It is safe to say that Kansas football has been a complete dumpster fire over the years. The program has not been to a bowl game since 2008 and is on their fifth head coach since 2010.
Mark Mangino was able to have some success with the program in the 2000’s but ever since his last season in 2009, no other coach has won more than three games in a season. In fact, since 2010 Kansas football has a record of 21-108 overall with a conference record of 6-91. When I see that, I now wonder if maybe Kansas football would be an insult of a dumpster fire.
Over the course of the last decade, we have seen a lot in Lawrence. Turner Gill came from Buffalo and was a complete flop before Charlie Weis completely buried the program. Remember what he told reporters what his recruiting pitch was back in 2013? “Everyone wants to play. There’s no one that wants to not play. I said, ‘Have you looked at that pile of crap out there? Have you taken a look at that?’ So, if you don’t think you can play here, where do you think you can play? It’s a pretty simple approach. And that’s not a sales pitch. That’s practical. You’ve seen it, right? Unfortunately, so have I.”
After Charlie Weis completely wiped the program off the face of the earth, in came David Beaty. David was a nice guy and a great person to be around. Unfortunately, the situation he took over was much worse than what we thought as the program struggled to have any depth at all at nearly every position. His first season there he went winless before going 6-30 in his last three years. That was enough to get him canned so former Athletic Director Jeff Long could bring in his old pad Les Miles and I don’t think we even need to go down that road of an abomination.
Now the program is in the hands of Lance Leipold. Leipold’s previous stops include Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater and Buffalo. At Wisconsin-Whitewater, Lance helped turn them into a DIII power as he was able to win six Division III titles in his eight seasons there. From there, he went to Buffalo. At Buffalo, he turned around a dead program that had not done much since joining the FBS back in 1999. In just his third season there, Leipold was able to churn out a ten-win season which was a first in program history. He also won two MAC East division titles and led the program to three straight bowl games for a program that only had been to three total before he even stepped foot in the door there.
To me, it is obvious to Lance Leipold knows how to turn around a football program from the ashes. However, this task will be taller than any other he has probably faced in his coaching career. You aren’t playing DIII schools or even Ball State anymore. You will now square off with a high level of competition with a schedule that does not shy away from any team in the Big 12 conference. That means every year, you will be facing Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Iowa State as well as all the other schools in Texas and of course making the long trip to Morgantown. Oh, and don’t forget about your in-state rival Kansas State who has beaten up on Kansas for the last 12 years.
With all that said, I hope Lance takes the time to wipe the slate clean and start from scratch. Sure, everyone wants to win now but it is going to take time and with a six-year contract that will pay him $16.5 million, it looks like he will get the time he needs. Kansas Athletic Director Travis Goff said during his search he want to find a program builder.
Not only did Kansas get a program builder, but they also got a program builder who wants to build more than just a foundation as Lance Leipold stated on Monday that Kansas is a place he wants to be for “A very, very long time.”
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