Again, with emphasis: Two thousand and freaking nine!!!
Later on Saturday, Kansas will travel to Mount Pleasant to take on Central Michigan in its first road game of the 2018 season. It will also afford the Jayhawks the opportunity to snap one of the most mind-boggling streaks in all of college football.
On Sept. 12, 2009, Kansas defeated UTEP 34-7 in El Paso under the direction of Mark Mangino, who was in what turned out to be his final season in Lawrence. Since then, and under three different head coaches (Turner Gill, Charlie Weis, David Beaty), Kansas has lost every single road game they’ve played — 46 straight for those keeping score at home. And that doesn’t even include three neutral-field losses to Missouri in that span.
And it’s not like there have been a plethora, or even a dash, of close calls along the way as 39 of the 46 losses have been by 10 points or more. A whopping 13 of the losses have come by 40-plus points, while another nine have been by 30-plus. A pair of losses by 50-plus points — Texas A&M (2011) and Oklahoma (2016) — have been a part of the skein as well.
The last single-digit road loss for KU came in Nov. of 2015 as 15th-ranked TCU escaped Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth with a 23-17 win. The closest decision in the streak came way back in 2011 with a 13-10 loss at Iowa State.
The 46-game losing streak is currently the second-longest all-time at any level of the sport, behind only the 48 straight FCS Idaho State lost from 2006-2014. Should KU stumble against CMU — the MAC school lost its opener 34-20 to Kentucky in Lexington — they could tie the all-time record Sept. 22 at Baylor and break it Oct. 6 against West Virginia in Morgantown.
There’s actually recent precedent for the streak to continue on into Big 12 play even with a MAC school on tap as KU stumbled against Ohio 42-30 last September. In fact, two of the 46 losses in the streak have come against teams from that Group of Five conference, with the other being at Northern Illinois in 2012.
So, will the Jayhawks end what’s been nearly 5 million minutes of road misery this weekend? That remains to be seen, but you can rest assured that Beaty’s future as KU’s head coach, despite his boss’ (sort of) public vote of confidence, won’t be aided by any outcome that extends the football program’s woeful streak.