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Kansas Jayhawks


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2022-2023 TEAM LEADERS

Kansas Football Team

The Kansas Jayhawks do not conjure up visions of football excellence or even mediocrity. After failing to win any of their nine games in the 2020 season, they parted ways with yet another head coach, this time former national championship winning Les Miles after three seasons.

The program has been fielding a football team since 1890 and were members of the Western Interstate University Football Association from 1892 – 1897 before becoming an independent for the next nine seasons. In 1907 they joined the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MVIAA) in which they were a member for 22 seasons.

In 1929, they joined the Big 6, which would eventually add teams to the league, reaching a total of eight in 1960 and remaining that way until the teams left to form the Big 12 in 1996, of which Kansas is still a member. The Big 12, after the departures of Colorado and Nebraska, has 10 members and in danger of losing more, putting the future of the league in jeopardy.

Kansas Jayhawks Standings

The Kansas Jayhawks have struggled this season, sitting at the bottom of the Big 12 standings with a record of 2-5. Despite this, the Jayhawks have shown flashes of potential and have the talent to turn their season around. Key stats for the Jayhawks include an average of 20 points per game and a total of 1,548 passing yards. The Jayhawks will need to step up their game if they hope to make a move up the standings.

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Championships by Kansas Football Team

Kansas has won only six conference championships in its long history, the most recent coming in 1968 when they finished in a first place tie in the Big Eight with Oklahoma. The Jayhawks, who had a conference record of 6-1 and an overall mark in the regular season of 9-1, advanced to the Orange Bowl where they were defeated 15 – 14 by Penn State and ended up ranked seventh in the final AP poll.

The other five titles came in 1908 and 1922 in the MVIAA and in 1930, 1946 and 1947 in the Big Eight, giving them just one championship in the last 74 seasons. In fact, the best conference finishes in that time have been a pair of second place ties in the Big 8.

In 2007, Kansas finished in a tie for the Big 12 North title with Missouri, but their head to head loss sent the Tigers to the conference championship game, where they lost to Oklahoma. Kansas received a bid to the Orange Bowl, their only BCS bowl game appearance in history, defeating Virginia Tech 24-21 and finishing with a final AP poll ranking of seventh.

Key Stats by the Kansas Football Team

The most telling statistic for the Jayhawks is their streak of six consecutive last place finishes in the Big Twelve and nine in the last ten seasons. They also have 12 straight losing seasons, with their last winning campaign coming in their Orange Bowl season of 2007.

The futility has come under six different head coaches and five athletic directors, including those that served in an interim status. The numbers tell a story of a football program that has really never been able to find success, and when they have, it’s been for a brief period of time in every case.

Their overall record is 589-658-58 and Kansas hasn’t had more than three winning seasons in a row since joining the Big 6/7/8, most recently from 1960-1962. Since 2009, the Jayhawks have won only seven conference games with no more than one victory in any single season.

Kansas has played in 12 bowl games, with the first a loss in the 1947 Orange Bowl and the most recent a win in the 2008 Insight Bowl, with a total record of 6-6 with victories in five of the last six they’ve played from 1992 to 2008. Until 1995 they had played in eight postseason contests until head coach Mark Mangino took them to four from 2003 to 2008.

Top Players in Kansas Football History

While neither player is near the top of the career rushing totals for Kansas, NFL Hall of Fame running backs Gale Sayers and John Riggins are two of the most recognizable names to have played for the Jayhawks. The pair rank sixth and seventh in career rushing yards while Sayers is the all-time leader with and average carry of 6.5 yards.

Gale Sayers also averaged 11.4 yards per reception, giving him a Jayhawk high average of 6.9 yards per play from scrimmage for running backs. The career rushing leader is June Henley, who played from 1993 to 1996 and ran for 3841 yards and 41 touchdowns.

The leading passer in Jayhawk history, and it’s not even close, is Todd Reesing, who had the luxury of playing during the Mark Mangino era. He holds virtually every Kansas passing record, including completions (932), attempts (1461), completion percentage (63.8%), yards per attempt (7.7), touchdowns (90) and quarterback rating (144.0).

It makes sense that the leading receivers would have been Reesing’s top targets, with Dezmon Briscoe leading in yards (3240) and touchdowns (31) and Kerry Meier having the most career receptions (226). Placekicker Dan Eichloff, who played from 1990 to 1993, is the leading scorer with 116 extra points and 62 field goals made for 302 career points.

Top Coaches in Kansas Football History

In order to find the coach with the most wins in Jayhawk history, one has to go back to 1910, which was A.R. Kennedy’s last season at Kansas when he completed a seven year run, going 52-9-4 with winning percentage of .831. However, the most successful head coach by far was Mark Mangino, who went 50-48 from 2002 – 2009 despite a 2-10 record in his first season.

Mangino led the Jayhawks to three victories in four bowl games, including a victory in the program’s only BCS game appearance. Under Mangino, Kansas tied for a division title and won 22 Big 12 games in a six year span, more than the total number the team has registered in its other 19 years in the league, but he was forced to resign in 2009 following an investigation into his coaching practices.

Glen Mason coached the most games of any of the 40 Kansas head coaches, accumulating a record of 47-54-1 in 102 games from 1988 – 1996. He led the Jayhawks to a pair of bowl victories but left for Minnesota following a 4-7 record in Kansas’ first year in the Big 12 .


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Frequently Asked Questions

Kansas has won eight of its 11 Big 12 titles as the No. 1 seed

East Carolina joined the AAC in 2014.

October 24, 2009 against 25th ranked Oklahoma, a game the Jayhawks lost 13–35.
Kansas has also won six conference championships
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