A year ago, watching Kansas football wasn't for the faint of heart. The Turner Gill debacle turned many games into a sideshow, complete with blowout losses and games out of hand so fast, that home games resembled bomb scares by the end of them.
A year ago in most games, it looked as if the KU team was lost and you could argue that they quit in some games.
Today, you can't accuse this team of quitting or of not fighting week in and week out. You can't say that they aren't improving, or that they don't care.
Following Saturday evening's 20-14 loss to Oklahoma State, the theme was that of there being no moral victories, but a hunger to get back to work and prepare for the next game, which will come Saturday night in Norman against the Oklahoma Sooners.
"I think that just makes us work harder, the fact that we are improving and starting to turn that corner as a team and I think that makes us players want to work that much harder to take that next step," senior receiver Kale Pick said.
Coming into Saturday's game, the Cowboys possessed one of the most powerful offenses in the country, averaging 669 yards of total offense and 56 points a contest. Saturday, the Kansas defense held OSU to just 371 total yards and a season low 20 points.
In addition, KU held Cowboys running back Joseph Randle to just 86 yards on 29 carries, thanks to many, including freshman linebacker Jake Love. However, despite the success against the OSU offense, there was a sense of a team that realizes that it's a work in process.
"I thought we played well and we had a couple of busts here and there, which they burned us a couple of times," Love said. "Overall, I thought we played alright."
When the two teams met a year ago in Stillwater, it was 56-7 at halftime and the Cowboys moved the ball at will.
Granted, Oklahoma State lost quite a bit from 2011, but they still had put up big numbers and had a number of weapons that many expected to come into Memorial Stadium and blast KU off it's home field.
That never happened.
After the game, you couldn't deny that the results are a product coaching, plain and simple.
Coming into this season, while fans wanted wins (and who doesn't), they also wanted to see a team that played with passion and competed on every play, day in and day out. Many seek respectability and to no longer be looked at as an automatic win.
Obviously, the Jayhawks aren't all the way there, but you can deny that they are on their way.
Their record may not show much improvement at the end of the year, in fact they could very well end up with a worse record than last year's 2-10. But, it has a different feel and gives hope that the program is finally moving forward after imploding the past two years.