Kansas State Picks
Can the Kansas State Wildcats be a force in the Big 12 once again in 2017, or will they get lost in the shuffle?
According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, Kansas State is listed with 85/1 odds to win the College Football Playoffs this season. The Wildcats are also listed with 7/1 odds to win the Big 12 in 2017. When it comes to the over/under for regular-season wins, Kansas State is listed at 8. The over carries a line of -155, while the under has a money line of +125.
Bill Snyder is back for a remarkable 26th season as head coach of the Wildcats. The veteran coach has put up a 202-105-1 record with Kansas State overall and a 118-80-1 record in conference play. Kansas State is coming off a 9-4 record in 2016, including a win in the Texas Bowl. Kansas State has won at least 8 games in five of the last six years.
Kansas State has never been a terribly flashy offense. The Wildcats averaged 32.2 points and 389 yards per game in 2016. They weren’t much in the air, averaging just 157 passing yards per game. Jesse Ertz returns for his senior year under center. He threw for 1,755 yards and nine touchdowns in 2016, but he also was the leading rusher with 1,012 yards and 12 touchdowns. Justin Silmon and Alex Barnes are back at running back as well. They combined for over 900 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. K-State also has its top-2 receivers back from 2016. Bryon Pringle led the way with 39 catches for 631 yards and four touchdowns.
Defensively, Kansas State was near the middle of the pack in 2016. The Wildcats held their opponents to 21.8 points and 382 yards per game. Their points allowed actually ranked 20th nationally. The unit lost their most dangerous player in Jordan Willis, who had 11.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss in 2016. The Cats hope sophomore Reggie Walker can take his place. He had 6.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss as a freshman. Also back is a big body in the middle of the line, Will Geary. He had 45 tackles and seven tackles for loss in 2016. In the secondary, K-State had 16 interceptions last year. Junior D.J. Reed will lead the unit after having three interceptions and 19 pass deflections in 2016.
Kansas State has a light start to the year, hosting Central Arkansas and Charlotte. The Wildcats also travel to Vanderbilt for non-conference play. Big 12 play features home games with Baylor, TCU, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Iowa State. Road trips will be made to Texas, Kansas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. That schedule is quite favorable for K-State. Oklahoma State could be a tough trip, but the Wildcats get most of the big challenges at home this year. I see them going 3-0 in non-conference play and they can certainly win six of the nine in the Big 12 given that schedule. An experience signal caller and a hard-nosed defense should make K-State a Big 12 contender.
2017 WIN TOTAL PREDICTION: KANSAS STATE OVER 8 (-155)