During the past several weeks, college football coaches have been scouring the country looking for talented high school or junior college players. The recruiting game can be, and is, vicious because coaches know the excellence of their recruiting efforts will determine, to a large degree, the level of success the coaches are likely to enjoy.
Successful coaches earn more money, attract national attention and usually enjoy longer contracts. Losing coaches are at the low end of the pay scale with less job security and less ability to generate alumni and fan interest. Such interest translates into greater ticket sales and revenue, increased school spirit and the likelihood that alumni and friends will be more generous in their private support of the school.
Unfortunately, Kansas University, despite an occasional winning and bowl-eligible team, has not enjoyed sustained success on the football field. Is this due to poor coaches, poor players, poor facilities, lack of interest by senior school officials — or a combination of all those factors?
A recent issue of Forbes magazine carried a story titled, “The Best and Worst College Football Teams for the Money.” The survey was limited to the six automatic-qualifying conferences — Atlantic Coast Conference, American Athletic Conference, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12 and Southeastern Conference — the so-called power conferences.
Guess which team was judged to be the worst in all six conferences.
The Kansas Jayhawks!
The magazine said, “Kansas maintains its stranglehold on the title of worst college football team for the money. The Jayhawks have spent over $8 million per victory, the result of playing in a major conference but winning just six games over the last three seasons.”
Colorado and California join KU as the three worst teams for the money.
The best teams? For the first time in three years, Kansas State is not on top because the Wildcats, only a few miles west of Lawrence, with a smaller budget and smaller enrollment, dropped to the number TWO spot in the national survey.
How embarrassing for Jayhawk fans to have the worst team in the national survey while Kansas State is ranked second “best” after being on top of the ranking for two years.
What can KU fans expect next year? Does the record of KU football teams indicate school officials, athletic directors and fans are comfortable with this embarrassing situation? Otherwise, wouldn’t it be natural to expect students, fans and alumni to demand better performances from the coach and his players?
Consider the possibilities if the KU football team enjoyed the enthusiasm, support and national attention that the KU basketball program receives.
Again, what’s the trouble: poor coaches, poor players, poor athletic directors and/or poor expectations for school administrators? What does it say about the KU athletic program to be listed as the worst football program among all of the automatic-qualifying conferences?