It’s time for another edition of the RCT Roundtable! With just a couple of days until the start of the 2021 season, let’s talk some football with the guys. Take a look at our responses, and feel free to add to the discussion in the comments below.
Well let’s just start this one off with a bang. You going over or under 1.5 wins for KU this year?
dnoll5: Why not, I’ll go over. KU plays South Dakota and also some random team named Texas. So there are your two wins.
Kyle_Davis21: I’ll also take this rare opportunity for optimism (if saying 2-10 is optimistic) to go over. The Jayhawks will start with a win over South Dakota and then either beat Duke or book-end the season with Ws by knocking off West Virginia at home. The hope is that Leipold is able to build and grow the team over the course of the season as his scheme gets more familiar.
Fizzle406: I’m gonna go with one win. We still suck.
David: I’ll say under. My prediction is actually that we’ll lose to South Dakota, but pick off a random win elsewhere.
Andy: Easy, give me the over. South Dakota will be the first victim, and then Kansas gets at least one of Baylor, Duke or Texas Tech. Add in an upset of Texas towards the end of the season, and the Jayhawks get the over with no problem.
Brendan: I’ll be a pessimist and take the under. I am genuinely excited about the future of this program, but I don’t think the future is now by any means. South Dakota should be a win, so there’s one, but I can’t pull the trigger on any of the other games. Duke would be my next best bet.
Mike.Plank: Good pick, Brendan. KU will win the game at Duke, because the Jayhawks are 2-0 in the last two road games that I’ve attended (CMU, BC). Let’s make it three straight and take the over, as for some reason I am pretty confident that we will beat South Dakota.
When will KU next appear in a bowl game?
dnoll5: Don’t they always say that the coach deserves three years? I’ll go with 2023. How many bowl bids does the Big 10 get anyway?
Kyle_Davis21: It’s boring if I keep agreeing with dnoll, so let’s go with 2024. I’ll say KU goes 2-10 this year, a more competitive 3-9 next year, barely misses a bowl at 5-7 in 2023, and then springboards to 8-4 in 2024 (hey, a guy can dream).
Fizzle: 2025. I have no basis for this, just a hunch.
David: The three guesses above seem like a pretty accurate range. I’ll stay in the middle and say 2024, but that’s my prediction based on the assumption that Leipold gets us there. Unfortunately, there is always the possibility that in 3 or 4 years we haven’t done better than 3-9 and we’re shopping for a new coach again. I’d say the chances that we’ll be bowling by 2025 are maybe 50%.
Andy: Didn’t you guys hear Mike on the podcast on Friday? We’re going bowling this year, assuming a playoff appearance counts. Seriously though, while the absolute rosiest of glasses could envision a scenario where they go bowling by next season, I still think that’s asking a bit much. 2023 feels right, allowing for a big leap in year three.
Mike.Plank: “15-0 baby, national champs!” - Mike Plank, 8/27/21
Brendan: This time I’ll go on the optimistic end of the spectrum and say 2023. The program should be fairly experienced by then (assuming there’s no horrific attrition), and I trust this program will have an identity and some true positive momentum by then. See y’all at the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.
Mike.Plank: Good grief, what a bunch of pessimists! Mark Mangino went bowling in year two, and he started with nothing! Miles didn’t do much in the win column, but he did bring in two of the best classes we’ve seen since the late Mangino years. That said, where do you find six wins in next year’s schedule? At Houston is probably a loss, and Duke makes a return trip to Lawrence. It took Leipold two years to turn around Buffalo, so if it’s a similar timeline here, that makes it 2023.
Who do you think will be the starting quarterback for KU vs South Dakota?
dnoll5: Why do we have to do this EVERY season? I honestly don’t care who the starter is, I’d just like to have an established starter for once. The position seems kind of important.
Mike.Plank: Yes. EVERY year. You agreed to it in the fine print when you signed up for your RCT account. Fortunately, the coaching staff agrees with you! They’ve been consistent in saying that they’re looking for consistency. I assume they mean consistently good, but I haven’t heard anyone clarify that yet. I hope it’s Jason Bean. I think it will be. That said, I would not be surprised if Kendrick gets the nod before being overtaken by Bean after four or five games.
Kyle_Davis21: I think Jason Bean becomes the clear starter by the middle of the year, it’s just a toss up right now whether he or Miles Kendrick start to kick off the season. I’ll still go with Bean, but would not be shocked to see Kendrick get the nod.
Fizzle: I have it on good authority Leipold is a big Mr. Bean fan and will be starting Jason Bean as a tribute.
Mike.Plank: I want KU football twitter to give me all the Mr. Bean memes this year.
David: It absolutely kills me to say this, because I’m about as low on him as you could possibly be, but I’ll say Miles Kendrick. Everything I’ve read from camp seems to suggest he’s the leader for 1st string right now, and that Bean is still learning the offense and coming along. I don’t see how we ever win a football game in which Kendrick is the starter, so I hope I’m wrong. Maybe Leipold is trying to trick me and we’ll see Bean on Friday night. Even having only seen highlights of Bean it’s incredibly obvious he has the most natural talent of anyone in our QB room. Hopefully he’s picked up the offense and won the coaches over. Kendrick just does not have the tools to play QB at this level.
Andy: Leipold and the rest of the staff value consistency over potential, which may be frustrating to fans, but is absolutely the right way to coach when you are trying to build a foundation. Miles Kendrick is the leader now, but I’m not certain he ends the year as the starter. I understand dnoll’s frustration, but you do have to remember that this staff has only seen the players for a few weeks, so they really are behind the curve in evaluating who the most consistent guy is going to be. Ultimately, I still think Jalon Daniels has the most potential, but he has the furthest way to go in terms of his decision making and consistency.
Brendan: I’m not especially enthused about Kendrick either, but if Leipold, Kotelnicki and company believe he’s the one who will make the fewest mistakes he might be the default pick. That said, based on the recent whispers that Bean has been gaining favor in practice, I’ll choose the North Texas transfer. Give me a run-heavy team with a decent running quarterback for the immediate future of the Jayhawks.