Saturday, August 14, 2010
Big 12 2010-Kansas Jayhawks
2009 Record: 5-7 (1-7)
Head Coach: Turner Gill (1st season...20-30 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Chuck Long (1st season)
Defensive Coordinator: Carl Torbush (1st season)
2009 Bowl: Mid-season collapse screwed that up
Offense: Let's start with the good news. The line has a group of 5 players coming back with strating experience. There is also plenty of depth behind that group, and the group is rugged and athletic. Now the bad news...QB Todd Reesing is gone. WRs Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier are gone. Kale Pick and Jordan Webb are still battling for the QB job, with Pick holding the edge entering fall camp. Daymond Patterson moves from CB to be the new slot receiver, but Bradley McDougald and Jonathon Wilson give experience to the WR corps as starters. Toben Opurum was the power or short yardage back last season, and now will be the feature back. The focus on the offense will be more traditional looks this season, rather than Mangino's fast paced no huddle system from last season.
Defense: Only two players return in the front seven, which could prove to be troublesome this season. Jake Laptad returns at DE, and he is expecting to have a big season, while Hulden Tharp returns at OLB. DTs Richard Johnson and Jamal Greene both have experience but are new full time starters. Steven Johnson and Justin Springer both seem to have a lock on the two other LB spots, but there is a ton of depth there, but the cast is young behind these two guys. Chris Harris returns at CB, but is not a typical shut down man. Expect the D to shift between a traditonal 4-3 and a 4-2-5 look this season.
Special Teams: PK Jacob Branstetter nailed a 57 yarder against Oklahoma, but only connected on 13 of 19 kicks in 2009. Alonso Rojas is an excellent punter, and he is highly accurate, and will be a great weapon this season.
Wins: 9/4 North Dakota State, 9/25 New Mexico State, 10/30 @ Iowa State, 11/6 Colorado
Toss up Games: 9/17 @ Southern Mississippi, 10/2 @ Baylor, 10/16 Kansas State, 11/20 Oklahoma State
Losses: 9/11 Georgia Tech, 10/23 Texas A&M, 11/13 @ Nebraska, 11/27 Missouri
Anything can happen this season, and it all falls to those pesky toss games. The Jayhawks barely escaped Southern Miss last season at home, and the Eagles will be better and at home. Baylor could be much improved with the return of QB Griffith. Kansas has to take 3 of those games to bowl qualify, as NDSU is a 1-AA opponent.
Outlook: This could go either way. Turner Gill's coaching style will be a breath of fresh air on campus, and he hired well at the coordinator spots. Torbush is one of the best on D, and Long was a solid OC at Oklahoma and knows the conference well. If the depth comes through on defense, than KU has a shot. I think offensively, losing the players that left, will be too much to overcome this season. A bowl will be a huge task to acquire.