No no folks, I am not talking about basketball. I'm talking about about our beloved football team playing against the Florida Gators for the National Championship in January. Am I crazy? Well, yeah, I think I may just be. I've got college football fever right now so I'm probably a little delerious. Before this Kansas football team has even taken a snap my expectations are probably way too high. The same can be said for last season. Before the year got going, I saw us upsetting T Tech at home and had high hopes of winning the north. When they came into Lawrence and kicked the **** out of us, though, I realized maybe I drank a little too much of the crimson and blue kool-aid. Well it's 2009 and after two huge wins to end last season, I've officially made another batch of kool-aid.
We all know the pieces coming back and the new pieces in place by now. We know our strengths: All things passing, catching, running, and tackle breaking. We know the weaknesses: Linebackers and pass rushing. We definitely know the question marks: New offensive linemen, cornerbacks, running back depth, and special teams. But I'm here to say that this is all going to work out folks.
Our two returning offensive lineman are going to lead a young and talented group to being a Todd protecting, hole opening juggernaut. Daymond Patterson and Anthony Davis, are going to shine in their second season's just like two famous Jayhawks of old that wore jersey #3 did. Those two made Jayhawk fans realize that stars could play at the University of Kansas. Toben Opurum is going to provide the Thunder to Jake Sharp's lightning and the two will be feared by every opponent. Respect those two or they will run all over you; stack the box and Todd is going to play pass to Dez, Kerry, Jon, and Bradley all day long. Daymond Patterson will surely take 2 or 3 punts to the house this season as he is comforrtable with his new position now. Dezmon Briscoe will give us great field position all season long, busting a couple to the house which will propel hims into the Heisman Trophy talk.
There you have it, the questions have been answered. I hope you aren't worried anymore because this isn't prediction, this is foregone conclusion.
Now, for how it will all go down:
Week 1: Northern Colorado
I don't think I have to convince you on this one. KU will use this as a pre-season game of sorts. See how the offense flows, try things out on defense. Get a look at what linebackers will work and won't work. Get young guys some playing time in the 2nd half. This is a great first game to have and I'm very thankful we have it. KU rolls 55-10.
Week 2: @ UTEP
Game 2 is a much different story than Game 1. Traveling to El-Paso for game #2 is not an easy task but one that a senior led Jayhawk team shouldn't have too much problem with. UTEP is no pushover, though. They have a solid team led by QB Trevor Vittatoe threw 33 TD's to just 9 INT's last season. Texas is a crazy place and none get crazier than Lubbock and El Paso. I could see UTEP's crowd playing a factor early, but KU is just too talented for this one to be that close. KU 40-21
Week 3: Duke
Duke will come to Memorial Stadium and I know that the Oread will be filled with jokes about basketball. This game should be an easy one for the Hawks, even if Duke's program has made strides in the past few seasons. Todd and Briscoe go crazy connecting for 3 TDs and KU impresses once again. KU 45-17
Week 4: Southern Miss
By far the most talented team KU will face in the non-conference. With Big 12 play looming two weeks after this game, the Jayhawks cannot look past this program. Southern Miss will not come in scared as they know what it's like to go on the road against quality opponents. KU can not look past this game or the season takes a very different turn. I see somewhat of a close game here. KU 33-26
Week 5: Iowa St.
Big 12 play begins and things start to get serious. Well almost. Iowa St. will probably be pretty bad again this year but they do have a good QB in Arnaud. KU will not overlook the Cyclones like last season and will roll at home. KU 47-17
Week 6: @ Colorado
This game is scary. Playing in Boulder is never easy, especially against a team that is really trying to turn the corner this season and believes they will. I'm not sure they're quite there yet but that will not matter in this game. KU squeaks this one out much like 2007. KU 27-23
Week 7: Oklahoma
I don't know if Lawrence will be able to contain what will come Oct. 24th when OU visits Memorial Stadium. KU 6-0, OU 5-1 or 6-0 (in my scenario they will have lost to TX the week before and be 5-1). KU fans will be ready to burst in anticipation with this nationally televised matchup of #9 OU vs #11 Kansas. Many people think that KU can't win this game but I'm here to tell you it finally happens. KU's devensive lineman have a new swagger and harass Bradford all day, forcing 2 INT's to Stuckey and Anthony Davis. Reesing goes off and while OU vows to not let Briscoe go crazy on them like last year, Kerry Meier and Jon Wilson have huge days instead. KU finally beats the South, 38-34.
Week 8: @ Texas Tech
Well now things are getting serious folks. KU cracks the top 10 and is the talk of the Big 12 (along with Texas & OK St. of course). Going to Lubbock is very very tough. This team is riding high from a huge win against OU, though, and the defense that was once a question, is pressuring QB's and forcing turnovers. KU has already traveled to West Texas and won so that won't be anything new. In front of their friends and family, the many natives of Texas on KU's team do it again and beat South teams on back to back weeks. KU 30-28.
Week 9: @ K-State
Winning back 2 back road games in the Big 12 used to be laughable for Kansas Football. No more, not with this team. Todd and company roll into Manhattan for what will be a very hostile crowd. I really think this game could be blowout for KU or very close and our boys better not be overlooking a gelling K-State team in November. We've just got too much talent, though. I heard Tim Griffin say on "The Drive" this week that, "he'll have to see Mark Mangino beat Bill Snyder in Manhattan, to believe it". Well Tim, the student becomes the teacher, KU rolls and Manhattan riots: KU 45-24
Week 10: Nebraska
KU is 9-0 with Nebraska coming to town. I don't think the nation can really believe this is happening and the rest of the Big 12 is pissed. Nebraska will come in still hoping to get that Big 12 North title as it's not out of reach if they can knock off the Hawks. I don't think so, this series in recent years has been all about who is at home. NU's defense is good, but not good enough. KU 26-20
Week 11: @Texas
KU and Texas battle it out with undefeated records. This isn't the twilight zone, it's KU football with Mark Mangino. Going to Austin and beating Texas to clinch the Big 12 North title? OK I'm drinking kool-aid but the bottle that was sitting next to the pitcher of kool-aid is finally dry and the buzz is finally wearing off. KU comes out flat after what has been a crazy run so far. Texas dominates form the beginning and all of the sudden KU looks human again. Texas 40-20.
Week 12: Missouri @ Arrowhead
Until one of these programs really falls off, I don't see this game every being one where you can say one team has the advantage, just look at last season. This will surely be a game that Missouri players and fans want more than anything, spoil Kansas's hopes of rolling into the Big 12 Championship game with momentum. KU fans fill the stadium with Mizzou people not far behind but KU edges this one out to win the 2nd in a row of the series. KU 35-30
Big 12 Championship game in Dallas: KU vs Texas
At 11-1 and their only loss to 12-0 Texas, this game has huge BCS implications. KU checks in at #5 while TX holds onto the #2 spot behind Florida. Most label KU as 14 point underdogs, a huge spread when talking about #2 vs #5. Ku shocks the nation and upsets Texas. Todd Reesing plays the game of his life while Dezmon Briscoe goes off for 12 catches, 187 yards and 3 TDs. KU haven't partied this hard since March 2008. KU 31-TX 28
With a win against the # 2 team in the BCS and a really good SOS, KU leap frogs #4 and #3 to play in the BCS NC game.
Well there you have it. It's kind of like it's already happened huh? KU vs. Florida in the National Championship. Florida will probably run all over us but who cares right. The holiday season has never felt this good!
Alright if you've taken the time to go through this you probably think I'm a little drunk. No, I'm not, this is not what I really think WILL happen. I see KU going more like 9-3 this season and even that might be a game stretch (damn, I hope not). But it is fun to dream sometimes. I spent the morning dreaming of what it would be like to have a season similar to the ones we have in basketball and to have one that felt like 2007 except multiply that by 10 because of how much better our opponents are. Well I say let's keep dreaming until that first loss, this could be a really fun season folks, even if we don't go to the NC game.