2007 Cinderella Story of the Jayhawks
In a season of ups and downs, wrong turns, upsets, disappointments, shockers, records, and overall lack of boredom, everything seems to stand out.
Kansas is one of the 7,294 stories that took place in the 2007 college football season. But it was also one of the best.
On October 6th, 2007, it was the #24 ranked Kansas State Wildcats versus unranked Kansas.
Kansas, coming into the game undefeated against the likes of Central Michigan, Florida International, Toledo, and Southern Louisiana, was a large underdog against the one-loss Wildcats.
Kansas State started comfortably, with a pick on Kansas' opening play, and two drives after the pick scored a touchdown on their first play from 68 yards out.
Then, in the second quarter, Kansas, on their first drive of the quarter, used up 4:30 to take the ball 86 yards in ten plays. Touchdown.
But no big deal for the Wildcats.
They take the ball to the opposite side of the field on the following drive. Score: 14-7 Kansas State.
But after a few picks, the Jayhawks bounced right back.
In the second half, the Jayhawks outscored State by a margin of 16-10 and came away with their fifth win and an upset over the in-state rival. The win bumped them into the top 20.
The Path to the BCS
The Jayhawks blew through the next few weeks with wins over minimal opponents, until they hit a road block against Missouri, their first real challenge.
Along that path, after Kansas State, they outscored their opponents 260-109, allowing an average of 21.8 points per game and scoring a mind-numbing 52 PPG.
They beat few decent opponents, and nearly lost to Colorado, who had topped Oklahoma earlier in the year.
They were 11-0 for the first time in school history, and were on the verge of an unmarred campaign.
They were to battle for the Big 12 Championship as long as they got through Missouri first.
As #2 in the country, and undefeated, they were no longer underdogs. But Missouri seemed to put both the conference and national title dreams to rest by shutting down Kansas in the first half.
But then Kansas started to come back, managing to get within a score for the win in the fourth quarter. Yet it proved to be not quite enough—Missouri held them back and took the win.
Kansas is 11-1 and on their way to the Orange Bowl against ACC champs Virginia Tech. Both teams have lost only one game, but Kansas is a team that can come back from behind and tear apart either a favorite or an underdog.
Kansas is one of the stories of the year. Not at all the overall best story, but just the one that I wanted to bring forth.
You cannot say that just because Kansas lost to Missouri, they are a bad team. They held Missouri to the least points all season with the exception of Oklahoma, including the ranked and unranked of Missouri's schedule.
Who knows if Kansas actually isn't good. They could've simply not had a good day, which had probably happened about 500 times before during that season. The only way to tell if they're actually bad is if Virginia Tech beats them by more than 14 points or shuts them out, until then, Happy Bowl Season.
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