Jayhawk fans are excited like it's basketball season. For the third straight year the 'Hawks should field a team on the gridiron that is capable of competing for most popular team on campus with the hoopsters.
Here is an inside look at the Jayhawks 2009 schedule.
Sept. 5 - Northern Colorado - The Bears are a team that went 1-10 a year ago, and their defense "lost several key starters " according to its own school web site. This could get ugly. Prediction: KU 55, NCU 10.
Sept. 12 - at UTEP - This is a team not afraid to play the Big Boys (they also play Sept. 26 at Texas). However, scheduling them doesn't mean you are going to beat them. This team has a great offense led by quarterback Trevor Vittatoe (58 career TDs thrown) and veteran receivers Jeff Moturi and Kris Adams. However, it's hard to see KU giving an early one away like it did last year against South Florida. Prediction: KU 44, UTEP 24.
Sept. 19 - Duke - Coach K and his players come to town...what? Duke has a football team? Actually, they have a decent one. This is not the team where everyone could pencil in a "W" before the season started. However, at 1-7 in the ACC and 4-8 overall last year, they aren't exactly BCS title contenders this year either. Head coach David Cutcliffe and his crew have come a long way, they just aren't going to come into Lawrence and grab a victory. Prediction: KU 38, Duke 13.
Sept. 26 - Southern Miss - Another game KU should win easily, but also not overlook. The Jayhawks may be 19-6 the past two years, but let's not forget about the horrible 12 in a row before that. If KU were to let the swagger of two great seasons get to its head, the team could stumble in its final game before BIG XII play. But Mangino should have his players ready, and I don't see that happening against this C-USA team. Prediction: KU 41, Southern Miss 20.
Oct. 10 - Iowa St. - Cyclones are trying to adopt spread offense to compete with the rest of the Big XII. Sounds like a natural disaster. Prediction: KU 44, ISU 13.
Oct. 17 - at Colorado - Despite improving on the road the past two years, the Jayhawks still aren't exactly Road Warriors (2-3 last year if you count the Mizzou win as a road game). They are head and shoulders better than the Buffs, but this will be the first close game of the season. Just not close enough for CU. I wonder if Hawkins still wishes he was in Boise? Prediction: KU 27, CU 24.
Oct. 24 - Oklahoma -
One of the safest bets in the history of football is Coach Bob Stoops and his staff will not allow Dez Briscoe
to go off for 269 receiving yards. But the KU offense should still have a good game. Problem is, Bradford and company will have a better one. KU's first hiccup will be in front of its home fans. Prediction: OU 34, KU 28.
Oct. 31 - at Texas Tech -
Jayhawks have beaten the Red Raiders a grand total of once. No one will pick them - except me. If he hasn't been fined already, Texas Tech coach Mike Leach
will be after what he says to reporters in the post-game interview. Prediction: KU 38, Tech 35
Nov. 7 - at Kansas State - Sunflower Showdown turns into Sunflower Smackdown. Snyder needs a least a year before he gets back in a groove. Prediction: KU 30, K-State 13.
Nov. 14 - Nebraska -
Blackshirts left Lawrence in 2007 black and
blue. Another safe bet is KU won't score 76 points this time. Bo Peleni
and the improved 'Huskers are picked by many to win the North. This game will put an end to any of those thoughts. Prediction: KU 43, Nebraska 33
Nov. 21 - at Texas - It would be silly for anyone to pick KU here. Not that the 'Hawks can't win. The Longhorns sould be favored to win every home game this season. If they can defeat Oklahoma at home Oct. 17, the 'Horns should be undefeated when the Jayhawks come to town. It would be hard to imagine Colt McCoy and crew losing it at this point. Prediction: Texas 41, KU 28.
Nov. 28 - Missouri (at Arrowhead) -
Round three of the Border War
in Kansas City. The "home" Jayhawks will play a Mizzou team that experts say is supposed to disappear because of all it lost after the '08 season. But this is KU-Mizzou. Records mean nothing, especially considering the team with the better one has lost since the rivalry moved to KC. The Big XII could be on the line for KU at this point, and Reesing
isn't going to let his final regular season game end on a bad note. He could go for 400-plus through the air. Prediction: KU 38, MU 31
That victory should move KU into its first Big XII title game and a rematch with Texas. It would be great to say the 'Hawks could pull off the upset, but statistically it shouldn't happen. However, a 10-3record and bowl berth should be more than enough to keep KU fans happy until basketball season.
As a KU fan it would be great to pick them to go undefeated and win the national championship. But even Mangino, if he was completely honest with himself, would have a hard time saying that. However, that is one thing I actually wouldn't mind being wrong about.