The Kansas Jayhawks have won the Big 12 Conference regular season championship, either outright or in a tie, nine straight years. It is an amazing streak for the Crimson and Blue because there have been some very talented opponents in that time frame. This season, the competition may very well be fierce, and the Jayhawks are by no means a shoo in to win their 10 consecutive title.
According to CBSSports.com, the latest AP Poll has Kansas listed 16th in the country. Three other Big 12 schools are ranked ahead of them – Oklahoma State (6th, 12-1), Baylor (9th, 11-1), and Iowa State (13th, 12-0). Texas (27th, 11-2), Oklahoma (29th, 11-2), and a quickly improving Kansas State (36th, 10-3) also received votes. Kansas plays all of these teams except Texas in the next 18 days, plus #21 San Diego State.
The Kansas Jayhawks have a lot of work to do in a very short amount of time, or they may be out of the race by the end of January.
Of course, it is not all gloom and doom for the Jayhawks. They are the number one ranked team in the country, according to CBSSports.com’s RPI. Much of this has to do with the brutal schedule Kansas has played thus far. Their strength of schedule is ranked #2 behind the 1-5 New Orleans Privateers. Kansas’s slate of games is so tough that Toledo, who was undeafeated and ranked 44th in the RPI before their game with Kansas, moved up to 41st with the loss. Their Strength of Schedule went from 254th to 217th just by playing Kansas.
Kansas has been tested by fire, time and time again. Will it be enough preparation to survive this upcoming gauntlet of 6 games, not to mention the other 13 games left on the schedule after this rough page is finished? Will Kansas already be a non factor in the Big 12 race by the end of this month? Or will Bill Self find a way, as he always seems to do, to have his players ready when conference play starts next week?
Click “Next” to see what 5 things need to happen for the Jayhawks to have a chance to win the Big 12 Championship for the 10th straight time.