1. Kansas State Wildcats
Look, betting against Bill Snyder is never wise. The dude has been coaching since before the forward pass was allowed, and there is a very high probability that he knows sorcery. Doubting him is folish.
That said, it’ll be tough for the Kansas State Wildcats to replicate their 2014 success.
Consider whom the Wildcats lost. Quarterback Jake Waters is gone, and he threw for 3,501 yards and 22 touchdowns last season (not to mention finishing as Kansas State’s second-leading rusher). The two best guys he threw to? Also gone. Tyler Lockett and Curry Sexton hauled in 185 of the team’s 271 receptions and 16 of the team’s 23 receiving touchdowns. You can’t just put some new guys in the mix and expect the same results. Offensive explosiveness is required to contend in the BIG XII, and I just don’t see the Wildcats, breaking in a new quarterback and receivers, being able to keep pace with the likes of TCU and Baylor.
However, it is worth noting that all the toughest teams on Kansas State’s schedule have to come to Manhattan to play the Wildcats. Not having to travel to play the likes of TCU, Oklahoma, and Baylor should benefit the Wildcats, and a pre-conference schedule of cupcake opponents — South Dakota, UTSA, and Louisiana Tech — means a solid winning season is pretty much guaranteed. But with a new quarterback and a lot of question marks at receiver, and with a good-but-not-great defense, it’s hard to envision the Wildcats matching their 2014 success.
(But again, never bet against Bill Snyder.)