Kansas football rated as Big 12 title favorite, CFP contender by ESPN

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We are now less than three months away from the start of the 2024-25 Kansas football season, and expectations are on the rise for this year’s crop of Jayhawks.

ESPN recently released their 2024 Football Power Index (FPI) ratings and projections, which includes forecasts for every team's record, their chances of winning a conference title, their probability to make the College Football Playoff, and their odds to win the national championship.

The ratings and projections came through incredibly favorable for this upcoming KU team.

According to the FPI analytics, Kansas has the best odds of winning the Big 12 Conference this season with a 17.4% chance. The Kansas State Wildcats are the next closest with a 16% chance.

The Jayhawks also have some of the best odds in college football to make the newly expanded College Football Playoff and (believe it or not) win the national championship. The FPI gives KU the 15th-best odds in the country to make the playoffs (24%) and the 15th-best odds to win the national championship (0.9%).

You read that correctly. ESPN’s metrics give the Kansas Jayhawks nearly a 1-in-4 chance to make this year’s College Football Playoff.

While preseason projections are never completely accurate and a lot can change in the course of a season, it’s nothing short of remarkable that KU is now being mentioned in the same breath as college football elites such as Michigan, LSU, USC, Alabama, and others – given where this program has been for the better part of the last 14 years.

It’s a testament to the turnaround built by head coach Lance Leipold.

His ability to attract talent, develop that talent, and retain the majority of that talent in this era of the transfer portal and Name, Image and Likeness has given Kansas football new life and new expectations.

We’ll soon find out if the Jayhawks can live up to those expectations when the season kicks off Thursday, Aug. 29.