Kansas Jayhawks

The Path for Kansas Football to Reach a Bowl Game in 2022

NCAA Football: Kansas at Texas

It’s a new year. Every team starts the season 0-0. The Kansas Jayhawks are looking to prove doubters wrong. Can they make enough progress to change the perception of their football program as a whole? That’s all part of the fun.

Tennessee Tech at Kansas, September 2nd

This is a must win for the Kansas Jayhawks. Tennessee Tech is an FCS school and one that doesn’t have a very good football program at that. They finished the 2021 season 3-8. While that may be a better record than Kansas had in 2021, they didn’t have to run through a tough Big 12 schedule.

Lance Leipold and the Jayhawks will be prepared and ready to make a statement in Week 1. I’m
taking the Jayhawks.

Kansas 42, Tenn Tech 14

 

Kansas at West Virginia, September 10th

Jumping into Big 12 play in Week 2 is tough. West Virginia has a lot of question marks heading into the season. The Mountaineers seem like a team that could get better as the season goes, but maybe not so much in week two. I’m predicting Kansas will “shock the world” in this matchup, putting them back on the college football map after a 2-0 start to the season. I don’t think Jalon Daniels will be on any early season Heisman watch lists or anything like that, but his play will lift the Jayhawks to a big road win at West Virginia!

Kansas 31, West Virginia 28

Kansas at Houston, September 17th

A future Big 12 opponent is on deck! This could be a fun road trip to Houston to check out a team that will be joining the conference next year. The Cougars are coming off a spectacular season. They went 12-2, narrowly losing to Cincinnati, a College Football Playoff team and another future Big 12 foe. They defeated Auburn in their bowl game to close the season.

If all goes according to plan, both teams will be 2-0 heading into this matchup. Houston is a preseason Top 25 team, so this will be a solid road test for KU. I don’t think the Jayhawks will have what it takes to pull off the upset in this one. Coming off a big road win at West Virginia the week prior, pulling off another big upset on back-to-back weeks would be a tall task.

Houston 34, Kansas 17

Duke at Kansas, September 24th

Two powerhouse programs — in basketball. They will meet later this fall on the court in the Champions Classic, but for now, they meet on the gridiron at David Booth Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, KS. According to a majority of experts, neither team is projected to be great this season, which makes for a very intriguing matchup.

It’s a home game for the Jayhawks, so I am leaning their direction in this one. Devin Neal goes wild for 150 yards and two touchdowns in a close victory.

Kansas 27, Duke 24

 

Iowa State at Kansas, October 1st

Iowa State is a program who saw a resurgence a couple of years ago under head coach Matt Campbell. Last year they were supposed to compete for the Big 12 championship and they fell way short of expectations. Maybe they are flying under the radar this season, but I don’t think anyone has them in that discussion as a top tier Big 12 team this year.

In recent years, KU has been an easy win on the schedule, but not anymore. Despite being 3-1 heading into this matchup, Iowa State will be thinking they can walk into Lawrence and pick up a W. Like the great Lee Corso says every week on ESPN’s College Gameday, “Not so fast my friend!”

Jalon Daniels is going to lead a game winning drive in the two minute drill to put the Jayhawks on top for good near the end of the game. Kansas is going to continue their surprise start to the season with another victory at home, this time over the Cyclones, and move to 4-1 on the year.

Kansas 24, Iowa State 20

TCU at Kansas, October 8th

For TCU, this game is set between their matchups against Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. That may not be significant to some, but those two teams are expected to compete for the Big 12 Championship.

Despite KU’s 4-1 record, once again, TCU is a team that could be overlooking the Jayhawks as they head into Lawrence for an early October matchup. TCU should be the better team, but Kansas will be riding high into this game. It will be another close one, which makes me lean toward the home team. The home atmosphere for the Jayhawks plays into their hands as the seats start filling in when the winning picks up. They will shock the world once again.

Kansas 34, TCU 30

Kansas at Oklahoma, October 15th

The streak ends here. After a three game winning streak, and a 3-0 start to the season, the Sooners will crush the Jayhawks hopes of clinching a bowl berth in mid-October. Oklahoma’s athleticism and play making ability win the day in this one. Despite a good effort from the Jayhawks, they will fall short.

Oklahoma 52, Kansas 21

 

Kansas at Baylor, October 22nd

The tough stretch of the schedule is in full-swing. Baylor, the defending Big 12 champion, is expected to be a contender again this season.

Kansas is a better football team now than they were before the season began, but they are still a bit down the totem pole from the top tier teams in the conference. This will be another road loss for the Jayhawks and Baylor will win big.

Baylor 49, Kansas 17

BYE

Oklahoma State at Kansas, November 5th

Oklahoma State is another team that is in the upper tier of the Big 12 with conference title hopes. Kansas will put up a good fight, coming off the bye week and getting the Cowboys at home. However, KU has a ways to go before they can jump into conversation with the Big 12 elite. Nonetheless, a solid effort here will fall just short in this early November matchup at home.

Oklahoma State 38, Kansas 31

Kansas at Texas Tech, November 12th

This is a game that could be closer than some will think heading into it. The Red Raiders won big in Lawrence last year and ended the season on a high note with a big bowl win over Mississippi State. The Jayhawks should be able to put up some points but will they have enough to stop the high flying Red Raider offense? I don’t think I can give them this road win in Lubbock this season.

Texas Tech 45, Kansas 28

Texas at Kansas, November 19th

All eyes will be on the rematch from last year’s shocker of the season. As many remember, Kansas pulled out the stunner in Austin, Texas and the Longhorns will be out for revenge this year in Lawrence, Kansas.

The Jayhawks, despite losing four in a row, will be confident in their ability to beat Texas for a second consecutive season. They are in the heads of the Longhorn Nation.

It will come down to defensive execution. Kansas has shown they can score points, so they’ll need to get stops. I think the Jayhawks will do just enough to win it on a walk-off field goal, giving the program their first bowl eligible season since 2009 and sending Lawrence, Kansas into a tizzy. They’ll be taking the goalposts to Mass Street after this win.

Kansas 38, Texas 35

Kansas at Kansas State, November 26th

It’s the Sunflower Showdown and The Governor’s Cup is on the line. KU leads the all-time series 65-41-5, but hasn’t won in the rivalry game since 2009. Now that the Jayhawks are riding high off the win over Texas and becoming bowl eligible, they don’t have any pressure in this game.

Kansas State could be a dark horse contender in the Big 12, and a spot in the Big 12 title game could be on the line for the Wildcats.

Could the Jayhawks snap their 13-game losing streak to the Wildcats this year? It is a possibility, but I wouldn’t call it likely this season. Kansas State is a step above their in-state rival and will continue their winning streak heading into 2023.

 

Kansas State 27, Kansas 17

Kansas will finish the season 6-6 and be bowl eligible for the first time since 2008 when they
beat Minnesota in the Insight Bowl.

I’m predicting Kansas will play in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. That game will be played on Thursday, December 22nd in Fort Worth, Texas at TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium at 6:30 p.m CST. It will be featured on one of ESPN’s stations.

The team that will be playing the Kansas Jayhawks? I’m predicting it will be the Navy Midshipmen.

The powers that be typically try to get a school that has a military tie into this bowl game, and that makes perfect sense considering the name of the Bowl. It could be Army, Air Force or Navy, but I’m predicting the Midshipmen will have a bounce back year and become bowl eligible again.

I think Kansas will win the game in a low scoring affair, 17-13. This would be the Jayhawks first
bowl victory, and first winning season, since 2008; they end the season with a final record of
7-6.

If these predictions come to fruition, head coach Lance Leipold will have officially turned things around in just two seasons in Lawrence. The Jayhawks’ football program will be back on the map as something other than a laughing stock or a miracle victory school.

The Kansas football program has a chance to get back on the right track in 2022 and exceed even the loftiest expectations. If getting three or four wins is seen as a success, this would be an absolutely best-case scenario and I think Jayhawk fans would be just fine with that.

Take a listen to our Heartland College Sports ‘Jayhawker Talker’ podcast below where I discuss the season in further detail.

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