Kansas Football Picked To Finish Second In Big 12 North

July 23, 2009


For the second time in Big 12 Conference history and second year in a row, the Kansas football team has been picked to finish second in the league’s North division in the annual preseason football media poll.

The Jayhawks received 12 first-place votes and 164 total points to finish behind Nebraska, which earned 172 points and 17 first-place votes. Missouri was the only other team to receive a first-place vote in the North division, as the Tigers were picked by three media members and finished with 124 points.

Colorado (100 points), Kansas State (81) and Iowa State (33) rounded out the North division predictions.

Texas and Oklahoma each recorded 174 points to share the role of favorite in the South division. Texas received 17 first-place votes while the Sooners garnered the other 15. Oklahoma State (130 points), Texas Tech (89), Baylor (75) and Texas A&M (33) completed the South division listings.

Kansas matched its highest listing in the league’s preseason poll, as the Jayhawks were also picked second before the 2008 campaign. Prior to 2008 Kansas had never been ranked higher than fourth in the preseason poll. In 2007 KU was picked fourth and then tied Missouri for the division title in the regular season.

Kansas returns 41 letterwinners, including 18 starters from last year’s Insight Bowl Championship team. Among the returnees are six players who received All-Big 12 recognition a year ago.

Safety Darrell Stuckey was a first-team selection, while wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe was a second-team pick last year. Four returning Jayhawks earned honorable mention honors in 2008, including defensive tackle Caleb Blakesley, defensive end Jake Laptad, wide receiver Kerry Meier and running back Jake Sharp.

Kansas posted an 8-5 overall record and tied for third in the North division with its 4-4 conference mark last season. Missouri and Nebraska tied for the title with 5-3 conference records.

The Jayhawks ranked eighth in the NCAA in passing behind the exploits of quarterback Todd Reesing. His top targets from last year return in Briscoe and Meier. Nationally, Briscoe is second among returning players in receiving yards per game (108.23), while Meier is second among returning players in receptions per game (7.46).

Defensively, Kansas returns seven starters, including Darrell Stuckey, who was second on the team with 98 tackles and led the team with five interceptions last year.

The preseason All-Big 12 Team will be announced on Friday, July 24.

Kansas season and single-game ticket information for 2009 is available at www.kuathletics.com.

2009 Big 12 Football Media Preseason Poll

North Division

1. Nebraska (17) 172

2. Kansas (12) 164

3. Missouri (3) 124

4. Colorado 100

5. Kansas State 81

6. Iowa State 33

South Division

1. Texas (17) 174

1. Oklahoma (15) 174

3. Oklahoma State 130

4. Texas Tech 89

5. Baylor 75

6. Texas A&M 33

(NOTE: First-place votes in parentheses)