The past decade has been a time full of silver linings for college sports fans in the Sunflower State, with soaring highs on the hardwood and cratering lows on the gridiron.
Both of those poles are centered around Lawrence, home of the Kansas Jayhawks. Their men's basketball program brought home two Final Four appearances (2018 and 2022) and one national title (2022) over the past decade, along with the worst football winning percentage of any Power Five program during that timeframe, going 19-81 (.190) since the College Football Playoff began in 2014.
That dismal percentage sunk the state’s overall ranking when it comes to best states for a college football fan, as Kansas State’s record of 62-45 (.579) couldn’t carry the load on its own.
But the state’s college football fans did get some good news in September, when sports betting in Kansas became legal.
Best States for College Football Fans
Come to BetKansas.com for all the Kansas sportsbook promotions.
How We Determined Kansas’ Rankings
BetKansas.com developed a ranking system of the best states to be a college football fan since the adoption of the College Football Playoff in 2014.
The first category measured attendance between 2014 and 2019 (the most recent year available), via NCAA.com, to determine a ranking for each of the 41 states with at least one FBS team, based on a 1-41 metric (1 point being the lowest, 41 the highest).
We used that same scoring metric to measure recruiting, using 247 Sports’ FBS rankings to assign points to each team.
We also ranked each state by winning percentage of its FBS teams since 2014 and by the number of FBS schools per state. We then gave bonus points to states based on College Football Playoff appearances and National Championships.
Kansas Among Worst States to be a Fan
After crunching all of those numbers, we found the Sunflower State wasn’t so shiny for fans of its two FBS programs.
By those metrics, Kansas’ best ranking was for its number of FBS programs (two), scoring the state 19 points. After that came its average attendance, which gave Kansas an additional 12 points, followed by recruiting (seven points), and its .389 combined winning percentage (five points).
Those figures, combined with the state’s lack of CFP appearances and championships, ultimately resulted in the state’s lowly ranking (34th out of 41 states with FBS programs) in our standings, with Kansas’ 43 points sandwiched between Missouri (56 points) and Massachusetts (42).
Kansas gave its fans hope this season, jumping off to a 5-0 start. And despite three straight losses, the Jayhawks are tied with Texas Tech, Oklahoma and West Virginia on Kansas sports betting apps when it comes to Big 12 title odds (+24000).
Kansas State is in fourth when it comes to Big 12 championship odds with FanDuel Kansas at +800.
Whether the Jayhawks’ resurgence under second-year coach Lance Leipold, combined with the Wildcats’ continued success under coach Chris Klieman, can lift Kansas’ statewide ranking in the years ahead remains to be seen.
For now, at least Kansas residents have entered the final stretch of time before the Jayhawks begin their basketball national title defense inside Phog Allen Fieldhouse.