We can all tip toe around and put on our rose colored glasses and pretend like it's only a matter of time until Coach Gill turns this thing around, but any coach worth his salt would've showed something by now. Gill has not only shown us no improvement whatsoever, he has in fact shown a significant deterioration in the program, and I for one will not sit by as a loyal fan and watch Turner Gill make a mockery out of a program that had finally crawled up from the mess of a program it once was and stepped into the light of being a middle-of-the-road on-the-way-to-good program.

If you want to believe that rainbows and wishes from the fans would've made this season any different, that's your prerogative. But guess what, there were fans in that stadium screaming their heads off watching Texas Tech take the wind out of our sails.

We had the fan support, including from myself, well into the nose dive this season. It was a certain amount of time after the nose dive that the fans just didn't have anything left to support. You can't give positive reinforcement to something that can't be reinforced.

The football team did have the fan support, and the coaching staff is responsible for losing that, not the fans. I am offended that you would blame the fan base for not supporting what the statistics prove to be the worst team in college football today. I'm offended that any "fan" would find this embarrassment of a program acceptable in any way, shape or form. We as fans of the University of Kansas not only have the right, but the responsibility to demand success on the football field, and anyone who tells you to accept and support what has gone on this season is nothing but a poser. Good day to you sir...

actorman 10 years, 8 months ago

Excellent post, Kleave. Sums it up perfectly.

I held out longer than most fans in the hope that something, ANYTHING, would improve. But at some point you have to face reality (well, virtually everyone except gardenjay, that is) and deal with the fact that KU may currently have the worst coach in its long, ignominious football history. As anyone who knows anything about that history could attest to, it takes a REALLY bad coach to be the worst of that bunch, but TG looks like he's well on his way to accomplishing that feat.

And gardenjay, if you honestly believe that better fan support would have made the slightest difference in this team's season, I'd like to have some of what you've been smoking.

actorman 10 years, 8 months ago

"anything" was supposed to be in caps, by the way. Thanks again for your idiotic censorship, LJW.

Ryan Shelton 10 years, 8 months ago

  1. comparing the football situation to a husband beating a wife is as insensitive a comment as I have seen on this site, and that is saying something considering the immaturity of many posters.
  2. Expecting overnight success or success with a different coach when you're Kansas football shows just how little you know about Kansas football. I marvel at how easy a target Gill is for you, but I wonder if you had the same regards while Mangino built his program, or while Mason built his? Building a program takes more than a year and a half.
  3. Statistically speaking, it looks as if we have run through a schedule that includes three top 10 schools, and three others that have been ranked inside the top 25.
  4. I expect a better game from us today considering ISU is closer to our level than any team from our last six games (yes, I know they beat TTU last week.)

If we win today, or any of our remaining games in which we will be an underdog, I would hope all the naysayers would have the grace of spirit to give not only the players, but the coaches some credit for a job well done. It's easy to say the sky is falling in the midst of a losing streak. Demand victories all you want from a team consisting mostly of underclassmen in an unproven program. As long as I see the effort, I will continue to hold to my stance.

Ben Kliewer 10 years, 8 months ago

  1. Obviously you just wanted to attack me because there have been much worse comments on this site. Go screw yourself.
  2. I don't expect overnight success, but I do expect a coach to show improvement over the course of two years. This coach has shown nothing but program deterioration. I have been one of the loudest Gill supporters, but you wouldn't know that because you're an ignoramus who doesn't pay attention to anything. I know a thing or two about Kansas football and I saw Gill take a team that was 5-7 Mangino's last year, losing by (comparatively) small margins, and turn it into a Division three team. I didn't have the same regards for Mangino, because he actually started with nothing. Gill started with something and turned it into nothing.
  3. Statistically speaking, this program whould've been more competitive under a different coach.
  4. The ISU game will be a better game. ISU will look amazing since they don't want to be the only team in the conference to lose to the worst team in college football. If we win today, which we won't, I will give a good solid pat on the back to Turner Gill for managing to get his players to beat a 4-4 team. How proud we all should be that we would happen to squeak out three wins in a season of 30 point losses. Again, unacceptable. Wake up, and next time you try to make a point, wear your big boy pants.

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 8 months ago

Kleave - that's the post I wanted to write. Outstanding.

KGphoto 10 years, 8 months ago

Legend has it, that a man by the name of Roger Tellenfield was walking by one of his friends one day. His friend looked over and said "I am having a good day". Roger was having a horrible day so he pulled out a gun stuck it to his own head and said "Well good day to you sir" and shot himself. Since then this phrase has been used by many as a good way to end a fight or a good way to say good bye.

I guess theres only one thing left to do Kleave...

Ben Kliewer 10 years, 8 months ago

I use a domestic violence metaphor, you tell me to shoot myself and I'm the controversial one?

troutsee 10 years, 8 months ago

You said it all, Kleave. Right on the button with your comments. Blaming the fans is ridiculous. Give us a have way competitive team and we will shut up and keep buying tickets and contributing to the Williams fund.

Kevin Studer 10 years, 8 months ago

What studies, exactly, show that this bad season is the fault of the fans?

baldwinjhawk 10 years, 8 months ago

Dude... I assume you live out west and haven't been to a game this season at memorial. I've been to 3 games. I first became alarmed during the Northern Illinois game when we only made one defensive stop during our win. The Offense looked decent, but this was against a middling team. I started to envision 70-14 losses during the big 12 season. They haven't proved me wrong. But what is most disturbing is the lack of improvement at basic skills during the season. These skills are the ones that you learn during club ball in elementary school and middle school. Tackling, team tackling, blocking, staying in position, securing the ball while running, the list goes on and on. We either blame the student athlete (whose scholarships are worth $100,000) or we the blame the coaches. Take your pick. I'm not being critical, I'm being serious. It's a complete disaster on so many levels. It looks bad on television, but from someone who has coached football it is horrible to watch in person. This team can only compete with a second tier conference at this point. The football team is how we are being judged in this time of big money conference realignment. That's why it is imperative that we need to do whatever it takes to get it up to big 12 standards. I'm not judging or blaming either side of this discussion, I'm just stating a fact that something has to be done. The product we have representing the jayhawk nation is a complete disaster at this point. Hopefully it can be figured out quickly! I'm not a fair weather fan, I'm a sports fan and this team is just hard to watch. It's embarrassing when my kstate friends feel bad for us.... Rock chalk let's fix this!

Billy Derringer 10 years, 8 months ago

kleave i couldnt said it any better you are 1000% dead on grate post!

Miles Nease 10 years, 8 months ago

The money is already in the bank. Turner the Clown is gone. I just hope that they do this prior to the MU game.

NebraskaJayhawk 10 years, 8 months ago

Give them hope!

Here, the men's only choice is between a Snickers bar & a hug.

But there's another way. The way of courage.

The way of love of the Gill.

We must publish the LJW again.

We must tell magnificent stories. Stories that extol...

sacrifice, bravery.

We must make them believe in the victory.

We must give them hope, pride, a desire to fight.

Yes, we need to make examples.

But examples to follow.

What we need... are heroes.

NebraskaJayhawk 10 years, 8 months ago

Give them hope!

Here, the men's only choice is between a Snickers bar & a hug.

But there's another way. The way of courage.

The way of love of the Crimson & Blue.

We must publish the LJW again.

We must tell magnificent stories. Stories that extol...

sacrifice, bravery.

We must make them believe in the victory.

We must give them hope, pride, a desire to fight.

Yes, we need to make examples.

But examples to follow.

What we need... are heroes.

NebraskaJayhawk 10 years, 8 months ago

My name is...

Mark Mangino.

I used to coach here and I've come to take things in hand here.

This city is not Topeka...
nor is it Wichita, nor Kansas City.

This city is Lawrence.


This university's mascot represents anyone who lives in the state of Kansas.

It's more than a university, it's a symbol.

If the Cyclones capture this city,

the entire city will collapse.

Now, I want our boys...

to raise their heads.

I want them to act like they have b@lls!

I want them to stop defecating in their pants!

That's your job, Gill.

As head coach, I'm counting on you.

Doug Merrill 10 years, 8 months ago

This team has lost exactly the games that it was forecast to lose and in the way that was anticipated by anyone who follows college football - REALLY lopsided losses to great teams. The use of this very predictable outcome by those who live in a fantasy land to "prove" that the problem is the coaching staff - rather than the fact that our program was a shambles when this staff took over 1.5 years ago - is ludicrous. Intelligence plus a sense of history plus real care about the program would lead one to realize that we need stability, and support of the players and coaches, and not public reprimands of a coaching staff and team at this stage of the program re-build. I am disappointed by Zenger's obtuse if not threatening comments two weekends ago and REALLY disgusted by the lack of common sense by posters here. The final straw that completes the picture are complaints about the grammar of posts by fans like me - who haven't drunk the koolaid and don't think that Leach or anyone else can turn the program around as long as they have the same 1 year success requirement that was given to Gill by this fanbase and, apparently, this AD. When you have to resort to middle-school level complaints about grammar, it is because you have no real case and you have lost your argument. Hopefully Zenger isn't listening to you.

Funhawk 10 years, 8 months ago

For once, a logical post. Regarding "lopsided losses to great teams," prior to last Saturday's game with Texas, every team we played was undefeated up to that point. .

Eric Harrison 10 years, 8 months ago

Wrong on so many levels. "This team has lost exactly the games it was foretasted to lose". For paying a coach in the top 25 of salaries, I think we should be able to except to upset some teams or even scare them into thinking anything other than 'oh good, a midseason bye week'. Win them all? Not necessarily, but it's a hope.
" the way that was anticipated by anyone who follows college football" Yeah and it got that way under coach Gill's watch and I blame Coach Gill for the expectations being lowered at a traditional non-football school to historically all-time lowest levels. As a fan and follower of college football this is unFu@kingAcceptable. The fact that you and others don't agree with that is part of the systemic problem - apathetic fans. I don't expect an immediate turn around and I don't except a top 5 team. I expect competition, heart and competitiveness. I agree wholeheartedly that a coach deserves time to implement his system/players. In fact I'm one to say a coach deserves 5 years before there is any talk of firing a coach.
BUT when he is unquestionably taking the program in the wrong direction, when is historically bad, when he is appearing to be making no changes at all, when he is just so far overmatched its blatantly obvious I'll make an exception. Fire Turner Gill is the only real option for the future of our program.

Ben Kliewer 10 years, 8 months ago

+1 Dougmd, you're the one living in a fantasy land. As I've said in the past. The cupboard was not bare when Gill came in. Gill took a 5-7 team losing by less than 10 points average, and turned them into shambles in unbelievably lopsided losses, including to D2 teams. Drink that Kool-Aid and keep telling yourself everything is alright. Those of us who know a thing or two about football will stick to reality.

baldwinjhawk 10 years, 8 months ago

I guess you haven't been watching the games up close and in person. These coaches do not coach. After horrible mental lapses I don't see coaches up in the players faces that just totally f* up. Now maybe that's how you were coached when you played football, but chances are you didn't play on state championship teams. Our coaches were in our grills to make sure we stayed in the game. These players don't stay in the game. I DO blame the coaches for that! I get it that it takes time to right a ship. But i have also been paying attention to how they are trying to steer it. Have you?

Dyrk Dugan 10 years, 8 months ago

with plenty of worthless hyperbole above, it's time to discuss this article. and it's nonsense. the day of the ninth game of the year, we're going to look backwards and talk about how lousy we are statistically? i mean...seriously?

we know it's bad. the scores tell the story. why the piling on? of course we know why. this newspaper....has called for the head of the coach. and they won't stop calling for it....i believe no matter what happens the rest of the way.

and this is where this newspaper, and myself, differ. win today, and Gill should keep his job.....period. i would even venture to say that a win today or somewhere else down the line...would also merit the head coach retaining his gig...but i drew my line in the sand for today's game, because if we do pull the trigger after it, we may have time to get an accomplished coach.

here's the main answer to this question of firing the coach: you better be DANG sure, that the program will improve...and i mean guaranteed. and that right now is something you truly can't say with the next hire, if indeed it happens this year.

Go Jayhawks! beat the 'Clones today....i don't care how...just do it.

tis4tim 10 years, 8 months ago

After looking at the stats, Keegan is right: this team is really offensive.

Clarence Haynes 10 years, 8 months ago

Personal Foul on Keegan.....More Offensive Piling On!

Seth Nesmith 10 years, 8 months ago

win today and lose to missouri by 40 and you think gill gets to keep his job? The fizzou game at arrowhead is going to be the lowest point of KU football in its history. anyone is delusional who believes this team will improve in November, rock chalk bottom is coming, and its deeper than ever!

lahothan 10 years, 8 months ago

Scoring offense (20 points per game). Iowa State is next at 23 ppg.

I think this is incorrect. Kansas is at 26 ppg and Iowa st is 25 ppg, unless ESPN messed up their stats. Either way, this is bad, but I still think today can be a good day. Also, Kansas has the ability to put up points and beat teams, but they struggle in a new area each game. If they find a way to pull it all together they are at least the average team we thought they could be. Missouri could be a doable game (fingers crossed, I'll be there cheering them on)

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 8 months ago

He was talking about Big XII play only, so the average of the non-conference bumped up KU's #s, but in Big XII against real competition that is what Keagan was referring to.

Thomas Matlock 10 years, 8 months ago

Believe.......doesn't get it done alone. There needs to be action (execution), as well. Believe and Perform. Read in your Bible (James chapter 2) where it says,"Faith without action is dead." KU's football team needs to go out and SHOW they believe by how they execute on every play. They each must tackle, pursue, block, run, pass, catch, defend, etc.,and do their jobs as part of their team, as well as individually, to the best of their ability. They may still lose the game, but it won't be because they gave up. But, if they give up, they will lose the game. And,if they do not give up, but play every play like that play may be the one that determines the outcome of the game......well.......they might just win!!!!!

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 8 months ago

Thank goodness there are others out there, that "Believe" like me. Gill was a bad hire.

rockchalkjjjhawk 10 years, 8 months ago

Funny, Tom, how you were one of many, during the time KU was looking to knock a new head football coach hiring opportunity out of the park, who basically championed the decision as it was transpiring. A very few of us had the wisdom to know that someone's historical track record almost always determines what someone's future track record will be.

So, when I say this, it is going to sound contradictory. But at this point in time, I think it is mandatory that Gill stay, just to make it soooo painful for those (who had no backbone and succumbed to all of the Lew and Texas madness) to finally realize they can't make decisions of that level of nonsense and not any bad lingering effects. Any buyout to any coach with a two year record as dismal as Gill's is insane. That's just rewarding failure and that's exactly what is wrong the movement towards these guaranteed contracts. Keep him but demote him so he doesn't make any of the decisions. Even if Memorial starts turning into a ghost town, Gill should fulfill his contract. Maybe he'll get lucky and have a winning season next year (unlikely). But after his contract is up, THEN, it's time to find a cerebral stud of a coach.

The bottom line is Lew needs to continue to see the results of his pick. At this point, KU would have to go back to the Orange Bowl next year to make up for two straight seasons of bad loss after bad loss. Just as a reminder: The next time KU has to hire a new coach, if Keegan or any other implant reporter even mentions in the slightest about how this possible coach or that coach is the best fit for KU, it's time to throw his name out.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 8 months ago

A few things that has have bugged me about the Gill hire. 1) Most Gill fans say that he was hired to "Turn around" the program. The words were actually to elevate the program from where MM had taken it. under MM it was about a .500 team, with going to bowl games about every other year and doing well in the bowl games. 2) Gill has not elevated the football team, but completely demolished it. He has not been able to show he can coach, which should trigger the incompetency clause in his contract. 3) Most Gill supporters say that he is a great recruiter. I believe that his top 2 recruits have not even made it through camp. This year when he had 12 scholarships to give out, he can't even fill 10 of them. On top of that, he has recruits starting to think about backing out. 4) He talks highly of his coaching staff, but not one of them has made an ingame adjustment or executed a solid game plan (I might give you TTU as a good game plan, but no in game adjustments). 5) On offense, everything takes place between 2-5 yards behind center, there are no rollouts, no counters, nothing that would resemble creating a method to disrupt the defense. 6) I don't even need to talk about the defense, there isn't any and that is clear. Anybody that wants to talk about how we play in a highly offensively league, forgets that we gave up 24 to MSU (and that isn't Michigan State) and 42 to NIU (6-3 team) and some crazy amount to our one road non-conference game. That's enough for now, but hopefully there is enough to start triggering the incompentency clause in his contract.

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