Kansas Football Needs Seth, Nothing Les

Special Edition Piece by Fred Davis (@TheFreddyD)

I’ve worked with enough professional athletes over the course of my radio career and one mantra I’ve heard a lot with former football guys – is that if you’d excelled at a high level before, you can do it again.

That’s the message Jeff Long is supposedly touting and one that some KU football fans seem to grasp although it does feel uncomfortable to say it given KU’s football plight over the last decade.

But KU has had success – albeit scattered – and given the work that’s been put into facilities and what’s on the horizon, KU football can be successful again, which is why it’s paramount that Long put it all on the line for North Texas’ Seth Littrell and not former LSU head coach Les Miles as the next head KU football coach.

Before you shoot me down with – Seth isn’t coming to KU, there are better jobs on the horizon, KU is too hard of a place to win at, etc., let me ask each person saying that – if it’s too hard for Seth Littrell to win at KU or to rebuild it – then why is it okay for Les Miles to take over and suddenly rebuild it? Before we get to why Seth is the ONLY choice…

A few things about Les Miles as to why I don’t want him as head coach at KU — >

1. His Age – 65.

But wait Fred, Nick Saban is 67, Bill Snyder is 78, Frank Solich is 73 – age is irrelevant. Guess what the difference is with those guys and Les Miles – those three aren’t REBUILDING A PROGRAM AT THEIR AGES. Saban has been manhandling FBS since 2007. Snyder is on his second run at KSU since 09. Solich since 05 at Ohio. These guys have well-oiled machines at their current job – which is why they can still coach at a high level. They’re not starting from scratch. That’s why the age factor is relevant.

2. He rebuilt Oklahoma State!

Let’s see, Okie State had won 30 games in five years prior to Les arriving at Okie State back in 2001. I wasn’t a math major at KU, but that’s six wins on average during that time – and they were a few years removed from a Bowl Game. KU has won 18 games in a DECADE and wouldn’t know what a Bowl Game was even if it was hosted at Memorial Stadium. That’s 1.8 wins a year during that time. Les also had Mike Gundy as his OC – who’s gone on to become one of the best offensive minds in college football since that time. Listen, did Les turn it around and get things rolling at Okie State? He sure did. He was also 47 when he took over and had a great staff with him and a great OC who was also nearly the HC. But was it a rebuild? No. Far from it. Winning at Okie State when you’re 47 with Mike Gundy versus rebuilding KU – not the same thing.

3. Recruiting LSU vs. Kansas

Oh, but he’s a great recruiter! Really. He regularly recruited top-five classes to Baton Rouge and there’s a ton of LSU guys in the NFL. Funny how that works considering most of those guys are either from Louisiana or Texas, which incidentally isn’t next door to Kansas. As I’ve said before – Kansas ain’t Louisiana and Kansas City isn’t Houston, and those make up two huge recruiting components for Les. Yes, Kansas has proven it can recruit to those areas, so there is that, but again, he’s pushing KU this time, not LSU.

4. He’ll fix his offense!

Oh, because he said he would? Kind of like when Les told the LSU folks he would hire an OC that could run the spread and recruit a QB that would finally get LSU over the hump. He responded with Cam Cameron, no QB and was fired after starting 2-2 in his last season at LSU. Neither Miles nor Cameron are currently back in football. Oh, and Les was an offensive guy at Michigan. But he’s willing to change!

But KU fans should be flattered simply because Les is even interested in the job! He’s the Mad Hatter! He eats grass! He won a title 12 years ago! It’s Kansas – beggars can’t be choosers!

Forget all that. Yeah, it is Kansas, we’re all well aware. But Kansas doesn’t need a Les.

It needs a Seth.

You want a guy who can legitimately turn around a program?

Get Seth.

1. Since 2003 – UNT had 10 seasons with FIVE wins or FEWER – That’s a REBUILD

Now these are numbers KU fans can relate to! Not to mention this is the Sun Belt conference, which almost sounds made up. In fact, UNT was so bad, they hired Seth after finishing with a 1-11 record in 2015. That same year KU went 0-12 as David Beaty was still trying to figure out what the hell he was doing. In the three years since –

Littrell – 21-16 – 2 Bowl Games

Beaty – 6- 28 – O Bowl Games

But Beaty inherited a disaster! He did. No doubt. And he’s left the KU program in better shape than he found it. God Bless him for that. But he’s not a good coach and that much is painfully evident. Sure, UNT’s situation wasn’t near as bad as KU’s.  However, he’s still turned things around there, the program is as consistent as it’s ever been and UNT is quite happy with the work he’s done in his three years there as they look forward to a third straight Bowl appearance.

2. He’s ALREADY AN OFFENSIVE GUY

With Les, he’s telling us he’s going to change offensively. Can’t Wait! Whereas with Seth – we don’t need to wonder what change that will bring – he’s already doing different things offensively – and we can SEE IT. Not only do we see it, but we see a dramatic improvement – almost immediately.

He was Offensive Coordinator at Arizona for two seasons – 2010 & 2011; OC at Indiana from 2012-14 and HC from 2016 to now. Here’s a look at the season before he took over and what they do while he’s OC.

SCHOOL

YEAR

RUSH

PASS

TOTAL YDS

PPG

ARIZONA

2009*

160

225

384

27

2010

132

307

440

28

2011

95

371

465

31

INDIANA

2011*

161

191

360

21

2012

131

311

442

32

2013

201

306

508

38

UNT

2015*

158

161

320

16

2016

133

208

341

24

2017

164

291

456

36

2018

147

317

464

37

*Before Seth

But wait, he was able to generate offense at schools like Zona and Indiana? Aren’t those…. BASKETBALL SCHOOLS? Now you can point to the fact those teams weren’t great, but Seth wasn’t in charge of the defense. Again, with total control at UNT, he’s winning games and his teams are better on both defense and special teams as opposed to his previous stops.

3. FINALLY – KU IS DUE AND MUST ACT LIKE IT BELONGS.

KU needs to quit acting like it we’re stuck with table scraps and go out and get that up-and-comer – and the best guy for that job is Seth. He started his coaching career at KU so he’s well aware of the layout and what it takes to make KU a viable football option. The KC Area is wildly underrated in terms of talent and it’s been written about on more than one occasion how Beaty said he was going to recruit Kansas kids – and then never did. Throw in the fact that Missouri has a ton more talent than it gets credit for, the St. Louis area is ripe with talent – and of course he knows how to recruit the Dallas-Fort Worth area – which has a robust KU Alumni network.

This really isn’t even a question to me. Seth is 40, makes $1.2M and it’s already been widely reported that KU will pay to get a good coach. So, if that’s what it’s going to take – you give him $2.5 – $3M to start, pay his assistants handsomely and let him know he’s going to be the next Bill Snyder at Kansas. The Big 12 is as wide open as it’s ever been and if you really think about it – with better leadership and coaching – why can’t KU scrape together 6 wins and get into a Bowl Game next year? Then you have your full allotment of schollies in 2020 under Year 2 of the Seth Regime? Maybe this rebuild isn’t the cluster-you-know-what you thought it was and suddenly KU looks like a competent football school. If UAB can be 9-1 two years AFTER STARTING ITS FOOTBALL PROGRAM OVER – then why can’t KU compete in a timely fashion?

It’s a no-brainer folks, if Jeff Long is serious about KU football, you go out and you get Seth Littrell. KU Football needs it now more than ever and contrary to all the naysayers out there – KU Football is not that bad of a job. Is it really that hard to win here – or is it hard to win when you take three guys who weren’t that good of head coaches to begin with – if they had the experience? Gill wasn’t that great at Buffalo and Weis sucked at Notre Dame. So why think they’d be good at KU? And then Beaty was a terrible WR coach – so let’s make him the Head Coach? Idiotic.

Mr. Long – do what you need to do – go hire Seth Littrell and you can have the kind of impact on Lawrence that is reserved for basketball types – faith in a competent coach and a winning program.

Fred Davis is an ’07 Graduate of KU. Hailing from Topeka, Fred resides in Houston, Texas where he hosts ‘In The Loop’ on Sports Radio 610 M-F 10a-2p. He also works in the Oil and Gas industry for CaminCargo.

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3 Replies to “Kansas Football Needs Seth, Nothing Les”

  1. A good plug for Seth Littrell. I agree he would be a great get for KU. Personally, I’d also be happy with Les Miles for a number of reasons. I’m curious if Dave Doeren has any interest in coming to KU, especially after signing his contract extension earlier this year. Regardless, it seems clear KU will pull out all the stops to get a competent, proven head football coach this time around. The new blood in the KU administration seems to be reading the writing on the wall and understands the importance of a home run hire.

  2. One thing to consider about the job Les did at Ok State is that they hadn’t won a bowl game since 1988 prior to his arrival, they also had A single winning conference record since 1988 prior to his arrival. Yes Ok State had 30 wins in the five years prior to Les taking the job but only 13 in the past 3 season with 3 total and 1 conference win in 2000. A coach with average intelligence wins 6 games this season with KU. Now I’ll agree with the scholarship issues and who we are likely to lose from not only graduation but transfers it will be a tougher rebuild than OSU. But OSU was without question in shambles when Miles showed up. Littrell also has done a great job no matter where he has gone but also hasn’t had a program in KUs shape ether or been a head coach at the power 5 level. I think we all can agree that it’s easier to rebuild a lower tier team in Texas than a power 5 program in Kansas. Word that I’m getting is that Lincoln Riley is headed to the Cowboys and Littrell wants the OU job (alma-mater). I personally will be disappointed if the next head coach isn’t Les Miles, Dave Doren or Seth Littrell. Long has to do whatever in his power to get one of these guys to Lawrence.

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