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Monday Rewind: Oklahoma State; Clock ticking on Turner Gill?

Kansas head coach Turner Gill watches from the sidelines during the second quarter against Oklahoma State on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011 at Boone Pickens Stadium.

Kansas head coach Turner Gill watches from the sidelines during the second quarter against Oklahoma State on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011 at Boone Pickens Stadium. by Nick Krug

The way I see it, Kansas University football coach Turner Gill has two weeks to get things turned around before it really starts to get ugly.

That’s not a threat. That’s not me announcing some grass roots campaign to get rid of the guy or even suggesting that he should go. It’s closer to being a fact than anything else, and that’s the scary part.

Five games into his second season at Kansas, Gill’s honeymoon phase is finished. Although many have talked about how much they admire Gill as a person, a man, a friend and an ambassador for KU, the facts are the facts and Gill has lost the fan base. People are tired of watching KU take steps backwards. They’re even more tired of hearing the coaching staff tell them that they’re moving forward. Even if they are progressing — and in many ways I do think that’s the case — they’re not doing so in the most important place and that’s on the field.

People around here don’t ask for much when it comes to KU football. They want a team that’s competitive. They’d like to go to a bowl game every couple of years and they’d love to know that a season like 2007, in which KU went 12-1 and won the Orange Bowl, is possible every once in a while. What they’re seeing right now makes them wonder if they’ll ever witness a winning season again, let alone all those other treats.

I’m not advocating that anything be done. I’m old school in that way. I believe it takes time to change a culture and even more time to build a winner. Where I come from, popular opinion says that coaches should be given a fair chance to do both. But I realize it’s 2011, and fair only gets you so far. Is it a shame? Sure. Is it reality? You betcha.

So let’s get back to why I think Gill has two weeks to get things headed in the right direction.

By now, you all know that the Jayhawks were pounded at Oklahoma State on Saturday and could’ve been hit with 100 points if the Cowboys felt up to it. You also know that, in just five games this season, KU has set new lows for passing yards against in a single game (494 for OSU on Saturday) and rushing yards against in a single game (604 for Georgia Tech in Week 3). One way to look at it would be that it can only get better from here. That would be true if third-ranked Oklahoma weren’t coming to town on Saturday. But the mere thought of what the Sooners might do to the Jayhawks is frightening.

KU doesn’t have to win that game. We’re not even close to talking like that yet. But KU can’t give up 70 points and 600 yards while being run out of the stadium in the first quarter either. 55-35 works. 49-27 would be fine, too. 77-21 or anything along those lines spells trouble.

So, Step 1 for Gill and company is a better showing against the Sooners. More fight, more fire, better tackling and maybe even a little suspense. At least for the first couple of quarters.

Step 2 is much more important, and failure to deliver there won’t be greeted by a shrug of the shoulders and the sound of “Oh well, it’s basketball season anyway,” being uttered across campus.

In two weeks, Kansas State comes to town. The same Kansas State that drubbed the Jayhawks 59-7 a season ago. The same Kansas State that’s off to a 5-0 start this season. The same Kansas State that, if they bully the Jayhawks again, could make it really difficult for Gill to survive.

Here’s why:

KU fans don’t like losing to anyone. Many were bummed and embarrassed after the loss to OSU and, if history repeats and OU routs KU, many will be equally as frustrated after that one, as well. But life will go on. And, by Tuesday or Wednesday, the game will have been forgotten. Not so with a loss to Kansas State. Those losses sting all year long because, around here, KU fans are neighbors with K-Staters and work with Wildcats. Losing to the purple people is personal for KU fans, not just because they’re so emotionally invested in the rivalry but also because the ramifications of a rough outing actually affect their daily lives.

It’s one thing to watch a team you root for get embarrassed. That stinks, but there are plenty of ways to get away from it and move past it. But it’s another thing entirely for your team’s embarrassment to directly impact your daily life. If KSU kicks Kansas the way the Cowboys did and Sooners might, all heck could break loose and I’m not sure it could be stopped.

Look at the facts. The natives already are getting restless. Two web sites devoted to getting rid of Gill have been created in less than two years. That’s full-fledged web sites, not just message board threads or Twitter posts. Counting all of those could take days.

You’ve got FireTurnerGill.com and fireturnergill.net. There’s a Facebook page that favors Gill’s dismissal that has 55 members. And there’s also a Twitter account — @FireTurnerGill — promoting the idea that has 32 followers. That one looks like it was started up on Sunday.

A better showing in the next couple of weeks can calm things down a bit, give Gill some breathing room and make these sites and pages seem a little silly, which is what they probably are.

More of the same, though, and we could be in for an interesting ride.

For those who may have forgotten, getting rid of Gill won’t be easy. After this season, he still has three years remaining on his $10 million contract — all guaranteed — and the KU athletic department simply is not in a position where it can write a check for that kind of money and say goodbye. Here’s a link to my column from last year that spells out the details. http://www2.kusports.com/news/2010/oc...

Knowing all that, the best solution for everyone is for Gill and his coaching staff to find a way to get things going in a more positive direction quickly. The players are playing hard and they haven’t given up. The coaching staff must capitalize on that. If that means trying new things, so be it. If that means spitting a little more fire, spit away.

But if it means more of the same, it could mean the end of Gill. Right or wrong.

Comments

royaljayhawk

I just don't think he will be able to get it going here. Too many indicators to the contrary. It's a shame too. I wish he could, but am simply resigned to the fact that that isn't going to happen. Get Mike Leach on line 1.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Spencer Goff

I absolutely wish we would take a look at Mike Leach.

First off, if any coach got hosed out of a job bigger than Mark Mangino it was Mike Leach. That James thing was a sham, through and through.

Second, what he did at Texas Tech was no less than phenomenal. He can recruit Texas. He could turn a drunk armadillo into a top notch quarterback or wide receiver. He had a knack for finding talent past the first Rivals-150, and making them better.

We need a program jump starter. Leach has the attitude and the swagger. He has the reputation with high school coaches and players.

If we had somebody like Leach, in a twelve team league we could be a solid competitor every year in the North.

Fix the team, fix the stadium.

11 years, 1 month ago

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texashawk10

It's hard to win when your defense is still giving up 50+ points on regular basis which is what will happen with Leach. His defenses were regularly among the worst in the in Big 12 until his last couple of years when they were average. Mike Leach is a good coach, but would be a bad fit at KU.

11 years, 1 month ago

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cjleiker

I like Turner Gill, but his short-coming is defense. He knows offense, but not defense. In all honesty, we won the Orange bowl in 2007 because of our defense led by Bill Young. Mark Mangino was not a defense guy, Bill Young saved our bacon. We need to fire the defensive coaches and hire some proven defensive coaches. You can't blame the players for being out coached. Do yourself a favor Turner and the University of Kansas, set pride to the side and hire some good defensive coaches, starting with Vic.

11 years, 1 month ago

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pepper_bar

The end of Gill is nowhere close, unless he admits he's in over his head and walks away from the money. KU couldn't afford a Big 12 exit fee, and the booster money won't be there for a buyout. KU doesn't care about football.

11 years, 1 month ago

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ahpersecoachingexperience

Brock Berglund is the answer!

11 years, 1 month ago

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Phoghorn

No, Knute Rockne is.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Micky Baker

Nope, forfeiting Saturday is the only way to keep from losing by 70 or more.

11 years, 1 month ago

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gchawk

Matt, you did an outstanding job expressing our sentiments with this article.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Matt Tait

Thanks a lot.
Tough thing to write, but I tried to be fair to all parties involved.

We'll see where it goes from here.

11 years, 1 month ago

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johnnyhrdwd

Don't we get a 20 million dollar pay out in June from the big 12?

11 years, 1 month ago

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KGphoto

Not mine. We all know where the program is, and we know we can't beat Oklahoma. We know we have one of the toughest schedules in the country and it could be ugly this year. We all new it would take 3-4 years for Gill to get his players, and get them some experience and form.

Firing Gill this year or even before the end of next year is exactly how schools get into a downward spiral. A new coach will mean we have to wait another 3-4 years for him to get his vision working.

Turner lost his defensive coordinator right before the season started, and obviously that's where he is having trouble. We need a new DC and another year. Gill has surrounded himself with good coaches. He's made mistakes but so what? This is knee jerk material to me. Just because you are embarrassed doesn't mean you should jump ship yet. We knew it would take time.

Urban Meyer could walk through that door right now, and it would take him 3-4 years. This isn't Florida where you have blue chips pouring in.

Hey Matt, if you want to get somebody fired, why don't you start with the woman who's had 7 years to get her program together?

11 years, 1 month ago

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Matt Tait

You don't want people speaking for you so don't speak for me. Not trying to get anyone fired. Just doing my job and that's covering the news surrounding the team.

I've been in Lawrence since 1988 and I'm not sure I've seen this much anger toward the football program. And, yes, I realize what I'm saying there.

That makes it news, whether I agree or not.

I like Gill. He's a great man and he's been great to me. He deserves a fair chance. I'm just not sure if he's going to get it.

11 years, 1 month ago

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KGphoto

Sorry, I realize you were also supporting Gill in many ways. But since this article will fuel the "fire" even more, I also see it as perhaps an inadvertent stoking of the campaign.

About never seeing this much anger toward the program or coach, we've never had this kind of tool to express it with. Nobody was on these message boards the last time KU was going through a complete overhaul. Now the anger has a way of building exponentially, even if it's not totally founded.

I guess I just get tired of hearing about the expert fans running the program from their laptops. Isn't the AD supposed to fire the coach?

Here's hoping Zenger has the fairness to listen to ALL the fans and not just the angry internet ones.

11 years, 1 month ago

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LAJayhawk

As every AD in the country does, the biggest thing he will listen to is the money. Internet posters mean nothing unless they are also donating or at least buying tickets.

Show me the money, KG. That's how this business works.

11 years, 1 month ago

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ashmole

Right on. Bonnie Hendrickson sets a tone of being a loser for all KU athletic programs. Turner Gill has some excuses, but Bonnie doesn't.

11 years, 1 month ago

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KGphoto

The defense is much worse than expected, but it certainly still looks like a rebuilding process to me. There are blowouts happening to other good teams this year too.

Nebraska got skull dragged by Wisconsin. Texas by Oklahoma. These schools aren't in rebuilding years either. These are powerhouse programs expected to contend for a title this year.

If we are still getting shredded defensively at the end of next year, maybe it's time to ask Gill if he still believes. But it's just too soon.

11 years, 1 month ago

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actorman

"I will continue to watch and support the team, because I'm just that sadistic ..."

Assuming you're not saying that you enjoy seeing the KU players suffering, you're the third person in the last couple of days who has incorrectly used "sadistic" instead of "masochistic." Common guys, it's not that complicated!!!

11 years, 1 month ago

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Alex Berger

I'm with you. When our defensive talent is inferior to the offense we are playing to begin with, our experience is less, and their offense knows their scheme better than our defense (because they have known it for less than half a year), how are we supposed to just stop them?

Gill has already turned around our offense through recruiting talent. Defense is harder because defensive players can't just rely on speed. I'm just as embarrassed as everyone else but firing Gill wouldn't suddenly make our defense better. In fact, it would take away what familiarity they are beginning to develop and start it from scratch again. I'm a firm believer in a three year opportunity. Georgia Tech's coach is in his fourth year at the program (where they have more talent) and they are just starting to click on all cylinders.

11 years, 1 month ago

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willie_fu_fu

If Gill and Co were making more of an effort on recruiting Defensive linemen I'd be alitte happier but there seems to be a greater push for the offensive side of the ball.

11 years, 1 month ago

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droppinplates

3-4 years huh. Is that how long it took Grandpa Bill? Two years with the previous coach's players and he's gotta top 25 program. It doesn't take 3-4 years to be competative enough not to be beaten in record fashion every weekend!

11 years, 1 month ago

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Randy Bombardier

I understand what you are saying KG. I have believed right or wrong that Gill is keeping Torbush's job for him. Pure speculation. If so, he better scrub that idea because if he gets canned, Torbush won't be coming back. He needs to step up and get a good DC asap. We saw this with Bill Young leaving and someone stepping up. Could be the ole Peter Principle. Whatever it is, get a proven DC or a coach in transition who has been a dc. That will go miles for fans believing that he is making an attempt to get help. A person who tries it do it with the personnel on hand may succeed. But if he fails, it would have been better for him to have made this very public attempt, which also shows a little humility.

11 years, 1 month ago

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JayDocMD

"The players are playing hard and they haven’t given up."

This reminds me of an exchange between Clark Griswold's family when he just couldn't get those xmas lights to turn on.

"Talk about pissing your money away. I hope you kids see what a silly waste of resources this was." - Frances

"He worked really hard, Grandma." - Audrey Griswold

"So do washing machines." - Art

11 years, 1 month ago

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psychoanalyst

Ah, but Clark did get the lights working didn't he. Maybe Gill just needs to find where that pesky switch isn't turned on and all will be well.

Great movie quote post, JayDoc.

11 years, 1 month ago

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JayDocMD

Gill = Clark Griswold

90% of KU fans = Frances

the other 10% of KU fans = Audrey

Ahperse = Art

11 years, 1 month ago

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Sam Constance

Close the ballot box. Winning post right here (with a necessary reference to JayDocMD's 10:51am post)

11 years, 1 month ago

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Ron Prichard

That is freaking hysterical! I'm sitting in the equivalent of a waiting room and laughed out loud when I read Apherse = Art. That is spit milk out your nose funny.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Ryan Gerstner

Matt, why doesn't KU have the money? The Big XII's new Fox TV deal increases the payout per school by $7 million PER YEAR. Granted, KU was getting an unequal split so we might lose a couple mil having to evenly share now, but either way, if you're getting an extra $5 mil per year, you should be able to pay off a $7 mil buyout (Gill + assistants) in pretty short order. Nevermind, there's numerous alumni that would contribute to the cause.

Gill has lost this fanbase and outside of instantly turning this program around by winning a bunch of games, there's not anything he can do to bring the majority back. The financial pain inflicted upon the athletic department by keeping Gill around will be severe.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Matt Tait

Couple reasons.

1. They're still paying the buyouts for Perkins and Mangino.
2. They have some other general debt.
3. That money from TV and exit fees is not in the bank yet and will probably be spent before it is.

As you alluded to, this move, if it were to happen, would have to come from private money.

11 years, 1 month ago

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johnnyhrdwd

Gotta think of the players, we're gonna have some major defections. What's worse then sending them out to be humiliated, they deserve better. These guys are gonna quit even if they still show up.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Sam Constance

Gotta think of the players!? Are you serious?

Here's the thing: I realize that this is Gill's ship and whether it sinks or sails is ultimately on him, but he's got an entire crew of first mates and deckhands who are actually doing the sailing, so if it sinks, it's partly on the crew as well.

The players are fighting an uphill battle, to be sure. They are out-athleticism'd by most of their opponents. But they have just as much ability (if not more) as Gill to turn this ship around.

If they don't (which might be the case), then how exactly do we expect Gill to turn it around? With players that by implication, are incapable of turning it around and are just being sent out to be humiliated and "deserve better"? It sounds like complete folly to expect our head coach to produce a winner out of players that we don't think have the ability to win.

Deserve better my a**. They are getting a full-ride scholarship to a D-I program in a BCS conference. If they're so embarrassed that they want to quit, then I would happily show them the door. A D-I athlete (even a lower-tier one) should see embarrassment as a MOTIVATING factor, not a reason to quit.

Lastly, I'm not a Gill supporter. But I don't think I'd call myself a Gill detractor either. I'm a KU supporter, and as unbearable as it's been to watch some of KU's games the last two seasons, there have been signs of potential improvement:

1) VAST improvement in the offense in only one year
2) Reported improvements in recruiting success
3) Occasional games where flashes of potential (GT) have been shown
4) Refusal to quit (Colorado game last year is best example)

Now do all those things add up to Gill being the right head coach for KU? No, of course not. But there are still several variables to solve for in this particular equation. If Gill starts to win, he will win the fanbase back--any suggestion otherwise is foolish. But he's dug himself a huge hole and has a longer way to go than when he was hired to prove that he's the right choice.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Spencer Goff

"As you alluded to, this move, if it were to happen, would have to come from private money."

In other words, extremely angry donors that finally decide to pony up the dough.

11 years, 1 month ago

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ibleedku

Sounds to me like KU doesn't have near the donors it needs.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Steve Gantz

In 1987 my junior year, I sat through a 72-10 game against Oklahoma. 24 years later, what's changed?
Sure glad we've got basketball.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Mike Nicco

I was there with you and remember it raining during that game also.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Steve Gantz

Yes, it was miserable, Oklahoma had their star studded starters in in the 4th Quarter, and when in the parking lot, I hear the crowd cheer and KU scored their only TD of the game, on a long pass!

11 years, 1 month ago

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Steve Gantz

True! We had some decent years in the 90's too.

11 years, 1 month ago

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johnnyhrdwd

Yea but OU would leave their starters in till the 4th quarter, not pull em with 4 minutes left in the first half.

11 years, 1 month ago

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LSHawk

Agreed, the damage to the program will be much worse if we do not cut our losses at the end of this season. We need to show we are serious about building a good football program, and not standing for another horrible year.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Eric Dawson

Thanks for the well thought out column, Matt.

Unfortunately, unless things get better fast, anything less than biting the $ bullet and firing Gill now will convince too many people that KU really doesn't care about football.
And that will be even more costly to the program.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Chris Bailey

Matt,

Where will the money come from??? Any idea? Can we really afford to buy him out and his staff then hire a new one? Plus who would we get to replace him? Leech? Tressel? I don't see either of them being possible? Venerbles (sp)? Is he possible? I don't want another coach from a small college coming to Kansas. If we can throw 2 million at Gill we can afford a good coach and we have the facilities to impress and compete. What say you?

11 years, 1 month ago

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Benjamin Clay Jones

Let's make Gill earn his $10 mill and suffer through three more seasons of record-setting drubbings followed by press conferences that make him squirm. I'm opposed to giving anyone $6 million just to go away.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Yosemite

If he sticks around to collect all of the $10 million contract and invests it wisely, he doesn't have to worry about ever working again. Take the money, buy a nice house on a beach, and live a simple life.

11 years, 1 month ago

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droppinplates

Who cares about Gill's reputation! If Gill sticks around for 5 years he will bury the program, and it will take even longer to get it back to being remotely competative. What conference will Kansas end up in by that time with one of the worst football teams in the country and 3/4 Memorial stadium empty?!?!

11 years, 1 month ago

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nb4ku

+1

11 years, 1 month ago

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Mike Nicco

AtlJaybird,

You make a good point about recruits. So far they haven't defected. If they do, then there is no hope for the future with this entire staff.

I still believe Zenger will lean on Gill to hire a new Defensive Coordinator and give him one more year. It's the cheapest option and keeps us from having to start anew.

The two most successful head coaches at KU & KSU were both coordinators in major programs, OU & Iowa. Any ideas who we should go after?

11 years, 1 month ago

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Sam Constance

I keep reading people saying things to the effect of your final paragraph--about how important it is to get football up and running, with the implication being that it will serve us well in the conference realignment fiasco.

However, I have to disagree. Any realignment leverage that KU could have developed in football would have had to be in place long before the last 5-10 years. Even if Mangino was still at the helm, taking us to an occasional bowl game, the Kansas BRAND in football is still a mediocre one. Combine that with a sparsely-populated state and a fanbase that--fair or not--has a reputation for turning on football the minute it becomes mediocre again, and Kansas' path to appeal in conference realignment is not through football, nor is it ever likely to be.

I want KU to be competitive in football as a fan, because I like to see my teams compete and (even better) win. But saying they need to be competitive to save us from a poor realignment fate just isn't correct. The groundwork for the attitudes and opinions that are driving realignment have been laid in concrete for a long time and nothing KU can do in the next 5 years (or could have done in the last 5) was going to change that.

KU is a basketball school in a football world. That stinks. But luckily, KU is THE basketball school (or at least one of 3-4) in a football world. If this were commerce, KU would have a terrible market share of the world's most popular product. However, KU dominates the market share of a product that is still pretty popular in its own right.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Sam Constance

I agree that at the very least, it can't hurt to not be a laughingstock.

But in terms of Boise, conferences aren't exactly crashing down their door to get them into conference, because as important as football success seems in all this, there are more factors at play. Boise's overall athletic department is light years behind KU's, and even though they have influenced their national image, I'd hazard a guess that the majority of college football fans see them as a small school that is good--within the context of it's non-BCS conference.

They are "good" with an asterisk. And I think KU can certainly surpass that, given the right situation. Some more consistency and a year or two like 2007-08 ever decade or so and the perception will turn.

But I think the key here is that the less influence your local geography wields in terms of media market size, the more of a "sure thing" your football program has to be to make up for it. In other words, Kansas' situation is like Nebraska's--we not only have to be consistently competitive, but consistently dominant, to make up for the fact that we don't have a large population base.

Teams like Missouri and their supposed control of 2 media markets (even though we know MU doesn't come close to half of the KC market) allows them to be a mediocre team that threatens on the national stage consistently but is still below that upper echelon of football programs. They aren't dominant like Nebraska has been in their history, but they bring eyes to TV sets (supposedly--again, I don't think the media company heads really understand that MU's active following is paltry compared to the number of Missourian eyes that are out there)

11 years, 1 month ago

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MWShields

I can't take much more. Hire Jim Leavitt.

11 years, 1 month ago

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jgkojak

If we had any 'D' at all, even at a basic level, we'd be in some of these games.

Its clear we have the offense for a change to put up pts on anyone.

If I were Gill, I'd make sure the Offense had the ball as long as possible-- do 11 yard passes instead of 20 yards. Anything to move the chains AND the clock.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Varlo52

So Gill was supposed to take a near-empty cupboard, stock it with freshmen and sophomores, and produce an immediate winner? What are you all smoking? It would be a travesty to fire him before a single one of his own signees attains even junior status.

The humiliating losses pain me too, but the arrogant self-created "expertise" of some ill-informed, but pompous commenters sickens me even more.

11 years, 1 month ago

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AzNHawk

Agreed.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Alex Berger

+1, thank you.

11 years, 1 month ago

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SEsco10

Thank you !!!! I totally agree with this this.

11 years, 1 month ago

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ForeverLoyal2KU

AGREED! Sure it stinks having to go through blow outs every week... but how do we know if Mark Mangino (or anyone else for that matter) would be producing drastically different results at this point? Last year our Offense and Defense were terrible. This year we have an Offense and most of those playmakers on Offense are Freshman (recruited by Gill). Now give him a year or two to get some defensive recruits in here and our program is back to being competitive. Our Defense is made up of a bunch of guys that Mangino and Gill's staff have tried to turn into Defense players because we didn't have any (i.e. Keeston Terry, Bradley McDougald, Toben Opurum). Obviously there are some things on the field that have happened (not related to the score) in terms of play-calling, decision-making, fundamentals that haven't always been great, but those things are going to be more exposed when you don't have talent. At this point, that's what it all comes down to is talent. And until Gill has a couple years to get his talent in here, we shouldn't rush to any judgement. Gill brought in as many playmakers in his last recruiting class as Mangino did the previous three classes. We just have to hope that he can bring in the defensive talent too. It stinks getting embarrassed, but anything worth having doesn't come easy and takes time!

11 years, 1 month ago

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ForeverLoyal2KU

I loved having Coach Mangino here and it is unfortunate the way everything went down, but I think it is also important to point out that we went 5-7 his last year here.... AND that was WITH Todd Reesing, Kerry Meier, Jake Sharp, Dez Briscoe and certainly more Defensive talent than we have now with Jake Laptad, James Holt, and Chris Harris. Understand that KU is historically one of the worst programs in the Big 12 and give Coach Gill time to build something. We can't just rotate through coaches and expect them to have instant success.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Phoghorn

Thank you Forever and Varlo! Constantly changing coaches is not a path to success. Something is rotten with the KU program, but none of our coaches have yet turned us into perennial winners. The problem is obviously above all of them.

(Note a couple consecutive bowl games, only to go back to losing does not equal a perennial winner, neither does 4-20 against the Big 12 South)

I don't care who the coach is, KU has tried the carousel method before...like for the past 120 years.

11 years, 1 month ago

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johnnyhrdwd

So you're saying Leach, Leavitt, Venables, or Franchione wouldn't make us more competitive than this? We need an expert expert. We can't afford to watch our football program go down the drain right now. Wasn't Zenger a grad assistant at KSU?

11 years, 1 month ago

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brett conrad

that nearly empty cupboard was not close to the worst defense in football .

11 years, 1 month ago

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ja3hawk

What's frustrating though, is that you see Bill Snyder turn their program around in 2 years. Apparently Ron Prince left them worse off than Mangino. How do we go from an Orange Bowl in 08 to what we are now. Our recruits were supposed to be decent even the year that Mangino was fired. I can understand getting beat but we shouldn't continue to regress like we have. Something just isn't right with our coaching. A lack of expertise on the staff has to be the problem, our defense appears to have no idea what they are doing out there.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Sam Constance

It's frustrating that Turner Gill didn't come into a brand-new program (to him) and achieve results on par with what a rival school did when they brought BACK their likely HOF coach who has had success at the highest levels of college football?

Really?

Please walk back from the ledge and at least get some perspective before you jump. If we're using Bill Synder as the benchmark for Turner Gill (or any other future KU coach), then they are almost assured to fail.

OSU is arguably the best team we've played this year. I'm not sure how the fact that it was our worst loss to date can be seeing as "continuing to regress". What I see is a team that has actually improved leaps and bounds on the offensive side of the ball, and remains absolutely terrible on the defensive side. When you are as bad as KU has been on defense the last two years, I'm not sure anything you see on the field can be accurately interpreted as getting worse. It's all so bad at this point that any attempt to distinguish levels of terrible is just futile (and impossible, imho).

11 years, 1 month ago

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AlecRaenos

The thing is, KSU's talent level isn't drastically different from KUs but the results on the field are DRASTICALLY different.

I want Gill to succeed, that means KU can succeed, but this year, what I am seeing, is that the coaching is not even HS level coaching at least on defense. Snyder isn't exactly working with top notch prospects either but his guys are WELL COACHED.

Is it fair that I am comparing Gill to Snyder? Yes it is. Kansas should not have hired a guy to learn on the job. Not at this level. Not with what is at stake. Gill may be a great coach someday, but he is not going to find out at Kansas. He will not finish his tenure here.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Kyle Berthusen

I agree, and I will continue to give Gill a leash for 3 years. I'm getting frustrated seeing us play as a poorly coached team though. We can lose all the rest of the the games and I'd be fine with it if we have fundamental tackling, and a respect for hanging on to the football. Those are things the coaches can change in a player in the span of a year or two, and we aren't seeing much of it. We will be outplayed by teams because we are young and inexperienced, but if we don't have fundamentals down soon, they won't be there later, just like Gill.

11 years, 1 month ago

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ja3hawk

I guess that was point. It seems our defensive players are lacking in fundamentals and that it gets worse as the weeks move on. Typically you get better by playing teams that are better than you... It's something that was always taught to me. Get better by playing people that are better than you. I just don't think our coaches are properly teaching these kids to learn from their mistakes (especially on the D).

11 years, 1 month ago

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Jaminrawk

I disagree. Yeah, he wasn't left a bunch of great players to work with but neither was Bill Snyder and he still seems to inspire his player to perform. This defense has given up - 24 points to an FCS team, and 42, 66, 45 and 70 points. That's HISTORICALLY terrible. The players look confused and completely "out toughed". It would be one thing if they were going toe-to-toe and getting beaten but often there are completely blown coverages and running lanes the size of a four-lane highway. That said, I don't think any sane person assumes he's going to get fired this year mainly because of this guaranteed contract.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Kyle Berthusen

He also has decades of experience and experience at that school. He knows how exactly to deal with players. You can't expect a young coach to be able to do the same thing in one season. I do think we haven't improved as much as we should, but comparing that to Bill Snyder isn't really apt.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Mike Skiles

+++1111

Well stated. A lot of immaturity evidenced on the message threads. We are committed to the coach, our former AD saw to that. To suggest otherwise, based on the empty larder he started with, is crazy. Do people really understand what $7 Million means to a University? (payoff including assistants).

We're on the plane and have taken off, and Coach Gill is at the controls. If others want to jump out without a parachute, have at it!

11 years, 1 month ago

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ejlumus

Attendance from 50,000 to 30,000, 20,000 decline @ $50 per = $1,000,000 per game, 6 home games = $6,000,000 revenue decline. Buy out = $6,000,000 or less ...... can KU afford to keep him?

Did Big Lew ever screw the pooch on his deals with MM & TG ................. and big lew walks away with millions and a basement full of workout equipment.

The Peter Principal at work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

11 years, 1 month ago

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FreddyinLA

Chancellor BGL should be fired for giving an inexperienced head coach from a mid-level conference twice what he should have been paid for twice the number of years this contract should have been for.

Her name is on the contract as the highest-level KU employee at the time of signing.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Steve Brown

sometimes things look darkest right before they start to get brighter.

When HCTG played in Lincoln they had 300 walk ons many of which could have started here. This mission is vastly different, turn around a program. If his goal is to take it to the ashes and rebuild the first part is accomplished.

I wish him well, yet realize hope is not a strategy, get the horses, from JUCO other Div. 1 transfers or under rocks, but time is ticking.

did I read Mango burned some redshirts his last year leaving the cupboard extra dry,not sure. I do know we led MU with 1:14 left and had first down,and threw 3 incompletions to lose that Arrowhead game for the 7th straight loss, orsomething like that for all you with golden memories.

11 years, 1 month ago

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johnnyhrdwd

Mangino started out somewhere around $750,000.00 a year, $2,000,000.00 we need results. We're paying Turner $200,000.00 a game for this, sorry I know he's likeable and he was great as a qb but this is Business.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Sam Constance

While I bristle at the amount of money Gill is being paid to figure out how to avoid the kinds of embarrassing losses like the one we suffered on Saturday, that cannot be used as a criteria for whether we keep or fire him.

He's being overpaid. That ship has sailed. We can't make decisions now based on the poor choices of the former AD. The ideal solution would be to re-negotiate with Gill and bring his pay back down to something more reasonable and expected for one who came from a school like Buffalo. However, we all know (more or less) how the biz of athletics works and at this point there are two realistic options:

1) Pay him and find out if he is the answer.

2) Fire him and conclude, at that instant, that he is not the answer.

The problem with Option 1 is that KU continues to overpay and may end up doing all for naught if it turns out he's not the man for the job.

However, the problem with Option 2 is that we never truly find out if he is the right man for the job. For all the talk I've heard from KU fans about how the longer we keep him, the more damaging to KU it is in the long term, I'm of the opinion that we do far more damage by prematurely dismissing him (if he turns out to be a good coach) than by waiting and finding out he wasn't the right guy all along.

KU doesn't have the cache or money to do the whole coaching carousel thing. Our recruits are tied to our coaches in a way that Texas', Oklahoma's, Alabama's, Florida's, Ohio State's (etc.) aren't. We can't afford to let a coach go before we know if he's the right answer or not. We can afford that even less than we can afford another season or so of embarrassing football, because as embarrassing as this season has been, it's not really changing most people's historical opinion of KU football. Unfortunately.

So essentially, we have nothing to gain from firing Gill now, but everything to (potentially) lose.

11 years, 1 month ago

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LSHawk

Maybe we keep Gill and get rid of Shealy and go out and get the best possible DC. IF we had the money to let HCTG go, then certainly we have the money to hire a good DC.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Ashwin Rao

The sanest response yet! I agree... it does not have to be all or nothing. It will be a lot cheaper to just upgrade our defense which seems to be pulling the entire team down. The question is which of the proven DC will want to come to KU.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Bville Hawk

I'm inclined to agree with you that that is the most reasonable approach. I've been a TG supporter this year, but the thing that troubles me more than the scores is the lack of toughness of this team. The effort on the part of both the defense AND the offense seems to drop off after we experience a little adversity.

11 years, 1 month ago

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lahothan

What is going to happen when KU pulls of some miracle victory like A&M or Baylor? Will we all change our minds about Gill again, just like we did after he took down G-Tech last year? The way I see it, the man has one problem and that is defense. Scoring is not a problem, but watching our safeties get burned and regularly giving up 20+ yard plays is a serious problem. I still have faith in Gill, he is pulling in talent, nobody can argue that, but it's gonna take time to really get what he wants from his team. I still have to say though, we look better than last year and all this team needs now to take down KSU is a little hope. Also, I hope that everyone who comments on these boards are regular attendees. This program will never change without support from us, the fans/students. I haven't missed a home game in 4 years and I never leave early. That is what Gill deserves right now.

11 years, 1 month ago

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AzNHawk

ROCK CHALK from one fellow jayhawk to another!

11 years, 1 month ago

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Chris Bailey

Well I'm glad you are able to make it to all the games. I happen to work in health care and work 3 saturdays/month. It sucks but it's a sacrifice I make. I watch/listen to every game. I was at the Mcneese state game and also will be at the Baylor game. My argument to firing Gill is who will we replace him with??? Who would come to a program that only gives a new head coach 1.5 years to build a team? I agree we could have gotten a more proven winner for 2 million plus per year. And I won't be on the support Gill team if next years Defense looks like this one! Also, Sheely has GOT TO GO! He can't be a D coordinator. I also agree with the constant excuses that the D is getting better. I just don't see it. We don't even look competitive all because of the D.

11 years, 1 month ago

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brett conrad

That GTech win didn't change anyone's mind after losing at home to N Dakota ST

11 years, 1 month ago

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LSHawk

I still think the loss of Torbush was/is part of the problem. Shealy was a dbacks coach and its clear to me he is in over his head. I would agree to give Gill 1 more year IF he hires a proven DC.

11 years, 1 month ago

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johnnyhrdwd

I think Torbush retired because he knew how bad we would suck.

11 years, 1 month ago

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hailtoku

You mean the guy that went 21-41 in the MAC is struggling in the Big 12? Shocker.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Steve Hillyer

If we were in a more stable conference we could afford to give Gill more time, unfortunately we don't have that luxury. We have six years to get our football and athletic department stronger and more attractive, there is no way we can give I'm as much time as Terry Allen got, we need to win/compete now. Mangino had us in a bowl his second year, Gill...

11 years, 1 month ago

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Sam Constance

Again with this faulty reasoning.

The ship to "save" ourselves for realignment sailed. And I'm not talking about it having sailed 2 years ago when we fired Mangino. I'm talking about--it sailed decades ago, when KU did not establish itself as a football power.

Given our 3 million people in state, being a bonafide football powerhouse (a la Nebraska) was the only way this current realignment talk was going to be favorable to KU. And a handful of quality years wasn't going to erase a long-term perception on the part of most non-KU fans, nor the reality of our state's viability as a media market.

Firing Gill is not going to make one bit of difference for our football program in terms of realignment, and our athletic department is as strong as any in the country overall, given the thriving nature of the basketball program.

PS--I'm tired of the treatment of Mangino like he was some amazing football coach. He was an okay coach who happened to have the cards fall just right in one year, and was mediocre the rest, including a completely dismal performance in his final year, when he still had a great number of talented players. And he left us with the players that Gill is trying to mold into a competitive team. Mangino deserves just as much blame for the current state of affairs as Gill.

11 years, 1 month ago

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MichaelC

Matt - great article. I'm a KU fan/grad who doesn't want to see a coaching carousel force us to rebuild every 24 months. You recognized that people are calling for Gill's job and wrote a pretty balanced view outlining that. I appreciate it and I feel like the people claiming you're trying to get someone fired must have read a different newspaper.

Thanks - good stuff.

And personally I hope they keep Gill for at least another full season after this. People quickly forget that Mangino's last team had 10x the talent of this team and still lost it's last 7 games. No one in the country comes in and wins immediately in that situation.

11 years, 1 month ago

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johnnyhrdwd

Because we had him signed to guaranteed five year contract, so we were trying to remain optimistic. Mangino started with the barest cupboard you can get. Remember when Kstate kicks us like a dog it cost us $200,000.00 for the coach to stand on the sideline.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Pbbut

This article is probably as realistic as it gets. We've been "rebuilding" forever and have never found the right guy. We might have with Mason or Fambrough if we had upgraded the facilities like we did when Perkins arrived. I want Gill to be the right guy. I'm sure he's upgrading the talent, but the results are beyond disappointing. How do you give up rushing and passing records within weeks of each other. You should be able to do one thing right.
Another problem this generates is the lack of support. Unless there is consistent winning or at least staying competitive, people don't stay interested. The most telling statistic in your article are the small numbers in the Twitter and Facebook sites, many KU football followers are apathetic.
Regardless of outcomes, I don't see him gone after this year. I think he gets at least one more year, the incoming talent will continue to get better, but will it translate to on-field results? Personally, I'm skeptical. I see nothing on the field or in development that will result in a Big 12 quality defensive line.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Paul Rupp

Hire a D Coordinator.

11 years, 1 month ago

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ejlumus

Matt, I would like to see an indepth article on special teams and delay of the game penalties compared to other teams in the Big 12 and the 2007 team. This would guve everyone an indication of the football teams progress. Thanks,

11 years, 1 month ago

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5DecadeHawk

Matt:

Your article is intentionally distorting the facts.

You wrote:
"Look at the facts. The natives already are getting restless. Two web sites devoted to getting rid of Gill have been created in less than two years. That’s full-fledged web sites, not just message board threads or Twitter posts. Counting all of those could take days.

You’ve got FireTurnerGill .com and fireturnergill.net."

That is a distortion and you know it.

Fireturnergill .com was created October 8, 2009. While that is withing the 2 year window you state, Turner Gill was not even hired as KU Football Coach at that time. It dates back to his Buffalo days. On October 8, 2009, KU had a 5-0 record. Mangino hadn't even started his disasterous season ending 7 game losing streak yet when the website was created.

I believe you knew it was a distortion because you looked up the date. Why else would you have chosen your "2 year" window when Turner Gill has not been coach at KU for 2 years?

Trying to tie that website to KU "natives" getting restless is an intentional distortion on your part.

I encourage everyone to confirm this by researching the domain name history.

Matt, please don't become Tom Keegan and start writing garbage. Please do your homework like a real reporter should. Get your facts correct, and don't become a sleazebag that twists half facts into full lies.

If you cannot be honest with your readers, you might as well just write for the National Enquirer.

11 years, 1 month ago

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5DecadeHawk

What's the matter Matt?

No response?

No retraction?

No correction?

No, "oops, I made a mistake. Sorry about that."

Please explain why KU "natives" would create a fireturnergill .com website on October 8, 2009 when KU was 5-0 and ranked #17 in the Associated Press football poll at that time?

Seriously. Please explain that to everyone.

I'd like to understand your logic for saying that.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Matt Tait

You're entitled to state your opinion and I didn't realize you were looking for/needing me to comment on it.

You're also incorrect in calling it an intentional distortion of the facts on my part.

Please take a look at the link below. It's from the web site fireturnergill.com and it refers to him being the head coach at KANSAS. Regardless of who started the site, or when, it obviously continued over to his time at KU. Right or wrong.

http://www.fireturnergill.com/Why_Fir...

Thanks for reading and adding to the discussion.

11 years, 1 month ago

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blackhawkjayhawk

It's important for all KU fans - starting with me - to try and treat TG with the same respect we would hope to receive if we were in his situation. In fact, it might be more illuminating to have a discussion without using anyone's name.

Looking at it objectively, then, the results have included an opening loss last year that ranks up with some of the worst in program history, some record-setting losses this year and some humiliating ones last year.

To truly evaluate the coaching performance and to evaluate whether a change needs to be made, someone needs to analyze a few factors:

-How bare was the cupboard? There is an answer to this question.
-How do the first two years compare with the first two years of other coaches going into the same sort of predicament? You can't use Snyder, he has proven himself to be one of the all-time greats. Are there three or four other, recent scenarios that mimic ours? What happened in the third year?
-Is help on the way? How many scholarships are available to give and what do we have coming back?

If the answers to these questions don't paint a better picture. Then you must pull the plug after the OU game so that you can get a jump on other programs who will be hiring. You need an excuse for the blowout at home against the purple plague and this is the perfect excuse.

The best person for the program? June Jones, hands down. If you can get him. He's already done it twice, he would inherit some good offensive talent and maybe he's up for the challenge of a lifetime in a BCS conference?

11 years, 1 month ago

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TenaciousD

Being an out-of-town Jayhawk, it is embarrassing for ME to watch and listen to many of the in-town (KC area) Jayhawks. There is sooo much over-reacting going on. Just because some of you work with KState or Missouri fans doesn't mean you need to go around like chicken little!

Most of you Gill haters on this site sound like little girls... actually worse than that. Good grief. Grow some nads, take the pain and get through it. Everyone knew this was going to take time. Last time I checked, KU is not the kind of football program that can go out and hire a PROVEN top-notch coach.

11 years, 1 month ago

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loudog

Two words: Tommy. Tuberville. Proven top-notch coach, and let it be known that he would've loved to coach KU before Perkins pulled the trigger on the Gill hiring.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Phoghorn

I would not have minded having Tuberville. That being said, I have not seen any hard evidence that he wanted to come here - I have even tried to find it. Do you have a source that says he wanted to come? I am not trying to troll, I just want to see a source that he was interested.

11 years, 1 month ago

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nuleafjhawk

Since you are the voice of reason - at exactly what point do YOU call it over-reacting? When we get beat 100 - 0? Or is that still within reason?

Is it OK that we're being ridiculed on ESPN, or will you not take it personally until it is announced on ALL the major networks?

If anything, there is a lot of UNDER-reacting going on. Someone needs to do something pretty quick before KU is permanently etched in stone as the all time laughingstock of college football.

11 years, 1 month ago

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justinryman

I said it last week, and still agree with myself, that I like Turner Gill, and think somewhere that he is a good Division 1 college coach, BUT, I think this job is too hard for anyone to take it to where people want it.

No you ca't fire a guy after two years, well sure you can, but you shouldn't. A college coach needs to time to get "his" players in "his" system. Look for all you Mangino lovers out there, and you know whatI liked what he did at KU, but he lost his last 7 games, and when he left a very talented offense left with him with loads of talent on it. But the Defense he had and the one he left were nowhere where they were for the magical Orange Bowl run. And lets face it, that offense one more games than the D did that year.

And, if KU does fire Gill, or they find a way to say he's leaving on his own, who, just who does Kansas get to be their head football coach? Lets face it it's not going to be a top tier guy. And for all of those who wanted Tuberville, just cause he was out of work and begging to be on every open list, face it he isn't that good of a coach.

Tuberville walked into Tech with a good team and barely made it to a bowl game, he already had the NCAA investigating him while at Tech, do you want that cloud over the program?? And lets face it besides their win of KU this year, they are a terrible team.

So again I will ask, who will be the coach at Kansas if it's not Gill?

11 years, 1 month ago

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jgkojak

The only way it makes sense to buy out Gill is if KU goes all-out and brings in such a big name that the stands are filled the entire next season.

Not sure who that would be.

By the way... I got Roy's book cheap at Borders closing and read it...

One of the things that drove him away was that he and Terry Allen were good friends and he felt Allen was treated poorly by the Administration.

I think Coach Self really likes Coach Gill...

11 years, 1 month ago

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johnnyhrdwd

Roy Williams=zero national championships at KU, I'll take Bill Self he's willing to recruit out of Carolina's territory.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Steve Bunch

I'll throw out my annual suggestion. Get rid of football. Honor the current scholarships. Fill the stadium with water and stage mock sea battles. It could be like NASCAR, with different ships sporting sponsor regalia on their sails. It would give us inlanders something we've never experienced. I could see Phoenicians vs. Greeks, a reenactment of the Spanish Armada. It could be tied into the history and military science curricula. It would bring spectators from throughout the region because no one else is doing it.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Phoghorn

Phone: Rrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggg

Highly Regarded Coach: Hello, this is Coach X speaking.

AD Zenger: Hey, we just fired Coach Gill after 1.5 years and we are looking for a new coach.

HRC: What are the terms?

Z: Well, we have a historically terrible program, an apathetic student body that leaves at halftime, and you will have to win at Austin, Norman, and Stillwater. We will give you two years to win a bowl game, or you will be fired too. We can't pay much because we are still paying off Perkins, Mangino, and Gill.

HRC: Well, umm...

Z: We were kinda hoping you would do it for maybe 1 dollar per game with a bonus 50 cents if you win.

HRC: Well, umm...

Z: Care to leave your highly regarded program to come here? It is only a two-year commitment before we run you out of town for losing in Austin. Surely this is preferable to your job as coach of a perennial bowl winner. Yes?

(click)

Z: HRC? HRC? Did we get disconnected? Can you hear me now?

11 years, 1 month ago

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Michael Maris

After listening to the game on the radio (via computer), I refrained from making any emontional comments this past weekend. Am I pissed, yes I am. However, I do NOT believe that S. Zenger will fire Coach Gill after this season is over. KU Football will still owe $6,000,000.00 to Coach Gill (for not even being on the sidelines).

Gill talks about recruiting being a priority, Coach Gill needs to personally recruit Randy Shannon to KU to run the Defensive side of the ball.

Obviously, the defense is the main problem with Jayhawk's Football team. I seen someone post (either on this site or RockChalkTalk this past weekend) about KU not even being mentioned on Juco kids. Well, I went and looked at only DT's in the Juco Ranks (via Rivals.com website). KU was on the list for 3 Juco DT's.

The Highschool DT's that I wanted KU to get in on, won't even give KU a sniff. Ondre Pipkins and another kid in the Chicago area. At one time, Rivals.com displayed that the kid in Chicagoland was very high on KU. But now, the kid committed to U. of Illinois - Urbana - Champaign.

If it is truly about playing time. Then, you would like to think that KU would be very high on their list. I understand that kids want to play for a winner. But, the key is trying to sell the idea that KU is working on building a program. Afterall, how did Glenn Mason get Dana Stubblefield, Gilbert Brown and Chris Maumalanga to buy into coming to Kansas (back in the late 80's early 90's). KU lost out last season on Monte Couch, who chose to play for U. of Tennessee. Couch is a back-up for UT. He plays, but I do not see his name displayed as a Starter for U.T. (when the game begins).

Ondre Pipkin in their own backyard (as well as Missouri and K-State's Backyard). I'm sorry, Gill started out making the most money ever paid for a 1st Year Head Coach in the University of Kansas Football Program. I'm pretty sure that other people are like me, they expect to see results in the Recruiting Trails. You might want to share some of that $$$$$$$$$$$$$ and hire Randy Shannon to run your defensive side of the ball. Perhaps, Ondre Pipkins would then change his mind and stay home.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Michael Maris

Initially, we KU fans did see recruiting results. We see that Brandon Bourbon was a nice last day steal from Stanford. Darrian Miller is a nice grab. As well, Missouri had Tony Pierson committed to them in his Junior Season. Yet Pierson changed his mind and committed to Kansas (probably due to the fact that Pierson seen that he would get instant playing time as KU).

If the Offense was allowed to be on the field for more minutes, then the offensive numbers would be better (for KU), as well as the defensive numbers.

So, KU needs to address the Defensive side of the ball in the 2011 / 2012 recruiting trail.

I seen another guy post that Turner Gill is good friends with Randy Shannon (on JayHawk RockChalkTalk). I have NO idea if that is true (or not). But, I would be totally in favor of Randy Shannon being hired to run the Jayhawks Defensive Staff. Just like Gill giving Chuck Long a chance to get his coaching career back on track. Coach Gill, could do the same for Randy Shannon. Let Long and Shannon do the dirty work and Coach Gill can be the CEO.

The Season is NOT over (officially). But, we have to see if Gill, Reggie Mitchell and staff are going to pull off anymore recruiting coups (before the National Signing day). KU does NOT have as many Schollies to offer for the upcoming National Signing Day period.

Gill is NOT going to make any changes (in the middle of the season) to add a new DC. I would higly advocate that Randy Shannon be considered for the DC job.

I truely felt like we KU fans were back in the 1980's when Coach Val, etc..... were running the KU Football Program.

11 years, 1 month ago

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johnnyhrdwd

Hey Randy, think your career is over, come work for me and I'll make sure you never work again, pretty sure nobody is gonna board this ship.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Marcia Parsons

A lot of people like Coach Gill, but there is no chance Coach Self would walk away because Gill got fired. Roy was just describing one of the reasons he was dissatisfied with the administration, and maybe one more excuse to justify his leaving. As for hiring a coach "with such a big name", lots of luck finding one who would be willing to come to a school where instant success is demanded. Gill has built offense this year, which leaves the defense where it was last year minus seniors. A new coach, even a new defensive coach, would still be working with the same players.

11 years, 1 month ago

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hawksfan08

Matt, I'm with you in that I think a new coach deserves 4-5 years. It takes time to get players in that can play your system. But where do you draw the line on that and say this just won't ever work. We're looking at a historically bad defense here. However, it clearly hasn't taken that long for the Turner to get offensive players that can play Long's system. So why the issue on defense? Sure we've played good offenses all year but I refuse to believe that our defense lacks talent to this extent. They just look so overmatched and confused. Look at McDougald who was supposed to be a burner at the WR position. He routinely gets outran. At some point it comes back to coaching, whether you can recruit or not, and right now I have no faith in the coaching.

Is it possible to fire Shealy and bring in a new D-coordinator?

11 years, 1 month ago

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FLJHK

Matt, I think your analysis is totally on-target. It is an extremely difficult situation, and I see little reason to suggest that will change anytime soon.

It seems apparent to me that the administration is wavering on the situation. Obviously they know of the discontent amongst the masses, otherwise it would certainly seem that they would make some sort of public statement backing their coach who is in only the second year of a 5-year guaranteed contract. I'm sure Coach Gill would appreciate some public show of support from his superiors. That he is not getting it speaks loudly.

It certainly looks like a situation without much prospect of a good outcome. Like most everyone, I would be happiest if Coach Gill could turn this thing around, but also like what seems to be most, that just isn't feeling very likely.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Granitestatah

This is my first post on here for a reason, I feel too many on this board come on here and make blatantly emotional declarations as some sort of rambling catharsis rather than a thought out logical response. Too many of the Gill bashers sound like bumbling politicians attempting to defend their illogical and hypocritical positions when attempting to blurt anything more than “He must go”. When if you only take a second to gather your thoughts you can do much better by laying out the facts as to why he must leave.

To wit:

1. He has no track record for success. Even in the middling MAC he was a mediocre coach with a below .500 record who parlayed one decent season into becoming one of the highest paid coaches in the country. Even in that one shining season he merely took advantage of a down year in a bad conference to capture the mantle as MAC league champs. He now makes more money than many coaches who have played in BCS bowl games. (see Dantonio, Mark)

2. The man that knows him the best, his surrogate father Tom Obsorne, has passed him over for promotions on several occasions. Pappi Osborne never promoted his former All-American and loyal coaching soldier above a low level assistant and passed him over twice for head coaching positions even though he was incredibly popular with the fan base. People forget that he was never even a coordinator before taking the job with Buffalo. When a salesman tries to sell you a product that he won’t buy himself (Osborne gave Perkins a ringing endorsement), that should be a red flag.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Michael Maris

So, when former AD Bob Fredericks received the call from Coach Smith at UNC-Chapel Hill. Mr. Fredericks should've just laughed and said ''Thanks Coach Smith, but NO thanks'' on the recommendation of hiring an Assistant Coach with No (I'm Saying No Head Coaching Experienece at all).

By the way, former AD Bob Fredericks was an AD at what former University (before taking the job at Kansas)? Oh yeah, that is right. Illinois State University.

11 years, 1 month ago

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justinryman

Please know facts when rambling on. He was only up for the Nebraska job once, and only once and that time they gave it to Bo Pelini.

When TO retired after the '97 season he appointed Frank Solich, Solich plyed at Nebraska and was a loyal assistant to TO. Then when they hire Steve Pederson to be the AD he fired Solich and hired his own man Callahan. Then when Pederson was fired by Harvey Pearlman and TO took over he interviewed TG and BP. He wanted NU to go in a defensive direction as the offense was already there with what Callahan had done. So he went with Pelini over Gill.

So as you said at the start of your post, "When if you only take a second to gather your thoughts you can do much better by laying out the facts as to why he must leave."

You sir did not get your facts straight on your commentabout him being passed over several times by TO. There was only one occasion, not 2.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Granitestatah

3. The belief that he is some sort of recruiting wunderkid is a myth. If you look into Nebraska’s recruiting classes while he was there, you will see that they were nothing special. Even at a school with the history and prestige of Nebraska, and while they were competing for major bowls, they only managed to land a handful of truly elite prospects. His recruiting classes at Kansas have been decent but I wouldn’t say they are otherworldly, especially if you factor in the new coach bump (see Ron Prince). Mangino’s last year he had three four stars lined up in Keeston Terry, Bradley MacDougald and Geneo Grissom.

4. The help is not coming. I have heard plenty of Gill supporters on these message boards talk about the improvement of the offense and to wait while the defense catches up, and that the players need time to mature and develop. That is true of any young talent but Gill has recruited the offensive side to the detriment of the defense. If you glance at his first full recruiting class you will see that while he inked 26 recruits he only signed I believe 3 that were defensive lineman and he only has one committed for next year. In my opinion the above theory would hold water if Gill had recruited a surplus of defensive recruits and was merely waiting on his investment to pay off, but there was too little investment to begin with. Add into this the fact that el cunado de mio, is an assistant with the BCC grizzlies down in El Dorado. The same BCC grizzlies who have the stoutest defense in the nation and whose strength is their indomitable defensive line. He told me that they have recruiters from all over the country beating down their door to talk to these guys. They are receiving mail with zip codes from Alabama, Georgia, Florida and others (and of course a ton of mail from Manhattan). Yet there is one team within the states borders who hasn’t so much as sniffed around. He told me that it is unfathomable to him that while we are fielding a defense that would make Tim Tibesar blush, we aren’t the least bit interested in guys that could plug in and play right away. We are talking about a defensive line that through one 3 game stretch allowed 9 positive yards on 90 carries!! Are you telling me these guys are good enough to play at major schools in the SEC but not at KU?

As any good psychologist will tell you, the greatest indicator of future behavior is past behavior. What in Gill’s track record suggests to you that he will turn this around?

11 years, 1 month ago

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Kevin Randell

Matt, really great...and tough article for you. I agree....it's gut check time for the players. I know we are not going to beat teams like OU/OSU/and Texas, but we should at least be competitive. My opinion is this.....after the OU game take a good long deep look at this coach. If we don't at least become competitive and continue with the same ho hum attitude then I say we make a change at the end of the season. If there is some degree of improvement then make recruiting defense and GET an actually defensive coordinator in here to see what can happy. Then, at the end of the 3 year...if there is no change....it will be time to cut bait.

I hate losing like we have, and making that 3 and a half hour drive each home game to watch us lay flat out and lose. I want to see fire in these boys....because when it comes down to it....they are basically playing their coach out of a job. All excuses aside....there is NO excuse for the poor tackling and giving up attitude I have seen. If the current starts don't want to step up...I say scratch the red shirt and play the boys who want to play!!!

11 years, 1 month ago

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Phoggin_Loud

This pretty much sums it up:

http://www.ncaa.com/stats/football/fb...

No where to go but up.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Granitestatah

By the way, as far as replacements go I would take Venerables, Fedora (Southern Miss) and Doeren (NIU) in that order. All could be had for less than Gill makes now.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Michael Maris

Oh hell, don't mention Coach Doeren. He is coaching in the MAC (as well). He doesn't even have 1 full season of head coaching experience in the MAC. He took over for Coach Jerry Kill (another coach from the State of Kansas).

You probably will take a beating from Ahperse, Mangin00holtz, etc..........

11 years, 1 month ago

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Cora Smith

No Defensive Coordinator worth anything would come in knowing that the head coach could be fired at the end of the season and he would be out, also. You would have to hire a head coach in waiting and the big names won't do that either. It is all or nothing with the coaches. The mistake was he did not retain any coaches from the Mangino staff and there were several who could have helped. This is a complex problem that is an embarrassment to the faithful. The odds are long no matter what is done.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Pitthawk34

Additionally I think the list of defensive coaches may be limited anyway knowing they cannot say a cuss words at practice and have to spoon feed the players. Defensive coaches are a whole different breed compared to offensive coaches. Gill will not be fired this year. He will for sure be given 3 years. If there is no significant progress made next year he will be done. Seriously what coach would want to come knowing that Gill was fired only after 2 years.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Michael Maris

Course, Ole Roy ''Boy'' Williams never cussed either (until Jason King's book came out).

I would love to be at the KU Football Practices for a week, just to hear the coaches and what they yell at the players (during the heat of practices). Hard for me to believe that all of the KU football coaches are NOT saying some cuss words during the practices.

If Gill's team continues to flounder the rest of the year and into next year (as it has been heading). Changes will be made (I have no doubt). Then, we will see how dedicated Sheahon Zenger is to improving the footlball program at the University of Kansas.

We will soon see if the bashers get their wishes in running the show in the KU Athletic Dept.

I will say this, KU has now shown that they are willing to pay $2,000,000.00 a season for a Head Football Coach. BGL had to have approved Lew Perkins offering that contract to Coach Gill.

So, Sheahon, you better get your $2,000,000.00 worth and be very willing to commit alot more $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ to the Football Program.

Otherwise, KU might as well rehire Lew Perkins and let finish off killing the 2nd NCAA Football Program in the State of Kansas (like he did at Wichita State back in the '80's). Then, Kansas can join the Missouri Valley Conference and be forced to play the Shockers each season (2 times if not 3 in the MVC Tournament).

11 years, 1 month ago

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Eric Harrison

Exactly!
We were dealt a bad hand with no DLine then compounded that with injuries, the loss of our D-coordinator at way too late of a juncture to get anyone great.
But we'll be dealt another bad hand because even if you hired Kirby Smart, Bud Foster, Todd Grantham or Brett Venebales and paid him $1mil to be our DC ... why would they come when, likely, if they don't work a miracle in their 1st year they would be cleaned out with HCTG after 1 season.
I wish one of those 3 could be 'coach in waiting' but at that point with a 3rd year, 49 year young head coach why not just fire him bc success means you are just paying a TON for coaches (which is easier said than done at a school in the state of Kansas).

11 years, 1 month ago

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Douglas Creelman

No I haven't read all the posts, so I ask this question with some trepidation. How is Gill at recruiting? I was at KU during the Mason years and he did recruit well. Mangino recruited well, just was a bit psycho it seems. I haven't heard anything about Gill's ability to sign the upper level kids needed to turn a program around. Anyone got stats on Gills recruiting ability?

11 years, 1 month ago

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Eric Harrison

Gill's recruiting is slightly better than Mangino's and it's the main focal point for those who say 'give him time'.
BUT it's not like he is Ed Ogeron (top 15) in terms of recruiting who was picking up top 50 players in each of his classes (which allowed Houston Nutt to look good for a couple of years, where he now does not). Given the number of players we signed last year, we should have had a high 'ranking' recruiting class and while the 31st (or whatever) ranked recruiting class is good, it isn't a 'this team is so talented, just wait till they mature' type of NFL talent like Ole Miss was.
So there definitely is pro-con argument going on amongst the fan base. The issues is that posters on this site generally are more 'die-hard' than average and those average fans are clearing out in droves (attendance is falling as quick as the opponents points are rising).
I think we have to give him this season to somewhat right the ship but a season of beatings and giving up should cost him his job bc he hasn't shown anything (yet) that he deserves to be a head coach at the BCS level (most of the Big12 has top 30 recruiting classes so you aren't out-talenting anyone).

11 years, 1 month ago

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Steve Corder

Tait's not trying to fire anyone, and KU is not going to fire Gill this season or next....mark it!

11 years, 1 month ago

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Tony Bandle

Recap of rational uggestions by the posters:

1] Hire the best possible defensive coordinator and let him bring in his own position coaches [ A lot cheaper than dumping coach Gill]

2] Evaluate the entire defensive unit and put in place the most cover friendly defense possible, The Cover 2...always keep the play in front of you....at least slow down the scoring.

3] Blitz the quarterback...pressure is the best defense when under-manned.

4] On offense, go heavy to the ground game. Eat up time, grind out yardage, minimize the time the defense is on the field.

5] Simplify the playbook on both sides of the ball.

6] Intentionally knock out the best player on each team..It's worth the 15 yard penalty.[Actually, I don't mean it..but it felt good to type!! :) ]

7] Have all the coaches show passion, fire and get angry and yell once in a while.

8] Play the Knute Rockne speech, the Vince Lombardi speech and the General George Patton speech in the locker room before every game.

9] Change our mascot from the Jayhawk to the Jay-Rex and have a live one on the sidelines.behind the visitors bench.

10] Suggestions #6, #8 and #9 listed for fun.....the rest are dead serious!!

11 years, 1 month ago

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Michael Maris

I'm still wondering how the heck that Fullback is supposed to make it to the NFL, if he is Never Used.

Good luck Nick Sizemore.

11 years, 1 month ago

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nocaljayhawk

FIRE TURNER GILL!
Admit a giant error and cut the losses, KU. This guy is an embarassment.

11 years, 1 month ago

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ahpersecoachingexperience

Tair your headline should have a "!" not a "?"

11 years, 1 month ago

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nocaljayhawk

KU has allowed 181 pts in its last three FOOTBALL games. Bill Self's basketball teams give up fewer points per game.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Andrew Bary

Not that it will happen, but stomp Mizzou and all will be forgiven for the next season. We could go 3-9 but as long as that last win comes against the Tigers, Gill will be staying.

11 years, 1 month ago

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iluvdbskxjayhawks

i totally agree! mizzou is getting on my nerves nowadays. I never hated them so much until now.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Jeff Coffman

To all of you Turner Gill Apologetics (Which clearly I am not). I think there has been the belief that we hate HCTG because he took MM spot and that MM was removed because he was unfairly released from his contract (paid out). Although there are a lot of thoughts like that and from the posts I think you know some people strongly feel that way. However, the real problem that we have with HCTG is that in the introduction in the joining of TG to the Jayhawk family the fans were told this was to elevate us to the next level, to build on what MM had begun.

All of us know that MM had some real good years and some very poor years. We know that in half of the seasons he coached he got us to a bowl game (winning 3). I realize that the numbers were skewed in favor against wins in the North not in the South; however, when we played the teams from the South there was the belief that we would win.

So with the thought he was to "take us to the next level" (quote from his intro), did any of us ever believe that to be the case? I think some of us were hopeful, after the first game of his KU tenure, he lost and so did KU. A lot of us realized the error at that point in time. However, with a follow-up win to an overhyped GT team led us to believe. The rest of the season played out worse than we could have imagined with the only win coming to a Colorado team that blew us out, and they had mailed it in, thinking the game was over...somehow KU pulled off a miracle and again the false hope in HCTG came again. Lopsided losses again piled up and the hype of a big recruiting class made us think big again. But again a few of the biggest names never even made it to camp, but promises of speed and improved players were brought to our hope.

The 2011 season starts and we come with fire to beat MSU 21-3 only to realize that in the second half it was 21-21. Against NIU we needed a last second play to win (bringing false hope again). Than we woke up. The next three show that our defense isn't even worth calling it a defense. The sad thing is, we have only heard that we are simplifying the defense to make it easier for our players. Than we decided that we are going to change it to a one word scenario to make it even easier. Let me make it easy for the coaching staff. 8 possessions - 8 touchdowns (7 possessions 1st string, 1 possession 2nd string) that was the first half. The second half wasn't much better and that was their 2nd/3rd string offense.

We might have to live with HCTG for 3 more years, but that doesn't mean we have to like it.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Jeff Coffman

I've pointed out that HCTG is the 21st highest paid coach, who received a $100k in bonus money last year. He is paid more than Jimbo Fisher, Steve Sperrier, Tommy Tubberville. All I have to say is there were proven coaches available and we were able to pay top dollar for coaches. The fact of the matter is, he hasn't proven himself. He was making about $500k with Buffalo and we chose to quadruple his pay to give him the opportunity to coach in the Big XII, why did we pay that much? And why isn't he being held responsible. I think it is time for him to paint it how it is, and either make changes or remove himself.

I do believe that if he were to leave, he would be negotiated less than the full $2mm/year.

Anyways, someday I'll speculate on who we should get, but defensive minded would be ideal.

11 years, 1 month ago

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JayDocMD

So Mike Stoops was just fired as Arizona HC. This has spawned my latest pipe dream, and I think you know where I'm going with this... line him up for DC. Sure, there are plenty of reasons why he won't do it - but I don't want to hear it. Let's get it done.

Side note: It looks like disgruntled AZ fans have already infiltrated Wikipedia. Here's the latest update (sure to be soon removed) - check out the next to last sentence:

"2011 season
The Wildcats started the 2011 season losing 5 of their six games, and their first four games in the newly-expanded Pac-12 Conference. After a loss on the road to previously-winless Oregon State, Stoops was relieved of his duties on Oct 10, 2011. Tim Kish was named as interim head coach. Stoops has elected to remain in the employ of the University as head of custodial services and toilet cleaning, as well as glory hole closing. He will receive a $45 million dollar buyout."

11 years, 1 month ago

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iluvdbskxjayhawks

lol. they used to be good. what happen to them?

11 years, 1 month ago

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Joe Ross

Loyalty is not always a good thing. Loyalty to a failed coaching strategy that doesn't produce wins as in the case of Turner Gill, for one example. Loyalty to a false hope in Turner Gill's coaching success as in the case of some Kansas fans, for another. People should only be loyal to that which justifies their loyalty.

Fire Turner Gill.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Josh Kuntz

hey it sucks now but take into account all the bad news since the spring and since t.g. got here.....give it some time. did bill snyder turn it around in year 2? no and they were pretty bad. i also remember people wanting self out of town in year 2. give it time....i would like to see you guys in gill's shoe's......year 3 or 4 then make your judgments.

11 years, 1 month ago

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droppinplates

The answer to your question is "YES", Bill Snyder did turn it around in year two. They are 5-0 and a Top 25 team in Snyders second year with mostly Prince's players! Where have you been? And there is no comparision to Gill in his second year and Self in his second year. Put down the crack pipe!

11 years, 1 month ago

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Laurence Cooley

I know that I have been one of the main guys that say "support the team, not just the coach" and i am still on that bandwagon, but the last three games have been painful to watch. the offense can score and thats great, but the defense just always seems out of position. and that is our guys getting out coached. i still say give him the rest of the season, but we need to atleast match last year's win total.

11 years, 1 month ago

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Noweigh

Mangino brought the program to the highest level it had ever achieved. Winning three of four bowl games, including the incredible Orange Bowl year. the Hawks did lay an egg in going 5-7 but the program was clearly head and shoulders above anywhere it had been in years past. Then the vague, never fully quantified, highly personal witch hunt that lead to his dismissal. That process alone was the start of this most recent embarrassing period of KU football. We're now bombed back into the bad ol' days of "wait til basketball" again. Yes, this has all been said before but there is absolulely no reason we should be in the football basement again. It will be a sea of red at Memorial Stadium this weekend and a sea of purple the next week.
Gill's a good person but not the coach to keep us at the level we had finally attained. Big donor money is there to buy out Gill, cut the losses, get a serious Div. 1 coach in here and let's start winning again!

11 years, 1 month ago

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Maracas

I still can't believe Lew Perkins gave a guy like Gill a $10M guaranteed contract. He had to have been flipping the bird to KU. Perkins should be sued by KU for malfeasance. Let Perkins pay for Gill's contract buyout.

11 years, 1 month ago

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TKHAWK

Lots of really good points on this issue. Here's just a thought to lighten the mood though: Who's season will be the bigger disappointment, KU or MU?

I expected KU to be 2-3 at this point. And I expected them to be 2-4 after next week.

I did not expect MU to be 2-3. Having said that, I've watched their games, they are better than us, but not by much. Their defense definitely better, but their young QB plays like a young QB. I anticipate at best MU comes into the game at Arrowhead with 4 wins (I predict ISU and TT only becuase the TT game is in Columbia). That means even IF the Tigers beat us, that's 5 wins at best and does not gain them bowl eligiblity. Not to mention, I think we have an honest chance.

I know everyone's upset with the margains we are getting beat by, but our offense is much improved, our defense needs deapth but that will come. I think Gill's record is the same after a year and a half as even the Great Bob Stoop's record would be if he had taken the job a year ago. But believe me, I do share everyone's frustration.

But as you're being frustrated, just remember that MU, the team that wants to go to the SEC, is not even going to make it to a bowl this year. And believe it or not, there will be MU alumn that want to get rid of Pinkle, not a majority, but some. And based on expectations, I believe MU alumns will be much more unhappy at then end of the season than KU alumns.

It makes me feel a little better anyway!
Rock Chalk!

11 years, 1 month ago

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TKHAWK

Lots of really good points on this issue. Here's just a thought to lighten the mood though: Who's season will be the bigger disappointment, KU or MU?

I expected KU to be 2-3 at this point. And I expected them to be 2-4 after next week.

I did not expect MU to be 2-3. Having said that, I've watched their games, they are better than us, but not by much. Their defense definitely better, but their young QB plays like a young QB. I anticipate at best MU comes into the game at Arrowhead with 4 wins (I predict ISU and TT only becuase the TT game is in Columbia). That means even IF the Tigers beat us, that's 5 wins at best and does not gain them bowl eligiblity. Not to mention, I think we have an honest chance.

I know everyone's upset with the margains we are getting beat by, but our offense is much improved, our defense needs deapth but that will come. I think Gill's record is the same after a year and a half as even the Great Bob Stoop's record would be if he had taken the job a year ago. But believe me, I do share everyone's frustration.

But as you're being frustrated, just remember that MU, the team that wants to go to the SEC, is not even going to make it to a bowl this year. And believe it or not, there will be MU alumn that want to get rid of Pinkle, not a majority, but some. And based on expectations, I believe MU alumns will be much more unhappy at then end of the season than KU alumns.

It makes me feel a little better anyway!
Rock Chalk!

11 years, 1 month ago

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Maracas

Yet MU will still complain that they got left out of a bowl unfairly, what with their exceptional traveling fan base and all.

11 years, 1 month ago

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TKHAWK

In my above comment, one paragraph did not transfer. I merely mentioned that I did not expect MU to be 2-3 at this point, and at best I believe they will come into our game at arrowhead with 4 wins (winning over ISU and TT, only because TT game is in Columbia). That means even IF the Tigers beat us, it will NOT gain them bowl eligibility.

11 years, 1 month ago

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TKHAWK

never mind, now its there. Computers!

11 years, 1 month ago

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Micky Baker

At the beginning of this season I was optimistic about this team being improved, but this is the worst team in Kansas' History. This is the worst coaching staff in Kansas History. This was the biggest mistake in Kansas History.

Zenger, Fire Gill after Saturday's game. Put the NFL experienced Linebacker Coach from the 49'ers as head coach and then he'll tell Shealy what base defense to use or Shealy's gone, and he'll give Shealy an ultimatum, one more game allowing more than 40 points, don't bother showing up the next Monday. Let the rebuild from scratch right now to give these athletic players a chance to have success their last two years at Kansas. If TG is allowed to stay it will be a huge injustice to the players..

11 years, 1 month ago

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TKHAWK

Matt, question for you if you read down this far.

As an outsider looking into a program, I always assume that although I know what I want the coaches to say to the media, it is much less important what they are saying to the media as to what they are saying to the kids. And let's face it, they are young men, but they are college kids. I know the team will always say, "we support coach", but do you get any sort of a sense now in the second season, is Turner getting the most out of these kids? Are they willing to lay it all on the line for the coaches and the school? In my opionion, that's the most important thing. Who cares what I, Joe Fan think. What does the team think?

I know I am asking you to speculate a little here, but I'd just be curious as to maybe how the loyalty feels to this regime as compared to say the Mangino era.

Thanks!

11 years, 1 month ago

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teemvee

Dear Matt, you forgot about this website!

believeingill.webs.com

11 years, 1 month ago

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