There is little doubt that Charlie Weis has always thought very highly of his own ability to coach offense. But at what point does the leadership at the University of Kansas realize that talk is cheap?
Weis has carried the title of an offensive guru for the last decade or so. But as his career goes on, it seems most, if not all of that credit might as well go to Tom Brady.
In Weis’ second season as head coach and offensive coordinator, the Jayhawks rank last in the Big 12 in total offense (320.2 yard per game), rushing offense (118.5 yards per game), scoring offense (17.3 points per game), pass efficiency (108.8), first downs (93), and red zone offense.
There’s no shame in having a rough offensive game against TCU as the Jayhawks did this week. Nearly everyone does. But against Texas Tech, and before that Louisiana Tech and Rice? Inexcusable.
TCU gave KU every opportunity to win that game, committing five turnovers, all of which gave the ball to the Jayhawks in TCU territory.The two teams were knotted at 10 at the half. TCU won 27-17. Not good enough.
KU was third in the conference in rushing in 2012 and returned both running backs from a potent attack that averaged 211.7 yards a game on the ground. But James Sims, the Big 12’s leading rusher in 2012, has seen his production drop from 112.6 ypg last year to 78.0 this year.
Offensively, Kansas has remarkably found a way to be worse than its anemic 2012 effort. But it’s not just the offense where the decision-making has been bad.
Special teams has been a bright spot, considering how poor the kicking game was a year ago, but a terribly misguided fake punt last week against Texas Tech will be hard to forget.
Pointing a finger at himself might do Weis some good every once in a while. We’ve all heard his famous “pile of crap” comments from Big 12 media day. But it was only after he knew how people reacted to the comment, that he amended the statement and included himself in said pile of crap. He didn’t offer that immediately.
He and his coaching staff have failed the school and the players they’ve recruited. The offensive line play under the tutelage of former Chief great Tim Grunhard hasn’t clicked. Instead of incessantly shuffling the players and positions of the offensive line, the smartest move Weis could make is to give Grunhard the chance to be a high school coach again.
The deck needs shuffling and if KU doesn’t want to remove Weis from the top, then asking him to change some staff below him is a place he must start. Weis isn’t a guy that would tolerate a coach below him calling offensive plays, but after watching Florida’s offense in 2011 and the Jayhawks offense for the last two years, the only thing it could hurt is his own ego.
Kansas Athletic Director Sheahon Zenger surprised everyone in December 2011 by hiring the much maligned Weis. But less than two years later, he must be privately questioning his decision.
Zenger knows recipe. He was an assistant coach under Bill Snyder from 1988 to 1995 at Kansas State, the foundation years as Snyder likes to call them, of a program that soared to unimaginable heights that media and fans alike never imagined possible.
In 1988, K-State was lower than low mired in a 30 game winless streak. KU under the leadership of Turner Gill, and now Weis, is racing towards that level, losing 34 of its last 35 conference games.
Zenger can’t look at what has taken place on the field for the last season and a half and think things are headed in the direction that K-State program was 25 year ago. A look at the upcoming Jayhawk schedule leaves one searching for a place to scratch out a conference win. A win that would be the school’s first conference win in three seasons.
Two straight home games against Oklahoma and Baylor? No chance. In Austin to face the Longhorns? Fat chance. In Stillwater against the Oklahoma State? Doubtful.November 16th and 23rd against West Virginia and Iowa State seem to be the only windows for hope for Kansas fans. A window is slamming shut.
If he can’t win two conference games this year, in a Big 12 that is as bad as it’s ever been, Zenger shouldn’t hesitate to make a change.
In a perfect world, three or four years is the minimum a college football coach should get. Any K-State fan would argue that theory with a simple question: What did the Wildcats get out of the third year of the Ron Prince era?
The answer: NOTHING.
Turner Gill was fired after two years and that was probably a year too long.
The Jayhawks need and deserve a football coach that can make fans think and care about football in October. A coach that can draw more people into Memorial Stadium than attempt to squeeze into Allen Fieldhouse for Late Night.
If there is a change to be made, Zenger has to find a coach that needs KU as much as KU needs him. A proven winner that has fallen on hard times. None of the big names in college coaching would take a call from Zenger right now. But a coach that was once a winner at the highest level, and legitimate offensive guru would take that call.
If it were me, my first call would be to Bobby Petrino.