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Kansas primed for three football victories

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Kansas head coach David Beaty gets a hug from Kansas volleyball head coach Ray Bechard following the Jayhawks' 24-21 overtime upset of Texas on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016 at Memorial Stadium. Saturday's victory was Beaty's first Big 12 coaching win. Bechard's volleyball team clinched a share of the Big 12 conference title with a win against Iowa State earlier in the day.

Kansas head coach David Beaty gets a hug from Kansas volleyball head coach Ray Bechard following the Jayhawks' 24-21 overtime upset of Texas on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016 at Memorial Stadium. Saturday's victory was Beaty's first Big 12 coaching win. Bechard's volleyball team clinched a share of the Big 12 conference title with a win against Iowa State earlier in the day. by Nick Krug

Once Las Vegas sets a line on “college football win totals” for those wishing to wage a guess as to how many games a particular college football team will win in a given season: Guess the over, guess the under, abstain.

In 2015, I advised guessing the under when Las Vegas set KU’s total at 1.5 and the Jayhawks went 0-12. In 2016, I advised abstaining when Vegas kept the total at 1.5. The come-from-behind, upset victory against Texas sent the “over” guessers home winners, giving me a 1-0-1 mark in two seasons of guessing.

Vegas has set the number at 2.5 for Kansas. Take the over, even against an extremely difficult schedule. The beauty of such a guess is that you don’t have to correctly pick which games, just the total.

The season-opener against Southeast Missouri State should not be in question. The Redhawks went 3-8 last season, their only victories coming against Murray State, Eastern Illinois and Austin Peay. Although SEMO remained competitive in every game, its biggest margin of defeat coming at the hands of Memphis, 35-17, in Week 1, KU should be beyond stumbling against a so-so FCS foe.

Week 2, provides the next-best chance at a victory. Central Michigan must replace Cooper Rush, a four-year starter at quarterback. Michigan transfer Shane Morris is a candidate for the job.

The Chippewas won’t lack confidence against Kansas in Lawrence, having defeated Oklahoma State, 30-27, in Stillwater last season and riding a two-year streak of making it to bowl games.

Even so, Kansas should be a slight favorite, maybe as much as a field goal, if impressive enough against SEMO.

Finding a third victory on the schedule is where it gets a little sticky. Then again, a year ago not many would have picked Kansas to score its first victory against Texas since 1938.

Week 3, a road game against Ohio, offers a decent shot at victory, but I’ll skip to Week 4 in guessing at the opponent for the third victory: Texas Tech.

Nic Shimonek threw for 271 yards and four touchdowns on a night Patrick Mahomes also threw for four touchdowns against the Kansas defense and Shimonek will have a whole game to see what he can do against the Jayhawks in Lawrence, a scary proposition.

Kansas didn’t have what it took to get into a shootout with the Red Raiders last season and punted on its first six possessions against a defense most of the rest of the Big 12 shredded.

KU has more playmakers and Tech's defense won't be any better, maybe even a little worse.

Comments

Phil Leister 4 months, 1 week ago

I read the first paragraph about 5 times and it still makes no sense.

Phil Leister 4 months, 1 week ago

Well now my comment makes no sense because you edited the paragraph.

Dirk Medema 4 months, 1 week ago

Thank you for commenting, from all of us who read the article post-editing.

Now if you could have just commented on the abrupt end, so that the truncation could have been corrected.

4 months, 1 week ago

haha "season opener..should not be in question" SEMO played Memphis last year: 35-17. KU played Memphis last year, too (if you'll recall?). Score? 43-7. SEMO allowed less points and scored more against a common opponent. Curious to know the reasoning that led to this questionable conclusion?

John Fitzgerald 4 months, 1 week ago

I'm expecting at least 4 wins. Anything less will be a let down. We have the talent, we have the coaching, and with the new locker rooms and plans for a stadium renovation we have the support. No excuses. Time to shut up and get it done.

Brett McCabe 4 months, 1 week ago

On a 1-10 scale, I'd rate a 4-win season as a 9, and a 3-win season as a 6 (just barely passing).

Every year, the same thing happens to me. I read about the improvements on the staff, on the roster, in the weight room and I start to get a little over-the-top on the enthusiasm scale. But I'm glad that this team is talking about a bowl game as it's main goal. On a 1-10 scale, that would be an 11.

A four-win season would definitely propel us onward, would help us hold the recruiting class together and would keep the fans interested.

Dillon Davis 4 months, 1 week ago

Four of the first 5 games are at home...if we can manage to be 3-2 out of that, that would be outstanding. And then I think we can pull off another Big 12 victory somewhere. Last year we finally ended that Big 12 losing streak, now let's hope we can finally end that road losing streak this year and get up to 4 wins. Anything less than that I think would be disappointing given the improvements we have made, the continuity we have on both lines, and given that we were close in several games last year. Time to get over the hump and win a few of those close ones.

John Brazelton 4 months, 1 week ago

I'm calling for a 6-6 season and a minor bowl game. If we get those pre-conference wins like K-State has done over the past decade with 5 home games we should have a chance.

Jim Stauffer 4 months, 1 week ago

No doubt we should be much improved this year. Better DL and Ol and QB situation should improve results on both ends of the scoreboard. I have no idea how many games we should win this year but our roster should be superior to the three non-cons and equal to both ISU and TTU. There will be several games we could win or lose. How we fare in the close games will determine the total wins. We should manage 4 wins. If we do, our recruiting will not miss a beat and we should be off to the races in '18 and beyond.

Randy Bombardier 4 months ago

Having our first two conference games at home could be huge. If we could run the non-con table ...

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