For most teams in the country, fall camp is just starting. In Big 12 country, West Virginia got the ball rolling early, August 1st, with players reporting July 31st, as did Oklahoma and TCU. K-State and Oklahoma State aren’t too far behind, kicking off camp on August 2nd, with the players reporting the day before. Texas Tech and Texas gear up August 3rd. While, Baylor and Iowa State roll out August 5th. And Kansas? The Jayhawks are among the last in the nation to start camp. Practice begins the 8th, with the reporting date for players being the 7th. Few other teams start camp as late as KU, such as Memphis (American Athletic Conference) , having the same dates as KU, UTEP (Conference-USA), kicking off camp August 9th, and Stanford (Pacific Athletic Conference-12), arriving last to the college football party, starts their season with practice on August 12th. (The Jayhawks, Tigers, Miners, and Cardinal teams can get away with having later camp start up dates due to having a week one bye, starting with their season opening games September 7th.)
On July 31st, Quarterback Jake Heaps (@jtheaps9) tweeted: “1 week until fall camp starts! Cannot wait to begin the real work with my brothers! #FOE #RockChalkJayhawk”.
Regardless of how excited the players and staff are, camp is around the corner. Before they know it, the 2013-2014 season will be underway. The first practice with full pads is August 12th.
Some other dates to consider are:
KU Kickoff, in Prairie Village at Corinth Square: August 16th.
Fan Appreciation Day: August 17th. On Fan Appreciation Day, practice is open free of charge to the public from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
Professor Appreciation Day: August 22nd. On this day, practice is open to KU faculty.
KU Day at Kauffman Stadium: August 25th.
Season Kickoff vs. South Dakota: September 7th at 6:00 p.m.
The Jayhawks have a tough road ahead of them. Their schedule is daunting. They play four teams that were ranked in the top 25 Coaches Pre-Season Poll… and if it was top 26, it’d be five. (K-State was just out of the rankings.)
After the home opener against South Dakota…
September 14th: at Rice
September 21st: vs. Louisiana Tech
October 5th: vs. Texas Tech (Homecoming Game)
October 12th: at Texas Christian (Ranked 20th Pre-Season)
October 19th: vs. Oklahoma (Ranked 16th Pre-Season)
October 26th: vs. Baylor (received 80 votes in Pre-Season Poll)
November 2nd: at Texas (Ranked 15th Pre-Season)
November 9th: at Oklahoma State (Ranked 14th Pre-Season)
November 16th: vs. West Virginia
November 23rd: at Iowa State
November 30th: vs. Kansas State (received 113 votes in Pre-Season Poll)
In the words of Sendish during the Big 12 Media Days: “We understand that until we prove something on the field that they’re going to rate us how they rate us. We’re looking forward to producing.”
Looking ahead to that challenging schedule, Sendish is on the right track with his statement. It’s time for the Jayhawks to “produce”. Where else would a team want to produce their skill set? Of course, fall camp. The only thing a team predicted to finish last in the conference can do: is go up.