As Kansas University’s football team gets set to enter its second season under head coach Charlie Weis, it seems clear that Weis and his coaching staff have been successful in chipping away at the losing culture that has lingered around the program for the past few seasons.
Despite coming off a 1-11 season and being winless in their past 21 Big 12 Conference games, the Jayhawks once again are starting to believe that winning can take place in Lawrence in a sport other than men’s basketball. Credit Weis for demanding that the players see that and the players themselves for being willing to go after it.
“Part of the problem when you’re in an organization that gets used to losing is (that) losing’s OK,” Weis said. “Losing’s accepted. If you play close to winning, it’s OK. And that’s a pile of garbage. It’s an absolute loser’s mentality.”
During his two years in town, Weis has never shared publicly what his expectations for his teams have been. But he always has said the goals are bigger inside the football complex than they are outside of it. Earlier this week, he dived a little deeper into what he meant.
“I could answer what everyone wants to hear,” he said. “But I’m just telling you every time we go into a game, we better be counting on winning. And if we lose, we lose.... I want to beat South Dakota. Then, next week, I want to go beat Rice. Then I want to come home and beat Louisiana Tech. Then I want to go out recruiting the week after that, then I want to go beat Texas Tech at homecoming. And then let’s go to TCU and see what it’s like if you’re on a little streak and everyone’s starting to get a little juice around here. That’s what I want to do. And they better be thinking the same way.”
Nobody, not even Weis, knows for sure what lies ahead for the 2013 Jayhawks, but Weis is adamant in his belief that there’s only one way to eliminate a culture of losing.
“It’s winning,” he said. “We were 1-11 last year. We’re 0-0 right now. I’d like to think that we’ve made major strides. I’d like to think that, psychologically, we’ve spent a lot of time working in that direction, but it really doesn’t mean anything until you’ve done something.”