The most meaningful turn in KU’s slate takes place right here
That brings us to the aforementioned positive Big 12 opponent No. 2 that KU is set to duel on the 26th: Kansas State. The Wildcats are the only squad on Kansas’s 2024 slate that I made a point of really digging into last week, as they are not only formidable rivals for the Jayhawks, but also worthy candidates for conference champ predictions in the eyes of many.
In short, I touched on what all stacks in K-State’s favor, such as the fact that the Cats have won 15 straight in the rivalry (leaving Lance Leipold winless against them) and will be at home for the affair. Even with the edge, I’ve acknowledged Kansas having in the quarterback department (retaining Jalon Daniels while KSU loses Will Howard to Ohio State), that showdown is in no way a gimme. With that in mind, we'll highlight this as another matchup with severe odds of going south.
Now, at this checkpoint, I have the Jayhawks sitting with a 6-2 record at the absolute worst, putting them on a healthy pace to outshine their last regular-season finish of 8-4. And you want to know what makes it even better? Only one of their last four adversaries—Iowa State, BYU, Colorado and Baylor—finished with a winning record in 2023 (the Cyclones…who went 7-6…and are coming off a loss to Kansas…and have to play in Kansas City). We’ll just tack on four more wins there.
If the Jayhawks tie their schedule up on that note and take the Big 12 crown the next week, they will have secured their first conference title claim since 1968, hit 11 wins in a season for just the second time ever, and locked up a spot in the now-12-team CFP for the first time ever, officially putting 2024 in the conversation for greatest year of Kansas football’s history.
But wait, with Lance Leipold being at the helm of such an accomplishment, where would that put him in the coaching leaderboards?