Big 12 News

Kansas State Coach ‘Sure’ Players Saw All-Big 12 Omission

LAS VEGAS — Kansas State was picked to finish second in the Big 12 in the preseason poll. But not a single Wildcat was named to the All-Big 12 Preseason Team.

And they know it, Wildcats coach Chris Klieman said at Big 12 Media Days.

“I’m sure that our players, if you asked them, they probably saw both polls,” Klieman said.


It’s a curious misalignment to be sure, given that K-State won the Big 12 Championship Game in 2022 and is coming off a 9-4 season.

But he said he’s not paying attention to it. In fact, Klieman believes it speaks to his roster’s depth.

“I hope it shows people the overall depth and value of our roster and how important our role players are and how important our players are,” Klieman said. “If you’re a successful team, individual honors at the end of the season are gonna come.

Klieman said he didn’t know if the players were excited or disappointed by that development. But, he’s already put it in his rear-view mirror as fall practices approach.

“You still got to perform and we’ve got a lot of work to do before we get to into the end of August,” he said.

Kansas State was 6-3 record in the Big 12. The Wildcats capped off the season with a win over NC State in the inaugural Pop-Tarts Bowl.

The biggest news of the offseason was the departure of K-State legend and offensive coordinator Collin Klein, who is now at Texas A&M. The Wildcats elevated Conor Riley to offensive coordinator and he’ll get support from former Texas Tech head coach Matt Wells. 


There is transition at quarterback too, as Will Howard transferred to Ohio State and Avery Johnson ascended to the starting job. His great performance in the Pop-Tarts Bowl solidified it.

Johnson will lean heavily on running back DJ Giddens, who rushed for more than 1,200 yards, and wide receiver Jayce Brown as the Wildcats find replacements for offensive lineman Cooper Beebe and tight end Ben Sinnott.

Seven starters return on defense, including linebacker Austin Moore, who emerged as a starter after the season-ending injury to Daniel Green. The unit gave up 21 points per game and returns just about every two-deep player from a season ago.

Kansas State hosts UT Martin on Aug. 31, followed by a trip to Tulane on Sept. 7 and a home game against Arizona on Sept. 13, which is counted as a non-conference game per a previous agreement before Arizona joined the Big 12.

Kansas State starts Big 12 play at BYU on Sept. 21 and then hopes the league home slate with Oklahoma State on Sept. 28.

After going to Colorado on Oct. 12 and West Virginia on Oct. 19, the Wildcats host Kansas on Oct. 26.

K-State starts November at Houston on Nov. 2 and then hosts Arizona State on Nov. 16. After hosting Cincinnati on Nov. 23 the regular season ends at Iowa State on Nov. 30.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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