ESPN’s Greg McElroy predicts the 2024 Sunflower Showdown will have major implications for the CFP

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

McElroy recently took to the Always College Football Podcast to share his thoughts on some of the games to watch in Week 9 that are relevant to the College Football Playoff, as well as get hands-on for the game between the Big 12 rivals.

“Missouri vs. Alabama is the headliner, but Kansas vs. Kansas State, rivalry game, ladies and gentlemen,” McElroy said. “This game has Kansas as the third-best odds to win the Big 12 this year. Kansas State is the favorite to win the Big 12, along with Utah. Can Kansas go down and beat Kansas State in a rivalry game and maybe upset the pecking order there in the Big 12? That’s an exciting game that we’ll be watching.”

Kansas and Kansas State are projected to be two of the best teams in the Big 12 Conference coming into the season, with 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 to make the CFB, according to DraftKings Sportsbook , while the Jayhawks follow closely behind at +600.

Beyond the CFP implications, the matchup could serve as a Heisman moment for two crucial players under center. Both quarterbacks in the 2024 Sunflower Showdown have garnered significant 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’s too early to debate which players deserve the Heisman Trophy in 2024, the Kansas-Kansas State game will be must-watch television for many reasons.