Originally posted by ISUonthemove: We (ISU) feel like our offense will definately surprise a lot of people. The weak spot may be the OL, with the exception of a couple studs. The defense, again, is where we will struggle. We have phenomenal young talent at our CB spots. The safety positions need to step up. Juco David Sims, former OU signee, hopefully is an answer back there. The DL is a big question mark. Good young talent, but definately unproven. LB is without a doubt the weakest spot on the team.
Prediction: Chance to win 7 games, but likely getting 4-5 wins. I hope.
Not to be a jerk, but I think Kansas might be the overrated team in the North. I love Reesing, Meier and Sharp (heard rumors about Briscoe not being eligible?) but I'm not sure that's enough to carry them to a North title? I think they lost the heart and soul of their defense with the LB corp leaving. Didn't they lose 3 OL also?
The North may be as weak as it's been in a long time.
We return our DL and Secondary. We just have to replace our linebackers. So, we should be improved on the line and secondary. Our linebackers were often a weak spot for our defense last year despite being veterans. We dealt with a ton of injuries. Rivera was injured and missed some time, and even when he came back he wasn't 100%. Mortenson was recovering from an ACL tear and never was 100% and it showed. Holt was a stud all year. This year our linebackers will be less experienced, but not completely inexperienced. Arist Wright started in place of Rivera when he was injured, and they split the snaps about 50/50 after he came back. Mortenson was being spelled by Justin Springer, and towards the middle of the season Springer was taking a lot of Mortenson's snaps. Springer tore his ACL though and Mort played without a backup the rest of the year. So, Springer(assuming he's fully recovered from the ACL injury) And Wright both have a lot of talent and experience. Drew Dudley is a young linebacker who's got some experience as well. Angus Quigley is making the switch to linebacker, and talent and physical development definitely won't be an issue with him, just experience. We also have other guys who've played and we have incoming freshmen who look good. I will say this though, our younger linebackers are more suited to defend the spread than our seniors were, and we're switching to a 4-2-5 base defense to help defend the spread. We only need 2 solid linebackers(and decent depth), and we've got plenty of talent on roster to do so.
As far as our OLINE goes. Our LT is making the move to Center, his natural position. Our new LT is a TE/DE guy switching to LT. He's got the size and the athletic ability, he just needs the know-how. We've heard he's a quick learner. Mangino's evidently impressed with him and Wolf that he's moving last year's LT(Hatch) to Center despite the fact that we've already got a guy at Center who was more than capable of playing Center, showing me that the move is not made out of desperation. Our RT is the same guy as last year. Our guards will be a battle between Sal Capra, Carl Wilson, Trevor Marrongelli, John Williams, Ben Lueken, and a transfer kid from Wisconsin(can't think of his name right now). Sal Capra and Carl Wilson both played a lot of snaps last year. Capra played the entire Missouri game I believe(didn't seem to hurt us there). The kid from Wisconsin, and Ben Lueken both played last year. Ben played as a true freshmen, which I believe makes him the only true freshmen offensive linemen that's seen the field under Mangino. Ben can also play Tackle though as he's huge and athletic. So, there is plenty of experience to play those 2 spots. John Williams is a Redshirt freshmen though that may earn a starting job this year despite never having seen the field yet(injury last year). If Big John wins a starting Guard spot it won't be because KU doesn't have experience at that position, it'll be because he's one of the most talented linemen Mangino has ever signed. He'd be at OU right now if he hadn't suffered an injury after his Junior Year in high school.
Basically, KU's OL has more returning experience than it did last year. Last year we returned our entire interior, but both our tackles were guys who'd never played. This year we return both tackles(though one's moving to center) and we have several other players who've seen extensive action. Only one guy will come in Raw, but if he doesn't learn fast enough, his backup is a 4 year veteran, not exactly chopped liver.
As for Briscoe being ineligible. Just an internet rumor so far. And even if it's true, it's only June. He can take classes this summer(which he is) and regain his eligibility before Fall. I think you'd be surprised how many players do this, you have a few on your own roster.