Can Turner Gill Turn Kansas Jayhawks into Winners?
Turner Gill's coaching career at the University of Kansas didn't start off ideally after losing his inaugural game as KU's head coach to North Dakota State by a score of 6-3. Gill has since racked up a total of five wins in his first 23 games as KU's head football coach, and it doesn't look like the program is taking many steps in the right direction.
Gill should still have another couple of years to prove himself to be the right guy to coach Kansas' football team despite his 5-18 record in almost two compete seasons in Lawrence, Kan.
It wouldn't be right if Turner was fired before he had the opportunity to bring in a full recruiting class over four years and replace the leftover recruits that remained from the Mark Mangino era.
The Kansas Jayhawks football team may be a disgrace to the university, but Turner should be allowed more time to rebuild the program before he gets canned.
Gill Turned Buffalo into Winners
Turner Gill spent three years (2006-09) turning the Buffalo University football program into a winning program prior to his arrival at the University of Kansas. The Buffalo Bills had just one win prior to Gill's arrival, and by the time he left in 2009, Buffalo was Mid-American Conference champions.
Gill's Buffalo Bills earned just two wins in his first season (2006) as Buffalo's head coach, but they made progress the following year ('07), going 5-7.
Gill certainly hasn't made the same type of progress in his second year at Kansas. The Jayhawks have only gone backwards, earning two wins with one game to play this year compared to the three games Gill's Jayhawks won in his first season in Lawrence.
Mid-American Conference Is a Lot Different Than the Big 12
Turner Gill may have found success with Buffalo in the Mid-American Conference, but the Mid-American Conference is nothing compared to the Big 12. The competition is much higher in the Big 12, and it's not the easiest to compete with three other Texas schools for Texas recruits.
With the departure of Texas A&M from the Big 12, some may have thought that would've benefited Turner Gill and Kansas, but shortly after Texas A&M decided to go to the SEC, the Big 12 decided to invite TCU, another Texas football program, to join its conference.
Turner Gill is going to have to use his connections from when he played quarterback at Nebraska in order to reel in some big-time recruits in the process of turning this Kansas football program around. And it's not going to be easy with all of the other top-notch college football programs in the Big 12 Conference.
Mark Mangino Didn't Pave an Easy Road for Turner Gill
Kansas Jayhawks football was at the top of the world in 2008, two seasons prior to Turner Gill's arrival. Mark Mangino was the team's head coach, and he led the Jayhawks to an Orange Bowl victory over Virginia Tech.
Well, Mangino got fired a year after leading the Jayhawks to their best season in history because of the way he treated his team behind closed doors.
Turner Gill was Mangino's successor, and it wasn't like Mangino left Gill with his top recruits. Most of those guys were already in the NFL, leaving Gill with a bunch of scrubs and having to start from the ground up.
Combine having to rebuild a football program at the bottom of the Big 12, with the hype from an '08 BCS win, with a new coach. It's not going to be easy for that guy, and that guy is Turner Gill.
Gill has the potential to turn the Kansas Jayhawks into winners on the football field, but the signs aren't pointing in his favor.
Kansas Will Always Be a Basketball School
The University of Kansas will always be known for its basketball, no matter how much success it may achieve on the football field.
Even when KU won the Orange Bowl in 2008, the football team's glory was overshadowed a few months later because of the basketball team's national championship.
As long as KU continues to hire basketball coaches like Bill Self and Roy Williams, there isn't much the football program can do in order to take priority over the basketball program. It's sad, but it's the truth.
As soon as "Late Night in the Phog" tips off in Lawrence, football is in the rear-view mirror.