Monday Notebook: Week One Preview, Mitchell Robinson, and the Fight

Fall is among us. Hoodies, cooler weather, changing colors… and football! It’s finally time to talk about some actual football games. Let’s get it started!

1. KU vs. Southeast Missouri State Game Preview!

That’s right everybody, it’s game week! The Redhawks will take on the Jayhawks in week one from Memorial Stadium. SE Mizzou State went 3-8 last season beating Murray State, Eastern Illinois, and Austin Peay. KU went 2-10 beating Rhode Island and (quite famously) Texas. The Redhawks lost eight games last season but six of them were one-possession contests. They also return their starting quarterback in Jesse Hosket and leading receiver in Kristian Wilkerson from 2016.

One thing I really want to see Kansas do in this game is move the ball consistently on offense. The biggest reason they were bad last season was an inability to get first downs and score points in big spots. If the Jayhawks can do that in this game and the rest of the season, they should be in decent shape. I don’t know if anyone has been as high on the future of Kansas football in the last few years than I have. They can do it people. They really can. Prediction: KU wins 45-21. 

2. Games to watch in week one

Florida vs Michigan, Saturday at 2:30: This is going to be a good one. Michigan was two wins away from the CFP last season, but the Wolverines now have to replace more than ten starters coming into this year. Florida had a surprisingly good 10-2 season in Jim McElwain’s second season as head coach. These are two teams that have outside shots at the Playoff. Prediction: Michigan wins 24-23. 

West Virginia vs Virginia Tech, Sunday at 6:30: Two good teams that are constantly underrated. WVU is a dark horse Big 12 contender. Don’t sleep on them. Virginia Tech has a great young head coach in Justin Fuente. They have a very bright future. Neither team is title contention but this is still a very intriguing boarder rivalry. Prediction: West Virginia wins 37-27

Tennessee vs Georgia Tech, Monday at 7:30: These teams are pretty much mirrors of each other in different conferences. They’re kind of uninteresting. They mostly underachieve. They play like, sixth fiddle, to better teams in the ACC and SEC respectively. Georgia Tech runs the triple option which is “fun” I guess. Man, I’m really hyping this game aren’t I? Anyway, power five teams throwing down in week one in a good thing. Prediction: Tennessee wins 34-17

Florida State vs Alabama, Saturday at 7:00: These are considered by some to be the two best teams in the country. I could pretend that I think this will be a great game. But I don’t think it will so I won’t. Alabama is that good in my opinion. They should be HEAVY favorites to win the title and should be 14 point favorites in this game. No disrespect to FSU, however, because they’re going to be fantastic moving forward. Prediction: Alabama wins 31-14. 

3. Mitchell Robinson is going to…

…Sit out a year. In the most anti-climactic news of the sports year, Mitchell Robinson will skip college and take a year to get ready for the 2018 NBA Draft. Dang. I have two differing opinions on this and I will present them one at a time. Here we go:

Opinion #1: This should not, under any circumstances, be allowed. You should have to play at least one year of college ball. So few players are ready right out of high school, and a college education is a really good thing to have, especially if you can get it for free. Mitchell Robinson is a good player. A really good player maybe. Is he ready for the NBA? I don’t think so. Will he be ready after NOT PLAYING for a year? Almost certainly not. 

Opinion #2: This is a good thing. It promotes player freedom. It lets players make money and support their families faster than they would if they went to college. And if you’re draft stock is already somewhat high, why risk having it drop by playing a year? Seems reasonable enough. I’m all for player freedom and personal expression in sports. (Go KD!)

So that’s where I’m at with Mitchell Robinson. Either way the NCAA needs to lighten up a little. Let the players do more of what they want while in school. If the NCAA would do this, Mitchell Robinson might be a Jayhawk right now.

4. Mayweather-McGregor was actually entertaining

Yes, I know this has nothing to do with Kansas but I don’t care. This fight was SO. HYPED. And you know what? It almost (almost) lived up to it. McGregor legitimately won the first two or three rounds. He landed some good shots. Mayweather, on the other hand, seemed a little bothered by the Irishman’s unusual style at first. Through eight rounds it was an even bout. In the ninth round, however, Floyd “Money” Mayweather started to dominate. McGregor looked exhausted too. In the tenth round, with McGregor on the ropes both figuratively and literally, the ref stopped the fight. Mayweather improved to 50-0 all time. Here’s to hoping McGregor will box literally anyone else ever again. 

Landen Fields is a contributor for Rock Chalk Blog. You can check out his archive here.