Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Un-hyped Jayhawks don’t mind entering season without buzz

Kansas head coach David Beaty runs off the field following the Jayhawks' 38-9 loss to Baylor on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2017 at Memorial Stadium. Before Saturday's game, Baylor was winless on the season.

Kansas head coach David Beaty runs off the field following the Jayhawks' 38-9 loss to Baylor on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2017 at Memorial Stadium. Before Saturday's game, Baylor was winless on the season.


The summer of 2017 was one of hope for Kansas football.

For a team coming off a two-win season, the Jayhawks had as much positive buzz surrounding them as such a program could wish for, thanks in large part to a late-2016 overtime victory against Texas, which broke a 19-game Big 12 losing streak.

A year later, at least for those not personally invested in the successes and failures of the team, a similar sense of interest in KU football likely doesn’t reverberate much outside of the Lawrence city limits.

That’s just fine with David Beaty.

KU’s head coach admitted this past spring he recognized the advantages of entering his fourth season in charge with the team going mostly undetected and disregarded.


Kansas linebacker Joe Dineen (29) and other players gather in for a huddle during practice on Tuesday, April 10, 2018.

“I think there's always something to kind of being the underdog and living that underdog lifestyle, flying under the radar when you don't have anything to fly over the radar on right now,” Beaty said.

To his point, through three seasons, KU’s 2016 home win over Texas remains the program’s lone FBS victory under Beaty’s watch.

“When we produce something to have an above-the-radar team, then we'll let people decide that on the outside,” said Beaty, who enters 2018 with a 3-33 record leading the Jayhawks.

Outsiders presumably will go right on ignoring KU until the team at least defeats another FBS or Big 12 opponent.

Until that happens, redshirt senior linebacker Joe Dineen agreed with Beaty’s assessment that the Jayhawks should benefit from their status as one of the least talked about teams in the country.

“I don’t ever really pay attention to the hype and stuff surrounding any program, especially ours. But I think to be under the radar is good,” Dineen said, “because you’ve got nothing to lose. In some situations, that’s a pretty good mentality to go in with. I think that’s a positive.”

The collective outlook of KU’s most experienced players remains one of optimism. Seniors such as Dineen, Steven Sims Jr., Daniel Wise and Jeremiah Booker would love to begin pivoting the program back in the direction of prosperity before they leave.

Sims said he and other seniors aim to win more in 2018 than they have in any of their previous seasons at Kansas.


Kansas wide receiver Steven Sims Jr. (11) runs from the end zone after fielding a kickoff during practice on Monday, April 23, 2018.

“We feel like we’re the guys who came in and we have to turn the culture around here at KU,” Sims said. “And I feel like we’ve done that, but we have to put it out on the field. It’s got to bring in wins, and this is a big year for us. We’ve got to come up with wins. We can’t come up short.”

They also can’t bother wasting their time, Beaty said, worrying about what nonmembers of the team think of them. Whether the Jayhawks are looked down on — or mostly ignored — will have no bearing when it comes to the team’s results.

“From our standpoint, we just worry about who we are this next play,” Beaty began, “who we are from a toughness standpoint. Are we a tough team? Are we a smart team? Are we a physical team? Do we give ourselves a chance to win, or do we not?”

Whether the directive initiated from Beaty or elsewhere, it’s clear the 2018 Jayhawks aren’t trying to fuel their own hype machine the way both the head coach and some players did only a year ago.

“Talk gets you exactly nowhere,” Beaty said. “You have to go out there and do it, and we said before we started last year that the momentum coming off the end of the season previous, all it did was give us a chance, right. All the work we did in the offseason, that just gives you the chance. You don't do that, you have no shot. Everybody is doing that. Then it comes down to who executes it best, who plays best, who's smart and who commits the most to be able to accomplish their goals.”

KU opens its season Sept. 1 versus Nicholls State, an FCS program that finished 8-4 in 2017.


Chris DeWeese 4 years ago

I wonder how difficult it's been for Beaty to remain low key, quiet, and reserved about the upcoming season. It seems to me, he is by nature Pollyanna with a gift of gab. I think the hype from last year was due, in large part, to him.

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years ago

Last year Beaty was all talk...this year he's “Talk gets you exactly nowhere, you have to go out there and do it" Um duh. A little humility goes a long way and 11 straight blowout losses. This guy is classic.

Joe Ross 4 years ago

Kinda the same talk that heralded Charlie Weis' end at Kansas. The guy got cornered by the truth, and when he was exposed with a huge spotlight on him, he had to make concessions to the obvious.

Beaty is now singing the same tune. Only an unexpected and uncharacteristically successful season can save him.

[''] 4 years ago

Other than Wise and Dineen the entire team is lacking hype at this point...including the coaching staff.

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years ago

Last year was Beaty's fault, he put the spot light right on the team with his constant chatter. l get it be positive for the team, but last year he laid it on pretty thick and it bit him. Maybe he thought every team would gift him 6 turnovers like Texas did.

[''] 4 years ago

No hype + 3-33 + Labor Day weekend = 18,000 for the Nicholls State game at home.

Jeff Coffman 4 years ago

How was he retained? At least the clock starts ticking.

Brett McCabe 4 years ago

I believe Beaty will be gone before the season starts. New AD makes the change, names an interim and gets busy getting busy on the new hire. There is absolutely no advantage in waiting. There are several advantages for pulling the trigger right away and using this as a transition season.

Andy Tweedy 4 years ago

I can't think of a single example of a coach being fired right before the season in pretty much any sport, but in CFB I sure can't. Set me straight...where has such a thing happened? I could see a firing if the first 3-4 games don't go well, and I'd be 100% behind such a move, but what good would it do to pull the trigger now? Convince me...

Chris Spangenburg 4 years ago

There is absolutely a 0% chance of that happening.

Dane Pratt 4 years ago

I hope that doesn't happen. I can see no advantage for the future of KU football if that scenario plays out as you described.

Bryson Stricker 4 years ago

If you ever needed further evidence that Brett McCabe is not intelligent, here it is folks.

Pius Waldman 4 years ago

“Your dignity can be mocked, abused, compromised, toyed with, lowered and even badmouthed, but it can never be taken from you. You have the power today to reset your boundaries, restore your image, start fresh with renewed values and rebuild what has happened to you in the past.”

― Shannon L. Alder

Craig Carson 4 years ago

I swear, the next KU FB coach to win more than 5 games in 1 season is gonna get a statue outside Memorial stadium..thats how horrible and uncompetitive this program has been...the bar for this program is about as low as it is for the Rutgers mens basketball coach

Jack Brooks 4 years ago

The team will get plenty of publicity when Beaty is fired 3-5 games into the season after a 1-win start. I just pray to the good lord above that Bowen is NOT made interim HC again. He should really be let go at the same time Beaty is.

John Brazelton 4 years ago

Last year, we lost early due to inexperience DB's. I watched the Central Michigan game, where the same player was beat, pass play after pass play. Hopefully, this season that won't be the same deficient. Once again, if the offensive line develops and produces early, we should get some early wins.

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years ago

Lol that same player was beat every game. Hasan (No) Defense

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years ago

Although there were plenty of other dbs getting beat play after play last year.

Whitney Tangeman 4 years ago

Yeah, I remember one of the early games where Bryce Torneden was beat badly 3-4 plays in a row resulting in at least 1 given up touchdown. He was out of his natural physical position, but still bad.

Jeremy Wilhm 4 years ago

Beaty will be fired when we lose the opener to Nichols State. Since it's a night game, he won't get fired until the next day.

Dane Pratt 4 years ago

I don't think this qualifies as flying under the radar. Our inability to play competitive football is something most people familiar with college football are aware of.

Chris Condren 4 years ago

There is plenty of buzz, negative buzz. This is the ninth year in the Decade of Despair for Kansas Football. Another year of losing is a near certainty. Another year with total uncertainty on the offensive line. Nine long years of terrible heads coaches. Nine long years in a dump of a stadium that lacks fan amenities found in nearly every college stadium in American. Nine years of declining fan attendance. This is hype, KU style.

Lucas Town 4 years ago

Speaking of our stadium and lack of amenities. Everyone in the Big 12 has made huge strides in regards to stadium upgrades. K-State did theirs in Snyder's 3rd year back, now after 9 seasons K-State has a like new stadium and a new field surface this season. Much more appealing from what they had before. Iowa State has made major improvements in seating and a new score board, TCU overhauled their stadium. Baylor has a new stadium.

Meanwhile KU has been left in the past, but at least the track was removed.

None of the schools above were at the height of their history (except for maybe Baylor) when these stadium changes were being made. K-State was coming off of the Prince years, Iowa State was missing bowl games regularly, TCU was changing conferences and missed a bowl game or two.

So why not now for KU to get this stadium overhaul completed. We have been reading that the fund raising has started. #Finish It

Eric Eakins 4 years ago

I'm a huge fan of making lemonade out of lemons. Of course that takes change. Squeeze the lemon, mix in new elements and drinking it instead of sucking it. I'm not a fan of someone who talks of making lemonade but when I walk back into the kitchen a lemon is still sitting on the counter top. Beaty talks a good game but I still just see a lemon sitting on the counter top. I do have hope and the players encourage me but in the end, the players are subject to the coaches whim. I suspect after game 4 of this season someone new will be cutting into that lemon.

Barry Weiss 4 years ago

I can't even see one win this year. Hope I am wrong. I don't think I ever saw KU football this bad, even under Gill or Weiss. This is just the pits, a real dumpster fire. :(

Bryson Stricker 4 years ago

That's just absolute pessimism man.

To think we aren't going to beat Nicholls St is legitimate blinders towards CFB.

Analytics show that results against a team one year, do not impact your results against a different team next year. Yes, Nicholls St is a slightly above average FCS team, that translates to bottom 5 in FBS.

It is impossible to compare FBS to FCS, as we are playing different levels of competition. Yes our team finishes in the 110s & 120s for stats, but that is playing against P5 programs, if we played in the MAC or American or C-USA, we'd put up top 80 numbers at minimum.

We are going to beat Nicholls St by 20 with ease at minimum.

Barry Weiss 4 years ago

well, I hope you are right. I'll take any bet you want to make we don't beat Nicholls state by "20 with ease at minimum" Should be a real dog fight. And if it is, I'm hoping you will be a bit more realistic about how low our program has sunk. 3 years in and one just needs to look at "scoreboard". Last year was a giant step backwards, and I'm not sure what you are looking at this upcoming year to think we will be better.

John Fitzgerald 4 years ago

Beaty has some quality players but the reason KU is "under the radar" is because he can't seem to game plan or develop those players. There are a few that have gotten better under his watch but he can't hold down every player. Some of them will just get better on their own.

But I sure hope that's what happens with Coe Harris and Pooka Williams, at least until a coach that can develop players takes over. These guys are crazy good and can really turn the program around in many aspects. If they succeed many other quality recruits will start looking this way. Also, when Beaty gets fired we have to find a way to keep Tony Hull. Heck, keep Bill Miller too. But let everyone else go.

4 years ago

bryson: what do you expect the line to be against Nicholls? it wont be 20. 14? il still take the colonels to cover. $$

Randy Bombardier 4 years ago

There is no reasin to hype. I have zero expectations at this point. Whether that works for good or bad remains to be seen.

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