For the first time in 16 years, the Kansas Jayhawks have finished in the top 25 of the final college football Associated Press (AP) Poll of the season.
After finishing 9-4 following the team’s 49-36 win over UNLV in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl – KU’s first bowl win since 2008 – the Jayhawks were ranked No. 23 in the final poll released this week.
KU finished ahead of Iowa and Liberty due to their blowout bowl game losses, and just behind SMU, North Carolina State, and Clemson.
The Jayhawks last found themselves in the final AP poll of the season back in 2007 following KU’s historic Orange Bowl win over Virginia Tech. KU was ranked No. 7 at the time.
While the ranking means little now that the season is over, it is yet another indication of just how far this program has come under head coach Lance Leipold.
Prior to Leipold’s arrival, KU hadn’t even sniffed a winning season, much less a top-25 finish. Now, in year three, the team has gone to back-to-back bowl games, finished 9-4, and are in position to compete for the Big 12 title next year.
It’s been a remarkable turnaround for this program and this AP ranking further solidifies that.
With the talent the Jayhawks have returning and the freshman class they have coming in, there’s no reason to think they can’t finish even higher when it’s all said and done next year.