Can Charlie Weis win at Kansas?

By Patrick Schmidt

Charlie Weis was all smiles when he was introduced as the new head coach at Kansas this past December, but that smile will not be making a return appearance anytime soon considering the state of Jayhawk football.

After serving as offensive coordinator at Florida, Weis jumped at the opportunity to become a head coach again and is taking on the task of turning Kansas into more than just a basketball school.

Bill Self perennially has the Jayhawk basketball team atop the Big 12, but the football team has never won a Big 12 conference title, and has not claimed a conference title since the 1968 season when they were co-champions in the Big 8.

The goal for the 2012 team will not be winning the conference with heavyweights like Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma State, but rather a return to respectability is in order.

Kansas has lost 26 of their last 31 games after a five game winning streak to open the 2009 season and bottomed out with a 2-10 season in 2011.

Weis clearly has his work cut out for him.  This is not a situation like the one he had at Notre Dame where he coached from 2005-2009 going 19-6 in his first two seasons.  Weis could recruit players all across the nation and sell the Notre Dame brand to get high-profile recruits on campus.

He will not be able to do that in Lawrence, Kansas, where the top recruit pitch would be asking if a player likes to go to basketball games in the offseason.

This clearly is a huge undertaking for Weis, so expecting success in his first three seasons would be foolish, but at least Weis will be reunited with Dayne Crist, his former quarterback at Notre Dame.

Perhaps after Kansas loses by 31 to Oklahoma, the two of them can order pizza while breaking down the game tape and reminisce about the good ole days in South Bend and have a slice and a smile.

There will not be much to smile otherwise for the Kansas football team for years to come.

Follow me on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt

Patrick is a diehard Chicago sports and avid college football fan, and the host of “The Wake-up Call,” a weekly sports show on Wednesday mornings from 8-10.  View his show’s website here.

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