Editor's Note: This was written on Saturday night, but I couldn't get to my computer and get it up. Sorry. Plus, I was having a mighty fine time watching the Chiefs kick the Chargers' butt yesterday... I understand the absurdity of this post, considering we are still relatively an unknown thanks to our non-conference competition (or lack thereof). However, an everflowing optimism has spurred from our 214-23 scoring advantage, despite the fact that it was against Central Michigan, Southeastern Louisiana, Toledo and Florida International. And looking at our schedule, we could conceivably win every game. And them comes the question of our validity of earning a BCS spot, with us likely playing only one or two ranked teams on the way there. One would obviously be in the Big 12 Title game, with the opponent likely to be either Oklahoma or Texas, but it isn't that hard to picture all of the others being unranked at game time. But those are concerns for another day, likely never to come to us Jayhawk fans. Still, let's take a look at the reasons both for and against a possible 12-0 regular season and possible trip to a BCS bowl game.
1) Relatively Easy Schedule
Sure, our schedule is tougher in-conference than out of it. Still, we have neither Texas or Oklahoma on our schedule, along with offensive juggernaut Texas Tech. We still have tough games, @ Texas A&M and @ Oklahoma State come to mind, but those teams both have obvious weaknesses and we have enough talent to take both down. All in all, our schedule breaks down fairly simply; 2 are basically "gimmes" (vs. Baylor and vs. Iowa State), 3 are "should-wins" (@ Kansas State, @ Colorado and vs. Nebraska) and 3 are going to be tough (@ Texas A&M, @ Oklahoma State and vs. Missouri). That is about as easy as schedules get in power conferences, and if there ever was a time to capitalize on a weak schedule and sneak into a BCS game, it would be now.
2) Most Talented Kansas Team Since....Ever?
I know, the defense in 2005 was insane. I know, Gale Sayers played his college ball at Kansas. I know, John Riggins did too. I know all of that. But still, we seem to have more depth for as long as I can remember, especially on the offensive side of the ball where we have good backups at all of the skill positions, save tight end. We are loaded with athletic ability, especially at wide receiver with Dezmon Briscoe among others, and lots of it is young, although that isn't as big of a deal concerning this year's team.
3) Do We Have a Weakness?
Last year, we had a glaring weakness in the defensive secondary. This year, not so much. I mean sure, we have to see them against a legitimate offense (sorry Dan LeFevour) before we really make a decision on this more experienced set of defensive backs, but Aqib Talib appears to be even better than last year. Plus, the would-have-been starter opposite Talib, Kendrick Harper, has yet to play and figures to give this unit more depth.
1) Poor Starting Position
Unless we see more Saturdays like the last one, it will be hard for Kansas to trek their way up to BCS contention. A BCS bowl is within our grasp, we (just) have to win the Big 12. But it will be impossible to get in there any other way, you have to have a great starting position (or be Notre Dame) to make a BCS bowl short of a perfect season.
Besides that, I think we are more than capable of getting to a BCS bowl. Am I being overly optimistic? Likely. But our team has looked incredible thus far, and our next opponent just beat the Longhorns on the road. If we win this game, we should begin to earn some serious national recognition, and we won't have another real 'test' until October 27th when we make a trip to College Station. It is a great time to be a Jayhawk fan, and I can't wait until Saturday's game.