2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 39 Kansas State Wildcats
The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Kansas State Wildcats
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No. 37: Kansas State Wildcats
Kansas State Wildcats Prespring Status
While it might not seem like anything special – finishing the year as the fourth-best team in the Big 12 – but it was a strong run, capped off by a great four-game winning streak with a bowl victory over Texas A&M. It was a second 9-4 season in the last three years, with a great ground game, a nasty run defense, and by doing the things Kansas State does well, like dominating the turnover margin and doing a nice job on special teams.
This year’s team should be even more Kansas Statey, with eight starters returning including almost all the parts to keep grinding out the running game to go along with competent receivers. The defense, though, has plenty of work to do with six starters gone, hurt mostly by …
Kansas State Wildcats Biggest Issue
The linebacking corps. With leading tackler Elijah Lee leaving early for the NFL, and with Charmeachealle Moore and his 75 tackles gone, the run defense needs new stars. All-star safety Dante Barnett is done, too, along with top pass rusher Jordan Willis. It’s Kansas State, so it always seems able to fill in the gaps, but the losses are big.
Kansas State Wildcats Biggest Positive
The ground game will rock. Jesse Ertz stayed healthy, and while he only threw nine touchdown passes, he led the team with over 1,000 yards on the ground with 12 scores. Top running back Charles Jones is done, but he was part of a rotation that worked in several different good options. They’ll all work behind fullback Winston Dimel and four starters back up front.
Really, Why Are The Kansas State Wildcats Ranked Here?
It’s going to be an interesting situation. First, and most importantly, head coach Bill Snyder has hopefully return 100% healthy after being diagnosed with throat cancer – he’s already said he plans on everything being okay. Second, the team has to keep on doing what it does well, but beat a few of the big boys along the way. There isn’t the explosion or talent compared to the top teams in the Big 12, but this should once again be a tough out each week.