With 16 teams set to compete in the Big 12 in 2024, the conference can no longer employ the round-robin schedule that has been utilized for the past decade. Naturally, some schools will receive more favorable draws than others because some teams aren't on the same level as others.
Kansas football will play home games in Arrowhead Stadium against TCU, Houston, Iowa State, and Colorado. Opponents of road games on the schedule include West Virginia, Arizona State, Kansas State, BYU, and Baylor. That means the Jayhawks avoided the likely favorites to win the Big 12, Arizona, and several other top teams like Utah, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma State.
While Kansas can compete with any team in the conference, Lance Leipold and Co. are certainly not complaining about their conference schedule. In fact, some people believe they received the best draw in the entire league.
According to Bryan Clinton of Heartland College Sports, KU has the easiest Big 12 football schedule for the 2024 season. Here is what he wrote:
"Kansas’ most difficult game of the year comes against K-State, which is the only team they’ll see that ranks inside the top five of our Big 12 Power Rankings for 2024," he wrote. "After that, Iowa State, at BYU, Colorado, and at Baylor closes things out. Kansas’ average opponent in Big 12 play ranks somewhere between 10 and 11 in our conference power rankings. It doesn’t get much more favorable than that."
"If Jalon Daniels stays healthy, 2024 is the season that Kansas could make the leap into the Big 12 title game," Clinton adds.
In addition to an advantageous conference slate, Kansas has the 13th lowest strength of schedule in nonconference play. KU has home games against Lindenwood and UNLV, with one road game vs. Illinois. Having easier opponents does not mean this team is a lock to win 10+ games, but the reality is that Kansas football might have gotten a bit lucky.