Donald Trump made it famous, the line, “You’re Fired!” I don’t want to be fired. I want to be hired! I am tossing my hat in the ring to be the Athletic Director at the University of Kansas. The head Jayhawk in sportsdom on Mt. Oread. I want the job. How tough can it be?
The bosses at KU fired athletic director Sheahon Zenger. Most certainly it was not because of the basketball program. Baseball? Does anybody really care? Track and Field? The Jayhawks are more than competitive in that endeavor but, again, does anybody really care? That leaves us with football and, evidently, somebody DOES care but the results we’ve seen since the dismissal of Mark Mangino don’t show it. So, we’re left with this conclusion: the new athletic director’s job is to fix the football program. That is tantamount to making an Indianapolis 500 race car out of a 1957 Camaro but yours truly has the answer, or answers. I can fix this football mess!
Hire me and I will ignore that my predecessor produced a football slate that was 5-61 against FBS competition under a number of coaches. Vince Lombardi said, “When the going get’s tough, the tough get going.” I’m ready and able to “get going”. Where am I going? Scheduling. That is the key my friends.
My first day on the job is to take a page out of Kansas State coach Bill Snyder’s playbook: Schedule teams that you can beat! Now you might argue that everybody knows that. Not the AD at the U. of Kansas. The leadership of the Kansas football program has made a ton of bad mistakes in scheduling. If you are going to schedule a lesser known school from the Mid American Conference, make sure that it IS NOT Ohio University or Central Michigan or Western Michigan. Those “no name” schools have really good football teams. You are asking for trouble if you schedule them. Instead take on maybe Ball State.
If you are the AD at Kansas schedule games with schools that sound really good but aren’t. A few suggestions would be Tulane of the AAC or Indiana and Illinois of the Big Ten. DO NOT move up to Iowa, Minnesota or Northwestern. Put Army on the schedule. It sounds impressive but their football team isn’t.
New Mexico State would be a great scheduling feat, a game that is winnable, even for KU. Yes, I would even agree to a home and home , two-year deal with them. Hey, how bad can it be in Las Cruces? I’ve always thought Kansas should schedule Air Force in all sports. Great name, easy travel to Colorado Springs and the chance of winning is high. If you want a prestigious conference to play in football but want a decent chance of winning, grab a series with the University of California. Their students are too busy demonstrating about something to care much about football! Virginia out of the Atlantic Coast Conference would be a great football get. They aren’t much on the football field but a win would look good for KU in the Sunday morning newspapers! Ditto for Utah State, UNLV and numerous others.
Kansas has watched Bill Snyder’s pattern for success at Kansas State but missed the nuance of, “schedule someone you can beat.” Do not schedule lesser-known football schools that are good. You are going to get another hickey in the loss column! Schedule someone like Texas State. Sounds impressive right? Well, Texas State may sound impressive but Texas State in Texas is not the same as Kansas State in Kansas or Oklahoma State in Oklahoma. The Bobcats from San Marcos , Texas, are a win!
Do not play anybody with a name like Appalachian State. You are just asking for an embarrassing ending! Hello Michigan! DO play Coastal Carolina. How good can a football team be with a nickname like the Chanticleers?
So you see, this is not that tough of a job. It’s all about scheduling and I am the guy who can turn this around. My resume is complete. My credentials are unblemished. Besides, I will work for a few dollars less than those other dudes!
Buddy Tabler is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and his views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.