Brew: The rebirth of Kansas football
- May. 1, 2012
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I came to the University in the fall of 2008. The football team was fresh off of an Orange Bowl victory, and expectations were high that the program had turned a corner and would be competitive in the Big 12. Yet I sit here four years later, and the University is on its third coach since my arrival. The Jayhawks also won a paltry five games in the last two years. The school has done some things to right the ship, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.
This team needed an energy boost. That came in the form of new coach Charlie Weis. He’s a big name who has some impressive jobs on his resume. Never mind that he was fired from Notre Dame after underachieving. If the Jayhawks had hired a guy like Auburn coordinator Gus Mahlzan or Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes, there would have been some buzz, but not enough to start to erase the horrible taste of a 2-10 season.
Second, the team also got itself a talented quarterback. I watched Dayne Crist make throws in the spring game, and it was exciting to see someone who can perform.
And, third, you’ve got a guy in charge of Kansas Athletics who truly cares about Kansas sports. Lew Perkins seemed to care more about gym equipment than the reputation of his university. That’s not the feeling you get from listening to Athletics Director Sheahon Zenger.
Next play call
First and foremost, don’t get blown out. Winning is great, but Turner Gill didn’t get fired just because he lost. He was canned because of how he lost. Putting up a grand total of seven points and allowing more than 100 combined points in two games against Texas and Texas A&M should not be tolerated by any school in a power conference. Weis must get his team ready to play every week and must stay competitive to keep fans interested.
Kansas also has to get its facilities up to par for a Big 12 school. The practice fields and the updated Anderson Family Football Complex are great. But the stadium is still stuck in the 20th century. No football field should double as an outdoor track facility. Perkins tried to get the ball rolling with the Gridiron Club, but when your team can barely fill the stadium halfway for games, it is not the time to add luxury box seating.
This team is off to a good start in the recovery process, but there’s only so much the school can do. It’s also up to the fans to support the football team. And, hopefully, for the sake of the University, that support will be there come September.
Edited by Katie James