Kansas Jayhawks

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Baker Mayfield ‘truly apologizes,’ calls crotch grab ‘unacceptable’


You could see, smell and hear this coming from hundreds, or even thousands, of miles away.

Inexplicably, Kansas decided to take the low road when, during the pregame meeting of captains at midfield, one of them refused to shake the hand of Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield.  Then, one decided to go facemask-to-facemask as the midfield meet-and-greet was breaking up.  Add to all of the pregame stuff some questionable in-game shots Mayfield took, and the Heisman Trophy frontrunner was agitated.

So agitated, in fact, that he went lowbrow in lobbing a televised crotch grab at the Jayhawks bench after one of his three touchdowns on the day.  Predictably, and just as he did after the infamous attempt at a midfield flag-planting after beating Ohio State in Columbus — and after his offseason arrest —  Mayfield offered up a mea culpa.

So, there you have it.  As I intimated earlier, it’s going to be very interesting to see how this situation plays out in the minds of Heisman voters.  Then again, Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston won Heismans in recent years without stellar off-field pedigrees, so there’s that as well.

UPDATED 8:31 p.m. ET: In addition to the apology in his postgame press conference, Mayfield also tweeted a mea culpa.

Baker Mayfield tells Kansas fans to ‘stick to basketball,’ throws crotch grab at Jayhawks bench

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Oh Kansas, what is it y’all are doing out there?  And I guess the same could be said for the player himself, too.

One-win KU was playing host to No. 4 Oklahoma Saturday afternoon, and even prior to the game the Jayhawks’ captains, for whatever reason, decide to attempt to get into the head of Heisman frontrunner Baker Mayfield.

The Sooners quarterback subsequently had a message for the KU fans in attendance…

… before apparently going lowbrow after scoring on the Jayhawks defense.

Should that be considered some sort of bizarro Heisman moment?

Anyway, at the end of the third quarter, Oklahoma leads the Jayhawks 28-3.  Mayfield has thrown for 242 yards and three touchdowns through three quarters of play.

Whether Mayfield’s antics and histrionics — the ESPN broadcast team called it classless — hurt him in the minds of some Heisman voters remains to be seen.

Kansas prez: ‘I want to reiterate my confidence in… David Beaty’

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A public show of support or the “dreaded vote of confidence?” We’ll find out in the coming weeks.

Last Saturday, Kansas fell to Texas in Austin, extending the Jayhawks’ road losing streak to 45 straight.  It’s the second-longest such streak at any level in NCAA history.  Just the week before, they were 7.5-point home underdogs to winless Baylor — and got trucked 38-9 in their own house.

In the big picture, KU is now 3-31 — and 1-24 in Big 12 play — in nearly three full seasons under David Beaty.  For perspective, Turner Gill won five games in his two seasons after replacing the ousted Mark Mangino in 2010, while Gill’s replacement, Charlie Weis, won six games in his three seasons before he was replaced by Beaty in 2015.

Beaty’s record has led to questions about not only his long-term viability, but his boss’, athletic director Sheahon Zenger, as well.  In a statement with the headline “Football and our national aspiration,” KU president Doug Girod wrote that he “want[s] to reiterate my confidence in Sheahon and Coach David Beaty.”

“Nobody denies the challenges we are having on the field,” the president continued, “but I maintain my belief that Sheahon and Coach Beaty have the right long-term vision and are doing things the right way.”

Whether Girod — and the board and boosters — feel this way come the end of this month or the beginning of next remains to be seen.

Kansas now owns second-longest road losing streak at any level in NCAA history

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Heading into their Week 11 matchup with Texas, woebegone Kansas was tied with Div. II Western Colorado State (1926-36) for the second-longest road losing streak at any level of NCAA football at 44 in a row. Heading out, that streak is now at 45 straight as the Longhorns went home with a 42-27 win in Austin.

And it’s not like they have been a plethora of close calls along the way as 38 of the 45 losses have been by 10 points or more.  The last single-digit loss came in Nov. of 2015 as 15th-ranked TCU escaped with a 23-17 win.

Up next on the docket? FCS Idaho State, which lost 48 in a row from 2006-2014. Tying and/or breaking that mark will have to wait until next season, however, as KU has just one road trip left this season — to Stillwater for the regular-season finale against Oklahoma State. They could tie Idaho State’s mark against Baylor Sept. 22 next season, with a chance to set a new standard Oct.6 in Morgantown against West Virginia.

Theoretically, I guess they could also snap the streak in their 2018 road opener against Central Michigan Sept. 8, but even that’s going out on a dangerously-thin limb giving the direction the football program is headed under David Beaty.

For the record, KU’s last win away from Memorial Stadium came in September of 2009 — 2009!!! — against UTEP. The last road win against a Power Five foe? In October of 2008 — 2008!!! — against Iowa State.  Taking it back even further, they haven’t beaten a non-conference Power Five opponent on the road since winning at Oregon State in Corvallis in the 1992 season opener.  In fairness, there have only been a handful of such games since, but still.

UTEP, ironically enough, held the previous FBS record for stumbling road streaks when they lost 35 straight from 1974-80.  KU broke that record in September of 2016 in a 43-7 loss to Memphis.

Kansas gets trucked by winless Baylor in its own house

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Vegas knows, y’all.  Vegas knows.  As does pretty much anyone who follows football come to think of it.

Despite entering their Week 10 game against Kansas in Lawrence winless, 0-8 Baylor was installed as a 7.5-point road favorite against KU by Bovada.lv.  It reportedly marked the first time in at least 16 years that a team that was 0-8 or worse was listed as a favorite on the road.

As it turns out, the oddsmakers may have given the Jayhawks too much credit as the Bears went into Memorial Stadium Saturday afternoon and woodshedded their hosts in a 38-9 win.  The Jayhawks were held without a touchdown for the third straight game; in fact, KU hasn’t found the end zone in 14 quarters, with the last coming in the second quarter of a 65-19 loss to Texas Tech Oct. 7.

In his first career start, BU quarterback Charlie Brewer passed for 315 yards and three touchdowns.  The Bears limited the Jayhawks’ running game to just 3.8 yards per carry while also forcing a pair of turnovers.

KU has now lost eight games in a row and 60 of their last 72 dating back to the last month of the 2010 season.  Taking away games against Group of Five and FCS programs, and the Jayhawks have won just two games against Power Five teams in what amounts to seven full seasons.

And, as bad as the previous regimes have been, the current one has been the worst of the bunch.

With three games left in this season, KU is 3-30 in David Beaty‘s two-plus years. Turner Gill won five games in his two seasons after replacing Mark Mangino in 2010, while Gill’s replacement, Charlie Weis, won six games in his three seasons before he was replaced by Beaty in 2015.

This was likely KU’s last chance to win a game this season as they close against Texas in Austin, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in Stillwater, although the Longhorns did serve as the Jayhawks’ last FBS win in Charlie Strong‘s final season.  And, once this season is (again) mercifully put to bed, KU officials will need to have a serious heart-to-heart talk with itself as to whether Beaty is the man to lead the basketball school out of the football desert.