Friday, July 20, 2012

Preseason media poll places KU football last, OU first in Big 12

Kansas running back Tony Pierson is run down by the Oklahoma defense during the third quarter on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011 at Kivisto Field.

Kansas running back Tony Pierson is run down by the Oklahoma defense during the third quarter on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011 at Kivisto Field.


Although he gave no official comment, it’s a safe bet that Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis was neither surprised nor disappointed when he saw the results of the Big 12 preseason media poll, released Thursday.

Not only were Weis’ Jayhawks picked to finish dead last in the league for a second consecutive season, but they were placed at the bottom emphatically. KU, which finished winless in Big 12 play a season ago, finished with 46 points in the voting. Ninth-place Texas Tech, which won in Lawrence last season, finished with 116, and eighth-place Iowa State received 121.

Although the preseason poll positioned his new team in a spot many consider to be insulting, Weis took the job at Kansas knowing what he was stepping into. He said as much at his introductory news conference in December, going as far as to say he would not have minded if KU had gone winless overall in 2011 so the bar would be set even lower.

But whether expectations are high, low or somewhere in the middle, Weis is the kind of coach who deals in reality, and the media’s vote reflected the reality for KU.

“It isn’t like everyone’s loading up all their marbles to play Kansas right now,” Weis said during a recent evaluation of the upcoming schedule. “It isn’t like they’re saying, ‘Oh, let’s see, we’ve got Kansas on the schedule, that’s our big game.’ So you have an opportunity when you’re in that role for people to sit there and say, ‘Well, we got Kansas before we get into the real games.’”

Therein lies the reason Weis most likely was not upset about being picked to finish 10th. While some will sit and stare at KU’s spot in the rankings and see a team at the bottom, Weis chooses to look at it as a team with nowhere to go but up.

“From our standpoint, that gives you an advantage,” he said. “It gives you an advantage every week. Because every week you have an opportunity to go beat one of those guys. Every week.”

As for the rest of the poll, perennial power Oklahoma was tapped as the heavy favorite to win the league. The Sooners, who return standout quarterback Landry Jones, received 396 points and 32 first-place votes. Big 12 newcomer West Virginia, which features the league’s preseason pick for offensive player of the year, quarterback Geno Smith, came in second with 339 points and seven first-place votes.

Texas (291) was picked third, followed by defending Big 12 champion Oklahoma State (267) fourth, fellow Big 12 newcomer TCU (260) fifth and last year’s surprise of the conference, Kansas State (257), sixth.

TCU and K-State each received one first-place vote.

The bottom of the barrel began with Baylor (162) in seventh, followed by Iowa State, Texas Tech and Kansas.

Here are some more facts about this year’s vote:

  • Although Kansas State was ranked well below where it finished the 2011 season, the Wildcats actually were given more credit by the Big 12 media this preseason than last. KSU was picked to finish eighth in the 2011 preseason poll.
  • West Virginia and TCU will begin their inaugural season of Big 12 competition after joining the league on July 1. Both won their previous conference titles last year, with WVU winning the Big East and TCU winning the Mountain West for the third consecutive season.
  • Oklahoma State claimed its first Big 12 title in 2011 during the Big 12’s first season of round-robin play.
  • Oklahoma leads the Big 12 with seven Conference championships (2000, ’02, ’04, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’10).
  • The last time KU was not picked to finish last in the league came in 2010, when the Big 12 still had 12 teams and was separated into two divisions. The Jayhawks were picked fourth in the North that season.


ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 1 month ago

Looks like I need to bust out the 3rd Eye Blind CD for another year of jayhawk football.

Chris Bruning 10 years, 1 month ago

Hit me up when you do please!!!! I'll tell ya'll what will be fun this year, watching tony pierson get out into the open field. I would put my hard earned money there isn't a player in the nation that can run him down.

JayHawkFanToo 10 years, 1 month ago

"Columbian bam-bam" What is that, crack from Columbia, MO?

nwhawk 10 years, 1 month ago

Matt - OU picked up 396 points, not 339.

bradh 10 years, 1 month ago

Wondered how OU was the overwhelming favorite if they had the same 339 points as WV. Thanks.

Thomas Young 10 years, 1 month ago

Corrections are nice. But is there a reason you feel the need o do so publicly. Matt has an email. Correcting someone in the comments just makes you look like a douche bag.

Dirk Medema 10 years, 1 month ago

It's just easier here. It's not like he's calling him out as an idiot or anything like that. People make mistakes. Okay, move along now.

yates33333 10 years, 1 month ago

who put you in charge of protocol? your daddy (or grandmama) should have slapped your little a s s.

Jeremy Bolinger 10 years, 1 month ago

Nowhere to go but up. I find it funny that despite the return of a lot of good players, KSU still gets no respect. 6th? Seems way too low. I think they belong in the 3-5 range. Certainly ahead of Texas at 3. Just my 2 cents.

NebraskaJayhawk 10 years, 1 month ago

We aren't rebuilding. We're building. Good point though.

Robert Brown 10 years, 1 month ago

I really don't understand two thirds of your post. I don't think anyone is saying Mangino's tenure was a failure. To the contrary, I think more people give him too much credit and believe he made KU into a national power based solely on one season where all the stars aligned. How many winning conference records did he have in the other seven seasons he coached besides 2007? Answer: none. His best was 4-4. He took us from 11 th or 12 th best to 6th or 7th which anyone would take today giving where the program is.

Sam Brockert 10 years, 1 month ago

It peaked in 2007. 2008 was not bad, 8-5 including bowl win. 2009 he won 5 games. So stating that it was showing steady growth is inaccurate.

Robert Brown 10 years, 1 month ago

Was the program really making steady improvement or was it beginning to decline? Even with Mangino coming back after Reesing and Meier left, I doubt you would have seen a winning record. We really do not know the answer to that question. I think we know that the program would not have reached the abyss it reached under Gill, but I imagine the program would one of the bottom three in the Big 12 as opposed to the bottom.

Robert Brown 10 years, 1 month ago

What concrete results? One winning conference record in 8 years? That's setting the bar real high.

Robert Brown 10 years, 1 month ago

Good discussion. My belief is the Mangino took us from awful to mediocre which to me is what 6-6 and 7-5 records are when you play four easy non-conference opponents. Today mediocre looks pretty good.

NebraskaJayhawk 10 years, 1 month ago

Totally agree with your post. Didn't have a problem reading it, but people don't really talk like that in most circles. And if you're in one of those circles where they do...well, I feel sorry for you. You probably raise your pinky when you drink a glass of wine.

Kansas needs to win now....a 3 to 4 win season won't suffice this year. I am not going to dismiss Weis after one season if that does happen, but it's critical from a recruiting standpoint that Kansas has a 5 to 6 win season.

Doug Cramer 10 years, 1 month ago

Dude - this team won't win more than 4 games. Weis needs more time to get a D-line in here.

Cameron Cederlind 10 years, 1 month ago

TL;DR Weis and Mangino should be held to the same standard of W-L record and a coaches success should be more than just W-L record.

Sounding smart != being smart

JJHAWK 10 years, 1 month ago

I boldy predict (and even guarantee) that Coach Weis and this years Jayhawk football team will NOT underperform Big 12 league expectations. RCJH

texashawk10 10 years, 1 month ago

They didn't under-perform last year either based on preseason predictions.

1977kufan 10 years, 1 month ago

I hope that the Big 12 football media will provide a post-season critique of their pre-season "guesses". That might be a semi-interesting article compared to their space-occupying (in both print and electronic media) speculations at this time of the college football season. Regardless of whether these pre-season polls are from any league or any school, they should be looked at in a very positive light. That is, they are great somnifacients. Even after a nice 8 hour sleep, one can read these articles and still fall immediately back to sleep (even in a sitting position)!

Robert Brock 10 years, 1 month ago

I am not concerned where KU is ranked. Since the Hawks are crawling out of a huge hole, the most important thing, to me, is that they start looking like a football team. Competent. Last year's team looked like a Chinese Firedrill.

MartyrMangino 10 years, 1 month ago

“Athletics may be the front porch of an institution like KU, but the libraries are the foundation. I strongly believe you can judge the greatness of a university by the success of its libraries.” – Mark Mangino

ClemsonDandy 10 years, 1 month ago

You must not be from Atlanta, because the folks I know from there aren't into husky, dominatrix women like Danica Patrick, despite our affinity for NASCAR.

troutsee 10 years, 1 month ago

There are a lot of "ifs" concerning every football team going into a season, and even moreso for a team that is used to losing and that has been totally embarrassed in some games in the past season. However, there is reason to hope this season, starting with a veteran coaching staff that has been there and done that. So, if our transfers live up to their billing and if our coaches are able to motivate and coach up, who knows. I for one am not going to write this team off before they have played a game. At this point, the South Dakota State game is the biggest game of the season. However, I just have a feeling that this team is going to surprise some folks, especially the so-called pundits of the media.

Jeremy Bolinger 10 years, 1 month ago

All I expect from Charlie Weis and co. are points to be scored, and a respectable showing on a weekly basis. Until a football coach at KU can recruit, develope, and win on a consistant basis year in and year out, I won't get my expectations up too high. Hell, Weis himself said he has a plan of being here for 5 years....... Not very encouraging if you ask me.

Jeremy Bolinger 10 years, 1 month ago

On a side note, some of you should go back and read what was said when Gill was hired. We have some really intelligent, and some really dumb posters who post here.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 1 month ago

So I saw OU with 32, 7 for WVU, 1 for KSU, and 1 for TCU. Making 41 votes. Does that really mean that we received 5 people that didn't pick us last? Or were not all of the votes accounted for?

I kind of agree with the philosophy, because I use it in Basketball (just the opposite). In Basketball you can't pick KU anywhere except first until someone beats us. And in football you can't pick us anywhere except last until we beat someone. It's painful, but true.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 1 month ago

Well, no double digit whole numbers except 23 and 46 divide evenly into 46, and assuming a 10 best to 1 worst evaluation scale, unless there were 46 voters who all picked us at the bottom....SOMEBODY DID NOT VOTE US LAST!!!!!!!!!

Now I call that progress!!

texashawk10 10 years, 1 month ago

There were 5 somebodies who didn't pick KU last.

Thomas Young 10 years, 1 month ago

Yes, Perkins running Mangino out of town was a huge mistake. But let's not pretend Mangino handed over a quality football team to Gill. his last season ended on a very Gill-like losing streak. I think Perkins deserves some blame for the collapse.

But the reason Perkins wanted Mangino out was that Mangino was a jerk to donors. Perkins wanted a guy in that would attract money. Gill seemed like that guy, and was considered a good get for Kansas when he came here. Turns out, he was horrible.

With Weis, Kansas football has finally moved on from the idiocy of Perkins and the Mangino tenure. Weis is not going to be judged by how much anyone thought of Mangino except by a precious few whiners.

The most exciting part of this season is that it does feel like a new beginning when the team really needs it. It felt forced under Gill.

I'm excited because it feels like a team ready to outperform. It feels like the perfect collection of coaches and new talent. I don't expect anyone to buy into Weis other than his players and loyal fans. Everyone else is going to wait and see.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 1 month ago

I posted this to Matt a couple of days ago and I am probably a lone Jayhawk on an island of delusion but I thnk that the Hawks may actually have a chance at 6-6.

If Charlie can get the guys to cut down the turnovers, increase time of possession, avoid as many dumb plays as possible and keep fighting, based on the results of the previous three seasons, we may sneak up on some people.

Would I bet the mortgage on it???....heck no!!

Would I be shocked if it happened???.....well, yes..but maybe not totally!!!

Feel free to bash me, but I'd rather face reality when it becomes real!!

Dirk Medema 10 years, 1 month ago

I'm with you Oak. I'm hoping for the Pinstripe bowl at 6-6.

Confession - I also was hoping Gill was going to bring some of the husker program here. Oooops.

texashawk10 10 years, 1 month ago

I don't think it's out of the realm of possibilities because I've pointed out on several articles over the past few months that KU wasn't very far off of 6-6 last season even with Gill as a coach. A 21-0 lead on Texas Tech, chances to win late against Baylor and Iowa St., and a defensive performance that gave KU a chance to beat Missouri had the offense been able to do anything that day. The defense forced multiple turnovers in 5 of the last 7 games which was how Oklahoma St. and Baylor's defenses made a living last year despite both being outside the top 100 in total defense. KU's offense won't be on par with those two from last year, but it should be good enough to move the ball against all but the elite defenses in the country this year and that should keep KU competitive and with some lucky breaks, steal a game or two KU shouldn't win which is what it'll take for KU to reach a bowl game this year.

KemDooKU 10 years, 1 month ago

You heard it hear first - KU will finish sixth in the Big 12 standing this year and third next year. In three years when you talk about KU winning a title - people will ask if your talking about Football or Basketball. Here is another brownie to chew on - were four years away from winning the National title in both Football and Basketball.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 1 month ago

Whatever you had for breakfast, I'll take a bite of as well.

Marcia Parsons 10 years, 1 month ago

Wow! Now that's confidence. I can't say I agree with you, but I like your attitude.

jgkojak 10 years, 1 month ago

I think we'll win 2 conf games this year against 2 of those bottom teams.

KemDooKU 10 years, 1 month ago

Not High -

Two most important things that a football team must have to be really good.

Great QB - Crist

Great coaches - Weis, Campo

Jeremy Bolinger 10 years, 1 month ago

If Christ was so great, why isn't he in the league yet? Better yet, why isn't he still at Notre Shame? I wouldn't anoint Weis as being great either.

KGphoto 10 years, 1 month ago

You should probably read more about Crist before coming to conclusions. There are very good reasons he is not in the NFL yet.

First he sat behind Clausen as a freshman and sophomore. Clausen was hot and there was no reason to shove Crist in, or even hint at a QB controversy. Weis had Clausen in Heisman conversations.

Second he got injured twice. An ACL, and when he returned he ruptured his patella.

Third he didn't fit Kelly's system. Crist was Weis' QB for Weis' system. Kelly runs a spread. There is a learning curve and an adjustment period that Kelly wasn't willing to wait on.

Weis is going to have Crist snapping off chunks of yardage this year, in his system. Weis has yet to fail with a QB. He did it with Tom Brady, Brady Quinn, Jimmy Clausen, Matt Cassel and would've done it with Crist already, had he not been fired.

Brantley at Florida was a bust long before Weis got there. The guy stunk out loud.

Crist being great is probably the surest bet on the season.

Robert Brown 10 years, 1 month ago

I think your assessment is pretty good. I think we could pull out two conference wins, but winning at NIU might be pretty tough. I am not sure why we scheduled at game there. Rice can also be tough. They won at Purdue last year. I am looking forward to KU playing Rice in Houston next year!

Robert Brown 10 years, 1 month ago

I have the same feeling about the TCU game. Certainly, the one conference game that everyone points to as a possible win is the home game with ISU. Baylor and Tech are possibilities, Tech should be better and had a good QB. Baylor is an unknown. WV, OU, UT, OSU all seem to be at another level, as is probably K-State.

Clarence Haynes 10 years, 1 month ago

More nights at the office for Coach. Get him a murphy bed!

Terry N Tom Denner 10 years, 1 month ago

BS !! The Jay Hawks will be much stronger on defense this year and there will be no more running up the score on the Hawks like last year. In fact the Hawks will be lighting up the score board this time around. My prediction is 8-4 over all & 9-4 with a bowl win. There will be wins over KST, Iowa St, the three non conference games, Texas, TT, and OSU !!!

Chris1955 10 years, 1 month ago

If that happens, and I hope it does, I'll be ready to drink any and all Kool Aid! I would also think about contributing to a fund dedicated to building a Charlie Weiss statue in front of the stadium.

okiedave 10 years ago

The Tulsa World sports writers maintain that the longer Charlie Weis goes without Tom Brady and the Patriots, the more people will realize he should never have left the Patriots. They anticipate Weis will have very little success at KU. Would love for Weis to prove them wrong.

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