Big 12 Sports Articles

Did Kansas Football Get Better or Worse on Offense?

NCAA Football: West Virginia at Kansas

When Kansas announced their hire of Les Miles back in 2019, I had all sorts of questions. And when Les Miles had his first press conference at the 2019 Big 12 Media Days, I was left with more questions than answers.

Was a man in his mid-sixties ready to take on a job like Kansas? Was he willing to stick it out and do things the right way? Or was he just collecting a paycheck before riding off into the sunset?

Well, it is obvious that he isn’t going anywhere yet but that doesn’t mean I can’t question the direction of the program. We all knew what Kansas football was. I am not one to sugar coat things so I would describe Kansas football as a complete dumpster fire.


Between the lack of success on the field and the short cuts taken on the recruiting trail, the program was in shambles and was still a few years off from being taken as any type of threat to win more than one conference game a season.

I understand Les Miles is trying to do things the right way. Building the program literally from the ground up not just on the field but off the field with recruiting guys who will stay in the program for more than a year and getting some money for facility upgrades.

Les Miles is an offensive guy. But when offensive coordinator Brent Dearmon left for the same position at Middle Tennessee, Les was now going on his fourth offensive coordinator in four years. And while Dearmon had the Jayhawks offense up in 2019, they had a down year this past season breaking in a new freshman quarterback with Jalon Daniels.

While it is never a good look when a power five coach leaves for a group of five school for the same position, Les Miles was left without an offensive coordinator and went on to hire 64-year-old Mike DeBord. DeBord’s last two college stops were at Tennessee (2015-2016) and Indiana (2017-2018). Let’s look back at those stops as a play caller, shall we?

SchoolYearYards Per Play RankPoints Per Game Rank

I totally understand that Mike DeBord said that he and Les Miles talked about a few things before accepting the job. For starters, he will start fresh and evaluate what Kansas has on offense and use that to determine what type of offense they will want to run. However, outside of being good pals, did Les Miles look at his last four years as a play caller?


Mike hasn’t been a college offensive coordinator in three years and has had one top 60 offense in his last four years as a collegiate play caller. If he couldn’t get the job done at Tennessee or Indiana what makes people think he can make this work with what the Jayhawks currently have on offense? Maybe some people see the glass half full on this hire, but I am not one of those people. Did Kansas get better here, or did they get a little worse? I guess we will find out soon enough.

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