There are lots of anecdotes, and even more stats, that lead to one truth:
The Kansas Jayhawks are the worst football program in all of the BCS.
It is hard to argue otherwise when one considers KU’s record in the Big 12 since 2009 is 2-32. They haven’t won a conference game since 2010, and haven’t been to a bowl game since 2008. KU’s resume includes a 6-3 loss to North Dakota State (before they were national champions of the FCS), humiliating performances against non-BCS conferences, a historically bad lost to Georgia Tech in 2011, and near 50-point blowout losses against rival teams.
Charlie Weis was brought in by Sheahon Zenger not to be the savior, but to be the bulldozer. He’s certainly big enough to do it, in both ego and stature. His NFL reputation has pulled sway with recruits, and his propensity for saying goofy things at press conferences has brought national notoriety.
Weis has also flushed out the system: rebuilding the coaching staff, flipping the roster, and changing the way things are done at KU. He is constantly talking about how the training program has improved, and the plans to revamp Memorial Stadium.
Say what you’d like about Weis’ personality – it’s probably correct – but recruits and players respond to him. Explain what motive a four-star recruit would have to commit to Kansas, let alone visit? Or how Jake Heaps would want to transfer to Kansas? KU had a 2013 recruiting class ranked just five spots behind Missouri, according to Rivals, and a class rated higher than three Big 12 schools.
There is zero reason why Kansas should have a recruiting class ranked above anyone, let alone Big 12 champion Kansas State.
But what Weis talks about more than anything else is the need to win games. There is no press conference, photo shoot, or random interview where he does not mention winning. Zenger, in light of the new NCAA environment, understands the value of a profitable football program. And a profitable football program only exists through being competitive on the field.
It sounds like an obvious thing, but Kansas has never committed to winning football games as a university. Mangino’s success was purely from his intense work ethic, not because of anything KU was trying to do for him. The proof was in his firing – a firing that occurred because of the bridges he burned trying to build a relevant program.
So can Weis deliver on the field? He has little choice but to deliver.