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Every Kansas football win since 2008, ranked

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The Jayhawks have been in the wilderness for a while, but there have been bright spots — occasionally.

Kansas beats Texas in 2016. Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images. Banner Society illustration.

Combining 2007 and 2008, Kansas rode an incredible swell of talent to a 20-6 record, including a 12-win Orange Bowl campaign.

Who could have known it would take almost a decade for the program to win 20 more games? In the nine full seasons after, Kansas had a 20-88 record at one point.

Below is a catalogue of every Jayhawk win since the 2008 Insight Bowl. We’ll keep updating this until Kansas wins are no longer special occasions.

The FCS wins

(In ABC order)

T-22. 42-24 vs. McNeese State in 2011
T-22. 49-3 vs. Northern Colorado in 2009
T-22. 55-6 vs. Rhode Island in 2016
T-22. 34-28 vs. Southeast Missouri State in 2014
T-22. 38-16 vs. Southeast Missouri State in 2017
T-22. 31-17 vs. South Dakota State in 2012
T-22. 31-14 vs. South Dakota in 2013

Kansas fans take nothing for granted, including wins over such luminaries in Division I’s lesser subdivision:

Kansas lost to North Dakota State in a 6-3 barnburner in 2010 and got beat by South Dakota State in 2015. You’ve gotta take what you can get when you’re Kansas.

After taking a 34-17 lead to SEMO in 2014, the Jayhawks also withstood a 21-point fourth quarter by the Redhawks to squeeze out a victory. One wonders what could have been different if SEMO hadn’t turned the ball over three times.

The other four wins to start the 2009 season

(In chronological order)

T-22. 34-7 at. UTEP
T-22. 44-16 vs. Duke
T-22. 35-28 vs. Southern Miss
T-22. 41-36 vs. Iowa State

That UTEP game in Week 2 was pretty significant because it would be a long time before the Jayhawks won on the road again.

Kansas started the 2009 season ranked #25 and got as high as #16 after stopping Iowa State on a potential game-winning drive. They’d lose the next seven games, and Mark Mangino would be fired.

The non-power FBS wins

(In ABC order)

T-22. 24-10 vs. Central Michigan in 2014
T-22. 13-10 vs. Louisiana Tech in 2013
T-22. 42-16 vs. New Mexico State in 2010
T-22. 45-42 vs. Northern Illinois in 2011

That win over New Mexico State in 2010 put KU at 2-2 at that point in the season, with an incredible breakdown:

  • Loss against an FCS team
  • Win against a Power 5 team
  • Loss against a non-power conference team
  • Win against a non-power conference team

That’s certainly one way to build a .500 record.

And who could forget 2013’s 52-yard field goal as time expired?

A brief intermission for 2015

Wikipedia

The assorted wins over power conference teams

(In ABC order)

T-22. 52-45 vs. Colorado in 2010
T-22. 28-25 vs. Georgia Tech in 2010
T-22. 34-14 vs. Iowa State in 2014
T-22. 31-19 vs. West Virginia in 2013

The 2010 Colorado game was an absolute belter. The Jayhawks scored 35 unanswered points to come back and win in the final 11:05. It would be nearly three full seasons until KU beat a Power 5 team again (that 2013 West Virginia game).

2014:

The win on the road

T-22. 31-7 vs. Central Michigan in 2018

Finally, after 46 tries dating back to the 2009 UTEP game, KU got it done away from Lawrence.

The first win of the Les Miles era

T-22. 24-17 vs. Indiana State in 2019

The Les Miles era has begun. Nothing like a pulse-pounding win over FCS Indiana State. There’s a basketball joke in here somewhere, with Larry Bird involved, so please feel free to make that and get back to me.

It was important for the Jayhawks because they:

  1. Did not lose to a solid FCS team. That is significant.
  2. Prompted the school’s athletic director, Jeff Long, to ... /checks notes ... tweet a picture of his feet.
I swear to God he actually tweeted this

The actually impressive win!

T-22. 48-24 vs. Boston College in 2019

That’s KU’s best margin in a road game since 2007, the year the Jayhawks almost played for the national championship. The latter is not happening again any time soon, so let’s focus on the former.

THE WIN OVER TEXAS

1. 24-21 vs. Texas in 2016

That’s it. That’s the joke.

Not only did Kansas beat Texas, Kansas beat TEXAS IS BACK, FOLKS Texas.