We're squeezing this one in on a Tuesday this week because of the much welcome distraction that is the Maui Invitational.
Anyway, so much for that "turning a corner" thing. Once again, the Jayhawks turned in a performance so utterly abysmal, a full report card would be redundant. Perhaps more important than the outcome of the game itself will be its effect on Turner Gill's future.
Some fans (myself included) felt that if we continued to fight down to the wire (or maybe even steal a game) the rest of the year, Gill could be kept with some changes to the staff. That's out the window. This week's performance not only cemented Gill's demise as head coach, but could have potentially hastened it. Would anyone be sad if he were fired this week?
At this point that doesn't look likely and I'm sure a trip to Maui might have delayed that from the AD's perspective, but I think there are plenty of people who would have been perfectly fine with it.Offense - F
I don't even know where to begin. The line did an acceptable job of pass protection, but we still couldn't take advantage of a secondary that has allowed more passing yards this year than we have. Webb lit up the Aggies' defense for a whopping 133 yards (3.4 adjusted yards per attempt). Even when he has time, Webb looks panicked.
The running game was even worse, averaging 1.2 yards per attempt. That's including the 56 rushing yards we accrued on our only scoring drive, all against aTm's second team defense. This was another of those games where there just wasn't any glimmer of success to point to.
Defense - F
I don't think I need to go into detail here, either. Texas A&M averaged almost 8 yards per play. The line got abused, and no one was free to make tackles in the front seven. Once again, the secondary turned in an infuriating performance, as they continue to show that no one has bothered to teach them how play their positions.
Coaching - F
I don't even know what to say about the coaching at this point.
Overall team grade - F
There's no room for debate anymore. This coaching staff is in over their heads. I'll always maintain that we have serious talent issues on defense, but I don't think even the most glass-half-full fans out there think we couldn't be doing better than this. As for the offense, it's inexplicable. We have a good group of linemen, one of the most experienced in the country. Earlier in the year (granted, against lesser competition) they were dominant. Remember back in October when our offense was in the Top 25 in the country in both scoring and yardage? Webb was one of the most efficient QBs in D1 football, and our running attack was legitimate.
Sure, the defenses got better in Big 12 competition, but we aren't talking about a small step back, here. We are LAST in the Big 12 in scoring, and 9th in total offense. We're 95th in FBS in yards/game right now. Clearly, something is broken, and this staff has had ample time to fix it.
A big part of what everyone expected and demanded after last year was improvement and competitiveness. I'll leave you with some statistical comparisons.
Yards per play:
Yards allowed per play
3rd Down Conversion rate
Sacks per game:
Defensive S&P+ rating (for the true college football nerds):
GE (game efficiency) rating:
2010: -0.29 (111th in FBS)
2011: -0.30 (118th in FBS)
Average margin of defeat in Big 12 games:
2010: 27.38 points/game
2011: 27.75 points/game
No, numbers don't tell the whole story, but sometimes they say enough.