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Monday Rewind: K-State

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Kansas head coach Turner Gill watches his team fall to Kansas State from the sidelines during the third quarter, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010 at Kivisto Field.

Kansas head coach Turner Gill watches his team fall to Kansas State from the sidelines during the third quarter, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010 at Kivisto Field. by Nick Krug

Allow me to take you back a few days to Oct. 2, 2010.

My colleagues and I are sitting at Floyd-Casey Stadium, in Waco, Texas, watching the Jayhawks get trounced by Baylor. None of us saw it coming. None of us could believe it was happening — at least not in the way it was happening. And, come on, definitely not to Baylor.

But it was. As the third quarter turned into the fourth and the game turned into even more of a laugher, I looked at one co-worker and said something along the lines of, “That’s it. They won’t win another game. Not playing like this.”

I, of course, was talking about the Kansas University football team and, at the time, I meant it. Kansas looked overmatched, out of sync and overall like a team that just wasn’t ready to compete against Big 12 talent.

The Jayhawks were angry that day and so were many of their fans. But not all was lost. After all, it was a road game, it came against a team on the rise and, perhaps most importantly, the Jayhawks had a bye week ahead, which meant extra time to prepare for Kansas State.

As the days moved along and KU coach Turner Gill continued to talk about his team in a positive light, the tide started to turn. At first I was skeptical but the more I heard from Gill and Co., the more I started to believe that KU could win again this season. When Nebraska reduced Kansas State to a high school JV team in front of a national television audience, my thoughts reached a new high. Not only was I believing again that the Jayhawks could win another game, I was starting to believe that victory was going to come against Kansas State. My colleagues were on board, too, with all but one of us picking the Jayhawks to win last week’s game.

Twelve days after I sat in Waco and proclaimed that the Jayhawks would not win another game this season, I was preparing for the Sunflower Showdown with the firm belief that KU would beat K-State.

Oops.

And here we are again.

I hate making these things about me because, as we all know, I have nothing to do with it. But I chose to do so for this week’s “Rewind” segment because I think the roller coaster ride that I’ve been on lately — as a neutral observer who’s just been doing his job of covering this team — illustrates exactly how crazy things have been for the Jayhawks during Gill’s up-and-down first season.

If even I (and especially even Tom Keegan) came around to believe that KU would win again after the Baylor beating, imagine how the KU players must have felt. I mean, coach Gill was not attempting to lift our spirits after the losses. But he was doing that with his players — in a big way.

However, just by being around it and by hearing the coaches and players talk about how things were going to be different, we found ourselves picking KU over K-State. So, if we believed again, I can only imagine how fired up the Jayhawks were after 12 days off, a bunch of spirited practices and their in-state rivals coming to town.

Obviously, none of that mattered, as KSU punished KU, 59-7, in what was, statistically speaking, the second worst beating in the 108-year history of the Sunflower Showdown.

So where do things go from here?

Well, this week’s opponent, Texas A&M, opened as a 13.5-point favorite over the Jayhawks for this Saturday’s homecoming contest at Memorial Stadium. I don’t know for sure, but I’d say it’s a safe bet that none of the guys I work with — nor many KU fans — will be picking the Jayhawks to knock off the Aggies this week.

However, if Gill, his coaching staff and the team’s leaders are doing their jobs, the Jayhawks will take the field on Saturday with the belief that they’re going to beat A&M.

The question now is: Which shoes are better to be in — ours or theirs?

Comments

CLARKKENT 4 years, 8 months ago

WOW, IF YOU THINK NEBRASKA REDUCED K-STATE TO A HIGH SCHOOL JV TEAM, THEN BAYLOR AND K-STATE MUST HAVE REDUCED KU TO A JR. HIGH JV TEAM.

ALL JOKING ASIDE, I DO NOT BELIEVE KU COULD BEAT A GOOD HIGH SCHOOL TEAM.

Larry Bauerle Jr. 4 years, 8 months ago

On another channel Thursday, Abilene, TX High School was on. I do not believe the Jayhawks could beat them. I don't know how they got this bad this quickly, but the Jayhawks are a really bad football team.

Danimal 4 years, 8 months ago

I'm glad we're paying the coaching staff millions of dollars to field what is unquestionably the worst KU football team in a long time. The most frustrating part is that Gill and his staff inherited a team that wasn't this bad. I don't know how they fix it, but the coaches who are all pulling down at least six figures should already have some answers. It will be interesting to see what KU team shows up Saturday, but I'm betting it'll be the same one we've seen in the Baylor and K State games.

d_prowess 4 years, 8 months ago

How can you say they inherited a team that wasn't this bad?! We have a freshman QB and have lost some of our more experience WR from a team that lost 7 straight conference games to end the season last year!

Danimal 4 years, 8 months ago

Guaranteed if Mangino hadn't been fired these same kids would've beaten North Dakota State and almost certainly Southern Miss. There have been some critical injuries on the offensive line, but it's like this team has forgotten how to play football. I've been watching most of these players since their junior or senior years in high school when KU started recruiting them and almost none of them are playing up to their potential. What I'm saying ultimately, is that this team has regressed and actually gotten worse the longer they've been under Gill's tutelage.

kthxbi 4 years, 8 months ago

KU Football is making me sad. Football was never intended to make anyone sad. They are doing it all wrong.

riverdrifter 4 years, 8 months ago

I jumped all over that 13 1/2 points. Easy money. The Jayhawks look like total crap.

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