Aside from the product on the field, one of the most wince-inducing features of the Kansas football program this season has been Turner Gill's valiant opening statements in his weekly press conference. As the Jayhawks have slid from the status of bad to worse to awful, and as Gill's hot seat ranking has shot up the charts, the coach has employed the kind of broad, spiritual optimism featuring buzzwords like "competing" and "challenge" that sounds like what it is: a dirge for Gill's short run in Lawrence.
After a 13-10 loss at Iowa State Saturday, it's hard to tell if the near-win was harder on Gill and his staff than the weeks of blowout losses to some of the nation's best offenses. His remarks this week were brief:
"Good afternoon, we are really looking forward to show our determination of our football team and trying to make sure that we finish this thing on a positive note. (We) also (want) show that we are moving our program forward. Our players are continuing to believe in our coaches, they are continuing to believe in their teammates and that is what you have got to have as you continue to move forward for the rest of this season."
"Forward" consists of the 5-3 Baylor Bears, who have rallied behind the electric Robert Griffin III to produce the nation's second ranked offense (577.13 yards a game), which will meet Gills' dead-last total defense on Saturday. The Bears will be the third Top-5 offense Kansas has faced in the last six weeks.