Kansas State fans are used to bringing back a bevy of talent yet having their favorite written off in the preseason and watching the Wildcats gradually ascend the rankings. In an absolute role reversal, K-State currently finds itself having lost almost every starter from last year’s defense, a quarterback that finished third in Heisman voting, and a wide receiver that was taken in the fourth round of the NFL draft (in fact, 13 members of the 2012 squad were drafted or signed as undrafted free agents over the weekend). That’s why it was a pleasant surprise to find the Wildcats at #20 in ESPN’s way too early preseason rankings yesterday.
It’s obviously not all doom and gloom in Manhattan. One of the conference’s best rushers – John Hubert – returns for his senior season behind the most formidable line in the Big 12. Stepping in for Collin Klein will be either Jake Waters or Daniel Sams, each of whom appear extremely competent replacements. And the linebacking corps looks to be another three-man wrecking ball similar to past K-State units.
Interestingly, an SEC school was not the top-ranked institution – that accolade went to Ohio State. Texas was the top Big 12 school at #13, with Oklahoma State at #15, Oklahoma at #17, TCU at #18 and K-State at #20. Tells that 1. Mark Schlabach is an idiot because Texas will not win the Big 12 this year; and 2. this conference is going to be an absolute beast with half its teams ranked in the top 20. Looks like there’s some good football to look forward to this fall, with the Wildcats right in the thick of it. EMAW!