Sep 15, 2012; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks quarterback Dayne Crist (10) throws a pass against the Texas Christian Horned Frogs in the first half at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE
Kansas heads on the road this week for the first time all season against the Northern Illinois Huskies and they'll do so as an underdog. In fact Kansas opens this week as a 10 point underdog against a Northern Illinois team that hasn't been all that impressive in the early season themselves.
After the loss to Rice it was hard to envision a situation where Kansas might be favored again during the course of the season, but given the fight put up against TCU, the 10 point line seems a bit high. That's not to say that Kansas couldn't come out and lay an egg on the road or that NIU couldn't simply outplay Kansas, but if there was another opponent on the schedule that Kansas looks capable of playing with, it's NIU.
Obviously this is the first road contest and that does always present challenges that don't arise when managing a team at home and perhaps that factored into the line. But when you look at NIU who lost to a mediocre Iowa team and then struggled against Army this weekend, it seems like Kansas should be able to compete if they play like they did this past weekend. Obviously most of that is based on the perceived improvement in the TCU game and that does make for an interesting discussion. Is Kansas on the right track and actually improving and can Kansas turn the corner on the road and finish against a quality opponent like NIU?