Less than 24 hours after being shut out, 23-0, by Texas, Kansas fired coach Charlie Weis Sunday morning.
The Jayhawks were 2-2 under Weis this season but had been blown out by their two toughest opponents, Duke (41-3) and Texas. They had beaten Southeast Missouri and Central Michigan.
Defensive coordinator Clint Bowen has been named interim coach. KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger left little doubt the decision was based strictly on the team's performance. Weis was in the third year of a five-year contract and his overall record was 6-22. His teams showed only slight improvement from a 1-11 mark in his first year, going 3-9 last season.
"I normally do not favor changing coaches mid-season," Zenger said, according to the school's official web site. "But I believe we have talented coaches and players in this program, and I think this decision gives our players the best chance to begin making progress right away. I appreciate what Coach Weis did with several facets of our football program. But we have not made the on-the-field progress we believe we should. I believe new leadership gives our coaches and players the best chance to make a fresh start."
Weis has extensive experience as an NFL assistant coach, including three stops as an offensive coordinator, and was head coach at Notre Dame from 2005-2009.
Although Weis' record with the Jayhawks was certainly dismal, the timing and circumstances of Zenger's move are curious at best, and signal much higher administrative expectations for the program. Weis' team had a .500 record, and had just suffered an expected loss to one of college football's traditional powers in Texas.
That makes two things clear: 1) Kansas is looking to develop quick relevance in the new era of the College Football Playoff, and 2) a loss to Texas -- which has fallen on hard times itself -- is not nearly as acceptable as it used to be.