2012 Kansas State Wildcats Football Preview
2011 Record: 10-3 (7-2 Big 12)
Head Coach: Bill Snyder, twenty-first season (159-83-1 all at Kansas State)
Projected Returning Starters: 18
Spring Game: April 28th (Purple 42 White 42)
Notes: For those that have followed college football for sometime, you would know that prior to the arrival of Bill Snyder in Manhattan in 1989, that Kansas State was, arguably, the worst major conference program in the country. Even is his first year was bad, as Kansas State was 1-10, 0-7 in the Big Eight. Prior to 1988, the Wildcats had two winning seasons since 1960. They have had 13 winning seasons since 1989. When Snyder first retired in 2005, he left a program which had won the Big 12 title in 2003, led by quarterback Eli Roberson, running back Darren Sproles, and defensive coordinator Bret Bielema. He also won the Big 12 North in 1998, 1999, and 2000, finishing ranked as high as 6th in the country. Ron Prince took over the program in 2006, but not surprisingly, struggled. Snyder returned in 2009, taking the Wildcats to bowl games in 2010 and 2011. Last season was a surprising one for Kansas State, as the Wildcats finished second in the Big 12, knocking off Miami (FL), Baylor, and Missouri.
BVTSB Take: For some reason, Snyder coached teams usually fly under the radar. Out of every team in the Big 12, Coach Snyder gets more out of the talent he has. Kansas State has a lot of starters returning, especially on the offensive side – second most in the Big 12. Expectations will be heightened in 2012, as Kansas State will be a dark horse favorite to win the conference. Quarterback Collin Klein is back for his senior season – he threw for over 1900 yards last season, 13 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. But his rushing numbers were more impressive, as the dual threat quarterback rushed for 1141 yards and 27 touchdowns. To expect similar numbers out of Klein would be asking a lot. Running back John Hubert will be called on to help – he rushed for 970 yards and three touchdowns last year. 68% of Kansas State’s plays were runs last year – if they can lower that percentage the Wildcats have a great shot at being a threat in the Big 12. The top three receivers return for K-State – Chris Harper, Tramaine Thompson, and Tyler Lockett. The trio combined for over 1000 yards receiving and 9 of the 13 receiving touchdowns last year. Last year, Kansas State opened with three non-conference wins, beating Eastern Kentucky, Kent State, and Miami (FL). This year, Kansas State faces Missouri State, Miami (FL), and North Texas – all at home. The Wildcats should do no worse than 2-1 in non-conference play, possibly 3-0. The conference slate will be tough though, as Kansas State faces Oklahoma, Iowa State, West Virginia, TCU, and Baylor – all on the road. Its very possible Kansas State could lose all of them. Home games against Kansas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, and Texas are winnable, though. Del Miller, who has been on Snyder’s staff as an offensive assistant for years now, will be back as offensive coordinator. It will be interesting to see if he tries to better develop Klein as a passer.
2012 Early Projection: 8-4
To see the 2012 Big 12 composite schedule, click here.
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