Kansas head coach Charlie Weis stole the show Monday at Big 12 Media Days. As detailed by the conference's official website, Weis was asked how he recruited prospects and he replied, "Have you taken a look at that pile of crap out there? If you can't play here, where can you play?”
Weis saying that is, well...pretty crappy.
Kansas was 1-11 last year. But it did improve from the previous year in at least one respect. In 2011, Kansas finished 3-9, but it lost to Oklahoma State 70-28 and Texas 43-0. In 2012, those margins of defeat were much closer, as the Jayhawks lost to the Cowboys 20-14 and Longhorns 21-17.
Texas head coach Mack Brown said at Big 12 Media Days on Tuesday that Weis was doing a "tremendous" job at Kansas. Brown is spot-on. Kansas may have been the best 1-11 team in the country last year. That is not saying much, but at least Kansas is not Colorado-bad.
There are different levels of bad. Kansas-bad is losing 52-7 to Oklahoma. Colorado-bad is losing 30-28 to Sacramento State and then losing 69-14 to Fresno State the following week.
Kansas football has stunk since 2009. It still smells bad, just not as bad as 2011's version. Four teams scored at least 59 points on the Jayhawks that season. Oklahoma State scored 70.
The team is becoming more competitive. So why disrespect it that way?
Weis' comment about last year's team was uncalled for. That he almost boasted about his recruiting pitch—a pitch he makes to teenagers, mind you—makes it that much more uncouth.
This is the same man who railed to Fanhouse's John Walters in 2009 about the criticism his family received from Irish fans:
I'll never forgive the people who character-assassinated me without even knowing me. Those people did irreparable damage to my wife and son, and I'll never forgive them.
Weis can dish it, he just can't take it, apparently.
Kansas is Weis' second head coaching job, third if you count his one-year stint at Franklin High School in New Jersey in 1989. Weis recruits well. Landing top-five classes is noteworthy. Having a 36-38 career record as a college football head coach is not.
Weis claims he will not make excuses for anything. He even wrote a book called "No Excuses." But he has made plenty of excuses for losses.
After a loss to Kansas State last year, Weis said, "I think the team needs to understand that there is only so much developing you can do with the seniors,” according to LostLettermen.com.
In 2009, Weis called for two passes, both of which fell incomplete, late in the game with a three-point lead, which stopped the clock and gave Michigan the ball back at its 43 after a punt with 2:13 and two timeouts remaining. Notre Dame lost 38-34. Weis' explanation, via Brian Hamilton:
So you have two choices. Are you running the ball, just to make them use their timeouts, or are you trying to win the game?
The answers to those questions should be yes and yes. Not no and yes.
Weis vented his frustrations on Twitter after a Kansas school newspaper had "Road Kill Ahead" as its front-page headline prior to the 2012 Kansas-Kansas State game, according to KansasCity.com. More:
“Team slammed by our own school newspaper,” Weis tweeted. “Amazing! No problem with opponent's paper or local media. You deserve what you get! But, not home!”
Weis added that he didn’t care about the image, but that he did want to stick up for his players.
“I personally could care less. You are what (sic) are," he tweeted. "On the other hand, if I don't support the players good or bad, who will??”
That's a great question. And Weis appears to have answered it at Big 12 Media Days.
Bluster and arrogance are part of the Weis mystique. So is that New Jersey tough-guy attitude. It worked well for him when he was the New England Patriots' offensive coordinator. Kansas is not New Jersey and the Jayhawks are not an NFL team.
This is the heartland. The breadbasket of America.
A little more butter and a little less spice in Weis' recruiting pitches to 17-year-old prospects and their moms may yield better results. Kansas will get better.
In the meantime, let's keep it classy.