It’s time for another edition of the roundtable! In each edition, our staff gets together to look at two questions about the Kansas Jayhawks that are being talked about by those who follow the program. Take a look at our answers, and then give us your own in the comments below.
What is your prediction for the record this season?
Mike: GULP. Mmmm, kool-aid. Eh…. not strong enough. I want to say 4-8, but sign me up for 3-9.
David: 3-9, with 2-10 more likely than 4-8. We have very little in the way of proven commodities, another question mark at QB, a limited roster, etc. Too many things working against this team to see a big first year for Miles.
Kyle: Yeah, 3-9 seems like by far the most likely outcome. QB play and health will be major factors on how that plays out. But 4-8 even feels like at the higher end of the optimistic spectrum.
dnoll5: 3-9 sounds right. Man, I hope that win number three is against a certain purple clad squad.
Andy: I told myself I wasn’t going to be the super optimistic one this year, but you guys are making it damn near impossible! I agree that 3-9 is the most likely, but I can’t shake the feeling that this team finds its stride later in the season and wins both home games against Texas Tech and Kansas State. I’ll go with 4-8, although I fully recognize that I jinxed it and we are doomed to falling way short of expectations.
Given everything you expect to happen this year, what is the mood of the fanbase going to be towards this team on Dec 31, 2019?
Mike: Basing these comments on a 3-9 record (or better), I would have to think it would be pretty positive. The 2020 recruiting class is already full with 25 verbals, and ideally most of them will have signed in the early signing period in December. With Miles carrying a top-40ish recruiting class into next year and Pooka coming into his junior year, I would think fans would be bullish on the team. However, one final note - the defense looks to be gutted by graduation next season, with 8 senior starters listed on the first depth chart released a few days ago.
David: Kansas football fans might be a little too optimistic in terms of what Les Miles can accomplish and when, but I do think they know better than to demand immediate success. Assuming a season with somewhere between 2 and 4 wins, I think there’s enough reason for optimism on the recruiting trail for fans to still be relatively optimistic about the Miles era. But if they really stumble and win 1 or, *gulp*, no games, it’ll be hard to keep the same doubts of the past decade from creeping back in.
Kyle: Agreed that actually locking down and getting LOIs from these big recruits for next year will play a key role in the fans’ optimism. Competitiveness will also sway opinions. A 3-9 record with a Big 12 victory and one or two other close results (single-digit losses) could bring a lot of fans to think more highly of breaking through (breaking through being 4-6 wins) in year two than the same product we’ve seen the past few years. Barring a collapse this year (on the field and in recruiting), I’m guessing a large chunk of the fanbase will look at year two as the start of the climb back to relevancy.
dnoll5: I’d have to say that if this team just resembles a football team that works hard and understands football (my god, how long has it been??), then the fanbase will be satisfied. That’s progress. The bar is so low that having a coach that doesn’t call a timeout on fourth down and then punt anyway is a success.
Andy: I think anything less than 2 wins would home the fanbase pause, but if Miles can show that he understands what needs fixed and has a reasonable plan to fix it, then the vast majority will stay on board. With no reasonable hope of a bowl game, getting a strong recruiting class in the early signing period will be huge to keep the optimism surrounding the program.