That Makes Two

Kansas is still struggling to keep it close against more skilled teams.

By Andrew Curtis

Charlie Weis is now more than halfway through his first season as head coach of the football program at the University of Kansas.

You can certainly make the argument that KU’s defense is better. That’s undeniable. But the offense has taken a few steps backward, resulting in only one win to date, against FCS opponent South Dakota State.

KU arguably should have won the first three games, but blew 4th quarter leads to Rice and Northern Illinois. While Kansas has been competitive against quality teams like TCU and Oklahoma State and for a half on the road against national title contender Kansas State, it has yet to play 60 complete minutes of football.

The Kansas defense forced five TCU turnovers at home, but the offense couldn’t muster up enough points, as Kansas failed to sniff the end zone, losing 20 to 6.

The K-State game was a buzzsaw situation that realistically didn’t give Kansas a chance. With that being said, KU hung in there and only trailed 21-14 at halftime in Manhattan, but was outscored 35 to 2 in the 2nd half by the Wildcats.

In the Oklahoma State loss, Kansas was down 17-0 going into the 4th quarter and ended up losing 20-14. If Kansas had shown up in any of the first 3 quarters, it would’ve won.

Then, last Saturday, KU hit the road for Norman, Oklahoma to face the Sooners. Kansas never had a chance, trailing 38-0 at the half.

One could argue that Kansas could and should be 4-3 based on what we’ve seen in the results thus far. However, we all know hindsight is 20/20, and this is still a bad football team at 1-6.

While there are many reasons to prove that this team has improved substantially, the results aren’t there yet. It doesn’t mean anything if you can’t find the win column.

KU also can’t afford to get blown out anymore. I realize that it’s the same group of players that played the past two years and that the team is outmatched when facing teams like KSU and OU, but at least try to be competitive.

Losing by scores of 56-16 and 52-7 should be a thing of the dark Turner Gill past. Unfortunately, we’ve already seen it twice this season.

In Gill’s first season, 2010, KU lost by 28 or more points 5 times. The next year, somehow, Kansas managed to get worse, hence the firing of Coach Gill after just two seasons. KU suffered 6 losses by 28 or more points in 2011.

Getting blown out on that level is unacceptable. With two bad losses so far and still five games to play, this season has been miles short of a disappointment. Frustrating would be an understatement.

2012 was supposed to bring a new era of hope for Kansas football, but I have yet to see it. Charlie Weis keeps preaching that it will come, so you have to let the man have his word.

Be patient, but don’t accept these bad losses anymore. KU doesn’t always have to be the punching bag of the Big 12. Mark Mangino proved that when he was here. Give Weis the whole five years to lay out his body of work.

If this program is going to get to where Weis wants it to be, it can’t continue to lose games in embarrassing fashion.

Kansas’ biggest strength is running the football, while the next opponent, the Texas Longhorns, struggle to stop the run. Look for the Jayhawks to take a step in the right direction Saturday against Texas by keeping it close.