LAWRENCE, Kan. – After posting a 30-24 win at then 24th-ranked Kansas State on Saturday and improving to 5-0 on the season, the University of Kansas football team found itself in the national rankings for the first time in 11 years.
The Jayhawks enter all three current major polls –Associated Press, USA Today and Harris Interactive - ranked 20th in the nation. The last time Kansas was listed in the AP poll was Sept. 28, 1996 when the Jayhawks were also ranked 20th before losing 45-42 at Utah and falling out of the listings.
After cruising through four non-conference games, Kansas opened Big 12 play with a 30-24 win at KSU Saturday, its first victory against a ranked team since beating then #25 Iowa State 24-21 in 2005. The win at Kansas State was KU’s first road win against a ranked team since a 38-17 victory at 15th-ranked Oklahoma in 1995.
The win was the first for an un-ranked Kansas team against a ranked opponent since beating number two Oklahoma 28-11 in 1984.
This marks the 15th season in history in which Kansas has been ranked in the polls at least once, with the previous four seasons in the rankings coming in 1976, 1992, 1995 and 1996 before this week. Other seasons where Kansas has been in the polls included 1947, 50, 51, 52, 60, 61, 68, 73, 74, and 75.
KU spent three weeks in the top 25 in 1996 reaching the high mark of 20th before falling at Utah. The last time KU was higher than 20th was the final 1995 poll when the Jayhawks finished the year ninth in the AP poll after beating UCLA 51-30 in the Aloha Bowl.
Kansas hosts Baylor this week and is 44-27-2 when playing as a ranked team, including a 21-12-2 mark in home games as a top 25 team. The game will be televised by Fox College Sports Central and will kickoff at 11:30 a.m. Central time.
The Jayhawks have started 5-0 for just the second time in the last 39 years and are just one of 11 undefeated teams in the nation. Kansas has also won eight of its last nine games dating back to last season.