Year Three of the Lance Leipold era in Lawrence kicks off this fall with bona fide expectations and a glimmer of hope after a surprisingly strong season in 2022.
Kansas was able to reach a bowl game for the first time since 2008 last year, going 6-7 overall, thanks in large part to the performance turned in by quarterback Jalon Daniels.
Daniels was superb when he was healthy, passing for 2,014 yards and 18 touchdowns (to four interceptions), while finishing second on the team in rushing yards (419 yards and seven scores).
Now, Daniels and Leipold are tasked with ensuring last fall wasn’t a one-hit wonder, facing a 12-game gauntlet that includes road games against Nevada, Texas, Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Cincinnati.
It appears Kansas sports betting oddsmakers aren’t riding high on Leipold and company’s chances.
BetMGM Sportsbook Kansas gives the Jayhawks +30000 title odds. Meanwhile, Caesars Sportsbook Kansas puts the Jayhawks’ Big-12 title chances at +4000, ranking ninth in the newly expanded conference.
Following the Jayhawks Spring Showcase on April 7, BetKansas.com broke down where the team stands entering the break before fall camp.
- Recruiting Ranking (247 Sports): 10th in Big 12 (14 commits)/73rd nationally
- Big 12 Odds (Caesars Sportsbook Kansas): +4000 (9th)
- National Title Odds (BetMGM Sportsbook Kansas): +30000
Jayhawks Still A Work In Progress
Despite last fall’s shocking 5-0 run to start the season, the Jayhawks enter 2023 as a longshot to capture the program’s first conference title in 16 years.
Most of that is likely due to the lack of luck players like Daniels have had in Lawrence, with the junior QB missing four of Kansas’ games in 2022 with a shoulder injury.
If Daniels stays healthy, Leipold should have as dynamic a backfield combo as any team in the nation, with junior running back Devin Neal returning after running for 1,090 yards and nine touchdowns.
Through two years with the program, Neal has wracked up more than 1,700 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns.
If fellow rising junior wideout Lawrence Arnold can build on his team-high 716 receiving yards and Neal can add a bit more of an impact in the passing game, then there’s no reason to believe KU will backslide.
In total, Kansas’ 12 opponents posted a .532 winning percentage a year ago, with in-state rival Kansas State being the only foe with double-digit victories.
Conversely, the only opponents with a sub-.500 record KU will face this fall are Missouri State (5-6 in FCS play), Nevada (2-10), Oklahoma (6-7) and Iowa State (4-8).
Leipold will likely have to learn heavily on returnees for success in 2023, with KU finishing the year with the 10th-ranked recruiting class in the Big 12 (per 247 Sports) and the 73rd-ranked class nationally.
The games begin Aug. 31, when the Jayhawks host FCS squad Missouri State at Booth Memorial Stadium. And BetKansas.com will provide plenty of Kansas sportsbook promotions for those wanting in on the action.
KU 2023 Football Schedule
- Aug. 31: Missouri State (5-6 in FCS)
- Sept. 9: Illinois (8-5 in Big 10)
- Sept. 16: at Nevada-Reno (2-10 in MWC)
- Sept 23: BYU (8-5 as independent)
- Sept. 30: at Texas (8-5 in B12)
- Oct. 7: UCF (9-5 in AAC)
- Oct. 14: at Oklahoma State (7-6 in B12)
- Oct. 21: Oklahoma (6-7 in B12)
- Nov. 4: at Iowa State (4-8 in B12)
- Nov. 11: Texas Tech (8-5 in B12)
- Nov. 18: Kansas State (10-4 in B12)
- Nov. 25: at Cincinnati (9-4 in AAC)
- Total 2022 Record: 84-74 (.532)