Trekking around the Kansas City area for the first year of the KCCGD blog last fall, I’ve seen many ups and downs for the K-State Wildcats. Well, down for losing to Auburn, up for beating (owning) Texas, and all downhill from there. So rolling into this year, I would have to say that expectations are a little lower. Albeit it’s not as bad as some other publications state, K-State might actually make a bowl this year. All with the help of some major talent pump. Let’s take a look at the Wildcats.
Last year, the big question leading into the season was, “Is Josh Freeman for real?” The question for most K-State fans at the end was “Will Jordy Nelson snake a Heisman?” We all know the answer to the last question, but the first one is almost answered. Josh threw for over 3000 yards with 18 touchdowns a 63.3% completion percentage (and 11Ints). So number wise, he’s the man.
The numbers however, did not turn over to wins. The big highlight of the Wildcats non con was close but not quite game against Auburn on the road. Some say that was the real turning point of the season. They blew over some non cons before slapping the Texas Longhorns around AGAIN. After a close loss to in state rival Kansas, the Wildcats grabbed the easy wins from Baylor and Colorado but dropped the rest. K-State’s Defense fell apart and everyone had a field day on them, with the worst being from Nebraska for a lovely 73 points. This also helped pad Freeman’s numbers being in shootouts all the time.
After bowl season blew over, it was scrambling time for Ron Prince (not stomping). Some coaches left, some got fired. Ron went from the 3-4 Defense back to the 4-3. Cries of joy were heard from IanCambell’s dorm room. Then Ron did a double whammy from the past. First he closed practices much like with Bill Snyder used to do. Second, he signed themother load of all Junior College players to start the quick patch process, again like Snyder.
So rolling into this year, what team will show up? The hurried moves from Ron Prince seem like checkers and not chess, with the notion that his large butt is on the line. But if Snyder could do it, why couldn’t he? Sure there is some room for major improvement, but 19 new players is quitealot. I’m not sure if they will gel in time to go bowling.
I think the performance of the team mirrors that of Freeman. Some proven talent, but can he win enough games? Much of how K-State will do this year will fall on Josh’s shoulders. Now that super fast white guy Jordy Nelson is out, will Freeman put up the same numbers? Let’s take a look at the schedule and my prediction.
K-State’s non conference schedule is pretty light. They bought Fresno State and opted for Louisiana-Lafeyette instead. The only tough game is Louisville on the road and on ESPN2. They will lose that and win the rest, 3-1. The North is super tough this year which makes opening up conference play with two South teams really nice. They’ll get routed by Texas Tech but upset theAggies at Texas A&M. The other South game happens to be Oklahoma and that is an automatic loss. I’m thinking they’ll eek out the ColoradoBuffalos, lose to Kansas and Missouri, then win out against the Cornhuskers and Cyclones making them 7-5. The team will gel but get knocked around from a tough middle schedule. As for a bowl? Who knows? Ron Prince’s job? 1 more year.