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Key stretch: Kansas

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    [​IMG]The next in our series examining the stretch of games that will make or break each team's season.

    Now at bat: The Jayhawks of Lawrence.

    [​IMG]The stretch: Kansas State (Oct. 14), Texas A&M (Oct. 23), at Iowa State (Oct. 30) and Colorado (Nov. 6)

    The breakdown: As my power rankings suggest, there's just not a team in the Big 12 I'd feel comfortable picking Kansas to beat right now. That said, this stretch offers the Jayhawks three of their best opportunities.

    I'm a firm believer in the "anything can happen" sentiment of rivalry games. Kansas better be, too, because Kansas State is clearly the better team heading into this year's Sunflower Showdown. But as it stands in Week 2, the book on Kansas State is a short one: Stop Daniel Thomas and you stop the Wildcats. Maybe that changes by Oct. 14. Maybe it doesn't. But the Jayhawks can't expect to win if Thomas goes for 150 on them.

    Even at home, it would take winning the turnover battle by at least 3 or 4 for Kansas to beat Texas A&M. Simply put, they can't score enough to keep up. They'd need a lot of big plays on both sides of the ball, either from costly penalties or defensive breakdowns, along with a few timely fumbles or interceptions.

    I'd be surprised if an inexperienced Kansas team wins a game on the road this season, but Iowa State provides the Jayhawks their best opportunity outside of a nationally televised Friday night game against Southern Miss. An early-season game at Baylor is another good shot, but the Bears will take advantage of every game they're favored in this year -- including Kansas. Maybe by this time, Kansas will know who it can count on to move the ball and make a play when they need it.

    Colorado is definitely the best bet for a win in this stretch. The Buffaloes have struggled on the road under Dan Hawkins, winning just two road games in four years, but this is not the Kansas team Hawkins has faced for his tenure in the Big 12. The Buffs are getting better, and will need to take advantage of this game to keep hopes of a bowl berth alive.

    The prediction: 0-4

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