Spring football is over and we now all begin the countdown to the Big 12 Media Days, Fall Camps, and then, yes, the start of the 2018 college football season. So, with that being said, let’s have some fun and take a look at the best-case and worst-case scenarios for every team in the Big 12 conference. We will start rolling these out throughout the month of May. Agree? Disagree? Don’t be afraid to let us know in the comments below!
We now take a closer look at the Kansas State Wildcats, who begin Year 27 under legendary head coach Bill Snyder and are coming off an 8-5 season in 2017. As time keeps rolling on, could this be the final year of the Bill Snyder era? If so, how will his last season play out? The possibilities are endless. This is probably the toughest team to gauge in the Big 12 in my opinion.
Kansas State Wildcats: Best-Case Scenario
While there is a definite quarterback battle going on in the little apple, either Skylar Thompson or Alex Delton can separate themselves from one another and lead this team. While being efficient, they get help from a good offensive line and RB Alex Barnes rushes for over 1,000 yards. Carlos Strickland, Isaiah Zuber and Dalton Schoen step up to help fill in the void left by Byron Pringle at WR.
Defensively, Kansas State loses their top two leading tacklers from 2017 in LBs Trent Tanking and Jayd Kirby. Although those are some tough departures, LBs Da’Quan Patton, Elijah Sullivan and Justin Hughes make their mark this season. Defensive backs Duke Shelley and Eli Walker look to lock down a secondary that was inconsistent last season. K-State struggled a lot last season against some of the more experienced quarterbacks in the league but luckily, almost all of them are gone.
Let’s take a positive look at the schedule here. The Wildcats start the season 3-0 after wins against South Dakota, UTSA and Mississippi State all at home. Then comes two tough games back to back at WVU and at home against Texas. It would be great to split those two games followed by wins against a rebuilding Baylor on the road and Oklahoma State in Manhattan. That puts the Wildcats at 6-1 at the bye week. Then comes the gauntlet where they have 3 tough games on the road at Oklahoma, TCU and Iowa State as well as 2 home games against Kansas and Texas Tech which should be wins. As for those 3 games on the road, I would see this team go 1-2 putting the final record at 9-3. That may be good enough to earn themselves a spot in the Big 12 title game depending on how the other team shake out. Not bad right?
Kansas State Wildcats: Worst-Case Scenario
Neither Skylar Thompson or Alex Delton are consistent at QB while the WRs struggle and fail to make up for the loss of Byron Pringle. The offense line will be solid but teams key on RB Alex Barnes as he struggles to find wiggle room from stacked boxes. Defensively, Kansas State can’t rush the passer and the secondary flickers with inconsistency like last season. Let’s put on our negativity shades, shall we?
The Wildcats beat South Dakota at home but fall short against an inexperienced head coach at Mississippi State at home much like the Vanderbilt loss last year. Follow that by a win against UTSA at home and this team is looking at 2-1 heading into Big 12 play, so far not bad right? Then comes tough losses against WVU on the road as well as Texas at home. No matter what, this team should then handle a rebuilding Baylor team as well as an Oklahoma State team trying to replace lost talent of their own. That puts the purple wizard’s Wildcats at 4-3 heading into the bye week. Then the season comes crashing down with back to back losses against Oklahoma and TCU on the road, but this team manages to beat Kansas and Texas Tech at home putting the team at 6-5. As for the season finale, the win streak ends against a feisty Iowa State team on the road in Farmageddon. Kansas State sends off Bill Snyder with a 6-6 record before the bowl game.