Kickoff: October 22nd
Location: McLane Stadium (Waco, TX)
Conference: Big 12
Head Coach: Lance Leipold (1st year)
Last Year’s Record: 2-10
Notable Outcomes: Lost to Baylor 45-7; beat Texas 57-56 in OT; lost to TCU 31-28
Key Losses: Kwamie Lassiter, WR; Kyron Johnson, DE; Malik Clark, G
Key Returners: Jalon Daniels, QB; Devin Neal, RB; Kenny Logan, S
Strength: Quarterback. The Jayhawks actually return some experience and depth at the quarterback position this year, as Jalon Daniels is set to start. Daniels came in for the last three games of the season, which included a win against Texas and close games against TCU and West Virginia. He accounted for 10 touchdowns in those games while only throwing three interceptions. If that remains consistent, the Jayhawks might actually have a little offensive life this season, especially since they still have quarterback Jason Bean—who started most of their games last year—as a backup.
Weakness: Wide receiver. The problem Jalon Daniels is going to have is who he has to throw it to on the perimeters. The Jayhawks lost wide receiver Kwamie Lassiter, who amassed over 600 yards of receptions last season. There isn’t really a go-to-guy now with him gone, so the Jayhawks will need to hope for a lot of improvement at that position during off-season training.
Way Too Early Prediction: I’ll be bold: Baylor is going to win this game fairly easily (the bold comment was sarcasm, if that wasn’t readily apparent). Kansas is once again cycling into another coach. And while I do think Lance Leipold is a legitimately good coach, legitimately good coaches have tried and failed to make the Kansas gig work. So who’s to say if Leipold is the one to turn things around. Any conference wins would be a major plus for the Jayhawks going forward, and I could actually see them getting a couple if Daniels plays consistently at the quarterback position this year. But one of those wins is almost certainly not happening against Baylor in Waco.