A paradigm shift is a sudden change in perception, a sudden change in point of view, a sudden change in how one sees things. Kansas University football needs a paradigm shift. The road to that is to get real, get local, get invested or get out!
New coach David Beaty arrives from Texas A&M. He will be assisted by the most loyal soldier in college football, Clint Bowen, who served as interim head coach after Charlie Weis was fired four games into the 2014 season, two and a half years into Weis’ regime, after a couple of bad years from Turner Gill. The dust from these disasters is blamed for where Jayhawk football now resides; at the bottom of the Big 12.
Beaty says that if he hadn’t got the head coaching job that he would have come to KU anyway to assist Bowen who probably was the other top choice. Can you imagine that conversation between Beaty and Bowen? Beaty says, “You take the head job and I’ll help.” Bowen answers, “No, YOU take the head job and I’ll help you!” Neither guy wanting the trouble that has come with being the Jayhawk football boss. Just kidding, just kidding!
Charlie Weis and Turner Gill left the Kansas program in a dumpster but don’t blame them . The blame for this mess can be found at former athletic director Lew Perkins’ doorstep! He so mishandled the Mark Mangino era and the hiring of a not-ready-for-prime time Turner Gill, that the Kansas program is still reeling.
Back to that “road to a paradigm shift”. The first part, Get Real, is to realize the depths that this program has fallen to and lay out a 5-year plan to dig out and stay with these new coaches even if they lose every game this season. (Yes, that is possible.) The next item, Get Local, means that Kansas absolutely HAS to create more of a presence with high school athletes in Kansas and the Kansas City area. It is nice to recruit Texas and Florida but if you don’t get your fair share of the local athletes you are never going to have a winning program. Bill Snyder and Kansas State are an excellent example of that.
Next is Get Invested. The administration and the big donors have got to realize that folks have moved past Kansas in football investments, facilities and fan support. Look at what TCU has accomplished.
Also Oklahoma State and Baylor. These were veritable football wastelands only a few years ago. Those schools have run past Kansas faster than the Roadrunner got away from Wiley Coyote. Beep. Beep!
If those three things aren’t done then, well, Kansas should just get out of the football business. That , of course, isn’t going to happen. Not when each conference school is socking away about $23 million smackers a year in conference money.
This football program wasn’t destroyed in a day and it won’t be rebuilt in a day but there is no reason that Kansas can’t have a competitive football team again. The state of Kansas needs it. Yes, it is great that K-State is a winner but wouldn’t it be a lot more fun for everyone if those games really had meaning, really were competitive?
It all gets started September 5th when KU hosts South Dakota State. That might sound like a “gimme” game but SD-State has been to the NCAA playoffs four straight years so the Jayhawks will have their hands full. This program is in need of fan support. Everybody loves to root for a winner. Sometimes , just to get there, you’ve got to support a team when they lose so that maybe, just maybe, we might start to get those visions of a paradigm shift before it actually happens.