The University of Kansas (KU) Jayhawks have played in twelve bowl games in the history of their football program, and during that time the team had six wins and six losses. Interestingly, the University of Kansas, known primarily for its basketball prowess, has been playing football longer than it has played basketball. The first football season at KU took place in 1890, and eight years later the first basketball season began in 1898.
While twelve bowl appearances in a 120-year history equals one bowl appearance every ten years, there is one encouraging aspect to the overall record and that is the fact that the Jayhawks have won five of their last six postseason games. For many optimists this statistic alone is enough to show that the football program is moving in the right direction.
The twelve appearances with results are as follows:
- 1947: 21-14 Orange Bowl loss to Georgia Tech
- 1961: 33-7 Bluebonnet Bowl win against Rice University
- 1968: 15-14 loss in the Orange Bowl to Penn State
- 1973: 31-18 Liberty Bowl loss to North Carolina State
- 1975: 33-19 loss in the Sun Bowl against the University of Pittsburgh
- 1981: 10-0 loss in the Hall of Fame Bowl to Mississippi State University
- 1992: 23-20 Aloha Bowl win vs. Brigham Young University (BYU)
- 1995: 51-30 Aloha Bowl victory against the UCLA Bruins
- 2003: 56-26 Tangerine Bowl loss to North Carolina State
- 2005: 42-13 Fort Worth Bowl victory against the University of Houston
- 2007: 24-21 Orange Bowl win against Virginia Tech
- 2008: 42-21 Insight Bowl victory against the University of Minnesota
While it was a tremendous honor for Jayhawk fans to be invited to the Orange Bowl Bowl Championship Series (BCS) in 2007, few supporters probably realize that the Orange Bowl is actually the postseason contest where the team of University of Kansas football has competed the most number of times. The Aloha Bowl is the postseason venue where KU football teams have had the most success with a perfect 2-0 record following victories in 1992 and 1995 against BYU and UCLA.
Exactly what future postseason successes awaited the University of Kansas remains to be seen. The one thing for sure is that former head coach Mark Mangino, who helped the team turn the corner into national college football prominence, won’t be joining the team for the trip. Following the 2009 college football season, Coach Mangino was relieved of his duties. The Jayhawks’ new head coach is a man named Turner Gill whose most previous job was as head coach for the University at Buffalo from 2006 to 2009.