As we continue our look at what will help define success for Kansas football in 2012 we are again reminded that this is a team that was 2-10 a year ago and winless in the Big 12. It was bad no question about it, but how could the talent at hand be that bad?
The current roster is made up of several holdovers from one of Mark Mangino's best classes, Turner Gill's two seasons of strong recruiting and a transfer group assembled by current coach Charlie Weis. Continuity has been an issue, the coaching has been an issue, but can the talent be that bad?
If you glance back at the recruiting rankings it wouldn't appear to be. Watching Kansas a year ago it felt as if there wasn't a Big 12 player on the roster at times. That just isn't the case. There is talent on this team, it just isn't being developed from a strength and conditioning standpoint or from a coaching standpoint.
Weis has had a short nine month stretch to change that and by all accounts the offseason conditioning program should set the table and put these players in a position to compete from a physical standpoint. The next step is putting players in a position to maximize their talent. Weis and defensive coordinator Dave Campo are extremely bright and successful football minds and it is there job to put players in a position to compete.
It's been said before that success might not come in the form of 8 wins and a bowl game or even 5 wins for that matter. What Weis and Campo must do in order for this season to be considered a success is put a game plan in place each week that allows this team to be competitive and affords players an opportunity to showcase the talent that is on this roster.
Weis has openly stated that Kansas State is a program that Kansas should be targeting as a model. You won't find a coach in the business that is better at maximizing talent than Bill Snyder. In 2012 Weis will have a team that isn't built on Notre Dame or Florida recruiting success. Weis will have a Kansas team that will need every ounce of his energy and football knowledge in order to turn the corner. That starts this year with finding a way to show that this team and this program isn't void of talent, it simply hasn't been tapped into or maximized over the past two seasons.