Or, where KU fits into this mess, and where it doesn’t.
Once the calendar turns to November, the ‘undefeated’ label is like a VIP tag, and the Jayhawks are enjoying flashing their credentials at incredulous bouncers at the door to the top of the polls, guys used to waving the likes of Ohio State on past under the same circumstances. But Kansas? Kansas doesn’t belong here. It’s just hanging around, hanging around, being a pest, pushing for that triumphant moment it can be resisted no longer.
Listen to ‘em...you’re a star, kid! What’s the name again?
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Sure, the BCS and polls say something different, but take it from someone who has seen all the contenders. Oregon might be playing the best. LSU probably has the best athletes. Kansas deserves to be at the top.
n the craziest fall since the 2000 election season, being undefeated should speak loudest. Ask W. All these wacky upsets and KU -- that's what we call it here in Kansas -- is the only BCS conference team sporting a bagel, a doughnut.
Zero, as in number of losses.
That counts most in this season when top five mob hits have abounded. As someone who has lived 30 miles from the campus for the past 26 years, I can't believe I'm writing this, but it's true:
The stadium that once was the venue for a Huey Lewis and the News concert (what, you missed Hawkstock '83?) is the home of the No. 1 team in the country....
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But the fact that one of them is Kansas is downright shocking, and it has developed into one of college football's major storylines. Sure, the Jayhawks haven't beaten a lot of great opponents, or even one great opponent, to tell the truth. But they haven't lost to anybody either, and that's something worth celebrating, particularly in this wacky season full of upsets.
See, you can question KU's wins.
But you can't highlight any losses.
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|Oppt. Win % (SOS Rank)||.588 (19)||.638 (12)||.449 (97)|
|Avg. Margin of Victory||22.6||20.8||31|
|vs. BCS Opponents||6-1||6-1||6-0|
|Avg. MOV vs. BCS||15.6||19.3||19.8|
|vs. Top 30||4-1||3-1||-|
|Avg. MOV vs. Top 25||10.4||11||-|
|vs. Top 10||-||1-0||-|
|Avg. MOV vs. Top 10||-||7||-|
|Loss||-6 vs. JS#17||-7 vs. JS#25||-|
The dilligent voter is forced to seriously challenge his assumptions here. How many quality wins does it take to offset a close loss to a decent team? How many wins over mediocrities and empty-calorie cupcakes does it take to overcome the lack of a single opponent of consequence? How much does the simple fact of being undefeated really matter in and of itself? Ask the same question with the Jayhawks’ resumé next to their nearest competiton for number three behind the Tigers and Ducks:
|Oppt. Win % (SOS Rank)||.449 (97)||.489 (82)||.531 (52)|
|Avg. Margin of Victory||31.0||28.2||19.7|
|vs. BCS Opponents||6-0||6-1||7-1|
|Avg. MOV vs. BCS||19.8||17.3||21.1|
|vs. Top 30||-||2-0||1-1|
|Avg. MOV vs. Top 25||-||8.5||-2|
|vs. Top 10||-||1-0||0-1|
|Avg. MOV vs. Top 10||-||10||-4|
|Loss||-||-3 vs. JS#56||-10 vs. JS#4|
|West Virginia||Ohio State||Arizona State|
|Oppt. Win % (SOS Rank)||.467 (50)||.524 (55)||.512 (27)|
|Avg. Margin of Victory||23.7||22.3||16.2|
|vs. BCS Opponents||5-1||7-1||7-1|
|Avg. MOV vs. BCS||18.3||21.4||14.1|
|vs. Top 30||0-1||2-1||1-1|
|Avg. MOV vs. Top 25||-8||11.3||-0.5|
|vs. Top 10||-||-||0-1|
|Avg. MOV vs. Top 10||-||-||-12|
|Loss||-8 vs. JS#15||-7 vs. JS#20||-12 vs. JS#3|
How far can a team’s claim as "the best" go when said team hasn’t played anything approximating the best opponents? It should be pointed out that Kansas’ schedule is not Hawaii’s, which is unambiguously the weakest in Division I-A – unlike the Warriors, Kansas has won its way into the discussion with respectable wins over Big 12 middle-dwellers Colorado, Kansas State, Nebraska, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M, all of them (with the exception of A&M) winners of at least one game of consequence their own selves. And the Jayhawks will have their day, against Missouri in two weeks, and if they pass that test, the Big 12 Championship the week after that. Once it gets that kind of value on its wall, KU has itself an argument.
But, certainty of a few proud neighbors notwithstanding, not yet. I don’t know where Kansas will fall on my BlogPoll ballot Wednesday – part of this exercise is to parse the merits of all of these teams – but it will not be one or two.