Kansas football 2018 season-opener shapes up as compelling matchup


Nicholls head coach Tim Rebowe looks on in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, in Athens, Ga. Georgia won 26-24. (AP Photo/Brett Davis)

Nicholls head coach Tim Rebowe looks on in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, in Athens, Ga. Georgia won 26-24. (AP Photo/Brett Davis)

Nicholls State and Kansas were in the market for football coaches at the end of their disappointing 2014 seasons. Kansas hired David Beaty, receivers coach from Texas A&M. Nicholls State opted for Tim Rebowe, safeties coach at Louisiana Lafayette.

Beaty inherited a program coming off a 3-9 record, a seven-year bowl drought and a roster sorely lacking in offensive linemen.

Rebowe inherited an 0-12 squad located in Thibodaux, Louisiana, that had finished last in the Southland Conference for four consecutive seasons.

Three years into the job, Beaty has a 3-33 record. He hasn’t been able to establish a strong recruiting footprint in either his native Texas or Kansas, which led to an aggressive turn toward Louisiana. At the moment, 2 of 6 verbal commitments from The Boot still list Kansas as their top choices, but cornerback Coe Harris and running back Pooka Williams are being aggressively pursued by big-time college football programs.

Rebowe is 16-18, including 8-4 this past season when his team lost to South Dakota in the first round of the 24-team FCS playoffs.

Obviously, Louisiana produces far more football prospects than Kansas. Even so, it’s impressive how disciplined Rebowe has been in sticking to his hyper-local recruiting approach. In his first three recruiting classes, 58 of 64 signees came from Louisiana.

Why should anybody in Kansas care about what's happening with an FCS school from Louisiana? KU opens its 2018 football season Sept. 1 vs. Nicholls State in Memorial Stadium.

Curious as to whether Rebowe had the good fortune of inheriting a strong class that as seniors led the Colonels to an 8-4 record in 2017, I did some research on

Unfortunately for Kansas, not the case.

Nicholls State returns 89 percent of its rushing yards and 95 percent of its rushing touchdowns, 95 percent of its passing yards, 100 percent of its passing touchdowns, 79 percent of its receiving yards, 86 percent of its receiving touchdowns.

But will the blocks be there to free the quarterback and running backs to do their work?


The Colonels bring back 4 of 5 starting offensive linemen from the team that lost to Texas A&M by 10 points, an impressive showing, although not as shocking as the previous year’s outcome vs. an FBS opponent. Georgia defeated Nicholls State by two points in 2016.

Oddsmakers don’t always post lines for games pitting FBS schools vs. FCS ones. If there is a line for this one, it’s worth wondering which school will be favored. I wonder if an FCS road team ever has been favored against an FBS school. I’ll try to find out before the day is over.

On one hand, Beaty has a 2-1 record vs. FCS opponents and will finally have a full roster of scholarship players. On the other hand, look at the comparative records from 2014, the year before the coaches took over, through 2017.

Kansas: 3-9, 0-12, 2-10, 1-11.

Nicholls State: 0-12, 3-8, 5-6, 8-4.

The Colonels’ growth curve points steadily up. For the Jayhawks, it’s been down, up, down. It's reasonable to expect it to head back up in 2018, provided defensive linemen Dorance Armstrong return, rather than declare for the NFL draft.

Fascinating matchup between coaches who inherited similar situations, although at different levels of competition, and three years in have had starkly different results.


John Fitzgerald 4 years, 9 months ago

But Beaty is doing it the right way. Our players are having fun and making lots of friends.

Here it is... If we DON'T go 0-12 next season I will do 2,000 pushups in a 24 hour period. Write that down, Bryson.

[''] 4 years, 9 months ago

It's an absolute insult that a Power 5 team might be an underdog to an FCS team, but we might be. If we are favored it might be by 10 points or less. Another embarrassment in a very long list under Zenger. After all, weren't we HOME underdogs to a winless Baylor team with 21 walk-ons and less scholarship players? Oh yeah, they beat us 38-9 in front of a home crowd of 12,000 suicidal fans. How I forget...

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 9 months ago

It is more embarrassing that the AD and Chancellor both think that is acceptable.

Joe Norgay 4 years, 9 months ago

I can't wait for Jack Hoff and all the other sunshine pumpers to come in here and complain about Keegan writing an unfair article about Beaty/Zenger.

They'll continue trying to juice a rock while everyone around them stands there in disbelief. 3-33 (1 FBS win), 12-72.. complete and utter failure. You could literally try and do as bad as they have and statistically probably wouldn't be able to. They're so bad that it's almost incomprehensible.

Thankfully we had Girod to look forward to. A guy who "got sports" who would come in and turn the ship around. Whoops! Guess as a doctor he wasn't too into looking at facts and evidence when diagnosing something.

Our administration and athletic department is an absolute clown show. It's so bad you have to wonder if they're willfully doing something illegal or extremely negligent. It simply doesn't make sense at this point.

Jack Hoff 4 years, 9 months ago

Haha Joe, how boring is your life that you have to highlight my name in an irrelevant article that I had no intention to comment on in the first place. But since we are here, I’ve stated multiple times that the last 3 years are disappointing so not sure where sunshine pumping comes from but whatever makes you happy man. Like i said earlier, I have so many more important things to do that constantly piss and moan about 19 year olds playing football. I’ll continue to cheer them on either way next season so please leave my name out of your mouth for the time being buddy. Have a blessed day. Rock chalk everyone

John Sheppard 4 years, 9 months ago

I get it some people aren't too fond of Coach or the A.D. But that horse has been beat to death. Those negative comments are now part of the problem. If I was a top recruit and the other coaches were shoving the local paper articles daily in my face about how bad the situation is and how those resposible aren't going to be there a year from now I cerainly wouldn't want to come here. I don't see any solutions being talked about other than to fire everybody. Sounds like someone else we all know.

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 9 months ago

Yes yes John lm sure all of the recent decommits are going elsewhere because of comments on this board. It has nothing to do with inept coaching, bad fundamentals, horrible record. Give me a break. So you think if we pumped up Beaty as the next Saban they would have come?

Brett McCabe 4 years, 9 months ago

That horse is alive, kicking and healthy. Don't blame fans for pointing out the obvious to the big money donors and Zenger - people who know what it takes to build a program.

I'm thankful Tom wrote this column because I had no idea that we were going to lose to Nichols State - even though Jeff Coffman said we would. First off, I thought we were playing Nichols College from Massachusetts. Second, I did not know how much better of a job their coach had done than ours.

I'll be shocked if we win that game. They return virtually everything from a playoff team. We may return a lot of guys from a 1-11 team, though our two best players may not be aboard and we'll be trotting out the 400th starting quarterback of the Beaty era.

So, here's what Girod needs to do - before 5pm today. Call Rebowe and hire him. Today. Right now. It would be a major, major step up in coaching and he might be able to hang on to some recruits. Do it Major Milktoast, before we have to whip the horse again.

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 9 months ago

I think I was also the first to call for Girod to be fired. The longer Zenger is retained (and by alignment Beaty), the worse this gets.

I believe that if Rebowe and Beaty switched places today, KU would go from a 0-1 win team to at least three wins. Beaty cannot coach up players. He has yet to improve an individual player over a two year period (not 1).

Layne Pierce 4 years, 9 months ago

Please John.

Recruits don't need newspaper articles to tell them how bad this program is. We have to have one of the 5 worst programs in FBS, and it kills me to have to say it.

Please note: That we will end up with a bunch of JUCO players for recruits this year, bringing a walking dead coach on for one more year, can only produce such a result.

Unless our coaches start using the players they have more effectively, run the clock down on every play, play the best players on special teams, and create an offense where Stanley can run intentionally part of the time, not just when our line breaks down., next year after the first 2 losses, 12,000 will be the biggest crowd of KU supporters for the year. Of course KState fans will fill up the stadium, and Iowa St. fans probably.

I have a solution for the massive revamping of memorial stadium, and that is to reduce the size appropriate for the quality of program we really desire, and that is the absolute minimum that the FBS allows (15,000). Think how exciting such a small intimate venue would be?!

Rock Chalk

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 9 months ago

Ok lm done if people are already debating whether KU can beat Nicholls St this absolutely has to be the bottom of the barrel. Well we did lose to South Dakota St a few years ago and so did Nicholls State this year so I can see the comparison. Lol Omg this is bad. What Power 5 administration would find this acceptable? Oh wait sorry...KU of course.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 9 months ago

Yes, it is the same sports administration that panicked and gave a $300,000 raise to an assistant coach for brining in what appears to be the worst recruiting class in the conference. If that isn't "knowing how to build a program" what is?

Virtually every instinct Zenger has about football is wrong. The constant parade of past heroes this year was just enough to save the worst football AD in America's job. Because we have an incompetent Chancellor.

Eric Bernauer 4 years, 9 months ago

I suggest that the revamping of the stadium includes putting nets around the outside of the stadium walls. There are, and I'm one, fans who no matter how bad it gets, still go to the games or watch on TV. Most of the time we don't feel too good after the games and I don't want to see anyone get hurt if they "fall" over the edge of the stadium.

Bryson Stricker 4 years, 9 months ago

David Beaty might have a liability lawsuit on his hands if that net isn't their if we lose to Nicholls State. lmfao

Joe Black 4 years, 9 months ago

look up "there" "their" and "they're" just for fun

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 9 months ago

That one line - 3-9, 5-6, 8-4...that is progress.

There would not be too many people complaining if we had that line under Beaty. In fact, the worse entry is better than any line Beaty has provided (and better than what he will do next year).

Nicholls State will be favored by 6 (and I anticipate they will cover).

John Brazelton 4 years, 9 months ago

All I can say if every poster here is such a genius at football, why aren't you making big bucks as a D1 AD or football coach somewhere? Secondly, why isn't Tom Keegan working somewhere other than Lawrence, Kansas, as a Sports Reporter?

Chris Spangenburg 4 years, 9 months ago

Soooooooo ... you're saying that you're cool with the progress this team has made, and you're confident next years team wins more than 1 game? Should Keegan turn a blind eye just like everyone else is from the chancellor, to the media, on down to the fans? Thank god someone is keeping the complete ineptitude of our AD and fb staff in public view.

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 9 months ago

You don't have to be a genius to know that 0+2+1=3. Keep chirping John when Beaty is fired after next year we all get to hear your litany of excuses for him. No one is upset about the record or though I suspect that's part of it but there has been absolutely no progress shown as far as development or even the team being competitive. Its not because of Weis or scholarship numbers Beaty is just not a head coach. The proof will be if ANY other Div 1 Power5 program hires him or if he gets another head coaching job anywhere besides high school or junior college . Now if he gets hired at a div 2 or 3 program and is successful then that will show that he is more suited for that talent level and competition levels. He is not a Div 1 coach lm sorry.

Jack Hoff 4 years, 9 months ago

He may not be a Division 1 Head Coach. We’ll see what next year brings. But he is definitely a Division 1 Coach in other capacities. He was a great assistant at Kansas and especially at A&M.

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 9 months ago

Everytime you post on this board Jack you're less and less credible, who cares if he was a great asisstant somewhere else he's our head coach now so what's your point? He's a great assistant head coach if so he should never be a head coach and it's proven by his record, thank you for finally admitting that. Next year will bring 0-12 or 1-11 and youll swear the team is still making progress.

Please provide actual facts pointing to whatever team he was on as an assistant head coach of his position players or stats getting better either while he was there and comparing those stats to the coach before and after him.

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 9 months ago

Here's the thing l could coach football anywhere and have only three less wins than Beaty after 3 years and lve never coached football. What does that say about him? That's sad. Not a good argument.

Andy Godwin 4 years, 9 months ago

Couldn't wait until after the 2018 Spring game to pump up the fan base with another one of your informative and provocative football articles. As indicated, your chance to write about a change with the AD and/or head coach will have to wait until well into the 2018 season. Save your ink to complain about the football recruitment class once the letters of intent are signed.

Lynn Stuart 4 years, 9 months ago

I honestly dont think Beaty will be here after 5 games into next season, if he loses 3 of the first 5 they will pull the plug, and I feel throw some money to the north dakota coach

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 9 months ago

If he loses any of the first three, he should be gone. Our expectations should be higher than losing to non-P5 conference teams. The first three are a base expectation.

Joe Black 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm not a keep Beaty guy but to compare what a coach did at a Southland Conference team to what a coach that was behind the eight ball to begin with at Big 12 team is absurd. The competition level is so incredibly different that you cannot make a valid comparison. Now if you want a good comparison, compare him to Matt Campbell at Iowa State.

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