A new season for Kansas football gets one step closer with Big 12 Media Days this week.
David Beaty will speak to reporters in Frisco, Texas, on Monday morning. Along with him, the Jayhawks will send defensive end Dorance Armstrong, defensive tackle Daniel Wise, linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. and offensive lineman Hakeem Adeniji.
Here are the big questions and story lines Beaty will have to address this week.
Jayhawks trying to take the next step
Kansas took a step forward in 2016, winning two games and upsetting Texas for the first time since 1938. Now, the Jayhawks will try to build on that success. A tame nonconference schedule should give them a chance to improve on their win total, and they should improve enough to have a chance at another Big 12 win or two.
Will Peyton Bender bring some stability to the offense?
Former Washington State quarterback Peyton Bender is an ideal fit for Beaty’s Air Raid offense. And he has some great weapons in Steven Sims Jr. and LaQuvionte Gonzalez. After playing three different quarterbacks last year, Bender may finally offer some consistency for Kansas’ offense.
The Doug Meacham effect
Kansas should be much better on offense after adding TCU’s Doug Meacham as offensive coordinator. The Horned Frogs underwent an offensive renaissance after hiring Meacham in 2014. Plus, the addition of Meacham means Beaty doesn’t have to be responsible for calling plays any more.
Can the rest of the defense catch up to Dorance Armstrong and Daniel Wise?
The Jayhawks have two all-conference-caliber players in Armstrong and Wise. Kansas returns only five starters on defense this year, but those two lead a strong defensive line that might be able to cover up the unit’s deficiencies. The question is if the rest of the defense can give them any help.
David Beaty continues to build for the future
It’s a long road for Beaty to get Kansas back on track, but he’s making progress. His team showed improvement last year. He’s doing very well on the recruiting trail. And now he has alumni and fans investing in the program’s future. This season may be just another small step on that road, but the road is going somewhere.