Football 2017: Your guide to the Chiefs, K-State, Mizzou, KU and prep seasons

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith was fired up after beating the Chargers in last season’s opener.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith was fired up after beating the Chargers in last season’s opener.

Alex Smith is unquestionably the Chiefs starting quarterback this season. But the first time Smith throws an interception, it’s not unheard of to think fans will be chanting the name of his rookie understudy: Patrick Mahomes.

Why? The Chiefs traded up in the draft and used a first-round pick on a quarterback for the first time since 1983. Take a close look at our special season preview illustration, where we embedded a few memorable, and not-so-memorable, names from the past 30-plus years of Chiefs quarterbacks. (Here’s a key)

Maybe Mahomes will have his time this year, but most likely he’s learning for the seasons to come. So for the Chiefs to win it all this year, Smith will have to block out the noise.


Sam Mellinger: Chiefs’ Alex Smith won’t hear what you say about him; he’s probably listening to NPR

Vahe Gregorian: New Chiefs GM Brett Veach well-equipped to forge own way in complicated job

Who’s better? Comparing Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes, head to head

Texas Tech ‘Air Raid’ QBs have only played five NFL games. Patrick Mahomes wants to change that

Before Patrick Mahomes can win Chiefs’ QB job, he must win over his teammates

If Chiefs plan to hand reins to Mahomes, consider these past QB handoffs

Does drafting a quarterback with a top-10 pick mean NFL success? Flip a coin

Before Mahomes, Chiefs passed on Joe Flacco, Aaron Rodgers & others in first round

Chiefs hope fewer roles will mean more production for Tyreek Hill

Can Chiefs repeat as AFC West champs? Predicting wins, losses on 2017 schedule

Terez Paylor’s preview of the Chiefs’ 2017 season, with the help of Tim Burton’s 1989 ‘Batman’

2017 NFL predictions: Chiefs reach AFC title game, but Packers, Steelers make Super Bowl

College football

K-State’s Alex Barnes runs with speed, power and personality

Jesse Ertz follows same path as former great K-State quarterbacks

Will Jesse Ertz continue K-State’s returning QB trend? Predictions, keys for 2017

After earning more trust in offseason, Mizzou opens up playbook for Drew Lock

Eric Beisel inspires Mizzou football to be ‘first to finish, last to fall’

Can Mizzou football return to a bowl game? Predictions, keys for the 2017 season

SEC blitz: Alabama trying to climb back atop the mountain

How foresight, ‘luck’ led KU coaches to Big 12 preseason defensive player of year

KU coach David Beaty wants more than moral victories this season

Can KU football keep improving in Beaty’s third year? 2017 win-loss predictions, keys

Big 12 blitz: Oklahoma would have to face rematch for another title

High schools

Bigger, faster, stronger: High school football teams zero in on weightlifting

Miege, Mill Valley lead talent-rich EKL into Kansas football season

Missouri high school football highlighted by abundance of talent on defense

2017 KC area high school football schedules