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49 Days Until Kansas Football: Reasons for Pessimism

If you didn’t drink the kool-aid yesterday, there are probably some good reasons why.

Kansas v Texas Tech Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images

Did you pass on the kool-aid I offered you yesterday? If so, let’s see if I can figure out why.

Revenge of the Sith

Despite the end of Les Miles’ employment back in March, the spectre of the Long/Miles era continues to wreak havoc on KU’s image (paywall alert):

We had hoped at the time that KU turned the page when they moved on from Turner Gill. And then again after Charlie Weis. And then AGAIN after Beaty/Zenger. And now we’re supposed to believe that after two terrible AD’s and four terrible football coaches, it’s just magically fixed? Yeah, some people might need some more kool-aid if they’re gonna believe that.

The Empire Strikes Back

Don’t forget that Kansas is still awaiting the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions to rule on multiple (and self-reported) Level 2 and Level 3 violations regarding the football program. If that ruling comes down anytime soon, it has the potential to hamstring a coaching staff in their efforts to recruit and fill out a roster of 85 scholarships that looks like a Division 1 football team.

Attack of the Clones

Kansas has won 21 games in the last 11 seasons. With the Texas game cancelled at the end of last season, KU avoided becoming the first program ever to lose 100 games in a 10-year span. Talk about the inherent difficulties of comparing strength of schedules all you want, but when you’re clearly at the bottom looking up, building a program becomes even more difficult. In fact, KU has a consensus* top-5 most difficult schedule coming up in 2021.

* I looked at three sources: ESPN FPI (3), Phil Steele (4), and SBD (2).

Of course, part of that is because Kansas can’t play themselves and they have to play teams like Texas and Oklahoma every year. But they could play, you know, UTEP or UNLV or Rice or something in the noncon instead of Duke and 11-1 Coastal Carolina.

(Ok, maybe not Rice.)

With Iowa State suddenly a step (or two or three) above KU and K-State still pummeling the Jayhawks with scores like 55-14 like they have been since 1995, KU’s best shots at winning conference games are what, Baylor and Texas Tech? FYI, KU is a combined 6-36 all-time against the Bears and Red Raiders.

(Seriously, not Rice.)

Needless to say, the new coaching staff has a long way to go, and a very difficult road down which they must navigate. However, just do me a favor, and never tell me the odds.

What did I miss? Are there any other specific reasons you’re pessimistic about the upcoming season?