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88 days until Kansas football: Examining the road losing streak

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KU Basketball isn’t the only one with an impressive streak going in Lawrence these days.

Texas Tech v UTEP Photo by John Weast/Getty Images

When the clock strikes midnight on Friday, September 7, 2018, and the calendar turns to September 8, the date of KU’s first road game of the 2018 season (at Central Michigan), it will have been:

283,651,200 seconds

4,727,520 minutes

78,792 hours

3,283 days

649 weeks

8 years, 11 months, and 27 days since Kansas football last won a road game.

Let’s just round up and call it nine years.

Poor UTEP. Who wants to be known as the last school to lose a home game to Kansas? On Sept 12, 2009, KU had 576 yards of offense while the defense held UTEP to negative rushing yards for over three quarters. Kansas won 34-7.

Since then, the Jayhawks have lost 46 consecutive road games, a number which doesn’t include three neutral site losses to Missouri. If KU continues to add to its NCAA record - and that’s all of the NCAA, regardless of competition level - “The Streak” could be up there with the likes of DiMaggio, Ripken, and 14 Straight.

Actually, it may already be there. KU seized the record last year from Western State, a university in Colorado that lost 44 road games from 1926-36. The Division 1 record was held by Wichita State at 37 in a row from 1964-71.

And I thought the 1980s were bad.

Per current conference affiliation, KU is:

0-1 vs AAC

0-2 vs ACC

0-1 vs Big 10

0-2 vs CUSA

0-2 vs MAC

0-38 vs Big 12

Oh, but it gets worse. (Because of course it does.) Not only is KU 0-38 in the Big 12, KU has actually lost its last 40 games versus conference foes, with the last conference road win coming on October 4, 2008, a 35-33 triumph over Iowa State in Ames.

Two teams have tied for the most wins against KU during this current stretch: Texas and Iowa State with 5 each. Kansas has also lost on the road to fearsome powerhouse football schools like Rice, Rutgers, Southern Miss, Memphis, Duke, and Ohio.

The worst part of it is that for the most part, the games haven’t even been competitive. Only 7 of the 46 losses have been decided by less than 10 points.

Thank you, Sheahon Zenger, for going out and finding the best during your time at KU.

Is there an end in sight?

Well, possibly - if you’re willing to drink the Kool-Aid this year. Bill Connelly’s preview gives KU the following chances on the road this year:

@ Central Michigan 53%

@ Baylor 20%

@ West Virginia 18%

@ Texas Tech 20%

@ Kansas State 23%

@ Oklahoma 4%

A coin flip to end the streak this year? With the current state of Kansas football, I’ll take it, but here is your grain of salt: 1) Central Michigan pasted Kansas 45-27 in Lawrence last year in a game that those same metrics said was 50/50, and 2) The same metrics gave KU a 43% chance at Ohio last year, where KU lost by just two scores thanks to a touchdown as time expired.

Let’s just say at this point, I find it difficult to be even cautiously optimistic.