Given the number of Sunday’s left before the season kicks-off, there needed to be two lookaheads on one Sunday. Kansas seemed like a good double up choice because, well... there isn’t a whole lot to say that has been different from the past few years. Baylor opens Big 12 play against the Jayhawks on September 22nd in McLane Stadium.
The Jayhawks were the only win Baylor got last season, stomping them 38-9 in Lawrence. Kansas only got one win last year as well, beating FCS Southeast Missouri State. They lost to Central Michigan, Ohio, and everyone in the Big 12. Their closest loss was 10 points. There had been hope that new offensive coordinator Doug Meacham, who had been co-offensive coordinator at TCU, could turn things around. But, he was unable to in his first year. Now David Beaty somehow enters his 4th season, with a 3-33 record in his time at Kansas.
Offensively, Kansas has a great runningback in Khalil Herbert, although health has been an issue with him. The offensive line in front of him should be improved as well. But, Meacham and Beaty have tended to want to throw a lot, which hasn’t worked out at all in past years and nothing says it should this year either.
Defensively, Kansas might actually be somewhat competent. They return most of their front seven minus absolute stud Dorance Armstrong Jr. The problem area for the Jayhawks last year was certainly their secondary. Beaty has brought in a LOT of secondary JUCO recruits in an effort to quickly shore up that area (since, barring a turn around, this is very likely his last season at Kansas). While the defense could be improved, it still probably won’t be good enough to make any miracles happen.
Kansas opens their season against Nichols State, Central Michigan, and Rutgers before facing Baylor. All of those games are in grasp for Kansas to win. If they win 2 of 3 or 3 of 3, maybe the Jayhawks have some confidence and are a tough out. But a 1-2 or 0-3 start would be absolutely crushing for the Jayhawks. Baylor definitely has the easiest part of its schedule front-loaded with ACU, UTSA, Duke, and Kansas. They probably need to go at least 3-1 in that stretch to be reasonably on track for a bowl game turnaround. Kansas at home shouldn’t be a problem for the Bears, but that’s why you play the game.