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Big 12 Preview: The Kansas State Wildcats

Big 12 Preview: The Kansas State Wildcats

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?

Kansas State ATS 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.

The Problem With Kansas State

Kansas State QB Collin Klein

Collin Klein

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 Kansas State’s Good “Luck” Continue?

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.

Higher Expectations in 2012

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.

Kansas State Passing GameThe Kansas State Passing Game

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.

2012 Prediction for Kansas State

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.

 

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3 Responses to “Big 12 Preview: The Kansas State Wildcats”

  1. Kevin says:

    I really feel like K-State is undervalued this year. With TCU and WVU entering the conference they seem to be getting a lot of love but I can’t help thinking that K-State might just be the second best team in the Big 12. That is unless Colin Klein gets hurt and then they will finish right above Kansas.

  2. GoSooners GoSooners says:

    I do think WVU and TCU are a little overrated coming into this conference. Neither has faced these kinds of offenses on a week to week basis, and could be in for a bit of a shock. As for KSU, it all depends on those JUCO’s and how fast their 3 new OL can adjust to divison 1 football. The defense may also have to adjust to a new defensive coordinator. If everything comes together for this team like it did last season, then they could win as many as 10 games. But it’s all about that offensive line and being able to negotiate a little tougher schedule than they had last year. Plus nobody will be overlooking KSU this year. Bill Snyder’s teams have always been the hardest to predict in the summer because of the constant turnover of JUCO personnel. Sometimes they work for him, sometimes they don’t. We won’t know until they actually line up and play. One thing I know for sure is this conference isn’t won with rookie QB’s. So that alone puts KSU in the ballpark to be able to contend.

  3. SoonerBS says:

    The reason why we always say, “the Wildcats will be hard to gauge this season . . .” is because we always think there is no way a modern day college football team can win made up mostly of JUCO transfers. This is the age of blue-chip players and sought after recruits. However, we tend to forget that Snyder is not just a great coach, he is a great talent assessor of JUCOs and recruits the players he needs to fill holes in his system. He’s been doing it for YEARS and there is no reason to believe that this season will be any different.

    For me, it is hard to see them repeating the same success as last season with all their close wins, but they have ESSENTIALLY the same weapons coming back this year that they had last year. They WILL have another winning season.

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