The Kansas Jayhawks 2017 football season wasn’t what we would call “good.” They were 1-11 overall and winless in conference play. Despite being a dog by 21 or more points 7 times, they only covered the number on 4 occasions. The Jayhawks have won just 1 conference game in the last 3 seasons, and 3 over the last 5 seasons. They also have failed to win more than 3 games in a season over the last 5 seasons, including going winless in 2015. But this year could be different…or not…probably not as they are the long shot of the conference to win the Big XII title at +20000 (200-1) and even further longshots to win the college football playoff at +750000. These futures odds are found at 5Dimes and no that is not a typo that is 7500-1. But hey, at least they were the Big XII Champions in basketball again.
There is hope for Kansas in 2018 as David Beaty enters his 4th year at the helm and retains his entire staff and Kansas leads the nation in returning starters with 19 players. On defense, they return 10 starters, including last season’s leading tackler Joe Dineen and leading sack man Daniel Wise. On offense, they return 9 starters on offense, including their quarterbacks, Carter Stanley and Peyton Bender, leading rusher Khalil Herbert and leading receiver Steven Sims from last season.
Even with so much experience, the season win total is set at 3.5 wins (140/-160) at BetOnline, 3.0 wins (105/-135) at 5Dimes, and 3.0 wins (-140/110) at BetDSI. Keep in mind that these win totals do not include bowl games or conference championship games, and I’m sure we don’t have to worry about either for Kansas this season.
|Date||Opponent||BangTheBook Line||Expected Wins|
|9/8||@ Central Michigan||+1.5||0.475|
|10/6||@ West Virginia||+27.5||0|
|10/20||@ Texas Tech||+17||0.086|
|11/10||@ Kansas State||+23||0|
Total Expected Wins: 2.3
Pick a stat, any stat and there is a good chance the Kansas offense was near the bottom for that category in 2017. They averaged 16.9 points per game (122nd), 319.2 yards per game (119th), 4.3 yards per play (125th) and 27.96 3rd down conversion percentage (126th) are just a few. Keep in mind there were 130 teams in total. But with 9 starters back on offense, Kansas will be looking to improve everywhere in 2018 under 2nd-year offensive coordinator Doug Meacham and their air raid offense.
Carter Stanley should be the starter and will look to stay healthy after breaking his hand last August and suffering a knee injury at the end of the year. He has the ability to extend plays with his feet and has shown he can throw with 418 passing yards against Kansas State last year. The backfield has depth as the Jayhawks top 3 rushers all return, including likely starter Khalil Herbert who averaged 5.5 yards a carry and totaled 684 yards in 2017. If Kansas can keep games close in 2018, Herbert may have a chance at a 1,000-yard season behind an offensive line that now has experience and will look to be one of the most improved units in the conference after a dismal 2017 season.
Let me know if this sounds familiar, but pick a stat, any stat and there is a good chance the Kansas defense was near the bottom of that category in 2017. They allowed 45.9 points per game (129th), 487.9 yards per game (122nd), and 6.6 yards per play (120th) to name a few. Kansas returns 10 starters from last season and the coaches are excited as they expect a big improvement from this team.
The defensive line losses Dorance Armstrong, who was the best player and former Big XII first team member, but Daniel Wise stepped up and had 7 sacks to lead the team. Wise can expect extra attention this season leaving an opportunity for somebody else to step-up. Linebacker Joe Dineen returns for his senior year after having a fantastic 2017 season. He led the nation by averaging 7.8 solo tackles per game and was the Big XII defensive player of the week in week 1. The defensive backs are returning all the starters and coaches have high expectations for incoming freshman Corione Harris as this unit looks to improve
The schedule is brutal; then again, it always is when you are continuously losing at least 9 or more games a season. According to the BangTheBook lines, Kansas will be an underdog by 14.5 or more points in every single conference game this season. Luckily they can get off to a good start with a game against an FCS foe and then try to redeem themselves on the road at Central Michigan after losing at home to the Chippewas last season.
Win Total Pick: Under 3.5 (BetOnline)
Kansas has the experience and should be an improved team in nearly every statistic, but I’m not sure that will be enough to get them past the 3 win mark in 2018. The expected win total is only 2.3 wins and they are projected to be an underdog in 11 of 12 games, the only one they are favored in is against an FCS opponent. If they slip up in any of their first 3 games, which isn’t out of the question, getting to 4 or more wins will seem impossible.
-END OF 2018 PREVIEW-
The Kansas Jayhawks football team has been ranked at the bottom of the Big 12 conference in last two years. Former Texas A&M wide receivers coach David Beaty’s third year at the helm of the Jayhawks could be the year of reckoning.
In 2016, team had a 2-10 (1-8) record but these two wins were pretty remarkable ones as they humiliated Rhode Island at the Memorial Stadium, 55:6, and then defeated the Texas Longhorns in Lawrence for the first time in over 75 years, 24:21 in overtime. Recording at least four wins this year should provide enough insurance that Beaty has the squad going in positive direction, otherwise, it could be the end of another era.
UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS JAYHAWKS
- Southeast Missouri Red Hawks (Sep. 2)
- Central Michigan Chippewas (Sep. 9)
- at Ohio Bobcats (Sep.16)
- West Virginia Mountaineers (Sep. 23)
- OFF (Sep. 30)
- Texas Tech Raiders (Oct. 7)
- at Iowa State Cyclones (Oct. 14)
- at TCU Horned Frogs (Oct. 21)
- Kansas State Wildcats (Oct. 28)
- Baylor Bears (Nov. 4)
- at Texas Longhorns (Nov. 11)
- Oklahoma Sooners (Nov. 18)
- at Oklahoma State Cowboys (Nov. 25)
According to 5Dimes Sportsbook Odds for 2017 Season Win Totals: 3; Over -120; Under +100;
Kansas Jayhawks Offense
The Kansas Jayhawks had one of the worst offenses in the NCAA last season. They ranked 106th nationally and last in the conference with only 359.5 total yards per game and 4.96 yards per play. Passing segment was not that awful as they averaged 6.20 yards per attempt and 240.4 passing yards per match.
Junior QB Montell Cozart recorded most yards (1075) while he also added 7 TDs and 9 INTs. Carter Stanley and Ryan Willis have also seen some plays behind the Center collecting 959 and 811 yards passing. It’s unclear who will take the starting role in the upcoming season.
In the rushing segment, this was one of the most unsuccessful seasons in the program history as they ranked 116th nationally (only 12 schools in division I had worse record) averaging only 119.1 yards per game and 3.53 yards per rush. Also, their top rusher from last season, Ke’aun Kinner (738 yards) graduated and it’s time for Taylor Martin and Khalil Herbert to step up and take some responsibility.
Kansas Jayhawks Defense
Similar like the Cyclones, the Jayhawks were pretty much awful on the defense last year. 456.2 yards allowed per game and 6.04 yards allowed per play are the signs that there’s something terribly wrong in this segment of play. Nevertheless, passing defense was solid (219.7 yards allowed per game – 54th nationally) but the run defense was cheese-hollow as they averaged 236.4 rushing yards allowed per game and 5.17 yards per rush.
Their top tackler was Anthony Fish Smithson who recorded 93 total tackle in his final year as a Jayhawk. His successor might be another safety, freshman Mike Lee who team’s second best 76 total tackles last year. If they want to improve their run defense, guys from the linebacker corps will have to start playing. Keith Loneker Jr. who is entering his junior year might be the one of those sleepers.
As almost every aspect of the team, special teams also need much improvement work. They ranked 106th nationally in kickoff return stat sheet, averaging only 18.87 yards per return, while punt return average yardage was worst in the schools’ history. Jayhawks ranked last in the country (128th) with -1.43 average yards per punt return.
Defensive aspect of special teams was solid on the other hand, allowing 20.57 yards per kick (65th in the NCAA) and 9.64 yards per punt return (94th in the NCAA). Junior WR Laquivonte Gonzalez was the leading returner with 601 yards in 28 returns (21.5 in average) and one return TD.
David Beaty was appointed as a head coach of the Jayhawks in 2015 and he led the team in last two seasons, posting an infamous record of two wins and 22 defeats. Former Texas A&M wider receivers coach will probably have one more season to prove that his leading the team in the right direction.
There were some bright spots last year as they defeated Texas Longhorns for the first time in more than 75 years and got close in couple of games: Nevertheless, being close is not enough and if he fails to deliver this year, he will probably become history.
Team’s departures and recruits
- Marcquis Roberts, senior LB, graduated.
- Matthew Wyman, senior K, graduated.
- Brandon Stewart, senior CB, graduated.
- Fish Smithson, senior S, graduated.
5, Marnez Ogletree, senior CB, graduated.
- Damani Mosby, senior DE, graduated.
- Chevy Graham, senior CB, graduated.
- Greg Allen, senior S, graduated.
- Ke’aun Kinner, senior RB, graduated.
- Bazie Bates IV, senior S, graduated.
- J.J. Jolaoso, senior RB, graduated.
- Courtney Arnick, senior LB, graduated.
- Tevin Shaw, senior S, graduated.
- Anthony Olobia, senior DE, graduated.
- Michael Zunica, senior FB, graduated.
- Cameron Rosser, senior DE, graduated.
- D’Andre Banks, senior OL, graduated.
- John Wirtel, senior LS, graduated.
- Will Smith, senior DT, graduated.
- Jordan Shelley-Smith, senior OL, graduated.
- Shakiem Barbel, senior WR, graduated.
- Austin Moses, senior WR, graduated.
- Devon Williams, senior DT, graduated.
There were 8 enrolled players and 13 players who were signed after the letter of intent.
- Hasan Defense, CB, Kilgore J.C., Kilgore, TX;
- Willie McCaleb, WDE, Northwest Mississippi C.C., Senatobia, MS;
- JJ Holmes, DT, Hutchinson C.C., Hutchinson, KS;
- Peyton Bender, PRO, Itawamba C.C., Fulton, MS;
- Kerr Johnson, WR, Santa Rosa J.C., Santa Rosa, CA;
- Kyron Johnson, OLB, Lamar, Arlington, TX;
- Shakial Taylor, CB, Mesa C.C., Mesa, AZ;
- Keyshaun Simmons, SDE, Pearl River C.C., Poplarville, MS;
Signed Letter of intent:
- Octavius Matthews, ATH, Itawamba C.C., Fulton, MS;
- Dominic Williams, APB, Independence, Frisco, TX;
- Travis Jordan, WR, John Ehret, Marrero, LA;
- Kenyon Tabor, WR, Derby, Derby, KS;
- Takulve Williams, WR, St. Augustine, New Orleans, LA;
- Robert Topps, CB, Marist, Chicago, IL;
- Quan Hampton, WR, Texas High, Texarkana, TX;
- Antonio Cole, CB, Highland C.C., Highland, KS;
- Liam Jones, K, Choctaw, Choctaw, OK;
- Joseph Gilbertson, OG, Northwest, Wichita, KS;
- Cooper Root, ILB, Wichita C.S., Wichita, KS;
- Jay Dineen, ILB, Lawrence Free State, Lawrence, KS;
- Earl Bostick, OT, Barnwell, Barnwell, SC;
- Jack Williams, OL, Argyle, Argyle, TX;
- Sam Schroeder, TE/HB, Trinity Academy, Wichita, KS;
- Quinton McQuillan, FB/HB, Lansing, Leavenworth, KS;
- Sam Burt, DL, Abilene, Abilene, KS;
- Hunter Kaufman, WR, Pratt, Pratt, KS;
Total wins predictions
The odds are set pretty low for the Jayhawks team, having in mind that they averaged only one win per season over the last two years. There is a lot at stake, and the pressure on their head coach is starting to rise but I think that he has the juice and the knowledge to run the table and earn another year at the helm of Kansas football program. Here I would go with more than three wins in total.
Total wins prediction: 3, Over -120.