KU's nine-year bowl drought longest by five years among power-five schools


Kansas defenders Phillip Strozier, left, and Joe Mortensen celebrate a defensive stop against Minnesota near the goal line during the third quarter of the Insight Bowl Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.

Kansas defenders Phillip Strozier, left, and Joe Mortensen celebrate a defensive stop against Minnesota near the goal line during the third quarter of the Insight Bowl Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. by Nick Krug

The Big 12 has a remarkable 80 percent of its members heading to a bowl game. Baylor (1-11 overall, 1-8 in Big 12 play) and Kansas (1-11, 0-9) are the lone exceptions.

A disappointing season extended KU's bowl drought to nine years. No other school from a power-five conference has a drought of longer than four years and Oregon State and Syracuse are the lone schools to go that long without the extra game and practices that go with it.

KU's attendance dropped for the ninth consecutive year, to 25,165, despite Kansas State and Oklahoma drawing a large number of fans to Memorial Stadium.

At what point does the school's conference affiliation become jeopardized by the football program's inability to compete?

“That’s not something that’s ever been (a concern)," KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger told me in an interview in his office last week. "We’re a strong institution in many, many, many ways, and strong in this athletic department. Granted, we don’t have the wins in football right now, but all else is going well.”

Kansas last participated in the postseason on New Year's Eve 2008, when the Jayhawks defeated Minnesota, 42-21, in the Insight Bowl in Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. That improved Mark Mangino's bowl record to 3-1. His 2006 team also was bowl eligible but was not invited to a game.

A look at the bottom 20 power-five schools in terms participation in bowl games during the length of KU's drought:

School Bowls since 2009 season
1 - Kansas None Nine years
2 - Colorado
2016 One year
3 (tie) - Virginia
2011, 2017 Zero
3 (tie) - Indiana
2015, 2016
One year
5 (tie) - Purdue
2011, 2012, 2017
5 (tie) - Wake Forest
2011, 2016, 2017
5 (tie) - Cal
2009, 2011, 2015
Two years
5 (tie) - Illinois
2010, 2011, 2014
Three years
5 (tie) - Oregon State
2009, 2012, 2013
Four years
5 (tie) - Syracuse
2010, 2012, 2013
Four years
11 (tie) - Iowa State
2009, 2011, 2012, 2017
11 (tie) - Kentucky
2009, 2010, 2016, 2017
11 (tie) - Maryland
2010, 2013, 2014, 2016
One year
11 (tie) - Vanderbilt
2011, 2012, 2013, 2016
One year
11 (tie) - Washington State
2013, 2015, 2016, 2017
16 (tie) - Duke
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017
16 (tie) - Texas Tech
2009, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017
16 (tie) - Ole Miss
2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Two years
16 (tie) - Rutgers
2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Three years
16 (tie) - Tennessee
2009, 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016
One year


John Fitzgerald 1 year ago

Another CFB Playoff snub for KU Football. I thought we had it this year. Oh well, lets give Beaty a 30 year extension and pay him $15 million a year. He may not win many games but the players are making best friends and having a great time.

Chris Bailey 1 year ago

Best comment EVER!!!!!!! My co-workers were dying!

Brett McCabe 1 year ago

What I love about Zenger is that he actually has the nerve to publicly come out and state that the merry-go-round of coaches at KU has to stop. When Zenger is the guy who fired the last two coaches. Just priceless.

And only at a school like KU would this be allowed to stand.

Mike Hart 1 year ago

Tom, football season is over. It is basketball season. We are all aware of when KU last went to a bowl game. We are all aware of our records since 2008. Before, in an email, you told me that you felt compelled to write articles in direct response to mis-statements from Beaty/Zenger.. and to call them out rather than let it slide. This article isn't in response to anyone or anything someone said. What is the purpose of piling on negativity by using another statistic / metric to shine spotlight on the lack of success of the KU football program? There are probably thousands of different statistics/metrics that you can use to write a negative article on KU football from some different angle... but why do it? That doesn't mean you have to write 3+ articles a week deriding the program in the offseason. I'm sure it appeases those calling for Beaty's head... and Zenger's head. Perhaps the administration could have made a change for 2018, but not only did they NOT do that.. they came out and ENDORSED Beaty and the program. To reverse that decision now... would make the administration at KU look even MORE inept. So the decision stands for 2018... continuing to use different statistics to describe the recent history of the program.. in article after article... seems punitive. I don't question the statistics... I don't question the accuracy... but instead what sense of accomplishment you hope to glean out of all of this? It just promotes further bickering on here... and a lot of us would like to come here and read about the sports, not continual off-season bashing of the program.

If you want to bash something that is questionable... then write an article about how ridiculous that Billy Preston last played on Nov 7th... and has been held out of games for over 3 weeks now. All we know is that it has something to do with the "financial situation" surrounding his car that was in an accident. Self says he doesn't know anything about it. Right... like Self hasn't talked to Billy Preston.. .and the details are not known. No news/updates for 3 weeks is ludicrous. But hey... we're #2 in the country and winning every game... so no story there I guess. Spare us...

John Fitzgerald 1 year ago

Looks like Tom hurt someones feelings...again. Maybe he writes these articles because 1.) they're facts, 2.) he's steering into the skid instead of away from it, and 3.) he knows people will read it and respond.

John Fitzgerald 1 year ago posted a picture of yourself.

Mike Hart 1 year ago

John, there is no reason to get personal about it. It takes away from the points you are trying to make. It's not about hurting anyone's feelings. So the purpose of the article is to get people to argue about it here? There is nothing new to report on KU's 2017 football season. Tomorrow, he can write about our road losing streak and compare our road record since 2009 to the rest of NCAA football.. and see who's record is next to last compared to ours... but ok... for what purpose to keep fanning flames? It isn't going to change a damn thing going into 2018. It's like if I saw a KU football player on campus and told him this week "Man, you guys sucked last season". Then I passed the same guy the following week and told him "Man, you were terrible last season". It's the same thought... same tired news... just said in a different way with a different statistic to back it up. Repeating it over and over doesn't change what happened.. and it doesn't change what will happen next year.

John Fitzgerald 1 year ago

It's okay to get your feelings hurt. No one cares.

John Fitzgerald 1 year ago

Cary... we’ve seen you before. Quit showing off.

Mike Hart 1 year ago

John Fitzgerald... I didn't think you could come up with a substantive response, so you chose the immature / inane route. Congratulations....

John Fitzgerald 1 year ago

Why are you being so combative? Things not going well at home?

Jeff Coffman 1 year ago

That’s not something that’s ever been (a concern)," KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger told me in an interview in his office last week. "We’re a strong institution in many, many, many ways, and strong in this athletic department. Granted, we don’t have the wins in football right now, but all else is going well.”

Isn't this what Zenger said, and he is either supporting that football is not accurately depicted by the AD?

Mike Hart 1 year ago

Ok, Jeff.. and I'd like to have Tom write about what he said in RESPONSE to Zenger's comments. Did he call him out for spewing a line of crap... to his face... or does he wait to do that here behind his keyboard? Tom should ask Zenger: "Do you keep supporting David Beaty, because you know damn well that if you gave up on Beaty.. it would mean your job is done, too... because no one in their right mind would let at AD keep his job and make another football coach hire?". My guess.. is that Keegan didn't ask those tough questions... and instead kept it to himself.. and then wrote about it here in this forum... later.

Jeff Coffman 1 year ago

He is a columnist, if he does an interview and than doesn't write about it...what's the purpose.

Yes he should continue to press tough questions, but he should also write about those interviews.

Tom Keegan 1 year ago

Mike, re-read the story from last week if you think I did not ask him if he kept the coach because AD's don't get a third chance to hire a coach. Your guess is I didn't ask tough questions? Please, re-read it, if, that is you read it in the first place. Thanks.

Joe Norgay 1 year ago

Please donate to the GoFundMe to pay for material to call for the firing of Sheahon Zenger. It is abundantly clear that he is unqualified to lead the University of Kansas athletic department. KU's catastrophic performance as a football program during his tenure is grounds for his termination alone. His 810 radio interview and interview with Tom this past week were even more evidence that he does not have the vision, voice and understanding of college athletics to lead our university.

Lawrence McGlinn 1 year ago

I appreciate this kind of article to see where KU stands relative to other teams nationally. We suck right now, but I would be interested even if we were half decent. It also reminds us of how low expectations have sunk. Conference affiliation is a relevant question given the uncertainty over the Big 12 coming up in a few years. Will KU's B-ball program and academic standing be enough to get a place at the table in the next reshuffle? Will football be an asset or a liability at that point?

Chris DeWeese 1 year ago

If we want to have a viable football program, we need to be aware of how we stack up against the rest of the P5 schools. These articles are a valuable barometer.

Jeff Coffman 1 year ago

Let's see Zenger extended a coach that had two wins in two seasons. He gave the guy full support without evaluating the person before, during, and after the season after three years. I'm assuming at a press conference prior to the 2018 season, Zenger will announce that we are excited to have Coach Beaty as our head coach for 2019, we won't need any wins to validate the success he is bringing to our program. We gave him an incentive laden contract, and we are pleased that we won't be paying any of those incentives for the upcoming season. Don't worry he'll be retained.

Chris Bailey 1 year ago

I really see no reason why they won't keep him through 2019. The buyout stands at the same no matter if he was fired this year or next and if we pay his salary for 2019 it's like half the buyout. My bet is that he stays the length of his contract. I think we should have gotten rid of him this year and NO WAY should have he been given a raise.

Jeff Coffman 1 year ago

One reason is most of the assistants are signed through 2018, and you would have to extend many of the assistants prior to the 2019 season.

Also, we would pay him an additional $100k for every year he works.

Chris Bailey 1 year ago

Yeah but his salary is about half his buyout amount.

Tracy Ohmart 1 year ago

I appreciate seeing this information. I did not have any idea what this list looked like. I was surprised to see Tennessee on here and not someone like Missouri.

Chris Bailey 1 year ago

My co-worker just informed me that UAB had axed their program 3 years ago and this season they reinstated it. With a new coach and all new players they are 8-4 and heading to a bowl game. And here we sit with a 1-11 record. Let that sink in for awhile. If that doesn't tell you we should have fired the regime then nothing does!

Mike Hart 1 year ago

That's not correct, Chris. UAB's coach in 2014 was Bill Clark. Then they cancelled their program for 2 years. In 2017, with their football program reinstated, their "new" coach is still Bill Clark. Reinstate UAB in 2017 into the Big 12, and I don't think you are going to see a lot of wins. Why was UAB able to quit in 2014 with a 6-6 record and come back in 2017 with a 9-3 record? What happened in between with this dead program? (In 2016, UAB built a $22.5-million football operations center including a $4.2-million covered pavilion practice field which was completed in the summer of 2017, just prior to the start of this season). Those plans sound familiar? That's a pretty nice recruiting tool if you ask me. State of the art facilities compared to the other schools in Conference USA. So let's not act like they axed their program... and brought in a new coach with decimated facilities). It's the same coach... with wonderful new facilities.

Chris Bailey 1 year ago

They didn't have a program the last two seasons. Right? So regardless they didn't practice and are now in a bowl game. I bet they'd throttle us! And we have nice facilities, it hasn't translated to wins for our program.

Jack Hoff 1 year ago

Have you seen other facilities? Our's is trash

Mike Hart 1 year ago

Chris: You can start by acknowledging you were wrong. You didn't realize they had the same coach, and part of your presumption/case was that they canceled their program, hired a new coach and voile: They have a winning program. Then you say they would throttle us. Right, UAB couldn't beat North Texas, Charlotte and Ball State. They don't have a Big 12 calibre opponent on their schedule (except Florida)..and they got smoked by them. Florida is loser of 6 of its last 7 games... and yes.. the lone victory was UAB.

Chris Bailey 1 year ago

Well you can start by brushing up on your reading comprehension. I CLEARLY stated my co-worker just told me they didn’t have a program in 2014 he was reading an article to me. I’m sorry you’re the friggin Dalai Lama of college football and knew they had the same coach. I mean everyone would assume he’d hang around waiting for a job on the off chance they reinstate the program. If you think we’d beat them I’d sure like to see your proof. Where the hell have we proved we deserve to even be mentioned in a power five conference the last 3 years? We’ve actually regressed. I had every hope we’d get better this year but nope we’re worse. So take your smug attitude, take Zinger and Beaty and your seperior football mind and go win us some games.

Brian Leslie 1 year ago

Didn't have a program and MISSED TWO RECRUITING CLASSES and are still better than KU by every metric ranking.

Eric Eakins 1 year ago

3 years ago I was probably around 75% chance hope that Beaty could turn this around. I'm now around 10%. 5% of that is contingent on him replacing his DC this year. If not, then I'm down to 5%. The other 5% is contingent upon Dec 20 that some of those flashy recruits actually sign with our wonderful university. But hope springs eternal especially this time of year. I am really interested in the theory that coaches should get to coach with THEIR seniors. We might be able to put that theory to bed after next season. I hope Beaty is going to turn this around and we all one day laugh about these comments. Right now, that is only hope (no evidence). I do believe there is plenty of evidence that we recruit and compete with KSU and ISU for the same talent pool and often win out over them in that effort. In watching both those games this year I didn't sense we were playing with inferior natural size/ability. I did feel we had worse decisions/discipline/strategy/energy then the other two teams. That is coaching in my humble opinion. That's where the 90% not sure Beaty is going to turn this around comes from after 3 years of observation.

Brett McCabe 1 year ago

I'm consistently amazed at how people give Beaty a pass, as long as he gets rid of Bowen. Do you understand how epically bad our offense has been? Do you understand that Beaty had had three...different...coordinators in three years? Do you understand that he ran off two of his most experienced QB's? Do you understand that he wasted a scholarship on a JUCO QB?

Beaty is the guy who has largely been pushing the buttons on the offense. It's been tragically incompetent (remember 9 straight quarters without a point?). But, somehow, if we just get rid of Bowen things will be okay.

Also, your evaluation of our recruiting is wrong. Iowa State has out-recruited us for three straight years, and will again if Beaty's miracle Louisiana recruits don't show up. And there is no sense in ever comparing your program to Bill Snyder. The guy who wrote the book "Outlier' should write a sequel and focus solely on Snyder.

Eric Eakins 1 year ago

Thanks Brett for the feedback.

I UNDERSTAND that I only give him a 10% chance based on everything I see. I think you and I are closer then you seem to think. I'm surprised we aren't debating the new hire right now but we aren't and so I can only discuss what I believe going forward in 2018.

We only wasted that scholarship on a juco QB if we had someone else of equal or better talent ready to use it. Not convinced we did.

My point on recruiting wasn't based on a 3 year window with ISU but an overall long history of the three schools. Even so, I don't believe our talents is much less than ISU as it currently stands and we should be competitive with them and the fact that we aren't rests solely on the coaches shoulder. I suspect you and I can at least agree on that last point.

I lived in Colorado in the late 80's and McCartney put a red circle around the Nebraska game to his Colorado football players saying that was the school we were aiming to beat every year. The state of Colorado laughed at him when it came out. 3 years later he was doing just that. I have no problem saying we can and will compete with KSU with Snyder or anyone else at the helm. And then when we meet that target, we will put a circle around the next target that seems out of reach. That is how progress is made in my life experiences.

I've been watching KU football for 40 years and good times will come again. Beaty somehow bought another year. Hopefully he can make some wise decisions and get us on the way. To our potential recruits, KU is worth coming to for the education and wonderful people of Lawrence. You won't regret it. You might become immortal (Reesing) if you make a difference on the field.

Mike Hart 1 year ago

Brett, that's good humor. He "ran off" two of his most experienced QBs. Are we talking about Ryan Willis and Montel Cozart? If there was EVER anything we ALL agreed on here... was that Montel Cozart had no business being a QB for KU. We were all very happy to see him go. Revisionist history, apparently...

Tyler W. Lawrence 1 year ago

Mike Hart, you are totally right. I would absolutely hate if our QB had a 64% completion percentage, 10 TDs and 1 INT on the season, in addition to 4 rushing TDs. Thank goodness he's not on our team. He's much, much worse than anyone we had this year.... While I agree his performance was less than stellar in Lawrence, his success in his one year not at KU highlights the current status of our program....

Bryson Stricker 1 year ago

Beaty Supporters, Beaty haters, Zenger supporters, Zenger haters.. we are ALL really intelligent folk who know how to rebuild a football program in the most prolific offense based conference.

There is no denying that KU is historically bad, we will remember these times FOREVER. But College Football has been around way longer than any of us have been around. Every team eventually turns their sh** around, and it is only a matter of time until we do. Hopefully sooner rather than later but at this point, I am thankful we have a coach who cares, understands how to build a program the right way (I DID NOT SAY HE IS GOOD/AMAZING/THE BEST AT IT) and I am beyond thankful that the University of Kansas ever gave me an opportunity to be a fan of their sports programs.

All of you who want to critique every little thing Beaty does as if you know how to rebuild this program. You are wasting your energy and are creeping closer and closer to getting carpal tunnel.

If there is one person who can safely say they played NO role in the rebuild of Kansas Football. It is Tom Keegan. His articles since week 2 of the season have done nothing to help the program and have done nothing to try and rally the troops (which he as a center of influence has the power to do).

I'm not saying I played a bigger role than any of you. Not saying anyone plays a great role outside of the program. But if no fans showed up, every fan on messaging boards was negative (which recruits and ESPECIALLY their friends/family read), and nobody thanked these kids for coming here. Then we would become worse (which trust me, is possible). Until then, You'll find me (and plenty of you others) at every game, posting as positive as possible on here and myself (and others) thanking recruits when they come to visit and thanking players at public events.

You gain nothing emotionally, physically or literally from being tyrant about the situation. I will continue to remain optimistic and hopeful because being upset about it doesn't win football games. #PositivitySpreadsToo

Jeff Coffman 1 year ago

Oh I differ to believe, he is calling for change, which is a lot more than others are doing. To improve the process, you have to first realize change is needed. Tom has realized that before many others have.

Bryson Stricker 1 year ago

MASSIVE SIDE NOTE ARTICLE BY BRYSON STRICKER: I was at the Big XII Championship this weekend(Tom Keegan wasn't).

I got quite a few jeers from TCU/OU fans. But I also got a lot of respect shown. I had a sign that said Free Handshakes #RCJH (play on from our captains not shaking OU's hands) as well as the backside that said "I bought my ticket when KU Beat SEMO". I had quite a few fans come up to me and say they were hopeful for our football program and that they have always rooted for KU in Basketball and would love to see them have great success in Football. Mind you, I doubt these fans want us to get to a point that we can beat their teams, they also are expressing support and trust in our process to rebuild our program.

Just thought I'd share this with the few football fans that are left of our program.


Robert Brown 1 year ago

I like the analysis. It says that all but four P5 teams, including KU have made at least three bowls in nine years. Getting to a bowl is not that hard if these bad programs make it every three years. Most reasonable fans that we would,be fortunate to make a bowl in three years. There is no compelling reason to stay the course with current AD and head coach.

1 year ago

“That’s not something that’s ever been (a concern)," KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger told me in an interview in his office last week. "We’re a strong institution in many, many, many ways, and strong in this athletic department. Granted, we don’t have the wins in football right now, but all else is going well.” Not a concern?! well, it'd better be, because we will be in the MAC soon enough. Football gets you in, and keeps you in, big time, P5 conferences. That he said it is "not..a concern" is more than alarming. We dont "have the wins in football right now.." NO, we dont 'have' them. We HAVENT had them since he's been in charge. Embarrassing. Embarrassing. Embarrassing. Keep it up, Tom. This Sh!t gets more ridiculous by the minute.

Pius Waldman 1 year ago

One of the problems Beaty faces is recruits are capable of reading websites and newspapers that point out opinions that are disrespectful to the school and coaches. Keegan obviously knows that no changes are forthcoming and I guess he is disappointed and wants to rub it in. Basically we need more highly rated players no matter who the coaches are. As for me I hope that can happen. Quarterback is the key position but he needs players to protect him. Bender was considered to be that quarterback but didn't have success. Constant negative thinking won't help especially if no changes are made. .So hopefully things will change.Cub fans waited a long time for success and their fans hung in there.

John Brazelton 1 year ago

Regardless what our bowl record is, Beaty is only responsible for the last three seasons. Coaches can coach, but players have to win the games. Hopefully, in 2018, we will have the upper class base and senior leadership that will start to turn the program around. Believe me, our players are just as tired of losing as we are watching them lose.

Kevin Randell 1 year ago

Are we REALLY doing this? We are making excuses again for a program that has gone 3-33 in the past 3 years?!!!! I live here in Oklahoma, and my Sooner and Cowboys friends and family.....heck even those in the Hurricane program asked me what in the hell is KU thinking? I have no answers. Last time we were in a bowl game I had more hair, it was full and black, and most of the kids on this team currently weren't even in puberty....let that sink in. Bottom line is, my folks ask me with coaches like Frost, Sumlin, Miles, and various others who were let go, why didn't we make a move? I have no answers.

Lastly, I still stick with my earlier statement a few weeks back. I say we have the AD and HC make a deal. 1. If the Jayhawks do not win at least 6 games next year, HC leaves and voids his contract leaving KU owing him nothing. 2. For every loss the AD, HC, and staff has to give up 75% of that weeks salary and donate it to the Lawrence food bank. or 3. If KU fails to win 6 games, then all season ticket holders will receive a 50% refund off their season ticket purchase. So how about it?!!!

Jeff Coffman 1 year ago

you are assuming that there will be season tickets sold.

Layne Pierce 1 year ago

Mike I completely supported giving coach Beatty and AD Zenger the benefit of the doubt, but frankly this year was brutal. We are not improving. Just face the facts. Forget winning games, we are not even more competitive.

Our players do not seem very well organized, nor are they extremely motivated. We are trying to run a spread-offense with one of the worst offensive lines ever. We have a quarterback who can run, but we prefer to sit in the pocket and wait to be tackled. The passes we throw to the sidelines, simply don't work.

At some point, you have to either get serious, or just drop football. The conference realignment is a serious question.

No matter how irritating Keegan is to you, he is not lying. Negativity there is, but it derives less from Keegan, and more from the utter morass of incompetence and indifference that is KU football.

Rock Chalk

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