In the world of college football, things can change quickly, even from one year to the next. But think about how much can change in just 5 years.
Five years ago was the first time Big 12 expansion was considered (too bad we didn't find a way to get Clemson, Florida State and Notre Dame). Kansas was just settling into the Charlie Weis Era. The Mangino Era was recent enough that we were trying to figure out how we could recreate it.
So what can we expect in the next 5 years? Here are 5 (probably over-optimistic) ideas to consider:
David Beaty will still be the head coach.
Despite your thoughts on Beaty's coaching abilities, it's impossible to ignore the effect he has had in energizing the alumni base. And despite the poor on field results, the players all appear to be completely bought-in.
The fact of the matter is that Beaty's contract extension wasn't entirely for show, even if it doesn't make it impossible for Kansas to move on to another coach if the team absolutely tanks.
But the likelihood of a nose-dive seems very slim after the end of last season and the quality coaches that have been added this off-season. Add in the recruiting success so far, and I think it's pretty safe to say that Betty is secure in his job.
Kansas will have at least one 5-star recruit on campus that is NOT a transfer.
I'll admit that this is probably the least likely of my predictions to come true, but hear me out. The work that Tony Hull has done as a recruiter is nothing short of phenomenal. Even if we don't end up signing any 4 stars this year, the excitement surrounding the program will continue to lead to bigger name recruits giving the Jayhawks a serious look. Combine that with the early signing period and it's much easier to see this happening.
Getting a 5-star player to transfer to Kansas was a big step for this program. Signing one straight out of high school will be the next one.
At least one former Jayhawk will be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Yes, this is a bold prediction. But during this past year, both Dorance Armstrong and Daniel Wise were consistently rated as top performers nationally. As the offense improves and these guys aren't playing ridiculous amounts of minutes, I fully expect them to show what they are truly capable of.
If neither of these two pull it off, it may be difficult to make this prediction come true, although players like Mike Lee have a shot to develop into a star player that could be highly sought after.
Kansas will finish above the bottom of the conference in all but one year.
This one isn't nearly as far-fetched as it sounds at first. Kansas is definitely an improving team, and even if they don't make it to any bowl games over the next five years, this prediction only requires them to finish above one team in the conference each season. Next year is the one that they are most likely to finish last, since Baylor still has some talent and hasn't gone into a total free fall, and the Jayhawks still have to show they can win on the road. But as the talent continues to improve and depth is no longer an issue, we should start to see the results on the field.
The Jayhawks will have made it to back-to-back bowl games.
The addition of Doug Meacham as the offensive coordinator and the many transfers throughout the offense will give that unit a face-lift. This team last year routinely fell out of games when the offense failed to give the defense any sort of rest. I expect that to improve dramatically this year, and that success will start the ball rolling to allow Kansas to get back to respectability and the postseason.
Now, you are probably all asking what I'm high on to give me such a rosy outlook on the program. While I have to say that each of these is definitely possible, I can definitely see everything going the other way as well. However, this pie in the sky scenario was a lot more fun to write, so I'll leave the negativity to the comments.
Let us know how possible you think these predictions are, and feel free to make some predictions of your own in the comments.
Which prediction is most likely to be true in 5 years?
This poll is closed
Beaty is still the head coach.
Kansas signs a 5-star recruit.
A Jayhawk is selected in the first round.
Only one trip to the conference cellar.
2 Bowl games
All of the above.
None of the above.