It’s officially summertime in Kansas, which means it’s time to start making football predictions, right?
We’ll use Bill Connelly’s S&P+ for our team rankings and make some predictions three months too early. I’ll just look at the noncon games today, and we’ll get to the Big 12 games later on this summer.
Per S&P+ Kansas is 113 out of 130 (for reference, KU started at #106 last year). The Jayhawks are rated as the worst P5 team by a decent margin; Rutgers is closest at #102, while the closest Big 12 team is West Virginia at #64.
Looks like we may need some kool-aid this year...
Note that Kansas has a bit of an odd schedule this year, with Baylor in Week 2 following the opener. However, KU will have all 3 noncons completed by the end of September, so that’s what we’ll look at today.
vs New Hampshire (FCS)
Back in 2017, the Wildcats made a run to the FCS quarterfinals, finishing the season ranked #12 at the FCS level. Since then, they’ve gone just 10-12, including 0-2 vs FBS teams (FIU, Colorado). However, New Hampshire did, at one point, win 5-straight games against FBS foes. So, the program is no stranger to stepping up in competition.
A quick look at last year’s depth chart appears to show that the Wildcats return four offensive linemen, their starting QB and RB, and most of their WRs. However, it looks like they’ll be replacing about half of their defensive starters. As we’ve discussed, Kansas will be breaking in basically a new defense, as well as a new QB. I’m not sure that S&P+ is accounting for the Brent Dearmon factor. Or is it? If Miles keeps Dearmon reigned in for game 1, we could see a repeat of last year’s opener. Kansas 34, New Hampshire 24.
@ Coastal Carolina (109)
Coastal utilized a two-QB system last year, and both QBs return for this season. They also return their 1,000 rusher, top WR, and top tackler. And in case you somehow forgot, they also beat Kansas in Lawrence last year.
That was a game Kansas never should have lost. KU was way too conservative on offense and it cost them. Don’t look for a repeat. Kansas 45, Coastal Carolina 27.
vs Boston College (71)
I’m still stunned by the result in Chestnut Hill last year; I’m guessing most BC fans are as well. There’s no way Kansas will be able to take them by surprise. This will be KU’s fourth game of the season, so if Dearmon’s offense is clicking, this could be a fun one. BC will likely look to establish the run even though AJ Dillon is gone. The Eagles should still be the better team, but maybe Kansas can keep it interesting throughout. Boston College 45, Kansas 42.