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Jeff Monken or Lance Leipold? A statistical comparison between the two candidates

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Kansas Athletic Director Travis Goff addresses the football team following a spring practice, on April 8, 2021, Goff's third day on the job at KU.

Kansas Athletic Director Travis Goff addresses the football team following a spring practice, on April 8, 2021, Goff's third day on the job at KU.

With the search for KU’s next football coach reportedly nearing an end, all the buzz seems to be around Army’s Jeff Monken and Buffalo head coach Lance Leipold.

Regardless of which side you might fall on, it is clear that either candidate would be viewed as a great hire by the Jayhawks. Their recent track record of how they have fared at their current spots should be proof of that.

But how do they compare to each other?

Buffalo has been as high as No. 23 in the AP Poll under Leipold, which happened during a 5-1 campaign in 2020. The Bulls have made three consecutive bowl games, including back-to-back wins in the Camellia Bowl and Bahamas Bowl over the past two seasons.

Army, meanwhile, was ranked as high as No. 22 last fall when the team went 9-3 and lost in the Liberty Bowl. The Black Knights were also ranked No. 19 in 2018 under Monken, who directed the program to three consecutive bowl games between 2016-18.

To get a better idea of how the two supposed frontrunners stack up, here’s a quick look at some notable numbers for both teams while under the direction of Monken and Leipold.

Record comparisons

Lance Leipold, Buffalo

2014: N/A

2015: 5-7

2016: 2-10

2017: 6-6

2018: 10-4

2019: 8-5

2020: 6-1

Jeff Monken, Army

2014: 4-8 record

2015: 2-10 record

2016: 8-5 record

2017: 10-3 record

2018: 11-2 record

2019: 5-8 record

2020: 9-3 record

Points per game — Leipold (left) vs. Monken (right)

2015: 26.7 ppg (82nd of 128) / 22.1 ppg (109th of 128)

2016: 16.5 ppg (126th of 128) / 29.9 ppg (59th of 128)

2017: 25.8 ppg (63rd of 130) / 30.7 ppg (46th of 130)

2018: 34.6 ppg (29th of 130) / 32.8 ppg (37th of 130)

2019: 31.5 ppg (46th of 130) / 28.5 ppg (68th of 130)

2020: 43.4 ppg (5th of 128) / 26.8 ppg (77th of 128)

**

Points allowed — Leipold (left) vs. Monken (right)

**

2015: 27.6 ppg (72nd of 128) / 27.8 ppg (75th of 128)

2016: 32.3 ppg (95th of 128) / 19.9 ppg (16th of 128)

2017: 24.8 ppg (49th of 130) / 22.0 ppg (32nd of 130)

2018: 25.9 ppg (58th of 130) / 17.7 ppg (10th of 130)

2019: 21.3 ppg (26th of 130) / 23.0 ppg (41st of 130)

2020: 21.9 ppg (30th of 128) / 14.8 ppg (2nd of 128)

Final comparison: F+ Ratings

F+ Ratings, which are made available via Football Outsiders, combine Brian Fremeau's FEI ratings with Bill Connelly's SP+ ratings in equal parts. Here is how Army, Buffalo and Kansas compare using this metric over that span:

None by Shane Jackson

Comments

John Strayer 1 year, 5 months ago

Ahhh. The famous third year improvement. Would be really nice to see one of those at Kansas at some point.

Brett McCabe 1 year, 5 months ago

Frankly, I wish we could have them both.

John Joseph Gorski 1 year, 4 months ago

Need to add SOS rank

2014 Kansas 61 Army 120 Buffalo 127

2015 Kansas 85 Army 114 Buffalo 107

2016 Kansas 73 Army 93 Buffalo 122

2017 Kansas 77 Army 73 Buffalo 101

2018 Kansas 58 Army 73 Buffalo 89

2019 Kansas 70 Army 90 Buffalo 108

2020* Covid year Kansas 42 Army 95 Buffalo 102

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