Look, I’ve been high on Kansas Football since the summer… if “high” means I thought they’d win over 2.5 regular-season games. That was one of my favorite preseason win total value bets back at the beginning of the summer (along with Vanderbilt, who also already went over their 2.5-game total). Coach Lance Leipold has this Jayhawks program on the rise and it all starts with quarterback Jalon Daniels, who still has 66/1 odds to win the Heisman at PointsBet.
The junior has been simply sensational to start the year, amassing 16 total touchdowns (11 passing, 5 rushing) while leading his team to a perfect 5-0 start with wins over Tennessee Tech, West Virginia, Houston, Duke and Iowa State. Completing 68.2% of his passes for 983 yards, 11 touchdowns and a single interception, he’s taken care of the football and been a legitimate dual threat, racking up 329 yards (7.2 yards per carry) with five more scores on the ground.
In other words, the dude has done it all and put the program on his back.
Kansas has a daunting Big 12 schedule ahead of them, starting with this week’s matchup against No. 17 TCU this week, followed by games against Oklahoma, Baylor, No. 7 Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Texas and No. 20 Kansas State. However, who’s to say that the Jayhawks can’t compete with the aforementioned programs right now? They have an innovative offense that’s incredibly difficult to prepare for and Daniels is attracting some national attention for his play. In fact, ESPN’s College Gameday is making their first-ever trip to Lawrence for this weekend’s game against TCU.
In ESPN’s Total QBR advanced metric (which is all-encompassing), Daniels (95.6) ranks as the top quarterback in the country, ahead of Ohio State star and Heisman favorite C.J. Stroud (93.7). This speaks to his efficiency as a passer, rusher and point producer and factors in a number of important data points that measure how complete a quarterback is. For comparison’s sake, Bryce Young won the Heisman with an 87.6 Total QBR last season.
There’s still a lot of time to go and Daniels won’t win the highest individual honor if Kansas isn’t at least nationally ranked at season’s end. However, there are plenty of opportunities ahead and enough early-season production to suggest that this could be the time to buy low on a talented athlete who plays for an up-and-coming program.
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