Saturday marks the end of spring practices for Kansas football as the Jayhawks will host a spring game at Memorial Stadium where fans will have an opportunity to see the 2013 edition of the Kansas Jayhawks scrimmage. This of course won't be the entire roster as several junior college players have yet to report and some players are being held out with injury, but either way it is an opportunity to feed the football craving before the long summer without Kansas athletics.
While it always takes a little bit of time to move on from the end basketball, football season will be here before we know it and Kansas fans are certainly hoping for signs of positivity surrounding a program that has fallen rapidly from an Orange Bowl bid in 2008. Charlie Weis seems to still be working with house money after the Turner Gill debacle, but how long will the honeymoon last if there isn't visible improvement in terms of competitiveness this season?
Kansas football never heads into the year with the same level of expectations that the basketball team does. Yet it seems the basketball team is constantly exceeding or meeting expectations while the football program is constantly coming up short. For 2013 expectations should be tempered from a win/loss perspective because the schedule is still a very difficult one and Kansas is still trying to rebuild after two single win seasons. What shouldn't be tempered is the expectation of improvement and competitiveness.
During the 2012 season there were times where it felt like things were clicking and positive moments, yet those moments and hopes were typically dashed by a letdown shortly thereafter. The Iowa State game was probably the biggest blow as it felt like that was THE game where Kansas was poised to breakthrough. It didn't happen and Kansas was soundly defeated.
So what are the expectations? There is an infusion of new talent that has been introduced, but what should we expect from them? It's hard to say what if anything can be taken away from Saturday because a scrimmage is always a controlled glimpse of what may or may not be the reality, but it does provide an opportunity to reflect or look ahead to what we want to see.
I'd sound like a broken record if I said I wanted this team to compete, but I can't help myself. Give me twelve games of competitive football. Win some of those games, lose some of those games, but whatever happens show that the needle is moving in the right direction again. I think we felt that ever so slightly at times last year, but there was a huge mental hurdle that wasn't being cleared.
If you have a chance get out and enjoy the game. Not sure what the weather is looking like but hopefully it encourages some people to attend. The game will be televised live on Metro Sports in the Kansas City area and on Kansas 22 throughout the rest of Kansas. The game will also be streamed live on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access. Additionally the game will be broadcast live across the state of Kansas on the Jayhawk Radio Network on stations in Lawrence, Kansas City, Wichita, Hutchinson, Hays and Liberal.
We'll start looking at the roster a little more next week. I took a different approach this year letting basketball season be basketball season and letting spring football work itself out before taking a look at things. We'll kick that off next week and start talking a little football a little bit more. Rock Chalk!