KU's third consecutive football sellout is by far the most significant of the three
The Kansas football program on Wednesday night officially announced a sellout for Saturday’s 11 a.m. matchup with TCU at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.
The news came as no surprise, but it was significant for a couple of reasons.
First, it marks the first time in 13 years that KU has had three consecutive football sellouts.
Second, this week’s announcement was the earliest of the bunch. The announcement for the Duke sellout two weeks ago did not come until Friday of game week. Last week’s sellout was announced on Thursday, two days before the Iowa State game. And this one came late Wednesday afternoon.
That progression makes sense given the role that momentum plays in all of this. KU fans are fired up about what this team is doing and they’re all believers now. Starting out 2-0 was cool and 3-0 was even better, but 5-0, with two Big 12 wins and two road wins — not to mention a No. 19 national ranking — is a clear sign that this is a good football team.
Just how good will be determined over the next several weeks, as the schedule continues to get tougher and the grind of the season starts to increase.
Second-year head coach Lance Leipold said this week that he thought this team still had a lot of room to improve.
“And that’s what’s exciting,” Leipold said. “Because you haven’t kind of hit what you can be. We know this (week’s game against TCU) is the biggest challenge so far in many different ways. So, it'll be another good measuring stick, that’s for sure.”
While all of that has contributed to the increased interest and support around the program, perhaps the last reason this week’s sellout is significant might be the biggest and most important.
In each of the past two weeks, KU had some sort of activity aiding attendance. For the Duke game, it was Family Weekend, meaning hundreds and hundreds of parents and siblings were in town ready to make the football game one of the focal points of their trip to Lawrence.
Last week was Homecoming, which likely attracted an even bigger group of people to return to Lawrence, once again all with the idea of building their plans around the football game.
There’s none of that this weekend. In fact, not only are there no additional celebrations inspiring people to come to town, there’s actually one that’s encouraging KU students to leave town — fall break. We’ll see how that impacts the crowd in the student section, but, from the sound of it, it’s not going to be an issue.
The expectation is for 47,233 fans to fill Memorial Stadium for the third week in a row. And with ESPN’s College Gameday in town and KU’s administration making progress in improving the concessions situation as best they can, this one has the makings of being the best home atmosphere yet.
After this, the Jayhawks are on the road for two games — at Oklahoma on Oct. 15 and at Baylor on Oct. 22 — and then they have their bye (Oct. 29) before returning to the Booth for their next home game against Oklahoma State on Nov. 5.