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Friday, January 20, 2017

Keegan

Tom Keegan: Don’t laugh, Kansas will play in a bowl game in 2018

Kansas defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. (2) puts Texas running back D'Onta Foreman (33) on the ground after recovering a fumble during the second quarter on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. (2) puts Texas running back D'Onta Foreman (33) on the ground after recovering a fumble during the second quarter on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016 at Memorial Stadium.

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The moment Donald Trump decades ago first went public with his dream of becoming president of the United States, the world laughed. He decided not to run in 1988, but his dream never died. He was just sworn in as our 45th president.

So now would be as good a time as any to go public with my dream: Kansas will play in a bowl game after the 2018 season.

Stop laughing and start paying attention to the revival of a moribund football program.

The Jayhawks won’t have to wait 28 years, just 10, to end their bowl drought. They won their last one, 42-21 vs. Minnesota in the Insight Bowl, Dec. 31, 2008.

Let’s take a stab at what the position-by-position lineup might look like heading into the 2018 season, based on returning players and those who have made verbal commitments to attend KU. All classes are as of 2018.

OFFENSE

Quarterback: Senior Peyton Bender, coming off a junior season in which he broke all the school’s post-Todd Reesing passing records, is ready to put on a weekly Air Raid clinic to the delight of the biggest crowds in Memorial Stadium in 10 years.

Junior Carter Stanley and developing sophomore Tyriek Starks supply depth.

Running back: Sophomore Dominic Williams and junior Khalil Herbert share the running load and make highlights so beautiful they inspire symphonic composers to new heights.

Wide receiver: All-American candidates Daylon Charlot, a junior, and senior Steven Sims spark discussions as to whether Kansas has the best tandem of wide receivers in the Big 12 and they greatly appreciate what sophomore Kenyon Tabor’s size does for the unit. A host of other receivers from Louisiana and Texas give Bender more than enough targets for him to contend for all-conference honors.

Tight end: Junior Jace Sternberger makes enough first downs that the masses finally notice the astronomical odds of teammates from different families having younger brothers with the same unusual first names, with one spelling variance. Sternberger’s younger brothers are named Jett and Jax and Joe and Jay Dineen have younger brothers named Jax and Jet.

Offensive line: Junior center Mesa Ribordy anchors a wall, paid for by those who endow athletic scholarships, that features guards Malik Clark, a junior, senior Larry Hughes and tackles Hakeem Adeniji, a junior, and senior Charles Baldwin.

DEFENSE

End: Senior Dorance Armstrong sets his sights on Ron Warner’s single-season sack record (14.5, 1997) after passing Algie Atkinson (24) on the all-time career list with a personal-best 11.5 sacks as a junior to give him 25 for his career.

Junior Isaiah Bean, even quicker and a good bit nastier but not as muscular or strong as Armstrong, aims for the single-season record as well. The Rock Sack Jayhawks send praise the way of starting senior defensive tackles Daniel Wise and J.J. Holmes every week for pushing the pocket in their direction.

Linebacker: Seniors Joe Dineen and Keith Loneker, known simply as the Local Boys, lead a deep position.

It’s too early to project what the defensive backfield might look like, at least until those visiting this weekend make decisions.

The crystal ball shows Kansas opening the season with a one-sided victory vs. Nicholls State and closer ones at Central Michigan and at home vs. Rutgers. Add home victories vs. Big 12 foes TCU, Iowa State and Baylor, stir, and presto, bowl game.

Comments

Harlan Hobbs 5 years, 5 months ago

Hope you are right, Mr. Keegan. It would be a fantastic turn around and couldn't happen to a more deserving head coach than Mr. Beaty. I firmly believe that he is the right man for the job, and if given the appropriate amount of time, he can more than duplicate what Coach Mangino did in the three year period of consecutive bowl game victories.

Waylon Cook 5 years, 5 months ago

Last horse(or keegan) In this case crosses the finish line. This was clear just looking at this seasons progress

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 5 years, 5 months ago

the real question is will there be parking when we are good again as tailgating is a given .

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 5 months ago

Totally agree with you Tom but like your call for the late season upset, I think you are just missing the timing mark. Kansas will go to a bowl next year in the 2017 season. However, we both could be right because the Chick-fil-a and Cotton Bowls are both played on Jan 1, 2018. This new OC could be the big missing ingredient.

Humpy Helsel 5 years, 5 months ago

Wow! Sorry, but I'm choking back my laugh. OK. I'm back under control again. I hope you are right. But I can't help but shake my head over the assumptions about incoming QB's who haven't played one down of Big XII football. Recent history has proven those types of QB performance assumptions have not panned out as imagined. Dayne, Jake, Ryan? Let's go with the overall story and leave the QB depth chart/performance on the field play out on its own.

Deb Fitch 5 years, 5 months ago

You just make sure your butt is in the stands to support it. If it doesn't happen then you can laugh

Robert Brock 5 years, 5 months ago

First order of business: win three games. Then, win TWO conference games. Baby steps.

David Robinett 5 years, 5 months ago

Nope, I think big my brothers. It shall happen.

Doug Merrill 5 years, 5 months ago

I agree with Suzi that they have a chance this coming year to reach a bowl game, but don't think it will be one on New Year's Day- so it will happen in 2017. However, I know Tom is optimistic (understatement noted) about the new QB transfer, but ...why the heck not? What is gained by stating the obvious that we won't know until he has played? Go Hawks!

Steve Jacob 5 years, 5 months ago

To even get to 2018 you have to hope the new chancellor doesn't hire a new AD, who wants "his guy" as coach. All this excitement is because of one win against a Texas team free fall.

Vernon Riggs 5 years, 5 months ago

No one but Bill Self will decide if a new AD will be hired. Bill gets 'his guy'.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 5 months ago

As an Oklahoma fan (boo---hiss!) I have watched the situation at the University of Kansas for many years with their football program which always seems to end up in the conference basement every year. And yet has a superior and successful basket ball program every year. There is something very out of line here.

I have previously noted,(to your jeers and boos) the incredible chasm between the University's treatment of each program. For the basketball team every year brings a huge display of support pre season for the basketball team. Something about "Late Night and Fog" or some such occasion. But prior to the football season....well....nothing! No display of any support or interest whatever for the football program. You expect championship performance with this lack of attention from the University??

Somebody needs to give this some thought. Or continue to have a third rate team that ends up yearly in the conference basement every year.

David A. Smith 5 years, 5 months ago

They should have won 4 games this last season. Anyone who watched them could see that a bowl in 2017 is not that much of a stretch- and NOT based on the Texas win. They'll bowl in 2017. Watch.

Bryce Landon 5 years, 5 months ago

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Oh, wait, Tom, you were being serious?

In that case...

I'M GONNA LAUGH EVEN HARDER!!!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Randy Bombardier 5 years, 5 months ago

Very possible...even next year. If we had an offense this year, we were in ttech, tcu, games and others. Not laughing.

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