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KU-Illinois, Jalon Daniels' Status, Fan Survey Results, an Announcement

The latest on Jalon Daniels + how you can get free Homefield Apparel gear

Announcing: KU Hearings x Homefield Apparel!

I’m so excited to announce an exclusive, year-long partnership with Homefield Apparel. I’ve been wearing Homefield’s KU gear since they launched their first Jayhawks line — and I absolutely love it.

Even more, Homefield does such a good job of representing the voice of a true college fan. There is no better partner for what we’re all building here together at KUHearings. I’m thrilled to have them be a part of it.

When KU scores, you get free gear 😯👕

And Homefield wanted to take it one stop further with the announcement. They’ve agreed to give away a KU shirt for each touchdown scored during today’s game to KUHearings subscribers.

So, if KU scores 5 touchdowns, then 5 subscribers will get a free shirt from Homefield. Let’s hope KU drops 50 and we give away a ton of gear!

In this Hearings newsletter:

  1. The latest on Jalon Daniels 🤞

  2. KU-Illinois: Betting Breakdown 💰

  3. KU fan survey results 🏈

Support The Hearings…by sending this to KU friends and fam.

EVERYTHING IN THIS NEWSLETTER IS BASED UPON WHAT I AM HEARING FROM PEOPLE I TRUST. PLEASE DO NOT MISTAKE THIS FOR FACT OR FOR ACTUAL JOURNALISM, WHICH HAS VERIFICATION STANDARDS THAT I HAVE NOT ADHERED TO. I DO NOT GUARANTEE THE ACCURACY OF THE CONTENT.

The Latest on Jalon Daniels 🤞

He’s back.

I’m Hearing Jalon Daniels is currently expected to start Friday night against Illinois.

On Thursday, Pete Thamel first reported Daniels is expected to play, but weirdly hedged out of saying who would start. KU insider Bryson Stricker took it a step further saying Daniels is starting, which is in line with what I’ve heard.

Unless something goes wrong in the next few hours, Daniels will be KU’s quarterback for the massive game.

I don’t think I need to tell any of you about the stakes of this game. A win here sets KU up for another magical start. A loss doesn’t derail the season, but it’ll make getting to the six-win mark a lot harder.

In the words of Bill Self, “We’ve got so much to gain.”

KU-Illinois: What Do the Odds Say About the Game?

This is in not betting advice. At all. This is about analyzing what betting odds movement could say about the upcoming game.

Opening Line: Kansas favored by 2 vs. Illinois

Current Line: Kansas favored by 3.5 vs. Illinois

My Take: Sometimes by tracking line movement and betting splits, you can get a feel for how “pro bettors” think a game will play out. I don’t see much significant action, but the line keeps moving in KU’s favor, which is generally a good sign.

I have seen some major movement on the over/under point total, which opened at 51.5 and is now up to 57.5. I don’t think any of us are surprised that pros are expecting points.

Autographed Football Winners 🙏

Congrats to Kenneth Hillman and Debby Ek for referring friends and earning their respective Lance Leipold and Jalon Daniels autographed footballs!

I’ll do my best to keep the giveaways coming. Check out last week’s football tickets winner 👇

Football Survey Results!

Before Week 1 kicked off, I sent out a 2023 Kansas football fan survey here via the newsletter. The response absolutely blew me away: There were more than 1,000 responses with 17,411 total votes. This is awesome.

Question 1: What’s your current satisfaction level with the Kansas football program?

Your take: 8

My take: 9

Takeaway: I was surprised to see 8 narrowly edge out 7 here. I figured it would be closer between 8 and 9. The takeaway here is that people are pretty damn happy with KU football right now, and I don’t think you could’ve said that anytime since 2009. They’re trying to build something that lasts, which won’t happen overnight.

Question 2: What statement best describes your thoughts on the stadium renovation renderings?

Your take: “This was as good as we can ask for as KU fans”

My take: “This was as good as we can ask for as KU fans”

Takeaway: The ONLY reason I didn’t say that I loved every bit of it is because of the remaining questions for the East and South sides of the stadium. I do think KU should get credit for being radically transparent with the plans. And I thought the designs for Phase 1 were excellent. Most of you agree.

Question 3: Rate the stadium renderings

Your take: 8

My take: 10

Takeaway: Again, your votes here indicate an optimistic view of the renderings. I think 8 makes a lot of sense from everyone. We’ll all need to see it in person to truly understand what they’ve (hopefully) pulled off. I’m just so glad to actually see it happening that I gave it a 10. We’ve waited for this for a long time.

Question 4: How concerned are you with KU football ticket sales, which are far away from selling out games

Your take: 7

My take: 7

Takeaway: Voting in that four-to-eight range is totally fair. I get why you’d land on a three or a nine as well. Ticket sales matter to KU. A lot. Which is why I landed on a 7.

I also understand that sustaining fan support and changing the culture around football is going to take time. I’m Hearing we still have some distance to go for selling this Illinois game out.

KU is getting closer, but we’re not there yet.

Question 5: Which of these records is KU most likely to have this season?

Your take: 7-5

My take: 7-5

Takeaway: Shout out to us, the Scoopsmafia/KU community, for being reasonable. The top two choices were 7-5 and 6-6, with 8-4 coming in third. I’ll definitely try to keep these expectations in mind as the season goes forward.

Question 6: Outside of Kansas State, what game are you most excited for?

Your take: Illinois

My take: Illinois

Takeaway: FRIDAY is the day. This game has the potential to really launch the Jayhawks into another start worthy of the national spotlight. I’m so fired up to see what (hopefully) Jalon Daniels and this offense can do.

I’m a bit surprised to see Oklahoma get more votes than Texas. Maybe it’s because KU fans have done the Texas thing before. Or maybe it’s because the OU game is at home, so it’s a real chance to stun the Sooners in our last meeting for the foreseeable future.

Question 7: What is your concern level for how KU’s defense will look this year?

Your take: 7

My take: 8

Takeaway: After one game, my answer remains 8. I’m worried what it’s gonna look like when Big 12 offenses air it out against the Jayhawks. At least we’re likely headed toward some really fun, high-scoring games.

Question 8: Rate Lance Leipold bringing in Sean Snyder as an assistant

Your take: 8

My take: 9

Takeaway: Your responses were spread out on this one, which I anticipated. It’s a fun move that trolls Kansas State and helps a special teams unit that needed it. Aside from bringing back, like, Mark Mangino, it’s about as good as you could ask for.

Question 9: Thoughts on these key areas

Your take (left to right): 3, 3, 3, 3, 2

My take (left to right): 2, 3, 3, 2, 2

Takeaway: The optimism around KU football right now really shined through with this set of questions. We’re largely satisfied with player development and coaching, which feels right. I disagreed a bit on the recruiting front, because I just don’t quite know yet. Give me another year for a stronger thought!

Fan support and NIL almost go hand-in-hand. KU’s NIL program is in good shape for football, but I don’t think it’s anywhere near what we’re seeing for basketball. Hoping to see KU keep building grassroots efforts for all levels of fan support.

Question 10: What do you want to see KU progress most in this year?

Your take: Defensive Line

My take: Defensive Line

Takeaway: I’d currently change my vote to defensive secondary. It was concerning in game 1, as were the slow starts. Hopefully things improve starting today.

Question 11: What are you most excited to see this fall?

Your take: Jalon Daniels

My take: Jalon Daniels

Takeaway: It’s time.

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