NCF Nation: Sheahon Zenger

Kansas decided on Sunday that Jayhawks coach Turner Gill wasn't good enough to earn a third year on his five-year, $10 million contract.

For all the recent controversial firings across the Big 12, this one was anything but. Simply put: Gill was far from good enough to earn another season at Kansas.

Fans turned apathetic and losses occasionally strayed from being embarrassing to painful, but Gill's tenure provided little hope that better times were on the way.

The numbers reveal plenty. Gill won just one Big 12 game in 17 tries over two seasons. In that one win, the Jayhawks erased a 45-17 fourth-quarter deficit at home against the Big 12's second-worst team, Colorado, and Buffaloes coach Dan Hawkins was fired days later.

That's just not good enough.

Two years might not seem like a lot, but Gill didn't provide enough reason that he deserved more time. He didn't need to win more games to keep his job for 2012, but he needed to be competitive. Kansas didn't come close.

Making matters more difficult was that Gill was the sole stakeholder in his future. He was hired by athletic director Lew Perkins, who retired in September 2010 amid a ticket scandal. Perkins' replacement, Sheahon Zenger, had little reason to invest another season in Gill, and on Sunday made the call that Kansas fans were waiting for.

A program that won an Orange Bowl four years ago has been reduced to a Big 12 laughingstock, enduring six losses by at least 30 points during a 10-game losing streak that ended the 2011 season.

Only Kansas State scored fewer points in the Big 12 this year, but the Bill Snyder-coached Wildcats are 9-2 and beat Gill's Jayhawks 59-21.

Kansas ranked last in the FBS in total defense, giving up more than 516 yards per game and just fewer than 44 points per game to rank last in scoring defense, too.

Gill strategically redshirted almost his entire freshman class in 2010, electing to try to weather a difficult season in 2011 with a young, but more talented team.

It failed. Kansas was worse in 2011 than it was in 2010, and now, a new face will take over the talented youth that the Jayhawks have stocked on their roster.

There's no discounting Gill's character. He took criticism for banning players from Twitter and taking away their cellphones before games, but he's a man who truly cared about his players. They defended him throughout the struggles in 2011, but Gill's time at Kansas boiled down to one simple truth.

His team wasn't good enough.

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Thanks for squeezing in a few minutes for some lunch links during the basketball games today. Hopefully, these will be more interesting than a couple of early 2-15 blowouts.

Here are some of the more notable Big 12 stories people are talking about.

Enjoy them -- and the basketball games, too.

  • The Bryan Eagle's Robert Cessna wonders how many fans really will shell out $300 a ticket -- not including parking -- to watch Arkansas and Texas A&M play this season in the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium in Arlington, Texas.
  • Boulder Daily Camera beat writer Kyle Ringo writes about how busy Colorado cornerback Benjamin Burney has been over the last year. Burney has recovered from surgery and rehabilitation on five different body parts, written a 500-page book and is in the process of shooting a full-length movie.
  • The College Football News' Pete Fiutak writes that Dan Hawkins and Bill Snyder are among coaches who need to "get their mojo back" this season.
  • Sheahon Zenger, a finalist for the Kansas State athletic director's job and a former member of coach Bill Snyder's support staff, has some definite ideas in life. Zenger tells the Topeka Capital-Journal's Austin Meek that he worries about the declining newspaper industry and says that every married man should watch "The Family Man" at least once a year.
  • Missouri is trying to overcome extreme youth in its defensive line as it compensates for three missing starters from last season, the Columbia Daily Tribune's Dave Matter writes.
  • Rich Kaipust of the Omaha World-Herald analyzes the difficulties that former Nebraska quarterbacks have had after transferring away from the school.
  • The Houston Chronicle, consistently one of the area's top Web sites as far as bells and whistles, provides  an innovative multimedia presentation of the 13 retired jersey numbers in Texas athletic history. Football players included on the list include Ricky Williams, Vince Young, Tommy Nobis, Earl Campbell and Bobby Layne.

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

And then there were three.

Big 12 teams, that is, who will have begun spring practice after Tuesday afternoon (Baylor and Texas are the other two). Oklahoma's practice begins today.

Bob Stoops will be busy trying to rebuild an offensive line that loses four starters and finding a few new receiving threats for Sam Bradford to throw to. It should be an interesting spring around his team over the next several weeks.

Here are some stories around the Big 12 for your lunchtime perusal this afternoon. Enjoy them.

  • The Miami Red Hawks are trying to get out of their Sept. 12 game against Colorado in order to play a potentially more lucrative game against Kentucky in Cincinnati, Boulder Daily Camera beat writer Kyle Ringo reports. If the move is made, the Mid-American Conference will work to find a suitable replacement for the Buffaloes that could be Akron, Bowling Green or Toledo.
  • The Waco Tribune-Herald's John Werner writes that converted Baylor running back Jeremy Sanders can help the Bears at his new position of safety due to his athleticism.
  • Oklahoma redshirt freshman linebacker Austin Box was cited by Norman police for urinating in public early Saturday morning, the Tulsa World's John Hoover reports.
  • The Kansas City Star reports that Illinois State athletic director Sheahon Zenger, a Kansas State graduate and a former associate athletic director for development at KSU, could emerge as a leading candidate for the vacant athletic director job at his alma mater. The school announced an eight-member search committee that will help KSU president-elect Kirk Schulz find the president, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal.
  • Austin American-Statesman columnists Kirk Bohls and Cedric Golden have video breakinf down what they've seen at Texas' first two spring practices.
  • Nebraska offensive coordinator Shawn Watson's experience in developing quarterbacks in his previous coaching history should be invaluable as he attempts to find a new starter for the Cornhuskers this spring, Lincoln Journal-Star columnist Steve Sipple reports.
  • Nebraska linebackers coach Mike Ekeler turned down a restructured offer from South Florida coach Jim Leavitt to become a defensive co-coordinator for the Bulls, Greg Auman of the St. Petersburg Times reports. The Tampa Tribune's Brett McMurphy reported that Ekeler, who had earlier turned down a similar offer to join Leavitt's staff, was offered a co-coordinator position along with Iowa State secondary coach Chris Ash.

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