With all this schedule talk surrounding Kansas these days and with us being a mere 32 days away from kickoff, it seemed like a good time to go ahead and let you guys know what's going to happen this year. Without further ado...
August 30th v. Florida International – No discussion necessary
September 6th v. Louisiana Tech – I'm still shocked this game got picked up for TV already.
September 12th @ South Florida – In addition to the conference opponent previews, we'll also be featuring Jim Leavitt's Bulls as I think this game has the potential to be the equivalent of last year's trip to Manhattan. Prior to that game I thought it was the most important one of the season and given how things ultimately turned out, I don't think I was too far off in that assessment. With the way the schedule lines up this year, I think this is that game. In which case I better go ahead and project…
September 20th v. Sam Houston St. – Payback time, Mr. Bomar. So maybe we really don't owe Rhett any payback, as it was clearly the Kansas offense that lost that game. Either way…
October 4th @ Iowa State – With ISU's potential to occasionally steal some games in Ames this would feel like a dangerous one to me, if it weren't the first league game and it was preceded by a bye week. Fortunately, both of those things are true and I expect a comfortable win.
WIN (5-0, 1-0)
October 11th v. Colorado – Let me be the first (or one of the last) to say that Colorado is going to surprise some teams this year. However, in the 3 weeks leading up to this game they will play West Virginia, @ Florida State and Texas (in Boulder), so I feel like the Hawks shouldn't have a terribly tough time with them in Lawrence. And so ends the comfortable part of the schedule.
WIN (6-0, 2-0)
October 18th @ Oklahoma – Could this be the second straight year that a OU meets an undefeated team from the Big 12 north in front of the Gameday Crew in Norman? Possibly. Unfortunately, I think the result will end up much the same as well.
LOSS (6-1, 2-1)
October 25th v. Texas Tech – Last year Homecoming was celebrated with a 76-39 thrashing of Nebraska. This year, the Pirate brings Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree into town. And yes, Michael Crabtree scares me. If you're reading this, Clint Bowen (who are we kidding, of course you are), please do not try and single cover that man. EVER. The key to disrupting a Tech offense is getting pressure on the QB, which incidentally happens to be the key to the KU defense this year. It if happens, the Hawks should have plenty of offense to take this one.
WIN (7-1, 3-1)
November 1st v. KSU – This one is probably the closest thing the Jayhawks get to a break in the schedule. That being said, we saw what happened in Austin last year when you treat a visit from KSU as an off-week. No need to worry, though, Kansas fans. You have Mark Mangino and not Mack Brown so you're not likely to get out coached, especially by a giant genie that can't retain his assistants and just brought in 19 JUCO players. NFL Draft prospect Josh Freeman will bring his Power Towels into Lawrence for his annual loss to the Hawks, making him a stellar 0-3 v. his cross-state rivals.
WIN (8-1, 4-1)
November 8th @ Nebraska – Since we have absolutely no fucking clue what to expect from Bo Pelini's blackshirts, this one is nearly impossible to predict. However, as much as it pains me, I'm going to say that Nebraska gets up for this one after the beating they were given last year and knocks off the Jayhawks, further extending the winless streak in Lincoln.
LOSS (8-2, 4-2)
November 15th v. Texas – After a rough loss to the Bugeaters, KU returns home to face Mack and Colt. And just as Nebraska got revenge for the 76 points, KU will get their revenge from the infamous "Dollar signs" game in which Texas was all but given the game by the zebras (and VY's incredible 4th & 18 scramble, but that's beside the point).
WIN (9-2, 5-2)
November 29th v. Methzou @ Arrowhead – Just as it was last year, I'll go out on a limb and say this one is for the right to represent the north as Methzou will enter the game with 1 conference loss to Kansas' 2. And since we all know that Methzou is getting WAAAY over hyped (good defense, really?!?!), the Jayhawks take this one, sending Booger and Pinkel into a maelstrom of self-pity as it is KU and not the Tigers, playing two straight in Arrowhead.
WIN (10-2, 6-2)
December 6th v. OU in Big XII Championship @ Arrowhead – I hate to be the guy taking OU year after year, but if Sam Bradford stays healthy and their back 7 on defense aren't terrible, I just don't see any other team in the league dethroning the Sooners. The Jayhawks keep it closer than they did in Norman, but just can't come up with enough big plays down the stretch.
LOSS (10-3, 6-2)
I would love to speculate on their bowl from this point, but I have even less of a clue about that than all that we've gone through above, so I'll just leave it be. If this record really does hold up though, either the Cotton or Holiday seems likely.
And before we go, I should probably link to Tim Griffin's big 12 hate meter as ESPN is enjoying a day of analyzing the hated programs around the country. You have to give it to them, though; this is a creative, new way to promote USC, aOSU, and the SEC. As for Griffin's meter, I'd say it is pretty dead on. My personal one would differ quite a bit, but from a universal vantage point it seems pretty accurate. Be sure to check back as the next few weeks we'll be offering much more extensive previews of the nine worthwhile games mentioned above.