The Kansas Jayhawks football program closed out the 2009 season with seven-straight losses after winning their first five games. They never seemed to recover from this free fall with a 3-9 record in 2010 and an even more dismal 2-10 campaign in 2011 that included a 0-9 record in the Big 12. While Kansas has nowhere to go but up this season, the prospect for any kind of dramatic turnaround remains cloudy at best.
Kansas took the first step toward righting the ship by firing Turner Gill and hiring Charlie Weiss as its new head coach. The well-traveled Weiss has flip flopped back and forth from the college ranks to the NFL, but he could be a perfect fit to inject some life into this struggling program.
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This will be a major reclamation job that will take a few seasons of solid recruiting to produce some really positive results, but the addition of Weiss should put a vastly improved product on the field in 2012.
Weiss will have to sift through the wreckage of an offense that finished 2011 ranked 95th in scoring with an average of just 22.3 points a game, but he does have a few pieces to work with.
Running back James Sims is back after leading the team with 727 yards rushing last year. Also back is wide receiver DJ Beshears, who led the team with 40 catches for 437 yards. After that, it will be up to a few other players to step up and elevate their game to improve the overall performance of this offense.
As bad as the offense was last season, the Jayhawks’ defense was even worse. This unit was torched for an average of 43.8 points a game, ranking it near the bottom of Division IA.
New defensive coordinator Dave Campo will basically be starting from scratch, but he does have defensive lineman Toben Opurum and linebacker Bradley McDougald to build around. Opurum led the team with four sacks and McDougald was the team’s leading tackler last year.
2012 Kansas Jayhawks Football Schedule
Kansas will look to open things up with a much-needed victory when they square off against D-IAA South Dakota State at home in what should be a winnable game. They face Conference-USA’s Rice Owls at home in Week 2 before opening up conference play against Big 12 newcomer TCU in its third-straight home game.
Things start to heat-up in October with a string of games against Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Texas so the Jayhawks better grab a few early wins to help bolster the overall record. The Jayhawks close out the regular season on Dec.1 with a road game against West Virginia, which is the other new team in the Big 12 this year.
2012 Kansas Jayhawks Big 12 Futures Odds
Bovada has opened Kansas as the longest shot to win the conference at 100/1. While Oklahoma is an even-money favorite at 1/1 to win the Big 12 with Texas at 4/1 followed by TCU at 11/2, the Jayhawks might want to set their sights on beating Iowa State and Baylor, who are right above them on the list.
The Cyclones are listed as 65/1 longshots and the Bears with the departure of Robert Griffin III are 40/1 longshots to win the conference.
2012 Kansas Jayhawks Football Predictions
Weiss fully realizes that it is going to take some time to successfully compete in the Big 12, so he has to focus his team on winning most if not all of its nonconference games. At the very least, Kansas should be able to exceed its 2011 win total of two games, but not by much.
The Jayhawks may be able to pull off and upset or two along the way, but the best-case scenario is a record of 4-8.
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