Duke v Kansas
Getty Images

The Kansas Jayhawks are a good football team. They aren't supposed to be, but they are. I've been yelling it from the mountaintop for weeks, but few are listening, and that includes AP Top 25 voters.

Kansas defeated previously unbeaten Duke 35-27 on Saturday to improve to 4-0, giving the Jayhawks two wins over Power Five opponents (West Virginia being the other). They've also defeated Houston on the road, so not many of the others can claim that same kind of resume. In fact, of the 21 undefeated teams remaining, only 12 (including Kansas) have two wins against Power Five opponents. Of those 12 teams, only three have also won two road games: Kansas, USC and Penn State.

USC is ranked No. 6 in the AP Top 25 this week. Penn State is No. 11. Kansas? Kansas is receiving votes. Again: Kansas is a good football team but it isn't supposed to be -- and it's that supposed to be part that gets them here. The Jayhawks are an excellent test case to show some of the flaws in the voting process for the polls.

I won't debate how voters should put their ballots together. Some stress how they think a team will do going forward and where they'll finish (a predictive poll), while other voters respond more to what they've seen (reactive). Some use a blend of the two methods. There is no wrong approach because polls are a survey of opinions, not a collection of facts. The problem is too many voters don't reassess things weekly. It's not entirely their fault because voters face deadlines to get their ballot in, and it's hard to do your job Saturday only to turn around and evaluate the entire country before submitting your ballot on Sunday morning. 

What this leads to is a sliding scale of sorts. Team wins? Move 'em up! Team loses? Slide 'em down, or maybe remove them entirely. Then after evaluating the teams you had on your ballot last week, count the holes, look to see who else had a big win this weekend and fill the cracks with their name. Bang, you have your ballot.

That's why USC and Penn State are ranked but Kansas is not. Penn State, however, provides another excellent example of how expectations and biases impact the process. USC began the season at No. 14 in the preseason AP poll and has moved up with every win. Penn State wasn't ranked rather  it was receiving votes -- like Kansas currently.

But Penn State has been good before and will likely be good again. So when it wins games, voters assume it's good and put it on their ballot. So the Nittany Lions go from No. 29 in the preseason to No. 11 after a 4-0 start. Kansas is not supposed to be good. The Jayhawks haven't finished a season with a winning record since 2008 or appeared in an AP Poll since 2009. So when the Jayhawks have an identical start to their season as Penn State, it's not enough. They have to prove even more.

It drives me insane because if you take Kansas' resume and slap Penn State's logo on it, or an SEC team like Ole Miss (which has a weaker overall resume than Kansas right now and is No. 14), it's a top-15 team at worst. But Kansas doesn't have those logos. It has the Kansas logo, and that's just not good enough for voters who don't have the time to do the research required.

Don't worry because I've done the research for you. Believe me, I understand skepticism surrounding the Jayhawks, but they're not 4-0 by accident. In fact, the four wins they've already picked up give them more wins in a single season than they've had in any since 2009. If they win any of their eight remaining Big 12 games, they'll have won two conference games in a season for the first time since 2008. I'm highly confident they will because they have an offense that's explosive and scores a lot of points. Just look where it ranks in the Big 12, and nationally, in some key areas.

StatBig 12 RankNational Rank

Yards per Play



Success Rate



Points per Possession



Explosive Play Rate



Red Zone TD Rate



Expected Points Added per Play



While I #BelieveInKansas, and you should too, there are limits to that belief. Just because Kansas is 4-0 right now and has earned every single win doesn't mean I expect it will go 12-0 or compete for a Big 12 title. There are a few too many flaws on the defensive side of the ball to #BelieveInKansas enough to think it's not going to lose a few games down the stretch. But it hasn't yet, and it deserves a lot more respect than it's getting.

The Kansas Jayhawks are a good football team. They aren't supposed to be, but they are. You'll have to learn how to accept that.

Fumble Return of the Week

While this is an incredible play on its own, there are smaller aspects to it that make it even better. First, rewatch the play but follow Demani Richardson the entire time. Tyreek Chappell had taken roughly three or four steps with the ball when Richardson decided that he was going to get the ball from him. The moment of realization is right here.


So not only is it a great play to watch unfold, but it's also an incredibly heads-up play by Richardson to realize what was happening so quickly and execute his plan to absolute perfection. The other incredible part of this fumble return? There were eight fumbles in the game, but this was the only one that resulted in a turnover of possession. I guess it was bangers only with turnovers in JerryWorld.

Superstar of the Week

Hendon Hooker wasn't a legit Heisman candidate before Week 4 for No. 8 Tennessee, he is now. Hooker threw for 349 yards, rushed for 112 and accounted for three total touchdowns in Tennessee's 38-33 win over Florida. The win ended Tennessee's five-game losing streak to their division rivals and established the Vols as the primary contender in the East behind Georgia. Now, I don't think the Vols have a realistic shot of winning the division (I'm sorry, but that defense and games remaining against Georgia and Alabama are significant obstacles to overcome), but it doesn't change the fact that Hooker is playing spectacular football.

Since the start of last season, Hooker has thrown for 4,138 yards while completing 69% of his passes for an average of 9.95 yards per attempt. More importantly, he's thrown 39 touchdowns to only three interceptions. He's rushed for an additional 788 yards and eight touchdowns. That's a lot of touchdowns with very few turnovers! Hooker's 13:1 TD/INT ratio is the best in the country by a mile in that span. Coastal Carolina's Grayson McCall is second at 9.5/1.

Facial Hair of the Week

Listen, I'm sure he's proud of it, but the time and effort that must go into that can't be worth it. It just can't.

Coaches of the Week

There are two coaches I want to spotlight this week. One got a win while the other lost, but both made decisions that improved their teams' chances of winning as underdogs. 

Joey McGuire: Congratulations to McGuire and Texas Tech for their 37-34 win over Texas. It's a massive win for a coach in his first season at a new school, and it's a direct result of McGuire and his staff's aggressiveness. Texas Tech went for it on fourth down eight times in the game, converting six attempts. Plenty of coaches understand that going for it on fourth down more often than is commonly accepted has proven to increase their team's chances of winning, but too many of them are scared of the consequences that come with failure. It's hard to blame them, considering the emotional volatility of boosters around the country. McGuire took the chances, his team rewarded him and together they won a huge game.

Billy Napier: The Florida coach took a similar approach but didn't get the result. Napier's plan in Knoxville was evident right away. Florida received the opening kickoff and went for it on 4th-and-1 at the its own 39 on the first drive. It converted to keep the drive alive but would fail to convert another fourth down -- this time at the Tennessee 20 -- later in the drive. Napier understood that his team wouldn't beat Tennessee on the road by playing the field position game and game-planned accordingly.

Florida went for it on fourth down six times in the game and converted five attempts. Simply put, the Gators wouldn't have been in a position to win this game had they not been so aggressive. They would've lost by two or three touchdowns.

Napier also showed excellent judgment late in the game when he opted to go for two with his team trailing 38-21. Montrell Johnson scored to cut Tennessee's lead to 38-27, but instead of kicking the extra point, Napier went for two to try and make it a 38-29 game. It didn't work, but it also didn't matter because his team was still down only two scores. Had it worked, Florida could've had a chance to win the game in regulation instead of likely trying to force overtime when down 10.

Napier understood that his defense was exhausted and knew extending the game wouldn't work to his advantage. He made decisions to give his team its best chance of winning. The Gators didn't get the result they wanted, but if you're a Florida fan, you should take comfort in the fact your coach understands game management and isn't afraid to do something unconventional.

Hit of the Week

I think Brutus was the only Buckeye to be tackled Saturday night.

Search Firm Advice of the Week

A Power Five coach has been fired following a loss each of the last three weeks. Nebraska canned Scott Frost first before Arizona State ousted Herm Edwards last week. This week, it was Georgia Tech's Geoff Collins' turn, as Collins was reportedly booted from the rumble seat after a 27-10 loss to UCF dropped his record at Tech to 10-28.

So, where does Georgia Tech go from here? There will be plenty of speculation about Deion Sanders, but I don't think that's the direction. Sure, Sanders would generate buzz (get it?) for the Yellow Jackets, but I don't know if he's what the program needs. We know Deion is an excellent recruiter, but we don't have the track record of Sanders being a program-builder -- which is exactly what Tech needs -- yet.

Recruiting is great, but unless you win games, you're not going to convince the kind of players you need to compete to come to Georgia Tech. Stricter academic requirements that limit your applicants pool make the job even more difficult.

What Georgia Tech should do is compromise on its recent past. The program got rid of Paul Johnson after he went 82-61 over 11 seasons with an ACC title and four division titles. The problem was Johnson ran a flexbone offense, and certain people involved with the program believed that to be a problem. Well, that's fine, but how's the transition to a more traditional offense working out for you?

If I'm Georgia Tech, I'm hiring Coastal Carolina's Jamey Chadwell. The offense he runs at Coastal is basically a modern version of the triple-option, and we've seen what Chadwell has built as that system powers the Chanticleers. The eastern Tennessee native is familiar with the area and has coached within Georgia Tech's regional footprint his entire career. There are no guarantees when hiring a football coach anywhere, but Chadwell is the best option for Georgia Tech.

College Football Playoff Projection of the Week

Here's what I think the Selection Committee would do this week if it were releasing rankings already.

  1. Georgia
  2. Ohio State
  3. Alabama
  4. Clemson

Honestly, there are roughly 10 different teams you could put at No. 4. After the top three, everybody else is nearly the same. 

Until the next Monday After!