It has been six years since the Kansas football program won a road game, which remains one of the more astonishing feats in college football. The long, brutal stretch of road inadequacy sits at 30 games now — and 33 games if you include three losses to Missouri at Arrowhead Stadium.
The streak has included the regimes of three coaches (Mark Mangino, Turner Gill and Charlie Weis) and another interim (Clint Bowen). The streak has included nonconference trips to Rice, Southern Miss, Georgia Tech, Northern Illinois and Duke. The streak has included conference losses to four schools who are no longer in the Big 12. The streak will not die.
The streak has lasted so long that first-year Kansas coach David Beaty was actually at KU the last time the Jayhawks won a road game — Sept. 12, 2009, at UTEP.
Six years later, Beaty says he’s not concerned with the numbers or the recent history — though he was reminded of the streak while scrolling through Twitter on Tuesday morning. When you are the head football coach at Kansas, you cannot escape the streak.
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“It’s in your face every now and then because of Twitter and things like that when we’re recruiting,” Beaty said. “That’s one of those things that I don’t think our kids really think a whole lot about that, either. We don’t allow them to. That has nothing to do with them, it really doesn’t.”
In most ways, Beaty is correct. Some of the players on Kansas’ current roster were in middle school when the streak began. They had nothing to do with the length of this thing. Then again, no player on the roster has ever won a road game at Kansas, and until that changes, the streak will hang over the program.
So as KU prepares to travel to Rutgers on Saturday, a brief reminder of how long it’s been since the Jayhawks’ last road win.
▪ On the day of Kansas’ last road win, the No. 1 song in American was “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas.
▪ Kansas sophomore shooting guard Svi Mykhailiuk was a 12-year-old kid living in Ukraine.
▪ The KU men’s basketball program was just months removed from a Sweet 16 loss to Michigan State and bracing to be a consensus No. 1 in the preseason polls.
▪ Todd Reesing was a senior quarterback, Chris Harris was a junior defensive back and the KU football program was coming off two straight bowl victories and ranked No. 24th in the country.
▪ The iPhone was just 2 years old, Twitter had been around just three years and SnapChat, Instagram, Vine and Periscope did not exist.
▪ Daily fantasy sports was not a thing that people did, President Obama was in his first year in office and Charlie Weis was still the football coach at Notre Dame.
Some day, of course, Kansas will win another road game. But for the moment, Beaty remains unconcerned with the streak’s length or meaning.
“If it was a 30-game win streak or 30-game lose streak, you’d like to be on the other side of it, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter,” Beaty said. “What happens that day is what’s going to matter.”