Top 25 teams and games —
No. 14 Kansas Jayhawks


Published: Monday, June 16, 2008 at 11:03 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, June 16, 2008 at 11:03 p.m.

TEAM NO. 14 KANSAS JAYHAWKS

Todd Reesing
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Todd Reesing

Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing passes against Texas A&M in College Station, Texas in October.

AP

The buzz: It's going to be difficult for Kansas to duplicate last year's magical 12-1 season which culminated with a 24-21 win over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl. Nonetheless, the Jayhawks should

still be dangerous with six starters on offense and nine on defense returning.

Difference-maker: Quarterback Todd Reesing. A Heisman candidate as a sophomore last year, Reesing threw for 3,486 yards and 33 touchdowns. He threw just seven interceptions, fewest amongst starters in the Big 12.

The upside: The Jayhawks return nine starters from a defense that ranked fourth in the nation in scoring defense last year. With a trio of senior linebackers, including All-Big 12 selection Joe Mortensen, the Jayhawks defense should once again be stout.

The downside: Kansas will need to replace playmaking cornerback Aqib Talib, who was a first-round selection by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a year ago. Talib helped Kansas lead the nation in turnover margin (+21) by intercepting five passes and was named the Orange Bowl MVP.

Schedule factor: The Jayhawks took a little criticism due to a perceived weak strength of schedule last year. This year's slate isn't much tougher. The Jayhawks did manage to schedule a Sept. 12 game at South Florida, but otherwise face Florida International, Louisiana Tech and Sam Houston State at home.

GAME NO. 14 ALABAMA AT ARKANSAS

Where: Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, Ark.

When: Sept. 20

Why it's sexy: Arkansas' new boss Bobby Petrino will be making his SEC debut in what will be the SEC opener for both teams. Alabama head coach Nick Saban will be under some pressure to win this season after last year's 7-6 season.

Preseason buzz: This will be a rematch of last year's classic, which ended in a 41-38 Alabama win in the final moments in Tuscaloosa. While most people aren't expecting much from the Razorbacks in the post Darren McFadden and Felix Jones era, these teams always seem to play down to the wire.

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