About three weeks ago, Texas A&M rolled Kansas 45-10 in Lawrence, despite some hope early on in the game. In that same game, Jordan Webb and Kale Pick were both injured, beginning the Quinn Mecham era of Jayhawk football. At this point, pretty much all of Jayhawk nation was off the bandwagon. We'd been outscored 159-24 in our first three conference games, compounded by our season-opening loss to perennial football force North Dakota State. Most KU-related football discussion centered around how long it would take for Turner Gill to be fired.
Three weeks later things look, at the very least, a little different. More after the jump.
The next week Kansas dominated the line of scrimmage, if not the scoreboard, in the first half against Iowa State. The defense gave way in the second half and the game ended up a 28-16 loss, but for the first time in a month, the football team had shown signs of life, if only for a half. Next time out looked like another rout at the hands of struggling Colorado, but a historic 4th quarter comeback gave us the first conference win of the Gill era in exciting fashion. This brings us to last night, where the Jayhawk defense went up to Lincoln and frustrated the Nebraska running attack, limiting them to 20 points and a deficit that was half what Vegas predicted.
Obviously, we're still 3-7. We've still been dominated by three middle-of-the-pack football teams. We still lost to some college up near Canada. But even the most pessimistic KU fans would have to admit that there have been some signs of life over the past three weeks. If nothing else, just a little bit of progress.
I'm interested to know two things: 1) How does everyone feel about the direction of the football program under Turner Gill right now? and 2) How does that compare with how you felt three weeks ago?
For me, I'm cautiously optimistic that this hire was not a disaster. Not necessarily optimistic that Gill will lead us to any 12-1 seasons, but hopeful that he's not Terry Allen 2. It looks like recruiting should at least stay at the level it has been (though obviously it's way too early to say for sure), and the team on the field now is starting to respond and play some good football (albeit not quite consistently). Compared to three weeks ago, this is a slight improvement. If nothing else I now feel like the staff looks slightly less "in over their heads" when it comes to gameplanning and adjusting, and I feel like a competitive effort is now to be expected when we take the field, rather than rolling over at the first sign of distress.