When someone says “Kansas” relating to sports, the thought of college football doesn’t really come to mind. Of course, Kansas basketball has been king of Lawrence, Kansas forever. Football and the word “Kansas” remain invisible.
For one thing, the losing is almost an expectation. The last 10 years have been misery for Kansas football fans, and ten years of losing can destroy anyone’s view of winning anything. In fact, out of the last 23 years (going back to 1996), Kansas has put together only three winning seasons.
Some of those hapless years included a winless team and three wins total from 2015-17. How can anyone come in and sell the idea of winning consistently every year? Enter Les Miles. Les Miles has been away from college football the last few years. And while being away, Miles put his time into trying to break into the acting industry.
Les Miles isn’t just a dreamer though. Miles is one of the few active head coaches in NCAA Division I at the moment that has an NCAA championship on his resume. His success on the field cannot be debated. Miles started his head coaching career at Oklahoma State. Three of the four years were winning seasons. Then on to LSU, where Miles put up an astounding 114-34 record over 13 years, including that national championship in 2007 at LSU.
In 2011, Miles almost became a two-time champ but fell to a rematch with Alabama. Nevertheless, Miles’ resume is packed solid with consistent winning.
Still, the chirping got loud enough to oust Les Miles after 12 years. In the end, the biggest knock on Miles in the end came because of Alabama. Beginning with the loss to Alabama in the BCS Championship game in 2011, the LSU Tigers have lost every game played against the Crimson Tide. Four of those seven losses occurred under Les Miles.
As time passed, fans and boosters became more irritated, and LSU sent Les Miles packing. Miles went into acting for a few years, but is now facing a very different task. First of all, the task of selling Kansas as a football school should be the number one priority.
And Miles understands this. Even though he’s 65 years old, Miles gets that changing the attitude is the first challenge, not only for the players, but for the fans. Of course, in the end, wins and losses will be the deciding factor. That being said, Les Miles is bringing unwavering optimism and excitement to the Kansas football faithful.
Additionally, Miles is a proven recruiter. With very little time, Les Miles brought in a class that ranks up with Texas Tech and Kansas State.
It’s hard to believe in something until the results come. Fans are fickle. People can be skeptical. But make no mistake, Miles wants to win, and he expects to do so once again in Lawrence.