Head Coach: Bill Snyder | Record: 159-83-1; 20 Years | Offensive Coordinator: Del Miller, Dana Dimel | Defensive Coordinator: Tom Hayers | Returning Starters: 16: 8 Offense, 6 Defense
Sep. 3 Eastern Kentucky W 10-7
Sep. 10 OPEN DATE
Sep. 17 Kent State W 37-0
Sep. 24 at Miami W 38-24
Oct. 1 Baylor W 36-35
Oct. 8 Missouri W 24-17
Oct. 15 at Texas Tech W 41-34
Oct. 22 at Kansas W 59-21
Oct. 29 Oklahoma L 17-58
Nov. 5 at Oklahoma State L 45-52
Nov. 12 Texas A&M (4OT) W 53-50
Nov. 19 at Texas W 17-13
Nov. 26 OPEN DATE
Dec. 3 Iowa State W 30-23
Jan. 6 Arkansas L 16-29
Sep. 1 Missouri State
Sep. 8 Miami
Sep. 15 North Texas
Sep. 22 at Oklahoma
Sep. 29 OPEN DATE
Oct. 6 Kansas
Oct. 13 at Iowa State
Oct. 20 at West Virginia
Oct. 27 Texas Tech
Nov. 3 Oklahoma State
Nov. 10 at TCU
Nov. 17 at Baylor
Nov. 24 OPEN DATE
Dec. 1 Texas
Coming in at #24 is the Kansas State Wildcats, led by Heisman hopeful Collin Klein. Kansas State had about as perfect of a season as they could possibly hope for last season, going 10-2 during the regular season in which they were underdogs in 8 of the 12. Not only were there upsets, but they all seemed to be extremely close. Eight of their wins were by a touchdown or less. The two wins by more than seven: Kent State and Kansas.
With 16 returning starters from a 10-win team, expectations are high for the first time in a while at Kansas State. A lot of preseason magazines have Kansas State ranked around the 15-18 range. So why do I have them ranked so low?
Basically it comes down to a few things: they rely on basically one player (Klein), a high turnover margin, and the amount of close games last year.
The offense begins and ends with one player: Collin Klein. Klein is Tebow-esque in his power running from the quarterback position. He carried the ball 311 times last year (64 more carries than anyone in the Big 12), for 1,448 yards and 27 touchdowns, an FBS record for quarterbacks.
That amount of rushing is simply unsustainable in the longterm, and if he gets injured, Kansas State is basically helpless. He is what powers this team through and through. Last season Klein missed two weeks of practice because his body was so beat up from all the rushing and it will only get worse with more carries.
Kansas State will need to throw the football more to preserve their star quarterback, something that he is not exactly dominant at. Last season, he completed 57.3% of his passes for 1,918 yards with a 13-6 TD-INT ratio. However, he did look better in the spring, completing 47 of 56 passes in the Spring Game for 475 yards and six touchdowns.
The Wildcats do have a stable of running backs to also help shoulder the load, led by John Hubert who rushed for 970 yards last season.
Another concern is the offensive line, where K-State loses three starters.
Kansas State’s defense has a lot of holes but will be led by linebacker Arthur Brown. Brown, the Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year, recorded 101 tackles last season. He will be playing alongside Tre Walker and converted quarterback Justin Tuggle.
The defensive line for the Wildcats was mostly inconsistent last season outside of Meshak Williams, who had seven sacks last season (4th in Big 12).
The secondary will give up a lot of passing yards, so they will need to create turnovers to counter it. Cornerback Nigel Malone should help the cause with seven interceptions last year. Safety Ty Zimmerman is a very smart player that helps get the defense properly aligned.
Kansas State has the potential to have a very good offense but will need to improve from last year if they want to continue having success. Last season, they got by by making clutch plays and forcing turnovers to upset teams. Now, they have the target on their back and will have a hard time replicating the clutchness of last season. If Klein goes down, this season has the potential to be a disaster. If he can add a passing element to his game, and the defense improves, Kansas State could have a successful season.