You’ve heard it said that the ceiling is the roof, which, if you think about it, can actually make sense. But what does that make the floor? Well, let’s see if we can’t figure it out together.
I’ve already gone through and offered up short previews and a prediction for every game so far - the noncons, first half, and second half Big 12 play. My official prediction for the season is “Under 3 wins.”
But let’s take away the kool-aid - after all, while I may be predicting a winless season, I didn’t predict twelve blowouts. And while obviously the worst case scenario is 0-12, that’s honestly not too far-fetched. But what is a logical floor for the 2018 Jayhawks? How bad could it possibly get?
In contrast to our best-case scenario, everything would have to go wrong. Injuries would have to pile up to key players such as Khalil Herbert, Steven Sims, Pooka Williams, Corione Harris, and Joe Dineen. The offensive line shows no improvement. The coaches once again play musical chairs at quarterback. The JUCO transfers don’t play, or at least don’t play well. Coaches call for punts on fourth and less than five in plus territory.
That’s a lot of ifs, but let’s descend into the Pit of Misery.
Kansas wins the toss against Nicholls State and elects to receive. The kickoff is caught at the goal line, and the returner heads toward the left sideline, getting to the 10-yard line before reversing course and retreating back to the end zone. As he heads toward the right sideline, he once again manages to get out to the 10-yard line, but decides to try his luck one more time.
Upon this reversal, however, he is caught in the end zone for a safety. KU punts it away and it only gets worst from there. The running game can’t get going, three different quarterbacks throw passes, and Kansas falls 37-17. We at RCT throw in the towel, among other objects (0-1).
KU then heads to Central Michigan and for the second year in a row is completely outclassed by the Chippewas, extending an NCAA record road losing streak to 47 games. Once again the offense repeatedly stalls, and KU can’t make up the points after CMU jumps out to a big lead, eventually falling 38-24 (0-2).
In week 3, Rutgers comes in and puts the Big 10 on notice under their third-year coach - well, as much notice as you can against a program struggling like KU. The Scarlet Knights run up and down on the Kansas defense, and Doug Meacham just has no answers on offense as KU gets bounced 45-21 (0-3).
KU is 0-3 for the second time 2015. David Beaty gets the dreaded vote of confidence from his new athletic director.
Big 12 Play
Things get even worse when conference play begins. At Baylor, KU finds itself on the wrong end of a 49-14 score (0-4). KU then returns to Lawrence for Homecoming, where Oklahoma State and a nearly empty Memorial Stadium greet the Jayhawks. A spirited effort in the first half gives way to oblivion in the second half, and OSU pulls away 44-16 (0-5). Prospects begin to back off their verbal commits to KU.
A road trip to West Virginia is every bit as bad as expected, as WVU starters don’t even dress for the third quarter in a 66-28 win (0-6). Kansas then heads off to Lubbock where Coach Bro has his offense humming, and the Red Raiders take a more-comfortable-than-it-looks 56-35 win (0-7).
By the time TCU arrives in Lawrence, rumors swirl about who the next coach at Kansas will be. Ken Niumatalolo sends out an emphatic tweet that he has NOT talked to anyone at Kansas and Navy is the best job ever. Meanwhile, the Jayhawks have a near-repeat of last year’s debacle in Fort Worth, but at least this time they get over 100 yards of total offense despite a 52-10 loss (0-8).
Iowa State comes to town next, and RB David Montgomery launches himself into the Heisman race by breaking Samaje Perine’s single-game rushing record in leading the Cyclones to a 49-7 win (0-9). The Senator from Naboo, Padme Amidala, moves for a Vote of No Confidence in David Beaty’s leadership.
A road trip to Manhattan ends in familiar fashion, with Bill Snyder’s starters playing deep into the fourth quarter of a 59-13 affair (0-10). Snyder announces his retirement effective at the end of the year and openly campaigns for Jim Leavitt to return to Manhattan.
The following weekend, a beat-down Kansas squad takes an early 7-0 lead on Oklahoma which lasts into the second quarter. However, OU pulls it together and drops a 45-10 loss on the Jayhawks (0-11).
The season mercifully and fittingly comes to a close on Black Friday with Texas in Lawrence. UT fans outnumber KU fans 2:1, but by the time the fourth quarter begins the only folks left in the stands are the members of the two bands. On the field, the Longhorns expertly handle the Jayhawks in a 56-21 contest (0-12).
The announcement that David Beaty has been relieved of his duties comes late on Saturday evening. He leaves the program with a 3-45 record in four years and just two verbal commits for the 2019 class, both three-star recruits from the state of Kansas. The new athletic director, who is definitely not Danny White, seemingly can’t pique anyone’s interest in a P5 job.
In late December, Sean Snyder is named the next head football coach at Kansas, with Not Danny White espousing his new coach’s football acumen, special teams success, and insider knowledge of how to rebuild a downtrodden program.
David Beaty ends up as Josh Heupel’s new wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator at Central Florida, calling it a “dream job” and saying how much he looked forward to working with the UCF administration as they look to claim yet another national championship because Alabama won’t play them.
At least, that’s what I’ve been told.