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Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Which is Kansas' most important game?

By David Ubben

We're continuing our series today looking at the "most important" game of the year for each team in the Big 12.

I have my own opinions on that for every team, but I'll ask the fans what they think first before I weigh in on what game I'd pick and why.

You can define "important" in a number of ways, which is why this exercise should be intriguing.

Let's have a closer look at the next team up on our list: Kansas.

at Rice, Sept. 14: It's not often that a Big 12 team seeks revenge against the Owls, but ... well, here the Jayhawks are. Winning this game would be an obvious sign of growth from last year's home loss to Rice on a last-second field goal that also featured a blown fourth-quarter lead. Kansas can't lose this game and be taken seriously in Big-12 play.

Texas Tech, Oct. 5: This is KU's first conference game of the year, and Texas Tech's first conference road game. The crowd should be energized, and you might see a little bit of shakiness from a good Texas Tech team. It's a chance for KU to prove they're a new-look team and end the losing streak.

Kansas State, Nov. 30: The in-state rivalry means a lot to both coaches, but a win would be huge for the Jayhawks. Not only would they capture state bragging rights, they'd do it in the final game of the season, making a long offseason (barring an unlikely bowl trip) feel a whole lot shorter and give the program something to build on. It's something to be proud of going into 2014.

at Iowa State, Nov. 23: Kansas is the only Big 12 team with less talent than Iowa State, and the Cyclones are rebuilding a bit, too. Going on the road isn't easy, but it's a decent chance for Kansas to get a conference win. ISU beat KU badly last season, but the last time KU went to Ames, it only lost by three. That Iowa State team was better than this one, and KU has improved since then.

West Virginia, Nov. 16: WVU is rebuilding as well, but this home game might be one of KU's best chances to win a conference game, too. Maybe KU can dream bigger this season, but it has to end a losing streak that's had some pretty crazy close calls. That's got to be the first step, and this is another chance for a win in Big 12 play.