LARNED — Finally, a diversion to this bummer of a football season for Kansas Jayhawk fans.
The basketball season tipped off Tuesday evening as the much-anticipated Jayhawks season got started in an exhibition affair against Pittsburg State.
It was just what Dr. Charlie Weis ordered: removal from the spotlight!
The futility of the Kansas football team nearly matches the success of the basketball team. Nine straight conference championships in basketball and 25 straight losses in Big 12 football.
Of course, Baylor is not a team to get well against as the Jayhawks discovered in their 59-14 loss.
It probably doesn’t get any easier this week as the Jayhawks travel to Austin to take on the Texas Longhorns, though they have played well against Texas in recent years.
Kansas is now 2-5 overall, and 0-4 in the Big 12. A look at the schedule, and unless there is a huge upset, only Iowa State looks to be a game that the Jayhawks might win.
Is that an improvement over last year?
One has to measure improvement in inches rather than yards. Yes this team is better than its’ 2012 version. The trouble is that it is still leap years away from most of the other Big 12 teams.
How did this happen? How did Kansas go from an Orange Bowl team under Mark Mangino to this in just a few short years?
We’re left with no other choice than to put the blame on Turner Gill. Check that. There needs to be some blame put on former Athletic Director Lew Perkins’ shoulders.
He’s the guy that couldn’t support Mangino. He’s the guy that, from the beginning, had a tempestuous relationship with Mangino. He’s the guy who hired Turner Gill and gave him twice the money and twice the length of a contract than what he could/should have had him for. Perkins also was the guy in charge when the big ticket scandal for basketball broke in Lawrence.
Now Perkins is gone and so is any football success in Lawrence, but the ripples he is responsible for are still sending shock waves throughout the Kansas athletic program.
How long does it take to recover from eating a bad apple? It depends on your stomach. Kansas fans are getting just a little queezy. Does Dr. Weis have the right medicine? An aspirin or two isn’t going to fix this.
WILDCATS SHOW EMOTION — Kansas State’s Bill Snyder is famous for his “keep your emotions in control” approach. Famous for never making statements that really say much.
That said, I was amused at what he had to say about his football team following their victory over West Virginia when the team celebrated wildly on the field and in the locker room.
“I just watched their reaction in the locker room, and they were happy and spirited about it,” Snyder said. “I had mixed emotions. I think they deserved it but we’ve always been a team that acted like we’ve been there before. It’s quite obvious they haven’t been there before. They needed it.”
A lot of messages there from the veteran coach.
Ah, come on coach. Lighten up a little!
CHALK TALK — Kansas State 35, Iowa State 21 ... Salina South 44, Great Bend 17 ... Egads! Have you ever seen so many beards? How do those guys chew tobacco AND keep those beards clean? The Red Sox have more facial hair than King Kong! ... Penn State says it will cost them $59.7 million to settle the Sandusky sexual abuse cases. Where does that money come from? Taxpayers? It IS a state university ... Texas 39, Kansas 20 after a tight first half ... Much is made of the new offenses in the NFL that require a mobile quarterback. The “Big Tuna” Bill Parcells once had this to say about the so-called “Run-and-Shoot” offenses: “Yeah, we’ve got the run-and-shoot. If my quarterback runs, I’ll shoot him!”
Charles Tabler is a contributing writer from Larned