ESPN analyst thinks less of Kansas football offense than most Jayhawks fans do

Is this a fair landing spot for Kansas football?
Kansas athletic director Travis Goff talks with coach Lance Leipold following Friday's Spring Showcase
Kansas athletic director Travis Goff talks with coach Lance Leipold following Friday's Spring Showcase / Evert Nelson/The Capital-Journal / USA

The Kansas football offense has flourished over the past two seasons, averaging 35.6 and 34.8 points per game in 2022 and 2024, respectively. QBs Jalon Daniels and Jason Bean helped orchestrate a high-flying passing offense, while star RB Devin Neal and a strong offensive line have anchored one of the best rushing attacks in the country.

There are often concerns on the defensive end for HC Lance Leipold's squad, but they rarely have trouble putting points on the board at full health. Going into the 2024 season, Daniels, Neal, and the top three wideouts on the roster are returning to KU. However, ESPN analyst Adam Rittenberg is less optimistic about the future of the Jayhawks' offense in his CFB future offense power rankings.

Kansas football lands at No. 20 in ESPN's CFB future offense power rankings

"After a nine-win season in 2023, Kansas has its sights set on a Big 12 title push. To do so, the Jayhawks must ride an offense featuring plenty of familiar names but bringing in a new play-caller in Jeff Grimes from Baylor. The unit has more questions after 2023, while the major short-term unknown is the health of quarterback Jalon Daniels, limited to just three games last fall because of a back injury. When healthy, Daniels is one of the nation's most explosive quarterbacks and can propel a Jayhawks offense that returns veteran running backs Devin Neal and Daniel Hishaw Jr., as well as an excellent receiving corps of seniors Lawrence Arnold, Quentin Skinner and Luke Grimm. A Daniels-led offense could be one of the nation's best this fall, although Kansas will have a lot to replace in 2025 and 2026."

Adam Rittenberg, ESPN

Some of Rittenberg's talking points include OC Andy Kotelnicki leaving for the Penn State job and the uncertainty surrounding the future of the roster. Daniels' injury history is also an issue after he appeared in just three contests in the previous campaign due to a recurring back injury. But does this justify ranking one of the most electric offenses in the country under Miami, Mizzou, SMU, and Penn State?

Daniels might depart for the NFL Draft after this season, but KU still has a bright future under center. 3-star QB recruits Isaiah Marshall and David McComb are much higher-rated than Daniels was out of high school, and either could be the signal-caller of the future in Lawrence. Leipold could also utilize the transfer portal for a stop-gap until they fully develop.

Filling the voids of Neal and WRs like Lawrence Arnold and Luke Grimm will be difficult for the coaching staff. However, Leipold and Co. have given Jayhawk fans no reason to not trust what they are doing. Most KU supporters would agree that the offense should be ranked higher than No. 20 on this list.