A lot of KU fans expected a close game, and some even a loss, in the days leading up to the South Dakota game. While I, the apparently everlasting bastion of hope, was of the opposite mindset, considering the state of KU football over the last 10 years, feelings of doubt were completely justified. And, as it turns out, those calling for a close game or loss were way more accurate in their prediction than I was.
We’re at a point where Kansas football gets made fun of for winning games. Forget about the whole field rushing deal; after K-State beat Stanford, I received texts from various members of a certain fanbase comparing the wins, basically, making fun of KU for squeaking by South Dakota after KSU knocked off a P5 opponent. While it’s further evidence of little brother syndrome, again, given the state of the KU program over the last 10 years, it’s probably completely justified. (Related: Oh, what short memories we have!)
But did you look at a college football scoreboard from week 1?
UC Davis 19, Tulsa 17
Eastern Washington 35, UNLV 33
South Dakota State 42, Colorado State 23
Montana 13, (#20) Washington 7
Holy Cross 38, UConn 28
East Tennessee State 23, Vanderbilt 3
To be fair, overall these are solid FCS programs. UC Davis is preseason #23. Eastern Washington is #11. South Dakota State is #3. Montana is #9. Holy Cross is receiving votes. East Tennessee State is the only one that began the season completely out of the rankings.
Even in defeat, more FCS teams put up some solid showings. Missouri State, for example, had the ball down 7 late in the fourth quarter with a chance to go tie the game. They got all the way down to the OSU 25-yard line before Oklahoma State stopped them on downs.
Oklahoma State 23, Missouri State 16
(#7) Iowa State 16, Northern Iowa 10
Georgia Southern 30, Gardner-Webb 25
UTEP 38, Bethune-Cookman 28
And of course, Kansas 17, South Dakota 14
Again, Missouri State and Northern Iowa are FCS top-25 squads. Gardner-Webb and Bethune-Cookman, though, nowhere to be found.
And sure, some of these are bad FBS programs - and yes, that includes Kansas. Most of them are G5 programs. But boy, that Washington game really stands out, doesn’t it?
So while yes, KU struggled with its FCS opponent, so did a lot of other teams across college football, including P5 programs Washington, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, and Vanderbilt. While things have been bad regarding KU football for the past 10 years, if nothing else this is a reminder that you should never think things can’t get any worse.
After all, we could be Vanderbilt.