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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.