The season opener has finally arrived. Tomorrow, the Kansas Jayhawks take the field to give us our first real look at this team that has had so much happen to it during the offseason. We'll get our first look at new QB Peyton Bender (hopefully), new offensive coordinator Doug Meacham, and many of the new faces in the starting lineup for the defense. What can we expect to see tomorrow? Take a look at what our writers think, then head to the comment section to give us your own prediction.
Mike.Plank: SEMO returns their starting quarterback but only three other offensive players come back from a terrible 3-8 campaign in 2016. It should be pretty similar to last year’s season opener against Rhode Island. Hopefully Grad sticks around long enough this weekend to come down a few brews with me on the hill. Either way, I’m not worried about this one at all. Kansas 55, SEMO 7
Fizzle406: This one is going to be a bloodbath. I will be disappointed with anything less than a 40 point win. Its one of the only two wins we are going to see this year so make it count! Kansas 56, SEMO 10
Blair.Sheade: The Jayhawks haven’t dropped their season-opener since losing to South Dakota State in 2015, David Beaty’s head coaching debut. Beaty has since established back-to-back solid recruiting classes, and the 2017 squad should be equipped to win as many as, wait for it, four games this season. Against SEMO, the Kansas offense will start off slow while first-year starting quarterback Peyton Bender finds his bearings and settles in. Although the offense will struggle at first, the Jayhawks will make a statement lighting up the scoreboard while Dorance Armstrong Jr. and the Kansas defense holds the unimpressive SEMO offense at bay. This one isn’t even close. KU 62, SEMO 10
dnoll5: I know nothing about SEMO up to and including the location of the school, the mascot, and the team colors. On the flip side of the coin, I know that Kansas is located in Lawrence, the Jayhawk is the team mascot, and KU traditionally wears blue and red. Plus, you know, all the other stuff you know from being an alumni and life long fan. Anyway, KU should win handily against this team no one knows anything about. Kansas 45, SEMO 7.
David: Much like Rhode Island last year, this game will mean little if it's a blowout. If it's not? Yikes. Sagarin has this SEMO team rated similarly to last year's Rams, so if KU struggles, it's a very bad sign. I expect to put up points and shut down the LOS defensively, so I think the key things to watch here are 1) the o-line and whether they can open up holes in the running game against an overmatched opponent, and 2) the secondary, who returns only one proven D1 player. If they can't lock down the SEMO passing game, they'll get shredded in Big 12 play. While I'm concerned about those two things, I'm not worried about the score. Kansas 42, SEMO 10
Winmore: I think KU football will be much better this year, but I have a feeling KU will start sluggish in this game. Talking Jayhawks version of the air raid with start and stop three and outs as nerves and heavy doses of ill advised wide receiver screens with no blocking on the edges will have fans in Memorial Stadium trading sheepish looks, gritting teeth, and making plans to bail at halftime. I think the Jayhawks will be up just 20-6 for an uncomfortably large chunk of this game. That score helped to be so gross by a missed extra point and two missed field goals. Two fourth quarter Jayhawk touchdowns will finish the night with a score of Kansas 34 - SEMO 6
Andy Mitts: It's deja vu all over again as Kansas enters the season against a completely overmatched opponent, coming off a manufactured QB controversy in fall camp. Last year that turned into a good showing in the first game before it all fell apart, and I don't expect the debut to be much different this year. Kansas will put on a show early, and the defense will play during all game. Kansas 52, SEMO 9.