Posts tagged with Ku Football
Late Wednesday evening, Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis and offensive line coach Tim Grunhard released a joint statement confirming what we reported earlier in the day.
Grunhard is stepping down after Saturday's game against Kansas State following two seasons in Lawrence as the O-Line coach. Below are the statements from Weis and Grunhard, whom sources told the Journal-World will be replaced by Rice offensive coordinator John Reagan in the near future.
According to the source, Reagan will join the Jayhawks as the O-Line coach and offensive coordinator. Read the link above for more, if you haven't already.
Just wanted to make sure you didn't miss these statements.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
“Tim Grunhard and I had prepared a joint statement concerning his future that we intended to release on Sunday after the Kansas State game. We were trying to avoid being any distraction. Tonight we are releasing the statement.”
“Sunday, Tim Grunhard is stepping down as offensive line coach so he can spend more quality time with his family. We began talking about this a month ago. Next year, all four of his kids will be in the same high school at the same time. Tim and his wife, Sarah, are great parents, but Tim felt it wasn’t fair to put that all on her. We started as friends and that friendship has only grown stronger. I wish Tim and the entire Grunhard family happiness and success.”
“As of Sunday I will be leaving my position as offensive line coach at the University of Kansas. With the time commitment and challenges of major college football, I felt I was being delinquent in my responsibilities to my family. With three kids at Bishop Miege and one more attending next year, the burden was too great for my wife, Sarah, to handle on her own. I would like to thank Coach Weis and the rest of the Kansas football staff for teaching me the valuable lessons of loyalty and due diligence. I plan on continuing my relationship with the KU community that I have grown to love and respect.”
“We have already hired a replacement for Tim. When that coach becomes available we will provide more details.”
KU football coach just wrapped up his final Tuesday press conference of the 2013 season and, as expected, he spent a lot of time hyping up the fact that "It's K-State week!"
Beyond this week's match-up and what he's learned about the rivalry, Weis talked a little about the immediate future beyond Saturday, which, to no one's surprise, will include a heavy dose of time on the road recruiting reinforcements for the returning roster.
Here's a quick look at most of the topics he discussed:
• The updated depth chart lists Montell Cozart as this week's starting quarterback. Weis said it would've been easy to put Jake Heaps on top but he didn't want to risk Cozart going into the tank heading into the offseason and still likes the different dynamic the freshman brings to the field.
• Weis says Thanksgiving is his favorite holiday because of the significance it holds for being a holiday that allows you to reflect on all of the things you're thankful for and all of the blessings you have in your life. He'll encourage his players to really think about that and is doing that himself, too. Even took time to thank the media for doing jobs and covering the team. Genuine moment.
• Weis said this game — 11 a.m. Saturday vs. K-State — is all that matters right now because it gives KU a chance to end the season with a bang and some momentum heading into the offseason. There is no bowl game. This is it for KU. And that's how they're treating this week.
• Big reason K-State is so important: You're not playing just for football team and football program. Playing for fan base and Kansans and would love nothing more than to give fans a chance to go into work or grocery store on Monday in the position to get the last jba.
• Weis says he was never a part of Mizzou rivalry so he doesn't get that one. All his focus goes toward KSU. Says Notre Dame wanted to treat every game like it was the biggest but there it was always USC.
• Weis on K-State taking in walk-ons: I think that's always a mentality that can work and one he likes to do. He's always liked it and he's trying to get it going here at KU, too. Says the approach works well in Kansas... Having guys in state wanting to go to the state university is a great thing.
• As he's said in the past many times, Weis reiterates that he's tried to emulate, not steal, things from what Bill Snyder has done at Kansas State. Looking at how K-State had done it was one of first things he did and one of the biggest things he noticed was the heavy juco influence on Snyder's rosters. Snyder's been able to fill out his roster/lineup with juco guys — sort of picking his spots — as well as anyone in college football.
• Weis says Snyder does not get enough credit for being a brilliant offensive mind. One of best things he does is mess with O-Line splits. One play it'll be a few inches, the next it could be a few feet. Makes it hard on the defensive linemen and also on coaches to find tendencies in K-State offense. Also says Snyder is as good as anyone at power running game with quarterbacks. Not just zone read type guys who try to get to the edge, more like true running backs.
• With a young guy like Montell Cozart, you love 'em up at the end of a bad game, then you hammer 'em in the next day or two and then you love 'em up again. Weis said they're at the start of the second round of loving him up. Weis says Cozart's bad game at Iowa State would be a learning experience but he'd never
• Weis said Tedarian Johnson has been a pleasant surprise and added that Johnson juco teammate Andrew Bolton, who has red-shirted this year to rehab a knee injury also has made great progress academically. Both are equally important and Weis is encouraged by both.
• When asked about previous teams' success running the ball against K-State, Weis said: I just know we're gonna have to play a heck of a lot better than we have recently to have a chance to win the game. Weis also said the loss of safety Ty Zimmerman is significant for KSU. Said KSU has given up fewer points with Zimmerman in there and more points when he's sat out.
• Weis said he'll head out on the road to recruit first thing Sunday following K-State game and he'll be out there until Friday hitting it hard for Class of 2014 commitments.
• Weis said he'll go after some high profile guys and highly ranked guys (mostly juco) at positions of greatest need. Said that should be obvious, which, most likely, puts wide receiver at the top of the list.
• Weis said Nick Harwell has been as good as could be, both as a wide receiver and also as a teammate and member of the community. Even went as far as to say that he's reached the point where he's stopped worrying about him. Seems very pleased about the maturity Harwell has shown.
Despite having four picks different last week, Keegan and I wound up tied after missing two different games each.
Seeing how I correctly picked the KU game and he did not, I lobbied with the ethics board for a bonus game, but to no avail.
So that brings us to our second-to-last week of picks, still all knotted up. If things remain that way after Week 12 (or maybe even if they don't) we may have to break the tie via bowl-game picks, but, for now, we'll move forward as is.
Both of us are feeling a KU victory this week in Ames, Iowa, where the 3-7 Jayhawks take on the 1-9 Cyclones in an environment that figures to seem more fitting of two bowl teams than the ninth and 10th place squads in the Big 12 Conference.
Should be interesting to see what happens. While we wait for kickoff – 7 p.m. tonight at Jack Trice Stadium — here's a look at all of our picks.
Tait: 7-3 in Week 10; 75-25 overall
Keegan: 7-3 in Week 10; 75-25 overall
WEEK 11 GAMES
Kansas at Iowa State
Baylor at Oklahoma State
Oklahoma at Kansas State
Missouri at Mississippi
Texas A&M at LSU
Nebraska at Penn State
Arizona State at UCLA
Wisconsin at Minnesota
Michigan at Iowa
Vanderbilt at Tennessee
Question: Now that Montell Cozart has taken over as KU's starting QB, it seems like a good time to ask which mobile, dual-threat-type quarterback is your favorite of all-time?
Kansas 24, Iowa State 16
Baylor 55, Oklahoma State 35
Oklahoma 31, Kansas State 27
Missouri 27, Mississippi 24
Texas A&M 41, LSU 31
Nebraska 28, Penn State 21
UCLA 33, Arizona State 26
Wisconsin 28, Minnesota 20
Iowa 26, Michigan 24
Tennessee 31, Vanderbilt 20
Answer: Because of the very nature of the position, I pretty much love all of these guys. From Michael Vick and Kordell Stewart to Vince Young and Robert Griffin III, I've always been fascinated by these guys' abilities to get something out of nothing, make throws that no one expects or thinks they can make and fill up highlight reels with mind-blowing runs and big-time plays. But of them all, one guy stands out above all others and it's a name I'd bet none of you are thinking of: Bradlee Van Pelt, Colorado State. During his days at CSU from 2001-03, Van Pelt was so talented, so dynamic and, best yet, so confident. Never one to shy away from sticking his head into trouble, Van Pelt always was the first guy to come up barking whether he had just had his bell rung or not. Those CSU teams were pretty good and Van Pelt was a big reason for it. His senior season, he came within a couple hundred yards of becoming the first college player to throw for 3,000 yards and run for 1,000 yards in the same season. In 2005, Texas' Vince Young achieved the feat, rushing for 1,050 and throwing for 3,036.
Kansas 21, Iowa State 17
Baylor 41, Oklahoma State 28
Oklahoma 28, Kansas State 24
Missouri 31, Mississippi 28
Texas A&M 35, LSU 31
Nebraska 24, Penn State 21
UCLA 31, Arizona State 28
Wisconsin 28, Minnesota 20
Iowa 24, Michigan 21
Tennessee 28, Vanderbilt 24
Answer: Built like a tight end, he ran like a wide receiver and it was so cold at his home games that you could see his breath every fast step of the way. As a minor league pitcher, he was wild but threw nearly 100 mph. After his minor-league manager was promoted to the majors, guy by the name of Tony LaRussa, the big lefty said nobody else believed in his baseball potential as much as LaRussa did. So Bobby Douglass stuck to football and stiff-armed his way to big runs. He threw the long ball well, but didn't know how to take anything off it, which led to some drops on short passes. I don't remember watching Douglass during his KU days, but he was one entertaining guy to watch playing for the Bears.
Former Kansas University running back Jon Cornish, the school's single season rushing leader (1,457 yards in 2006), continues to add to his case as the most decorated professional football player.
Cornish, a native of Canada and standout running back with the Canadian Football League's Calgary Stampeders, on Thursday night won the CFL's Most Outstanding Player and Most Outstanding Canadian awards following yet another stellar season.
Cornish is the first Canadian to win the MOP award since Tony Gabriel in 1978. Russ Jackson, who earned the honor in 1963, 1966 and 1969, is the only other Canadian to be named the league’s top player.
Cornish won his second consecutive rushing title this past season as he ran for 1,813 yards, the fourth-highest total in CFL history. He also led the league and set a new franchise record with 2,157 yards from scrimmage. Cornish led all running backs with an average of 7.0 yards per carry and was tops in the CFL this season with 14 touchdowns. His spectacular season featured nine 100-yard games — including five in a row to tie a franchise record — and a career-best 208-yard effort on Oct. 5 against Winnipeg. He won nine weekly CFL awards in 2013 as well as four monthly honors.
Before breaking his own CFL record this season, Cornish, who hails from Westminster, British Columbia and played at KU from 2002-06, set a CFL record by rushing for the exact totals — 1,457 yards on 258 carries – that he tallied to set the KU single season record.
Cornish ranks 10th on KU's career rushing list with 2,245 yards and third on KU's all-time yards-per carry list at 5.9, just 0.6 yards behind co-leaders Gale Sayers and Laverne Smith.
Cornish accepted the awards at a CFL banquet on Thursday night with his mother and girlfriend present.
This morning, he took to Twitter to reinforce his appreciation.
He wrote: “Took a bit of time to name every Stampeder offensive linemen but I wouldn't be MOP+MOC without my favorite big men. Thank you, everyone!”
Other recent Cornish updates from KUsports.com:
Former KU RB Cornish rushes to top of CFL: (July 2012)
They were torn apart when things were not going well, so now that the tables have turned a little bit, it's time to praise them.
We're talking about the Kansas University offensive line, of course, a group that, anchored by center Gavin Howard and buoyed by head coach Charlie Weis' willingness to keep tinkering until he found the right combination, has hit its stride during recent weeks and has allowed KU to return to an impressive identity of power football that, last week, led to the program's first Big 12 victory in three years.
There are plenty of people in the program who deserve credit for the line's resurgence. But the five guys who are out there playing most of the snaps and blowing open most of the holes deserve the most credit. So here's a quick, player-by-player breakdown of who they are and what makes them tick.
LEFT TACKLE — Riley Spencer —
6-foot-6, 305-pound senior from Hesston, Kan.
Spencer is one of those program players who has been in Lawrence for five years and suffered through repeated injuries while trying to find his place on the KU line. He missed 2009 to red-shirt and all but one game last season because of injury and played mostly as a back-up during the seasons in between.
Spencer also played basketball in high school, where he was an all-state selection on the offensive line. He earned Academic All-Big 12 first team honors in 2010 and is majoring in exercise science. He plans to be a firefighter after graduating from KU.
Future fireman Spencer fights off defenders, injuries to make impact for KU:
Will Riley Spencer and Damon Martin make a difference for KU's offense?
LEFT GUARD — Ngalu Fusimalohi —
6-foot-2, 310-pound junior from Daly City, Calif.
Weis recently called Fusimalohi the most consistent KU offensive lineman this season, from start to finish. Thrust into a first-string role during his first season after transfering from City College of San Francisco, the man who resembles a road grader is physical and nasty at the point of attack and seems to have been born to run block.
Rated the 90th best junior college prospect in the country last season, Fusimalohi was a part of the 2011 NJCAA national champions and earned first team all-Nor Cal Conference honors last season.
He's majoring in history.
Juco offensive lineman picks Kansas:
CENTER — Gavin Howard —
6-foot-4, 300-pound senior from Owasso, Okla.
Howard is another one of those program guys who has been around Lawrence for a long time and played a lot of snaps, mostly in a back-up role. Thrust into the starting center spot after KU had exhausted all other options, Howard has done a fantastic job of settling the line down and helping provide an identity of physicality, toughness and intelligence.
A gifted athlete who starred in basketball and football in high school, Howard is one of the smartest players on the roster and has spent a lot of time tutoring his teammates during the academic portion of their lives as KU football players.
Howard recently landed a job with Conoco-Phillips and will get his post-football career started on Jan. 13, making the next 10 days his final days as a football player, which, he said Wednesday, inspired him to give all he's got to the finish.
Center Gavin Howard completes cycle:
Kansas center Gavin Howard not approaching new position gingerly:
Howard helps KU reduce snap snafus:
RIGHT GUARD — Damon Martin —
6-foot-3, 300-pound sophomore from Arlington, Texas.
Widely regarded as one of the strongest players in the program, Martin, like Spencer, has helped bring back the physicality to KU's offensive line that has led to some strong rushing performances during recent weeks.
A third-year sophomore who red-shirted in 2011, Martin made such a rapid rise during 2012 that he wound up starting a game late in the season before falling off as quickly as he climbed up. Weis has said throughout his two years in town that consistency has been Martin's biggest issue and earlier this week Weis said he believed Martin had turned the corner.
A quiet guy during interviews, Martin is majoring in sociology.
August crucial for these five football players:
Will Riley Spencer and Damon Martin make a difference for KU's offense?:
Offensive lineman commits to Kansas:
RIGHT TACKLE — Aslam Sterling —
6-foot-5, 315-pound senior from Springfield Gardens, N.Y.
After being moved into the all-important left tackle spot following an offseason body makeover, Sterling struggled in his new role early and quickly was moved back to the right tackle spot he held down during his first season in Lawrence in 2012.
Big, strong, athletic and with his best days still ahead of him, Sterling provided a much needed dose of experience for KU's offensive line early in the season and, lately, has merely been able to return to a more anonymous role and focus on nothing more than getting the job done.
Arrived from Nassau Community College with a big frame and big expectations, Sterling has been solid during his time at Kansas and likely will get a shot at pro football next fall.
Majoring in liberal arts and sciences.
KU offensive tackle Sterling a changed man:
Lineman Aslam Sterling has huge potential:
Don't count out KU's new-look offensive line yet:
As the season slipped by and his offense continued to encounter road blocks, Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis did everything he could think of to try to find a spark.
From changing personnel to tweaking schemes and everything in between, Weis spent countless hours — often late into the night on Saturdays following losses — trying to find a magic formula that would lead to more points and better efficiency.
While the second-year KU coach tried just about everything that crossed his mind before turning to true freshman quarterback Montell Cozart and watching the offense explode for 31 points in a victory over West Virginia last week, there also were a couple of things Weis didn't try.
Tuesday, he detailed one of them and explained why.
“I was thinking about going up and calling the game from the press box,” Weis said of calling the offensive plays from the bird's eye view enjoyed by most offensive coordinators. “Because every week I've been trying to figure out what can I do different to try to get the offense going. And I thought long and hard about it. But the real reason I didn't go up there was because I thought that people would say I'm just bringing attention to myself.”
As you surely know by now, Weis is one of those guys who attracts attention from all corners of the country for even the smallest things. It's been that way since he was the head coach at Notre Dame and even was true to a smaller extent while he was coordinating in the NFL prior to leading the Irish.
Contrary to popular belief, Weis does not prefer it this way. He'd rather the focus be on his players and his program and the young men who work their butts off because he tells them it will work. But because of his big personality, his honest nature and the spotlight that some of his previous jobs have put him under, Weis is a popular attraction, even at Kansas and even while battling through a hefty rebuilding project.
Earlier this season, I asked Weis if he had considered calling plays from the coaches box upstairs. The reason I asked was because I remembered him talking fondly about how much easier the job of an offensive coordinator was up there, away from the distractions of the sideline and in a setting controlled by you and only you, which included every detail from the temperature in the booth to the amount of light shining down and the bodies around you.
In addition to the more favorable environment, it's obvious that it's easier to see what opposing defenses are doing from high above the field as opposed to down the line of scrimmage.
At the time, Weis said the fact that his offense included so many new and inexperienced players was the reason for staying on the sideline.
“That's when you need to be on the field,” he said. “The time when it's easier to call the game from upstairs is when you have a more veteran team. You know, because now you're just relaying information to them. When there's a lot of moving parts, that's where you're better off being on the field.”
Weis continued to back up his point with an example from his days with the New England Patriots.
“Hey look, I was in the box for a good portion of my career and (New England quarterback Drew) Bledsoe got hurt, and (back up) Tommy (Brady) had to go in,” Weis said. “He wasn't really ready to go yet and I went down there (to the sideline). At the end of the year, we ended up winning it all, and (Patriots coach Bill) Belichick said you're staying on the field. There's different pros of being on the field now, but one of them is we have a bunch of guys going in and out (and) you get a better feel for what you can do and what you can't do.”
The other element that factors into the equation now that he's the head coach at Kansas is the fact that he's more than just the offensive coordinator. Instead of solely focusing in on calling the plays every other series and looking for ways to exploit the opposing defense, Weis is in charge of several other tasks on game days, from conversing with officials and disciplining his players to looking into the eyes of his quarterback and assistant coaches to get a feel for what's going on and who's capable of what. Weis likes that part of it as much as anything and, beyond that, he doesn't want to do anything out of the ordinary that might give the appearance that he's trying to do it just to be different or just for attention.
“I've called the game from the field, I've called the game from the sideline,” he said. “You're the head coach, you're supposed to be on the sideline. Why would you go up there unless you couldn't walk. Even when I couldn't walk, when I got wiped out (by a collision on the sideline in) 2007 or whatever it was, I still went on the field.”
And it looks like that's where he'll be staying.
With the Kansas University football team knocking off West Virginia last week to snap its 27-game Big 12 losing streak, a lot of the talk early this week was much different than it has been in past weeks.
Here's a look back at the past couple of days worth of Twitter activity, which includes some KU hoops and volleyball chatter, as well.
RT ICYMI: Iona’s Armand: ‘I’m expecting to beat Kansas’ http://zagsblog.com/articles/ionas-armand-im-expecting-to-beat-kansas/
RT Kansas keeps climbing! Up to No. 11 in the RPI this week. #RockChalk
RT “@KUsports: Tom Keegan thinks it's time for Ben Goodman to give Benny Goodman a listen: http://bit.ly/1bzZ2Nq ” @B_Good_Man #KUfball
RT Hey KU fans, u've got to do better than this for your favorite volleyball/chem engineering major, Ms. Jarmoc. Vote? http://www.seniorclassaward.com/vote/volleyball_2013/
#KUfball Monday Rewind: The day almost crept by without me getting this in; Credit Weis for changing w/ times… http://ljw.bz/IdBrue
Weis said Tony Pierson is questionable and we'll get a new update tomorrow after Weis talks with team doctors again… #KUfball
Weis said there's no update on Darrian Miller's status… And that Brandon Bourbon should get some more carries again this week #KUfball
Weis said Gavin Howard was looking for help to dump the Gatorade bucket on him and couldn't find many volunteers… #KUfball
Weis said winning vs. WVU was nice hurdle to clear & he wants to go get a road win… Adds: It's gonna be tough sledding up there… #KUfball
Weis said it's an easy week for him b/c he can criticize players w/o worrying about them getting too low… #KUfball
Weis: it was Ben Goodman who blocked the WVU field goal… Official stats gave it to Agostinho & I heard @ least 1 other guy credited #KUfball
Weis said Sims wasn't just running hard on Saturday, "He was trying to punish people." Great way to put it… #KUfball
Weis said the high for Saturday in Ames is supposed to be 23º… Added: Factor in the wind chill and it'll probably be 0º at kickoff #KUfball
Weis said #KUfball will continue to add to passing game, but said: "If the line's continuing to control the line, there's no reason to do it
Weis said C Gavin Howard likes to talk a lot of trash on the field & had a lot of fun last week b/c can't talk trash when losing #KUfball
Weis: Damon Martin has really come along lately and looked good; Ngalu Fusimalohi has been #KUfball's most consistent lineman all season…
RT Athlon Sports and the @Big12Conference honor James Sims for his record-breaking performance: http://kuathne.ws/1aCe8of #kufball
RT It's a good week to be James Sims. @ESPN names Sims Big 12 Player of the Week http://kuathne.ws/17GO7pI #kufball pic.twitter.com/IzYcBy0bfW
Weis says scrimmaging other teams in off/preseason would be nice. Said ideal scenario would be #KUfball vs. MU at Arrowhead for charity...
"Better." #KUfball coach Charlie Weis on Hawk Talk radio show when asked by Bob Davis: How was your weekend?
RT Tyshawn Taylor puts up numbers for Brooklyn, Chalmers' elbow meets Dirk's face & more from Hawks in NBA blog #kubball http://ljw.bz/I1zcej
If you haven't heard: Kickoff for #KUfball vs. K-State on Nov. 30 is set for 11 a.m. Game will be shown on Fox Sports 1...
Bill Self audio from today's #KUbball press conference… http://ljw.bz/IcTUY1
Career day for #KUfball RB James Sims lands Player of the Week honors; sights now set on career mark… http://ljw.bz/17EbD1e
Weis: For the future of the program, you can't just say we're gonna win our home games. We know it'll be tough in Ames... #KUfball
Weis: Our defense, all year long, has played good enough to have won games. With Cozart on Offense, everything changes. #KUfball
Weis on Heaps: He's been great w/ Montell, but Jake is one of the most unselfish people I've ever been around… He's a competitor… #KUfball
Weis on Cozart: His athleticism helps hide some of our deficiencies… Montell's got a bright future & this was a good first step #KUfball
Weis: We still have 2 more opportunities to get rid of a couple other things on that list of things that could change the program #KUfball
Weis: Having won that game (WVU) helps us going forward and now we gotta focus on snapping road losing streak… #KUfball
Weis: As a coach, you learn that you can't have highs & lows… you gotta stay even keel. Just like players, though, you get a lift. #KUfball
Weis: Psychologically, I think WVU victory is a very, very big lift for our players. #KUfball
#KUfball RB James Sims named Big 12 co-offensive player of the week for his 211-yard, 3 TD performance vs. WVU... Shared w/ Baylor QB Petty
Didn't Tweet during the game but can't let tonight pass w/o props for former #KUfball LB Steven Johnson. Played big in a huge moment...
In an all orange auditorium tucked between Boone Pickens Stadium and Gallagher-Iba Arena a couple of weeks ago in Stillwater, Okla., Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis uttered a few words that hinted at the fact that he might be leaning toward changing his offense.
“I think we know where we'd like to go,” Weis said in reference to his offense, just moments after his team lost 42-6 to Oklahoma State and did so with true freshman quarterback Montell Cozart playing the entire second half.
Exactly one week later, Weis and the Jayhawks went there and the result was the program's first Big 12 victory since November 2010, a 31-19 whipping of West Virginia at happy-once-again Memorial Stadium.
The direction Weis has taken this offense — is less than two years in charge, remember — is about much more than just changing quarterbacks. It's about changing an old-school, ultra-successful, wildly accomplished ball coach's thought methodology altogether and making him squirm a little in the process.
When Weis arrived at Kansas, he brought with him years worth of success in the pro-style offense that features and makes stars out of drop-back passers like Dayne Crist and Jake Heaps and has put countless players in the NFL and worked wonders for many who already were there when Weis worked with them.
Because of that success and his confidence in his own ability, Weis spent the better part of two seasons believing that it could work at Kansas. But the Jayhawks do not have the offensive line nor the skill position players to make such a system work and, in the Big 12 Conference, where virtually every other team is throwing hay-makers week in and week out, Weis' inability to put points on the board put the Jayhawks in a hole.
Instead of being stubborn to the bitter end, Weis elected to change. If we've learned anything about the guy during his first two years in town it's that he's not afraid to check under every rock to see if he might find something, anything, that could help his team or heal his offense — all in the name of winning.
After tweaking the depth chart, moving players in and out of the lineup and replacing precious hours of sleep with more film breakdown, Weis reached the classic conclusion that states, “If you can't beat 'em, join 'em,” and then went on to have a heck of a good time last Saturday, one that several Jayhawks and Jayhawk fans won't soon forget.
Cozart was a big part of it; and his ability and maturity beyond his years seem to have KU well positioned to take this idea and run with it (no pun intended) into the future.
But, to me, the biggest tip of the cap here goes to Weis. Yes, the players made the plays — the O-Linemen blocked their tails off, Cozart was nearly flawless and James Sims once again looked like one of the best backs in the Big 12. But executing the game plan the coaches come up with is what these guys do, and, for most of them, it's easy — even if it's a total overhaul in a short time — because they're so hungry for something good to happen.
Swallowing your pride, discarding 30-plus years of offensive wisdom with a proven track record and joining the masses in the wild and crazy spread movement is not as easy. But Weis did it. And the Jayhawks won.
More important than that, it looks like he's willing to do it for a long time.
It was just one win and the Jayhawks still are 1-27 in their last 28 Big 12 Conference games, but there was just something about it that gave people the feeling that Saturday's 31-19 victory over West Virginia might have been the turning point for the KU football program.
Several things, actually.
The obvious items include the beginning of the ultra-promising Montell Cozart era, the fact that the Kansas offense finally threw up some legitimate points again and the continued impressive play of the KU defense.
But there are a few less obvious signs out there, too. And one of them slapped me across the face when I found it on my laptop Sunday evening.
According to the guys in Las Vegas, KU's next opponent, Iowa State, opens as a 6-point favorite over the Jayhawks, who will travel to Ames, Iowa, for a 7 p.m. kickoff next Saturday.
No big deal, right? Wrong. That Iowa State team that's favored over Kansas is 1-9 overall and 0-7 in Big 12 play.
Now I'm not saying that the Cyclones being favored is wrong. Believe me, I learned a long time ago that Vegas is a lot better at these kinds of things than I am. But I can't help but think about what a break this is for Charlie Weis and the Jayhawks. I mean, seriously. Could you have asked for anything more for the Jayhawks coming off of last week's emotional win?
Here they are feeling good about themselves, breathing easier and smiling brighter because that horrific 27-game conference losing streak is over, and, BOOM!, just like that, the odds makers give them an easy reason to put that huge chip back on their shoulders and move forward with the no-respect mentality.
Trust me. These guys don't really care who's favored or what the point spreads are. But I guarantee that being a touchdown underdog against a one-win team will be used as a major motivational tool this week, as the Jayhawks (3-7, 1-6) look to make it two victories in a row for the first time since opening the 2011 season with back-to-back wins and just the second time since 2009.
And I guarantee no one will like that more than Weis. OK, maybe junior linebacker Ben Heeney will come close, but I still think Weis will have more fun with it. Don't expect to hear about it, though.
We get great access to the Kansas University football team following its games on Saturday, but we don't get to go into the locker room. Our interviews take place in the auditorium and lounge at the Anderson Family Football Complex.
Thanks to the folks at KU Athletics, though, we were able to get a peek at the locker room celebration following yesterday's 31-19 victory over West Virginia.
Here's a look: