Kansas Football 2012: State of the Program

Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

We're four games through the 2012 season. Four games represents one third of the year which is a little depressing and that fact is only compounded by the situation that we currently find ourselves in with one win and three losses. That record could just as easily be three wins to one loss if Kansas had the pieces in place to make the plays necessary to win, but we now know that doesn't appear to be the case.

Perhaps then it's time to reassess the season, take a look at expectations, look toward the future and evaluate what we've seen from the team so far. It's a bye week and before diving in to the offensive and defensive sides of the ball in more detail, what is the state of the program as a whole?

Truthfully it's impossible to say that we are any worse off than we were a year ago at this time. Yes we had seen glimmers of hope during non conference play but Kansas was standing on the edge of a cliff and heading toward a disastrous fall through the Big 12. It was ugly in 2011, embarrassing is probably the easiest word to describe it.

The funny thing about it all is that at the time that's all we wanted to avoid. 2010 was embarrassing but Turner Gill was given a pass. All anyone wanted in 2011 was competitiveness. Show the fans that Kansas can field a team that is improving and that Kansas can field a team that can compete.

Obviously the train wreck that ensued did not do that and it messed with our expectations this year a bit. Surely things couldn't be as bad as they were? Throw in a smooth talking East coast coach gloating about his five star formerly top rated quarterback that was going to accelerate the curve and a fanbase gets into the dangerous business of hoping.

Perhaps that is why this all stings a bit more than it should through four games. It certainly isn't unreasonable to expect a home win against Rice and given the way that the Northern Illinois game transpired that definitely seemed like a manageable win as well. If nothing had changed after last year would that be the case or would you still expect Turner Gill to mismanage those efforts to a loss? And would the Kansas program have the noticeable improvements on the defensive side of the ball?

Honestly it's very possible, but the confidence level in anything that was going on the last two years from a long term perspective was absolutely non-existent. That brings us to today. Kansas is 1-3 with an under-performing Dayne Crist and a moderately disappointing Charlie Weis. The defense has been a positive and some of the talent that has been brought in has delivered.

Nothing about what we've seen so far suggests that we're going to come out and win another game, but what we have seen is a team that has taken every game into the fourth quarter. Can that continue? And if it does, is that enough? A year ago we were ready to give Turner Gill that courtesy in his second year with the program. Should we not afford Charlie Weis the same opportunity in his first season?

Sports evoke emotion without question. Now that we're beyond the sting from this weekend the reality is that we're 1-3 with 8 very challenging games to play. We should absolutely expect improvement, we should not become complacent and Charlie Weis needs to be better. At the same time perhaps we should revisit our expectations because the 1-3 start should have been better, but this isn't going to get any easier.

Offensive, defensive, special teams and coaching reviews to come as we plow through bye week reviews.

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