2020 CFB Preview: Kansas Jayhawks
Written by Logan Rosengard
Week 1 Vs New Hampshire: Win
Week 2 @ Baylor: Loss
Week 3 Vs Boston College: W
Week 4 @ Coastal Carolina: W
Week 5 Vs Iowa State: Loss
Week 6 Sunflower Showdown @ Kansas State: Loss
Week 7 Vs Oklahoma State: Win
Week 8 @ West Virginia: Win
Week 9: Bye week
Week 10 Vs Texas: Loss
Week 11 @ Texas Tech: Win
Week 12 @ Oklahoma: Loss
Week 13 Vs TCU : Loss
Week 14: Big 12 Championship
Overall Record: 6-6
The University of Kansas Jayhawks have a positive outlook on their 2020 schedule. As second year head coach Les Miles looks to improve on another abysmal season, going 3-9 and scoring 20 points or fewer in six games, there are plenty of positives to work with. The Jayhawks’ receiving options should fare pretty well. The team's leader in catches, Andrew Parchment, is returning for his final season as a Jayhawk, as well as senior Stephon Robinson who are great options for the offense. To add to that, running back Pooka Williams Jr. is a great option from the backfield and can leave guys in the dust behind him. The big decider for their offense is going to be an unproven quarterback in Thomas MacVittie. If MacVittie can fill the role Carter Stanley left for him in Lawrence and do a half-decent job of it, the Jayhawks should have a competitive offense. With OC Brent Dearmon having a full offseason to sit and think about how he wants the system to look, it seems that it’s only upwards for the Jayhawk offense.
Kansas’ defense finished dead last in the Big 12 in all areas of defense. It can’t be worse than last season, right? Right? It just might. There is a lack of size and stature that most competitive defenses have in college football. To add, the pass rush doesn’t seem to be much better than it did in 2019. On the short list of upsides, however, is the return of linebacker Dru Prox. In his four games before injury, Prox was on pace for over 150 tackles on the season. If the transfer players they picked up in the offseason are able to step up and fill the gaps where bigger guys are needed, the defense should do better than it did last season.
New Hampshire is an easy FCS school for Kansas to get a win out of and potentially build some momentum into their game against Baylor. Going back home to play another non-conference game against Boston College, they should beat the Eagles handily as they are projected to be at the bottom of the ACC this season. Their fourth game has them traveling to Coastal Carolina where they seek to get a win against a team that beat them 12-7 the prior season. A home game against a tough Iowa State team will see them going 2-2 in their first four.
They’ll lose a game in the Sunflower Showdown against their rivals, Kansas State, and go on to win the next two against Oklahoma State and West Virginia before going into their bye week. Despite almost beating Texas last season, the Jayhawks will lose another close game to the Longhorns at home before traveling to Lubbock for a victory against Texas Tech. They’ll drop their last two games of the season to the Sooners of Oklahoma and the Horned Frogs of TCU. Despite losing the last two games of the regular season, Les Miles will lead the team to a 6-6 record and take the Jayhawks bowling for the first time since their victory over Virginia Tech in the 2008 Orange Bowl.
There are two toss-up games on Kansas’ schedule this season, Oklahoma State and TCU. First, the Oklahoma State game is coming off of the Sunflower Showdown against rival Kansas State in Manhattan. The play of the Jayhawks in the Sunflower Showdown could give them a motivation, or it could be the downfall of their season and bring them another disappointing outcome against Oklahoma State. TCU, on the other hand, didn’t make a bowl game last season and doesn’t look to be all that better this season as well. The TCU game is the last home game of the season, as well as the Jayhawks’ last game of the regular season as well which could be a game of significance in terms of their bowl status. The Horned Frogs have a better roster on paper based on merit and seniority alone. With a full offseason, and maybe more, for the team to adjust they could win this game as well.
Regardless of the outcome, the Jayhawks are set to have a better season than they did last time around, proving that Les Miles and his coaching staff might be the coaching staff the program needs to boost them back into the top 25.