After another blowout loss, the horrific Jayhawks defense travels to Texas in a game that could immolate Turner Gill's hot seat.
Turner Gill didn't amass a 5-14 overall record at Kansas (1-11 in the Big 12, ow) in a single month, but he's certainly received no help in building a new Jayhawks program these last few weeks. Blowout losses to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and last week's embarrassment at home to rival Kansas State suddenly has Gill on the coaching hot seat in just his second season.
There's been a dreaded "we continue to evaluate the program" comment from administrators (a deadly cousin to the "vote of endorsement" kiss-of-death quote) and Gill's taken to faith-based instruction on improving his players. Morally admirable? Sure, but not really comforting to management.
Kansas is dead last or next to last in the nation in almost every meaningful defensive stat - 119th in passing and rushing, and 120th in total defense and scoring defense. Certainly those stats have been inflated (deflated?) by recent games against some of the nation's top offenses, but the same can be said of the Longhorns, and at some point KU administrators are looking for at least an effort. Texas is in the bottom tier of the Big 12's offenses, but again, that's lopsided thanks in part to the dazzling numbers of the Sooner State's scoring offenses.
For his part, Gill took a broadview in explaining his feelings about the program's development on Monday:
"I’m a human being and a good competitor. I wanted (the turnaround) to happen immediately. I don’t like to lose, but I also understand as you go into a program and you find out where it’s at and what you need to get corrected, none of us know how long it’s going to specifically take to get the program where you want it. That’s winning on a consistent basis.
I think you’d like to get your program to where you’ve had guys in for three to four years and they understand where you’re at and what you’re doing. Then you also have the guys that have been in your system that know what you want to do and how you want to do it on a consistent basis. You can’t fix it all in one or two years. Again, I still feel good about our plan, what we’re doing and particularly what we’re doing as a coaching staff with recruiting. We have one phase that we have to get corrected. I understand that, our staff understands that and we’re going to do it."