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Wichita State advances to MVC semifinals after beating Southern Illinois -3/6/2015, 6:12 PM

Tiger women roll in MIAA quarterfinal -3/6/2015, 5:13 PM

Vitztum, TMP boys storm by Colby -3/6/2015, 10:27 AM

Mickelson could play another big role for KU -3/6/2015, 10:27 AM

Hoxie ties record, has bigger goals in mind -3/6/2015, 11:05 AM

Berens' big night keys HHS win -3/6/2015, 10:27 AM

Thursday's prep basketball boxscores -3/6/2015, 10:27 AM

MLS and players reach deal -3/5/2015, 10:58 AM

KU's Ellis out vs. OU -3/5/2015, 10:58 AM

Kacperska ready to step up -3/5/2015, 10:58 AM

Gregorian: Royals' bats come alive in exhibition -3/5/2015, 10:57 AM

Wichita State's Wessel, Carter chosen for MVC's Most-Improved Team -3/5/2015, 10:57 AM

TV analyst Mark Adams loves the MVC -3/5/2015, 10:57 AM

Bills get their workhorse back in LeSean McCoy -3/4/2015, 11:51 AM

Perry Ellis will miss regular season finale -3/4/2015, 11:51 AM

Kansas rallies, wins Big 12 outright -3/4/2015, 11:51 AM

Wildcats have shot at tourney? -3/4/2015, 11:51 AM

Lehman, Hobson collect MIAA honors -3/4/2015, 1:44 PM

Two headed to nationals for Tiger track -3/4/2015, 11:51 AM

Tiger softball earns Tuesday sweep -3/3/2015, 7:45 PM

Season ends for FHSU men -3/3/2015, 10:20 AM

Claflin great Jackie Stiles inducted into NFHS Hall of Fame -3/3/2015, 10:19 AM

KU's Big 12 streak one for the ages -3/3/2015, 10:10 AM

FHSU's Keehn wins second MIAA title in track -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Wessel continues to spark Shockers -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Ronda Rousey's fast work, like at UFC 184, a big draw -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Minnie Minoso's love of baseball never waned -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

FHSU wrestling sending four to nationals -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Kansas State rallies late to put away Iowa State -3/1/2015, 9:33 AM

No. 8 Kansas holds on to defeat Texas, 69-64 -3/1/2015, 9:31 AM

Wichita State captures MVC crown by beating Northern Iowa -3/1/2015, 9:30 AM

Ellis' Younger cruises through Friday at 3-2-1A -3/1/2015, 9:39 AM

Hays High's Deterding second in 4A -3/1/2015, 9:58 AM

Norton wins title with backside points -3/1/2015, 9:36 AM

Hoxie's Porsch repeats in 3-2-1A -3/1/2015, 9:43 AM

FHSU splits at Northeastern State -3/1/2015, 9:41 AM

HHS girls win on senior night -3/1/2015, 9:40 AM

HHS boys roll by Great Bend -3/1/2015, 9:39 AM

Class 3-2-1A State Wrestling finals results -2/28/2015, 9:37 AM

Tigers fall, need win to host first round -2/27/2015, 10:20 AM

Tiger women, MIAA champs, hang on -2/27/2015, 10:29 AM

Monarchs survive on senior night -2/27/2015, 12:17 PM

With KU back in control, Jayhawks prepare for 'high drama' -2/27/2015, 10:19 AM

Nino Williams takes long road to success at Kansas State -2/27/2015, 10:18 AM

Sub-state basketball pairings -2/26/2015, 10:37 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Younger part of youth movement for Railers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

Big 12 reprimands K-State after court-storming -2/26/2015, 10:53 AM

Hays High's top four headed to Salina -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- HDN area state qualifiers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Porsch seeks a repeat in state finale -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Freshman Hutchinson leads young group of Redmen -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Norton steps up again to have shot at 3-2-1A state crown -2/26/2015, 10:50 AM

Shockers fight past Indiana State, set up big Saturday -2/26/2015, 10:27 AM

Rhoades back at state -- this time in 4A -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

TMP survives Plainville -2/25/2015, 11:26 AM

K-State issues apology -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

HHS swept at Dodge -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/25/2015, 10:21 AM

Royals still hoping for Starling to break out -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Penske revels in Logano's victory at Daytona 500 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcat's win throws a roadblock at Jayhawks -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

KBCA prep basketball rankings, Feb. 23 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcats get it done -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

No-name Hahn wins Northern Trust Open -2/23/2015, 10:24 AM

FHSU softball splits on Sunday in Minnesota -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Logano wins first Daytona 500 -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Lutz: VanVleet has another day to remember -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

VanVleet takes Wichita State's assists title in win -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

'Cats seek confidence before game with KU -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

Perry Ellis, No. 8 Kansas rebound from loss, beat TCU -2/22/2015, 12:47 PM

Baylor drills K-State -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

Monarch girls run away from Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:38 PM

TMP wins physical game at Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Mathews all-state for HHS -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

HHS wins at Garden, jumps back into WAC race -2/22/2015, 12:41 PM

Wrestling roundup -- Hays High sends four to 4A state -2/22/2015, 8:19 PM

Victoria puts together complete game in win at Ness City -2/22/2015, 12:40 PM

HHS girls fall down early, lose at Garden -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Earnhardt Jr. makes Duel history, Patrick qualifies -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

HHS sends relays to state -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Tiger baseball takes two from UCM -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Gene Stephenson says he's filed his own appeal -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

TCU takes out K-State -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Bohuslavsky keys win for Tiger women -2/19/2015, 10:59 AM

Tiger men rally for MIAA win -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Tiger women No. 1 in Central Region -2/18/2015, 5:04 PM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/18/2015, 11:22 AM

Barton's Hensley named Player of the Week -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

TMP boys win, girls fall in Great Bend -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

K-State hopes to build some momentum at TCU -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

Two in a row for HHS girls -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

Hot early, HHS boys get win at Abilene -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

All is possible at Daytona -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

WVU tops Jayhawks in wild finish -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chiefs can find impact receiver in NFL draft -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chargers set sights on LA, push San Diego officials for action on stadium -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Defense a constant for Shockers -2/17/2015, 10:26 AM

FHSU, UCM series moved to Hays -2/16/2015, 10:55 AM

KU prepares for full-court press -2/16/2015, 10:17 AM

Foster lifts Kansas State past Oklahoma on Saturday -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Sports Scores


Prep basketball


Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48


Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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No bold predictions from Charlie Weis at Big 12 Media Days

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No bold predictions from Charlie Weis at Big 12 Media Days

Published on -7/22/2014, 10:19 AM

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By Rustin Dodd


DALLAS -- Charlie Weis had a cold.

It was Monday morning at the first day of Big 12 football media days, and Weis had surely seen better days. He sniffled a few times, let out a slight wheeze of a cough, and thumbed the knot on his Jayhawk tie.

Just last week, he had been enjoying a horse show in a Chicago suburb with his wife, Maura, a devoted lover of all things equine. No, it wasn't Weis' ideal vacation activity, but it was certainly better than this: A morning discussing his ever-rebuilding Kansas football program while his nose kept running.

"We haven't done a thing in the two years I've been here," Weis said moments later.

This was the first scene from Year three of the Weis era, a season that the coach hopes is more about substance than style or bold proclamations. After two years of losing -- a 4-20 record, to be exact -- Weis says his program is ready to take "some major steps." But that's about as specific as he'll go in the realm of expectations.

"We won one game two years ago," Weis said. "We won three games last year, we've only won one game in the conference. And we haven't won a game on the road. And what do you want me to do -- give a prediction of how many games we're going to win this year?"

The numbers, of course, suggest that Weis is in need of a significant breakthrough. When Weis arrived at Kansas in late 2011, he signed a five-year contract and vowed to pull the program back to respectability. So far, the plan has been slow to take.

Provided the gift of hindsight, Weis conceded one early miscue during his coaching tenure. When he took the reins, Weis quickly ran 29 players out the program, citing the need to clean the place up and instill some discipline. From the outside, Weis did manage to tidy up some discipline matters, but the mass exodus sucked some of the talent out of a program already lacking depth.

"I miscalculated the impact of when I threw 29 guys off the team the first year I was there," Weis said. "I walked in there; there were a lot of issues I felt had to be resolved and one of the ways to resolve them was to get rid of them."

Weis can recite what happened next. He knows all the ugly numbers by heart. Four victories. One Big 12 win in two years. A road losing streak that dates back to the early years of President Obama. And now, he enters his third campaign with a senior-laden defense -- stocked with former junior-college transfers -- and a hopefully rejuvenated offense.

"We just want to make a bowl game, we want to win a bowl game," said senior linebacker Ben Heeney, a preseason All-Big 12 selection. "And you know, as ignorant as it might sound, we want to win the Big 12. But if you don't want those things, why are you playing?"

While the losses have piled up, Weis has kept searching for answers.

In the offseason, he "fired" himself as offensive coordinator -- those are his words -- and hired former Rice offensive coordinator John Reagan to install a new spread attack. Sophomore quarterback Montell Cozart won the starting job in the spring, and Weis is hopeful Cozart's athleticism and mobility will diversify a unit that has languished among the nation's worst during the last two seasons.

Twice, Weis hitched his offensive hopes to a transfer quarterback, and twice the plan produced little fruit. Notre Dame transfer Dayne Crist struggled in 2012, and Jake Heaps faced similar problems last season -- before losing the job to Cozart. Now Weis plans to open it up, joining the legion of spread attacks in the Big 12.

"With the nature of the offense we've been running the last couple years, I think the true drop-back quarterbacks have gotten exposed," Weis said. "And that's one of the reasons why I changed what we're doing. I think that the only position that has been at Big 12 caliber for the last two years has been the running back position."

On that front, the Jayhawks lost leading rusher James Sims, a two-time 1,000-yard running back, to graduation, but they still feature a backfield that includes seniors Brandon Bourbon and Taylor Cox and junior-college transfer DeAndre Mann. Former Gardner Edgerton standout Traevohn Wrench will be a freshman.

"I think our running back position will be a position of strength once again, even though James is gone," Weis said. "But when you have a true drop-back quarterback, and you're playing with marginal offensive line and marginal receivers, marginal at every position except for running back, you get exposed."

Two years ago, Weis often spoke of his dream scenario. He had signed a five-year contract, and his plan entailed a fairly specific five-year plan. He wanted to get the program up and running and then hand it off, riding off into the sunset after resuscitating a moribund football program in the heartland.

Nowadays, he says, his plans have changed. He would to stay a few more years, he says, maybe five more total. The hope, Weis says, is that the plan is just starting to fall into place.

"When I came in and made a statement initially," Weis said. "I'm looking at a five-year deal here. What I mean was, it's going to take five years to take a bottom program to get it to be a winning program. That doesn't mean I don't expect to win this year. It's going to take a full cycle. I think it takes five years -- a full cycle to actually get it right when you're starting at the bottom."

Marketing Heeney -- Heeney doesn't mind flying under the radar. In fact, Heeney says, he kind of enjoys it.

But Kansas' marketing arm is hoping Heeney, a first-team All-Big 12 middle linebacker, won't go unnoticed during his final season. Earlier this month, the KU athletic department launched CaptainHeeney.com, a site dedicated to promoting Heeney's on-field exploits. The site features a superhero theme, complete with a bearded cartoon Heeney stylized as "The Diabolical Defender."

"It's kind of cheesy," Heeney said.

Heeney's reputation, though, has suffered while playing for a program in the Big 12 cellar. Heeney ranked third in the Big 12 with 112 tackles as a sophomore, and he followed that up with 87 tackles as a junior, despite missing two games because of knee injury. But on the national scene, Heeney remains an unknown.

While Heeney is nonchalant about the site, he did enjoy representing for his hometown of Hutchinson, which apparently served as an inspiration for Superman's hometown, "Smallville."

"It's all right, I guess," Heeney said. "I'm not really going for Superman or anything, but that's just what they put me as, I guess."

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