Although the Jayhawks knocked off Boston College in Chestnut Hill two years ago and came THIS close to beating Texas in Austin that same season, KU’s road record over the past 10 years has been, well, abysmal, as Kansas has now dropped 54 consecutive true road games in conference (57 if you include neutral sites).
Once again, we’ll use Bill Connelly’s S&P+ for our team rankings and make some predictions a bit too early. In these updated rankings (previous version was from February), Kansas is 119 out of 130. That’s down from #106 back in February. (I took a look at the noncon schedule a few weeks ago, using the rankings from February.)
Anyway, we’re supposed to be just looking at road conference games today. We’ll do the home games in a couple of days. As usual, S&P+ ranking in parentheses. Be forewarned - this isn’t likely to be pretty.
@ Iowa State (#7)
Kansas starts off October with a bang as the Jayhawks travel to Ames and what figures to be a heavily favored ISU team. In fact, this is the most talked-about Iowa State team that I can remember, and it shows in all of the preseason projections. In fact, in looking at the schedule, per S&P+ KU’s lowest chance of a win this season is a tie between home vs Oklahoma and at Iowa State, both at 1%.
Of course this means that ISU will be coming off a loss the week before (at Baylor) and will take out their frustrations on the Jayhawks. KU’s last conference road win (in 2008) came against the Cyclones, but it’s probably not happening again in 2021.
Iowa State 55, Kansas 24.
@ Oklahoma State (#27)
KU travels to Stillwater on the day before Halloween to take on yet another program they’ve struggled with over the past 10+ years. In fact, over the last six years, OSU has averaged just over 48 points per game against Kansas. Leipold has some work to do before you should expect the Jayhawks to be able to hang with the Cowboys - i.e., he probably won’t have enough time to get it done before Halloween. I’m just hoping the Jayhawks can get something going on offense this year, particularly in the run game, to keep opposing offenses off the field and give their defense a fighting chance.
KU’s chances per S&P+ are all the way up to 4% in this one, so maybe it will be a decent game for a quarter.
Oklahoma State 38, Kansas 17.
@ Texas (#20)
In what could be UT-Austin’s final year in the Big 12, will the refs be more biased for the Longhorns or against them? The only reason I ask is because another loss to Kansas would be absolutely amazing. S&P+ gives KU just a 3% chance at victory, but since Texas isn’t back (and will never be back after going to the SEC), I think the odds are much higher, especially if KU can get a couple of well-timed holding calls or something.
Texas 37, Kansas 34
@ TCU (#35)
At TCU in late November is, by the numbers, KU’s best chance at a conference road win this year (5%). While not great, what I’m hearing is, there’s a chance. I kid, but, in all seriousness, let’s just avoid a running clock in the 4th quarter this year.
TCU 30, Kansas 14.