Returning Starters – Offense: 4 Defense: 4
Preview: New head coach David Beaty has a tough road ahead of him given the minimal amount of talent he’s inherited at Kansas paired with the fact that he’s trying to turn around a program that’s in one of the toughest conference top to bottom in the FBS. Kansas was dreadful last season and this squad returns a measly 8 starters. Beaty has a good reputation as a solid recruiter and he’ll need 2-3 years to get his guys in place to attempt to turn things around in Lawrence.
Kansas will implement a pass heavy offense under OC Likens and this is a good strategy given the success air raids have had in the Big 12 conference. Also schools that can’t recruit highly touted linemen are better off either going with the pass heavy offense or the triple option. QB Michael Cummings was steady towards the end of 2014, but an injury in the spring has his status in doubt. It looks like Dual-threat QB Montell Cozart will get a chance to start at least early in the season. The O-line will be in rebuild mode with 3 starters moving on, but the unit is hopeful that converted TE Shelley-Smith can be a solid addition. The RB position is deep with returners Mann and Cox ready to produce. WR is also in complete rebuild mode, but TE should be set with Johnson and Kent.
The defense wasn’t anything special last season, but the offense also didn’t do much to help this unit. The strength of the defense comes up front along the line with returning talent Goodman, Semke, and Bolton ready to produce. The LB corps is lacking in depth and the loss of Jake Love to retire is a big blow to this unit. Schyler Miles will be the man in the middle, but he needs to stay healthy which has been an issue. The secondary loses all 4 starters from last season and this part of the defense will also be a work in progress.
Prediction: It seems that Kansas and Iowa State will battle it out for bottom spot again in the loaded Big 12 again this season. With far less returning starters it looks as though the Jayhawks could go without a win in conference play in 2015. Head coach David Beaty just needs to focus on coaching his guys up and putting the effort into recruiting because this’ll not be a bowl team by season’s end.
Projected Record: 1-11 (0-9)