The Kansas football team is back in the national rankings for the first time this season and the second time in three seasons under head coach Lance Leipold.
KU’s 38-27 win over BYU last Saturday moved the Jayhawks to 4-0 overall and 1-0 in Big 12 play and pushed Kansas into the national polls at No. 24 in both the coaches poll and the Associated Press Top 25.
The ranking is the program’s first in the AP Poll since being ranked No. 19 on Oct. 9, 2022. KU was ranked twice in the AP Poll during the 2022 season, both times at No. 19. The ranking marks Kansas’ 112th appearance in the AP Poll, and the Jayhawks have been ranked 24th six times in the poll’s history.
Asked Monday what the ranking means to him and his players, Leipold said that kind of national recognition is never a bad thing, especially as they prepare for a showdown with No. 3 Texas on Saturday and two consecutive weeks of nationally televised afternoon games.
“It’s not going to mean anything once the ball’s kicked off, obviously,” he said. “But, yeah, it means a lot for this program, from where it was and where it’s going. These guys have worked hard and it’s good that (we’re ranked) in both polls.”
Never one to rest on his laurels, Leipold said the message to his team from here is that, while the ranking is nice, there’s a heck of a lot more work still to be done.
To that end, Leipold said he was extremely pleased with the way his team celebrated last week’s win and another 4-0 start but showed up on Sunday ready to work and with its focus entirely on what’s ahead.
“For us to get through this first third of the season in this position, all those things are things that are stacking for our program in a positive direction,” he said. “But this next third of the season is where we find out if this program takes another step.”
KU-Texas, from Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas is slated for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff on Saturday on ABC.
— For tickets to all KU athletic events, visit kutickets.com