From a betting persepctive, Kansas State is going to be one of the toughest teams to figure out this season. Last year Kansas State came out of nowhere with their star QB Collin Klein to go 10-3 and 9-3 ATS. They reminded me somewhat of the “rock chalk” Kansas Jayhawks of 2007 that came out of nowhere with a star QB (Todd Reesing) to go 12-1 and 11-1 ATS. The next season the Jayhawks weren’t so “rock chalk” going 7-5 & 6-6 ATS. Will we see the same from Kansas State in 2012?
Although I don’t expect quite that big of a dropoff from this year’s version of the Wildcats, I do expect them to take a hit ATS. It won’t be because of their hard as nails QB Collin Klein. But it’s his surrounding cast and higher expectations for this team that has me a little concerned. In other words they won’t be sneaking up on anybody this year.
Here is the biggest problem I have with Kansas State. Last year they averaged just 347 ypg on offense while giving up 424 ypg on defense. I see something new happen every season that I’ve never quite seen happen before. I’ve never seen a team get outgained the way they were in 2011 and still end up with a 10-3 record. Which is really a testament to Klein’s talent and leadership at QB, along with Bill Snyder’s uncanny ability to make just the right in-game adjustements at the right times to pull out wins. A +16 turnover margin was also a HUGE factor for this team that had 8 games decided by a TD or less.
Can they have another similar season in 2012? If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that past performance is not always an indicator of future results. Kansas State could be virtually the same team in 2012 that they were in 2011 and could end up not winning more than 8 games. The reason is because even if the team doesn’t necessarily change that much, the circumstances do. Kansas State will have a tougher schedule to negotiate this season. They’ll play two of the best teams in the conference (West Virginia & Oklahoma) on the road. They also play Baylor and TCU in back to back road games.
But the biggest difference is the expectations will be higher for the Cats. From a betting perspective this isn’t a good thing if you are a Kansas State backer. We’ll need to carefully pick our spots with this team because I don’t feel they will do as well ATS this season. It doesn’t mean they won’t compete in all of their games, because with the style of football they play, the Cats are pretty much built for ball control, mistake free offense, and to be in every game they play. But the difference this season will be they won’t quite be getting as favorable of lines as they did last year. It’s going to make it very difficult for the Cats to cover as big favorites unless their 39th ranked defense from last year can move up about 20 places. I don’t really see a dropoff at all on offense. But unless Snyder continues to plug in quality players on defense, this is where I see the team struggling a bit. Especially when they go on the road.
Klein has a better surrounding cast this season at the skill positions, but he’s going to have to pass the ball better than he did last season. I guarantee after their 2011 success, their opponents will be out to stuff the run this year. Klein did well passing for over 500 yards in the Kansas State spring game against the second unit. But come Sept. 1 it’s all going to be for real.
New season, same Kansas State, but different opponents and circumstances. My prediction for now until I see the 2012 version of the Wildcats is 8 wins. But we’ll know everything we need to know about this team after they play their first conference game of the season Sept. 22 against Oklahoma in Norman.
What do you think about the 2012 Kansas State Wildcats? Let me know in the comment section below or send us your thoughts on Twitter @saturdayedge. Thanks – GS.