How Real Is Kansas? Real Enough

The Jayhawks came into Boulder Saturday as the only undefeated team in the Big 12. But the question on fans minds outside of Lawrence has been: Is Kansas for real? Real enough to outplay Colorado, that's for sure. Now it appears CU is back to battling for bowl eligibility.

The Jayhawks outclassed its four non-conference foes, each of whom make their living in non-BCS conferences. They beat K-State in Manhattan, then easily handled Baylor at home. Understandably, many wondered if Kansas was a mirage despite its unblemished mark.

You get the sense listening to the Colorado head coach and players after Saturday's 19-14 loss to Kansas, they respect their North foe. Dan Hawkins called them "good" and "mature."

Cody Hawkins said KU defensive tackle James McClinton — who was disruptive as a pass rusher, had a sack, three tackles and an interception — the best defensive tackle Colorado has faced.

KU's defensive front really outplayed the Buffalo offensive line. Their backside pursuit was effective, as Kansas defenders often caught CU tailbacks from behind before they could get much positive yardage.

Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing made huge plays when his team needed him to.

The Jayhawks deserved the victory. Plain and simple.

And now, the win keeps Kansas' record a perfect 7-0 overall, and 3-0 in Big 12 play. They're in firm control of the North Division.

Kansas' schedule sets up very nicely the rest of the way, too.

Road games at Texas A&M and Oklahoma State will be tests. Home games vs. Nebraska and Iowa State look very winnable. The season finale in Lawrence vs. Missouri (who has one conference loss to date) on Nov. 24 could very well be for the opportunity to play in the Big 12 title game. That's my bet, anyway.

As for the Buffs — what a difference a couple of weeks makes. Especially with — remember — what is a very young team. After the Buffs beat then-No. 3 Oklahoma, some allowed themselves to think a 10-2 record was possible. But three sloppy efforts since (one a win at Baylor, the last two, losses vs. better teams) and Colorado — 4-4 overall — must do some soul searching in order to get to six victories and become bowl eligible.

It ain't gonna be easy. Next week's game at Texas Tech will be difficult. TTU's players will no doubt be reminded all week how they lost to the Buffs in Boulder last season.

Missouri at home Nov. 3 will be tough, too. They still look to me like the best team in the North. A road game at Iowa State is a toss up at this point. And CU ends the regular season vs. Nebraska.

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