Monday, September 22, 2014


Column: Worst Big 12 team? Still KU

Kansas cornerback Dexter McDonald is called for pass interference on this breakup with Duke receiver Johnell Barnes during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 13, 2013 at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, North Carolina.

Kansas cornerback Dexter McDonald is called for pass interference on this breakup with Duke receiver Johnell Barnes during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 13, 2013 at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, North Carolina.


Anybody who picked the Kansas University football team to finish last in the Big 12 has not been given a reason to turn the pencil upside down and put the eraser to work.

KU’s 2-1 record wasn’t the problem. The fact that KU was outscored by 18 points in the easiest quarter of its schedule is troubling.

Also disturbing: The offensive line lacks quickness, the quarterback can’t find a way to get talented receiver Nick Harwell involved, and Kansas still doesn’t have a reliable field-goal kicker. Why is it so tough to find one?

KU opens Big 12 play Saturday at home against Texas, a 3 p.m. kickoff. So it’s time to predict the Big 12 standings.

1 . Oklahoma: Pflugerville (Texas) High won 55 consecutive football games from 1958 to 1962. That used to rank at the top of the boast list for the city near Austin. Now it’s that it’s the hometown of Semaje Perine, who played for cross-town rival Henrickson High. Now he plays for the Sooners.

The correct pronunciation of Semaje is “Jerome,” and the correct pronunciation of Perine is “Bettis.”

Perine, who weighs 243 pounds, rushed for 242 yards and four touchdowns at West Virginia.

2 . Baylor: Quarterbacks Bryce Petty and former KU oral commitment Seth Russell have combined for 13 touchdown passes and one interception.

3 . Kansas State: The Wildcats blew their chance to slow down the slobber-fest over the SEC’s dominance.

Still, the ’Cats can contend for the Big 12 title because they have a terrific battery in Jake Waters and Tyler Lockett, and Bill Snyder’s teams always improve as the season progresses.

4 . Oklahoma State: Daxx Garman has looked good at quarterback filling in for injured J.W. Walsh (possibly gone for season after foot surgery), and the Cowboys always have plenty of speed.

5 . Texas: Longhorns fans need to stop ... freaking ... out. It’s not as if the program is in shambles, even though Texas looked awful in a Week Two, 41-7 loss to BYU. The ’Horns bounced back nicely in a 20-17 loss to UCLA, which relied on Jerry Neuheisel to take over for injured starter Brett Hundley.

6 . West Virginia: Quarterback Clint Trickett is showing the nation just how good he is when healthy and receiver Kevin White is breaking open deep for him. Trickett’s averaging 400 passing yards per game, and White leads the Big 12 with 10.5 catches and 158.2 receiving yards per game.

7 . TCU: Plenty are billed as “dual-threat quarterbacks.” Trevone Boykin actually is a dangerous passer and runner.

8 . Texas Tech: Typical recent Red Raiders team: All pass, no defense.

9 . Iowa State: The Cyclones lost by 20 at home to North Dakota State and won a road game against Iowa by three points, which leads most to reach the conclusion that ISU is wildly inconsistent. Here’s a better way of looking at those comparative scores: North Dakota State is a better football team than Iowa.

10 . Kansas: Tulane has had two Lou Groza Award winners in the past 13 seasons (Seth Marler in 2001, Cairo Santos in 2012). Again, what is so difficult about finding a kicker?


Nathan Scholl 7 years, 10 months ago

Yo Keegan. You might want to put FOOTBALL TEAM in your headline. I know it's football season, and so do most intelligent people, but how hard is it to be specific? Our basketball team is "pretty good," (awesome for those of you who don't understand sarcasm) we don't want to confuse the inbreds from Mizzery, etc. if they happen to see the headline.

Chuck Woodling 7 years, 10 months ago

I probably would have ranked Kansas 11th. Knowing me.

Steve Corder 7 years, 10 months ago

From previous post. No respect from Kansas or Texas pundits, and it won't change until wins start to accrue in B12 play.


"Still awaiting official word from head coach Charlie Weis on the precise "pile of crap"-ness of the current edition of Kansas football, but the early returns suggest that the Jayhawks are piled high and steaming."

Chris Bailey 7 years, 10 months ago

OMG that is one of the funniest post's I've read on this site! ROTFLMAO!

Carter Patterson 7 years, 10 months ago

Hey, I'm pretty sure I'm owed a Whack Woodling T-Shirt!

Kevin Kelly 7 years, 10 months ago

Tom I don't think anyone is getting that excited but again....why so negative? Especially considering you called out everyone for being so. What kind of contrarian knuckle-dragging curmudgeon do you have to be to add all the points from 3 games together to make a self evident comment?

When someone gets married does someone say....She'll have to sleep with him every day for 12 years to get his average above .500? Even if its true....scoreboard!

Now go back to watching the Royals pit their shants. That's what you're really mad at now, isn't it?

Clarence Haynes 7 years, 10 months ago

Agree! As I've said in the past, Keegan's negativity is not good for Athletics at the University of Kansas (not Kansas University)! One can be critical but the way that he piles on, this guy can be and often times is insulting! LJW can do better!

Bill Kackley 7 years, 10 months ago

Please let that happen. There are many on here that harp on getting rid of football coaches. Why don't we all start harping about getting rid of Keagan, that is something we could have an influence on. LJW fire Tom Keagan.

Mick Allen 7 years, 10 months ago

Reality sucks doesn't it?The article is factual. Hopefully the truthfulness of Tom's comments can provide more motivation for the Hawks. The program has been insulting. Tom's column is factual.

Chris Condren 7 years, 10 months ago

Nathan everyone knows it is an article on Kansas Football. This will be the 5th year for out "Fighting Jayhawks" to be cellar dwellers. Remember the good old days in 2009 when we were 9th with our 1 win over Iowa State.

Kevin Kelly 7 years, 10 months ago

This article is pure Keegan and smells of a deadline that needed to be met. It was lazy and stupid. And considering his style of reporting it was laughable when I read it and even more so now considering his new job of 'I'm going to hold the ice water to dump you you guys for anyone who dares crack a smile after a win.'

Steven Swaggerty 7 years, 10 months ago

If KU produces a team that DOESN'[T SUCK, the NEGATIVITY will STOP? Since Mangino left WHAT has there been to be POSITIVE about?

Austin Lopez 7 years, 10 months ago

Why does this guy write for a KU website but always talking down on the team? I disagree with him, and I hope the team prove him wrong for picking them last. KU will shock the world and at least finish 8th, how can you judge a team so early? They only played 3 games so far at least wait until the middle of the season to judge the BIG12 rankings and let the team catch up on chemistry. chemistry isn't built in 3 weeks it takes more like they say Rome wasn't built in a day....

Chuck Woodling 7 years, 10 months ago

Hang in there, Tom. Don't let these Pollyannas prevent you from honest reporting.

Bill Kackley 7 years, 10 months ago

Isn't if it is honest or not, is whether it was called for or not. But as long as opinions, uncalled for, are being laid out there, I would bet my salary against his that we don,t finish 10th in big 12

Glen Miller 7 years, 10 months ago

If I were him, I'd take that bet. Who is going to finish worse than us? We've played 1 great quarter and 2 ok quarters out of 12 against two weak opponents and a decent team. Cheering for your team is great, being delusional is just embarrassing.

Chris Bailey 7 years, 10 months ago

You really think we finish higher than last? It means we simply win 1 game. That's not going out on much of a limb. I don't see us getting another win so I guess that makes me a bad fan. We beat two crappy teams and got shelled by one so so team. Nothing to celebrate. If we beat Texas then yes we can cheer.

Kevin Kelly 7 years, 10 months ago

I totally agree it was honest and correct. I was simply pointing out his inconsistency when calling out fans for being needlessly negative and his need to be a contrarian to a point no one is trying to make. Was someone saying....we're 2-1 so we must not be the worse team in the league? Was someone making that point somewhere? Anywhere?

Jim Stauffer 7 years, 10 months ago

I actually agree with Tom. I, too, started out believing we should be positive. I have seen nothing that suggests after these 3 games that I was right.

Doug Cramer 7 years, 10 months ago

Oh another sunshine pumper bites the dust. So what you're that you've changed your mind about winning 6 this year ? :)

This might be a stretch but I'll ask anyway.....You ready to bring Mangino back ?

Bill Kackley 7 years, 10 months ago

He is upset because, his secret love, the Missouri Tigers were taken down at home by lowly Indiana who lost to my other alma mater, BGSU. Way to go Falcons, LOL.

Robert Brown 7 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, but would you trade away the sustained success at MU under Pinkel for for the 2007 season and all that followed? I would in a heartbeat. It is easy to detest Missouri, but they have a relevant football program, as does Kansas State. I think that is what makes KU's situation all the more frustrating.

Bill Kackley 7 years, 10 months ago

You will really feel bad if when Father Time retires K-state hires Mangino

Robert Brown 7 years, 10 months ago

Something tells me that KSU already has a succession plan in place and Snyder is at the forefront in putting it together. I doubt Mangino is part of that plan.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 10 months ago

Not really because Mangino would have them in the 5-7 win range since he'd have to play the elite teams every year.

Chris Bailey 7 years, 10 months ago

I'm guessing he'd have more talent to work with but this simply won't happen.

Robert Brown 7 years, 10 months ago

After the first three games there is no reason to predict KU being anything but last place. I don't think it is a given as there are some games that wouldn't surprise me if KU won starting with UT next week. They are going through a transition and have been battle tested, but the game is in Lawrence.

Other Big 12 teams that appear vulnerable are Texas Tech and Iowa State. Unfortunately, the Tech game is in Lubbock. If KU is to win, it will have to be in a offensive shoot-out, which does not seem likely.

We say every year that Iowa State appears winnable and in the last few years, the game has not been close.

West Virginia, TCU and OSU are in the middle tier of teams that would appear to be difficult to beat. I cannot see KU winning at West Virginia, and the offensive will need to show up if we are to beat OSU (it is in Lawrence).

It wouldn't surprise me if KU gets 2 conference wins and it wouldn't surprise me if they get zero.

Bill Kackley 7 years, 10 months ago

Texas, TCU, Iowa State, Texas Tech still possible but only Iowa state probable.

Doug Cramer 7 years, 10 months ago

Not a chance Bill. Admire your optimism though.

W Keith Swinehart II 7 years, 10 months ago

How about a Keegan/Woodling column? The fans want a good old, honest "tough love, Mommie Dearest" story...maybe leave out the sappy "love" part. We need to tell our coaches and boys how bad they are; and, how the game oughta be played. Maybe we go a step further, fire Weis and Reagan and hire Keegs and Woody as coaches and recruiters. Remove encouragement and optimism. Get rid of the jucos.That'd turn this program around overnight... great coaches, great team, great reporting all brought to you by the Lawrence Journal World.

Nigel Dunham 7 years, 10 months ago

Is Tom being "negative" or is Tom being a realist? I don't believe he is being negative here, or on any of these columns. His opinion is backed up with numbers. Do any of you truly believe we are ahead of any of the other 9 teams? The team, as a whole, has shown they are not. Like he says, this was the easiest quarter of the season and some major red flags are still there (and likely to remain there). You have to think from his point of view; if all he does is write about the "positives" of this football team (the team has many negatives, folks) he loses credibility with all of the realists and his journalist peers.

Doug Cramer 7 years, 10 months ago

On a more serious note, a debt earthquake is about to rock the global finance markets sometime in the coming months. I'd recommend everyone to move some dollars into gold and silver. Both commods have been selling off like crazy. You can't even mine silver for the cost that you can buy it for right now. These prices won't last long.

Adam Tyler 7 years, 10 months ago

First the pre-season predictions, now financial advice!?

Nostradamus is that you?

Im on board...

Brad Sherp 7 years, 10 months ago

All of the fans who are calling out Tom really need to stop. You knew what the article was about before you clicked on the title to read it. If you want to bury your heads in the sand, or put your fingers in your ears when people talk about the problems with the KU football program, then don't read the articles. If you don't want to hear the negative, then you are part of the problem.

Here is the truth. KU is not nationally relevant. The only unbiased columnist who is covering KU at all is Tom Keegan. Matt is a little bit emotionally invested in KU, like the fans are... so he brings more optimism... and we love him for that. Without Tom though, no one in the public realm would be holding the team accountable at all. I would argue that Tom is almost as important as one of the coaches, because someone on a public forum like this needs to create pressure for the team.

Some of you want Tom gone. I would argue the opposite. We need more reporters like Tom to pressure the team to be better. The team's biggest issue right now is that the team is improving in talent, but lacks the confidence to perform consistently. You gain confidence by finding success when faced with adversity.

I live in Nashville, TN. Do you want to know why the SEC is considered the best league in the country? It is because every play, and every coaching move is under a microscope. Even at programs like Kentucky and Vanderbilt. There are rabid, unrelenting fan bases who expect nothing less than a national championship every year. There is immense pressure to get better every day. We put that pressure on our basketball team, and they rise to the occasion. We as a fan base need to stop giving the football team a break because "we are a basketball school". We should all be raising our expectations of the team, and I believe the team will rise up to meet our expectations.

Kevin Kelly 7 years, 10 months ago

I simply think he may be above calling out the fans at a school like the one you describe.

Brad Farha 7 years, 10 months ago

Agreed -- I don't get all the Tom bashing. I like his articles, and appreciate that he calls out the positives and the negatives.

Michael Shaw 7 years, 10 months ago

The offensive line repeatedly gave Cozart four seconds. After his confidence built,due to a thoughtful offensive plan, he rolled out and passed to the flat in about seven seconds. The two runs to #6, followed by a pass over the middle, was brilliant. Look on the bright side. Too many people went home at the half.

John Miller 7 years, 10 months ago

Thank You Tom for giving an honest assessment of our football team

Waylon Cook 7 years, 10 months ago

If Texas is 5th then the big 12 is bad, really bad. Watched OU-WVA. Holgerson could build something out there if he believed in D,

Allison Steen 7 years, 10 months ago

No one is burying their heads in the sand or putting their fingers in their ears when talking about the problems of the football program. WE ALL ARE WELL AWARE. But jesus, ALL keegan has written about in 2 weeks is firing weis, weis resigning, this is his last week, okay he gets one more week, garbage on the field, etc, etc, etc.

I am an extremely realistic fan, both in football and basketball (which luckily, realistic with our basketball team works out pretty well for me), but I am sick and tired of reading the nonsense Keegan types up. Matt Tait does a WONDERFUL job being realistic, pointing to our negatives, while still addressing our positives (however few there are) and doesn't keep asking for Weis to give up and resign.

Michael Leiker 7 years, 10 months ago

I think what she's saying is why does this article need to be written right now?

Allison Steen 7 years, 10 months ago

I get your point, and I don't think Keegan is wrong, its just a little tiresome after awhile. What is Keegan telling us that we can't come to on our own? Nothing! I was only able to watch a little bit of the game, so I look at stats and then come to this website to try and gather as much information as possible.

What I like about Matt's writing, and what I don't about Keegan's, is that Matt gives a detailed explanation of how the game went, what went right, what went wrong, and where there was improvement.

I know football is important, I love football, I so badly want us to succeed, and I'm hoping we will eventually. But I just find I don't get a lot out of Keegan's articles recently except that we blow. Every person in America can tell me that, I want more.

Chandler Accipiter 7 years, 10 months ago

Sagarin Ratings through 9/20:

2 Oklahoma

8 Baylor

18 Kansas State

20 Oklahoma State

28 Texas Christian

29 Texas

34 West Virginia

51 Texas Tech

61 Iowa State

102 Kansas

Others of interest: 134 Central Michigan, 41 Duke, UT's losses are to 11 UCLA and 25 BYU and their win is against 85 North Texas. Iowas State beat 46 Iowa and lost to 43 North Dakota State.

I think these pretty much speak for themselves and are about as unbiased as a weird college football computer algorithm can be.

Kevin Kelly 7 years, 10 months ago

I would say that an article on 8/13 saying "Enough with the negativity" and an article on 9/21 saying "KU’s 2-1 record wasn’t the problem. The fact that KU was outscored by 18 points in the easiest quarter of its schedule is troubling." is not the crack journalism you guys claim it is.

The stat is garbage. We could be outscored 10000 - 50 and still be bowl eligible. When we win we win by about 7 to 10 points and when we loose we get demolished. That's actually right where an improving team would need to be next. That actually IS the sign of improvement that everyone says we shouldn't take it as. Only a continuing of the trend will prove this or not but lets try and take a Zoloft and be happy for ourselves once in a while.

Sound like 2005 to anyone else?

Steven Swaggerty 7 years, 10 months ago

@Tom Keegan... AGAIN!!! You hit the nail on the head! KU is the WORST team in the BIG12 and it's NOT EVEN CLOSE!! Who are they going to beat in Conference? I see ANOTHER 0-9 Conference Record!! And since they ill have a NEW COACH next year i honestly don't see them winning a Conference game ANY TIME in the NEAR FUTURE!

Steven Swaggerty 7 years, 10 months ago

To whom it may concern: What planet do you people live on? KU SUCKS!! They bare beat 2 HORRIBLE Football teams. They're going 0-9 in the BIG 12 and not many of the games will even be close!

Lance Cheney 7 years, 10 months ago

Hmm, I smell, that is. Either mildcat or the mizzouchebag tiger.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 10 months ago

UT should be 7th at best. Charlie Strong has gutted that team more than Weis did at KU when got here. They have no depth and they've suffered some casualties of the players that didn't get kicked off the team. The Big 12 overall is not a good league this year. The league will get 6 teams bowl eligible at best this season. My personal rankings would be:

  1. Oklahoma, this is the best OU team in several years and I think they have a real shot at winning the title this year.

  2. Baylor, another elite offense, the defense hasn't really been tested yet but it's probably not as good as OU's.

  3. KSU, should've beat Auburn, overall another good Bill Snyder team that will win 9-10 games.

  4. OSU, a solid football team that is still good even in rebuilding years. This is the program KU really needs to emulate.

  5. TCU, Gary Patterson is a very good coach and he's getting TCU upgraded to Big 12 talent across the board.

  6. WVU, they're better than most expected and will give everyone good games and beat the bad teams in the Big 12.

  7. Texas, Strong has gutted this program, but what's left and healthy are still very talented players.

  8. Iowa St., they knocked off Iowa and gave KSU a run for their money.

  9. Texas Tech, barely beat 2 bad teams and got blown out by a bad SEC team.

  10. Kansas, win a couple of Big 12 games before discussion of not being the worst Big 12 team begins.

Chandler Accipiter 7 years, 10 months ago

I agree with everything except Arkansas being a bad SEC team. Simply not true this season...yet. They lost at Auburn and crushed everyone else, including a pretty decent NIU on Saturday. Their schedule is brutal, so eventually your assessment will probably prevail.

I also think WVU will be lower at the end based on playing TT, UT, and ISU on the road. It turns those winnable road games into an odyssey away from Morgantown.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 10 months ago

Everyone else in the SEC west is ranked and Arkansas's cross division games are Georgia and Missouri. Them going 0-8 in league play would not be surprising at all this year.

Robert Brown 7 years, 10 months ago

The UT game will be a good test. I live in Texas and, of course, have never been a fan to the point where there have been time I cheered for MU to beat them and always enjoyed that KSU beat them regularly. You would understand if you lived here because when they are successful, no fan base is more arrogant.

That being said, I think Charlie Strong will do a good job and build a tough minded team. I would expect the game this weekend to be low scoring as UT's offense is struggling. That definitely plays into KU's hands. I would be surprised if UT blows out KU and would not be surprised if KU wins a close game.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 10 months ago

You obviously haven't lived among Kentucky basketball fans. I did for 2-1/2 years, and they make Texas football fans look humble by comparison. Just sayin'...

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 10 months ago

I'll be shocked if KU beats UT. KU is the underdog in every game from here out. I'm not going to come right out and predict 2-10. In fact I'd like to say that I think we'll steal a victory or two along the way, but the truth is, no matter who we're playing next I'll be surprised if we win.

Micky Baker 7 years, 10 months ago

These standings are pretty close to what will play out. I am troubled by how Weis handles the head coaching responsibilities. It is a management position where guys should be empowered to do their jobs with well communicated expectations. Then those expectations need to be inspected. I'm not sure if Weis has communicated the right expectations for the coaches and the players, or that he doesn't inspect them.

Here is my bottom line, even if Kansas finishes last.

4 - 8. Nobody beats us by 4 TDs, I can handle something like 48-24 in Norman and Waco, but if we get beat 60 plus-7<< and if we only put up 7 in any game the rest of the season.... bye bye Weis. You've had time to get this ship afloat at the very least. The players have to be put in a position where they can have success, which doesn't necessarily result in a Bowl year, but something that these guys can say at the end of the season, "they left everything on the field and did their very best". If we do our very best, we should be able to beat Iowa State and pick off another win in there some where. I don't want the players to do this to save Weis, Weis needs to do what is needed to save himself. I want the players to do this for the team as a unit.

I understand that this is a new offense, but it looked like the same thing as last year against Duke. There wasn't anything different about it. Weis, please let Reagan do the offensive game planning. That's what you hired him for, isn't it? Dave Campo, I know Clint Bowen is the DC, but I think you need to get in there and help coach the guys some more. I'm not at the practices so I don't get to see what is going on.

Here's another idea. How about practicing inside the stadium so opposing scouts can't stand on top of the parking lot next to the student union scout your practices? The practice fields look real nice and all, but don't let the opponents scout your practices.

There are a lot of areas that can be improved, and quite frankly, it's time right now to show it across the board. I don't think KU is going to win Saturday, but we can certainly beat the spread by a TD or better and have a chance in the 4th. For me, the writing is on the wall Weis.

Chris Bailey 7 years, 10 months ago

I agree. Unfortunately I don't think we can score against OU. I think they will embarrass us completely. I think Weis will be gone after this dismal year.

John Myers 7 years, 10 months ago

Not that it's terribly relevant to the conversation, but while Cairo Santos may have been an All-American for Tulane, he's sucking pretty bad for the Chiefs so far. Unless he gets things figured out, that was an incredibly poor management decision to save money.

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