Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Wednesday Night Beer: Kansas Football and Delusions of Grandeur

Ever since it became clear that the administration at Kansas was jumping onto the crazy "Fire Turner Gill" campaign, it's become clear that everyone associated with KU suffers from delusions of grandeur regarding their football program.  Austin Meek of the Topeka Capital-Journal pretty much sums up the lunacy running rampant:

(Gary) Pinkel seemed to suggest Gill inherited a program in disrepair. That wasn't the case. The Jayhawks were two years removed from the Orange Bowl and had a new football facility to sell. They were ranked in the top 15 during Mark Mangino's final year, and the losing streak Gill inherited was influenced by the investigation used to justify Mangino's ouster.
There was nothing to flip, which won't be the case for Gill's replacement.
Top 15 team?  Well, Kansas was ranked #15 before they lost to Colorado...the first of seven straight losses to close out the season.  Program in disrepair?  You make the call:  Todd Reesing, Kerry Meier, Dezmon Briscoe, and Jake Sharp were all gone when Turner Gill came on board.   What about the fight between the football and basketball teams?

Kansas fans went into 2009 thinking they would simply just reload... back to a bowl game. Problem was...nothing was left in the program.  Kansas fans won't admit that, though.  Easier to blame the new guy;  my favorite was the Rock Chalk Talk poster who called Gill one of the "ten worst coaches ever at a BCS school".  Kansas fans actually thought that Mike Leach would be interested.  Now comes the word that Kansas is actually thinking about retreading Charlie Weis.  (Florida fans will actually pay his moving expenses!)

Frankly, this reminds me a lot of Nebraska's 2003 coaching search.  A bad decision to change coaches was magnified by a bumbling coaching search that was lampooned nationally.  That turned out well for Nebraska, and Kansas seems to be heading towards a swirl down the drain.

A few other thoughts:

Nebraska needed a last second shot by Dylan Talley to escape Florida Gulf Coast.  Yikes. It's still early in the season, but this one's off to a bad start.

One of the more inane things I've read lately is the idea that Nebraska is going to make more money by getting the CapitalOne Bowl berth.  Uh no...  The money goes to the conference, and Nebraska gets an expense allowance to bring the team, staff, and band along.  The rest gets split it doesn't matter which bowl bid Nebraska would get.  And let's remember that bowl berths are not awarded on merit for the most part:  it's the potential of ticket sales.  Since it's been 20 years since the Huskers last trip to Orlando, the Huskers were very desirable.

Sam McKewon of the Omaha World-Herald calls for a plus-1 format as the first step towards a playoff.  I'm a playoff guy, so I'm fine with that, though I prefer the eight team format myself.  But can we get away from the idea of playing game at neutral sites?  I hate it when people who don't use their own money to follow teams presume to declare what fans will do?  Trust me, but unless fans can drive to a game, neutral site games will not draw well.  The logistics of transporting thousands of fans on short notice make neutral sites unworkable.  For Husker fans, Kansas City is probably as far away as will work.  Maybe Minneapolis, Chicago, St. Louis, or Denver.  Maybe.  Florida, New Orleans, Arizona, or Texas?  Forget about it.

Again, if you've never paid your own way to a bowl game, you don't get to speak for those of us who have done it.

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