Charlie Weis

Interim Kansas head coach Clint Bowen will be tasked with trying to turn the ship around for the Jawhawks, as Charlie Weis was fired after a little more than two years on the job. During his time in Lawrence, Kansas, Weis compiled a 5-22 record — the lowest winning percentage of any coach in Kansas history. While they did have a decent 2-2 record so far this year, the Jawhawks lost both games against tougher FBS teams — Duke and Texas — by a combined score of 64-3. Weis will collect the remaining $7 million on his contract with Kansas while still receiving the reported $19 million from his contract with Notre Dame, where he was fired from in 2009.

Texas Tech QB Webb a game-time Decision

Texas Tech’s sophomore quarterback Davis Webb will be a game-time decision for the Red Raiders against Kansas State, after injuring his non-throwing shoulder against Oklahoma State on Sept. 25. After taking a hard sack in the fourth quarter, Davis appeared to injure his left shoulder. After a visit to the locker room, he seemed ready to come back into the game, but head coach Kliff Kingsbury kept him out. Davis underwent an MRI last Saturday, but the results have not been made public. If Webb is unable to play, freshman Patrick Mahomes will likely get the start. Mahomes was 2-of-5 for 20 yards with a touchdown pass and an interception against Oklahoma State.

Garman, Hicks, Lockett take home Big 12 honors

After a breakout performance against Texas Tech last week, Oklahoma State junior Daxx Garman was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week for the first time in his collegiate career. Garman was 17-of-31 in the 45-35 win over the Red Raiders and passed for 370 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions and also added a rushing touchdown. His five total touchdowns were the most scores by a Cowboy quarterback in a Big 12 game since 2011.

Texas senior linebacker Jordan Hicks took home the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors after recording 15 tackles, a tackle for loss and an interception in the Longhorns’ 23-0 win over Kansas. Hicks was part of the Texas defense that posted its first road shutout since 2005.

Kansas State senior punt returner Tyler Lockett rounded out the Big 12 awards with the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week honor following his performance in the Wildcats’ win over UTEP. Lockett had 143 punt return yards, including a 58-yard return for a touchdown, putting him second in school history for most single-game punt return yardage. Lockett finished with 256 all-purpose yards in the 58-28 win over the Miners.

Senior safety Mykkele Thompson and senior linebacker Jordan Hicks work to hold Kansas senior wide receiver Tony Pierson to just three yards. Although quarterback Tyrone Swoopes completed only 19 of 34 passes, Texas' defense dominated the Jayhawks, allowing zero points while forcing four turnovers.

Photo Credit: Sarah Montgomery | Daily Texan Staff

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas’ 23-0 loss to Texas on Saturday proved to be the last straw for the Jayhawks, as they fired head coach Charlie Weis on Sunday morning.

But, if it weren’t for such a dominant performance by the Longhorn defense, the Charlie in Austin could just as easily have been the one in hot water.

While the scoreboard displayed a comfortable victory for head coach Charlie Strong and the Longhorns, that wasn’t exactly the case in Kansas on Saturday.

Without some key stops and a couple of timely interceptions by defensive coordinator Vance Bedford’s defense, Texas might have found itself on the losing end of a major upset.

“The guys came up with big plays at the right time,” Strong said of the defense. “Any time you defensively get a shutout, it’s really great for the defense.”

Offensively, the Longhorns weren’t any better than the lowly Jayhawks. Each of Texas’ four scoring drives started inside the Kansas 30-yard line, and the Longhorns only outgained Weis’ offense by a total of 16 yards.

But the Texas defense turned in its best performance of the season, posting the program’s first road shutout since 2005. While the Jayhawk offense isn’t exactly known as a powerhouse, a shutout in conference play is always an impressive feat.

“They had the same amount of time to prepare to put that ball in the end zone as we did to keep them out,” said senior linebacker Jordan Hicks, who recorded his second career interception in the contest. “[The shutout] means a lot to this defense and to this team.”

In addition to Hicks’ interception, senior cornerback Quandre Diggs picked off Kansas sophomore quarterback Montell Cozart in the end zone in the first quarter, preventing a potential go-ahead touchdown for the Jayhawks. Junior cornerback Duke Thomas added two more interceptions for the Longhorns, including one in the end zone to stymie Cozart’s Hail Mary pass attempt at the end of the first half.

“We are attacking the ball, and we are catching [interceptions] and not dropping them,” said Diggs, whose defense is tied for second in the country with nine picks already this season. “The guys on the defensive line continue to work hard and make our job easier.”

The Longhorn defense has been strong nearly all season and single-handedly carried Texas to victory at Memorial Stadium. But with conference powerhouses —  No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 7 Baylor and No. 23 Kansas State — all on the schedule in October, sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes and his offense will have to do better to pull off any upsets. 

“Our defense has done a really good job, so I think they can hold them as well,” senior wide receiver Jaxon Shipley said. “It’s ultimately about the offense right now. We need to match the defense.”

Photo Credit: Jenna VonHofe | Daily Texan Staff

DALLAS ‒ The Big 12 unofficially kicked off the 2014 football season at the conference’s media days at the Omni Dallas Hotel on Monday.

The event began with Commissioner Bob Bowlsby’s annual State of the Conference address. Bowlsby delivered an eye-opening speech in which he warned that collegiate sports as we know it may be vastly different in the near future.

“Change is coming,” Bowlsby said. “There is change afoot, and some of it is going to be unhappy change because I think it will ultimately reduce the number of opportunities for young people to go to college and participate in sports.”

Bowlsby was followed by five of the 10 Big 12 Coaches: Art Briles, Charlie Weis, Mike Gundy, Gary Patterson and Kliff Kingsbury

Baylor: Briles preparing Bears to defend Big 12 title

The Baylor Bears won their first Big 12 title last season. Despite being picked to finished second by the Big 12 media behind Oklahoma, head coach Art Briles is teaching the team how to defend its title and the adversity that comes with the territory.

“We see ourselves as the guy fighting hard, scratching hard to try to get some recognition and some respect,” Briles said. “We have to learn how to prepare as the hunted as opposed to the hunter.  We've always been the hunter.  And I don't want to lose that edge and that attitude.”

Kansas: Weis, Jayhawks fighting for relevancy

The Kansas Jayhawks are six years removed from their victory in the 2008 Orange Bowl, and it’s been a rough road ever since.

Jayhawks coach Charlie Weis, in his third year as head coach, knows the team needs to improve.

“We haven't done a thing in the two years I've been here,” Weis said. “But our team very clearly knows what our expectations are. There's no hiding it.”

Oklahoma State: Gundy looking for quarterback to replace Chelf

The Oklahoma State Cowboys were a game away from winning the Big 12 Championship last season because of great quarterback play from Clint Chelf. Chelf threw for 2,173 yards, 17 passing touchdowns and 7 rushing touchdowns.

But now that Chelf is gone, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy is trying to find his replacement and leading the way is junior J.W. Walsh.

“Walsh took the majority of the reps in the spring with the 1s and has had a good summer,” Gundy said. “Based on the style of play or the plan of attack that we want to use, we have a little bit of flexibility with the quarterback that we put in the game at that time.”

TCU: Patterson, Horned Frogs looking to overcome bowl-less season

For the first time in 16 seasons, TCU and head coach Gary Patterson missed out on playing in a bowl game. Despite the frustrating 2013 season, Patterson and the Horned Frogs are preparing themselves for a comeback.

“We got back to a Bowl game,” Patterson said. “So for me, it's all been about understanding it wasn't broke; you've got to make sure you go out — gotta be physical, gotta trust each other, gotta play together as a group, and also, you've got to find a way to make those plays at the end of the ballgame.”

Texas Tech: Kingsbury settling into coaching Red Raiders in second season

Under head coach Kliff Kingsbury, the Texas Tech Red Raiders rushed out to a 7-0 start in 2013. The Raiders followed that winning streak with a five-game losing streak. But a win in the Holiday Bowl revitalized Kingsbury and the team heading into the 2014 season.

“Yeah, [winning the Holiday Bowl] was huge,” Kinsbury said. “It proved to our team and our players that if you keep working hard and you keep focusing on your job and your responsibility, good things will happen.”

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

For most members of Kansas’ young squad, this weekend will mark their first taste of action inside Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium.

But not junior quarterback Jake Heaps.

Back in 2011, his highly anticipated sophomore campaign, Heaps nearly led BYU to an upset of the then-No. 24 Longhorns.

Heaps struggled. But so did David Ash and Case McCoy and — who could forget? — Garrett Gilbert in his final game in a Longhorn uniform.

It took a late second-half rally for Texas to avoid the upset against an upstart BYU team and young quarterback. At the time, everything was going right for Heaps, a quarterback prodigy at the school his mom was a cheerleader for and his grandfather a player.

But the good times didn’t last long. By season’s end, he was leaving the peaks of Utah for the plains of Kansas.

“I think he was a broken individual,” says Taylor Barton, a long-time friend and quarterback coach to the Kansas City Star. “I think everything he went through on and off the field out there, I think really, he was beat down, and he was almost a defeated person.” 

Coming out of Skyline high school in Washington, Heaps was the No. 1 quarterback in the nation, according to, and led his team to three consecutive state championships. He even graduated early to compete for the starting quarterback job during spring practice.

When starter Riley Nelson was injured against Florida State, Heaps took over. He struggled at first, winning just one of his first four starts, but began to find his stride.

In the final six games of his freshman year, he won five and was named MVP of the New Mexico Bowl. He threw 14 touchdown passes and three interceptions while posting a quarterback rating of at least 100 in all six games, setting nearly every BYU freshman quarterback record.

The 2011 campaign, however, was rough. It the downhill spiral started with a loss to Texas. Four interceptions and just one touchdown later, he found himself back on the sideline watching Nelson win eight of nine contests.

“It was excruciating,” Heaps told the Star. “I’m a big-time competitor, and that was the first time I’ve sat out since … ever.”

Instead of fighting back for the quarterback role, Heaps took the easy way out.

“If Jake Heaps isn’t embarrassed about transferring from BYU to a school to be named later,” one Utah columnist wrote. “Then he ought to be.” 

Heaps decided to transfer to Kansas and play for Charlie Weis, sitting out the year required by players transferring from one FBS school to another. The Jayhawks went 1-11 last season, sparking a brutally assessment of the team by Weis during Big 12 Media Days this summer.

“Everyone wants to play,” Weis said. “There’s no one that wants to not play. I said, ‘Have you looked at that pile of crap out there? Have you taken a look at that?’ So if you don’t think you can play here, where do you think you can play? It’s a pretty simple approach. And that’s not a sales pitch. That’s practical.”

That’s exactly the type of situation Heaps was
looking for.

He was the starter from the get-go on a team that didn’t have a wide receiver catch a touchdown pass. But the numbers haven’t followed the playing time.

He has put up more than 200 yards just once this season. He has thrown one — and exactly one — touchdown each game. Considering that Heaps is playing for a team that is playing from behind nearly the whole game, that’s not very impressive.

And after three straight losses and subpar performances, he was benched for freshman Montell Cozar last week against Baylor.

“They didn’t give us any trouble,” Baylor senior nose tackle Sam Holl said after the win of the Kansas quarterbacks.

Weis, once again, was not pleased.

“It’s not a perfect world playing both quarterbacks,” Weis said after the Baylor loss. “I think that it’s going to be more and more the same as it was tonight as we go. Rather than worry about settling into one, we have to get them both ready to play.”

And if neither of them turn it around against Texas or the rest of the season, UCLA transfer T.J Millweard will be the Jayhawks’ next quarterback of the future.

Heaps will try to do his part to make sure that doesn’t happen — again.

Kansas' Charlie Weis calls Jayhawks 'pile of crap' as part of recruiting pitch

DALLAS – Charlie Weis, whether you like it or not, is a straight shooter. No matter the topic, even and especially his football team, he won’t sugarcoat anything.

“We were 1-11 and picked by everybody to finish last in the league,” the Kansas head coach said. “If I were you, I’d pick us in the same spot. We’ve given you no evidence or no reason to be picked anywhere other than that.”

While maintaining that his expectations for the Jayhawks are higher than most people’s expectations for them, Weis had yet to provide his most candid comments. They came after being asked a general question about his recruiting sales pitch.

“There’s no one that wants to not play,” Weis said. “I said, ‘Have you looked at that pile of crap out there? Have you taken a look at that? So if you don’t think you can play here, where do you think you can play? It’s a pretty simple approach. And that’s not a sales pitch. That’s practical. You’ve seen it, right? Unfortunately so have I.”

Since quarterback Todd Reesing and former coach Mark Mangino led Kansas to an Orange Bowl victory in 2007, the Kansas program has been in steady decline, going from 12 wins that season to an 8-5 mark in 2008, 5-7 in 2009, 3-9 in 2010, 2-10 in 2011 and 1-11 in 2012.

“I’m a very straightforward person and these players either really like you or they can’t stand you. It’s one or the other,” Weis said. “I told our players and told our coaching staff that, until they start winning some games in the conference. That’s just the way it’s going to be.”

The majority of the 24 players that signed to play with Kansas this year are junior college transfers, including defensive back Cassius Sendish, who was one of the three players representing the Jayhawks at Big 12 Media Days this week. The group of junior college transfers are expected to contribute early and often this year.

“I took a team that already wasn’t very good and I made them worse,” Weis said. “You go through a transition coming in and you dismiss 29 scholarship players, which I did for a variety of off-the-field issues – not one of those players did I get rid of because they weren’t any good.”

Kansas coach Charlie Weis
Photo Credit: The Associated Press

In the weeks prior to his first game as Kansas head coach, Charlie Weis had intended to overhaul the entire Kansas football program and bring a certain toughness back to the team that it hasn’t seen in years.

So far, he hasn’t fared so well.

Weis’ Jayhawks have struggled to make any sort of improvement on a 2-10 record a year ago and quarterback Dayne Crist, a transfer from Weis-era Notre Dame, has now been supplanted by a redshirt freshman. Weis has publicly criticized the Jayhawk seniors, even opting to practice sans upperclassmen in hopes of ushering in a new era of Kansas football that will rely heavily on the play of the team’s younger players.

Right now, Weis’ best players haven’t even enrolled in college. The Jayhawks have 10 commitments lined up for 2013, and although this season is hardly over, Weis has to devote some time to getting playmakers to Lawrence this offseason. 

“We know what we have to do with the guys that are here and we also know that we need to recruit more good players, so that we can put ourselves in a better position to win,” Weis said. “That’s what we need to do. Recruiting is the life line (of a college program). Development of your own players and recruiting, that’s it.”

A major area of concern for the Jayhawks has been the play of their special teams. Paired with a sputtering offense and sub-par defense, the Jayhawks’ special teams performances have been nothing short of disastrous. There’s only a sample size of six punts returned by the Jayhawks for a total of 62 yards to go off of, and they average a shade over 17 yards per kickoff return.

“We’ve been very inconsistent at the specialist position to start off with and a lot of times special teams get noticed more when you are not getting a lot of production out of the specialist,” Weis said.

There’s no getting around the fact Kansas has been awful through seven games. But that’s not entirely Weis’s fault.

It’s not like Kansas was a dormant powerhouse that needed a simple personnel change in order to release its full potential. Weis inherited a team in dire need of a new identity after enjoying relative success under Mark Mangino from 2002-2009. Mangino’s 50-48 record as the Jayhawks’ coach was the first time a Kansas coach had a winning percentage above .500 since some guy named Jules did it from 1948-1953. Weis was able to assemble a decent coaching staff to aid in the recovery process, coaxing defensive coordinator Dave Campo to return to the college coaching ranks and shipping in Notre Dame’s old recruiting coordinator in Rob Ianello to handle the Jayhawks’ recruiting.

Ianello was able to bring in the likes of Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate during his time at Notre Dame and if Kansas is to be competitive any time soon, he will need to draw similar players to Kansas. Weis will instill his principles of toughness and run-first football in due time, but he needs help from his players on the field. As of now Kansas lacks the spark needed to stay in games and that’s not changing by the end of this year.

“Right now clearly our greatest strength is our running game,” Weis said.” No one would refute that. So one of the things you do is, by running the
football, you build toughness within your team and you don’t put your defense out on the field nearly as much as they would be, so it’s part of the growing process.”

Weis has the credentials to back up his boisterous persona, which at times makes him come off as arrogant or grumpy, but the truth is that it’s hard not to be in a bad mood when there’s so much work that needs to be done to restructure the Kansas program. Like any rebuilding process, this one will take time, — lots of it. It all starts with purging the program of individuals who aren’t willing to contribute to the team’s future and bringing in guys who not only understand the coaches’ philosophies, but can carry them out when it matters. Until Weis can consistenly field a competitive team with players who can step up against any opponent, his time in Lawrence will continue to be frustrating.

Printed on Friday, October 26, 2012 as: Glaring lack of talent impedes Weis' plan

Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist throws against Oklahoma in the second quarter of a game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 20. Crist has been largely ineffective this season and now redshirt freshman Michael Cummings has assumed the starting role.
Photo Credit: The Associated Press

The quarterback situation in Lawrence, Kan. seems gravely familiar: a five-star high school prospect flops at the collegiate level before deciding to transfer to salvage his career.

At the beginning of this season, senior transfer Dayne Crist was a dark horse in some analysts’ Heisman talk, with 85-1 odds for the award. Seven games into the season and Crist has already been relegated to the backup position, giving way to redshirt freshman Michael Cummings to try and turn around the Jayhawks’ 1-6 season.

“We’re going to start Michael and we’ll see how it goes,” head coach Charlie Weis said. “I think that, at this point when you’re 1-6 and things haven’t gone real well, I think you owe it to your team to see what you have.”

Last weekend in a 52-7 loss to Oklahoma, Cummings started the game but Crist saw ample playing time. However, after the loss Cummings was given the reins full time to try and jump-start the program.

Crist started his college career at Notre Dame in 2008 where Weiss had recruited him to play before he left for a coaching position with the Kansas City Chiefs after the 2009 season. After sitting out in 2008, Crist had a minor contribution in 2009 as the backup to Jimmy Clausen.

In 2010, he was named the starting quarterback where he threw for over 2,000 yards and 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions. However, a ruptured patellar tendon in his left knee ended his season. In 2011, he was given another opportunity to start, however, midway through Notre Dame’s season opener he was replaced by Tommy Rees.

At the end of 2011, Crist decided to transfer to Wisconsin before Weis convinced him to come to Kansas instead. Weis had just been named the head coach of the Jayhawks after serving as Florida’s offensive coordinator for a season.

His transfer to Kansas was supposed to be a fresh start for both Crist and the Jayhawks. Crist was healthy and playing for a coach who had a history of developing quarterbacks for the NFL. Kansas was also in desperate need of a quarterback after Kansas only won two games in 2011, both against non-conference opponents.

So far this season, Crist has amassed negative 72 yards rushing and 1,101 yards in the air. He is 91-for-184 which translates to a 49.5 competition percentage. He has a staggering seven interceptions with only three touchdowns so far this season. His quarterback efficiency rating? An unimpressive 98. 

“The season is not over yet, but I think that right now he’s disappointed,” Weis said about Crist. “I’m disappointed and we’re both disappointed ... if the status quo doesn’t show any improvement, then you have to find some way to make improvements and this is one of the ways.”

Last season, Texas shut-out Kansas 43-0 in Austin. Kansas went on to a 2-10 season and finished winless in the Big 12. This season has proven to be no
better. Kansas is sitting at a 1-6 record, again without a win in the Big 12.

Printed on Friday, October 26, 2012 as: Crist relinquishes starting role as Cummings rises

After three years at Notre Dame, senior quarterback Dayne Crist joins Kansas this season and has asserted himself as a team leader. The Jayhawks eye improvement after winning only three Big 12 games since 2009.

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

Kansas head coach Charlie Weis has had a busy past three years.

In 2009 Weis was let go by Notre Dame after five years and a 35-27 overall record with the Fighting Irish. From there Weis made the move back to the NFL, where he served as the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coordinator for the 2010 season. Then in 2011 he was offered the offensive coordinator position at the University of Florida where he spent just one season as well.

Now Weis finds himself at Kansas, worlds away from the constant media attention he received during his time at Notre Dame, but still eager to grow the Kansas football brand.

“Not so long ago in 2007 and 2008 this team was playing in the Orange Bowl and Insight Bowl and winning,” Weis said. “When I took the job this year I said, ‘Let’s go hit the state hard and let the people get a little touch of the Jayhawk football program as it currently stands.’ And I think it’s paid good dividends so far.”

Although he hasn’t served as a head coach for the past two seasons, Weis sees the Kansas job as a great opportunity to guide a struggling program in the right direction.

“To be honest with you I think it’s a very challenging situation, one that we thought would be a good challenge for us as a family but also very rewarding,” Weis said. “I really enjoyed my time with the Chiefs, it’s one of the reasons I took this job.”

It won’t be an easy task, and Weis is well aware of this. In the past three seasons the Jayhawks have won just three conference games and have been among the worst teams in the nation in terms of team defense.

“Looking back, you can see a handful of games that they could have, or maybe should have won but the bottom line is that there were too many games where they got the crap kicked out of them,” Weis said.

Those bowl victories are distant memories now after how badly the Jayhawks have performed in recent years, but that hasn’t altered expectations for the team in 2012.

“You could tell that there was a definite desire and eagerness to win from these guys,” senior quarterback Dayne Crist said. “No one was happy with how they finished last year.”

Crist joins the Jayhawks by way of transfer from Notre Dame, where he played under Weis in 2009. Crist saw limited action in four games last year but feels comfortable enough in Weis’s offense to make an impact for the Jayhawks in 2012.

“I know that my experience within this system and my overall familiarity and comfort level will help me bring other guys along and allow them to do less thinking,” Crist said. “I can do a lot more of the thinking for the guys on offense and help put us in the best place by being a leader.”

Weis and Crist won’t be the only new faces in Lawrence this year.

Dave Campo, former Dallas Cowboys head coach and defensive coordinator, was hired by Weis to serve as the Jayhawks’ defensive coordinator and secondary coach. Campo took his first coaching job as a 24-year-old assistant at Central Connecticut State in 1971 and has since held various positions both at the collegiate level as well as the NFL.

“Two qualities I’ve always admired about Dave Campo, beside the fact that I like the man, he’s a great teacher and he’s very well respected by the players,” Weis said.

Campo will take over a defensive unit that gave up an average of nearly 44 points per contest, including 70 points in a game against Oklahoma State last October.

Joining Crist in the Jayhawks’ backfield is junior tailback James Sims, who rushed for 727 yards and nine touchdowns last year. Sims’ sophomore statistics were very similar to the numbers he put up as a freshman when he ran for nine scores as well. He provides a solid rushing option and is also a threat to catch balls out of the backfield, evidenced by his 33 career receptions.

The Jayhawks’ top receiver from last season, D.J. Beshears, will return as well. The senior from Denton nabbed 40 catches to the tune of 437 yards and three touchdowns in 2011 and should remain their top option as receiver in 2012.

Weis has a lot on his plate in his first year as coach at Kansas, but he remains confident he can pique and create interest in Kansas football.

“I think that the first thing you better do is get your team to be more competitive on a weekly basis,” Weis said. “Once you do that, more wins will naturally follow. But, if we go and stink it up against South Dakota State in our first game all that momentum that we’ve gained you’ll watch evaporate in a hurry.”

Kansas coach Charlie Weis up for the challenge

It's not going to be easy for new Kansas coach Charlie Weis to recruit top talent, but he's taking an interesting approach by using a historic basketball program as a pitch.

"We want football games to have the same atmosphere as Allen Field House," Weis said at Big 12 Media Days.

Most recently, Weis served as the offensive coordinator at Florida, under former Texas DC Will Muschamp. He's taking over a Kansas team that finished 2-10 last season, but has been able to make a few big splashes by adding transfer Dayne Christ, who he recruited at Notre Dame, and former Dallas Cowboys head coach Dave Campo as defensive coordinator.

"Players have a lot of respect for [Campo], his attitude is infectious, energetic," Weis said.

Weis knows it won't be easy to turn around the worst program in the conference, but he's up for the challenge.

"I was offered other jobs for a lot more money, just so you know," he said. 

When a reporter asked him to specify, Weis declined, saying, "That's not important. What's important is why I chose this one."