The 2007 football season was the arguably the greatest in Kansas history, when the team went 12-1 and won the Orange Bowl. 10 years later, the football program is again hoping to make an unlikely run to relevance in the college football landscape. Before we turn toward the upcoming season, we take a look back at the season where most of our football dreams came true. The entire SB Nation network is looking back at that season, and we are buying in fully, with lots of content coming to you the rest of this week to commemorate that wild season.
Being a fan of any team is all about the experience. We live and die with our teams. Their victories become ours. Their shortcomings can be a personal affront. Our fandom is defined not just by the games we witness, but also by the thoughts, feelings, emotions and experiences that surround those games.
To help in remembering the insanity that was 2007, I asked our contributors (both current and former) a series of questions meant to explore their memories and impressions from that time frame. This is the fourth in a series of 7 articles, with each exploring a different question.
Check out our answers, and then share your answer below in the comments.
Which game was the most important or defined the team the most?
dnoll5: For me, it’s the same answer as above. If Kansas can score 76 points against mighty Nebraska, Kansas could do anything. And they almost did.
Winmore: It was the win over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl. If KU didn’t win that game, the national narrative on the team would have been one of the ‘Hawks being overrated and having no business being in a BCS game. The way that game started, back to back quarterback sacks and then a Talib pick six, high stepping into the endzone, the Jayhawks came out swinging like a disrespected prize fighter. It was awesome.
Mike.Plank: Unfortunately, I will have to say the Missouri game. As great as the season was, as awesome as the Orange Bowl, as awesome as the Nebraska game - there’s still that giant pit in my soul that knows we lost to Missouri in one of the best seasons in school history, and that they will forever be able to remind us of that fact. Missouri kept us out of the Big 12 title game, where I have no doubt we beat an Oklahoma team that lost to Texas Tech, Colorado, and later in their bowl game to West Virginia. How awesome would Kansas in the national title game have been? In FOOTBALL?! The Missouri game was clearly the most important game of the ones KU actually played, because it affected the games they COULD have played. And it sucks that in my mind, it defines this team as one that got denied a national title shot by a rival.
David: I thought about siding with Mike on this one, but I think the Orange Bowl is what kept the Missouri game from defining the season. Had Virginia Tech beaten us by 30, everyone would have written the entire season off as dumb luck and a weak schedule. No one gave us much of a shot in South Florida, and we beat a legitimate football power en route to a BCS Bowl win. That game solidified that KU was deserving of a top ten ranking.
KU Grad 08: I agree that the Orange Bowl was the vindication game. It proved we were legit. I mean, seriously, that Virginia Tech team had like 15 future NFL players starting for it. And we beat them. Runner up would be beating Colorado on the road. Why? Everyone points out how we didn’t play OU that year, but OU lost to Colorado… and we didn’t, even though we played them in Boulder.
Andy Mitts: Definitely have to agree that the Orange Bowl is what is going to leave the lasting impression for everyone except for Missouri fans. It was what told the world that this Kansas team wasn’t a fluke. Sure, they benefited from a soft schedule for a good portion of the year, but in a game outside the conference with huge implications, they came through and showed that they belonged on the national stage that the season had put them on.