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  • A hypothetical from Reddit

    Might as well get some discussion going....and I acknowledge that age is an issue with this hypothetical, but whatever:

    If Kansas continues their recent trend under David Beaty and wins only one or two games this season, it is safe to say that they're going to be firing him after the season. What I am curious about is if Kansas (both their fans and their administration) would be patient enough to allow a coach to build a winning program around a power running game?

    Craig Bohl is a winner. He won three national titles at North Dakota State, building that program into a I-AA powerhouse, and he's done well at Wyoming, winning 8 games in his third and fourth seasons there, along with a 1st and 2nd place finish in the Mountain division. It took Bohl two years to build the type of offensive line and defense had needs to run his system, and the results came in his third season. Wyoming's patience was rewarded with a tie for first place in the Mountain division and a bowl game. After finishing in a tie for 2nd in the Mountain last year and another 8-win season, Wyoming looked dominant in their opening win over New Mexico State. In Bohl's fifth year, Wyoming looks to be built in his image, with a power running game and a strong defense lead by an aggressive defensive line.

    After three years of 'rebuilding' from the Weis disaster in Lawrence, Kansas fans are understandably frustrated with their program, tired of 'rebuilding', and want to see some results. Would their fans be patient enough to allow a proven winner like Bohl come in and build their program?

    Bohl has ties to the Big 12, having coached at Nebraska from 1995-2002, so he was with the Cornhuskers their first seven years in the conference. Kansas tried to go with a Nebraska guy before when they hired Turner Gill in 2010. Gill lost his Kansas debut to Bohl's North Dakota State team, and his two-year tenure was a complete disaster. Any struggles Bohl might experience in his first two seasons at Kansas might trigger a lot of flashbacks to the Gill days.

    There is also the issue that going with a ground-bound power running game on offense in the Big 12 these days is a contrarian approach. With the exception of Kansas State, who does use some spread concepts to run the ball, every single Big 12 team pretty much runs some version of the spread to pass the ball on offense. Utilizing a power running game on offense would be a completely opposite approach to what 80% of the other Big 12 teams are doing, and would take advantage of defenses that are trending to faster and lighter players in order to defend passing attacks. Nebraska took advantage of this trend of lighter/faster defenses built to stop the run-n-shoot offenses in the '90s, using their power running game and option attack to dominate smaller defenses lacking the personnel to stop them. Kansas under Bohl would be employing a similar contrarian approach.

    There is also the fact that playing in a high-flying offensive circus of a conference is going to cause some incredibly ugly losses while you build the offensive line and defense needed to win with a power running game. Can Kansas survive any crises of faith that come after losing a game 60-7? Or multiple games by 50 points? Fans will grumble after losses that you can't win without an explosive passing game, will the administration be strong enough to withstand such whining?

    Kansas is an athletic department where the basketball program is clearly the first priority, but there is no reason they can't have a competitive football program. Craig Bohl is a winner who can build a winning program at Kansas. The question is, does Kansas have the patience to allow Bohl to build a winning program in Lawrence?

  • #2
    Craig Bohl wouldn't even answer the phone call. By all accounts, he's in a perfect situation for him at Wyoming. He is an outdoorsman, and not uber-ambitious like most coaches. I don't think he'll coach anywhere else for the rest of his life.

    That said, sure, we'd give a guy like that an exceedingly fair chance. The problem KU has had isn't patience; it's simply that there has not been year-over-year progress with any of the last 3 coaches. In fact, KU coaches have regressed the longer they are here.

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    • #3
      I'd love for a ground and pound attack here. B12 defenses are all built around speed to defend the spread. If a coach had the patience to install the scheme and recruit bulldozers, B12 defenses would be in deep shit trying to defend it. There's this myth that a ground pounding offense doesn't throw the ball, but it's bullshit. If you can run the ball down the throat of the defense, then play action is the greatest weapon in all of sports. Honestly, I'm sick of having QBs who don't know how to take snaps under center. I'm over the spread and it's shotgun every snap. That's why spread offenses struggle in short yardage, because on 4th and 1 if you run it you're handing the ball off deep, and the back has to run 5 yards just to get back to the LOS, when you only need 1. I'm not overly picky at one kind of offense we run in the future, I just hope it's anything but the spread.

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      • #4
        The reality is, if we did go to a run game focused offense, it would actually shorten the games and thus keep the final score closer (hopefully). We are already getting blown out every other week by 50, so I don't see how this would hurt our fanbase any more than it already is. We aren't going to compete for the same athletes as all the other top schools in the conference, and so we can't compete with the spread. If it's not the Wyoming guy, I'd say go after the Army guy or Navy guy.

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        • #5
          I'm all for DOING SOMETHING DIFFERENT. We simply don't have the talent resources to compete head-to-head with other spread offenses right now and most likely the near future. It's time to DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT, so I'm onboard with the ground and pound offensive approach...as opposed to just being "offensive". (See what I did there?)

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          • #6
            Yeah, sure, whatever. I'd take him in a heartbeat, but he's not coming here. Would this create a problem on the defensive side of the ball, though? Our defense needs to be tuned to stop spread offenses, but who will they hone their skills against?

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            • #7
              Maybe Long can ring up Les Miles and talk him into building a program.

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              • #8
                We should look into hiring the coaching staff that recently got fired from Maryland. I mean, say what you want about them killing a player, but they did just beat Texas so they obviously know what they're doing.

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                • #9
                  I doubt Beaty gets to the end of the season. He might not make it to Tursday afternoon. I'm all for a run first offense.

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                  • #10
                    I'm very glad I didn't watch this game.

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                    • #11
                      I've been ready to fire him for three years. I saw all I needed to see in the first season. At this point the only reason not to fire him immediately is that you are in conversations with players, assistant coaches, and (hopefully) outside coaches as well ... with critical decisions imminent.

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                      • #12
                        Mimic the service academy offenses. They seem to do more with less year in and year out.

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                        • #13
                          Something I hadn’t considered before is that even if he finds “his guy” before he fires Beatty, I don’t think he will be able to actually hire him until he’s interviewed minority coaches (assuming his guy isn’t a minority). Maybe hat rule has changed though. That takes time. I admittedly was on the “fire him whenever, but it doesn’t have to be right away” platform, but if we can’t even really start the official process until Beatty is gone, then he should really be gone tonight.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by All4KU View Post
                            Mimic the service academy offenses. They seem to do more with less year in and year out.
                            The service academy guys tend to be quite smart - even if they are undersized and somewhat athletically limited. Our guys are small, not athletically very gifted (with a few exceptions) and seem kinda stupid. I'm not sure they could even pull off an academy offense.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by FrobozMumbar View Post
                              We should look into hiring the coaching staff that recently got fired from Maryland. I mean, say what you want about them killing a player, but they did just beat Texas so they obviously know what they're doing.
                              I wouldn't touch Durkin or the strength coach, but Matt Canada can coach. Why LSU fired him, I'll never know but he was a coup for Maryland. I've heard worse ideas than giving him his first shot as a HC. He may be a Big 10 lifer though.

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