Saturday afternoon the Kansas Jayhawks will take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys in Stillwater Oklahoma in a game that could get ugly. The good news is that no one will see it if it does because unfortunately the only folks that will get to watch this one will be in the stands.
It's a bad sign when your team starts to get passed over for one of the television slots allotted to the Big 12 each week and that's exactly where the Jayhawks stand entering the fifth game of the season. But sitting at 2-2, why the frustration and discouragement? It's pretty simple really, Kansas has the worst defense in collegiate football. The Jayhawks are ranked no higher than 118th overall in run defense, pass defense, overall defense and scoring defense. Despite ALL the positives on the offensive end, that level of defensive struggle is going to make for a challenging road in the Big 12.
This week it's Oklahoma State and one of the most potent offensive attacks in the country. Brandon Weeden, Joseph Randle and Justin Blackmon lead a Cowboy offense that ranks 3rd nationally from a production standpoint and 6th from a scoring standpoint. The Cowboys are coming off of a big comeback win over Texas A&M and currently sit poised to challenge for the Big 12 conference title.
Kansas on the other hand is building. There is no doubt that Turner Gill has taken the team from year one to year two and improved in some aspects. Offensively Gill and his staff were able to recruit to their system and to date they have established an offensive identity. An influx in young talent has also helped solidify a shaky special teams unit from a year ago which is also a step in the right direction.
Where things still need to progress and where the mismatch comes into play this weekend is on the defensive side of the ball where Kansas just hasn't shown much of anything. The challenge in Stillwater will be keeping this game close. If the Kansas defense can provide more resistance than they have in the last two game there is a chance that the Kansas offense can keep pace. You aren't likely to find many believers when talking upset in this one, but heading into the 5th game of the year one has to hope for progress to start showing if it's going to happen this year.