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Greetings from "Can't Wait For Saturday," your morning morsel of college football, courtesy of longtime Illini beat writer, AP Top 25 voter and Heisman state rep Bob Asmussen. He'll give you his views each day on the game he loves.
Good thing Illinois football scheduled its game at Kansas in 2023. That way, they were actually able to play in Lawrence.
The 2024 home season for the Jayhawks has turned into a bit of a mess. Because of renovations at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, Kansas is a team without a home field.
The 1921 building is two years older than Illinois' Memorial Stadium and needs a serious upgrade.
No way to play there during construction, so Kansas will split its home schedule between Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City and GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.
The former is the home of Major League Soccer's Sporting Kansas City squad. It seats 18K for succer, so it could be a tight squeeze for noncon games against Lindenwood and UNLV.
No such trouble for the games at GEHA, home of defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs. The building holds 78,416. Kansas will host Big 12 opponents TCU, Houston, Iowa State and Colorado.
The timing for the renovation is less than ideal, but needed to happen sooner rather than later. Better to do it now while the program is riding high.
Kansas visits Champaign's Memorial Stadium on Sept. 7. A huge opportunity for both teams. Illinois has a chance to show it has rebounded from a disappointing 5-7 season. And Kansas can enhance its College Football Playoff resume with a road game against the Power Four.
Kansas isn't the only team on the Illinois schedule with a stadium issue. Northwestern is redoing its place and will split its games between as-yet undecided venues. The game against Illinois on Nov. 30 appears to be headed to Wrigley Field. Cool.