I’ve decided to add a new blog series to my repertoire. Once a month I’ll be taking Kansas football questions from my followers and I’ll try to answer them to the best of my ability.
Here we go!
1.) Who is going to be a surprise breakout player this year? @LaranBrice
This is a great question and tough one to answer especially with so many players on the roster. But when I saw this question the first name that popped into my head was junior tight end James Sosinski.
“Big Game James” has an advantage over the other football players—he got the rare chance to work with Andrea Hudy, who’s the Kansas basketball strength and conditioning coach. She’s easily one of best at what she does and David Beaty could see the difference in Sosinski right away.
James also got the chance to work with a proven winning coach in Bill Self. This isn’t a knock on Beaty by any means but it does make a difference when you work with a coach loaded with confidence and who has experienced a history of winning. That type of confidence will rub off on the players and I think that’s what will happen with Sosinski. David Beaty even mentioned Sosinski as a player that has stood out in the spring. He’s playing with a new confidence and per Beaty “rounding his game out.”
In my opinion Sosinski could see a decent amount of targets especially in the end zone. Remember he had to rebound against 7 foot big man Udoka Azubuike every day in basketball practice so that will only help his potential. And then add in the departure of big receiver Chase Harrell and I can see a lot of targets going the way of Sosinski.
2.) When Beaty was hired a majority had the mentality that we had to keep a coach for more than three years to fix the issues and he should be given around five years. Why has that mentality changed so drastically and what will firing him do to instantly fix the program? @TheKUView
This is a fantastic question and I’m assuming something a lot of Beaty supporters really would like the answer to.
I think the first issue with this entire situation is not a lot of fans quite understood how deep a hole Kansas football was actually in. When Beaty got here he had less than 60 scholarship players when the program is allowed 85. That’s an entire offensive and defensive team of players that he didn’t have. He simply didn’t have the talent or depth that other teams in the conference have had since he’s been here.
And then he had to convince recruits that they could play right away and be a part of something great—turning a beaten down program to a winning program. This isn’t an easy task as a lot of recruits value winning even if it means they can’t play right away.
I also don’t think David Beaty quite understood how deep a hole Kansas was in. This is his first head coaching job and it’s a heck of a situation to be put in. And because of this I don’t think he’s had the chance to fully grasp the entire job of being a head coach in college as he’s spent most of his time trying to get the roster back to 85 scholarship players.
But the problem with this defense of Beaty is even though the program was so far down he’s still needed to show some form of improvement. And from 2015 to 2017 there really hasn’t been any—at all.
|Kansas Football 2015||Kansas Football 2017|
|Total Offense – 119th||Total Offense – 120th|
|Passing – 80th||Passing – 76th|
|Rushing – 121st||Rushing – 125th|
|Receiving – 80th||Receiving – 76th|
|First Downs – 114th||First Downs – 124th|
|Offensive Efficiency – 118th||Offensive Efficiency – 122nd|
|Total Defense – 128th||Total Defense – 118th|
|Passing Defense – 125th||Passing Defense – 126th|
|Rushing Defense – 125th||Rushing Defense – 71st|
|Sacks – 65th||Sacks – 92nd|
|Interceptions – 92nd||Interceptions – 125th|
|Defensive Efficiency – 115th||Defensive Efficiency – 110th|
|Field Goals – 124th||Field Goals – 32nd|
|Punting – 9th||Punting – 12th|
|Special Teams Efficiency – 125th||Special Teams Efficiency – 124th|
And Beaty even said in one of his most recent media conferences that Kansas should be a little over 70 scholarship players this year. That’s a good sign even though I would have expected around 80 after three years. But you would think that if your scholarships are improving each year that you’d start to see improvements on the field as well. Unfortunately, that has not been the case.
Then we take into account the fact that Beaty just hasn’t had the team prepared for games or even typical in game situations. A few examples—the time running out at the end of the South Dakota State game because Cozart couldn’t simply snap and spike the ball, the OSU game when Kansas had the chance to take the lead or cut it to one at half but Beaty made a substitution that ended in a timeout with five seconds left and a blocked field goal, and when we got the ball back with a chance to cut West Virginia’s lead to one but he calls (or at least his OC called) a bubble screen that was immediately picked off and eventually resulted in Kansas losing by 30 points in a game that could have been close.
Oh—and should I add in the whole not shaking OU’s hands during the pre-game coin toss? Total lack of sportsmanship even if this wasn’t Beaty’s idea. But his player’s actions reflect his coaching and that’s what concerned the fans.
So, to answer the question ‘why has the mentality changed so drastically’? It’s because the lack of improvement in games and the lack of on field preparation.
Having said that I actually don’t think Beaty should be fired. At least not right now. Had you asked me after the 2017 season ended my answer may have been different. But he’s our coach for 2018 and the approach I’m taking is simple—I’m going to support Beaty and the players because I love the program.
3.) If not Beaty, then who? Stick with coach Beaty please. @gregs_l (GLS Bud Man)
I think a lot of people forget that Kansas is a D-1 program in a Power 5 Conference. Yes, they’ve been really bad for almost ten years, but they have the facilities and support—from the donors at least—to have a quality football program. A 350 million dollar proposal for a newly renovated stadium will get any coaches attention regardless of how bad the team is.
Needless to say I think Kansas would have options and a lot more than what people think. Take a look at some of the candidates they’ve had in the past—Jim Harbaugh, Dave Doeren, Justin Fuente, Troy Calhoun and Gus Malzahn. These are all very successful coaches and have been everywhere they’ve been.
Obviously that was in the past and not all of these guys would be interested now but what if Beaty would have been fired last year? Who would have been a legit replacement that would have been interested?
- Dave Doeren (NC State HC) – Doeren is a Kansas guy and I think if the right offer was made he’d definitely be interested especially with some brand new facilities and a newly renovated stadium on the cusp. He’s also been very successful everywhere he’s been and I have no doubt he’d be successful at Kansas.
- Chad Morris (was SMU HC now Arkansas HC) – Morris is a great football coach and did some impressive things at SMU. In his first year in 2015 they went 2-10, then in 2016 they went 5-7, and in 2017 the team went 7-6 and made a bowl game. Now that’s improvement.
- Craig Bohl (Wyoming HC) – Bohl did an incredible thing with Josh Allen who barely had any offers to play D-1 football. He turned Allen into a top 10 NFL Draft pick which was rather astonishing. Anyone who does that is going to turn some heads. He has also had a strong defense since he’s been at Wyoming and really knows how to run a program.
Those would have been my top three targets but a few others that I think would have been good replacements and interested are Scott Satterfield (Appalachian State), Shawn Elliott (Georgia State), Seth Littrell (North Texas), Jason Candle (Toledo), Dave Clawson (Wake Forest), and Neal Brown (Troy). These are all incredible up and coming coaches that have made a name for themselves.
Keep in mind I’m not saying that Beaty should have been or should be replaced I’m just saying there would definitely be options if he was.
Either way I still hope for the best and would love nothing more than for Beaty to turn it around this year.
And that’s it! Thanks for the questions!