KU a good bet to win Big 12 North?

Now I'm not saying KU has a great chance of winning the Big 12 North this year in football, but I do think their chances are better than most people suspect, which is what makes them a good bet. I submit for your consideration:

If you're the nervous type, you might want to steer clear of the Big XII North this season. This division title fight is shaping up to be the most vicious battle in college football that will likely be decided on the final day of the regular season for the second straight year.

Iowa State, Colorado, Missouri, and Nebraska are all priced between +306 and +333 at Pinnaclesports.com, though Kansas State has an outside shot at +600 and Kansas is completely undervalued at +1500.

Here's their inside analysis of KU.

The Jayhawks may not just be the most overlooked team in the Big XII, they may be the most overlooked team in college football this season. That is, if they can find a starting running back, replace some receivers lost to graduation, and manage to keep the quarterbacks healthy.

A lot of ifs, but one thing that should happen is the Jayhawks should win at least five games this season – the number of victories oddsmakers have set as their season over/under.

Kansas owns a bruising defense that features a trio of starting senior linebackers. That should help them at least keep games close and a cupcake schedule to start the season could see the Jayhawks open with three wins against Florida Atlantic, Appalachian State, and Louisiana Tech.

However, putting points on the board will be a challenge. Kansas booted projected starting running back John Randle off the team after he was arrested for the fourth time since entering college. That leaves a handful of largely untested rushers to fill the void. Might make the Jayhawks a solid under bet this season.

Covers.com's prediction: 6-5 overall, 8-3 ATS

KU should surprise some at running back, I think. And From Mangino's media day remarks, especially about the running game:

"On the first day of practice it was a concern. The running game is one of the areas that is probably improving the fastest on offense. Clark Green has looked pretty good. He's a good solid player, a work horse. I'm really fired up about Jon Cornish. Jon is finally catching on here and maturing. He's a great kid. We had a talk after spring ball. I wasn't sure how focused he had been. He realized that it was time for him to make a contribution. He told me, `You guys take American football pretty seriously.' I was glad he caught on. He looks quicker, more explosive. He has good vision. He is one of the best conditioned guys we have. He is having a big camp to date. He could be a factor for us. Gary Green is doing a good job. He put on some weight and increased his foot speed. He's going to have an impact too."

I have a feeling about Cornish. Don't be surprised if you're pleasantly surprised by him this year.

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