Les Miles sees the improvement of the Kansas football team. He is optimistic that it will translate to wins on the field.
It could be coach speak, but it could be real.
The Jayhawks matched its most wins last season (3) as any season this decade. It ended a 48-game road losing streak to Power Five conference opponents when it beat Boston College. It actually, also, won a conference game against Texas Tech.
Those are low bars to jump over, but after Mark Mangino was ushered out the parade of Turner Gill, Charlie Weis and David Beaty did not go well for the team. The team hasn’t been ranked since its No. 25 placement in 2009.
“There is no question that I have, you know, an excess of energy and a want to be with this team,” Miles told the AP. “This team is working hard. It’s doing the things we want them to do, and it’s pretty special. This place is pretty special as well. And we’re enjoying the day, the style of people, and I like my team. They’re getting ready to fight.”
The team showed that it had fight in Miles’ first year.
Aside from the aforementioned “success” the team did make strides in being competitive.
While moral victories do not count in the standings, the program nearly bettered West Virginia (29-24), it battled against Texas (50-48), and it played touch versus Iowa State (41-31). All positive signs.
Covid-19 wiped out a chance for a few easier victories this year as Kansas lost its games versus New Hampshire and Boston College, though it kept a ‘revenge’ game versus Coastal Carolina — yes, the Chanticleers beat Kansas last season, 12-7 — plus its slate of Big XII contests.
Miles maintained a positive outlook through it all.
“There’s a fatigue that it takes to fight through a series of, you know, decisions made on your behalf that you have no way to affect,” Miles said, “and I think our guys have really just powered through some difficult crises.”
That positivity has not always been seen with this program.
That may be another victory.