Jayhawks set as 100-1 long shots to win Big 12 football title


What do Kansas, NC State, Boston College, Wake Forest, Iowa State, Indiana, Maryland, Purdue and Illinois all have in common?

Sure, they're colleges whose basketball programs have carried the torch for the entire athletic department during recent years. But that's not it. All of those programs — and a few others — are facing triple-digit odds to win their conferences during the upcoming football season.

Kansas, which has won just three Big 12 Conference games in the past five seasons, is tied with Iowa State at 100-to-1 to win the Big 12.

Those other programs are 100-to-1, 200-to-1 or even 300-to-1 depending on the overall strength of the teams at the top of their conferences.

Obviously, this is not news. Everyone knows that the Jayhawks are in the middle of a rebuilding process with the football program, one that puts its priority on finding a way to win A COUPLE of conference games before worrying about winning the whole thing.

Still, in case there are some of you out there who buy into the phrase "misery loves company," I figured it wouldn't hurt you to see that there are other college football programs facing the same uphill climb as Kansas.

Here's a look at the rest of the odds — from — for the power conferences heading into the 2014 college football season.

NCAA Football 2014-2015 Season - Odds to win the ACC Championship
Florida State 4/11
Clemson 10/1
Louisville 10/1
North Carolina 10/1
Miami 12/1
Virginia Tech 12/1
Duke 20/1
Georgia Tech 25/1
Pittsburgh 40/1
Syracuse 66/1
Virginia 66/1
NC State 100/1
Boston College 200/1
Wake Forest 200/1

NCAA Football 2014-2015 Season - Odds to win the ACC Atlantic Division

Florida State 1/6
Clemson 13/2
Louisville 13/2
Boston College 33/1
Syracuse 33/1
NC State 40/1
Wake Forest 100/1

NCAA Football 2014-2015 Season - Odds to win the ACC Coastal Division

North Carolina 8/5
Miami 3/1
Virginia Tech 3/1
Duke 7/1
Georgia Tech 8/1
Pittsburgh 25/1
Virginia 25/1

NCAA Football 2014-2015 Season - Odds to win the Big 12 Championship

Oklahoma 2/3
Baylor 11/4
Texas 7/1
Kansas State 10/1
Oklahoma State 10/1
TCU 14/1
Texas Tech 28/1
West Virginia 66/1
Iowa State 100/1
Kansas 100/1

NCAA Football 2014-2015 Season - Odds to win the Big Ten Championship

Ohio State 10/11
Michigan State 15/4
Wisconsin 9/2
Nebraska 11/2
Michigan 9/1
Iowa 14/1
Northwestern 40/1
Minnesota 66/1
Indiana 100/1
Maryland 100/1
Illinois 200/1
Rutgers 200/1
Purdue 300/1

NCAA Football 2014-2015 Season - Odds to win the Big Ten East Division

Ohio State 2/5
Michigan State 13/5
Michigan 5/1
Indiana 33/1
Maryland 50/1
Rutgers 100/1

NCAA Football 2014-2015 Season - Odds to win the Big Ten West Division

Wisconsin 6/5
Nebraska 3/2
Iowa 5/1
Minnesota 12/1
Northwestern 18/1
Illinois 33/1
Purdue 100/1

NCAA Football 2014-2015 Season - Odds to win the Pac 12 Championship

Oregon 11/10
UCLA 11/4
USC 5/1
Stanford 6/1
Arizona State 12/1
Washington 14/1
Arizona 25/1
Oregon State 33/1
Washington State 50/1
Utah 66/1
California 200/1
Colorado 200/1

NCAA Football 2014-2015 Season - Odds to win the Pac 12 North Division

Oregon 1/2
Stanford 13/4
Washington 6/1
Washington State 12/1
Oregon State 14/1
California 50/1

NCAA Football 2014-2015 Season - Odds to win the Pac 12 South Division

UCLA 5/4
USC 7/4
Arizona State 3/1
Arizona 10/1
Utah 33/1
Colorado 50/1

NCAA Football 2014-2015 Season - Odds to win the SEC Championship
Alabama 7/5
Auburn 5/1
South Carolina 5/1
Georgia 6/1
LSU 13/2
Florida 12/1
Ole Miss 14/1
Texas A&M 25/1
Mississippi State 40/1
Missouri 40/1
Tennessee 50/1
Arkansas 100/1
Kentucky 200/1
Vanderbilt 200/1

NCAA Football 2014-2015 Season - Odds to win the SEC East Division
Georgia 8/5
South Carolina 8/5
Florida 13/4
Missouri 10/1
Tennessee 14/1
Kentucky 50/1
Vanderbilt 50/1

NCAA Football 2014-2015 Season - Odds to win the SEC West Division

Alabama 5/7
Auburn 4/1
LSU 5/1
Ole Miss 9/1
Texas A&M 14/1
Mississippi State 16/1
Arkansas 33/1


Mark Lindrud 7 years, 9 months ago

That's all? So, what you are saying is, there is a chance!!!!

Jim Jackson 7 years, 9 months ago

Tait, any news on which recruits have made it to campus and who hasn't? Any news on Fondal? Thanks!

Matt Tait 7 years, 9 months ago

Everyone is supposed to report to campus for fall camp by Aug. 7 and practices begin Aug. 8. From what I can gather, it sounds like there are about 8-12 guys still not here yet. That's not a surprise, most of those were never supposed to arrive any earlier in the first place.

Weis didn't talk in Dallas about guys who weren't here yet --- he doesn't do that. So we'll just have to wait until his press conference on the 7th to find out what's what.

Same goes for Fondal, though I've heard rumblings that academics could be an issue with him.

We'll know more next week, but I think the following is some pretty sound advice: Expect that at least a couple of guys who aren't here yet might not be here when camp opens. Doesn't mean they won't make it, doesn't mean they will. But I doubt everything will be super smooth.

Time will tell...

Brandon Mahon 7 years, 9 months ago

It worries me that some aren't here. I know some offensive guys who can make an impact are here but the defensive guys who cab aren't here kinda scares me.

Matt Tait 7 years, 9 months ago

Don't blame ya. Olobia and Mosby are two big ones who I'm sure a bunch of people are really, really hoping will make it with no problems.

Brandon Mahon 7 years, 9 months ago

Already having wrench miss out is not the best way to start camp out. I wonder how quickly Hartzog, Avery, Williams, Olivia, fletcher, Watson, Mann and Bragg will catch on and if they will make a push for serious minutes

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

I don't know how often the Vegas odds setters get it right; but clearly they see that Kansas football is on the outside looking in (with regard to Big 12 elites). There are those among us who consider taking a realistic view of the program as being "negative"; on the contrary, having the right perspective of where you are gives the fan a handle on where to place his expectations, but more importantly lets the team know where it needs to improve. In essence, realism is a positive even when you have to confront some not-so-flattering realities. There are those who have argued that unless you're a Homer you're not a true fan. Someone show me that in the rule book. People who feel as I do anticipate the season as much as anyone else. We are just as happy about success and support the team just as fervently with our best hopes for them. The main difference is that we catch sight of our expectations through a different lens. It's nice to see an article here and there that squares with reality.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 9 months ago

Joe - I learned a very wise statement many decades ago - There are always 2 ways to say anything; a positive and a negative.

You could say, "Coach, you need a change, because carrying that extra 100+ lbs is not good for you or those around you."

Or you could make any number of the derogatory fat comments found on this site over the past 2 yrs.

Both have a realistic view, and really the positive even more than the negative. Definitely agree with you regarding the "not a true fan" comments. You as much as anyone are a true fan - just letting your frustration show more than is helpful to the team.

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

I am not too proud to admit that you might be right about the frustration level. Point taken! But following your analogy, I have not been derogatory in my statements regarding the team; on the contrary, I have only not been as positive in my evaluation as others. Thank you for your chivalry in the face of debate.

Thomas Smith 7 years, 9 months ago

So let me make sure I am understanding this right, those who take a positive view of KANSAS Football are unrealistic?

OK gotcha

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

If you distill that from what I just wrote then there is no point in answering you with a serious reply.

Thomas Smith 7 years, 9 months ago

Joe, I told you that wasn't directed towards your comment. I understand what you were saying I used what you were saying as a point to address something that happens very frequently. Someone would make a positive comment about KU football and get absolutely blasted. I was also having fun with ya being that we are cousins. So don't be so serious. :-D

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

I didn't know which "Thomas Smith" was responding because your avatar is blank. I responded as I did because your comment addressed realism, and prior to your leaving it neither the article nor any comments (save mine) broached the point. Those who take a positive view are not necessarily unrealistic; however, those who take an unrealistic view are unnecessarily positive in many cases. To answer your point, I think it's fair to recognize that people who ask for an honest evaluation of the program receive a fair amount of criticism as well. It's NOT that we don't want the team to do well. Far from it! If I had my druthers I'd love to see Kansas go to bowls every year and bring holy hell to the conference. But I began to get a little miffed by inflated expectations season-in, season-out only to be woefully disappointed, and subsequently I became upset with myself for buying into the hype when the pieces weren't in place to justify it. I'm tired of it. Thinking about the problem in the way I do now leads to a separation between what my hopes for the team are and what I can reasonably expect and, as in my earlier comments, there's value is taking that perspective. From now on, performance on the field is what I will base my expectations upon, while I remain as hopeful as ever that Kansas will make a commitment to doing everything it can to improve the state of the program (even if that means taking some bold or unpopular steps in the short term). I like the commitment to renovating the stadium. You want more fans in the stands? Make ticket prices dirt cheap. If you've been to a Kansas City Royals game lately, you know from viewing the concourses that there's been a commitment made to making the game an enjoyable experience for the fans. As you know, fan interest in the Royals was waning because of perennial lackluster performance at the time the renovations were committed to. Kansas needs to do this kind of thinking outside of the box. At least weigh the prospect of bringing Mangino back at the end of Weis' tenure if he does a good job at Iowa State and has the inclination to return. I'm not one of those who would crucify CW, mind you. I sense a knowledge of the game and he is at least attempting to make in-season and off-season adjustments. But we need a good year in the program SOON, and I hope there is a sense of urgency about it. Blaming the fans for their poor attendance is the last safe haven for those who are evidently unwilling to demand progress NOW. Smoke and mirrors, as it were. But progress will not be made until you do, and to see that it is necessary one must be realistic not just about where we are, but the direction we are going.

Micky Baker 7 years, 9 months ago

Joe, I want to address something you wrote above.

"realism is a positive even when you have to confront some not-so-flattering realities."

That is true. That's why the fans who aren't going to the games who aren't willing to face the "not-so-flattering realities", are part of the problem. Most of them didn't watch last year, or turned the channel after 15 minutes, then claimed "there was no improvement", but there was. Reality doesn't just include win-loss record.

In regard to your analogy with what the Royals have done with Kaufman Stadium, there is something fishy going on with that in regards to David Glass. I think David Glass is just trying to prime the franchise so he can sell it for a price larger than what he paid for it. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but in David Glass's circumstance it is bad and I don't want KU to follow his model. Remember when we had Beltran, Damon, Sweeney, and all those other players on that team that had the winning season in 2003? That was before he bought the team, but he was also President of the team at the time. Then he tanked it by getting rid of Damon and Beltran and Jermaine Dye, tanking the value of the team before he bought it when Miles Prentice was willing to pay a whole lot more money for the franchise. I don't want KU to follow David Glass's model at all. I want them to be more like Ewing Kaufman. Be willing to go after the best players in the country, offer them a scholarship, the worst that can happen is they say no.

The one part that I do agree with is improving the fan experience at the game. That might require selling alcohol beverages on game day, and not letting fans back in if they leave early, so when they do miss a few plays or a couple of wins, they'll understand, you gotta stay if you want to get the realities and the enjoyment of the team being built for sustainable success. It's typically about 3 hours for a game, that's not much to ask for the ticket price is it? The most expensive single game ticket for the 2014 season is $80 not including the suites and boxes. The Royals do charge much less per game, but they have 81 home games, not 6 or 7. There are some other things they may be able to do for the kids like a football throw game for them in one of the concourses. They can make it more enjoyable for adults by having some games on the scoreboard during TV Timeouts, between quarters, and during half time. Get the mascot into the stands during the game, which they already do at times. Have a kiss cam. Have fireworks after night home games. Have some of the local bands playing inside the stadium during half time and during the pregame. There are a couple of spots for that. But don't be unethical like David Glass was.

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

I actually agree with some of what you say, but we need to clarify something. I wish I had numbers to back me up, but I would guess fan attendance is now higher than what it was prior to the renovations. You speak about Glass' intentions. Maybe you're right. But his motivations are not important. The OUTCOME is (namely that more fans are attending games)! If he sells the team to another owner, Royals Stadium will retain its improvements and fans will continue to enjoy the experience if he does. So I'm not buying in on your point in this regard. I DO accept your point that improvement includes more than the win-loss record. If someone told me, for example, that we could choose to lose no single game by more than a touchdown but only get 2 wins I'd take it in a heartbeat. Why? Because though it makes for a disappointing season in the W-L column, it would be a clear sign that competitive football has arrived. Be sure of this: I care much more about improvement than wins and losses, even though the latter does give a fan a sense of satisfaction.

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

For disclosure, I did some fact checking. The attendance has not increased significantly after the renovations. However, as part of the overhaul of the stadium, seating capacity was actually reduced. Attendance has therefore risen as a percentage of capacity, but there is really nothing I can hang a hat on to say that the renovations were responsible. It may be so, but it may not be as well. What is certain, however, is that the fans who go to the games have a better time now than they did before, and I can attest to that personally.

Thomas Smith 7 years, 9 months ago

Hey cousin, I guess my facebook picture didn't show up because I signed under my facebook account.

Micky Baker 7 years, 9 months ago

The highest attendance level was last year because of the Royals were in contention for the post season. It will probably be higher this season, but it won't be anything like during the 80's and early 90's. In 1989, attendance was almost 2.5 million.

This season, the Royals are still ranked 10 out of 15 teams in overall attendance.

Zack Greinke probably had something to do with the increase. It was a sell out almost every night he pitched at home during the Cy Young season. That's probably around 20 starts at home and and additional 16,000 fans on those nights for 350,000 extra fans. The Royals were not in contention then.

I believe that this time last year, the Royals were 8 games back from first and 6 or 7 games out of the wildcard. If the Royals are first place when September 1 rolls around, The Royals could top 2 million for the first time since 1991. It's doable, but it won't be due to renovations or cheap ticket prices.

Thomas Smith 7 years, 9 months ago

It would be a false belief that says winning breeds a winning mentality among Kansas fans. Case in point, 2007 orange bowl season. KANSAS fans still left at half time of the games. Kansas could go a 10 year streak of bowls and Kansas football fans (the novice fans) will still find something to be negative about.

I was at the games in 2007 and let me tell ya it was kind of pathetic to see fans tell other fans to set down because they were standing and cheering. Joe this is not directly at your post at all. I have read some very nasty things on the Kansas football message boards about the Team. Now if someone decided to point out the petty nature of the dispute between KU athletics and the ownership of this newspaper on the actually name of the University of Kansas. They would be banned.

My point is this; sports is not the end all be all.

Marc Frey 7 years, 9 months ago

100-1? Who is the 1 guy who thinks we can win it?

Brandon Correll 7 years, 9 months ago

100-1 are the odds. Meaning if you bet $1 on KU winning the Big 12 then you would win $100 if they did in fact win

Marc Frey 7 years, 9 months ago

I understand that. Just a snide comment.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 9 months ago

Unfortunately, in print it just comes off as rather ignorant.

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