The past few years have been pretty rough on football fans around Lawrence, KS. Since parting ways with Coach Mark Mangino in 2009, the Kansas Jayhawks have been arguably the most pathetic FBS team in the country. Coming into this season, their combined record since 2010 is 6-30, with just one of those wins coming against a Big 12 opponent.
Everyone knows Lawrence is a basketball town, and the fans are so ready for basketball season that roughly 10,000 people showed up at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday just to watch the team practice. The Oklahoma Sooners were taking on Charlie Weis and company that afternoon at Memorial Stadium, and still the fans can’t get basketball off the brain — not that I blame them.
I certainly wouldn’t pay money to watch that team play, even if the tickets are cheaper than some of the stuff at the concession stand. But there is good news for football fans around Lawrence — the Kansas City Chiefs are legitimate contenders. The vast majority of the KU faithful support the Chiefs and for the first time in a long time, the team looks like it can compete with anybody.
This will not be another year with nothing but irrelevant football around Lawrence. As the last remaining undefeated team, Kansas City is a pretty safe bet to make the playoffs. The Chiefs have made NFL history with their unmatched turnaround. Why such excitement about a basketball season that isn’t even here when a special season of football is happening right now?
As for college football to watch, whether they admit it or not, Kansas fans want to see the Missouri Tigers lose almost as bad as they want to see KU win. Currently fifth in the BCS rankings, Mizzou is having an amazing season and the Jayhawks badly want to see them fail. Despite the fact they don’t play against each other anymore, the hatred between these schools has not tapered off in the least.
If you look at the comments of any article about Missouri or Kansas, a ridiculous amount of fans from the other team are always there spewing their nastiness.
My point is, having something to passionately root against is almost as good as having something to passionately root for. Missouri and their fans are flying high, and the Jayhawks would like nothing more than to see them fall flat on their faces. With several tough games left on the Tigers’ schedule, they may get their wish.
Whether they’re watching for hate or watching for love, there is plenty of football that matters for KU fans to enjoy. Unlike like the last few years, this football season doesn’t have to be merely a waiting game for basketball to come around.