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Around the Web in 7 Days: Omaha writer says Gill's on shaky ground


Ten years ago — heck, maybe even five — it probably wouldn’t have gone down this way.

But times have changed, expectations are different and pressure, of both the good and bad variety, can create quite a mess in quite a hurry.

That we’ve seen already with first-year Kansas University football coach Turner Gill.

Though Gill’s time at KU got off to a rocky start, the Jayhawks regrouped quickly and Gill guided his team to an inspiring upset of nationally-ranked Georgia Tech one week after falling to FCS foe, North Dakota State. At the time, the prevailing thought from those around Lawrence was: “Here we go.”

My have times have changed. Three losses and two brutal blowout beatings later — including a 59-7 setback to in-state rival Kansas State last week — Gill finds his name associated with phrases like “fire him” and “buyout” on message boards and in newspapers throughout the area.

Not good.

While those close to the program — both in terms of proximity and familiarity — may be charged up a little by emotion, one place that most certainly is not is the Omaha World-Herald, where longtime writer Lee Barfknecht addressed the topic in his most recent Big 12 blog.

Just so you understand, this isn’t just some out-of-towner writing a tale about something he has no clue about. Barfknecht has known Gill for quite some time. He covered him when the KU coach was a star at Nebraska and has even been down to Lawrence for a game this season. So, though he might not be around for the day-to-day doings of the Jayhawk program, Barfknecht is a guy who has kept a close eye on Gill’s start at Kansas.

I know this blog entry typically is about the upcoming opponent and what the other side is saying about Kansas. But, right now, with the way things are going with the KU program, the ins and outs of each game aren’t nearly as important as the big picture.

For those still interested in following the Jayhawks and what others are saying about this week’s matchup with Texas A&M, listed below are our regular “Around the Web” links regarding Saturday’s homecoming contest.

Robert Cessna of The Eagle in College Station, draws a parallel between two programs making too many mistakes.

Cessna also examines the pressure A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson is facing with his team off to a 3-3 start

Here’s one Jayhawk fans will like; Aggies embarrassed by loss to, of all teams, Missouri.

Austin Meek, of A&M school paper, The Battalion, writes that it’s time for the Aggies to pick up the pieces and move forward

Turner Gill’s not the only coach in the Big 12 feeling the pressure of a slow start. A&M's Mike Sherman also may be on the hot seat.


supersonicf111 7 years, 3 months ago

I’m not delusional, A&M will be 4-3 after this week and the misery will continue for us Jayhawk fans. Hopefully it’s not another severe beating!

Bud Stagg 7 years, 3 months ago

I don't expect wins, however I expect competitive. So far neither the coaches or players have impressed me. I'm not seeing steps to improvement. I'm beginning to see a team that doesn't want to play for it's coach. I have watched Coach Gill on the sidelines, he does very little talking to players, very few "good jobs" or "try harder" comments. Most other coaches are either cheerleaders or chewing butts. I'd take either one at this point.

somedude20 7 years, 3 months ago

This is all the left's fault. Obama and Pelosi are killing everything american! We need more people like Christine O'Donnell and Sarah Palin to lead us back to the glory that was once had by Washington or Lincoln. Gill is failing because of Democrats

(in honor of Mr. Tom)

local_support 7 years, 3 months ago

Personally I blame William Henry Harrison. Man, that was a helluva month.

Graczyk 7 years, 3 months ago

I love Mike Leach, but we can't get him until KU's image problem is rectified. I'm not talking about being a bad football team, I'm talking about the abusive coach, team on team violence, player crime, scandals, etc. Gill was hired because he (rightly, I think) deserved a shot at the big time. His salary, although much higher than he should have received, is a signal that KU is willing to pay for excellence. If Gill can win then he get's to keep it. Otherwise, somebody like Mike Leach is going to be very interested in the job.

I love Mike Leach and his mouth. The man says some funny stuff. His image should be sufficiently rehabbed in a few years that he could be a good hire. On a side note, I can't even look at Craig James anymore. The way he used ESPN as a bully pulpit to railroad Leach because he was offended that his no talent kid didn't get playing time is disgusting.

blindrabbit 7 years, 3 months ago

Never did like Craig James; even before the Texas Tech issue. He (James) has always been arrogant and it is obvious the kid did not have any talent. Leach might be a little rough around the edges; maybe too much so for KU.

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