Posted on: November 14, 2011 3:36 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2011 3:37 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
There are still two games left in the season for Kansas, and if you asked most Kansas fans how they felt, they'd probably tell you that they hope these are the last two games the team is coached by Turner Gill. Gill is understandably under fire in Lawrence as his Jayhawks team is one of the worst teams in any of the BCS conferences, as they are 2-8 on the season with an 0-7 record in the Big 12, losing conference games by an average of 24 points per game.
Though the feelings the fans have aren't shared by Gill's players. A few of them talked to KUSports.com, and they don't want to see their head coach go anywhere.
“We’re fighting so hard for him and for what people say about him and his job security,” said senior linebacker Steven Johnson. “I really think he should stay here for a long time. He’s a good coach, and we’re just on the brink. We’re fighting. We’re fighting. We’re close, and as soon as we get that win, I’m pretty sure everything’s gonna turn around.
“[Gill's status is] on our minds a little bit. We try not to worry about it, but, at the same time, it’s difficult going through a coaching transition because we’ve created friendships and bonds with all these coaches, and when we never win, it’s hard. And in games like [the 31-30 overtime loss to Baylor], where we should’ve had a win, that’s even more difficult. It just hurts. But I just hope that we continue to give coach Gill a shot because he’s a good coach, and I’m pretty sure this program will turn around.”
Senior lineman Jeff Spikes echoed his teammate's thoughts, but I'm not sure the player's wishes will be enough to save Gill.
Gill is only in his second season at Kansas, which is probably too early to fire any head coach, but Kansas hasn't had much success during Gill's two seasons. In his first 22 games, Gill's Kansas team is 5-17 with a 1-14 record in the Big 12. Compare that to Kansas' 13-12 mark under Mark Mangino in his final two seasons -- though Mangino wasn't fired strictly for performance reasons -- and it seems like the program has gone backward under Gill.
Posted on: February 23, 2011 3:31 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Shawn Watson is out and Tim Beck is in as Nebraska's offensive coordinator. But what does that mean for the Huskers' offensive schemes?
Beck's not saying just yet, but it sounds like some big changes are poised to be rung in:
"I can't give away all my secrets," the new Husker offensive coordinator said Tuesday night during the Sports Nightly radio program.Two questions Beck's statement begs:
1. What does starting over mean exactly? In 2010, the Huskers were predominantly a spread-option team in the mold of Oregon or Rich Rodriguez's West Virginia teams, and for about half a season, had a similar amount of success; the scheme turned Taylor Martinez from an unknown redshirt freshman into a Heisman candidate in the space of about six weeks.
But the offense flagged badly down the stretch, resulting in a late-season slide and Watson's departure-slash-Beck's promotion. If Beck lives up to his threat to start entirely from scratch, the offense may look more like the pass-first aerial attacks that Beck coordinated at Missouri State way back in the late '90s and helped Mark Mangino develop at Kansas a few years later.
Going from last year's run-first-run-second offense to that kind of scheme would close a 180-degree shift, meaning that Beck may try and maintain some of the zone read looks from 2010 to help ease the transition. But then again, if what he really wants is a single-identity offense that's "consistent throughout" the playbook, Beck may go whole hog with the change and simply deal with the inevitable growing pains. And as for the player that might experience the bulk of those pains, the other question is ...
2. How would "starting over" affect Martinez? Not kindly, one wouldn't think. Though efficient when called upon though the first half of the season, Martinez only averaged 125 yards passing per-game and struggled late in the year when trying to throw the Huskers out of deficits. Even given Martinez's unquestioned status as the Husker's most explosive playmaker and highest-profile offensive talent, a move to a pass-centric offense might still open the door for 6'4" junior Cody Green to take over the offense.
This is another reason to think Beck won't entirely fulfill his "start over" mandate; like Al Borges at Michigan with Denard Robinson, to do so would be to intentionally minimize the strengths of his offense's greatest weapon. With so much doubt surrounding precisely how Beck plans on moving the Huskers forward, few spring camps are likely to be more scrutinized ... and Beck's comments have only made the mystery that much more intriguing.
Posted on: October 21, 2010 11:22 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
It's time to dump a bucket of ice-cold water over the heads of all those Kansas fans out there who would like to see Turner Gill fired following the season. Sorry, folks, but it's not going to happen. At least, not unless you all start one of the greatest fundraising campaigns in school history. Why won't the school fire Gill this year?
Because it would cost them $8 million.
See, when Lew Perkins signed Gill to a five-year, $10 million deal before the season, he didn't include a buyout clause in the deal. Why? Who knows. You would think that after the school was forced to pay Mark Mangino so much money after firing him, they might learn the value of the buyout clause, but apparently not.
Making matters worse, it's not like Kansas would have years to pay Gill the $8 million, it would have 90 days.
So get over it, Jayhawks fans. Gill isn't going anywhere anytime soon, and nor should he be. I know that Gill's first season in Lawrence has been an unmitigated disaster. Aside from an upset over Georgia Tech that gets harder to comprehend ever week, the season has been a nightmare.
Still, I feel the need to remind you that this is Gill's first year. It takes time to rebuild a program, and let's remember that it's not like the Jayhawks were in great shape when Gill got there, or else he wouldn't have been hired in the first place.
Posted on: October 19, 2010 12:01 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
If there were a Richter scale for first-year coaching disasters, where Steve Kragthorpe or Mike Locksley rated a 10.0 and, say, Larry Coker a 0.0, the coaching seismometer would be gauging Turner Gill 's first season at Kansas as a solid 9.7 ... with it only missing out on the perfect 10 due to the Jayhawks' increasingly inexplicable Week 2 upset of Georgia Tech .
The rest of Gill's "results" to date? A touchdownless season-opening loss to FCS North Dakota State (after which the Bison's head coach suggested the Missouri Valley Conference would be too tough for KU), a non-competitive loss at C-USA's Southern Miss , and now back-to-back Big 12 losses (to Baylor and Kansas State , not exactly the league's heavyweights) by a combined 100 points. This debut campaign hasn't just been a red flag regarding Gill's long-term success at Kansas, it's been a giant red banner covering all of Lawrence like the orange draperies in that AT&T commercial that has Nick Drake spinning in his grave . (Ahem.)
But even if Gill's days at KU already look numbered, even instant fired-men-walking like Kragthorpe and Locksley got a second year. Surely, surely, Kansas wouldn't humiliate Gill -- one of the profession's truly nice guys, by virtually all accounts -- by pink-slipping him after just one season. But Omaha World-Herald columnist Lee Barfknecht says that nothing for Gill is guaranteed :
[Firing Gill] will be discussed — and I mean by KU decision-makers — for two reasons.That seems like three reasons rather than two, but you get the point. It's a long-held assumption that football players will deal with a "Victorian Era" approach to discipline like Gill's as long as it seems to be paying off in wins. If it's not, morale can go south in a hurry ... and though we're wading pretty deeply into rank speculation at this point, the Jayhawks' "effort" in the Baylor and Kansas State losses has to beg the question of whether Kansas's players are still buying what Gill is selling. If the new KU A.D. discovers that program morale is already past the point of no return, a first-year firing could be within the realm of plausibility.
That said, it remains extremely unlikely for a whole host of more convincing reasons than the "fire him now" reasons above. There's the inevitable public relations hit from pulling the trigger on a first-year coach (and an African-American coach at that, it has to be noted); the simple fact that Gill could turn things around, and by not doing anything to embarrass the program off the field a la former head coach/deplorable bully Mark Mangino , it's fair to say he's earned that chance; and perhaps most persuasively of all, there's Kansas's potential inability to buy Gill out of his contract this soon. After this year's $3 million ticket-scalping scandal, the $2 million to buy out disgraced former athletic director Lew Perkins (not to mention the millions spent paying Perkins' exorbitant salary ), and the cost of hiring a new A.D., the Jayhawk coffers can't exactly be overflowing in the current economy.
So if Gill doesn't wind up on the Kansas sidelines in 2011, it'll still be something of a shock. But that the plugged-in likes of Barfknecht can even suggest that he might not -- and that that suggestion has to be taken seriously -- should offer some indication of just how rocky things have already gotten for Gill in Lawrence.
HT: EDSBS .
Posted on: September 23, 2010 2:26 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
So Minnesota hires Mark Mangino as a consultant, and the very first news out of Minneapolis just hours later? Wideout/kick return specialist Troy Stoudermire is suspended for "conduct detrimental to the team." Are the two events related? There's no telling as yet, so that just means we're going to have to speculate. And speculate recklessly, at that.
So we wonder: what exactly did Stoudermire do to get suspended indefinitely?
Posted on: September 22, 2010 10:05 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
It may seem like an exaggeration, but the 1-2 Minnesota Golden Gophers have could be 3-0 right now. If it weren't for USC's Robert Woods 97-yard kick return TD in the late third quarter or a few bad bounces against South Dakota, the Gophers would be feeling very different about their season.
But yet another sluggish start for Minnesota has the Golden Gophers looking for answers. Reports have made it seem to look like they will be looking to a former coach and friend of the program to help with those answers.
It's been less than a year, but it appears that former Kansas head coach Mark Mangino is returning to college football. According to a local report, Mangino has been hired by the University of Minnesota in a non-coaching role to assist current head coach Tim Brewster.
KSTP Channel 5, an ABC affiliate in Minneapolis, is reporting that Mangino had been hired as a consultant to University of Minnesota football coach Tim Brewster.
Several Minnesota media outlets reported over the weekend that Mangino was on the Gophers’ sideline during their loss to USC last Saturday.
On Wednesday afternoon, University of Minnesota officials refuted the report in response to an email sent by the Journal-World late Tuesday night.
Mangino, the 2007 Coach of the Year, left Kansas amidst allegations of verbal and physical player abuse. The end of Mangino's era at Kansas were included some of the most successful in Jayhawks history. In that 2007 season, Kansas was 12-1 and made their schools first BCS appearance ever in the Orange Bowl.
The Jayhawks dominating defense was one the characteristics of Mangino's team, and if there a spot where he can help immediately at Minnesota it is on the defensive side of the ball. The Golden Gophers are giving up an average 30.0 points per game so far this season, against a relatively soft schedule. Brewster and Mangino should work well together, the two have been known as friends and have often spoken highly of each other.