Predicting the Jayhawks 2017 Football Season

Predicting the Jayhawks 2017 Football Season

football

The last several years have been very frustrating and even depressing for Jayhawk football fans. It is time for a new season to kick off and I’m going to put on my prognosticator’s hat. Just like anyone else, I can only make a guess as to the results of the twelve games on the schedule.

Overall, we think we have some answers on this season’s team. Most position groups seem to be better than they were last season. The one exception is with the defensive backs as they have very little experience. After many years of an inept offense, things should be better this season. More time of possession is good because the offense is moving the ball, but it is also gives the defense more rest. Now let’s look at my predictions.

Southeast Missouri State

In many ways, the first game is a way to work out the kinks against a live opponent. If this game isn’t a blowout, it could be another very long season. I expect it will be a blowout and it will provide good experience for new players on the roster.

Record: 1-0

Central Michigan

Central Michigan already played a game this season and it was against the Jayhawks’ opening opponent from last season. The Chippewas had to go to three overtimes to beat Rhode Island 30-27 at home. I would have expect a much easier win. They get an extra couple of days rest before coming to Lawrence in Week 2, but I don’t think that will be a huge help. Originally I felt this game could be close, but now I’m thinking it will be another comfortable Jayhawk win.

Record: 2-0

Ohio

After the first couple of games, the schedule gets tougher. Last season Ohio came to Lawrence and beat the Jayhawks 37-21. This year the game is in Ohio and Jayhawk fans are well aware that Kansas has a win on the road since early in the 2009 season against UTEP. This is their best chance to break the streak and I think they’ll have enough confidence to finally get it done.

Record: 3-0

West Virginia

With the non-conference season complete, it is time for Big 12 foes and West Virginia is ranked to start the season. I have a feeling that this game may be closer than expected, but I just can’t see it being a win.

Record: 3-1

Texas Tech

With Patrick Mahomes gone to the NFL, the Red Raiders offense won’t be as good as last year. Traditionally the defense hasn’t been very good. Combine that with an improved Jayhawks team and a game in Lawrence and I’ve got this one as a win.

Record: 4-1

Iowa State

Iowa State is projected to be near the bottom of the Big 12 again and this is always a game Kansas fans circle as winnable. Unfortunately the results have been losses in most recent seasons. It is on the road in Ames and I’ve already mentioned the challenge for the past eight seasons at winning a road game. All that said, this is a new team and I think a win is gonna happen.

Record: 5-1

TCU

Just one more win and the Jayhawks are bowl eligible. TCU has gotten a scare from Kansas the last few seasons including a 24-23 squeaker last season in Lawrence. This year the game is in Fort Worth and I think the Horned Frogs are too strong to let this one slip away.

Record: 5-2

Kansas State

A rivalry game just before Halloween. Could it be Bill Snyder’s last game against the Jayhawks? Memorial Stadium should be rocking and I think it could be a really good game. Sadly I think the Wildcats will win again.

Record: 5-3

Baylor

With all the problems at Baylor, the Bears are not nearly as good as some of the recent seasons and this game is in Lawrence. While it could be an upset special, I think the Jayhawks will come up short.

Record: 5-4

Texas

The Jayhawks have not beat Texas since 1938. Oh wait, they stunned the Longhorns last season in an overtime game in Lawrence. Think the guys in burnt orange will be out for revenge? You bet! With the game in Austin, I just don’t see any way the Jayhawks can pull off another upset this season.

Record: 5-5

Oklahoma

Oklahoma is expected to challenge for a spot in the College Football Playoff. Yes, the game is in Lawrence and it is possible the Jayhawks will keep it close early. In the end, I expect the score to be lopsided in favor of the Sooners.

Record 5-6

Oklahoma State

Based on my predictions, the season started so well and the Jayhawks are still one win away from being bowl eligible. Unfortunately they face a really good Cowboys team in Stillwater to close out the season. In college football, most anything is possible. This just looks like the last game of the season for the Jayhawks.

Record: 5-7

Wrap Up

It is hard to imagine any fan being upset with a 5-7 record after the last decade of futility. If things play out as in my predictions, losing the last six games would certainly be frustrating. Maybe there is another upset win in there that would bring a bowl invite. Of course there is also the chance I’m being too optimistic. Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts on the season.

by Sep 1, 2017
Final Third of Big 12 Race to Lucky 13 Jayhawk Titles

Final Third of Big 12 Race to Lucky 13 Jayhawk Titles

basketball

Each of the Big 12 title contenders have now play 12 of their 18 conference games. This race is historic as Kansas has a chance to win their 13th Big 12 title in a row which would tie UCLA’s record from the 60s-70s. College basketball has changed drastically since the Bruin dynasty and conferences have added more members. That makes the Jayhawks run all the more unbelievable.

A simple way to win the lucky 13th title is to win the remaining six conference games. While that is possible, it would mean winning at least a couple of very tough games. We looked at the race after six games and now it is time to do it again to predict the winner.

We’ll go through each of the three contenders starting with third place West Virginia. I’ll predict the outcome of each of the remaining games to give us the final conference standings.

West Virginia (8-4)

at Kansas – LOSS
Texas Tech – WIN
Texas – WIN
at TCU – WIN
at Baylor – LOSS
Iowa State – WIN

Based on those predictions, West Virginia would finish 12-6.

Baylor (9-3)

at Texas Tech – WIN
Kansas – WIN
Oklahoma – WIN
at Iowa State – LOSS
West Virginia – WIN
at Texas – WIN

Based on these predictions, Baylor would finish 14-4.

Kansas (10-2)

West Virginia – WIN
at Baylor – LOSS
TCU – WIN
at Texas – WIN
Oklahoma – WIN
at Oklahoma State – WIN

Based on these predictions, Kansas would also finish 15-3 and win their 13th consecutive title.

In the last three weeks of games, there were some upsets that I hadn’t predicted in the last round. I didn’t expect Baylor to lose at home to Kansas State and it was a real shock that the Jayhawks lost a game in Allen Fieldhouse to Iowa State. Kansas made up a game in the standings by beating Kansas State in Manhattan.

The next two games could decide the race. Baylor plays next at Texas Tech. Lubbock spelled a loss for West Virginia and Kansas needed a last second free throw to escape with a one point victory. Meanwhile West Virginia plays at Kansas. If the Mountaineers pull the upset, they are back in the race. A loss will most likely eliminate them.

Then Kansas plays at Baylor. If form holds and the Jayhawks beat West Virginia, the conference race could be ended with a road win in Waco. Alternatively Baylor could pull ahead in the race if the Jayhawks lose to both the Mountaineers and the Bears.

Given the current standings and upcoming games, I give the Jayhawks an 85% chance of at least getting a share of the title and a 70% chance of winning it outright. That could change drastically in the next week. We’ll look at the state of the race next week to see if it is all but decided or still up for grabs.

by Feb 13, 2017
Will the Writers Push the Jayhawks to the Top of the Polls?

Will the Writers Push the Jayhawks to the Top of the Polls?

basketball

It was an odd situation last week when the polls were released. Kansas was at the top of the Coaches poll, but ranked second in the AP poll. What made it strange was that the Jayhawks received more first place votes, but had fewer overall points than Villanova. Both teams were victorious in their two games, but it is possible the Jayhawks can still leapfrog the Wildcats in the AP poll.

Above you can see the current top five in the AP poll along with game results since the poll was released and the point totals. One thing is pretty sure and that is UCLA will drop as they lost to Arizona yesterday. I would guess their three first place votes will be up for grabs.

Let’s dig a little deeper into why the Jayhawks trailed Villanova by 18 points. The point system is pretty straightforward. A team gets 25 points for first, 24 points for second, etc. So if there was a single writer who voted a team really low, that would drag down their point total. Last week, Graham Couch voted Kansas #13 on his ballot!

I don’t expect Couch to change his stance drastically, but there were losses by several of the teams he had ranked ahead of the Jayhawks. From that one writer alone, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Jayhawks gain five or more points. No other voter had Kansas outside of the Top Five. Even those who voted them at 4 or 5 will likely move them up a spot or two based on the results of the week. That would represent a few more votes. To pass Villanova, they would need at least 18 more votes.

Will it happen? I’m not sure. But I think the overall vote total between the top two spots will be less than five votes. One thing is pretty certain to me and that is wins at West Virginia and Kentucky would definitely put the Jayhawks in the top spot regardless of the outcome of any other games.

by Jan 22, 2017
Predicting the Jayhawks Chance at Lucky 13 Big 12 Titles

Predicting the Jayhawks Chance at Lucky 13 Big 12 Titles

basketball

All teams in the Big 12 have played 6 of their 18 conference basketball games and three teams have separated themselves in the standings. Note that there are four more teams with 3-3 records that would have a chance to win the title if they were to win out. While possible, that is highly unlikely. Let’s look at the remaining schedules for each of the three contenders and take a guess at the Jayhawks chance of winning their 13th consecutive Big 12 title.

I’ve listed each of the schedules in reverse order, so we’ll start with West Virginia who are currently in third place. Just looking at their remaining schedule, I’ll predict a win or a less to come up with a predicted final conference record.

West Virginia (4-2)

at Kansas State – LOSS
Kansas – WIN
at Iowa State – LOSS
Oklahoma State – WIN
at Oklahoma – WIN
Kansas State – WIN
at Kansas – LOSS
Texas Tech – WIN
Texas – WIN
at TCU – WIN
at Baylor – LOSS
Iowa State – WIN

Based on those predictions, West Virginia would finish 12-6.

Baylor (5-1)

at TCU – WIN
Texas Tech – WIN
at Kansas – LOSS
Kansas State – WIN
at Oklahoma State – WIN
TCU – WIN
at Texas Tech – WIN
Kansas – WIN
Oklahoma – WIN
at Iowa State – LOSS
West Virginia – WIN
at Texas – WIN

Based on these predictions, Baylor would finish 15-3.

Kansas (6-0)

Texas – WIN
at West Virginia – LOSS
Baylor – WIN
Iowa State – WIN
at Kansas State – LOSS
at Texas Tech – WIN
West Virginia – WIN
at Baylor – LOSS
TCU – WIN
at Texas – WIN
Oklahoma – WIN
at Oklahoma State – WIN

Based on these predictions, Kansas would also finish 15-3 and tie Baylor for the title.

As I went through my predictions, I didn’t throw in any real upsets. Will the Jayhawks truly lose at both West Virginia and Baylor? Will they truly have another perfect season in Allen Fieldhouse? Baylor has been known to regress in previous seasons, will that happen again? If any of that changes, so could the race.

Right now I’d guess Kansas has at least an 80% chance of at least sharing the title to give them 13 straight. The next game for Baylor is at TCU and the Horned Frogs are much improved this season. Should the Bears lose that one, the race could be over sooner rather than later.

I’ll revisit the race when all of the teams have played 12 of the 18 games and we’ll re-evaluate where they all stand.

by Jan 19, 2017
KU vs. Memphis Preview and Prediction

KU vs. Memphis Preview and Prediction

football

As Jayhawk fans, we all wanted to believe the resounding win in the opener against Rhode Island would carry over against Ohio. Alas, neither the offense or defense did anything positive in the first half. The only good moment was a special teams punt return touchdown. While the second half was better, the hole was already too deep.

Now it is time for the first road game of the season. The last road win was on September 12, 2009 in the West Texas town of El Paso. That’s more than seven years of road losses and probably too many shots of tequila to numb the pain! While a road win would be a huge boost for this team, it may not happen this season.

Memphis whipped the Jayhawks handily last season in Lawrence. KU has improved since that game and the Tigers are without the head coach and first round draft choice quarterback they had in last season’s game. But will these trends be good enough for a road win?

After the debacle of a first half last week, I do expect a better start this week. We might even see the teams trading scores early. Will there be three turnovers by special teams again? I’d say that is highly unlikely.

The defensive line was at full strength and got gashed last week for a lot of big runs up the middle. I expect the coaches will clean that up a bit, but I still see Memphis grinding out yards on the ground. The best hope is to see the Tigers throwing the ball to test the Kansas corners. KU may not be able to stop them, but it does open the door for a possible game-changing turnover.

Just like the defensive line, their counterparts on offense were equally ineffective. Pass-blocking was mostly good, but there was no running game at all. These guys are young and that could lead to bigger improvements from week to week. I just don’t think it will be a big enough jump to let the running backs do much.

Our friends in Las Vegas see Kansas as a nearly three touchdown underdog. I’m going to hope the coaches can clean up the mistakes so the Jayhawks can stay in this game longer. But my prediction still spells another road loss with Memphis 42 Kansas 31. Uno mas tequila, por favor!

by Sep 16, 2016

Pin It on Pinterest