Will KU have their first winning season since 2008? Or will we see yet another disappointing season for the Jayhawks football program?
With all the news of Big 12 teams leaving the conference soon and new teams entering, now is the time to look into what we expect out of the Big 12. First up, we have the Kansas Jayhawks who have been nothing short of irrelevant in Big 12 football. KU’s best season was in 2007 when they finished 12-1 after winning the Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech. They also finished 7-1 in conference play that season. Since then, KU has yet to finish with a winning record in conference play and only had one winning season.
So, the expectations for KU football are clearly very low. The only direction from here is up for KU football and after going 2-10 overall (1-8 in conference), there is no choice but to think about getting better. Based on their schedule for 2022, a four-win season is something that is not out of the question. That being said, let’s break down the Jayhawk’s schedule and see where they could or will not succeed this season.
Week One, Home Game vs Tennessee Tech (FCS)
KU has a history of making games like this closer than they should be. However, I think with the new recruits and returning pieces, this should be an easy win. KU’s defense showed last year they can make big plays when it matters and a few early big plays will set the tone in week one.
Score Prediction: KU 41, Tenn. Tech 21
Week Two, Away Game vs West Virginia
This years schedule wastes no time getting into conference play. West Virginia lost quite a few players via the transfer portal but managed to add JT Daniels to boost up their offense. If the KU defensive line can make Daniels life difficult, KU could compete in this game. If the offense does not follow up a good defensive performance though, this will be a 50/50 shot of whether KU loses or wins and that is the only way to put it for this matchup.
Score Prediction: KU 27, West Virginia 24
Week Three, Away Game vs Houston
In case you haven’t paid attention to the Big 12 and the upcoming changes, Houston will be joining the conference by no later than 2025. Until then, they are shaping up to be a legitimate team to win the American conference this year. That is bad news for KU only three weeks into the season. I think Houston will be far better than KU in every area and walks away with an easy win in week three.
Score Prediction: Houston 55, KU 21
Week Four, Home Game vs Duke
The final non-conference game for KU comes in week four against the Duke Blue Devils. Duke destroyed KU last season 52-33 in Durham. However, Duke lost most of that team and now have a new coach. If there was a year for KU to prove they have an offense that can compete with teams, beating Duke in week four would be the way to go. I like the Jayhawks in this final non-conference game of the season.
Score Prediction: KU 35, Duke 14
Week Five, Home Game vs Iowa State
As much as KU has grown used to being blown out by Iowa State, this years Cyclone team will look a little different. ISU lost Brock Purdy, Breece Hall, and Charlie Kholar which completely changes up their offense in my opinion. Their defense lost five of their 13 top players so again, a different landscape is ahead for the Cyclones. However, KU will come into this game with a better chance to compete but I still do not see it ending well for KU.
Score Prediction: ISU 27, KU 24
Week Six, Home Game vs TCU
Normally I would comfortably take TCU especially if it was in Fort Worth. However, KU is always good enough for a conference win they had no business getting. TCU has far too much unsettled business with their roster and their new coach still needs to get their players accustomed to the new system he runs. That being said, I think KU has the pieces still to squeak out a win and feel good in week six.
Score Prediction: KU 31, TCU 28
Week Seven, Away Game vs Oklahoma
Sure Oklahoma lost quite a bit via transfers and coaching changes but they will still be one of the best teams in the Big 12, no doubt about it. Will they be a serious competitor for a national title? No and KU is not going to be a team in their way this year. KU might have pieces that can keep them around for a quarter but it will not be enough.
Score Prediction: Oklahoma 41, KU 21
Week Eight, Away Game vs Baylor
Playing Oklahoma and then turning around to play Baylor in week eight is tough. This is the toughest stretch for KU and the trip to Waco will not go well this year. Baylor is coming off a Big 12 title and they did not lose much roster wise. KU does not have the team to beat Baylor on their home turf. Baylor is my favorite to win the Big 12 again and KU will just be a notch on the win belt for Baylor in 2022.
Score Prediction: Baylor 54, KU 14
Week Nine, Home Game vs Oklahoma State
The Cowboys demolished the Jayhawks last season and to be honest, this year might not be much different. The only hope here is that the KU defense has developed enough to make this game more competitive. It will help having this as a home game but I di not see it being enough to steal a win from the Cowboys.
Score Prediction: Oklahoma State 28, KU 17
Week Ten, Away Game vs Texas Tech
Texas Tech is heading into 2022 with a new coach so that means a reset on their progress overall. Last year the Red Raiders saw far too many injuries that all but ruined their season. That being said, 2022 is a new season and a new opportunity for KU to steal a win on the road. KU only has a few conference games that they can win in and I think they can do that against Tech. A close game but a win will be the result here for KU.
Score Prediction: KU 27, Texas Tech 21
Week Eleven, Home Game vs Texas
As much as I want to see KU upset Texas again, I do not see it happening again. Texas reloaded with some high quality talent but KU finally has a quarterback that can keep the Jayhawks around. This will be a horrible game for defense and I would not be surprised if this game is high scoring. Unfortunately, I think Texas will want to avoid an upset to KU for a second year in a row, Longhorns win this time around.
Scoring Prediction: Texas 50, KU 47
Week Twelve, Away Game vs Kansas State
To close out another disappointing but somewhat productive 2022 season, KU goes on the road to face their interstate rivals, Kansas State. The Wildcats lost Skylar Thompson to the NFL Draft but added transfer QB Adrian Martinez from Nebraska. Martinez struggled at Nebraska but maybe a change of scenery will be key. However, for some reason, despite all the negativity surrounding Kstate, KU still will not get it done.
Score Prediction: Kansas State 24, KU 20
Final Record For KU Football In 2022: 5-7 (3-6)
If KU manages to finish with five wins overall, this would be the first five-win season for KU since 2009. With three conference wins, that would be their best conference performance since 2008. KU will either crash and burn all year or actually go out and play decently this year. A five-win season is very generous for KU but hey like I said earlier, the only direction they can go, is up.
Which Big 12 team will improve the most in 2022? Comment below and join the discussion!