Kansas State Wildcats

Anonymous Big 12 Coach on K-State Football: They’re ‘One of the Most Complete Teams in this League’

NCAA Football: Big 12 Football Championship-Texas Christian at Kansas State

We’ve reached the point of the offseason where preseason magazines start to trickle out onto grocery store shelves and in .PDF format on Twitter and everywhere else you find your college football content.

One of the mainstays of the preseason magazine world, Athlon Sports, has long had a segment during this part of the season when they ask coaches, anonymously, about other coaches in their league.

After its first outright Big 12 Championship since 2003, the Kansas State Wildcats will look to defend their title in 2023. According to one Big 12 Coach, they might have the pieces to do it, although losing Deuce Vaughn is hard to replace.


“They’re smart and physical and one of the most complete teams in this league. They can take a philosophy like [Matt] Campbell’s at ISU — developmental program, mental discipline, tight family culture — and make it work at a higher level more often. … They won’t be as good without [Deuce] Vaughn. He was more important to them than Bijan [Robinson] was at Texas. That guy could ball out. They’re still very good defensively, and their offensive line is really good. They’re an O-line program — show-don’t-tell — and they’ll fight you some to start a game and set the tone.”

Chris Klieman and the Big 12 champs earned their title win by playing a gritty, bulldozing style of football in Manhattan that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. The family narrative that K-State has on and off the field is one that Klieman has strengthened after taking over for the legendary head coach Bill Snyder. While other Big 12 coaches see the team as a physical, tough team, the Wildcats have quietly become one of the flashier teams in the conference.

While they did lose two of their best playmakers to the NFL Draft this year with DE Felix Anudike-Uzomah and RB Deuce Vaughn, Chris Klieman has found a way to develop players into top athletes and contributing members in the Big 12 conference, including senior quarterback Will Howard, who enters the season as the lone starter following his emergence last year in the wake of Adrian Martinez being sidelined with a knee injury.

The Wildcats returned their entire offensive line including All-American senior guard, Cooper Beebe who hasn’t allowed a sack in his entire collegiate career. While K-State does lose an element of explosiveness in the absence of Deuce Vaughn, the Wildcats reloaded at the running back position with four-star RB transfer Treshaun Ward committing from Florida State. The team also has another contributor in second-year back, DJ Giddens who played behind Vaughn last season showcasing his ability to tote the rock on multiple different occasions. The Wildcats kick their season off with championship expectations for the second year in a row, meeting SEMO on September 2nd in Manhattan to show off the new squad.

Most Popular

To Top