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ESPN’s Greg McElroy Predicts 2024 Sunflower Showdown Will Have Major CFP Implications

NCAA Football: Kansas State at Kansas

While it’s no secret that the Sunflower Showdown between Kansas and Kansas State will be one of the biggest games of the 2024 college football season, ESPN’s Greg McElroy recently took it one step further.

McElroy recently discussed his thoughts on some Week 9 games to watch with College Football Playoff implications via the Always College Football Podcast and went to bat for the Big 12 rivalry game.


“Missouri at Alabama is the headliner, but Kansas at Kansas State, rivalry game, ladies and gentlemen,” McElroy said. “This game, Kansas has the third-best odds to win the Big 12 this year. Kansas State is the favorite to win the Big 12, alongside Utah. Can Kansas go on the road and knock off Kansas State in a rivalry game to maybe upset the pecking order there in the Big 12? That’s a close one that we’ll be following.”

Kansas and Kansas State are expected to be two of the top teams in the Big 12 Conference in the upcoming season, both more than capable of winning the league and advancing to the College Football Playoff. Chris Klieman and the Wildcats enter 2024 with +250 odds of making the CFB courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Jayhawks follow narrowly behind with +600.

In addition to CFP implications, the matchup could serve as a Heisman moment for two crucial players under center. Both quarterbacks in the 2024 Sunflower Showdown are receiving a lot of preseason praise in the Heisman conversation, with Kansas State’s Avery Johnson at +2500 (11th-best odds) and Kansas’ Jalon Daniels at +3500 (15th-best odds).

While it is still a little early to debate which players deserve the Heisman Trophy in 2024, the matchup between Kansas and Kansas State will be must-see TV for many reasons.

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