Shaping up to be a September to remember for Kansas sports

Tramaine Thompson returns a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown Aug. 7, 2013 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. K-State looks to add to a stellar month for sports in Kansas and Kansas City, Miss.

This past weekend was a fun one if you’re a fan of the teams in Kansas City, Kan. and Kansas City, Mo.

The Kansas City Chiefs won their season opener over the Jacksonville Jaguars 28-2. The Kansas City Royals beat the Detroit Tigers twice and are in the midst of a playoff race. Sporting KC shut out Columbus 3-0. And the K-State and KU football teams both won, beating Louisiana-Lafayette and South Dakota respectively.

Having those five teams go undefeated as a whole over the course of one weekend is rare. In fact, it’s only happened once before and that was back in 1996.

This September is gearing up to possibly be the best one in the history of Kansas sports. The Chiefs, Wildcats and Jayhawks could all conceivably go undefeated in the month, leaving football fans in the state with a 10-0 record.

The Chiefs have the fifth easiest strength schedule in the entire NFL this season. In September, the hardest game for quarterback Alex Smith and company will be on Sept. 29 against the New York Giants, who are already 0-1 this season, and that game is on the Chiefs’ home turf. The Chiefs also play Dallas and Philadelphia in September.

For K-State, its win over Louisiana-Lafayette helped the Wildcats bounce back from a loss in Week 1 to North Dakota State. The Wildcats’ Week 3 matchup against Massachusetts should be a cakewalk, setting the stage for their Big 12 opener in Austin, Texas against the Longhorns.

The Longhorns are reeling from a 40-21 beat down at the hands of the BYU Cougars, who ran for 550 yards on the Texas defense, causing head coach Mack Brown to promptly fired his defensive coordinator. Also, the Wildcats have beaten Texas five straight times dating back to 2006.

With K-State’s potent rushing attack, which is starting to develop with sophomore quarterback Daniel Sams as an option in the two-quarterback system, the Wildcats should be poised to go into Austin and take one from the Longhorns. Say it with me K-State fans, “We own Texas.”

KU has just two games left in September as it travels to Rice on Sept. 14 and hosts Louisiana Tech on Sept. 21. While the Jayhawks haven’t been a terribly impressive football team in recent years, there are signs that things are turning around in Lawrence. Rice and Louisiana Tech should be two winnable games for Charlie Weis’ team, which is looking to establish a positive tone early in the year.

As for Sporting KC, it is tied for the third-best record in the entire MLS and is poised for a playoff berth. Currently, Kansas’ only major professional sports team is ranked third in the Eastern Conference, with the top five teams reaching the playoffs.

What’s perhaps most surprising about this September though is that the Kansas City Royals are still relevant. In nearly every year since 1985, with 2003 being the only exception, the Royals have fallen into oblivion by this time of year. Typically by now, fans have shifted their focus to football and let another Royals season go by the wayside.

But this year, the Royals are on the verge of its first winning record since that 2003 season. And not only that, but the team is also making a push for one of the two wild card spots in the American League playoffs. At the time of print, the Royals sit just four games back from a playoff berth.

If the Royals don’t make the playoffs, it is sure to hurt fans that have finally found a reason to stick by this team for this long instead of shifting over to football season in August. But it will be a new kind of hurt, the kind that comes with teams which are successful, and it will also give fans some legitimate optimism heading into the 2014 MLB season.

Overall, sports in Kansas City and in the state of Kansas are poised for a huge month. The Chiefs, Wildcats and Jayhawks have a legitimate chance of going undefeated. Sporting KC is sure to continue its path to the playoffs, and the Royals are in the middle of their own surprising postseason push.

Some people think the holiday season in winter is the best time of the year. But if you’re a sports fan in Kansas, this month could be the best time of your life.