Can Kansas Football Make Playoff Surge in 2024 Under Lance Leipold?

Can Kansas Football Make Playoff Surge in 2024 Under Lance Leipold?
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

There aren’t many college football teams that have scaled the summit quite like Kansas has over the past 984 days.

On April 30, 2021, KU hired then-Buffalo Bulls coach Lance Leipold to try and resuscitate to school’s moribund football program, which hadn’t won more than five games in a single season at any point between 2010 and 2020.

Leipold’s hiring paid immediate dividends for the Jayhawks, with KU going from 2-10 in 2021 to 6-7 in 2022, before posting the program’s first nine-win season since going 12-1 in 2008 last fall.

Fresh off a 49-36 Guaranteed Rate Bowl victory over UNLV, it’s worth wondering whether Leipold and the Jayhawks can take the next step in the program’s comeback story, perhaps contending for the program’s first title.

With that and Kansas sports betting in mind, BetKansas.com broke down the climb KU’s football program has made in preseason national championship odds.

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Kansas National Title Odds by Year

Year Preseason Odds
2024+20000
2023+50000
2022+100000
2021+300000
2020+100000
2019+500000
2018+999999
2017+500000
Odds provided by FanDuel Kansas.
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Can KU Win It All In 2024?

At the moment, oddsmakers at FanDuel Kansas list Leipold’s team in a tie with Texas Tech, Kentucky and NC State for 28th nationally when it comes to CFP championship odds, at +20000. ESPN BET Kansas has the Jayhawks a little further down, tied for 31st at +25000.

Either figure, however, is the best in recent program history, ranking well ahead of the +50000 odds at this point last year. In the six years before last season, Kansas’ title odds were always in the six digits.

With star quarterback Jalon Daniels coming back for a fifth season after battling through injuries in each of the last two, and running back Devin Neal doing the same after rushing for 1,280 yards and 16 touchdowns, there’s reason for optimism in Lawrence. Throw in the fact KU leading receiver Lawrence Arnold is likely to return for 2024 after he finished 2023 with 44 catches, 782 yards and six scores.

KU will play FCS program Lindenwood to open the year Aug. 31, with two more non-conference games against Illinois (in Champaign) and UNLV (at home), before playing Colorado, TCU, Houston and Iowa State in Lawrence during the Big 12 season. The league road games are against Arizona State, Baylor, BYU and Kansas State. Kansas betting apps list Kansas State and Utah as the top Big 12 teams in national championship odds at +7500.

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Author

Christopher Boan is a lead writer at BetKansas.com specializing in covering state issues. He covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years.

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