Big 12

A Letter from Bill Snyder is the Best Award in College Football

Kansas State's coach has been sending letters to opponents for decades
A Letter from Bill Snyder is the Best Award in College Football

Cody Kirby engineered a 99-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter of a game against Kansas State five years ago that might not be memorable to most. Kirby was the senior quarterback of Missouri State in a game his team lost by 24 points. The game, in the grand scheme of things, was forgettable.

Ranking the Big 12's 2015 Football Uniforms


#103 Kansas Jayhawks





HEAD COACH: David Beaty, First Year | OFF. COORDINATOR: Rob Likens | DEF. COORDINATOR: Clint Bowen, Kenny Perry

David Beaty was hired at Kansas because the Jayhawks know they need to recruit better. From the look of the worst roster in the Big 12, Beaty has a lot of work ahead of him. And with just five starters back, his only victories this fall may come on the recruiting trail.

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Previewing Kansas’ Offense in 2015 

The quarterback competition should be settled in the fall as new coach David Beaty and offensive coordinator Rob Likens seek to find the best fit for their new Air Raid offense. The incumbent is 5'10" senior Michael Cummings, who gave KU some much-needed consistency while starting the final seven games in 2014 and shared the Jayhawks’ Offensive Player of the Year award. Cummings, however, went down with a knee injury in the spring game in late April, and his availability for the fall is in doubt. Dual-threat Montell Cozart is back, and two true freshmen also should be in the mix: late find Carter Stanley and in-state talent Ryan Willis.

The running back position should be KU’s deepest position group. Top returning rusher Corey Avery was dismissed from the team in early June, but the Jayhawks return seniors De’Andre Mann and Taylor Cox. Two newcomers — junior college transfer Ke’aun Kinner and freshman Taylor Martin — also should provide KU with additional quickness.

KU’s offensive line will be rebuilding after losing three starters. Left tackle Jordan Shelley-Smith was one of the highlights of the offseason, as he added 34 pounds to get to 296 after making the full-time transition from tight end to offensive lineman.

The Jayhawks will be inexperienced at receiver, as their returners combined for just seven catches a season ago. Senior Tre’ Parmalee — son of longtime NFL running back Bernie — could provide some stability in the slot. KU also should have two reliable options at tight end in sophomore Ben Johnson and junior Kent Taylor, who was a top-ranked recruit out of high school.

Order a copy of Athlon's 2015 Big 12 College Football Preview, which includes an in-depth look at all 10 conference teams, features and predictions for the upcoming season.

Previewing Kansas’ Defense in 2015 

Beaty said early in spring practices that the strength of his team was its defensive line. KU does have some talent returning, starting with Ben Goodman, who will be asked to be more of a vocal leader. Former walk-on T.J. Semke is an assignment-sound player. Andrew Bolton was expected to give KU some potential at defensive tackle after an up-and-down junior season. However, Bolton left the team in July.

Linebackers coach Kevin Kane didn’t yet have the depth he was hoping for in spring practices, but he did feel confident about his top guys. However, Jake Love - one of Kansas' top contenders for All-Big 12 honors in 2015 - decided to retire in early June. Love's absence will be felt on a defense with just two returning starters. Oft-injured Schyler Miles has shown a natural awareness at middle linebacker, while Courtney Arnick has some versatility after posting 45 tackles a season ago.

The Jayhawks lost both starting cornerbacks and safeties from last season, meaning this year’s group will be a work in progress. At cornerback, KU’s most reliable player might be a newcomer, as Brandon Stewart impressed in spring practices while getting first-team reps. Juniors Fish Smithson, Bazie Bates IV and Greg Allen are the top candidates to play at safety.

Related: Athlon's 2015 College Football Rankings: No. 1 to 128

Previewing Kansas’ Specialists in 2015 

The Jayhawks have major questions following the graduation of All-Big 12 punter Trevor Pardula. Two-year kicker Matthew Wyman returns, though his 9-of-15 accuracy on field goals leaves room for improvement. At punter, Eric Kahn and Andrew Yoxall will compete to start with no kicks between them.

Final Analysis

Though Beaty hopes to start the process of rebuilding a winning football program in Lawrence, it definitely won’t be easy right away. The Jayhawks have suffered through a string of unsuccessful campaigns since an Orange Bowl victory in 2008 — KU has won a total of 12 games in its last five seasons — and this year’s roster seems as depleted as any in the last decade. Following the departure of a rash of junior college players — signed by previous coach Charlie Weis as he tried to quick-fix the program — KU’s numbers are down, and Beaty’s challenge in 2015 should be immense. 

The Debate

What Grade Does Kansas Get for Hiring David Beaty?

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Ranking the Big 12's Toughest College Football Schedules in 2015

Who has the toughest schedule in the Big 12 this fall?
Ranking the Big 12's Toughest College Football Schedules in 2015

When putting together Athlon Sports' college football magazine and preseason Top 25 each year, a huge part of the process is scheduling. Non-conference games, crossovers, home-road splits and timing all play a role in determining order of finish.


And don’t forget that the College Football Playoff Committee made it very clear in its first season that it values scheduling.


College Football 2015 Rankings and Predictions: #81-100

Athlon releases its 2015 ranks for No. 81-100.
College Football 2015 Rankings and Predictions: #81-100

The 2015 college football season is still a few months away, but it’s never too early to project how the upcoming year will play out on the field. Athlon Sports has released its top 25 for this season and continues the countdown to September with a look at the teams ranked No. 26-128.


Baylor Unveils New Gray Uniforms for 2015

The Bears have a new gray scheme.
Baylor Unveils New Gray Uniforms for 2015

Art Briles has transformed Baylor into one of college football’s top programs in recent years, and the Bears are expected to be one of the leading contenders for a spot in the four-team playoff this season.


And in the process of competing for the Big 12 title once again, Baylor will have a new set of gray uniforms for 2015.


The uniforms were tweeted by Briles on Friday morning and are a sharp design for the Bears. Needless to say, we like this scheme for Baylor:


Ranking College Football's Graduate Transfer QBs for 2015

Everett Golson is one of CFB's top transfers.
Ranking College Football's Graduate Transfer QBs for 2015

Transfers are a big part of any college football season. And over the last few seasons, graduate transfers have become a bigger part of the offseason player movement landscape.