Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the Kansas State Wildcats season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: Kansas State Wildcats
This is the time for Kansas State to pull off one of those years.
We’re well past the point when it’s time to think Bill Snyder might be done anytime soon. He’ll be 79 during the season, but nothing is slowing down. Nothing is stopping.
In a league where he’s older than Lincoln Riley and Tom Herman combined, his teams are still adapting, adjusting, and winning despite the lack of talent compared to the big boys, coming up with nine straight seasons with six wins or more since coming back to the program in 2009.
And now it’s time to get back to the Big 12 Championship game again.
Under Snyder, the Wildcats got there three times, winning in 2003, but that was a different era. Then, you just had to win your six-team conference in a Big 12 that actually had 12 teams in it. Now? You have to be among the two best in the ten-team conference.
Kansas State can get there this year.
Assuming that Oklahoma should take a slight step back, and without a true killer No. 2 team to worry about quite yet, the Big 12 is loaded with okay teams, but no one amazing. And that’s where Kansas State steps in.
Every once in a while – like in 2011, 2012 2014 and late in 2016, winning 39 games in those four seasons – the program’s formula works. It catches a great team or two leaning the wrong way, piledrives the weak, and ends up with a great record.
Never mind that there’s always that one game when a talent-gap reality slaps the program in the face, this year, all it has to do is be in the top 20% of its conference and it’ll have a shot at something special.
As long as there aren’t a slew of big injuries on the defensive front, the rest of the pieces are there for a huge season.
The secondary might have been a disaster last year, but there’s experience returning. As always, players from out of nowhere will rise up in the Kansas State mold and produce in the rotation on the front seven, and best of all, the offense should be able to control the clock a bit more to keep that occasionally beleaguered D off the field.
The O has a great backfield, emerging receivers, and all five starters back on the line. It’s not going to put up massive numbers, but it’ll be good enough to be at least as strong as it was last season.
And in this year’s Big 12, that might be good enough to get to Arlington.