Under then-coach Les Miles, the Kansas football team finished 0-9 in the shortened 2020 season, with one game vs. Texas canceled due to COVID issues. The lone game the Jayhawks lost by fewer than 15 points was what would prove to be their season finale, 16-13 on Dec. 5 at Texas Tech. DraftKings is the first sportsbook to have released 2021 college football win totals, and KU under new coach Lance Leipold has an Over/Under of just 1.0 victory, which is by far the fewest of an Power 5 school and also fewest in the country overall (a few Group of 5 schools are set at 1.5 victories).
Miles and Kansas parted ways in March just after days after Miles was placed on administrative leave amid sexual misconduct allegations from his tenure at LSU. Miles was 3-18 in his two seasons at Kansas. Athletic director Jeff Long eventually followed him out the door.
Most agree that the basketball-first school and first-time athletic director Travis Goff did very well in landing Leipold from Buffalo, where he was a two-time Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year. He led the Bulls to three consecutive bowl appearances, going 24-10 since 2018. Before that, he was an incredible 109-6 at Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater, leading that school to six national titles.
It's rather difficult these days to keep track of how returning talent at a certain program with players now transferring left and right. Back in February, ESPN had ranked Kansas 84th nationally in returning production from 2020 with a total of 64 percent – which doesn't include simply starters.
Who will be KU's quarterback? That's one big question for fall camp. In the spring game, Miles Kendrick started the first possession and Jalon Daniels the second, but neither played very well. They essentially split time last regular season. The defense dominated the spring game in forcing six sacks, 21 tackles-for-loss and three interceptions.
Former North Texas QB Jason Bean will be joining KU as a transfer this summer and should be in the starting mix. Bean started in seven of the Mean Green's 10 games as a redshirt sophomore last year and completed 54.5 percent of his passes for 1,131 yards, 14 TDs and five picks, while rushing for 346 yards and five scores.
So why do oddsmakers give KU the Over/Under of 1.0 wins (Over is -139 favorite)? Because the Jayhawks likely will be favored only in the season opener at home Sept. 3 vs. FCS school South Dakota. The last time KU opened at home vs. an FCS school was 2019 and it barely escaped vs. Indiana State, 24-17. The year before, Kansas lost to Nicholls.
The other non-conference games are Sept. 10 at Coastal Carolina (which won 38-23 in Lawrence last year) and Sept. 25 at Duke. The lone realistic Big 12 victory for Kansas might be home Oct. 16 vs. Texas Tech. The last time KU finished with exactly one victory was at 1-11 in 2017 under David Beaty.
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