3 Biggest Questions Facing Kansas Head Coach Lance Leipold Ahead of Big 12 Media Days

    Coming off Kansas' first winning season since 2008, what questions will Jayhawks head coach Lance Leipold face at Big 12 Media Days?

    Over the last three years, Lance Leipold has turned the Kansas Jayhawks from a Big 12 punching bag to a heavy-weight contender. The previous four Kansas coaches combined for a 21-108 record over 11 seasons (2010-2020). After a 2-10 debut season with the Jayhawks in 2021, he has led Kansas to a 15-11 mark, including a winning record last year at 9-4.

    With elevated expectations ahead of the 2024 college footbll campaign as a result, what questions will Leipold face at Big 12 Media Days?

    Three Most Significant Questions for Lance Leipold at Big 12 Media Days

    1) Is Jalon Daniels Fully Healthy?

    Leipold guided the Jayhawks to their first winning season since 2008, and he did it with his star QB Jalon Daniels sidelined for most of the year.

    Daniels suffered a back injury last preseason that lingered throughout the year, limiting him to three appearances. In 2022, his first year as the full-time starter, he tossed for 2,018 yards, 18 touchdowns, and four interceptions while rushing for another 425 yards and seven scores.

    Daniels is the favorite to win Big 12 Player of the Year, but Leipold didn’t declare him fully cleared to play this spring, saying he resumed working out but not full contact. The Jayhawks have improved each season under Leipold and they’ll likely need Daniels to continue that trend.

    2) Can the Offense Replace Its Production After Losing OC Andy Kotelnicki?

    The Kansas Jayhawks won 16 games in the last three seasons after winning 16 over the previous nine years combined. One common denominator on Leipold’s staff during that time was OC Andy Kotelniciki, who brought a smorgasbord of versatility that combined a spread offense, pro-style, and even triple-option elements.

    “The Kotelnicki Offense” is now in Happy Valley, leaving Kansas with Baylor castoff Jeff Grimes and his run-heavy attack to take over the Jayhawks’ offense.

    3) Will Transfer Additions Improve the Defense?

    After finishing in the bottom half of the conference in scoring defense (26.5 points allowed per game) last year, the Jayhawks are returning five starters on defense while bringing in a handful of transfers, including Michigan State EDGE Bai Jobe and North Dakota State DL Javier Derritt.

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    Fourth-year DC Brian Borland needs to improve the Jayhawks’ defense if they want to contend for a Big 12 Championship, and a lot of that is the hands of additions from the transfer portal.

    Big 12 Media Days Schedule: Lance Leipold, Kansas Head Coach

    • Date: Wednesday, July 10
    • Time: 2:20 p.m. ET
    • How to watch: ESPN+

    With a healthy QB in tow and a relatively easy schedule (No. 56 on CFN’s Strength of Schedule), Leipold has the Jayhawks primed for a continued ascension, especially with the Big 12 hierarchy in flux after Texas and Oklahoma left for the SEC.

    Capitalizing this season is paramount for Kansas, as the conference is littered with talented teams looking to plant their flag on its summit.

    College Football Network has you covered with the latest news and analysis, rankings, transfer portal information, top 10 returning players, the 2024 college football season schedule, and much more!

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