Game-By-Game Predictions for Kansas' 2014 Season
To be fair, Kansas did win two more games than it did in 2012. But it sure didn’t feel like it; in Weis’ first season, KU lost five games by one possession en route to a 1-11 debut. In 2013, the Jayhawks were beaten by 27.6 points on average in conference play.
Kansas returns 15 starters (eight offense, seven defense), but has no identity on offense after losing workhorse running back James Sims, possessing what looks to be another frustrating season with the passing game, and, well, carrying what's just not a very good offensive line.
There’s some light at the end of the tunnel (an incredibly long, narrow, and crepuscular tunnel, mind you) with the defense, as it owns one of the more experienced and productive linebacker corps in the conference. But that clearly won’t be enough to compensate for an inept offense in Big 12 play, especially if Kansas continues to struggle to generate a consistent pass rush.
All in all, Kansas isn’t anywhere ready to take the next step by receiving a bowl invitation. In fact, the Jayhawks are going to have a hell of a time replicating their 1-8 conference record from a year ago.
Is Weis’ time up in Lawrence? If it is, there's no need to feel bad for him – I hear he’s got a pretty solid retirement fund.
9/6 – vs. Southeast Missouri State: WIN
Not a guaranteed win, but if Kansas loses this game, Weis could be taking a very early vacation away from football. This will be a good opportunity for young dual-threat quarterback Montell Cozart to gain some confidence and chemistry with star receiver Nick Harwell (a former Miami-of-Ohio transfer).
9/13 – at Duke: LOSS
Can Weis find a suitable replacement for James Sims in the backfield? Now a Green Bay Packer, Sims rushed for 1,110 yards and seven touchdowns off 230 attempts his senior season, finishing an outstanding career as a four-year starter. He accounted for 36.1 percent of all Kansas offensive production in 2013, and the Jayhawks will have to sustain a strong running game to keep Duke’s high-powered offense off the field.
9/20 – vs. Central Michigan: WIN
Kansas was able to squeak by a weak Louisiana Tech team, 13-10 during last year’s third-game slot. Central Michigan was bowl-eligible last season and is almost always competitive in the MAC, so this should be a much greater challenge. I’m giving Kansas the benefit of the doubt for its experience on defense, but linebacker Michael Reynolds needs to have a huge day.
9/27 – vs. Texas: LOSS
So it begins. This is going to get pretty redundant, but Kansas is simply not as talented as Texas and will be vastly outcoached by Charlie Strong.
10/4 – at West Virginia: LOSS
Shockingly, West Virginia was so bad in 2013 that it lost to Kansas by two scores. That wont’ happen again. Dana Holgorsen’s offense looked nothing like it did when Geno Smith was putting up video game-like numbers, and although it won’t be anywhere close to that level, it will have enough stability to lead the Mountaineers to a bowl bid – and a win over KU in Morgantown.
10/11 – vs. Oklahoma State: LOSS
With a strong performance from Cozart and his ability to find running lanes during broken plays, Kansas should be able to stay competitive against Oklahoma State for a half. But turnovers and lack of attention to detail will be an issue, and the Cowboys will pull away quickly.
10/18 – at Texas Tech: LOSS
Nope. This isn’t a good matchup for Kansas and its secondary. Nope, nope, nope. That’s all there is to write.
11/1 – at Baylor: LOSS
If Texas Tech’s horizontal offensive approach is a mismatch for Kansas, what kind of task does Baylor present? The Jayhawks could be giving up over 50 points in back-to-back games.
11/8 – vs. Iowa State: LOSS
This is Kansas’ only realistic opportunity for a Big 12 win comes at home at Iowa State. While the ‘hawks could very well come away on top here, I think the 50-point losses in previous weeks will have a huge impact on the players’ mentality moving forward.
11/15 – vs. TCU: LOSS
After losing what should be considered a must-win for Weis and his program, I don’t expect there to much competitiveness in what is a vigorous remaining schedule. TCU is coming off an extremely disappointing four-win season and won’t let Kansas anywhere close to an upset bid.
11/22 – at Oklahoma: LOSS
As long as Trevor Knight lives up to his potential, Oklahoma will contend for a national championship in 2014. There’s no way that Kansas stays within three touchdowns.
11/29 – at Kansas State: LOSS
There will be some value and meaning in the Sunflower Showdown, but Kansas State has won five series in a row by an average of 31.6 points. This one should be no different. Could this be the last we see of Weis as a head coach?
2014 Kansas Projected Record: 2-10 (0-8)
Tyler Waddell is the College Football Blog Manager for FanIQ. Follow him on Twitter.