When Charlie Weis arrived at the University of Kansas, he noticed something odd about the rivalry situation.
Even though Missouri was about to leave the Big 12 Conference for the SEC, Kansas fans were still talking about the former border war well after the season ended.
He knew something would need to change by the time football season started.
“When I got here, it was always Kansas-Missouri if you were from Kansas, but at Kansas State it was, ‘Let’s go beat Kansas,’” Weis said during Monday’s Big 12 coaches teleconference. “The last three years they have laid a pretty big whooping on us. Now that Missouri is in the SEC, Kansas needs to have that same focus and energy on the in-state rival that Kansas State does. That’s the direction we are headed.”
Since Weis arrived at KU, the program has caught some attention for the wrong reasons. First, there was video of Weis teaching his players how to celebrate after a big play or a win. That video, shot before the season started, has come to life again this week.
Last week, Jayhawks defensive lineman Keba Agostinho posted a series of tweets directed at K-State, including showing the series records for men’s basketball and football, looking to prove that the Jayhawks are the best in both sports.
Agostinho, who’s Twitter handle is @9OptimusPrime6, also mocked the Optimus Klein nickname currently tagged to Wildcat quarterback Collin Klein.
Weis, who said he was regretful of the tweets from his player, tweeted from his own personal page on Monday that he was teaching his players about the history of Kansas vs. K-State.
Weis talked about how the internet has affected the game, and how players can misuse it.
“The Internet changed the game long before we got to Facebook and Twitter because everything becomes so current because everybody is on top of everything all the time,” he said. “Whether it be football or recruiting, everything becomes common knowledge very quickly. We don’t tell players what to say and we profess that they use common sense. For any player to get on Twitter and say something disrespectful to another team doesn’t make any sense.
“Sometimes young men make mistakes about what to say and what not to say and you just have to use that as a teaching moment to let them know that is not what we are looking for.”
While the Jayhawks were looking for ways to shift focus to the Sunflower Showdown, K-State coach Bill Snyder said he doesn’t have to work on motivating his team for the game.
“I don’t think you have to find ways to motivate young guys because I think it means an awful lot to them,” he said. “We have a lot of young guys from the state of Kansas in the program, so it carries some extra meaning for them and their teammates appreciate that a great deal. So, I think there is a built in motivation.”
In a funny turn of events, one reporter asked Snyder on Monday if he truly frequents Taco Bell for lunch. Snyder, who confirmed he does often eat at Taco Bell, said he doesn’t eat lunch there because he has different eating habits.
As it turns out, Snyder is more of a “fourthmeal” kind of guy.
“My doctor doesn’t like it but I’ve grown into some habits,” he said. “I eat one meal a day and it’s really late at night.”