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August 16, 2010

Players don't buy into predictions

All you have to do is pick up a preseason college football magazine at the newsstand or see all of the Big 12 predictions released on the Internet.

Whether it is an overall team prediction or a breakdown by position it appears the 2010 Jayhawks are getting little notice.

Many of the players don't have a problem with it because it once you kick off the season all of those predictions don't mean a thing.

Senior wide Johnathan Wilson recalls a year ago when a lot of the media was picking the Jayhawks to win the north.

"It's crazy how the tables can turn," Wilson said. "At this time last year our expectations were sky-high and we were picked to all of these great things. I think we might have let some of that go to our heads as players. Now we are the underdog and nobody is picking us to do anything. I think that's a good thing and we will use it as motivation to win games. I think we are going to surprise a lot of people."

In 2007 the Jayhawks weren't expected to make much noise and they won 12 games including the Orange Bowl. Greg Brown agrees with Wilson and remembers where the team was picked going into 2009. Brown doesn't put much stock into the talk.

"We're going to surprise a lot of people," Brown said. "A lot of people on the defense are out there making plays. Look at last year we were ranked before and you saw where we finished. I think the pre-season rankings are just politics."

One way to show progress in Turner Gill's first season would be a bowl appearance to prove some of the early prognosticators wrong. A recent position list had the Jayhawks near the bottom of several categories.

The players don't believe what they read. They are the ones going through practice and many of them said they will use it as motivation to prove the Kansas program is back on track.

"We can't worry about what people say," said defensive lineman John Williams. "We expect to have a good defense as a whole and that's the way you have to think if plan on winning games. I want to go a bowl game and I know the rest of the team does and we'll be working definitely hard to get to that."



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