LAWRENCE, Kan.-Living in the midwest portion of the country, inhabitants are accustomed to having to deal with droughts.
But, taking place on the campus of Kansas University with the Jayhawks' football program is one for the ages.
"Every week I come in and talk about the opponent and spend 15 minutes talking about them and I would rather talk abour our guys-I'd rather talk about us," KU head coach Charlie Weis said during opening statements at his weekly press conference. "I think we're at the stage in the year where I'm putting all my focus, all my energy into the last three games of the season starting with this one."
The Jawhawks (2-7, 0-6 Big 12) will play host to a West Virginia team (4-6, 2-5 Big 12) looking to rebound from a heartbreaking overtime loss to Texas, but still holding a slim chance of reaching six wins and earning the school's 12th consecutive bowl invitation.
"Every bit of juice that I have is going into this game," the coach added. "I think I'm more concerned with our players than I am with theirs. They're obviously coming off a disheartening loss where they had Texas, a top team, beat on the road, but you have a late fourth down conversion, and a late field goal, then end up losing in overtime.
"It was a disheartening loss, they played really well. With that being said, they're coming in at 11 o'clock in the morning, and I can't spend too much time worrying about them and their troops, I'm just worried about mine."
And the fact that the Jayhawks have not tasted a victory in the Big 12 for 27 straight games.
"We're in the same must-win category that they're in. We're already in the playoffs, the playoffs started when we got eliminated, right? These last three games count the same for me, these are our playoffs. Our bowl game is the Saturday after Thanskgiving. That's our bowl game. That's the way we're approaching it."
Kansas has had its moments in 2013 as well. The Jayhawks were in the game all the way in a 27-17 loss to TCU, tallied 19 points against an Oklahoma defense that limited the Mountaineers to only seven and scored the first two touchdowns in a 35-13 loss to Texas.
And, just like their opponent, KU has had a rotating backfield with quarterbacks Jake Heaps and Montell Cozart both earning starting roles during the season. Heaps has the better numbers-107-of-213 for 1,204 yards and seven touchdowns with seven interceptions-but Cozart (11-of-32 for 133 yards) has proved a spark to the Jayhawks' attack when he has been on the field.
"I know who's starting at quarterback, but why should I tell them (WVU)? That's really what it comes down to. You can't go to practice with an 'or' in mind, because if you have an 'or' you really have nobody. But why should they know? As it is, what do they have to practice on? Well, not that we're trained killers on offense, but you have to practice.
"Jake's in the game at quarterback, what do they do when Jake's in the game? Montell's in as quarterback, what do they do when Montell's in the game? Let's go back and look at last year's game when Michael Cummings was in the game and let's see what they do-well is that similar to what they're going to do with Montell? So you practice that stuff too. Before you get into anything else game plan-wise, there's three things that you're already practicing. If I do one out of those three things, and they spend one third of their time on it, then 'or' was definitely worthwhile."
There will definitely not be an 'or' concerning who will carry the bulk of the Kansas running attack. James Sims leads the team in attempts (165), yards (703) and rushing touchdowns (4). Darrian Miller has contributed 322 yards on 67 carries but has not found the end zone while Tony Pierson has 167 yards on 18 totes of the pigskin.
"He's similar (to WVU's Charles Sims). I think he's got about 40 catches. I don't remember exactly, but he's got 40-catches or something like that. But he's a nice solid back, and I don't know Dreamius (Smith) personally other than the fact that I know he was here. But, he's actually done a nice job as a backup too. He's been a nice complimentary player for him as well."
Of more concern to the second-year head coach is finding a way to get his anemic offense to score against a West Virginia defense that is surrendering 31.7 points and 450.9 yards per game.
"First, they're not doing as many things as they're doing last year. But, they're still a lot like Texas Tech where I expect in the game you'll see six different fronts, they'll be even with a three and one technique, they'll be even with a one and a three technique, they'll be under, they'll be over, they'll be odd.
"All those fronts will show up in the game. Now it depends on who they play against, and what coverage they play. For example, by nature they like to play two high. Well then they played Baylor, those two high safeties were so far deep they were out of the picture. I don't think that's where they'll be when we play them, I think they'll be a lot closer to the line of scrimmage. There's actually plays on tape where you can't even see the safeties, they're so far back. In other games you watch-I can dial them up, if you want. Kansas State: they're close. TCU: they're close. I watched them all, so I can see where the safeties are in my mind they're here and then they're back there. I think they'll be a little closer against us."