Archive for Thursday, July 17, 2008

Kansas football schedule upgraded

Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing (5) looks down the field for a receiver against Baylor in this Oct. 13, 2007, file photo at Memorial Stadium. More and more Big 12 teams are implementing the no-huddle, spread offense during spring practices. Kansas, which utilized the spread offense in 2007, ranked second in the nation in scoring offense with the no-huddle approach.

Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing (5) looks down the field for a receiver against Baylor in this Oct. 13, 2007, file photo at Memorial Stadium. More and more Big 12 teams are implementing the no-huddle, spread offense during spring practices. Kansas, which utilized the spread offense in 2007, ranked second in the nation in scoring offense with the no-huddle approach.

July 17, 2008

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If there was a black mark on the Kansas University football team's stunning 12-1, Orange Bowl-champion 2007 season, it was the incessant question surrounding the team's strength of schedule.

Or, more precisely, its lack of it.

Despite leading his team to its best season in modern history (and picking up nearly every coach of the year award along the way), Jayhawks coach Mark Mangino was forced to defend against rumblings that Kansas lacked victories against quality opponents -rumblings that, from an objective standpoint, weren't altogether unreasonable.

In eight conference contests last fall, only once did the Jayhawks find themselves lined up against a team that finished the season in the Top 25 - and that game ended in a 36-28 loss to rival Missouri.

That won't be the case this year.

In a scheduling break a season ago, Kansas managed to avoid the top three teams in the Big 12 South - Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech - and as a result will match up against all three this year. In addition, the Jayhawks will take on conference wildcards Colorado (at home) and Nebraska (on the road), with the annual Border Showdown against preseason Big 12 North favorite Missouri slated for the final week of the regular season.

"On paper, it definitely appears (tougher)," said Jon Kirby, a recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. "Especially with the Big 12 media rankings that just came out, as well as some of the preseason polls."

According to preseason consensus rankings compiled by the Journal-World, which took into account six preseason publications, the Jayhawks are set to face the No. 3 (Oklahoma), No. 6 (Missouri), No. 11 (Texas), No. 14 (Texas Tech) and No. 17 (South Florida) teams in the country.

And while preseason polls tend to be far from clairvoyant (Kansas was a fourth-and-20 from a Top 25 mention in most polls before last season), they can also provide an adequate measuring stick.

The bad news for Mangino, who signed a contract extension Tuesday that makes him the 13th-highest-paid coach nationally (third in the Big 12)? This year's schedule is shaping up to be the Jayhawks' toughest in at least the past five years.

The good news? Nobody should be questioning his team's strength of schedule in '08.

KU schedule rankings

A look at what various preseason publications ranked the Kansas University football team and its opponents heading into the 2008 season.

KANSAS JAYHAWKS

Phil Steele: 30

Sporting News: 12

Lindy's: 15

Athlon: 13

ESPN.com: 17

Scout.com: 13

COMPOSITE: 17

OKLAHOMA SOONERS

Phil Steele: 3

Sporting News: 4

Lindy's: 4

Athlon Sports: 3

ESPN.com: 3

Scout.com: 3

COMPOSITE: 3

MISSOURI TIGERS

Phil Steele: 7

Sporting News: 6

Lindy's: 5

Athlon Sports: 6

ESPN.com: 6

Scout.com: 8

COMPOSITE: 6

TEXAS LONGHORNS

Phil Steele: 15

Sporting News: 11

Lindy's: 8

Athlon Sports: 11

ESPN.com: 8

Scout.com: 15

COMPOSITE: 11

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS

Phil Steele: 11

Sporting News: 20

Lindy's: 16

Athlon Sports: 18

ESPN.com: 11

Scout.com: 10

COMPOSITE: 14

SOUTH FLORIDA BULLS

Phil Steele: 8

Sporting News: 21

Lindy's: 19

Athlon Sports: 20

ESPN.com: N/R

Scout.com: N/R

COMPOSITE: 17*

* based on average of top four rankings

Comments

oldvet 6 years, 11 months ago

Most of the whining I heard came from Fizzou fans who complained about our "soft" schedule... so here is how we stacked up last year against the Fizzou schedule...Both won @ K-StateBoth won @ ColoradoBoth won H vs. NebraskaBoth won H vs. Iowa StateBoth beat Tx-A&M, but KU did it @ A&M, Mu @ HomeKU beat MAC champ Central Mich (8-6, who lost their bowl game on last minute FG), MU beat Illinois (9-4, destroyed in their bowl game)KU beat Toledo (5-7, MAC conf), MU beat Western Michigan (5-7, MAC conference)KU beat SE Louisiana (3-8 patsy), MU beat Mississippi (3-9 and 0-8 in the SEC for last place, another patsy...)KU beat Fla Intl (1-11, a patsy), MU beat Illinois State (4-7, also a patsy)KU beat Baylor at Home and Ok-State on the roadMU beat Tx-Tech at Home and LOST to OU on the roadMU beat Kansas by 8 at a neutral siteMU lost a second time to OU by 21 at a neutral siteKU beats BCS #3 Va Tech in the Orange BowlMU beats BCS unranked Arkansas in the Cotton BowlPlease tell me again how MU has such a "tougher schedule"...

Eric Neuteboom 6 years, 11 months ago

MU typically has a tougher schedule on account of probation, felonies and arrests...I mean, they can hardly field a full team (outside of prison)!

Rickyonealku 6 years, 11 months ago

I would take a 12-1 year and a BCS Bowl Victory any season, now how many other teams can put that on a resume????

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