Charlie Weis faces big rebuilding job at Kansas

In 2007, Kansas was one of the best teams in the nation, finishing 12-1 after an Orange Bowl victory.

Last season, the Jayhawks might have been the worst major college team in the nation, going 2-10 and finishing the season on a 10-game losing streak.

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The 2-10 record led to coach Turner Gill losing his job after just two seasons. If nothing else, KU now has a big name running its program. The new coach is Charlie Weis, who was offensive coordinator at Florida last season. Weis’ defensive coordinator is Dave Campo, a former Dallas Cowboys coach who also was a longtime NFL assistant.

Charlie Weis has plenty of work to do in his first season as Kansas head coach.
(credit here)
Kansas at-a-glance
Coach: Charlie Weis (1st season)
Last season: 2-10, 0-9 Big 12
Spring practice dates: March 27-April 28
Returning starters
(minimum 7 starts last season):
Offense (5): T Tanner Hawkinson, G Trevor Marrongelli, WR Cale Pick, RB James Sims, G Duane Zlatnik
Defense (6): E Keba Agostino, LB Tunde Bakare, CB Greg Brown, SS Bradley McDougald, E Toben Oporum, LB Darius Willis
Special teams (2): P Ron Doherty, K Alex Mueller

The problem for Weis and Campo is that they’re not going to have a lot of top-flight talent with which to work. Kansas returns 11 full-time starters – five on offense and six on defense – from a team that was 106th in total offense and 120th (last) in total defense.

The first job for Campo has to be building a Big 12-caliber line. The back seven on defense surely has issues, but until the line gets better against the run and some edge rushers emerge, the back seven isn’t going to matter.

While Kansas’ rushing attack was solid last season, the pass offense was not. It’s expected that Notre Dame transfer Dayne Crist, who signed with the Irish when Weis was coach, will be the starting quarterback. He graduated from Notre Dame and has immediate eligibility with the Jayhawks.

Establishing a pecking order at receiver, including identifying a go-to guy, is going to be important this spring.

Depth at tailback actually looks OK, so if two new starters can be found on the line, the rushing attack again should be solid.

Special teams need a big upgrade, in every respect. One issue: KU made just six field goals last season.

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