Things have gone downhill fast for the Kansas Jayhawks. Not that long ago they were Orange Bowl champions after putting together a 12-1 season in 2007. The architect of that campaign, Mark Mangino, was cut loose two years later and the succession of coaches hasn’t been able to produce more than three wins in any season since. The Jayhawks hired a relative unknown after Turner Gill and Charlie Weis did absolutely nothing. David Beaty tore it down upon his arrival and the result was a winless 2015 campaign. The Jayhawks doubled their win total last season and further improvement isn’t out of the question.
2016 Record: 2-10 SU, 6-6 ATS, 5-7 O/U
2017 Regular Season Win Total: 3.5
National Championship Odds: +500000
Odds To Win Big 12: +50000
The Jayhawks were a competitive group for the most part in their home games, but the road was a different story. They got their 15-game losing streak over in a hurry with a romp over a bad FCS Rhode Island team in the opener. The win was nice, but the aftereffects may have been detrimental with the team thinking it was better than it actually was.
Beaty picked up his initial win with that 55-6 drubbing of the Rams, but KU wouldn’t get another until the next to last regular season game. And some of the results were painful. The road schedule didn’t do Kansas any favors. The Jayhawks were pounded by Memphis, Texas Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma and West Virginia. They lost all six away games and were outscored 285-76.
The results weren’t as bad at Memorial Stadium. The Jayhawks outplayed TCU and did everything but win in the 24-23 loss. They hung with Oklahoma State until late in the third quarter and had a second half lead over Iowa State. The topper came in mid-November when KU overcame an 11-point second half deficit to beat Texas in overtime. Though the opener counted as a win, this one meant so much more. It was KU’s first victory over an FBS opponent in two years and snapped a 19-game Big 12 losing streak.
The Jayhawks have a chance to not be terrible in 2017. Two wins isn’t anything to celebrate, but at Kansas it was enough to get Beaty an extension. Now comes the hard part. It’s easy to lose games, and the Jayhawks have been good at that over the past several years. It’s time to take the momentum of that two-win season and turn it into another positive. Even if the Jayhawks double their win total again, they’ll be out of the bowl picture, so its baby steps for KU.
The Jayhawks were able to win two games, which were two more than the previous season. So I guess you could say there was some improvement. If they are to be more competitive in the Big 12, the offense needs to improve dramatically. And there is plenty of room for improvement. KU averaged less than 360 yards of offense and scored just 20.2 points per game to rank 120th nationally. Beaty brought in former TCU offensive coordinator Doug Meacham, who knows how to work a Big 12 offense.
That’s if he has the pieces and there are some, just not many, to work with. First order of business in Lawrence is to get the quarterback situation straightened out. Carter Stanley returns after taking the starting job near the end of 2016. He’ll be challenged by Washington State transfer Peyton Bender, who worked the Air Raid attack with Mike Leach. There are plenty of other issues and the team will again take its lumps. Bowl eligibility is likely out of the question, but doubling its win total again would be a good sign for Kansas.
Week 1: Kansas vs. Southeast Missouri, Saturday, September 2
Week 2: Kansas vs. Central Michigan, Saturday, September 9
Week 3: Kansas at Ohio, Saturday, September 16
Week 4: Kansas vs. West Virginia, Saturday, September 23
Week 5: OFF
Week 6: Kansas vs. Texas Tech, Saturday, October 7
Week 7: Kansas at Iowa State, Saturday, October 14
Week 8: Kansas at TCU, Saturday, October 21
Week 9: Kansas vs. Kansas State, Saturday, October 28
Week 10: Kansas vs. Baylor, Saturday, November 4
Week 11: Kansas at Texas, Saturday, November 11
Week 12: Kansas vs. Oklahoma, Saturday, November 18
Week 13: Kansas at Oklahoma State, Saturday, November 25
|SEC Conference||Big 10 Conference|
|ACC Conference||Big 12 Conference|
|Pac 12 Conference||Big East Conference|
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