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Was 2015 KU Football "Historically" Bad?

Yes - and no.

Ed Zurga/Getty Images

KU football fans have seen some bad football, as we investigated this past summer.  Many folks - including some of our own - have called 2015 the worst season ever.  Historically bad, they say.  Well, is it?

Well - I suppose it depends on your perspective.  Going by the metric I used to rank the worst seasons, 2015 places fourth on that list.  So yes, it's in the top 5 of worst seasons in KU football history, and that probably technically makes it "historical."  But it's still not the worst.

Here is the revised list of worst KU football teams:

Year W L T SRS Coach PS/G PS Rank PA/G PA Rank
1988 1 10 0 -15.45 Glen Mason 17.2 90th of 105 45.1 105th of 105
2002 2 10 0 -14.87 Mark Mangino 20.7 96th of 117 42.2 115th of 117
1954 0 10 0 -14.44 Chuck Mather 9.3 102nd of 111 37.7 111th of 111
2015 0 12 0 -13.73 David Beaty 15.2 123rd of 128 46.1 128th of 128
1987 1 9 1 -13.22 Bob Valesene 12.3 101st of 104 36.2 99th of 104
1942 2 8 0 -12.15 Gwinn Henry 7.7 108th of 121 24.8 117th of 121
1986 3 8 0 -10.65 Bob Valesene 10.2 104th of 105 29.7 92nd of 105

(For more information on the SRS, which is our primary measuring stick, click this link here.  Basically, the best tools for comparing teams - Sagarin and F+ for example - don't go back far enough, so this was created.)

The late 1980s still dominate this list.  So the next time someone says that 2015 was the worst KU football team in history, you can call them out for recency bias and remind them of the Bob Valesente years.

Also, because I'm a jerk and I hate those guys, I'd like to note that Kansas State has 11 seasons worse than the 2015 Jayhawks - including 1989, better known as Year 1 of the Bill Snyder era.