Weis sees reason for optimism as Kansas coach
DALLAS (AP) -- Charlie Weis took an objective look at the situation when he was offered the coaching job at Kansas, which has won only two Big 12 games the past three seasons.
First, Weis looked at Kansas State and Missouri, the Jayhawks' two closest competitors.
"I'm saying, OK, the two schools that are in the closest proximity are both doing fairly well," he said Tuesday. "And you look at what both those programs are doing, solid, winning programs. I think that that's one of the reasons that gave me reason for optimism, because there's no reason why you can't have a third one into the mix and become more competitive."
While Weis said he couldn't get a time-frame for turning things around at Kansas, he said it obviously can be done because of those teams are already doing it.
Plus, it was only five years ago when Kansas won 12 games and was the Orange Bowl champion.
"It wasn't like it was 20 years ago," Weis said. "It was a short time frame ago that that football program was playing in bowl games and winning. So you say, OK, they were there, they're here, what happened? ... To be honest with you, I think it's a very challenging situation. And it's one that, as I talked over with my wife and my son, we thought would be a very good challenge for us as a family but also very rewarding if it paid dividends."
Weis, who loves college basketball, said taking football prospects to a Jayhawks game in Allen Fieldhouse is a wonderful recruiting tool. And the coach gets great seats.
With Justin Blackmon gone to the NFL after 121 catches for 1,522 yards and 18 touchdowns last season, how does Oklahoma State expect to replace that production?
"We want three or four of our receivers this year to give us what a Justin Blackmon gave us this last year," coach Mike Gundy said. "And so that will be our goal is for Wes (Lunt, the freshman quarterback) to be able to develop and delegate the ball to the guys that can make the plays. But it is very difficult to replace a Justin Blackmon."
Gundy likened the situation to when the Cowboys lost running back Kendall Hunter after 2010 following consecutive 1,500-yard rushing seasons.
"I felt like that Jeremy Smith and Joseph Randle as a pair needed to combine and give us what Kendall did," the coach said. "And those guys have been able to do that."
Randle ran for 1,216 yards and 24 touchdowns last season while Smith had 646 yards and nine TDs. And both are back as juniors this season.
Senior receivers Isaiah Anderson and Tracy Moore get their shots as starter this season. Moore had 45 catches for 672 yards and four TDs last years.
Baylor lost more than Heisman Trophy quarterback Robert Griffin III and receiver Kendall Wright from last season's offense. Also gone is running back Terrance Ganaway, who ran for 1,547 yards and 21 touchdowns.
"The great thing about Terrance Ganaway is we sat here a year ago and if I said Terrance Ganaway is going to be All-Big 12 and rush for 1,600 yards and get drafted next year, everybody would have thought I was crazy," coach Art Briles said. "Because he was an unknown. He wasn't a guy that was returning that had a lot of yards. He had about 400 total yards at Baylor before last year."
Among the options this season are senior Jarred Salubi, junior Glasco Martin and sophomore Lache Seastrunk, a transfer from Oregon with three seasons of eligibility left.
"We've got some guys on campus that we feel very confident in to carry that role on," Briles said. "That's going to be a little different because Terrance was a different guy. He's 246 pounds and could run and was very hungry and had a great vision and a great faith and passion."
Texas coach Mack Brown had several cheerleaders from other Big 12 schools join him when he came into a session with reporters Tuesday during the Big 12 media days.
"I asked the ladies to come in, if I had any hard questions, I would let them support me," Brown said. "So we'll just ask them to step up and answer any questions that we need here."
When Brown started, the group standing to the side of the podium by a moderator included cheerleaders from TCU, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Iowa State and Texas Tech. A Longhorns cheerleader didn't arrive until later in the session.
After Brown's opening statement, the first reporter who addressed the coach said he'd like to ask the cheerleaders who they wanted to quarterback the Longhorns this season.
"They would want the worst one. I think that would be without question," Brown said. "There aren't any Longhorn cheerleaders in that group there." Moved Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at 19:49:30 Eastern, UTC -400
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