Monday, December 1, 2014

Loss motivates KU football

Kansas Jayhawks football coach Clint Bowen, right, directs the Jayhawks in their game against the Kansas State Wildcats Saturday in Manhattan. At left is KU sophomore, Tevin Shaw, (30).

Kansas Jayhawks football coach Clint Bowen, right, directs the Jayhawks in their game against the Kansas State Wildcats Saturday in Manhattan. At left is KU sophomore, Tevin Shaw, (30).


They don’t know who will lead them as their head coach in 2015, but the handful of Kansas University football players who spoke with the media after Saturday’s season-ending 51-13 loss at Kansas State seemed to have a pretty good idea of the direction they believe the program is headed.

“It goes up,” said junior quarterback Michael Cummings, who likely will have a healthy lead in the race to become KU’s quarterback next season. “We’ve gotta come together in the offseason. It’s tough to talk about right now because we just lost a game, and our season’s over, but we’ve gotta be better than we were this year and put some games together and put some wins together.”

Cummings, like many of his teammates, has made it clear during recent weeks he would like to play his senior season for Clint Bowen, KU’s interim head coach for the past nine weeks and one of a handful of options for KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger as he searches for a full-time replacement for Charlie Weis. Cummings reiterated his stance after Saturday’s loss but also discussed the importance of personal accountability and the role that plays in helping the program get back on track.

“The urgency is different,” he said when asked about the offseason heading into his senior year. “But it’s about building up the people around you. It’s not just about one person. If everybody can be in that leadership role, then that’s a better team.”

That was a staple of the Bowen philosophy during the nine weeks he was in charge, and he emphasized that again Saturday night in the locker room and at his postgame meeting with the media.

“The message in there was to thank those seniors,” Bowen said after the loss to K-State, which made him 1-7 as KU’s interim head coach. “Regardless of how their careers went here, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. The message to the underclassmen was to remember the feeling we have right now, to remember where we’re at and keep that feeling for everything we do from this time forward.”

At least a couple of Jayhawks said that was exactly what they would remember about Saturday’s loss and the disappointing finish to another 3-9 season.

“It hurts,” junior running back De’Andre Mann said. “I’m gonna soak this feeling in and gonna dedicate myself and work even harder so I don’t have to feel this again next year. ... Whatever coach wants, that’s what I’m gonna do.”

Sunday afternoon, Bowen and the Jayhawks honored the 21 seniors leaving the program with a banquet that celebrated their careers. That banquet, which included several individual awards and recognitions, marked the final act of the 2014 season, and it’ll be business as usual for Bowen from here on out, even if everything around him is on the brink of changing.

“We’ll be out on the road recruiting next week,” Bowen said. “We’ll be visiting those young men who are committed to us, so we’ll get out and about early next week at some point in time and continue to sell all the things that are positive about Kansas regardless of the head-coaching situation. There’s still a tremendous amount of positives and reasons that those young men chose to come to Kansas in the first place, and we’ll just continue to build on those and work hard to keep those commitments solid.”


Gavin Fritton 7 years, 7 months ago

"Loss Motivates KU Football."

How much more motivation do they need and, speaking strictly for myself, I'm not sure I can stand much more of them being motivated.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 7 months ago

The fact that Florida and the huskers are both looking for new HC's certainly doesn't help our chances in HC recruiting. Wonder how many other 9-3, top 25 teams, will be feeling entitled to more.

Andy Tweedy 7 years, 7 months ago

For what it's worth, I'm in Omaha and initially thought the same thing. But when I went through all the "most likely candidates" in the Omaha World-Herald, I didn't really see anybody that I've been seeing on our list (I think Justin Fuente was on both Keegan's list and the OWH). At first, I was a tad relieved, but I also had to wonder if we "have the right list."

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 7 months ago

I'm sure Zenger would love to hire from the same pool of candidates that Nebraska and Florida (and likely Michigan) will be hiring from. Those are destination jobs that can poach current P5 coaches. KU is not in that position because of the lack of history, tradition, and resources available at KU.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 7 months ago

No, Bryce...sorry, but you just dont get it. Stay in school, though, there is hope for ya! Keeping the same offensive system, and being able to recruit to that system is how the 'rebuilding' is supposed to go (not the KU recent debacle of keep changing coaches who keep changing the offense every season, or even twice a season.) What kids can get proficient at execution when you keep changing the playbook on them?

And major, major needs on this team are O-line + D-line. Dont win in the trenches, and you wont win many games.

Keep recruiting to system's needs. Keep recruiting.

The frosh sit and watch proficient upperclassmen execute positively, then when its their turn, they are ready.

You can point to Snyder's success with 2- and 3-stars, and thats how he's done it. He's even using a bunch of walk-ons. I'd like to recruit better than Snyder does, and then coach up those better recruits, to get a better product. But that wont happen in 1-2yrs. Stop the coaching carousel. We need stability. We never got any better than "patchwork" because of the instability.

Bowen is better than Weis (can connect with players)...and I wont even mention Turner Gill (thanks, Lew!). I'm sure Bowen can get us to a bowl game in 3-4yrs, but maybe thats not what my fellow WilliamsFund alums want to hear?

Reality=even more rebuilding as we lose 21 seniors. Next year wont be pretty, regardless who's the coach.

David Atchley 7 years, 7 months ago

Bowen has no business coaching at a Power Conference level....he has no program building experience, no HC experience, has no experience from a coaching tree that would warrant a Power 5 Conference level team. Kansas cannot afford to experiment in hopes somebody with no experience works out. If he wants to coach at his alma mater, find an HC job and get the experience. The only scenario an unproven assistant warrants consideration if an HC is retiring or moving on to a bigger opportunity. That typically means they're leaving an established/winning program and you can take a chance.

There is no other Big 12 Team, no other Pac or SEC team, no ACC team that would even have him in their conversation. Why in the world would with a program as run off in the ditch as this one, would you think moral victories and getting players to play like they're on scholarship warrants anything but an established HC or Assistant from a successful program?

Its the same defeatist, small-minded, Missouri Valley influenced train of thought that hired Turner Gill and Charlie Weis. Nobody would have ever hired Charlie Weis as an HC after the dumpster fire at Notre Dame and contributing to the firing of Will Muschamp at Florida...

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 7 months ago

David, we can certainly agree about the experience factor...and it would easily apply to Perkins' hiring of Gill, which is the precipitating factor in taking KU from a bowl contender to not even a pretender. Gill also had zero cred for BigXII level of competetion. Nor could he figure things out, as events proved.

David, also realize, I'm just putting a "spin" on the whole Bowen thing. If he gets hired, we'll simply have to hope he'll figure it out or get the right assistants, and hopefully be able to get some real recruits. But, if we get a more experienced guy, someone who seems a lot more "ready" or logical, then we'll all get behind him for some TBD period of time. (In all sarcasm, that period of time at KU seems to have de-volved into 2yrs, only 2yrs, and nothing but!).

And my other recurring point is an only-2yr yardstick makes our chance of success that much dimmer.

The point about stability goes WAY beyond Bowen or whoever is hired...its about KU's own decisions and actions, and the timeline given to the new hire. Cannot rebuild into a contender in a 2year timeline.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 7 months ago

David, I think we let Bowen have it precisely because we are a "run off program in the ditch". Or, you get some well-perceived asst from somewhere, who fails to get us to a bowl game in Yr2, and then he bolts and is shown the door, and then he takes more of our $$$ with his buyout...

I want someone who cares, and is willing to spend the time. We need stability and hard worker, not some miracle-hire "name" coach. They arent coming, and I dont see one out there for us in the next 1-4weeks...Sure, if we somehow get a proven guy with better credentials and accomplishments, I'd be all for it, and hope it works out for KU...but I dont see it on the near horizon...and I also think KU has unrealistic expectations right about now. We want, want, want...but fail to talk about what is the problem with KU football, analytically speaking.

For example, my dream pick would be Jim Harbaugh (he could get 4 & 5star kids in a hurry)...but that's delusional--he's not coming, why would he leave the NFL...and if he did, it would be for his alma mater, Michigan.

I personally think calling Weis part of the reason Muschamp got fired by FL is too much of a stretch as Muschamp had 3 full seasons without Weis...(Weis spent 2 full years at KU, and then add this 3rd season).

We can give a guy a chance, we've got nothing but time! What's that phrase: With the KU diploma on my wall, I'll be a KU football fan til my dying day. No reason I wouldnt "reset" my timeline expectation to the "4-5yr plan" if we kept Bowen. Ive got time. And KU football needs someone who'll put in the time and passion, if we cannot simply go score some bigname, bigtime coach. You think Urban Meyer will let Ed Warriner go? I'll believe it if I see it.

Al Martin 7 years, 7 months ago

Some of use are getting up there in years. I was just asking my wife what she thought the odds were that we'd live to see a) a bowl season, b) consecutive bowl seasons, or c) a stable football program. The percentage on c) is not good :-).

David Atchley 7 years, 7 months ago

No stretch on Weis hire at Florida....the year he was the OC at Florida they finished 102nd in the nation in offense.

ZERO head coaching experience, ZERO experience on a winning Top 30 program is no credentials for a Power 5 Conference School.

To "give a guy a chance" is the philosophy that has the Kansas program in such peril. How about hiring a proven commodity, versus hiring coaches that nobody in a Power 5 Conference would consider as an HC?

David Atchley 7 years, 7 months ago

No stretch on the Weis comment....Florida finished 102nd in the nation on offense under his direction..or lack thereof.

"Give a guy a chance" is what has the Kansas Football Team in such peril. Nobody but Kansas would have given Weis an HC job. Now the sentiment is to give the HC position to someone with ZERO head coaching experience and ZERO experience as an assistant on a Top 20 program? Bowen has proved nothing that warrants consideration, sorry.

Greg Ledom 7 years, 7 months ago

Bryce, I'm not sure how to dignify your post with a response. I will say this; Your certainly no Kansas fan if that's how you want to treat a former player and coach. Go root for someone else. And that has nothing to do with whether he's qualified or not, which I happen to believe he is.

Jerry Walker 7 years, 7 months ago

"and one of a handful of options for KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger as he searches for a full-time replacement for Charlie Weis." - Matt Tait

C'mon're the beat writer closest to the team. Is that just a throw-away-line or do you have some real info on the options?

Robert Brown 7 years, 7 months ago

It is doubtful that the Florida and Nebraska coaching searches affect the KU search. People who those two schools would consider would never consider KU.

Unless Florida and Nebraska pick head coaches from existing Power 5 conference teams, there will be remarkably few openings this year. I see no Pac 12 openings and doubt that any other SEC job will open up. Michigan could open up and possibly Purdue. In the ACC, maybe Miami and Virginia. The only other Big 12 possibility is Iowa State.

Kevin Robert Fest 7 years, 7 months ago

I was so happy when they fired Weis and very encouraged early to see how the team responded under Bowen the close loss to OkSt the near improbable win against TCU and the overall better play. But these last two weeks have left me frustrated I'm not sure what it will take to turn this mess around. I surely doubt a new coach (most likely an assistant from another program) will help. I think Bowen and what he has started and how the players believe in his philosophy is a good start. Why bring in a new coach and have to start completely over again and expect the players to buy in to a new coach they haven't played for or the fact the coach doesn't know them or hasn't been around the program. Keep Bowen and don't make the player go through ANOTHER coaching change. They believe in Bowen now. They have to get better recruits 2-3 star kids just aren't going to do it anymore.

Andy Hess 7 years, 7 months ago

I wouldn't count interim coaches. Bowen isn't new. It would be 3 if they hire a new guy.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 7 months ago

Andy, but changing from Weis to Bowen evidently was very uplifting and energizing to the players, almost translating to wins over OkSt and I think it was a big enough shift of philosophy to qualify.

I had no idea Weis was that bad at connecting with the kids. The "lost support at all levels" quote from Zenger was very haunting.

Snyder had 2 or 3 losing seasons at KSU before he started to turn it around all those years ago...

Bowen, even if he just stuck with Glen Mason's philosophy of getting kids "that were a step too slow, or an inch to short, or a bit underweight" would only give us a bunch of guys with a chip on their shoulder...and they could be coached into a force...but thats a 3-4 yr timeline.

Al Martin 7 years, 7 months ago

Momentum? We got outscored 95-20 in our last two games. Yikes.

Ashwin Rao 7 years, 7 months ago

The momentum and energy was evident immediately after Weis' firing. But that wore off very quickly. The last 2-3 games we were back to going through the motions, and making errors on the field self.

John Strayer 7 years, 7 months ago

2 and 3 star kids can work...all you have to do is look to KSU. They don't have a roster full of 4 & 5 star kids...heck they pretty much beat KU with Senior walk on kids from Kansas. The problem with KU is you have to develop talent because you're not going to recruit it.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 7 months ago

Exactly! Glen Mason said as much, and Clint Bowen knows it. Why wouldnt Clint have a really good idea of what will and wont work at KU. And whose to say the staff of Reggie Mitchell and Eric Kiesau and Bowen himself wouldnt be able to snag some higher rated recruits. I mean they already proved they can bring quality RBs here. We need time to get & develop serious O- and D-line personnel. Cant control the line of scrimmage, and you cant win. You see that even in the NFL. Those KSU kansas walk-ons simply grew into men by their upperclassman seasons, and are ready to go when its their turn. They learned the same system and it shows. Instead of learning new playbooks, they simply focus and drill, drill, drill on the proper execution and timing. Thats how a bunch of kansas walk-ons can compete.

But again, who's to say Bowen & staff cant find some 4star type-kids...we dont know, I'd be willing to give Bowen & staff the chance. Good lord, now we lose 21 seniors, next season could be what's the urgency...really? I see stabilty being of the utmost glaring need. As Bowen said about TCU and Baylor: "they've been in their systems now long enough and recruited to their system's needs long enough, that they are able to execute what they want to do...and are fun to watch." He knows what upper levels of execution and results I hope we give him time to accomplish it.

Jim Stauffer 7 years, 7 months ago

First of all, let's ban Bryce Landon. His comment is akin to a call for lynching in the old days. Be reasonable. Clint Bowen is certainly not the enemy here. He coached this team for 8-9 weeks. Consider this. That is the only 8-9 weeks players like Ben Heeney have been coached in their careers here.

Someone mentioned the difference between KU and KSU is not talent level, it is coaching. The Srs at KSU have been coached for 5 years, the Srs at KU have been coached for 8-9 weeks. Clint Bowen is the one who provided that coaching.

Zenger will have several men to consider, any who probably will do well. As a KU fan I am already excited for next year. It will be the first year since 2008 with a reason for positive thoughts. Our team will have been coached in the off season (S&C) and in the Spring and in the Fall. Wow! What an innovative concept!

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 7 months ago

Jim, I like your post. My only concern for our fan's expectations is that we lose 21 seniors, many of whom were starters. So the backups are a bit suspect, and it could be a long season, naturally due to attrition. Think of Self's ultra-young, and "least competent" team last year. It can happen.

But on the flip side...we do have 50+ guys returning, who will be getting stability of coaching (IF we give Bowen and staff a chance...), as well as a profound hammering of the fundamentals, so maybe next year's team could get more than 3 wins...who knows what is/isnt possible at this point.

I really want the coaching carousel to stop.

Billy Derringer 7 years, 7 months ago

First of all, lets ban you Jim, every one is entitled to his or her opinion,

Robert Brock 7 years, 7 months ago

If KU wants to be solid in football and in a P5 conference, this is the time for Doctor Zenger to define the future and position the Jayhawks on a glide path leading to success.

His choice of Charlie Weis to replace the horrible failure, Turner Gill, doesn't suggest that Dr. Z always thinks clearly. Let's hope that Chuck Neinas helps him out. If not, maybe Chuck will be finding us a new conference. The GOR expires in 8-10 years. Good luck, Z!

Robert Brown 7 years, 7 months ago

Zenger did not hire Turner Gill; he fired him. Turner Gill is having a pretty good season at Liberty but clearly was a bad choice for KU.

Robert Brock 7 years, 7 months ago

Read it again. I wrote that Zenger replaced Turner Gill with Charlie Weis. That is a mammoth demerit in itself.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 7 months ago

If we took the current KU football squad and played every team in Liberty's conference, we'd very likely win every game. Those are the kinds of teams we schedule for our exhibition games.

Robert Brown 7 years, 7 months ago

A little perspective on the K-State game. K-State is good. The beat OSU and Tech at home by comparable scores as they beat KU and they shutout UT at home.

We were somewhat victims of the schedule by having to play three of the top 4 teams in our last three games.

Had we finished the season with Tech, WV and OSU, we probably would have had more wins and feel much better about the direction of the team.

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 7 months ago

I have not always been on Bowen’s bandwagon but I’m leaning more and more towards him. However, I find it unsettling that the athletic administration has made such disastrous decisions when it comes to selecting a head football coach.

Lonnie Snow 7 years, 7 months ago

There are some good coaches out there, Will Muschamp could recruit ONLY because it was florida but who ever we get must have a great recruiting system. Talent is everything, do we even have 1 - 5 star recruit? Oh as a freshman lol, not from another team who replaced them. I vote Jim Harbaugh proven big name and recruits want a coach to get them to nfl aka Bill Self.

Chris Condren 7 years, 7 months ago

Sorry Matt but your article proves you have been infected with the Losing Virus which appears to have taken up residence in Lawrence, specifically in the football program. Your lame attempt to spin chronic losing into inspiration is a complete farce. As for the player I wish him great success at any endeavor he wishes to pursue. As far as his athletic career I hope he leads KU to an undefeated season and that he wins the Heisman Trophy but Matt you should not feed the readers crap about how losing for over five years is motivating players to do more to win. Your article shows that the losing virus infects all who are near the program, Coaches, Administrators, Players, the dwindling Fan Base and yes, even the Media covering KU football.

Kevin Robert Fest 7 years, 7 months ago

Good point John I stand corrected. We can win with 2-3 star recruits KSt is a great example of this as well as their walkons. Some how we'll have to do the same.

Tom Hanson 7 years, 7 months ago

The success at KSU is simply remarkable. To duplicate that is next to impossible. Name another school in a significant conference that has accomplished the same. If KU wants to compete, yes simply compete in the top half of the Big 12 they need players. Not simply a few skilled position types but depth in all areas. What does it take to assemble that kind of team? Time, lots of money, a high profile head coach, well paid talented assistants, great facilities, administration support, etc.etc.etc. Once we get there, staying there will be difficult unless we maintain all of the above.

Dale Rogers 7 years, 7 months ago

I sure hope AD Zenger names Clint Bowen Head Coach in the next couple of days, although that's probably way too early to complete his process. It has to hurt in Bowen's recruiting when he has to answer the question whether he'll be the head coach while the recruit is at Kansas. Sure, he'll likely be there in some capacity, he can tell them, but I would think a recruit wants to know who is going to be head coach because that's the guy who will have the most impact on him.

Dale Rogers 7 years, 7 months ago

I remember back when K-State was terrible in football, when Sports Illustrated named KSU the worst football program in the country.

What I don't recall is how strong was the Big 8 in those days? In other words, did Bill Snyder's teams have to play 7 high quality teams every year while he was rebuilding the team? Or did those wins come maybe a bit easier than what's facing KU over the next several years?

Robert Brown 7 years, 7 months ago

NU and CU were consistently strong during the 1990s when Snyder started. OSU would have some good years as well. OU was good at the beginning but pretty average until Stoops took over in the late 1990s KU had a couple of good years, but was pretty bad during the latter part of the 90s. MU and ISU were pretty bad.

It was pretty easy to schedule three weak out of conference opponents and beat up on MU, ISU and KU to get to 6 wins. The Oklahoma schools were beatable in the mid-1990s so it wasn't as difficult to get to 8-3 as it is today.

In 1995, the last year of the Big 8, there were 4 teams that ended up with 10 or more wins and finished ranked in the Top 10- NU (undefeated national champs, Colorado, K-State and drum roll. . . . KU

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 7 months ago

Bill Snyder took over in 1989. It took him about 5-6 years to make KSU a regular in the top 10-15 of the polls, basically until the Big 8 dissolved. The Big 8 was not very deep during this time. Nebraska and Colorado were really good, everyone else struggled to get bowl eligible on a consistent basis.

Bob Stuber 7 years, 7 months ago

I have seen one person consistently comment on this page regarding Clint Bowen's national stats as a defensive coach, and they were not good. However, I would submit that those stats are irrelevant. Why? Because a defensive effort not only depends upon the defensive coordinator but also upon the head coach. Look no further than KSU. KSU has had multiple defensive coordinators during Snyder's tenure, and all of them have been successful. Thus, it is tempting to infer that a team's defense is a reflection of their head coach and his coordinator and really comes down to the head coach's ability to inspire his assistants in all phases of the game. Hence, KSU football has been successful because their HC has demanded accountability at all levels of the program. Clint Bowen seem to get that. Hiring Bowen makes sense.

And, we still have to get the players and make them believe. Togetherness, team concept, and a change in culture is needed to make KUFB a winning program. FB must become our priority. If it does not, then we will be shucked to a lesser conference. Basketball, as great as our program is, simply will not carry us. Do we want to be another Gonzaga?

Logan Johnson 7 years, 7 months ago

Is an all time FBS rushing record & 95 points in the last two games irrelevant to a defensive minded interim head coach?

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 7 months ago

Yes. We are not ready to compete against the top teams in the conference especially when we play them on the road. Good and bad teams get trashed every week in college. I'm more concerned when we are beat badly by average teams.

Devin Maxwell 7 years, 7 months ago

I for one, am tired of being the laughing stock in the Big 12. I think that we need to find the right head coach with this hire, or there needs to be changes higher up. I don't understand how we can go from winning the Orange Bowl to losing and barely winning a game in such a short time. I don't know if it has been said before, but why not find an up and coming coach that has had success and put him in charge of our football program? I am from Hutchinson, and have watched Rion Rhodes change the HCC football team around. He has had success in other places as well. I think he would be a great change and could do great things. Now whether he would come or not is a different matter, but in my opinion for what it's worth, I think he is worth looking into.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 7 months ago

Devin, I respect your angst, but am just curious why you would actually type: "I dont understand how we can go from winning the Orange Bowl to losing & barely winning...". Yes, I thought the Orange Bowl was exciting, but it took years to develop. Keep in mind the BigXII South, and our softer schedule that particular season. Then, anybody who watched KU's football games should already know what happened under Turner Gill...And Gill's press conferences(no clue)...and then read/heard what Weis found when he arrived (off field discipline issues, major academic problems) causing him to "cutting people like its the NFL"(to quote KU player)...left himself a 30+ man roster. Weis then made some key, critical mistakes, and odd personality.

Another factor: realize ALL the problems in O-line pass protection that Crist, Heaps, Cozart, and even Cummings have well as poor D-line...that we keep losing our chance to win by not being able to win in the trenches. Regardless of how gifted our RBs or WRs could be, if we cannot control the line of scrimmage, we're doomed. Weis had NFL talent at the Patriots and Chiefs. Not at KU.

Recruiting pipeline, and coaching. And THE biggest factor of all: Stability of coaching and keeping the same system, and recruiting to its needs. So by the time your kids are upperclassmen, they have the reps and playbooks drilled into their heads = able to succeed when its their turn. That's all Snyder does with his 2- & 3-star guys, as well as his sizable walk-ons.

Its almost unbelievable, but I'd tell any of my fellow WilliamsFund alums, and any KU fans in general, that until you see a ton of patience with the offensive system, stability of coaching for at least 4yrs, thus giving the recruiting + development time to get competent on the field...we all should take our 'impatience' and 'sick and tired' mentality and throw it right out the window.

Its an utter joke if someone allows themself to think that even Urban Meyer or somebody can come in to KU and go win the conference in 2yrs--not impossible, but highly improbable. Look at Self's first 2 seasons: ya he's a recruiter, but we had 1st round back2back Tourney exits his first 2 seasons, but then look at year 3 and year 4...

People have said for decades that you give a college football coach 4-5years, unless there is overwhelming reason to act quicker (like with Gill, still uncertain about Weis, but he may have had other issues surface). But we CANNOT use the fact we canned Gill and Weis after 2 seasons to now "create" some fictitious KU-timeframe. Again, even Urban Meyer-level of coaches wont be able to get the Jimmies and Joes in here enough to implement their systems in 2yrs.

So, to my KU brethren: Stop the insanity, stop the carousel, and find some patience. You are going to need it. And dont forget much of this current debacle was initiated by Lew Perkins. He made some mistakes too...

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 7 months ago

great post. However, the back-to-back 1st round exits were in Self's 2nd and 3rd seasons. A great deal of the frustration was that in Bill Self's second season he had a preseason #1 ranking with Seniors in Simien, Langford, and Miles coming off of a FF, a Runner Up, and an Elite Eight

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 7 months ago

Yep, Jonathan, you're right, I went back and looked at those records after my post. I do recall Langford played hurt, and as he admitted in 2008: "Self was right, we players were wrong to not buy-in fully to his system". Roy didnt leave the cupboard bare, no sir...but the toughness and defensive gritty mentality is a lot for players to adjust and buy-in to, and it no doubt is partly why we dont get some top recruits even to this day, as they are too soft (admittedly or not), for Self's system. But Im ok with that, as we only want the ones who are willing to do whatever coach says...period. Self has proven himself to me, but it took time to get "his" guys. Not any sort of slam on Langford or Miles (loved those kids, still do), but when Langford admitted what he did, you instantly realize the unmet potential in those Roy-recruited carryover team(s).

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 7 months ago

yep, Bill Self is the man! Looking back at the years, it's hard to remember that 2 of his teams were unranked for large parts of the season until they found their chemistry just in time to win the league and earn a high seed in the NCAAs. We really take for granted that we've been ranked in every poll since January, 2009. Almost 6 years! That's consistency.

Layne Pierce 7 years, 7 months ago

Bill Snyder has done something KU could not do, and that is put in a system bigger than the players. The truth is that even Mangino found a nugget in Reesing, and we took it to the bank.

Post Reesing, not so good, and even at the end. We need a coach who has a plan to install a system, and that means manage the assistants, have a recruiting philosophy, a plan for the maximization of the talents of every recruit. A successful coach understands how to win games, he does not just put talented people on the field and hope they pull it out.

In our case, the structure of our system is rotten. We recruit receivers who don't catch the ball, and defensive lineman who can't stop the run, and so on. But in fact without a plan for winning, recruiting just to maximize rivals stars is stupid and meaningless.

I hope and pray that first and foremost Neinas and Zenger will be looking for someone who has such a believable, workable plan. Fact is that KU and KState have rarely both been good.

The one thing that Bowen did that I truly appreciate, is he held people accountable. A player who executes is better than a star who does not. How many times this year did we have linemen jumping off-sides. Our margain for mistakes is minimal, and we need discipline in that area.

The management side is bigger than offense or defense. We will never outrecruit most of the teams in the conference, but we can recruit winners, determined disciplined players, and we can stop making excuses and beating ourselves.

Experience at building a program, not a couple of good years, that is what we need in our new coach. I love Clint Bowen, but I do not see the qualifications.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 7 months ago

Layne, you are very right about Snyder's system. But regarding Bowen, did you hear his quote of Glen Mason (whom he played under, and obviously has seen what will and will not work at KU): "give me the player that is an inch too short, a step too slow, etc...". And add the time to coach them up (like Snyder does), and as you alluded to: a stability of plan and philosophy that allows kids, fans, donors, etc., to know the expectations.

So when Bowen clearly knows this, why wont we give him time to build it? He has the energy and time to do it, as well as the passion. Maybe he has big, big ideas and aspirations for his KU? Why else would he call it a 'dream job', even when he knows 1st hand how much apathy and bitterness is swirling in the fanbase right now? Bowen has spent 18-19yrs assoc with KU football, and seen good and bad examples. Why isnt he qualified to "know"? I'd like to see him being given the truest test: 4-5yrs. KU fans/alums need to find some patience. Why? Because there is no quick fix.

Ethan Berger 7 years, 7 months ago

First Bill Synder is the best coach in the nation. Might not be the best recruiter but it's amazing the success he has had with below average recruits. There might never be a Bill Synder again.

My coaching list

Jim Harbaugh- Pipe Dream? But maybe God will take pity on us and deliver us to the promise land.

Clint Bowen- Players responded well, we just ran into a brutal stretch. Best way to guarantee minimal transfers and keep a system in place.

Bo Peleni- Dude was 40 games above .500 at Nebraska. Being .500 is good enough for me.

Doc Holliday- Marshall HC, dynamic offense, head recruiter under Urban Meyer and understudy of Rich Rod.

Kirby Smart- Bama defense has been a power for years. This man deserves a shot, why not with us?

Ed Warriner- Great O Cord, also deserves a shot.

There are some other names but these our my personal favorites.

Doug Cramer 7 years, 7 months ago

Of course Cummings wants Bowen as our head coach next year. That guarantees him as starter. Bring in a new coach and a new offense, that could require a different QB that passes Cummings in the depth chart. I like his tenacity to stay on the team...despite being passed up every season.

Talked to a couple of KU buddies I went to school with. One in Overland Park and another in Wichita. Was asking them what their sentiment gauge was in both locales. They were both saying sentiment is that Zenger will bring in another coach...and that Bowen was too much of a risk...therefore being too much of a risk for Zenger's career as KU's athletic director.

Lets hope Zenger does our football program, and himself a favor, by hiring a modern day offensive guru such as Doug Meachum or Phillip Montgomery.

David Atchley 7 years, 7 months ago

So....the solution to the woes that is the Kansas Football Team (some day they may be a program) is to follow up possibly the worst hire in the history of hires with Charlie Weis, with someone that has ZERO Head Coaching experience and ZERO assistant experience on any top program? The pretzel logic being applied is the moral victory vs. TCU and he has kids playing as if they're on scholarship? No wait...the better rationale is "he wants the job?"

NOBODY but Kansas would consider Bowen as a Head Coaching candidate in a Power 5 Conference. Then again no Power 5 Conference team would hire anyone with no Head Coaching experience or has been an Assistant at a winning program.

If Bowen wants to be a Head Coach at his alma mater some day...apply for a Defensive Coordinator or linebacker coach at a Top 30 school and get on a coaching tree that will give him the tools of program development, recruiting, etc....and then come back when you have some tangible coaching experience.

The only school on the planet that would have given Charlie Weis a Head Coaching job was Kansas. His one year as the OC at Florida, was a contributing factor to Muschamp being fired. His tenure at Notre Dame was abysmal. However the brain trust at Kansas disregarded those facts...because Charlie Weis "wanted the job?"

This program desperately needs experience and command presence and established recruiting throughout the deep South and Texas. Kansas has squandered the luxury of taking any more chances on the Head Coaching position.

Doug Cramer 7 years, 7 months ago

I'm with you David. This has got to be the most irrational campaign/movement/experience I've ever seen.

Unfortunately, it's something that many of us care deeply about. And we want to hire someone thats been a major part of the problem all along ? ? ?

To add to what David said, there isn't a single Power 5 program that would hire Bowen as a defensive coordinator...let alone a head coach.

But I guess it shouldn't surprise anyone. This sentiment is also coming from the same people that wanted Mangino gone, loved Gil and Weis, and predicted a 2014 bowl season back in August.

Sorry if that offends some of you, but it's reality. Just like it's reality that the state of this program is in complete disaster mode.

Why is it in disaster mode ? Because Weis failed to recruit talented underclassmen. A large majority of our playing time was by seniors this year. If you thought this season was bad...wait till next season.

Ethan Berger 7 years, 7 months ago

4 examples of really good coaches who had minimal assistant careers with a top program or none. Urban Meyer was a position coach for 3 power programs for a combined three years. Bowling Green took a chance, they did well but he left quick.

Mack Brown very similar. He was an OC for OU but for one year. Had minimal success at Tulane but UNC took a chance. He turned out alright.

Gus Malzahn. Was actually a high school guy. In his time at Auburn, they had one good year. In fact he was under a terrible coach in Gene Chizick.

Last but not least is Hugh Freeze. He actually has a worse resume then Clint Bowen. Also a high school guy. Position coach at Ole Miss post Eli Manning. And OC at Arkansas State before being a one time HC there. They took a chance.

We have to know who we are. We are a stepping stone school. Here are four examples of guys who background was not of a power school who made it and had a lot of success.

Doug Cramer 7 years, 7 months ago

Ethan - those are some good examples. I could be wrong about Bowen, but the problem is, we already know how his units have performed in the past. We have a very LARGE sample size of how his units have performed in the past. Thats what is different between Bowen, and these other guys you bring up.

Again I could be wrong, but I just don't see how our performance won't be any different than his past units, or our 1-7 record under his temporary time.

Granted, even I don't think it's fair to forecast his future success on the 1-7 record...because he inherited a disaster.

But again...there is a very large sample size of his past performances as both a defensive coordinator...and one year as a special teams coordinator.

Ethan Berger 7 years, 7 months ago

I get that. We probably could have done better. But considering some circumstances, I don't think our D has been that bad. Under Gill times were terrible. But our D kept us in enough games to win us games. Our offense is what blew it.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 7 months ago

There's no end in sight for KU Football being mediocre at best.

However, if Clint Bowen is given the job, then I can believe that there may be an end, but it's still not in sight.

Bob Stuber 7 years, 7 months ago

Yes, Doug, next year looks bleak once again. However, you and I saw two different results on the field this year. I saw a team that played competitively and with some fire after Bowen took over. Unfortunately drawing Baylor, OU, and KSU at their houses at the end of the season was a prescription for disaster, especially given the coaching changes over the last 5 years and the lack of continuity in the KU FB program. This is fixable. It will take a coach who is committed to change the culture at KU, both with players and with the fans. It will also take a coach that demands toughness from his players and accountability from his assistant coaches. It will take a coach who pays attention to details. Can Bowen do this? I say he can. I would be totally against bringing in someone from a lower conference as that person would use us as a stepping stone. Ed Wariner makes some sense but I would prefer Bowen.

However, no matter who is coach, success won't happen in two years. We will need to be patient. We are known as a BB school. And our fans are nuts over BB. However, I say, given a FB team that is tough and plays every team close and gets some signature wins, the fans will fill Memorial Stadium and yell their heads off. I am a FB guy but it is unrealistic to think that fans will turn out to see our team get blown away over and over. Even the most ardent FB supporter gets turned off given the futility of our FB program.

Doug Cramer 7 years, 7 months ago

As I mentioned above, Bowen inherited a disaster from Weis. So I don't know if it's fair to predict Bowen's future success as a head coach based on the 1-7 record.

However, it is fair to look back at a very large sample size as a defensive coordinator. That performance has been consistently bad.

A selecting official will want to hire someone that has proven to create success. He hasn't done that...

Fred Davis 7 years, 7 months ago

Random Consideration --> Jim Tressel. If anybody can recruit to a less than ideal climate and has the state of Ohio on LOCK - it's Tressel. And I'm not referring to his OSU days...

I'm torn on Bowen. Let's be honest - this team looked downright bad the last two weeks. But it's like the chicken or the egg argument - is It Bowen's inability to game plan or was KU That overmatched....? I tend to think more of the latter... Football isn't like basketball - it literally takes 2-3 years to rebuild a program - and it has been stated ad Nauseam on these comment pages - Weis and Gill's recruiting has been a notch below suicide bomber recruitment success which is why this team has quality depth at maybe two, three positions....?

As to whether Bowen is the man moving forward, I have an idea that ol' Zeng & The Gang might be thinking about ---> Larry Brown Alert --> I would not be surprised at all to see KU go with an older established vet who only has a few years left and Bowen goes all Muschamp-Coach-In-Waiting...... We'll see....

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 7 months ago

The only thing that Weis did positive is bring in some fast guys. That influx of speed helped Bowen's defense improve the last 15-18mos. into a midpack BigXII defense. Cannot ignore the competetiveness of the IowaState, TCU, and OklaSt games. Special teams are still in the disaster category, and actually cost us the TCU and OkieState games. Bowen + Kiesau improved the passing offense, but they had to import new-to-KU talent with King and Harwell.

What I'm saying is KU sorely needs more talent on ALL sides of the ball. Everybody's job gets easier with more talent. Especially for the fans who want results sooner, and dont want to wait for a Snyder-pace timeline, eh?

Micky Baker 7 years, 7 months ago

Don't know what the possibilities are, but I think Zenger should give Pelini and Muschamp a call. The worst that could happen is that they say no. If they interview, there might be at least a chance to Muschamp on as Defensive Coordinator if Bowen get's the head job. That would give Kansas some additional ties for recruiting in Florida and some of the other states near Florida.

Warriner might be the most optimal choice given the offensive problems that we have had. However, I don't think that it was the talent in our skill positions that was lacking. It was our offensive line. We need to bring in a good crop of 3 star, maybe marginal 4 star offensive and defensive linemen the next two to three seasons out of HIGH SCHOOL (emphasis on HIGH SCHOOL). Get the guys that we are recruiting talking to one another.

On a down note, Cory Butler withdrew his commitment to Kansas. That doesn't mean he won't recommit when the new guy is announced. I do believe we'll have our new guy in under two weeks, however. Then we can start building the staff and the recruits. This next guy has to be given 4 years at the minimum unless there is absolutely no progress during the first 3 years. 3 years, with a chance at an extension and a raise if we are bowl eligible in year 3.

If we get the right guy, we should notice improvements midway through next season just on how the guys compete and execute on both sides of the ball and on special teams. The win loss column isn't going to be a valid measurement next season folks. Just a heads up on that one.

Logan Johnson 7 years, 7 months ago

I could almost guarantee that Pelini and Muschamp won't even be interviewed.

I'd put money on this being the interview list for KU:

Tim Beck, David Beaty, Ed Warinner, Troy Calhoun, Clint Bowen

I'll also bet they make a very quick turn around. An announcement on the 13th at the KU BBall gamee in the sprint center will most likely happen.

Bob Stuber 7 years, 7 months ago

They will not announce this at the sprint center. How tacky.

They will not and should not interview Pilini or Muschamp

Hopefully Bowen will be hired

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