Wednesday, July 10, 2019

KU football picked last in preseason Big 12 poll for 9th year in a row

Kansas running back Khalil Herbert (10) is stopped under a pile of players late during the second quarter, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas running back Khalil Herbert (10) is stopped under a pile of players late during the second quarter, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.


Coaches come and go, but the Kansas football program’s place within the Big 12 hierarchy remains unchanged.

As the conference revealed Wednesday its 2019 preseason media poll, the bottom rung in the standings belonged to the Jayhawks yet again.

Heading into Les Miles’ first season at the helm, Kansas landed at 10th in the annual summer projections — the same spot it occupied in each of the previous eight years, when Turner Gill (2011), Charlie Weis (2012-14) and David Beaty (2015-18) had their turns as KU’s head coach.

The Jayhawks proved the prognosticators correct in seven of the past eight years, too, with 2014 being the outlier, as Iowa State went winless in conference play and KU finished ninth, with a 1-8 mark versus Big 12 opponents.

If you’re looking to identify KU’s most relatively successful season within the league during that eight-year stretch, well, the Jayhawks went 1-8 four times and 0-9 the other four seasons.

Kansas last picked up more than one conference victory in a season in 2008, when the Jayhawks finished 4-4 in conference action and still had Mark Mangino as their head coach and Todd Reesing as their quarterback. KU finished third in the Big 12 North that year.

The last time KU was picked somewhere other than 10th in the Big 12 was 2010, when the conference still had two divisions and 12 teams. Ahead of what turned out to be a 3-9 season for Gill’s Jayhawks, KU was predicted to finish fourth in the six-team Big 12 North. But KU finished last in the division in Gill’s first season, going 1-7 within the league.

Peering even farther back into the conference archives, Miles took over an Oklahoma State program with low expectations in 2001. In his first year as a college head coach, the Cowboys were picked fifth in the Big 12 South in the preseason media poll. OSU, indeed, finished fifth and went 2-6 in conference games.

Miles’ Cowboys outperformed their league forecast the following season, though. Picked fifth again in 2002, OSU placed fourth with a 5-3 conference mark.

In 2003, Miles and company lived up to their improving reputation, finishing third as predicted and going 5-3 in the Big 12.

Ahead of what proved to be Miles’ fourth and final season at OSU, the Cowboys were picked fourth in the preseason poll but placed fifth, going 4-4. Miles left to take over a powerhouse LSU program with a 49-28 overall record and 16-16 mark in Big 12 games.

Perennial Big 12 favorite Oklahoma, now picked first in the the preseason poll for the sixth time in nine years, took the top spot once again in 2019.

OU received 68 of the 77 first-place votes, with second-place Texas picking up the other nine.

Iowa State, a team often projected close to KU in preseason polls for years, took the third-place spot, heading into head coach Matt Campbell’s fourth year in Ames, Iowa.

TCU appeared fourth in the projections, ahead of fifth-place Oklahoma State, sixth-place Baylor, seventh-place Texas Tech, eighth-place West Virginia, ninth-place Kansas State and last-place Kansas.

K-State’s 191 points gave KU’s rivals a 102-point cushion over the Jayhawks (89 points) for ninth place.

The top two finishers in the league standings will square off in the Big 12 Football Championship Game, on Dec. 7, in Arlington, Texas.

2019 Big 12 Football Media Preseason Poll

(first-place votes in parentheses, followed by points received in the poll)

No. 1 - Oklahoma (68), 761

No. 2 - Texas (9), 696

No. 3 - Iowa State, 589

No. 4 - TCU, 474

No. 5 - Oklahoma State, 460

No. 6 - Baylor, 453

No. 7 - Texas Tech, 281

No. 8 - West Virginia, 241

No. 9 - Kansas State, 191

No. 10 - Kansas, 89

KU football Big 12 W-L totals since 2011

(overall record listed, with head coach)

2011: 0-9 (2-10, Turner Gill)

2012: 0-9 (1-11, Charlie Weis)

2013: 1-8 (3-9, Weis)

2014: 1-8 (3-9, Weis and interim Clint Bowen)

2015: 0-9 (0-12, David Beaty)

2016: 1-8 (2-10, Beaty)

2017: 0-9 (1-11, Beaty)

2018: 1-8 (3-9, Beaty)


Brian Skelly 3 years, 3 months ago

Haven't we finished last at least 9 years in a row?   Why would be picked as anything else.

And by the way, WTH!!! with all the sponsored ads?!?!?!

That's a good way for people not to read and post.    Of course maybe that's the plan.

Dane Pratt 3 years, 2 months ago

Feels like it but thanks to our 2014 win over Iowa State it’s only four. But it is nine in the last ten years.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 3 months ago

The 4 programs with new HCs occupy the last 4 spots. I like our chances of getting out of the cellar with the other 3 all coming to Lawrence. The last decade was pretty brutal and left many scars, but we have been trending in the right direction. It would seem to me that we had the biggest improvement in coaching staff of any of the other schools.

Brett McCabe 3 years, 2 months ago

Time to look forward. Upsets happen. This is the time for KU fans to start showing up. Time to do OUR job!

Clarence Glasse 3 years, 2 months ago

A terrific expression of what a KU fan's right understanding and purpose should be. I can't be at any games, but I sure would be there if I were able. Thanks, Brett, for an optimism and purpose that's really well said.

Micky Baker 3 years, 2 months ago

Why is it just now that is the right time? It was the right for the fans to show up the whole time if Kansas wants to be respectable or consistent in football.

Clarence Glasse 3 years, 2 months ago

Maybe this is "the time" because the other times you're referring to are all past and gone opportunities. We can't do anything about them. But now we have a chance to start over, start new. So NOW it "the time" because it is here - now.

Steven Haag 3 years, 2 months ago

My guess is we will finish in last place. We will be picked for last next year and most likely will finish last next year as well. We better start getting some 4 star recruits. Anybody seeing us dropping in the recruiting rankings? We were only so high because we had 21 recruits. Once the rest of the Big XII schools get to 21 recruits, we will be #10 in the rankings and in the 50’s in national rankings. On a positive note, I truly believe we will be more competitive, as we have better coaches and the games should be more entertaining. Hopefully in another few years we can start turning the corner

Doug Wallace 3 years, 2 months ago

What is new?We didnt have good coaches including Gill and Weis to say the least. Coach Les Miles give him 2-3 years to judge him.I know we have heard this song and dance thing before, but that is what it is!

Yeah we will proabably come in last again, but we judge on how this team performs in terms of fundamental play and fewer errors, yeah we wint win alot this season but if we play close and competitive and not commit alot of turnovers and errors and look better that is a sign of improvements better than the last 8-9 years geez!Give this guy time people!

Dane Pratt 3 years, 2 months ago

Five conference wins this decade and most of the losses were not even close. We always seem to have one or two games a year where we are in it to the end but find a way to lose. I’m hoping those are the games Miles can turn into W’s and make this program respectable, even if it’s with a losing record.

Andy Godwin 3 years, 2 months ago

Therefore "the only way is up" for the KU football program.

David Robinett 3 years, 2 months ago

With our experienced O-line, great backs, and a good coach finally, we could easily exceed expectations. 4 wins likely and 6 possible.

p.s. I love Koolaid

Brett McCabe 3 years, 2 months ago

Koolaid is a delicious and refreshing drink! Especially on a sunny Saturday in Larryville!

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