I'm super bored and Mrs. Grad is at work so I figured I'd put a lot of my thoughts on the foosball season on paper. This post will contain absolutely no statistics and lacks common sense, but bear with me. Its my thoughts, remember. Vamos.
For some reason not good for my sanity or general health, I keep thinking about last season. Like I mentioned earlier, we knew we had a tough schedule but Jesus Christ, it wasn't suppose to be that bad! As I thought about more, I kept coming back to one moment: The Colorado game. Thats where the season all went into the crapper. This will tie into my thoughts for the future in a second. But first, lets go back (I know it hurts. Pain is weakness leaving the body...or whatever the marines say).
I saw KU's season go down this! I swear! COME BAAAACK
Up until that point, KU had looked good. I mean real good. We had destroyed two decent teams in the non-con in UTEP and Puke, beat Southern Miss and held on against an Iowa State game that would later put together a pretty good season and make a bowl. We are 5-0. Hitting a weak Colorado team we should take care of.
And. then. It happened.
It seems like we never recovered. Maybe the allegations of Mangio poking Arist Wright before the game were really a big deal? I don't know. But the way KU lost that game...falling behind early, coming back and getting a BS call that turned the game... we just never recovered. Ever.
Now that big bad Mangino is gone (yes I busted out my photoshop from last year, sorry) we have a lot of questions about the future, obviously. Since my esteemed colleagues at this beloved site have done such a good job covering the Xs and Os, I thought I'd look at some more mental stuff. My mom is a psychology professor after all, so I'm pretty much like an expert in this stuff...
1) How will the team recover from a bad loss/ build on a big win?
Man, Mangino's team were streaky weren't they? If one team every played on the "hot streak" stigma, it was them. Last year we started 5-0 and then lost 7 in a row. Surprised? Don't be. Mangino's teams were notorious for streaks, both good and bad. In both 2005 and 2006, Mangino's teams would lose a couple in a row, then rattle off a 3 out of 4 type win streak which may have saved the Big Man his job.
Point being, we've seen our team go into a tail spin from a bad loss and get hot and play well after a big win, upsets both ways, etc. If our young and inexperienced team drops a bad one, either to a crappy team or falls late, will the team recover? If the team knocks off someone it shouldn't, can they keep it going and stay hot? One game really could make or break our season.
Not only did this show kick ass, but its a nice metaphor for our season. Wait thats not a metaphor... crap.
I'm excited to see how Pick or Webb play. As much as I love and respect what Reesing did for us, system or no system (I love you Mitchum!) its always exciting to see a new QB. Its like a new woman, kind of. Says the engaged guy. Anyways, what actually makes me nervous is that we have two guys going neck and neck for the job. Now I'm excited that should one guy fail or get hurt, we have another who has some reps and is a capable replacement. This also makes me nervous though. I want our QB to be loose and take command of the offense, not be looking over his shoulder all the time. I blame some of the failures of our past QBs on the fact that Mangino wasn't afraid to shuffle his QBs like a bullpen, guys were always looking over their shoulder (or injured), etc. Last time a juicy QB battle ensued at KU, Reesing won the job and never looked back, Meier became an NFL caliber receiver and we won a BCS bowl. Be sweet if that happens again, but I'm not holding my breath...
Could be worse. This guys could be trying out for quarterback. No, he isn't Connor Teahan, go back to basketball practice.
I'm excited about our new staff and believe Gill really did a heck of a job. Replacing the tyrant of Mangino and fresh blood should hopefully rejuvenate the program. I am a little nervous about a new regime though. Will all the players react favorably? How will the new offense scheme work out? How will we adjust from going from a pass happy offense to a balanced group that likes to run? We will see. And finally...
4) The defense. Apart from the Orange Bowl season and 2005 (and a lesser extent 2004) our defense has gotten absolutely shelled in the past decade. While the old groups don't have anything to do with the current guys, the fact is the players we have on the team now have only known bad team defense from the past two seasons. We have talent on that side of the ball. Our secondary is deep and talented. D-Line has experience, linebackers... well... should be better roight? After so much mediocrity lately though, can the team recover? The D has had some bright spots in the past and played well at times last season, but a consistent improvement is needed from this group for KU to get anywhere. Hopefully some younger guys who are hungry to play and compete will give this unit a much needed shot in the arm.
Well there ya have it. I'm geeked up for the season, despite my limitations. May the heartache joyful celebrating begin!