You might ask yourself, "How in the world did this guy come up with the Orange Bowl Champs finishing the season at 6-6?"
Well, let me explain.
Week One vs. Florida International
It will be nice for the Jayhawks to open their 2008-09 football season at home in Lawrence after winning the Orange Bowl. While presenting the trophy (which sadly Mangino now uses for a cereal bowl in the morning) to the student body and fans, the energy at Memorial Stadium will be raised, while the Jayhawks just roll past Florida International by a couple of digits.
Week Two vs. Louisiana Tech
Once again Kansas picks a killer home schedule and plays the Bulldogs at home. There is not much to say about this one besides Kansas' offense and defense are going to have a field day.
Week Three @ South Florida
Welcome back to the Sunshine State! The Jayhawks make a second trip to Florida to take on the Bulls of South Florida. This will be Kansas' first test in the 2008-09 season, playing on the road in hot and humid Florida.
Some of you may have already written off USF, but they are still very much alive. They are returning all but one starter on offense and seven starters on defense from the 2007-08 team, which posted the most remarkable season in school history. Plus Phil Steele has the Bulls ranked eighth in his preseason poll.
The Bulls will not let the Jayhawks outrun them, and hopefully Kansas won't wear red on the road.
Week Four vs. Sam Houston State
After a week three loss, Kansas will need a good pick-me-up. Mangino picked a good game for that—his Jayhawks will play the Sam Houston State Bearkats.
TheBearkats already come into the 2008-09 season struggling to find a backup quarterback and replacements for their three All-SLC linemen. Just look for the Jayhawks to turn into vultures and pick apart Sam Houston State.
Week Five @ Iowa State
Kansas hits the road for the second away game of the season and their opener to Big 12 play. For Kansas this game will be a good prep for them, sitting in a corn field maxing on the corn, waiting to go home to play some quality football.
Week Six vs. Colorado
The Colorado Buffaloes will come with full force and stampede through the Jayhawks. Colorado in conference play is a team you cannot write off. They play power football and are always ready to put up a fight.
Last year in Boulder the Jayhawks won 19-11, but there was never a point in the game where Kansas could have opened their lead.
The Jayhawks will get caught looking ahead to their game in Norman and will lose a shootout with the Buffaloes. But from here the road doesn’t get any easier.
Week Seven @ Oklahoma
Kansas now hits a bump in the road as they travel down to Sooner nation for a beating. This is the Jayhawks' first real challenge since playing Missouri in the Boarder War, and the Sooners are going to let them have it.
Oklahoma is the clear choice to win the Big 12 South this year, with several returning key players such as sophomore quarterback Sam Bradford, senior WR Manuel Johnson and sophomore RB DeMarco Murray.
The Sooners offense is going to boom the Jayhawks back to the old days of when they didn't have a football team.
Week Eight vs. Texas Tech
Kansas comes home to homecoming week, where they will play the Red Raiders. The Jayhawks will come out strong and probably take an early lead, looking for an easy win after their two tough losses. But Tech will come out fighting and give the Jayhawks a run for their money.
Texas Tech is a quality team that you can't write off. Last year the Red Raiders handed No. 3-ranked Oklahoma one of its two losses, played with No. 15 Texas and lost by six, and played in a New Year's Day bowl game, beating Virginia who was ranked 20th at the time.
They also led the NCAA in passing offense, averaging 470.3 yards per game, and led the NCAA in total offense, averaging 529.6 per game. This is a team that can play.
With Kansas coming off a tough physical loss to Oklahoma against the Sooners' power football style, and with their weak secondary, Kansas will let Texas Tech back into the game and won't be able to keep up late in the game. Plus Tech holds a 9-1 advantage over the Jayhawks.
Week Nine vs. Kansas State
There is light at the end of the tunnel for the Jayhawks. State rival Kansas State comes into town bringing their power towels and looking to chomp on some Jayhawk.
The reality is that this game might be Kansas' easiest conference game this year. K-State is going to come into Lawrence after being trounced by the Boomer Sooners.
K-State, much like Kansas will against Texas Tech, come into the game beat. The one factor that could carry the Wildcats to victory is the fact it's a rival game, but the likelihood of that is slim. Plus Kansas will be looking for a win.
Week Ten @ Nebraska
I hate to say it, but this game is the toughest game for me to call. Nebraska left us with a lot of questions at the end of last season, and so far none of them have really been answered. Coming into the 2008-09 season, we have no idea what Nebraska will bring to the table, besides the fact that they're Nebraska and they live football.
The only things Kansas has against them in this game are the fact that it's in Lincoln and Nebraska's reputation, which we can't hold them to. Kansas takes their final win for the season in Lincoln.
Week Eleven vs. Texas
Texas, who posted a 10-3 record last year, is looking to regain their Big 12 South title and will be looking to do so this year. To do so, they will need to improve their defense, which ranked 56th overall in total defense and 76th in points allowed.
During the off-season the Longhorns acquired Auburn's defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, who will hopefully boost the Longhorns defense. Auburn finished last year 11th in total defense and 16th in points allowed.
With this change Texas will be a new and improved team, and Kansas might find themselves struggling like they did vs. Oklahoma.
Week Twelve vs. Missouri
Welcome to the Border War! This will be the last time these two teams will meet in Kansas City, and well, it won't mean as much as it did last year.
A couple of things will be different this time around. For one, Kansas is the home team, which really doesn't mean much besides that that they will be rocking the blue or the red jerseys.
More importantly, Missouri will come into this game undefeated or with one loss—they will also be ranked in the top five in the nation.
Also, the Tigers have their high-powered offense back on the field, which will be led by senior quarterback and Heisman trophy candidate Chase Daniel, with the support of Jeremy Maclin, Chase Coffman, and Denario Alexander.
On defense the Tigers have several key players returning such as Van Alexander, Castine Bridges, William Moore, and Sean Weatherspoon.
The Missouri offense will be too hot for the Kansas defense to handle this year, even with several returning starters for Kansas. Todd Reesing will have to step it up to lead the Jayhawks offense against the Tigers' vicious defense, which left Reesing eating a face full of grass in the end zone.
Kansas is in an interesting spot this year. With several key starters returning, their star corner Aqib Talib gone to the draft, and a harder schedule, I just don't see Kansas producing like they did last year.
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