KU Football Past Does Not Determine What’s Yet to Come

All press is good press? In the case of Charlie Weis, let’s hope so.

One thing he said during the Big 12 Media Days “blew up” on social media networks and sports writers everywhere ran with it.

When posed a question about how he recruited prospects he replied: “Have you taken a look at that pile of crap out there? If you can’t play here, where can you play?” (The full Weis transcript can be found here.)

As a head coach of a Division One football team, one would imagine that he would be a little more supportive. Back in October of 2012 before the rivalry game against K-State, the University Daily Kansan (UDK), the University’s own campus newspaper, wrote an article about how the Jayhawks were going to take a “bad beating”.

Weis had a couple tweets in response to the cover of the UDK that week.

His first tweet discussing the cover and article read: “Team slammed by our own school newspaper. Amazing! No problem with opponents paper or local media. You deserve what you get! But, not home!”

The second one read: “I personally could care less. You are what (sic) are. On the other hand, if I don’t support the players good or bad, who will??”

With what he said in his interview at the Big 12 Media Days, he may have just answered his somewhat of a  rhetorical question.

Regardless of the press he’s received,  last year’s team, under his leadership, did better than teams under former coach Turner Gill and some of the teams during former coach Mark Mangino‘s era.

In 2012, the Jayhawks (under the helm of Weis) went 1-11. However, as unattractive as that statistic is, one needs to look deeper at the losses. Kansas played five ranked teams that season (TCU, K-State, Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas Tech). One of those games (Texas Tech) went into overtime, with the final score culminating at 41-34.The game against Texas ended in 21-17. Five of their nine losses in the season were lost with 7 or less points in deficit (Rice, N. Illinois, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Texas Tech).

In Weis’ interview during Media Days he also stated: “… the proof’s in the pudding”, when talking about the team’s expectations.  Here’s some of that “pudding” from last season. With those 7 point or less deficit games, KU had better team statistics in several areas than their opponents. In the Rice game, KU had more rushing yards than their opponent (195-167). In the N. Illinois game, KU dominated time of possession (31:30-28:30) and had less turnovers (1-0). In the Oklahoma State game, the Jayhawks had much better statistics than the Cowboys, in many aspects of the game. Kansas led OSU in first downs (22-17), total yards (398-371), rushing yards (187-116), and had a better time of possession (33:35-26:25). Against Texas, KU had more first downs (18-16), more rushing yards (234-211), less penalties and penalty yards (1/5-5/65), less turnovers (1-2), and had the ball longer during the game (32:48-27:12). In the only overtime game for the Jayhawks during the season, they had better statistics than the Red Raiders in rushing yards (390-63), less penalties and penalty yards (3/25-7/74), less turnovers (0-1), and more time of possession (31:55-28:05).

In 2011, KU (under direction of Gill) went 2-10, where they were routed by Georgia Tech (66-24), Oklahoma State (70-28), Oklahoma (47-17), K-State (59-21), Texas (43-0), and Texas A&M (61-7).

When Weis was asked about his JU-CO recruiting, he came back saying: “When you go through a transition coming in and you dismiss 29 scholarship players, which I did for a variety of off-the-field issues — not one of those players did I get rid of because they weren’t any good. You can’t do it for that reason. So now I took a team that already wasn’t very good, and I made them worse talent-wise. So that led to we need to fill the holes right now.”

Keeping the stats from last season in mind, he’s giving the team he walked into less credit than what they deserve, regardless of the previous season’s record.

  • rgerstner

    Why do you say 5 losses were within 10 points?  Those 5 losses were all within 1 TD (7 points).  Big difference in a 7 point game and a 10 point game.  10 points is 2 scores vs. 7 points is 1 score and effectively one play away from tying or winning the game.  Overall good blog post.

    • Shortister

      rgerstner I definitely did my math wrong. Note to self: don’t try to do simple things associated with math when tired. Thanks for catching! I updated that.