Shortly before 6:00 p.m. CT on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009, I scoured the internet for a live stream of the Kansas–Colorado football game. It wasn't available on TV — at least not back home in Saint Paul, Minn., where I was visiting during fall break of my junior year at Kansas — so I was forced into the bowels of the illegal streaming world.
Eventually, I found the game on BobsSketchyStreaming.com, called my wife (then girlfriend) into the room and we huddled around the desktop computer for the next three hours. We watched Kansas football die an unexpected, rollercoaster death.
A week earlier, the Jayhawks beat Iowa State in Lawrence to improve to 5-0 and remain in the AP top 25 (No. 17) for the 26th time in the last 34 weeks. They were a worse football team than in each of the previous two seasons but were (presumably) bowl-bound for a third straight season for the first time in program history.
Kansas football was still fun. It still had a pulse. Not yet losing to Nicholls, getting blown out by Central Michigan at home or gaining 21 total yards in a nationally televised game vs. TCU.
Kansas trailed Colorado, 27-10, early in the third quarter after the Buffaloes erased an early 3-0 deficit and scored 27 of the last 30 points. Twelve minutes and 36 seconds of game time later, they led Colorado, 30-27. Like each of the last two weeks — one-score home wins over mediocre Iowa State and Southern Miss teams — it wasn't pretty but they were winning.
Still fun. Still a pulse. Not yet yielding 70 points to Oklahoma State or losing to South Dakota State on a fumbled snap.
Colorado converted three third-down attempts, including a 3rd-and-15, on the ensuing 10-play, 76-yard drive to regain the lead. Kansas didn't score again. Despite gaining 130 yards over their final two drives and forcing a Colorado punt from deep in the Buffs' own territory, they didn't score again.
It was the first of loss of 2009 and the first of 97 losses in 115 games. Since defeating Iowa State on Oct. 10, 2009, Kansas is 18-97. They had 20 wins from 2007-08 alone. They have 18 over the last nine and a half years.
Since defeating Iowa State on Oct. 10, 2009, they're 5-82 in Big 12 games. They've never won more than three total games in a season or more than one Big 12 game in a season. And when they visit on TCU on Sept. 28 for their first Big 12 road game of 2019, it will mark 4,011 days since their last Big 12 road win (Oct. 4, 2008).
The four-point Colorado loss wasn't the cause of death (See: What the Hell Happened to Kansas Football?). I didn't even know Kansas football was dying on my computer screen. No one knew Kansas football was dying.
But on Oct. 17, 2009, in Boulder, Kansas football died.