The New Kansas Head Coach: Video Game Version

JDAnalyst IDecember 10, 2009

LAWRENCE, KS - SEPTEMBER 19:  Quarterback Kale Pick #7 of the Kansas Jayhawks carries the ball during the game against the Duke Blue Devils on Kivisto Field at Memorial Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

If only life were like an NCAA football video game, all of the Kansas Jayhawks' grid-iron problems would be solved.

There would be no rumors, no expenses (other than the 50 bucks or so to buy the game), no staff discrepancies, no bad coordinators, and no unusual Athletic Directors to deal with.

Speaking of which, Lew Perkins wouldn't even need a new head coach; I would simply plop down in front of the television and Playstation 2, begin a dynasty, and create myself. A skinny-built, young faced man sounds about right.

Next, in anticipation of the rebuilding year, I would schedule decently quality and diverse but gradually more-winnable non-conference contests for the 2010 campaign. Maybe I'd throw in a schedule-buster during conference play, just for fun.

Finally, it would be time to get to the real work.

First, I would implement my favorite offense, which like many of us, is the spread.  However, I would use the pistol as my base formation. 

The pistol set-up seems to best-utilize Kansas' diversely talented runningbacks (Toben Opurum, Rell Lewis, and Deshaun Sands) as well as the unique abilities of Kale Pick.  At the same time, Kansas could maintain the no-huddle spread to the benefit of Tim Biere and Kansas' quality receiving corps (including Jonathan Wilson, Bradley McDougald, Chris Omigie, and Erick McGriff in particular).

Unlike a standard shotgun, the pistol provides a greater variety of ground options including isolations, stretches, pitches, counters, draws, and much more. 

Such a game-plan also allows Pick an endless number of opportunities including everything from draws, sprint-outs, and his favored option attack to playaction hand-offs, pitch-fakes, sprint-outs, rollouts, and bootlegs. More importantly, it still gives the young quarterback the benefits of the shotgun and a variety of quick and deeper drop-back options.

Most importantly, a shorter time-frame of activity in the backfield, as opposed to that of a standard shot-gun, seems to suit our smaller, quicker, and experienced offensive line consisting of Tanner Hawkinson, Sal Capra, Jeremiah Hatch, Trevor Marrongelli, and Brad Thorson.

Next, we move on to defense, and this is where I get a bit over the top.

First of all, I would re-implement the 4-2-5 (hey, in video games, it actually works).  Unlike Clint Bowen, however, I would use it properly and utilize Kansas' surplus of youthful talent.

Instead of keeping all three safeties deep or playing the third as a nickelback, I would keep at least one, if not two safeties in or very near the box. Either one of redshirt freshmen Prinz Kande or Dexter Linton, if either is as good as advertised, should be able to manage the deepest middle part of the field himself.

Darian Kelly (redshirt freshman) and Lubbock Smith (sophomore) play like undersized linebackers anyway, but are far more useful in coverage against the popular Big 12 spread offenses. I like the idea of using the slightly larger Kelly as a Polamalu-esque linebacker-safety hybrid, lining up in the box as a weak side 4-3 linebacker of sorts.

Doing so would leave Kansas badly undersized at the linebacker position, assuming Huldon Tharp then moves to the strong side, but the increase of team speed and Smith's ability to skirt in and out of the box make it seem like a worthwhile try.

Drew Dudley would likely land in the middle linebacker role, but should the super-athletic Trayvon Henry hold his commitment to Kansas, he could contribute even more athleticism to the Jayhawk defense immediately.

The Jayhawks feature an endless number of average, inexperienced, or unproven corners to try. I suppose Chris Harris snags one spot, but the other's up for grabs. If JuCo transfer Dave Clark holds his commitment, then he, Anthony Davis, and Daymond Patterson would probably be the front-runners. 

However, (because it's only a video game), I might look to get young guys some valuable experience. Greg Brown (r.So.), Corrigan Powell (r.So., as I believe he took a redshirt this year), D.J. Beshears (So.), and Tyler Patmon (r.Fr.) would all probably get their fair chance as well.

Finally, the front four guys will be difficult ones to choose. I prefer a larger front, so Jake Laptad, Jamaal Greene, a still-growing Richard Johnson, and Quintin Woods would be the likely early favorites.

Once again, though, if things aren't to special, I might as well try a youth movement.  Kevin Young, Tyrone Sellers, and Randall Dent could all play opposite of Jake Laptad, and I would be completely in favor of giving sophomores John Williams and Darius Parish (I believe he took a redshirt this season as well) the opportunity to bring some impressive size to Kansas' interior.

The last and maybe most important facet of my video game coaching plans would involve recruiting.

I would be sure to snag up the great local talents that seem to, more often than not, head South and East. I would strive for quality, not quantity. I would avoid JuCo transfers (no offense) during the early, rebuilding process in particular. Most importantly, I would expand my horizons to recruits everywhere that are interested in Kansas, not just Texas.

I guess the most important idea here is really that I would do the recruiting entirely myself.

But it's too bad, because unfortunately Kansas' situation is far more serious and there is no reset button.

I know I have absolutely no control over what Lew Perkins ultimately decides to do, but at this point I just hope he does it quickly.

Let's get this 'dynasty' started, move on, and start prepping up for next season.


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