Welcome to the inaugural edtion of the weekly predictions. We pick it up in week 2 as KU started with a first week bye. Members of our writing team will each give their prediction for our game this weekend, and then I will predict some other games of interest (usually Big 12 and/or Top 25 games).
SE Missouri State @ Kansas 6pm CT Jayhawk TV/ESPN Gameplan/ESPN3
Jim Hammen: 27-10 KU. I don't think our defense has any problems against SE Missouri (speaking of defense against FCS schools, are we at the point yet where instead of being bummed we lost to NDSU in 2010, we should be pumped that we only held them to 6 points?)
I think the offense comes out a little rusty, and the fans might be giving each other the side-eye as we go into halftime tied at 10, but KU comes out strong in the second half and SE Missouri never really threatens again.
dnoll5: KU 35, SE Missouri 14 Kansas just has too many athletes for SE Missouri to handle. With some experience last season, Montell Cozart starts the season with confidence and with a touchdown pass to wide receiver Nick Harwell as he opens his KU touchdown account. Optimism reigns supreme in Lawrence if only for one week.
jvaughn11: 37-10 KU. Like many out there I have been convinced this year is the year for real progress. Maybe its too many Matt Tait articles or the "coach speak" we get bombarded with during fall camp, but whatever it is I have some hope going itno game one.
KU Grad 08: I'll say 31-21 Kansas. I don't think it'll be very scary, but we always struggle in the first game of the year regardless of the competition, and while I have high hopes for the defense this year, I think we will make a mistake or two that leads to a few big plays and points allowed.
fetch13: Cliff Alexander explodes for 20 and 10 and 3 blocks and....oh wait. Football. OK. I think it's going to be 28-10. I think the new offense will take some time to get used to and I'm still not sure what to think about Cozart. If the defense allows more than 10 points I'll see you all next year.
PenHawk: My pick is KU 31-SEMO 13. Weis has shown in previous years that he likes to keep things very vanilla in the first game, and Reagan's record at Rice says he prefers to run a methodical offense that moves the ball in smaller chunks anyway. With a different style of offense, I'd say we have the talent to score more than this, but I don't see it happening in this game. Defensively, we should be able to generally keep them under control and avoid giving up big plays. I'll be paying close attention to the defensive line. If they're getting pushed around by a team like this, we may be in trouble
Warden11:31-13 Kansas. Offense takes a little while to get going against unfamiliar competition but eventually wear them down with the run game. I think it'll be within 10 through the first half, so don't panic at halftime.
mikeville: I'm all-in on the Kool-Aid this year. Wait... is that any different than any other year? Regardless, I'll be disappointed if we don't get into the 40s and hold them in the teens or less. My official prediction is 45-13, but hopefully we can score even more than that. Harwell needs to be what we've been told he is, and Reaganomics needs to be off to a fast start and get Cozart comfortable and confident going into the Duke game - I look for lots of rollouts, screens, and zone reads, then take a few shots over the top. I haven't even mentioned Tony Pierson yet. I'm not worried about our defense, especially against this particular FCS offense (if it was NDSU, different story, but it's not, so there).
misterbrain: I have KU winning big 45-23. KU races out to a 21-9 lead at half, thanks to Cozart 2-yard TD run, a Pierson 47-yard TD Rec, and an Isaiah Johnson 69-yard Int TD. In the second half, we pound the rock a bit, the new kids make some big plays, and we get to play some depth by the 10:00 mark of the 4th quarter. I'm really optimistic about this game, and think this will be a good springboard to an upset against Duke next week.
So with everyone taking KU to some degree, let's look at a few of this weekend's games:
Brigham Young @ Texas 6:35pm CT Fox Sports 1
Both teams are coming off of impressive opening-weekend showings. However, losing their QB to injury for the week will make it tougher against a strong BYU defense. I expect a back and forth game, but ultimately, BYU should be able to put the Longhorns away on the road. BYU 31, Texas 24
#4 Oklahoma @ Tulsa 11:00am CT ABC/ESPN2
Oklahoma put on a clinic last week, toying with a Louisiana Tech team that was vastly inferior. This week will feel like it is being read from the same script. Oklahoma rolls. Oklahoma 55, Tulsa 17
#20 Kansas State @ Iowa State 11:00am CT Fox Sports 1
FARMAGEDDON IS HERE! This is one of the new "marquee" Big 12 rivalries, but it is likely to fall flat again this year. Kansas State completely dismantled Stephen F Austin, while Iowa State was destroyed by the FCS powerhouse NDSU, losing 2 important players in the process. I just don't see how Iowa State's offense can overcome the loss. Kansas State 48, Iowa State 10
Missouri State @ Oklahoma State 2:30pm CT
In hanging tough against defending champ Florida State last week, OSU showed that this is a reloading year, not a rebuilding one. Missouri State isn't a typical cupcake, but Oklahoma State should be able to make short work of them this week. Oklahoma State 42, Missouri State 24
Towson @ West Virginia 6:30pm CT
Towson held tough and almost pulled off the victory last week against the Blue Devils......of Central Connecticut State. This is not likely to be a very good team this year, and coming off a good showing against Alabama, I expect West Virginia to post a convincing victory. West Virginia 38, Towson 6
Northwestern State @ #10 Baylor 6:30pm CT
Do I really need to explain this one? Baylor 70, Northwestern State 13
Texas Tech @ UTEP 10:00pm CT
Texas Tech is heavily favored here, but I think UTEP puts up a bit more fight than everything thinks they are capable of. Tech still pulls off the victory though. Texas Tech 34, UTEP 21