I sent a series of questions to Rock Chalk Talk on Monday asking about Saturday's season finale. They still have yet to respond, probably because they're too busy discussing their basketball team's win over San Jose State to bother with the oblong pigskin. Seriously, if you want to learn anything about Kansas football, DO NOT go to Rock Chalk Talk. They posted the (rather lengthy) transcript from Weis's press conference this week...and got 5 comments. That's literally the extent of their coverage of Saturday's game. Fortunately, we were able to get some recon on the Jayhawks from folks who are a little closer to Lawrence: the Iowa State bloggers Wide Right and Natty Lite. Having beat Kansas 51-23 earlier this year, the WRNL gang should have some good intel. Take it away:
Country Roads: So far, Notre Dame transfer Dayne Crist has failed to get the Kansas passing attack going the way Charlie Weis is used to. However, the running game has been fantastic led by the three-headed monster of James Sims, Tony Pierson and Taylor Cox. Somehow, WVU has been able to slow opposing running backs while allowing passing stats that some people can't even accomplish against air. How do you expect the Jayhawks to attack the WVU defense and how successful do you think they'll be?
Rock Chalk Talk (via Wide Right and Natty Lite): Charlie Weis will use his decided "strategic advantage" to basically run our offense's only strength into the heart of WVU's only defensive strength. Anything to make sure the CristCummings shit sandwich doesn't attempt double digit passes, even when we're playing catchup for most of the game. This is a plan that cannot fail.
CR: While the defense hasn't exactly resembled the 85 Bears, it has been able to slow down TCU, Oklahoma State and Texas, holding those teams to 20, 20, and 21 points respectively. What was behind that defensive success? Did you see anything in those games that makes you optimistic about slowing down Geno Smith, Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin?
RCT/WRNL: You don't hire Dave Campo, former coach of America's Team, and not have instant success. Campo is everything you want in a defensive coordinator: 15-33 career NFL head coach record, employed in one job for an average of two years at a time, and old. This guy just screams experience and is going to take this Kansas defense to a level not seen since the glory days of 2002 when our defense was within 24 points of every Big XII opponent... once.
CR: Charlie Weis was an interesting hire for a program that suffered through Turner Gill after Mark Mangino took the Jayhawks to a BCS bowl. So far, the results haven't been great. Do you see potential for the future? Has there been growth throughout the year, or has the team's performance given you doubts about where Weis has the program headed?
RCT/WRNL: Clearly the fat and successful gene didn't pass from Mangino to Weis. There are a myriad of reasons for this.
One, Weis just doesn't have the temper that Mangino did. When Mangino got hungry he took it out on players by beating them and trying to chew off their limbs. When Weis gets hungry he just pays some ball boy $100 to get him 17 Jimmy John's sandwiches. He tried going for the Slim sandwiches once but found them to not be filling enough.
Two, Mangino never tried to cheat and get unfat by using gastric bypass surgery. Instead he embraced his large size and the players responded by giving it their all on the field. Sure, they only really did this in 2007 but that was enough for them to win the Orange Bowl. Oranges, which by the way, Mangino probably gave to the homeless since he got his fill by eating the Orange Bowl mascot after mistaking it for a giant cheese puff. Weis on the other hand took a shortcut and got gastric bypass which resulted in a 90 pound weight loss. Just look at how svelte 450 looks! Just like Rex Ryan, it means Weis is only capable of cutting corners. And when you're Kansas and all your scandals revolve around basketball there just aren't a lot of resources available to cut corners for the football team.
Lastly, Mangino seemed to have the Stoops Horseshoe up his ass and was lucky not only as OC at Oklahoma but as head coach at Kansas. How else do you explain a 4'11" Todd Reesing being one of the most efficient passers in 2007? Weis on the other hand uses his "advanced schemes" to out scheme his opponent. If his opponent was a 10 pound bag of potatoes and there were several pounds of butter and sour cream on top of them.
CR: It's been interesting to hear different schools' perspectives on conference realignment. As the biggest basketball school in the conference and a program that lost your biggest rival to the SEC, how do Kansas fans feel about the Big XII's new membership? Do you think the conference should add new teams? If so, who?
RCT/WRNL: What were you asking about? We're still too busy having wet dreams about the Big 10 to care about the Big 12.
The Big 12 can have their Grant of Rights and their Texas-centric conference. Our move to the B1G is inevitable so we can deliver the Kansas City television market to the Big Ten Network and everyone at home can see classic football matchups with Minnesota, Indiana, and Purdue (ed: and Rutgers!) and classic basketball matchups with Iowa, Penn State, and Nebraska (ed: and Rutgers!). There's only one way to the top and it's through irrelevancy and the B1G conference. Jim Delany for life!
CR: Looking back through your schedule, the season opening win over South Dakota State has been followed by an alternating pattern of close games and blowout losses. That would seem to indicate that the Jayhawks are due to make this a close one in Morgantown, or possibly pull out the upset win. WVU is a 19.5 point favorite and the over/under is 70.5. "Hypothetically" where would you place your bets?
RCT/WRNL: I would put my bets on the following:
O/U 3.5 children Charlie Weis tramples to get to the buffet line postgame: Take the over. After a winless Big 12 season, Charlie will be looking to eat away his sorrows.
O/U 10.5 Shredded KU ACLs caused by Tavon Austin: Take the under. It takes effort to shred an ACL. KU players will have given up by the end of the 1st quarter.
That's probably also a roundabout answer for the game line.
Thanks to the guys at Wide Right and Natty Lite for more outstanding content. If you want to troll Kansas, do not, I repeat DO NOT go to Rock Chalk Talk---they do not care about football. Instead, visit Wide Right and Natty Lite and slam the Jayhawks there.