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Commentary Bob Lutz: For KU, reality had to set in against Sooners

  • Published Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, at 7:34 p.m.
  • Updated Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, at 8:16 a.m.

— Charlie Weis fascinates me.

After another loss, Kansas’ 24th Big 12 loss in a row, Weis addressed the media Saturday and it was me who started looking at my watch.

Most coaches who have won as little as Weis has at KU hate the media. They hate a lot of things, but they especially hate the media.

Weis, though, does everything but pour us a drink and offer us a cigar. Win or lose, he settles into his big chair, because he’s a big man, and takes every question we can think of. Then he asks for more.

Honest. It happened again Saturday, after KU was beaten by No. 18 Oklahoma 34-19 at Memorial Stadium. The game was full of mistakes and botched decisions — one by Weis. His move to take the redshirt status off freshman quarterback Montell Cozart midway through the second quarter, with Kansas holding a 13-6 lead, was a terrible call.

But Weis defended it, saying he wanted to get Cozart into a game and preferred he got his feet wet when the Jayhawks’ offense had to pass into the wind. Never mind that Cozart didn’t throw a pass and that the possession, which started with a 14-yard gain from James Sims that was nullified by a penalty, went up in smoke.

I could feel Cozart’s knees shaking from a mile away. After that possession went nowhere, OU blocked a punt for a safety. The Sooners followed that up with a quick touchdown strike to take a 15-13 lead.

And what looked like a brewing upset went the way of the dinosaurs.

Oklahoma looked beatable. The Sooners took the field with a Texas hangover which, because it’s Texas, is much bigger than a normal hangover. The Sooners couldn’t get untracked offensively and couldn’t stop the Jayhawks’ running game.

With a little more offensive diversity, Kansas might have been able to jump on the Sooners for an even bigger lead than the 13-0 advantage it took.

When OU built its lead to 25-13 in the third quarter, Kansas fans probably wondered how bad it would get.

But the Jayhawks pulled a shocker, blocking an OU punt inside the 10-yard line, recovering the football at the 6 and scoring on a Sims run. Suddenly, it was 25-19 with 10:15 to play and soon to be 25-20… except that it wasn’t.

Believe it or not, the point-after kick by Matthew Wyman was blocked. And then returned for a defensive two points by Oklahoma’s Aaron Colvin. Instead of 25-20, it was 27-19 and OU was getting the ball back. And, of course, the Sooners drove 75 yards for the touchdown that put the game away.

Even after all of that frustration, Weis cajoled the media as if we were in a hunting lodge waiting for a hot toddy.

At one point, after about 15 questions from reporters, a silence fell over the room. Nobody could think of anything else to ask the KU coach.

“Fire away,’’ Weis said. “That’s what I’m here for.’’

Um, OK.

There were a few more questions about generalties before Weis, finally, relented.

I have my doubts about whether Weis is the guy to lead Kansas from this football abyss. But I can’t question his congeniality. He is accountable.

And at KU, there is much to be accountable for.

The Jayhawks are 1-33 in their past 34 Big 12 games. That’s amazing, considering they were 15-6 in the previous 21 before starting down this dark, dirty road.

The last time Kansas had more total yardage in a game against a Big 12 opponent was Oct. 17, 2009, against Colorado. The Jayhawks outgained CU 423 to 322 in that one, but lost. And, except for a 52-45 win over Colorado in 2010, during the Turner Gill era, Kansas hasn’t won a Big 12 game since.

Here’s a quick quiz for you: How many times has KU had a winning Big 12 record?

Remember, this conference has been around since 1996. If it were a person, it would be a senior in high school. But in all that time, Kansas has had a winning record only once, in 2007, when the Orange Bowl-winning Jayhawks were 7-1.

Take away that one glorious season and Kansas is 29-100 inside the conference. This is the program the other teams wipe their feet on before the real games start.

KU broke out another new set of uniforms Saturday: gray jerseys, blue pants, blue helmets. The Jayhawks have been all over the place stylistically this season and fans have become eager to see how Kansas dresses. The games, unfortunately, provide much less anticipation.

Reach Bob Lutz at 316-268-6597 or blutz@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @boblutz.

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