The Kansas Jayhawks were downright terrible in 2012, going 1-11 and failing to beat a single FBS opponent. Head coach Charlie Weis made drastic changes to the roster this offseason to try and turn things around, signing 20 junior-college transfers in this year’s recruiting class. The idea is to bring in some guys with experience at the college level to try and bridge the talent gap that has kept Kansas in the cellar of the Big 12 for several years now. But is this JUCO strategy a way to jumpstart the program or Charlie Weis’ resume?
There’s a great deal of risk in putting all the Jayhawks’ eggs into the JUCO basket because while the talent level may rise in the immediate future, the players coming in this year are only with the team for two years. Meanwhile, scholarships that could have gone towards younger players who need the time to develop are no longer there and the young foundation of the program remains unbuilt.
But Weis may not be that concerned with building a long-term foundation at Kansas. Entering his second season as the head coach of Kansas, this is officially the longest that Weis has spent at a job since being fired as the head coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. He spent one season as the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs before leaving that job for the same position with the Florida Gators. He lasted just one year in Gainesville (where he went to “spend more time with family”) before landing in Lawrence as the head coach.
Don’t think that this job is where he wants to end up, however. In his introductory press conference with the Jayhawks, Weis admitted that this was “going to be a quick stop,” with the hefty head coach putting a five-year timeline on his stay in Lawrence. After going 1-10 in his first season, he may need the immediate impact of a roster filled with JUCO kids just to see year three, let alone year five. And it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that Weis is looking to flip a quick fix at Kansas into another coaching job in the NFL or a more prestigious football school at the college level (no offense to Kansas fans).
So the question remains: Is Charlie Weis turning over the Kansas roster with JUCO players to jumpstart the program or as a shortcut to get himself a new job?