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Kansas Is For Real. I Promise.

You know what I'm sick of?

I'm sick of hearing the rumblings that this is still "Same Ol' Kansas".

But guess what? This team is for real, as I hinted at yesterday, we aren't going to blow leads like the Kansas teams of the past. We have the talent of a Top 15 team, and have more depth than any Kansas team in history. No matter what Rivals or Scout try and tell you, we have a bundle of talent, led by All-Conference players like Aqib Talib, Anthony Collins and James McClinton.

Sure, the above three are all tremendous players and, without a doubt, the leaders of this team. But Kansas has often had a star player or two, hell we had one last year with Jon Cornish, so how is this year different? Because, every position has a potential game-changer, a play-maker, a go-to-guy. There are no clear-cut weaknesses on this team, at least ones big enough to keep them out of a BCS bowl game. Even among the elite there are glaring weaknesses in this year of parity in college football. And yet here Kansas stands, posing the following four problems as their biggest known weaknesses thus far:

  1. 'Untested'
  2. Punting
  3. Dropped Passes
  4. Lack of Pass Rush from Defensive Ends
That's it. Through our first 6 games (half the season), those are all that has been discovered. Sure, those could cost us a game somewhere down the line, but we can do all that is necessary to compete against any team in the country.

     We can run the ball.
     We can throw the ball.
     We can stop the run.
     We can stop the pass.

But I digress. Back to my original point, the depth of talent we have up and down the roster.

No, we don't have the 4 and 5 star recruits sitting on our bench like the LSUs and USCs of the world. In fact, here are our starters and the stars they received coming out of high school according to Rivals:

QB Todd Reesing - 3
RB Brandon McAnderson - 3
RB Jake Sharp - 3
WR Marcus Henry - 1
WR Dexton Fields - 2
WR Dezmon Briscoe - 3
TE Derek Fine - 2
LT Anthony Collins - 2
LG Adrian Mayes - 0
C Ryan Cantrell - 2
RG Chet Harley - 3
RT Cesar Rodriguez - 2

DE Russell Brorsen - 2
DE John Larson - 0
DT James McClinton - 3
DT Caleb Blakesley - 3
OLB Mike Rivera - 3
OLB James Holt - 2
MLB Joe Mortensen - 2
CB Aqib Talib - 2
CB Chris Harris - 2
S Darrell Stuckey - 3
S Patrick Resby - 3

Despite the supposed 'lack of talent' according to these recruiting rankings, we are a Top 15 team nationally in terms of talent. Don't believe me? Watch the Kansas-Baylor game. Or any of our non-conference games. Or Kansas-Kansas State, where we threw more talent out on the field than the supposed 'fastest defense in the Big 12'. Sure, Kansas State and Nebraska and Oklahoma and Texas will boast more recruiting stars, therefore equaling greater talent, but who do you trust more. Coaches or analysts?

Because at the end of the day, this is what it comes down to. You believe Kansas is real or not depending on what you put your faith in.

Do you believe history, a history that has little-to-nothing with what takes the field on Saturdays, a history that raises preconceived notions the moment you hear the word 'Kansas'. Or do you have a more progressive way of thinking, do you objectively watch the game on the field and, without considering which university that team comes from, decide whether that team is a Top 25 team.

If you ere on the side of history, you might be inclined to think that Texas is better than us, or Florida State, or Nebraska, or Penn State, or Wisconsin, or Michigan, or [insert traditional powerhouse here]. Well guess what?

Kansas is better than all those teams I just mentioned. More talented according to Rivals? Certainly not. But were we to step on the field against any of those teams, and we will against Nebraska later on this year, I would be confident we would win the game.

So, no matter whether you believe that Kansas is legitimately good or not this year, whether our 6-0 start (and one of the last six undefeated teams) is telling or not, we are for real. We are legitimately good (maybe even great), and we are one of the Top 15 teams in the country.

You might as well jump on the bandwagon now, it will be getting awfully crowded in a couple of weeks.