Charlie Weis came right out with it.
Weis opened his weekly press conference on Tuesday with “It’s been 1,063 days since Kansas football has won a game in the Big 12… If you exclude Colorado, it’s been 1,455 days.”
That win, against Iowa State on October 10th, 2009, was Kansas’ last win against a current member of the Big 12. Following that win, the Jayhawks lost 12 straight conference games until they beat Colorado on November 6th, 2010.
To break those numbers down into games: that’s 34-straight conference losses if you exclude Colorado, 22-straight conference losses if you include Colorado.
“This would be a good time to get over this hurdle,” Weis said.
There’s no time like Saturday because it is homecoming for the Jayhawks.
The 1,455 days isn’t just a place marker for a conference drought. It’s also how many days since Kansas has won a homecoming football game. Putting that into perspective, the only students on campus that would remember a homecoming win would be super seniors or grad students. Kansas’ win against Louisiana Tech broke the Jayhawks’ 742-day streak for losses against FBS opponents.
Winning on Saturday won’t exactly be easy. The Red Raiders are 4-0, ranked third nationally for passing yards through the season so far and are currently ranked 20th in the Associated Press poll. Texas Tech is one of three undefeated teams in the Big 12 (Oklahoma and Baylor).
The national ranking doesn’t bode well for Kansas. The last time the Jayhawks beat a ranked team was September 11th, 2010, which is 1,120 days ago.
Don’t count the Jayhawks out, though. “We haven’t played a game this season expecting to lose,” Weis said.
He’s right. The some of the players have taken to Twitter with their excitement for the game.
Kansas safety Isaiah Johnson tweeted:
Big game this weekend, homecoming vs Texas Tech, their ranked 20 in the country an we trying to knock that off. Tune in on Fox Sports at 11!
— Isaiah Johnson (@TheRealIsaiahJ) October 2, 2013
Kansas quarterback Jake Heaps tweeted:
Can’t wait for Saturday! Ready to go to work right now! #BeatTech
— Jake Heaps (@jtheaps9) September 30, 2013
And the good news for the Jayhawks is that they forced overtime against Texas Tech last season in Lubbock, Tex. Down 27-17 in the fourth quarter, Tony Pierson broke a 69-yard run that set up a James Sims touchdown. With 45 seconds left in the game, Nick Prolago hit a 32-yard field goal. After missing a field goal at the end of regular, Texas Tech was able to outscore the Jayhawks 14-7 in overtime to win 41-34.
Also, interesting of note is that the last two times Kansas has played Texas Tech, the Jayhawks have scored 34 points in each game. If Kansas can score over 30 points in Saturday’s game, they’ll have a shot at winning.
Even though the Jayhawks are the underdogs (the current line favors Texas Tech by 14 points) and have the statistics going against them, the Jayhawks are letting that be their motivation.