Saturday, October 21, 2017


Tom Keegan: Kansas football continues to take steps backward

TCU wide receiver John Diarse (9) escapes Kansas cornerback Shakial Taylor (8) and Kansas safety Mike Lee (11) for a touchdown during the second quarter, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth.

TCU wide receiver John Diarse (9) escapes Kansas cornerback Shakial Taylor (8) and Kansas safety Mike Lee (11) for a touchdown during the second quarter, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth.


Fort Worth — One play can’t capture the state of a football program. It doesn’t work that way, except with Kansas football.

KU’s first possession, second-and-8 from its 43, junior running back Taylor Martin took the handoff and ran into one of college football’s most impenetrable walls, the Horned Frogs’ defensive line. He was spun backwards and sprinted in the wrong direction. The men in purple followed Martin and the play went for a 12-yard loss.

The player sprinting in the wrong direction plays in a program doing the same. Kansas spent most of the rest of the night with its yardage total below zero, finishing with 21 total yards.

Just when you think KU football has bottomed out, the hole grows deeper.

Kansas football can run, but it cannot hide from the reality that more than at any point this century it has become a punch line for halftime analysts who start to tell jokes about the Jayhawks but can’t finish them because they’re laughing too hard.

According to Fox, Kansas was the biggest underdog in prime-time history and even at that KU (1-6) yet again made losers out of those who took the points. The Jayhawks are 1-5 vs. the spread, which reveals that the betting public can’t quite wrap its dollars around just how far the Jayhawks have fallen and can’t get up.

KU’s top-division-tying 44th (Idaho State’s 48-game streak did not come in FBS play) consecutive road loss featured what has become a common sight at KU losses, home and away. Most of the spectators had left by the time the fourth quarter arrived.

More than a rough weather forecast sent them home. Those who remained cheered when the public address announcer, with 12:49 left in the game, let them know, “There is significant weather coming. Both coaches have agreed to a running clock from this point forward.”

The agony was shortened, but there will be no trimming the season. Five games remain. It has to get better than Saturday, but that doesn’t mean it will be much easier to watch.

KU’s first first down came on its first series, its next with 3:30 left.

Not long after the game came to a merciful end, KU offensive coordinator Doug Meacham, who left TCU to work for Beaty, sat on the third step of a stairwell near the visiting locker room, his forehead buried in one hand while the other held the final stat sheet. He stared at it so long it was if he was hoping the numbers would change.

The figures that stared back at him: Total yards: 21. Yards per play: 0.4. Net rushing yards: -25. And so on.

The 21 yards were the fewest by a team in a game pitting one FBS program against another in the 21st century. Then again, the century is only 17 years old.

This was not a one-week departure. Kansas has not scored in nine consecutive quarters. It had not been shut out in back-to-back games since the final two games of Bob Valesente’s first season, 1986, and the season opener in 1987, a 167-0, three-game run.

KU’s current three-week total: Opponents 153, Kansas 19.

The loss Beaty’s overall record to 3-28, his Big 12 mark to 1-21. Nine of the conference losses have come by margins of 42 points or greater, which translates to 41 percent of his conference games.

— See what people were saying about the game during's live coverage.

More news and notes from Kansas vs. TCU


John Fitzgerald 4 years, 9 months ago

You guys should have a few loyal fans on your next podcast and get a fan perspective on how bad this is. After all we pay to watch the games (home games anyways). It’s bad for you guys and you get paid to watch them.

Bryan Mohr 4 years, 9 months ago

Same post from yesterday before the game:

Something more interesting than this game will be...

Here's my list to replace Beaty:

Candle, Frost, Mangino, Venables, Leavitt, Bohl, Fritz, Schiano, Blake Anderson, Calhoun, Pelini*, Littrell (a last resort), Fedora (if he becomes available)

I'm not sure why I post this stuff. Nobody important to the hiring process gives a care. I'm supposed to shut-up, buy tickets, attend games, and just "believe". Sorry, my KU education taught me to think. I've listed 13 names... please get this over with and pick one.

*I've already received negative feedback on Pelini. He's not my top choice, but I believe he would change the pathetic, soft football culture at Kansas. Apparently Youngstown St. has administrators, fans, and players that are able to tolerate him. It seems he wouldn't work for many of KU's soft fans and administrators.

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 9 months ago

Mike Leach, Les Miles, and I could always pray for Jim Tressel.

I also think if Nick Saban wanted to prove he is the best head coach ever, he should take the KU job and turn it around (that would be proof).

Bill McGovern 4 years, 9 months ago

Keegan reports with the tone of a fan. He captures the outrage that we KU fans feel at this point, the disappointment of a program that has defied all odds and become even worse season after season. When will the descent into darkness end? When will we see the light, some progress and have something to cheer for again at Memorial Stadium?

Barry Weiss 4 years, 9 months ago

It's really bad, never have seen KU football this bad. This is really hurting the whole University.

Keith Cahalen 4 years, 9 months ago

Been reading these columns and the comments for years .. and played a lot of sports over the years - in fact, still playing basketball at 63 ... and I can never say I was smiling at the end of being blown out 43-0 by an opponent .. which is what I saw this evening ... I admire Beaty's positive attitude and acknowledge the many challenges in rebuilding the roster ... but something is missing if you are having a good time at the end of a blow out ... Bet you never saw Baker Mayfield laughing after losing a game ...

Dirk Medema 4 years, 9 months ago

Interesting comment. They were commenting during the game about Kenny Hill smiling during the frustration of last year, and it taking a while for Coach Patterson to figure out his personality. I recall their conclusion being that it was something like nervous laughter.

Eliott Reeder 4 years, 9 months ago

I noticed that as well, obviously. Any KU fan masochistic enough to still have their tv on had to notice our two players (who was it? Bender and someone else?) chuckling and smiling and having a good old time on the sideline as their teammates were continuing to get destroyed on the field. Pathetic.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 9 months ago

I think it was the walk-on QB. Add that to the fact that Beaty cried uncle on national tv due to the threat of heavy evening dew, the fox panelists laughing at us, the negative offensive yards and Tim Brando basically telling our Chancellor that is enough is was a painful night to be a Jayhawk.

Time for Girod to get busy.

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 9 months ago

We got run ruled on primetime football...the announcers were making up some story about weather coming in, and they showed the map, and there wasn't much moisture showing...they then were saying you can't see it yet, but it is coming.

We got run ruled in football, that should be the last straw.

Dirk Medema 4 years, 9 months ago

The orange spot nearing the area had the potential for lightning. It wouldn't even have to rain to stop the game if there's a lightning strike. They stop it, then make everyone sit around for half an hour and then need to let them warm-up again. No one wanted that, and it was a possibility. Just ask KSU & OU. Their's was just before the game started.

Austin Bergstrom 4 years, 9 months ago

As they break for commercials! If they were really concerned about it they would have just played the game without tv timeouts for the last 10 minutes.

Barry Weiss 4 years, 9 months ago

our university was totally embarrassed last night, not just the football program, Kansas University.

Doug Cramer 4 years, 9 months ago

I was in the east could see lightning to the west and northwest.

Timothy Grillot 4 years, 9 months ago

As I said before we should just drop football and spare us the embarrassment. Now I would add lynch Perkins. He trashed the only successful regime in a long time. Some have suggested hiring Pellini. Surely his sins far exceed Manginos. This is beyond embarrassing

Brett McCabe 4 years, 9 months ago

Pellini would be an option. He's done well at Youngstown. Though 3-3 this year, one was an overtime loss at Pitt, one was an overtime loss against the 2nd ranked team and the other loss was against the third-ranked team. The guy can coach.

Andy Tweedy 4 years, 9 months ago

Pellini is a first rate jacka$$, who rode out of Lincoln with his wife sporting the letters FUNU on her. We don't need to go down that route. There are plenty of better options, and I think you've in fact mentioned quite a few of them.

Len Shaffer 4 years, 9 months ago

I would love to see what the people have to say who were saying a few weeks ago that Beaty needs time to build his program.

I don't care HOW bad the program was that was left to him, this is simply inexcusable. There are NO signs of progress, NO signs of anything positive, and in fact the team is MUCH worse than last year. At this point, only a thorough house-cleaning will do.

Brian Skelly 4 years, 9 months ago

I've said this before. Im not for keeping or firing Beaty (or Zenger). But firing them both at this point is ENTIRELY justifiable. If they dont, it makes you wonder how important these decisions really are to folks at KU.

You cant argue we're moving forward, and we wont be until both of these guys are gone. Even if they are nice guys that we like. Not getting it done, is not getting it done.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 9 months ago

One simple question: will the two people responsible for this program be held accountable?

Austin Lopez 4 years, 9 months ago

We gotta love this bowl game Beaty is taking us too this season. We are getting beat by 40 points a game, we got our coaches laughing and smiling why we are getting our d@cks kicked in, Our players are so good they don’t think they have to play hard, Soon enough we are going to be playing musical chairs with our QBs, man Beaty I gotta give it to you, you have managed to take Kansas to a bowl game in your third season!! Congratulations!

Martin Rhodes 4 years, 9 months ago

A toxic failure!! I, along with most people assumed that it would take Beatty 4-5 years to make clear measurable progress in the record of KU football, but expected to see perhaps slow, but steady improvement in the product on the field. This has not happened! This team is a humiliating, laughable joke; and has reached the level of futility that is breath-taking and is at least as bad as Turner Gill's historically bad teams.

How bad can KU football get? It can get worse and doom KU athletics for generations! I have no personal evidence, since I am just a fan and am never around any one involved with KU sports and definitely don't have any "inside" information, however, it is obvious to even the most casual fan that being an insider is not necessary to see what is happening to failing KU FB. It is careening down into a pit that I don't wonder is spreading a toxic haze around all of KU endeavors. It is only a matter of time before the fans will justifiably turn on the program as a whole, the administration, the student-athletes, and anything and anyone connected with KU sports, and this could even begin to negatively color the basketball program. The student-athletes involved with football will begin to feel the rage of the fans as well, and we could begin to have a Missouri-type of meltdown that would threaten the entire university.

Dr. Girod must take the reigns of this situation and immediately hire a well-experienced consultant to review the FB program; explain the problems/issues; and recommend solutions and perhaps even possible persons to resurrect the program, and get this all done before the end of the year. I would think that this person(s) would suggest a new AD and to do this as soon as possible, so that finding replacements for the coach(s) could be started before the season ends and hired ASAP, hopefully, before recruiting is over.

In summary, Dr. Girod and qualified associates hire a consultant ASAP and and depending on that person's recommendations, hire a new AD ASAP; start a search and hire new coaches, who will then review the roster and begin recruiting. The new AD must as well from the moment hired, work with alumni and donors to keep the stadium project on track. Obviously, reversing our terrible FB experience will take years, but hopefully at least, we will be able to see progress every year in intensity, fundamentals, conditioning, mind-set, strategy, competitiveness, and quality of recruits and perhaps even a few victories over time.

The smartest people in our society theoretically run universities, and it is time for those responsible for resolving this mess to overcome the look in their eyes of a jackass who has just been hit in the head with a sledge hammer and begin to find solutions for the worst FB program in NCAA history!!

Brett McCabe 4 years, 9 months ago

I honestly, truly believe that replacing Zenger will actually help the stadium. Bring in a new A.D., without any baggage, a $62-million head start, a new football coach and - voila! - there is renewed energy in Jayhawk land. It's not that complicated. Keep walking around with a 600-pound gorilla on your back or lose the gorilla and see how much faster and easier you can go.

Andy Tweedy 4 years, 9 months ago

My freshman year, Bob Valesente coaching. There's this guy in my calc class and I asked him where he got his KU football t-shirt, thought it was kind of cool. This dude looked like nothing more thanjust some guy in my class. He proceeds to tell me he's on the team. HE WAS AN OT!!! So I contend that while the results are just as bad, it's not just as bad as 1986. At least if we hire a new staff they'll have players that LOOK like college football players. But this team is AWFUL, something has to change.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 9 months ago

Also, keep an eye on results in Columbia and Fayetteville. We really need both of those coaches to be retained, though I can't see how Bielema makes it, especially if he loses the finale vs. misery.

The fewer good jobs out there in 5 weeks, the better for us. Though Girod needs to get busy right now getting the wheels in motion.

Pellini (just added to the list) Fritz Leavitt Calhoun Bohl

Pick one and let's get going!

Robert Brock 4 years, 9 months ago

Nothing good will happen to KU football until the school hires a competent Athletics Director.

Dale Rogers 4 years, 9 months ago

I have been a Beaty fan since the beginning but my resolve has finally begun to waver. So long as things were improving I was willing to wait. Not so much anymore.

Gordon Penny 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm still on the "give him two more years" wagon. It's going to get worse before it gets better. We are not playing with upper class, division one talent that was developed for a couple years against other division one talent. When we finally get our scholarship allotment full of division one talent, and develop them for two or three years, I am confident we will see progress.

I also think part of the reason it seems we are taking a step backwards is because we were a bad team to begin with, but the level of competition has stepped up. So, in reality, I don't think we have taken a step backward as much as taken a step upward in our competition. This season was a total loss from the beginning, and next year might be, as well. But, things will get better. Beatty is the man to get us there. He is not the problem. He is finding better players, but he is limited by the rules and by time.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 9 months ago

Provide any evidence that Beaty is the guy to get the job done and your post will be more credible. In year three, no matter what, you should be better than in year one. Yes, we have a win against an FCS opponent, but I don't think that this team could beat Beaty's first one.

Jay Hawkinson 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm on board with the idea of not evaluating Beaty by the win-loss record. But if he's not winning games, he better be showing improvement in the eye test and metrics like scoring and total yardage margins. All three of those things are moving in the wrong direction. I don't know whether practice and prep time are being horribly misused, if there's a lack of discipline and effort, or what, but Beaty is not getting the job done and I don't see it changing.

Gary Amble 4 years, 9 months ago

It wasn't a TOTAL disaster. We were a +15 in penalty yards!

Layne Pierce 4 years, 9 months ago

Gordon With all due respect, I don't buy the better players argument, anymore. You go with the guys you can get, that is why we hired you to coach the team. Do we need better players, yes, but what about the coaching and development of the players we have. Mangino, and Mason, both excelled in those two categories, and guess what, if you do well coaching and developing, you will start to get better players, how do we get better players, otherwise, its not like players are just dying to come to this death ship. The next coach has to have the guts to come in, kick butt, insist on accountability, and bench people who don;t perform.
In evaluating players, it has to be physical, but also mental, and finding a way to use the guy whose not quite as big or fast. Again Mason and Mangino could do that.

For example, why, after we made some progress with Stanley at qb, did we go out and make a big deal out of a strong-armed slow qb. We fixed a problem that did not exist. And we left the real problems, unresolved.

If I sound like I am fed up, I am. I wonder what the chancellor would do, if nobody came to a game. Rock Chalk

Barry Weiss 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm no football expert, but I think we need to replace Beatty for one simple reason. And that is forget about his ability to chart out the X's and the O's ( or lack thereof), but I think our only way out is in recruiting some play makers. Right now, those prospective playmakers still in high school could see the disaster that is KU football play out on national TV. Maybe a new coach coming in could convince a few of those kids to buy into his future for KU football and come here. As it is now, those kids see the depths to which KU football is fallen, to become a joke on national TV and I can't imagine any player wanting to come here. For recruiting alone, Beatty must be replaced.

Austin Lopez 4 years, 9 months ago

If I'm LSU I'm calling those 5 star and 4 star Kansas commits from Louisianan and saying, " Did you catch last nights Kansas vs TCU game?" Why waste your talents going to a place that can't pass for over 50 yards in a game. Boy these kids must really be dedicated to coach Tony Haul you would of thought after last weeks performance we would of lost at least one.

Austin Lopez 4 years, 9 months ago

How much longer do we have before basketball season? Someone please remind me.

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 9 months ago

Basketball starts today....KU versus Missouri

Mike Barnhart 4 years, 9 months ago

This team is so inept it's nearly impossible to diagnose the reasons for its incompetence. Right now, it appears the players are equally unskilled, unprepared AND unmotivated! It's become painfully clear Beaty is not doing anything right: his coordinators stink, his recruits are not BCS caliber and his motivation must be falling on deaf ears. That is an iron clad indictment - he's got to go!!!

The unfortunate reality is that no up and coming coach is going to take this job for ANY amount of money. I think the administration must insist Zenger's replacement bring a football coach with him. Don't hire a guy and give him two shots at hiring from the scrap heap of typical KU options. This AD hire is going to be the most important decision KU ever makes. Screw it up and we'll someday be another mid-major alongside Wichita State and Missouri State.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 9 months ago

Girod is a Navy guy, so he could easily go after the Air Force A.D., who is a West Point grad. The Tulane A.D. and coach would also be doable. Fritz grew up in Overland Park and played at Pitt State.

The Wyoming AD is a lifetime Cowboy and Jim Leavitt or Pellini will come unattached. Perhaps there is an Associate AD at Oregon who would be a candidate?

The perfect world? A high energy person who can keep the stadium moving forward and bring in one of these coaches. Any of these coaches (Bohl, Fritz, Calhoun, Leavitt, Pellini) would make us competitive. Once we get to that level, we can see what we need to do from there.

Lynn Stuart 4 years, 9 months ago

honestly you can see in the players that beaty has lost them, all the promises that were made are not there. and anyone that has played or coached can watch the oline and they are giving bender up.

Austin Lopez 4 years, 9 months ago

Well Jayhawk Nation, we just had a QB de-commit, let the decommits start rolling in......

John Brazelton 4 years, 9 months ago

It's easy for fans to throw in the WHITE towel and give up. But our football players and coaches (like combat soldiers or marines) have to show up in 7 days and play another game regardless who the opponent is. The truth is that TCU was a superior football team in all aspects of the game, including better athletes. I doubt if very many of the sports writers or posters on LJW sports articles would survive very long in an American military combat unit. It's too easy to trash someone else when things don't go your way when you have no skin in the game.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 9 months ago

I also would not survive very long naked on the top of Mount Everest. What that has to do with Zenger, Weis and Beaty? I have no idea.

Lance Hobson 4 years, 9 months ago

There is some really good news. Montel Cozart had a great game on the blue last night for Boise St in front of a big, loud crowd. He seems to be having a ball with a winning program. After the game I made him laugh when I said “Rock Chalk!”

Brad Watson 4 years, 9 months ago

Gene Chizik is the right hire...if he will take it...He is a very confident coach...he is a good salesman...he can recruit...he has won a national championship as a head coach and another as a DC at Texas....he works for the SEC he has great connections in the southeast ...where the recruits are...he also can recruit Texas...he can walk into kids home and flash those rings and sell the opportunity to do something really special...turn the worst program in America and make it competitive ...tough minded with defense ...he also coached Cam Newton ...which resonates with the kids of today..he also seems like the kind of guy that likes a big challenge...that would welcome it...I have thought long and hard about who would be a great hire...we all want things to get better....I think he can do it...he is still young enough to do the work necessary in recruiting to get us back to an acceptable level of competitiveness...we aren't talking national titles...just a competitive tough minded team that can get us excited about Fall Saturdays again

Lloyd Kinnison 4 years, 9 months ago

Dear commenters I was raised to express my thoughts. One additional requirement was given to me. Express your opinion only whe I could give a different solution! Your complaints are generalities without specifics! A new coach does not give specifics why one would be better. Stop generalizing and provide specific reason!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.