7-5 overall, 3-5 conference, 5th Big 12 North
Against the spread
6-5 (5-2 home, 1-3 away, 1-2 grass)
6-5 (4-3 home, 2-2 away, 3-0 grass)
-.67 per game
2005 Season Summary
In just his second season on the job as head coach, Mark Mangino led the Kansas Jayhawks to a 6-6 regular season record and a bowl appearance, (a loss to North Carolina State), in 2003. In 2004 the Jayhawks slipped to 4-7 straight up but a closer look revealed that they were actually a more solid team than the prior season when they backed into that Tangerine Bowl. The Jayhawks were improving and playing solid defense under Mangino and, further, their 7-4 mark against the oddsmakers in 2004 revealed that they were an underrated bargain on the betting boards.
KU would have a tough road for a bowl
Kansas, as so many BCS teams do, padded its non conference schedule with cupcakes, which was not a bad idea, as the Big 12 portion of their schedule loomed quite difficult with games against Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech slated for the Big 12 South portion of their schedule. While Mangino’s defense was rock ribbed, his offense was quite questionable and would hold the key as to whether or not the Jayhawks would see post-season action. All in all it looked as if KU would have a tough road for a bowl.
Jayhawks didn’t stumble in the preseason
KU’s 2005 opener was at home against Florida Atlantic, a virtual college football “expansion” team in its first full season of D-1 play. The Jayhawks were whopping, 28.5 point chalks and didn’t come close to getting the cash in their 30-19 win. This was a solid example of an overlay due to nothing more than Big 12 pedigree at home against an unknown Sun Belt Conference program. KU next took a 36-8 decision over 1-AA competition. In their third non conference game, the Jayhawks hosted Louisiana Tech as a 15.5-point chalk and took a solid 34-14 win and cover to enter Big 12 Conference play standing at 3-0 straight up and 1-1 against the spread. The Jayhawks didn’t stumble in preseason and it was a good thing as the Big 12 would, as always, provide stern tests.
A brief bargain
Kansas opened league play at highflying Texas Tech, which would be an excellent test for the highly touted Jayhawk defense. The Jayhawks were quite a value as 18.5-point dogs as their defense was likely to keep them in the game even if their relatively weak offense couldn’t keep pace. KU was a brief bargain as they got the cash in a 17-30 defeat.
In their next game at archrival Kansas State the Jayhawks were 5-point dogs and lost a brutal 3-12 decision in a game that many believed they should have won straight up. The loss at Kansas State seemed to deflate the Jayhawks as they next hosted Oklahoma, who seemed to be down at least a notch from previous Sooner teams. KU was a 7-point home dog and lost 3-19 as their inept offense was killing them and their bowl potential. The three game losing streak in Big 12 play served as a reality check for KU.
In their next game at Colorado the Jayhawks were a 16.5-point dog against the erratic Golden Buffaloes and were destroyed 13-44 for their fourth consecutive straight up loss and third consecutive failure against the pointspread. At 3-4 straight up and 2-4 against the spread KU had reached rock bottom.
KU was written off for dead as hated Missouri visited Lawrence as a 3-point chalk with momentum on their side. KU proved to be a bargain value as they dominated Mizzou in a 13-3 “upset” win on homecoming. In their next game at home against Nebraska, KU scored a stunning 40-15 win in a pick’em affair that was their first win over the Huskers since 1968.
Closed in the black
Kansas had little left for their next game at Texas as a 32-point dog and lost in meek fashion 14-66. In their regular season finale against Iowa State at home on Senior Day, KU was a 3-point dog against a Cyclone team needing a win to clinch the North Division. KU needed the game for a bowl berth and scored a thrilling 24-21 win. Kansas walloped Houston 42-13 in the bowl as a 4-point chalk as they closed in the black.