80 Days: Way Too Early Predictions for Kansas Football in 2024, pt 3

We finish up our very early predictions for the 2024 season.
Nov 18, 2023; Provo, Utah, USA; Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Kody Epps (0) reacts to a play against the Oklahoma Sooners in the third quarter at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 18, 2023; Provo, Utah, USA; Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Kody Epps (0) reacts to a play against the Oklahoma Sooners in the third quarter at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports / Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
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Coming into the 2024 season, the Kansas Jayhawks are one of the favorites for a spot in Arlington for the Big 12 Championship. And in the first two installments of our Way Too Early Predictions, they have come out very well, amassing a 7-1 record. But will they be able to finish off a near-perfect season?

vs Iowa State (FPI: 47, SP+ 30)

The Jayhawks are riding a two-game winning streak over the Cyclones, something that you might be hard-pressed to believe if you followed these teams at any point in the last 10 years. The last two seasons saw multiple issues offensively for the Cyclones, and Kansas was able to take advantage both seasons.

But the defense is always stout in Ames, and there is no expectation that will change as long as Jon Heacock is running that defense. The big difference here is that despite the current questions, I expect the incoming talent for the front seven to have jelled for Kansas, and the offensive firepower will be too much. This will likely have the worst "home game" feel, as the Cyclone fans always travel well to Kansas City. But Kansas gets it done.

There is a lot of continuity and a ton of potential in the offense for TCU, but there is definitely a worry about the offensive line. It is an area that Kansas should be able to find a weakness, and talented skill position players can't do much if the line can't hold up. Give me a strong Jayhawk team hyped up by playing in Arrowhead for the first time.

Prediction: Kansas 27, Iowa State 20.

at BYU (FPI: 73, SP+ 67)

Heading to Provo late in the fall could be disastrous for your health as a team, especially if this gets slotted as a night game. But BYU has plenty of questions across the team, and there aren't immediate answers. Kedon Slovis had troubles in the passing game, but transfer Gerry Bohanon won't really be any better. But the running game has to improve, both from the quarterback and running back positions.

The Kansas defense should be able to hold down a struggling Cougars offense, but expect the altitude to take just a bit out of the Kansas offense. The Jayhawks have a big night from Neal on the ground, but otherwise this one is somewhat uneventful.

Prediction: Kansas 24, BYU 14

vs Colorado (FPI: 36, SP+ 69)

Primetime coming to Arrowhead. And there is a football game too. You can say what you want about the fanbase being excited with Deion Sanders coaching at the school, but there is still a LONG way for this team to go, and the bluster of their coach doesn't necessarily seem to be translating to the field.

On Senior Day, in front of the home crowd for the last time, Jalon Daniels, Cobee Bryant, Mello Dotson, Devin Neal and more go off. Kansas by a million.

Prediction: Kansas 49, Colorado 17

at Baylor (FPI: 55, SP+ 61)

Will the Bears be playing for Dave Aranda's job? Or will his fate already be sealed at this point. Kansas will likely need this game in order to make it to Arlington for the Big 12 Championship.

Baylor might have an opportunity to be a pretty good team this year, but that is far from a guarantee. And Kansas should have the firepower to win their final gme on the road for the second straight season.

Prediction: Kansas 38, Baylor 21

So in all, our way too early predictions have the Jayhawks finishing with an 11-1 record, including 10-1 in the conference. That should be plenty good enough to put them into the Big 12 Championship game, where they could face one of three opponents that they missed out on this season (Arizona, Utah and Oklahoma State) or a rematch against the lone team to beat them in Kansas State. And waiting after that will be a pretty good chance at the first ever College Football Playoff berth.

It's all achievable for the Jayhawks this season, which is a huge thing to think about given where this program was just a few years ago.


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Andy Mitts

ANDY MITTS

Andy Mitts is an alumnus of the University of Kansas, graduating in 2007. He previously covered the Jayhawks at Rock Chalk Talk and is now the editor-in-chief at Blue Wing Rising. He hosts the Kansas-themed Rock Chalk Podcast, and is VP of Membership of the Ten 12 Podcast Network. Follow him on Twitter @AndyMitts12.