One-win Iowa State a 6-point favorite over Kansas; what a break for the Jayhawks


It was just one win and the Jayhawks still are 1-27 in their last 28 Big 12 Conference games, but there was just something about it that gave people the feeling that Saturday's 31-19 victory over West Virginia might have been the turning point for the KU football program.

Several things, actually.

The obvious items include the beginning of the ultra-promising Montell Cozart era, the fact that the Kansas offense finally threw up some legitimate points again and the continued impressive play of the KU defense.

But there are a few less obvious signs out there, too. And one of them slapped me across the face when I found it on my laptop Sunday evening.

According to the guys in Las Vegas, KU's next opponent, Iowa State, opens as a 6-point favorite over the Jayhawks, who will travel to Ames, Iowa, for a 7 p.m. kickoff next Saturday.

No big deal, right? Wrong. That Iowa State team that's favored over Kansas is 1-9 overall and 0-7 in Big 12 play.

Now I'm not saying that the Cyclones being favored is wrong. Believe me, I learned a long time ago that Vegas is a lot better at these kinds of things than I am. But I can't help but think about what a break this is for Charlie Weis and the Jayhawks. I mean, seriously. Could you have asked for anything more for the Jayhawks coming off of last week's emotional win?

Here they are feeling good about themselves, breathing easier and smiling brighter because that horrific 27-game conference losing streak is over, and, BOOM!, just like that, the odds makers give them an easy reason to put that huge chip back on their shoulders and move forward with the no-respect mentality.

Trust me. These guys don't really care who's favored or what the point spreads are. But I guarantee that being a touchdown underdog against a one-win team will be used as a major motivational tool this week, as the Jayhawks (3-7, 1-6) look to make it two victories in a row for the first time since opening the 2011 season with back-to-back wins and just the second time since 2009.

And I guarantee no one will like that more than Weis. OK, maybe junior linebacker Ben Heeney will come close, but I still think Weis will have more fun with it. Don't expect to hear about it, though.


Phil Leister 8 years, 10 months ago

Losing to this Iowa State will be demoralizing, even more now that we've seen a glimpse of what this KU team can be. This is an absolute must win, or else last week will look like a complete fluke. Win this week, compete well against K-State, and I'd say this is a successful season with something to build on for next year.

Jordan Bass 8 years, 10 months ago

If they "don't really care who's favored" then how will the point spread be a "major motivational tool?" This seems like a stretch at best.

Matt Tait 8 years, 10 months ago

They don't care about the point spread, but they will use anything — ANYTHING — to motivate the locker room and being an underdog against a one-win team allows them to play the no respect card. That has nothing to do with the actual numbers or odds.

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 10 months ago

Agree with Tait, we won convincingly, and we have the better record. The two things that may explain the Vegas line is that it IS a home crowd game for IowaSt, and no one knows how consistent in offensive production the Jayhawks can be. Even KU fans do not know. All we have is something to build on...but the numbers can EASILY be "spun" into a motivator: IowaState is the ONE team that is worse than KU, record-wise, yet they are picked to win? Easy-peasy thing to "spin". Plus, looking to motivate our players, why wouldnt someone spin the "no respect" angle? Why not? Cant hurt.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 10 months ago

6 points probably doesn't seem sttep when you consider a KU team that hasn't beaten ANYBODY on the road in over 4 years.

We finally broke the conference consecutive losses streak, now it's time to break the OTHER streak. And this is exactly the motivation that we need.

I'm not confident in a victory, and I don't believe that KU will actually win this game, however, after the victory over WVU and considering that despite the final score (which should have been much more lopsided), KU actually domincated WVU, I now know that KU CAN beat both ISU and KSU, and could end this season 5-7 and on a 3 game win streak.

Lucas Town 8 years, 10 months ago

Let's worry about Iowa State before we start talking about Kansas State and going 5-7. If to many people start thinking like that we will wind up 3-9. I believe Iowa State's defense will be better than West Virginia's. I think this will be a game that is dominated by defense. KU's D is playing really well, and I will never look past the Paul Rhoads coached team. As for K-State, I will wait another week before digging into that one. OU will beat them in Manhattan and they will be amped up for KU.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 10 months ago

Everyone wants to end up 12-0 but, realistically, the Hawks have a shot at 5-7 plus 3-6 in the conference.

After two seasons, with a possible star QB guaranteed for the next three seasons, plus the transfers that will contribute next season, plus one more year of CW recruiting, plus a young team one year older and wiser, Kansas just may, and I am saying JUST MAY, have turned the corner with this football program.

I've said all along that it would take CW at least three seasons to reverse this program's spiral...and he seems to be right on schedule!!

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