The tenure of Charlie Weis with the Kansas Jayhawks will ultimately be remembered for a lot of things. There is his “five-year plan” that he laid out when he was hired that involved him getting out of Lawrence as quickly as possible. There’s also “we stink” recruiting pitch to get impact JUCO players to sign on. But one thing he will not be remembered for, thankfully, is setting the Big 12 record for consecutive conference losses. With their decisive win against the West Virginia Mountaineers, Kansas got the losing streak off their back and can start to perhaps build the program up out of the cellar of the Big 12.
Coming into their game against WVU, Kansas had lost 27 straight Big 12 contests, just two shy of the all-time record for futility held by the Baylor Bears who lost 29 straight conference games from 1998-2001. The Jayhawks could have set the new record if they had lost out this season and earned a dubious mark in history that might have ended Weis’ short time at the helm of the program. Dodging that bullet gives the Jayhawks more momentum heading into an offseason (though still a couple weeks away) than they have had in the last five years.
Of course, they still have a LOT of work to do before the Jayhawks can legitimately compete on a weekly basis. This win makes Kansas just 3-38 against Big 12 opponents over the last five seasons and there is still a noticeable talent gap between Kansas and the majority of the conference but that gap might be closing. James Sims certainly looked like a breakout performer last week, rushing for 211 yards and three touchdowns, though he is in his final year of eligibility at Kansas.
Every turnaround has to start somewhere. Charlie Weis might just be getting started later than he would have liked. But after getting his first conference win and breaking a woefully long losing streak in conference play, he’ll look to build off this win. And with the struggling Iowa State Cyclones up next on the schedule, could the Jayhawks start a new kind of streak by winning back-to-back games?