For me at least, this series has been an
interesting depressing look at the current state of Kansas football. So far, we’ve looked at C-USA, the MAC, the Sun Belt, and the Mountain West. We’ve even looked at the Missouri Valley, an FCS league, and the MIAA, a D2 league.
Today, we’ll take a look at the final “Group of Five” conference on our list, the AAC.
Once again, we’ll use the F+ ratings available at FootballOutsiders.com. If you read up, it does appear that yes, the two components of F+ (S&P+ and FEI) both adjust for opponents and strength of schedule, so this should theoretically give us a pretty good idea of how well Kansas would fare outside of the Big 12.
For 2018, the AAC will be a 12-team league divided into two divisions, obviously with a conference title game at the end. As usual, we’ll do our best to ignore the divisions for this exercise.
Kansas in the AAC
First thing I notice? What a roller coaster Central Florida is!
Overall it looks like the Jayhawks generally wouldn’t fare too well in this conference. By the numbers, KU would have had one conference win each of the past three seasons, four in 2014, and none in 2013.
As for the most recent head-to-head matchups, in 2016 Kansas (108) lost at Memphis (40) 43-7. In 2015, Kansas (127) lost at home to Memphis (41), 55-23. Prior to that you have to go all the way back to 2008, when Kansas (28) lost at South Florida (34), 37-34.
A few more things to note. Why in the hell are we scheduling home-and-home series with a school like Houston that is a perennial top-50 program (and beat Oklahoma in 2016)? Get UConn in there!
As for coaching candidates for KU, there probably aren’t very many likely coaches currently in the conference. Willie Taggart built up South Florida from 2013-16 and is now the head coach at Oregon. Ken Niumatalolo is a dream hire but he has reportedly turned down BYU and Arizona recently.
I see only two even slight possibilities for your consideration. Mike Norvell, who just took over Memphis in 2016 from Justin Fuente, is currently the highest paid coach in the Group of Five at over $1.8M. Also, former Texas QB Major Applewhite is the current head coach at Houston, a position he took over from Tom Herman in 2017.
But back to the overall point of this article, which is that it appears as if Kansas wouldn’t do much better in the AAC than it is currently doing in the Big 12, and I have a feeling that things may continue to look grim as we continue this series with the Power 5 conferences.