The rumors started circulating pretty early even outside of Lawrence. Over the years, Kansas hasn’t been a very good football team, but with all the turmoil surrounding a new coach and the need for a rebuild, this year wasn’t going to turn out very good.
At 0-7 and winless in conference play – but with a couple near-misses – this year is shaping up to be one of the worst in Big 12 Conference history. Kansas has lost by less than 10 points only once, against South Dakota State and lost all but three games by at least 25 points.
Last week, Kansas mustered just 221 yards in a 58-10 loss to Oklahoma State. The Jayhawks haven’t started 0-7 since 1988, when Kansas won just one game in Big 8 play.
"I can handle getting beat by a really good football team, but it's hard for me to deal with people who can't play to the end,” Kansas coach David Beaty said to reporters after the Jayhawks’ loss to Oklahoma State. “You know what? We've got a really good team in there with a bunch of good kids.
“There was a few where I saw a lack of confidence toward the end there. That disappointed me. We'll get that fixed. . . . But with most of those young guys, I like the look in their eyes, which is good."
Beaty, who turned 44 Monday, had never been a head coach above the high school level before taking the job at Kansas. In his first year, Kansas ranks at or near the bottom of the nation in rushing yards, points for and points against.
There isn’t a major offensive or defensive category where Kansas ranks any higher than eighth in the Big 12.
"We had to keep battling, keep fighting,” Kansas lineman Kevon Haughton said after the game. “We knew it was going to be tough, we knew they're undefeated so we knew it would be tough coming in here. We knew we had to have each other's back, that was one of the things we couldn't let up on. We had to have each other's back and keep fighting."
A description of Saturday’s loss but a microcosm for the entire season.
When it comes to Oklahoma, the Sooners have held a reign of dominance over the Jayhawks. Oklahoma hasn’t lost to Kansas under Bob Stoops and has lost to the Jayhawks just eight times since the end of World War II.
There have been separate streaks of 12, 10, eight and seven games before the Sooners’ current 10-game winning streak.