Barometer On The Jayhawk Nation

  • Okay… we’ve had a little time to process our recent failure in March. Back to clear thinking…

    Two choices… which pill would you take for next year?

    1. Conference Title #12 and make it to the Sweet 16 before losing

    2. Lose Conference but make it to the Final Four (outcome to be determined)

    It’s a pot that has been stirred often, just trying to prevent burning on the bottom.

    Note: I didn’t say a National Championship… just a trip to the Finals and a chance at a National Championship.

  • @drgnslayr

    great question. with the team we (may) have losing the conference would seem like a letdown of the century to KU fans. Losing in the S16, well that would beat the last 2 years!

    I think for some of us to stop jumping off the ledge, A F4 appearance would ease our concerns of the coaching, and subsequent constant changing basketball climate that we feel Self maybe struggling to adjust to. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many of us question our leader to the extent we are right now. A F4 would validate a lot of things so I think right now I’m picking #2. I can live without winning the conference.

    Who likes to praise other teams coaching that got them to the F4 if its not our own. It’s not the same and never gets easier by the year.

  • @drgnslayr

    Without a SECOND thought.

    I wonder if anyone will SECOND my emotion?

    We’ll know in a SECOND.

  • @nuleafjhawk You have SECOND. And, a SECOND point - who knows how many B10 titles Izzo has? Does anyone care or give that a SECOND thought? The focus is on the E8s and FFs, not not making it to the SECOND weekend.

  • I’m not ready to pull the plug on the streak. At least tie or better Wooden before you throw in that towel. Seriously, what’s 2-3 more seasons? Giving up now is similar to swimming 3/4 the way across a lake only to turn around and swim back because your tired. I personally don’t quite understand the logic. Plus, if a Bill Self team makes it to the final 4, all things considered, wouldn’t you expect them to own the regular season during conference play? And when I say own, I mean Soren Petro KU’s your daddy own the conference. Get 13.

  • If Marshall comes goes to Texas, idk if I would be able to stomach losing the conference to him. I guess it depends on who else wins it to be honest.

    But honestly, Final Fours are precious gems so I would have to go with that.

  • @JhawkAlum I’m thinking it would be so much more fun to beat texass w/Marshall there!

  • Why can’t we do both? Wisconsin and UK did this year!

  • @joeloveshawks I’m w/you!

  • Not even close. Give me option 2.

  • @joeloveshawks

    “Why can’t we do both? Wisconsin and UK did this year!”

    Of course we can do both… but this is to see where fans’ minds are at. Is the conference streak worth more or less than a final four appearance (that could also mean a NC… to be determined)?

  • @drgnslayr I’m all in on a Final 4. Don’t care about “the streak”.


    What if Self takes the Izzo strategy next year? What if he plays a deeper bench in conference play (important minutes) to keep more players in the mix for March? It could cost us a conference title and doesn’t guarantee a FF finish.

    Do we take the gamble?

    Why I’m asking this… Michigan State finished in a tie for 3rd (with 3 teams) in the B10.

    I always think Izzo ONLY cares about March.

    What if we lose our conference and don’t make the Final Four?

    Is there any value with “one in the hand is worth two in the bush?”

  • @user_RCJH I agree, let’s get the record for consecutive championships. Top UCLA. I like all-time records, even if it requires extensive therapy to deal with March depression for a couple more years.

    But then let’s quit dicking around at the local level and start establishing our national dominance.

  • @drgnslayr The consensus is that Izzo is one of the top coaches in college ball - maybe top 3. Why? It’s not conference titles - he has 7 in 20 years. It’s the frequent deep tournament runs, esp without OADs and top NBA caliber talent. It’s not all about March - it’s just mostly about March. Willing to take losses early in the season. Tough schedules. Sitting guys, even his best players - like Trice this year - if they’re not performing to his expectation or if they’re not blocking out and defending.

  • @drgnslayr do you think izzo’s record reflects his early injuries?

  • @tundrahok I’m with you-if I have to choose one or the other get the UCLA streak first. But can we at least play to our seed in March?

  • Our excellence in the regular season has meant it’s really hard to exceed expectations in the tournament. When you’re the number one seed, the only way to go is down. Sure, it would be nice to play to our seed every March. But if we’d get a crappy seed now and then, at least we’d have a chance to exceed expectations instead of just meet them.

    Evaluations are strongly affected by expectations. A few years ago I attended 2 grad student defenses in the same week. They performed about the same. I was thrilled with one because I didn’t think she was very sharp, and she did way better than I expected. I was disappointed by the other because she was really bright, creative, and hard-working, and I expected her performance to be outstanding. She did fine, but wasn’t outstanding. Really made me think about how my expectations affected my evaluation of their performances.

    So does Izzo sandbag it during the season, then turn it on in the post-season so he looks like a brilliant coach??? I sort of doubt it. But I do think it’s harder to live up to your seed when you’re consistently a 1 or 2 seed, like Self’s teams.

  • Gee, I don’t know–I can’t decide where I stand on this issue, lol.

  • @DCHawker said:

    @nuleafjhawk You have SECOND. And, a SECOND point - who knows how many B10 titles Izzo has? Does anyone care or give that a SECOND thought? The focus is on the E8s and FFs, not not making it to the SECOND weekend.

    Try telling some folks this. How many sit around and get all creamy in the jeans listening to the praise of our “amazing” conference streak?

    The streak is nice, impressive, even historic. No doubt. It is just different than FF discussions.

    But conference titles simply do NOT define greatness. The Final Four and winning national championships define greatness.

    Look at it this way, if conference titles defined greatness, wouldn’t we hold a parade?

  • I say we go for tying UCLA for the conference streak record. Then we could have a reference point for comparing Bill Self to John Wooden–

    Conference Championships


  • @drgnslayr Stellar question. One that requires more than just a reflex response. I’ll be back.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Agreed, while we didn’t win the 2012 title we generally regard the players from that year with high regard because of the effort they displayed to get there. T-Rob= legend, Taylor= Senior stud who definitely had more than his share of doghouse stints. Many fans wrote him off before he even made it to Senior year.

    Now since that run we had 2013- Elijah blasted from here to the moon for how he performed late against Michigan. 2014- Wiggins blasted for his 4pt effort against Stanford 2015- let’s just say the entire team layed an egg. Now we are calling out our coach!!

    F4 runs, championship runs completely change the perception of a year, of the coach, and the players involved.

  • @drgnslayr Don’t know if anyone read it, but I posted a few weeks ago that I would gladly trade any or every one of our conference titles for one more win in that year’s NCAA tournament. Imagine–another National Championship and two more Final Fours.

  • @drgnslayr I dont see them losing the conference next year, but stranger things have happened. If I have to pick just one option though? I’ll pick the 1st one.

    Because imo #2 would be a wash with option #1. Im not saying a trip to the final four would be less than desirable. Because it would be very desirable. BUT a 12th conference title in a row and a one game improvement upon this years team in the NCAA’s would give coach Self and KU something equal to hang in the rafters just like a FF appearance would AND a huge chance to bring in #13 the following year and tie Coach Wooden for consecutive conference champ wins. That is legendary. AND, you all know we absolutely will get another ring here before Coach Self is done. It will happen. Its just a matter of when. This is about longevity here, legendary coaching status, which affects KU for decades to come! This isnt just about finishing one year in the final four. This is for the future generations of the Jayhawk Nation!

  • Seriously, do you will think that Wooden’s Pac 8 title string is “legendary” and a critical part of his legacy? Not 7 consecutive NCs? 10 total? Greatest teacher of the game? Take a look at his Wiki page - nary a mention of the conference streak in the paragraphs highlighting his accomplishments.

    The conference streak is great and all, mostly reflecting consistency and domination of inferior competition (no B12 schools other than KU making it to the FF during the streak), but legacies are mostly built on NCs and to lesser extent FFs.

  • Banned


    I’m taking a chance in the Finals. Let’s face it winning conference championships really seem to have no value. Especially when KU and the Big 12 do squat in the tournament.

    Don’t get me wrong I love the dominance KU has displayed over the Big 12 but in the end what does it really mean? Nothing.

  • I will take a Final four any day over a CC. I don’t look at last years Badgers team differently because they didn’t win conference.

    And while we’re at it, I’ll take another Bears Super Bowl, A White Sox world series, and well, I don’t want to get greedy, but another Blackhawks Stanley Cup.

  • @wissoxfan83 Well, if we’re into wishing I’ll take a Royals World Series Championship instead of your White Sox, a Chiefs Super Bowl over your Bears, and above all we’ll agree on another national championship banner hanging in Allen.

  • I made this a hard question for myself!

    I’m mixed. And I’m only further confused by reading all the opinions in here… very good discussion.

    I kind of feel like @user_RCJH it’s like almost finishing swimming across the lake and turning back.

    Does this conference title streak count for something? It does with media. Any mention today about Kansas and Self and you hear about the conference streak. If we win a NC… we get mentioned for that until the next NC is declared that isn’t Kansas. So… we literally get 12-months of mileage out of a NC with media.

    I think we all have to ask what recruits think. I’m going to guess they heavily value a NC over a consecutive conference streak… but then… if I’m a visiting recruit I’d probably get pretty giddy if a current player showed me his hand full of conference title rings. Would I rather see a NC ring on one finger instead? Probably… But for people to say the conference streak doesn’t mean anything… no… it definitely means something.

    I’ve noticed how much the media has chimed in on this streak ever since we reached 10. It was constantly mentioned this past year while the season was going on, and afterwards when we clinched… and then mentioned as we failed in March!

    I do believe it will become a monstrous media event if Self can reach Wooden. Wooden’s conference streak may not have been near his biggest accomplishment (especially when looking at his NC streak), but it is a huge thing now with media and Self reaching the milestone.

    Today… what counts for programs is media exposure. That knife cuts both ways. I cleverly aligned this question where we make it to the Sweet 16 in choice one. Making it that level means we won’t get singled out as a crushing upset (unless we have a Kentucky-like team). And making the S16 means we don’t continue to add to our record losses in the first weekend.

    I think back to 2012… and we received NOTHING for being runner-up in the Final Four. So… just making it there isn’t really a prize. Of course it is better than going home the first weekend… every game in March counts big and it gets our game in front of more recruits, too. But we don’t continue to get a bump beyond that weekend. I like to think the conference streak gives us a minor bump all year long. The question is how valuable is that minor bump?

    As you can tell from what I’ve written so far… I’m trying desperately to hold on to my opinion that I would choose Option 1. If I think just with my head, I think I would go with 1. My heart is a different story… because it is attached to my ego, too, and my ego is sick of getting beat up in March!

    So we have accomplished #11 this year… yippee! Why do I feel like a piece of elephant dung?

  • @VoyagingJayhawk OK, if the Bears make the Super Bowl, I’d be thrilled. Royals and Sox in the league championship, I’d be thrilled. Since you seem not to care about hockey, I’ll take another Cup!

  • @drgnslayr Your last sentence says it all…

  • @wissoxfan83 Don’t have a favorite hockey team because Kansas City doesn’t have a team! Hard for me to get into teams that aren’t from my hometown and never would I stoop so low as to call myself a St. Louis fan. So I’m left with team USA.

  • There is value in the continuity of the streak for three more years, as it would become a record and stand for possibly decades. However, on a one-off conference championship versus a final four appearance, I would take final four every day of the week and twice on Sunday’s. For one more national championship I would trade away all 11 conference titles.

  • Boy these banners sure look good…


  • A 12th consecutive league title certainly DOES define greatness! Most folks won’t remember that Final Four after a few seasons. But those 12 conference titles will be remembered and revered for decades. I’m for #1, slayr.

  • @drgnslayr

    National Championships are the only thing that matter in the Madness. I don’t give a whit about whether we are finalists or out in the round of 64, except that I have more love for the team that survives so long and more games to have fun watching.

    But going deep can create experience that the next year’s team can take and turn into an edge for a ring.

    This is why I agree with Self.

    Do whatever it takes to win the conference to assure getting in the Madness in the best starting position possible.

    Then gamble everything on winning each cluster of two games, because nothing else matters.

    Send’em out flat for the first and amp for the second, or vice versa based on match ups.

    If you lose in the 64th or 32rd, or the 16 or the 8, or the 4 or the two, it doesn’t matter.

    I really don’t care about losing in the round of 64, or the finals, except that earlier exits mean less fun.

    Winning the ring is all that matters, regarding the tournament.

    Winning conference every season means a lot to me, because it means dominating your turf.

    Winning is a spatial concept, as the NCAA is set up. You have to beat people where you are in order to beat still other people for the championship wherever it is.

    This is not rocket science.

    Win three two game tournaments however you can.

    Find them, engage them with as much force as possible, and keep moving on, as US Grant said.

    Have superior force.

    Apply it in greatest concentration possible.

    Bring a gun to a knife fight.

    Bring a bomb to a gun fight.

    Bring a nuke to a conventional bombing.

    Rock Chalk!!!

  • These conference championships are great. But they don’t mean much. And they wouldn’t have meant all that much to UCLA either if they hadn’t won 11 NCAA titles during those 13 years. When people (maybe not some on this board) think about UCLA, they think about NCAA–not conference–championships,

  • @FarSideHawk


  • @Wigs2

    I’m glad I wasn’t a college hoops fan during the 1960’s. How boring it must have been to see UCLA win every year.

  • @wissoxfan83 If you remember it, you weren’t there…

  • Forget about the streak. The Big XII isn’t that good anyway, so from here out it’s not that significant. We need to go the way of Izzo and sacrifice early wins for late wins.

    Give our talented guys the most minutes and let them play through their mistakes. Only sit them if they’re being lazy, and don’t sit them too long.

    Final Four all the way.

  • @wissoxfan83

    You might have cared more about the “Summer of Love” in the Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco.

    Peace Out!


    ‘Human Be-in’

    I was young, but recalled the WAR… followed by LOVE… followed by PROTEST.

    I just missed the Vietnam draft by 2 years. Many of my friends went and one died.

  • My answer to the original question: choice 1.

    I don’t know why HEM and other posters seem to look down on those of us who choose #1.

    A conference title is not as good as a Final Four, much less a National Championship. OK

    Wooden’s NCAA streak is much, much more important than his conference title streak. OK.

    but Wooden’s NCAA streak is out of the question: his conference streak is within reach.

    I don’t remember every NCAA champion or Final Foursome for the last several years, but I know about UCLA and Gonzaga.

    This is Self’s only chance to take a record away from Wooden. I don’t care if it’s for cleanest socks or creamiest jeans, it’s significant. Self will never deliberately lessen his chances for that achievement.

    Here’s an obvious question: which choice would Self make? “Both 1 and 2”. He refuses to accept that the road to a national title goes through more losses in the regular season.

    Last point: this is irrelevant! Self’s aura has dimmed recently, yes, but not only because of an early exit. Self has had teams that peaked in February and disappointed in March, but recently his teams have gotten worse** before the NCAAs even started**. That is the real issue right now.

  • @ParisHawk

    When I use my mind instead of my heart… I choose #1. But it is hard to do. My guts are still suffering from our recent March loss and from past March disasters.

    Funny… but I thought we were involved in a study or in a program to try to peak our performance in March. This was part of Self’s answer for last year’s disaster (or was it the year before?)

    Something having to do with Hudy and getting our guys to their peak physical performance in March.

    Maybe it is time to look at how to get their minds to peak performance in March?

    One this one, I prefer mind over body, any day of the week and Sundays!

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