Big 12: Kale Pick

Kale Pick led Kansas in receiving yards and receptions last season, but he'll continue to contribute to Kansas despite graduating after the 2012 season.

He's joining KU's staff as a graduate assistant on offense under Charlie Weis.

He'll work closely with receivers coach Rob Ianello, according to a release.

Pick, a native of Dodge City, Kan., caught 63 passes for 752 yards and a pair of touchdowns in his career, which took a sharp turn in 2010. Pick won the first quarterback competition under Turner Gill, but lost his starting spot after a 6-3 loss to FCS North Dakota State. Late in the 2010 season, he moved to receiver and showed a nice ability to do whatever it took to get on the field.

His career path was certainly reminiscent of former Jayhawk great Kerry Meier, but it's good to see Pick land in a good spot now that his playing days are over.

Kansas Jayhawks spring wrap

May, 1, 2013
2012 record: 1-11
2012 Big 12 record: 0-9
Returning starters: Offense: 5; defense: 6; kicker/punter: 2

Top returners: RB James Sims, RB Tony Pierson, LB Ben Heeney, LB Jake Love

Key losses: OL Tanner Hawkinson, DL Toben Opurum, DB Bradley McDougald, WR Kale Pick, QB Dayne Crist, DB Lubbock Smith

2012 statistical leaders (*returners)

Passing: Dayne Crist (1,313 yards)
Rushing: James Sims* (1,013 yards)
Receiving: Kale Pick (390 yards)
Tackles: Ben Heeney (112)
Sacks: Kevin Young* (2)
Interceptions: Bradley McDougald, Tyler Patmon (3)

Spring answers

1. No questions at quarterback. As expected, there's not much of a quarterback competition this spring. Michael Cummings stepped in last season and earned a few starts after Dayne Crist struggled, throwing nine interceptions to just four touchdowns, but BYU transfer Jake Heaps has claimed the job this spring. He had to redshirt last season after transferring, but dominated on the scout team. The former blue-chip recruit started two seasons at BYU before transferring.

2. Big growth at linebacker. Kansas needs improvement everywhere, so anywhere it happens is a welcome development. Defensively, linebacker should be a clear strength for a KU defense that improved last year but still struggled. Linebackers Ben Heeney and Jake Love had strong springs and looked much improved. Heeney already played well last season, but he may be a serious All-Big 12 first-team talent next season considering the amount of talent at the position that's left the league since 2012.

3. Defensive playmakers emerging. Kansas brought in tons of junior college talent this offseason, but a few have already stood out in the spring. Defensive back Dexter McDonald left the team and went to junior college last season, but he's back and making an impact, and defensive lineman Ty McKinney stood out during the spring, along with defensive back Cassius Sendish, one of the nation's best juco players at Arizona Western a year ago.

Fall questions

1. Will the streak end? This is by far the most important question of Kansas' 2013 season. The current Big 12 losing streak stands at 21 games, and odds favor it ending before too long. If we're still talking about a 30-game losing streak in Big 12 play this time next year, coach Charlie Weis will be on very, very thin ice. KU came close in losses to Texas Tech and Texas last season, but a win is a win. The Jayhawks haven't experienced that in Big 12 play since a 2010 win against Colorado, and haven't beaten a current Big 12 team since beating Iowa State in the 2009 conference opener.

2. Is Jake Heaps really any different from Dayne Crist? Optimism is high around Heaps after KU's other transfer quarterback, Crist, flamed out last season and lost his starting job to a freshman. Heaps has better weapons than Crist, highlighted by Oklahoma transfer Justin McCay, but KU's offense is short on depth at the offensive skill positons, and the offensive line has to prove it can block for him and create holes for the running game to soften up defenses. We'll see how well Heaps ultimately does.

3. Can Kansas find offensive weapons? McCay is a big upgrade, but you can't hide from the fact this team went 12 games last season without a touchdown catch from a receiver. That's simply not good enough in the Big 12 and not a problem one receiver can solve. Tony Pierson and James Sims offer a great 1-2 punch in the running game, but will other receivers like Tre Parmalee or Andrew Turzilli step up?

Weak and Strong: Kansas Jayhawks

April, 2, 2013
Turnover is an annual tradition in college football, but with that, teams' strengths and weaknesses constantly shift, too. Today, we'll continue our look at the biggest strengths and weaknesses for each Big 12 team.

Next up: Kansas.

Strongest position: Running back

It seems like this has been the case for awhile at KU, but don't expect it to change in 2013. Say what you will about Turner Gill, but the man recruited the heck out of the running back position, and the Jayhawks are reaping the benefits now. James Sims and Anthony Pierson highlight the group, and both were among the Big 12's top 10 at the position. Before Lache Seastrunk's late-season emergence, Sims had a pretty good case ahead of Oklahoma State's Joseph Randle as the Big 12's best back.

Sims topped 1,000 yards on just 218 carries and scored nine times, averaging better than 4.5 yards per carry with an offense that had zero passing threat for opposing defenses. The closest thing to a passing threat was the Jayhawks' No. 2 back, Pierson, who ran for 760 yards and four scores on just 117 carries, averaging better than 6.5 yards a touch. Pierson helped the passing game tremendously, catching 21 balls for 291 yards and two scores. KU's backs run pretty deep, too. Taylor Cox added 464 yards on 91 carries, scoring three times. Brandon Bourbon has had issues staying healthy, but he can provide even more depth.

KU's still trying to get over the hump and end its 21-game Big 12 losing streak, but without the running backs, the close calls in 2012 like games against Texas and Texas Tech wouldn't have been possible. If KU wins a league game this time around, the running backs will be a huge reason why.

Weakest position: Receiver

If I told you a Big 12 team fielded an offense in which no receiver caught a touchdown pass in 12 games, I'm betting you wouldn't have a hard time believing that Big 12 team won exactly zero conference games. You've got to be able to produce big plays and score points in the Big 12 to be competitive, and KU couldn't do that with its passing game.

The lack of a passing threat was something of a chicken-and-egg situation last season, but as much as Dayne Crist struggled, he got zero help from his receivers. Kale Pick led the unit with 390 yards on 26 catches, but he's gone this year and Pierson's actually the team's leading returning receiver. So is Daymond Patterson and D.J. Beshears, but KU's got to restart at the position and find a new set of threats. Returning players Andrew Turzilli and Tre Parmalee have some potential, but for KU, now is the time for Oklahoma transfer Justin McCay to step up. New quarterback Jake Heaps needs all the help he can get, and McCay's the most physically gifted player in the group. Newcomers Rodriguez Coleman, Mark Thomas and Ishmael Hyman don't have much standing between them and playing time, though. Receivers across the Big 12 are great. KU doesn't have anyone who fits that bill. It needs to change fast.

Offseason to-do list: Kansas Jayhawks

February, 6, 2013
Each season, there's lots of turnover and change for every college program. What do the Big 12 teams need to do before next fall? Let's continue our look with the Jayhawks in Lawrence.

1. Sort out who's who among the new faces. Kansas is bringing in almost 20 junior college transfers, and many of them will be enrolling early. KU needs those guys to contribute early, but who's it going to be? Some will meet expectations. Some will fall short. Some will exceed them. That last group is the most important, and KU needs to exercise a keen eye in evaluation this spring and get a feel for how its depth chart will look in the fall and who needs a high percentage of reps late in spring and heading into fall camp. This team is going to look a lot different, but assessing this talent once it joins the team will be huge for the Jayhawks this offseason.

2. Find some playmakers for Jake Heaps. I wouldn't completely rule out Michael Cummings, but KU has already invested in the former superstar recruit and BYU transfer. Heaps is KU's guy heading into this season, but KU loses its leading receiver, Kale Pick, and its next-most productive receiver is a running back, Tony Pierson, who didn't top 200 yards rushing. Kansas' receivers caught a grand total of zero touchdown passes a year ago. Running backs caught four and tight ends caught three. That cannot fly in 2013. You can't win in the Big 12 like that. Dayne Crist didn't have the best year, but for Heaps to succeed, KU has got to find some serviceable receivers.

3. Fix up the offensive line and keep the running game rolling. Kansas has quietly had a really strong offensive line, even throughout these lean years under Turner Gill and Charlie Weis thus far. Three starters from last year's line, though, are gone. Left tackle and four-year starter Tanner Hawkinson is gone, along with guard Duane Zlatnik and center Trevor Marrongelli. If KU can keep this running game productive, the passing game will have a chance to blossom and the road to Big 12 relevance will be a whole lot easier. If the running game slows and James Sims and Pierson can't help balance the offense, don't expect Heaps to do much better next year than Crist.

More offseason to-do lists:

The Big 12 Primer: Week 2

September, 5, 2012
My predictions for Week 2 will be up bright and early tomorrow morning, but here's your look at when, where and what you can find in this weekend's games. I'll also reveal tomorrow which game I'm attending.

Until then, let's hear your predictions in the comments.

West Virginia and Baylor are off this week.

No. 21 Kansas State vs. Miami (noon, FX): Wildcats linebacker Arthur Brown plays his former team a second time after knocking off The U in Miami Gardens last year. The Wildcats get the early game and their first test after rolling over Missouri State with an explosive third quarter. Miami got a good win over Boston College to start its season, but Kansas State is a better team.

Iowa State at Iowa (3:30 p.m., Big Ten Network): Iowa will be out for revenge after last year's three-overtime upset, including a double-digit, fourth-quarter comeback. Steele Jantz looked much improved in last week's win over Tulsa, and last year's win was the Cyclones' first in the rivalry since 2007. Iowa State hasn't won in Iowa City in a decade, but it has also never played for this brand-new trophy. Motivation, y'all!

Kansas vs. Rice (3:30 p.m., Fox Sports Net): KU got back in the win column last week, but quarterback Dayne Crist was unsatisfied with his performance. He'll have more time this week to get in sync with receivers Kale Pick, Daymond Patterson and D.J. Beshears. KU's retooled defensive line has a lot to prove still, too. The Jayhawks notched two sacks (it had nine all of last season), but gave up a 99-yard touchdown run.

No. 17 TCU vs. Grambling State (7 p.m., Fox Sports Net): TCU had to wait an extra week, but it's finally time to unveil the Frogs' new stadium and debut a team playing as a Big 12 member for the first time. This game shouldn't be interesting, but it'll be an emotional weekend in Fort Worth, no doubt.

Texas Tech at Texas State (7 p.m., ESPN3): Texas Tech looked pretty good last week against Northwestern State, but it's anyone's guess what Texas State has in store for Tech this weekend. The Red Raiders will travel to San Marcos, but Dennis Franchione's Bobcats knocked off Houston on the road last week.

No. 5 Oklahoma vs. Florida A&M (7 p.m., pay-per-view): The Sooners won't be clinging to a narrow lead in the fourth quarter against the FCS Rattlers, but Oklahoma's offense needs to work on a whole lot before Saturday. Landry Jones looked uncomfortable and out of sync with his new receivers, and Bob Stoops complained of "inconsistency" all over the place in Saturday's win over UTEP.

No. 15 Texas vs. New Mexico (8 p.m., Longhorn Network): New Mexico's off to a nice start under Bob Davie, hanging 66 points on the board last week. Here's guessing the Lobos won't put 60 on the Longhorns, who turned in a solid effort against a Wyoming team that's better than most think. Still, David Ash and even the hyped defense were far from where they need to be for Texas to contend for a Big 12 title. The Longhorns will need to see some improvement.

No. 16 Oklahoma State at Arizona (10:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network): Wes Lunt has yet to throw an incompletion ... or his first career touchdown pass. We didn't learn much about Lunt in the Cowboys' infamous 84-0 win over Savannah State. This one? A much more difficult test. Arizona struggled to beat Toledo last week, but going on the road against a major conference opponent, especially with a true freshman quarterback, is intriguing. The Cowboys are a double-digit favorite, though, and face the Wildcats for a third time in 16 games.
It's been 356 days since Kansas last won a football game.

Finally, the Jayhawks will experience a happy locker room after beating South Dakota State, 31-17.

KU jumped on top, 24-7, entering the fourth quarter. The Jayhawks gave up 10 points to open the quarter before icing the game with an eight-play, 75-yard drive.

It doesn't matter that you're playing an FCS team. Tonight was about getting back in the win column for Kansas and trying to build from last year's two-win disaster.

Kansas has more new faces on the field than anybody in the Big 12, and tonight was about finding out what those guys can do. Dayne Crist wasn't breaking any records, but he completed 17 of 36 passes for 169 yards, a touchdown and an interception on a jump ball. His lone touchdown? A 2-yarder to another fresh face: his former teammate at Notre Dame, tight end Mike Ragone.

Even through a combined five wins the past two years, Kansas has had strong running backs, and proved it again tonight. Two running backs went over 100 yards, led by starter Tony Pierson's 124 yards and two scores on 20 carries.

As for the defense? You have to be concerned anytime you give up a 99-yard touchdown run like Kansas did tonight. South Dakota State's Zach Zenner (23 carries, 183 yards, TD) is far from a speedster, but he managed to outrun KU's entire defense. That's not pretty.

The Jayhawks did force five turnovers compared to just two of their own. Even if it's South Dakota State, that's a good thing. KU forced just 18 turnovers in 12 games last season. That's pretty good progress.

KU didn't have a 100-yard receiver, but Kale Pick led the unit with 81 yards on five catches.

Plenty still to work on for the Jayhawks, but finally, they can remember what it feels like to win. Tonight could be the first step to experiencing that sensation in conference play later this fall.

Who will transform tomorrow?

August, 31, 2012
Who's going to transform into a whole new talent this week? These are the five guys I'm watching closely in Week 1 to show us something special and change what we know about them.

Keep an eye on these guys:

Blake Jackson, WR, Oklahoma State: Jackson was the flavor of the spring in Stillwater, but for some reason, the attention slowed down this fall. The juco transfer will change that pretty quick on Saturday against Savannah State. The Tigers don't have the athletes to contend with his size and speed. It could be a big coming out party for the 6-foot-3, 235-pounder.

Terence Garvin, LB, West Virginia: Garvin was banged up late last season and missed a couple games with head and knee injuries, including the bowl win against Clemson. He's back now, and trying out a new position. He played "spur safety" in the Mountaineers' 3-3-5 scheme last season, but he moves up to play the "Star" linebacker spot in WVU's new 3-4 scheme. He'll start as a hybrid safety-linebacker and have plenty of chances to make plays as a senior with two years of starting experience. Big 12 fans don't know him now, but he can change that on Saturday.

Kale Pick, WR, Kansas: Pick's story is eerily similar to that of Kerry Meier. He started the first game of the Turner Gill Era, but lost out on his chance after that game. Since then, he's moved to receiver, and now, he looks like he might make a huge impact. He played well late last season, and coaches pegged him as the most impressive player of fall camp. He'll get a chance to showcase his skills against South Dakota State, and with the upgrade at quarterback now that Dayne Crist is in town, Pick could put up some serious numbers.

Malcolm Brown, RB, Texas: Brown battled through injuries last season, too, but he and fellow sophomore Joe Bergeron have focused on getting their bodies in ideal shape, and Saturday will be our first chance to see both. Brown is the headliner of the group, and though plenty of Texas fans want to get their first look at national player of the year Johnathan Gray, Brown should be the player who remains the most consistent force in the backfield for the Horns.

Trey Metoyer, WR, Oklahoma: Coming Out Party City, population Metoyer. Expect big things from the freshman. He's waited a long time to finally make his debut in the crimson and cream. It's not exactly a headline-making opener, but Metoyer might make a whole lot of noise out in the West Texas town of El Paso. Prediction: He will be regarded much differently on Monday morning than he is today.

Big 12 predictions: Week 1

August, 30, 2012
It's finally here. There will be college football on your television tonight, even though the Big 12 won't get started until Saturday.

I'll be sticking around Dallas to watch games at home Saturday, but on Sunday night I'll be at Floyd Casey Stadium for Baylor's season-opening showdown against SMU.

How'd I do last year? I'm glad you asked. I'll be keeping track of my weekly record as the season goes along.

Without further ado, here's who I've got in Saturday's Big 12 games. Spoiler alert: I have every Big 12 team winning.

Last season: 67-19 (.779)

West Virginia 47, Marshall 14: I sense some nerves on the part of a few West Virginians. No worries, though. The offense will be as good as advertised. The first quarter will be a little rough, but the Mountaineers will take care of business and won't make the fans sweat.

Iowa State 28, Tulsa 24: The Cyclones are a good team, and you always hear they'd do much better in a league that wasn't quite as difficult. How's C-USA sound? Iowa State's the underdog, but it's the better team in this one, even if Tulsa's going to contend for a league title. Steele Jantz will make some more magic happen in the fourth quarter.

Kansas 38, South Dakota State 14: Charlie Weis' debut will go well, and Dayne Crist will look very good as well. Look out for Kale Pick to make a big impact: eight catches and 100 or more receiving yards for the former quarterback in this one.

Kansas State 34, Missouri State 10: Don't expect Kansas State to look very impressive. Bill Snyder is about winning, not blowouts. Still, Missouri State won't be able to stop the running game, and Kansas State will eliminate the mistakes that plagued it in last year's near disaster. Overpowering.

Oklahoma State 172, Savannah State 4: I'm sticking with my offseason prediction on this one. Savannah State just might be the worst four-year college football team in America. The Tigers have two wins in the FCS in the past two years. Both wins have been tight decisions over some school called North Carolina Central. Who gets to play those guys? Rutgers beat them 48-0 in 2011, if you're into that kind of thing.

Texas Tech 55, Northwestern State 20: There will be lots of offense here. Texas Tech's defense still has question marks, but Seth Doege and his receivers do not. On to the next one.

Texas 27, Wyoming 17: The Longhorns have to be careful in this one. A turnover will give Dave Christensen's squad a gift touchdown, but the Longhorns will wear down the Cowboys over 60 minutes with their running game.

Oklahoma 41, UTEP 17: Don't get too wrapped up in the gorgeous views from the Sun Bowl. Mike Price's Miners are in for a long night after the sun goes down. The Sooners won't mess around in the opener, and they'll build a two-touchdown lead by halftime, cruising to an opening win as the Big 12's only team on the road in Week 1.

Baylor 41, SMU 31: This is my pick of the week. Come back later today for a video on this game.

Fresh faces: Kansas Jayhawks

August, 20, 2012
Today we continue our look across the league at few players from each team who had low profiles last year, but you'd better get to know before 2012. They just might be household names by season's end.

More fresh faces:

Next up: Kansas.

Josh Williams, DE: Williams transferred to Kansas from Nebraska this spring and is already making a big impact on the defensive line, where the Jayhawks badly need reinforcements. He started two games for the Huskers last season and made 15 tackles, as well as blocking a kick. The 6-foot-4, 255-pounder has coach Charlie Weis and defensive coordinator Dave Campo raving, and Williams has already earned a starting spot entering the season. He's a fifth-year senior who just may find his way into the NFL with a big year in 2012 after starting over in Lawrence.

Kale Pick, WR: Quarterback Dayne Crist needs weapons in the passing game, and Pick's proving to be one of the best. Coaches pegged Pick as the player who's been most impressive during fall camp, and he could be a big beneficiary of some much more solid play at quarterback with Crist in town. Pick is an instinctive former quarterback who knows both ends of the passing game, and came on strong late last season. He caught six balls against Kansas State, and 15 of his 34 catches came in the final four games. The 6-1, 205-pound senior could make good on much of his promise this fall.

Mike Ragone, TE: Ragone's another player who could be a big beneficiary in the Notre Dame exodus. Weis and Crist got all the headlines this offseason, but Ragone made his way to Lawrence, too, along with Anthony McDonald, who will likely start at middle linebacker. Knee injuries limited Ragone's production in South Bend, but if he can stay healthy this year, there's plenty of room for him to haul in passes in KU's offense. He was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, and chose to transfer to Kansas. Look for the 6-4, 255-pounder to make it count. He's plenty confident, but he says he's grown and learned from having to deal with the knee trouble. He's also got the added advantage of knowing Weis' offense, as Crist does, and knowing what to expect once the season begins.

Lunch links: New Big 12 epidemic

August, 14, 2012
Congratulations, you've just joined the 76 percent of Americans who forget to stretch before doing any physical activity.

Under the radar: Kansas Jayhawks

June, 7, 2012
Time for the next team in our series examining one player on each Big 12 team who will enter 2012 with a profile that doesn't quite match his worth to the team.

In other words, they're coming in under the radar.

Next up: the Kansas Jayhawks.

Under the radar: D.J. Beshears, WR

Kansas needs big playmakers on offense, and Beshears is the most likely candidate to provide it in the passing game next season. The Jayhawks had 30 fewer plays longer than 10 yards than any team in the Big 12 last season, and that has to change if Kansas is going to compete at a legitimate level in the league.

Fellow receivers Daymond Patterson and Kale Pick should be productive with a new quarterback in Dayne Crist, but Beshears looks like the big hitter of the bunch. Kansas hasn't had a quarterback who could sling it since Todd Reesing, but Beshears has shown his gamebreaking ability in the return game, returning a kick for a score in 2010 and averaging better than 20 yards a return last year.

Beshears quietly led the team in receiving last year while Patterson redshirted because of injury, but look for him to shoot past his 437 receiving yards last season very early this year. Running deep routes or even medium routes was unproductive with Jordan Webb throwing the ball, or KU's revolving door of quarterbacks in 2010. Almost no receiver could have been productive in that slot.

Things have changed. KU's got a quarterback now. The receivers will flourish. None more than Beshears.

Kansas spring wrap

May, 9, 2012
2011 overall record: 2-10
2011 conference record: 0-9
Returning starters: Offense 7; defense 6; P/K (2)

Top returners:
RB James Sims, WR D.J. Beshears, S Bradley McDougald, OL Tanner Hawkinson, DE Toben Opurum, RB Tony Pierson

Key losses:
QB Jordan Webb, RB Darrian Miller, LB Steven Johnson, CB Isiah Barfield, DL Patrick Dorsey

2011 statistical leaders (*returners)

Rushing: James Sims* (727 yards)
Passing: Jordan Webb (1,883 yards)
Receiving: D.J. Beshears* (437 yards)
Tackles: Steven Johnson (119)
Sacks: Toben Opurum* (4)
Interceptions: Bradley McDougald*, Greg Brown* (2)

Spring answers

1. A culture change is underway: Kansas' players have been beaten down over the past two years. Faith that a corner would be turned under Turner Gill wasn't rewarded. Part of what new coach Charlie Weis has to pound into his team is a sense of confidence. He memorably got his team to practice celebrating a win during one of this spring's open practices, producing a video that went viral. Confidence has to be KU's first step back from five wins in two seasons.

2. Recognizable names looking for a new start: Weis isn't the only person looking for a fresh start in Lawrence. KU welcomed six Division I transfers this fall, including starting quarterback Dayne Crist. Jake Heaps is waiting his turn to take the quarterback spot in 2013, but Oklahoma transfer Justin McCay had his appeal to waive the redshirt year denied by the NCAA. He'll be back in 2013, but defensive coordinator Dave Campo brings a big resume to Weis' staff, too.

3. Underrated at receiver: Kansas' receivers were obviously not very productive, but Weis actually left the spring really impressed with the unit. That's a good sign for Crist, and that's even without McCay suiting up. Former quarterback Kale Pick should contribute alongside D.J. Beshears and Daymond Patterson, who sat out the last 11 games of 2011 with a groin injury. JaCorey Shepherd, 6-foot-4 junior Chris Omigie and junior Christian Matthews fill out the unit that had enough depth to move Marquis Jackson to running back.

Fall questions

1. Can Charlie Weis reward the KU administration's faith? Kansas is very different than Notre Dame. It's very different from the Kansas City Chiefs and Florida Gators, too. The prospect of building a team from the bottom up appealed to Weis, and KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger made a hire that was panned by most across the country. Weis will coach with a chip on his shoulder, and the man knows football. Can he prove his detractors wrong?

2. What will the defensive line look like? This unit was the biggest hole on Kansas' team last season, and handcuffed what Weis saw was an underrated secondary. Weis noted the Jayhawks needed some bigger "muchachos" up front, and noted that reinforcements were on the way. Players that were working with the first team during the spring may be sliding way down the depth chart in the fall. How will it play out? Well, that's what fall camp is for.

3. How will the running back spot shake out? James Sims has led Kansas in rushing for each of the past two seasons, but was suspended for the first three games of 2012 after an OWI arrest. That's bad news for Sims, who had a bunch of competition at KU's best position, even after Darrian Miller was dismissed from the team during the offseason. Jackson and Tony Pierson both made huge impacts in the spring game, and Sims could have serious trouble earning his spot back when he returns in the fall. Weis won't waste first-team reps on Sims during fall camp, and with a new staff, that's a lot of exposure for Pierson, Jackson and Brandon Bourbon.
Charlie Weis marched Justin McCay out alongside quarterback Dayne Crist at a news conference earlier this year. The two faces of KU's renewal under Weis sat and answered questions from the media about their road from blue-chip recruits who signed with traditional powers -- Crist with Notre Dame, McCay with Oklahoma -- before landing at Kansas.

Weis believed McCay would be given a waiver from the NCAA, and indicated as much repeatedly as the application process drew longer and longer. He believed it still after McCay's initial request was denied, but the Jayhawks were encouraged to appeal.

That's over now.

The NCAA Subcommittee for Legislative Relief denied McCay's appeal, and he'll be ineligible for 2012. He'll be a junior with two years of eligibility remaining in 2013.

"They informed our compliance officer that there wasn’t that one catastrophic event evident to rule in his favor," Weis said. "I’m extremely disappointed that common sense did not prevail. I have read all of the information on this case and it is a shame that this case resulted in a rejection. I cannot release all of the details of Justin’s case as it would be an invasion of his privacy. I can only say that the University of Kansas felt the evidence was overwhelmingly in his favor. I also do not understand why the NCAA had us appeal this case to the subcommittee only to have received the same answer with the same rationale."

Those are strong words from the head Jayhawk, but he clearly feels wronged by the NCAA. He wouldn't be the first one. Weis is a straight talker, but those kinds of comments -- especially in a prepared statement -- make it clear how strongly he disagreed with the decision.

You have to feel sorry for McCay, too, who came home to Kansas after two unproductive years at Oklahoma.

"Despite the disappointment I am feeling today, I have no regrets," McCay said in a statement.

He also thanked Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione by name.

"I am very happy to be at Kansas and I am going to go out and work hard every day to be the best teammate I can be. Even though I won’t be playing in games this year I am going to take advantage of every opportunity I have to improve as a player."

Tough result, but the Jayhawks will have to move on with experienced receivers Daymond Patterson and D.J. Beshears leading the way. Kale Pick also played well in Saturday's spring game.
Kansas led at halftime, but it scored a defensive touchdown and its only other scoring drive went for negative yardage after an interception.

The Jayhawks needed a change on offense, and they've gone with an uptempo pace out of the Jayhawk formation to make it happen with the game tied at 10.

The result: Three first downs on a single drive after having just two in the entire first half. A false start on 4th-and-1 near midfield forced a punt, but it's a huge step in the right direction for Kansas, especially if Christian Matthews can throw a bit more to keep the Tigers honest.

Expect to see more of that until Missouri stops it. James Sims even took snaps out of the formation, which most often features Matthews. He completed his first pass of the season out of the formation to a wide-open Kale Pick, another fellow former quarterback, for 12 yards.

Lunch links: BYU's '64,000 reasons' to join

August, 31, 2011
You guys should be watching Chopped.