Big 12 Kansas Football News: Leipold Praises Campbell’s Cyclones Ahead of Matchup, Klieman Earns Special Honors

NCAA Football: Tennessee Tech at Kansas

Lance Leipold Talks Wanting To “Emulate” Matt Campbell’s Iowa State’s Program  

Lance Leipold’s Kansas Jayhawks are one of the top surprises in the young 2022 NCAA football season, having won their first four games to open the year. 

The Jayhawks have already doubled their 2021 win total (they were 2-10 last year). Of course, growing pains were widely expected for the Jayhawks in year one under Leipold. The 2020 squad went 0-9 on the year, Les Miles’ last with the school. 

Leipold and the Jayhawks will look to maintain their perfect record when they welcome Matt Campbell’s 3-1 Iowa State Cyclones at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium this Saturday (3:30 p.m. EST).  

The Wheat State launched mobile/online and in-person sports betting on Sept. 1, and it’s been a massive success in the early going. The Caesars Sportsbook Kansas app is among the state’s most popular, and they’re currently offering new users a risk-free wager of up to $1,250 plus 1,000 in Tier Credits and $1,000 in Reward Credits. 

Ahead of the highly-anticipated showdown with Iowa State, Leipold offered some strong praise for the program that Campbell has put together, even stating that the Jayhawks want to “emulate” it. 

“Matt does an outstanding job,” Leipold said, “As I have said before, that’s a program in many ways that we look to emulate. And I don’t view that at all as a negative, it’s a high compliment to Matt Campbell and his staff, and where we want to be with consistency.” 

Campbell previously coached Toledo before arriving at Iowa State in 2016. He has built the Cyclones into one of the top teams in the Big 12 Conference, to the point where he’s reportedly been targeted by multiple NFL teams. 

The Detroit Lions reportedly offered Campbell a lucrative contract in 2021, and former New Orleans Saints assistant Dan Dampbell took the position instead.  

Campbell was also mentioned as a candidate for the New York Jets’ head coaching position, but they never wound up interviewing him. Robert Saleh, previously the San Francisco 49ers’ defensive coordinator, was named the Jets’ new head coach. 

Through his first six seasons at Iowa State, Campbell compiled a 42-34 record. The Cyclones went 3-9 in his first year on the job, but it’s only been winning seasons under his watch ever since. 

So it’s easy to understand why Leipold wants to “emulate” the Cyclones’ program under Campbell. It’s still early in the 2022 season, but so far, so good on Leipold’s end. 

Chris Klieman Named Recipient For The Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week 

An exciting week for the Kansas State Wildcats got even better, as head coach Chris Klieman was named the Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week. 

The honors are presented to “a football coach who led his team to a significant victory during the previous week, while also embodying the award’s three pillars of scholarship, leadership and integrity.” 

Klieman and the Wildcats pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 2022 NCAA football season thus far, defeating the No. 6 ranked Oklahoma Sooners 41-34 on the road. The victory moved Klieman’s Wildcats to 3-1 on the year. 

Despite surrendering 330 passing yards and four touchdowns to Dillon Gabriel and a whopping 220 rushing yards on the ground, the Wildcats hung in there and outscored Brent Venables’ powerhouse squad by a touchdown. 

After three uneven performances to open the year, Adrian Martinez tuned in his best outing of 2022. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound quarterback completes 21 passes for 234 yards and one passing touchdown. 

Martinez also powered the Wildcats’ ground game by recording 148 rushing yards and four rushing scores on only 21 carries. Deuce Vaughn also crossed the 100-yard mark (116 yards on 25 carries) and Ben Sinnott led the team with 80 receiving yards on four catches. 

Klieman took over as the Wildcats’ head coach in 2019, and he led them to winning seasons in two of his first three years on the job. Kansas State will host Texas Tech this Saturday (12:00 p.m. EST) before traveling to Iowa State to take on Campbell’s Cyclones. 

Wildcats Sneak In, Jayhawks Absent From Latest AP Top 25 Poll 

In the latest AP Top 25 rankings, the Wildcats barely snuck in by snagging the No. 25 spot. 

This isn’t surprising after Klieman led the Wildcats to a big-time upset over Oklahoma. But there is some backlash and confusion some baBcklash over the Jayhawks’ absence from the AP Top 25 despite the 4-0 start. 

The Jayhawks are the top team on the outside looking in for the latest AP Top 25 rankings, as they garnered 125 votes. The next closest team, Cincinnati, received 60. Florida was the only other team to receive at least 50 votes, finishing with 56 total. 

The reigning national champions in Georgia once again claimed the top spot, with Nick Saban’s Alabama Squad right behind them at No. 2. Ohio State (third), Michigan (fourth) and Clemson (fifth) round out the top five. 

Leipold’s Jayhawks may have barely missed the Top 25 this week, but a win over Iowa State may finally propel them into the rankings once and for all. 

To Top