Saturday, November 3, 2012


Opinion: There’s no worse place than the road for KU football

Kansas linebacker Jake Love hangs his head after a Baylor touchdown during the third quarter, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, Texas.

Kansas linebacker Jake Love hangs his head after a Baylor touchdown during the third quarter, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, Texas.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Charlie Weis talks after 41-14 loss to Baylor

KU coach Charlie Weis talks after his team's 41-14 loss to Baylor on Nov. 3, 2012.

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Box score

KU vs. Baylor

— Three years and 18 days ago, Kansas University quarterback Todd Reesing suffered a groin injury, and that’s when it all started.

The coaching carousel. The musical quarterbacks games. The fall all the way back to the bottom of the Big 12 and the losing streak that follows the Jayhawks every time they leave Lawrence.

We hear all the time from athletes that groin injuries have a way of lingering, but this is getting a little out of hand.

The last 20 times Kansas has played a football game away from its campus, the Jayhawks have lost.

Saturday’s had a few memorable twists, such as a 45-minute lightning delay that made halftime last 65 minutes and a rich rainbow in the distance as the game inched toward its predictable outcome of Baylor 41, Kansas 14. All 20 losses have stamps that enable distinguishing one from the next, but they all end the same, with a quiet trip back to Kansas.

Three losses were to Missouri in Arrowhead Stadium, two apiece in Ames, Iowa, Austin, Texas, Manhattan and Waco and one apiece in nine other cities. The 0-20 traveling woe show has played in 10 states: Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas. Fifteen of the losses have been by double digits, seven by margins of 40 or more points.

Three different coaches have headed the KU program during the streak: Mark Mangino (0-5), Turner Gill (0-11), Charlie Weis (0-4 and counting).

Five different quarterbacks have started games during this recurring nightmare: Reesing (0-5), Jordan Webb (0-9), Quinn Mecham (0-2), Dayne Crist (0-2) and Michael Cummings (0-2).

Reesing wasn’t the same after his groin injury, his mobility and hence his magic stolen, but even a diminished Reesing did far more to spark an offense than any of his successors.

In a particularly embarrassing half for the pass-challenged Kansas offense Saturday, the Jayhawks couldn’t score a point against the defense ranked dead last in the nation coming into the weekend. It doesn’t get any worse than that, unless it does Saturday in Lubbock, where Texas Tech awaits, eager to rinse away the taste of Saturday’s loss to Texas.

KU coaches will study film with the players, try to fix some things, study film of the Red Raiders, try to find some weaknesses to exploit and prepare a game plan. That’s what they do. Equipment men will load the bags and the balls, the game uniforms and the pads, and drive it to the flat-in-every way west Texas town because that’s what they do. A pilot and co-pilot will fly the team to Lubbock, the players and coaches will check into a hotel, and Saturday afternoon the Jayhawks will walk off the field under a scoreboard they won’t like because when they leave home, that’s what they do.

Their home record (1-4) hasn’t been much better, but their efforts have been. The same competitive edge they have demonstrated in Memorial Stadium somehow doesn’t make the trip with them.

Too often Saturday, such as for the entire second half, Kansas had the look of a desperate football team. It never looked more pathetic than when holder Blake Jablonski rolled left to try to run 10 yards for a first down on a fake doomed from its inception. The team’s fourth-string quarterback was thrown for a one-yard loss and the score remained Baylor 17, Kansas 7. We’ll never know if Nick Prolago could have made it 17-10 by kicking a 30-yard field goal into the wind over the bar and between the uprights. We only know it wouldn’t have been enough to make a difference.

Still, that doesn’t change the vibe that the move smacked of desperation for a team that hasn’t thrown a single touchdown pass in the past three games and doesn’t have a TD reception from a wide receiver all season.

Was that the play that was called?

“It was actually a play that I thought if you had the look, go ahead and do it,” Weis said. “I thought that we would kick the field goal, just based off of the look. Supposedly, that’s what they were expecting. I thought we were going to check out of that play and kick the field goal, but that is not what happened.”

Was it supposed to be a rollout to the left side?

“The play was to roll to one side or the other, based on the look,” Weis said.

Jablonski was requested by at least one member of the media, but was not included among the players made available for post-game interviews.

The mere fact a holder was requested for an interview in a game decided by a margin of 27 points reveals the desperate need for this tired road script to change.


MoralVictory 9 years, 6 months ago

Here's the good news....there is lots of room for improvement. If I were Charlie, I would turn the offense over to his son and I'd spend 24/7 on the phone with recruits. This recruiting class is suddenly one of the most important in KU football history.

Charlie has a two-year window to get players in here. Year one is now, don't waste it.

DXJhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Except for 2007, KU has had trouble on the road for pretty much the entirety of the Big 12 conference.

actorman 9 years, 6 months ago

That's a good point, DX. It goes back way beyond the current streak.

Gotta give TK credit for the line, "We hear all the time from athletes that groin injuries have a way of lingering, but this is getting a little out of hand." I thought that was pretty funny (well, sad, but better to laugh than cry).

hawk316 9 years, 6 months ago

actorman, you're right. That was indeed a great line from Mr. Keegan.

Phil Leister 9 years, 6 months ago

At this point, there's no worse place than the football field for KU football.

Bville Hawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Uh, thanks for the trip down memory lane, Tom. The truth hurts.

Nice column, otherwise. I like the "lingering groin injury" lead-in.

Riverdrifter though, nailed it (above) when he/she so eloquently wrote "It sucks to suck." Captures the moment beautifully!

ArgyleJayhawks 9 years, 6 months ago

I hope Jablonski didn't get crushed by that bus he got thrown under.

Bville Hawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Good idea, uninitiated channel surfers might think it's Penn State playing.

machinegun 9 years, 6 months ago

Keegan, suggest you attach the positive cable to your left nipple and the negative to your right. Then, have somebody hit the ignition switch. Maybe you boys should lay off the buffet line before your next TV program. You are not supposed to put people to sleep.

KU needs a pro-style QB (who can pass the ball). Dual threat is synonymous with "can run, can't pass" with some exceptions like RG3. The simple fact that you overlooked was that Reesing was not NFL ready and we still managed to win a BCS bowl. We all know that Dayne Crist did not get the job done passing this year. He gave it his best shot. No doubt Coach Weis and his staff are working on establishing an NFL passing attack just as quickly as possible. Keegan, repeat after me: "Think Positive, Think Positive, Think Positive...".

Layne Pierce 9 years, 6 months ago

The most disappointing play in the entire game for me was Omigie. If he holds on to that ball we are still very much in the game. And it was absolutely catchable. Put it in the center fielder drops easy fly ball category.

Cummings is not the answer. I do not see anything he brings but mobility. He does not have touch, and many many times, he cannot see over the defensive lineman.

Peakes might be the guy. Why not play Baty? Yes, we would look desperate, but hey, we are desperate. We are KU football.

The announcers from FSN said we simply do not have enough talent to compete in this conference. Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting,

One thing I do like is the play of the young line backes, Love, Heeney, Miles, and yes Tharp has been getting it done also.

Our defensive line is still a non factor. That just has to change. Secondary sucks, but without a pass rush, NFL pros can't make plays either.

Still I do not see the same kind of boneheadedness that we had under Gill. This is more like when Glen Mason came in.

JayHok 9 years, 6 months ago

Need a throwing QB and three fast tall receivers who can catch! These four items will help our defense more than anything by keeping our defense fresh and off the field.

Doug Cramer 9 years, 6 months ago

The day Perkins announced his little witch hunt...I mean the day our program fell apart. Not the day Reesing was injured.

JayHok 9 years, 6 months ago

Next spring will be the first spring in 4 seasons we'll have the same D coordinator back to back seasons.

Nothing to complain about here. Unless we're living in the past.

squawkhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

He'd be crazy to come back and do more damage to his career.

squawkhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

What happened to the "don't quit" and playing hard for 4 quarters? Out the window I guess with Weis and his assistants.

Lloyd Kinnison 9 years, 6 months ago

In the game I watched, from the 50 yard line, I saw a defense that was not set when Baylor set the ball in motion. They were looking at the coach for directions. Result; look at the runs and passes completed.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 6 months ago

I've tried to remain postive throughout this whole thing. I saw a lot be hopeful for. But I'm sorry, my friends. I've got nothing left

I've never been one to stay true to the Mark Mangino idolization argument. What's done is done. But that man was our last shot for years to come to build a respectable program. And our adminstration absolutely obliterated that. Whether it involved personal feelings, or an attempt to divert attention from their own shady operations.

It doesn't matter the reason. And in all fairness, it doesn't matter. Yesterday is the past; tomorrow is the future. And the future looks bleak.

I apologize, fellow Jayhawks, but I'm afraid my optimism has run dry. The only thing I can do now is fulfill my role as the "wait till basketball" fan that many of our enemies have labelled us with. Because, when you look at it objectively, they may be correct.

Football will never come to the University of Kansas.

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