Previewing Week 1: Kansas State

July, 20, 2011
7/20/11
3:45
PM ET
You're counting down the days, I'm sure. We're so close, and yet so far from the season's opening weekend. I can't wait for it, and I'm sure every player in the Big 12 can't either. So, despite being a bit far off, we'll take a look at each team's opener, inspired by our friends over at the Big Ten Blog.

We started this series at the top of the alphabet, and it's time for the Wildcats.

Kansas State Wildcats

Week 1 Opponent: Eastern Kentucky

Coach: Dean Hood, third year (13-10)

2010 record: 6-5 (5-2, Ohio Valley)
About the Colonels: Eastern Kentucky's offense runs around T.J. Pryor, who ran for 505 yards and nine touchdowns to go with 1,613 yards and 12 touchdowns through the air. Pryor completed just more than 53 percent of his 22 passes, though, and was picked off 12 times with those 12 touchdowns.

Pryor's top receiver, Orlandus Harris, returns after catching 56 passes for 940 yards and seven touchdowns. It's the Ohio Valley, sure, but that 16.8 yards per catch average would have been second in the Big 12 last year, just behind Baylor's Josh Gordon, who averaged 17 yards per catch.

Pryor was the team's leading rusher, but the spectacularly named H.B. Banjoman will be a senior in 2011 after rushing for 423 yards and five scores in 2010.

Eastern Kentucky is breaking in a new defensive coordinator, Tony Hatmaker, who spent the past three seasons coaching defensive backs.

The Colonels only played one BCS conference team last season, losing 23-13 to Louisville, but finished the season on a four-game winning streak. They finished with a winning record, but missed the playoffs for a second consecutive season after being bounced in the first round in 2008.

Random factoid: Kansas State hasn't suffered a loss in a season opener under Bill Snyder since a 31-0 loss to Arizona State in 1989, Snyder's first year as Wildcats coach.

Totally unscientific percentage chance Kansas State wins: 94 percent. Kansas State will learn a lot about itself early in the season with new faces on the offensive line and at running back, two positions that were a strength in recent years for the Wildcats, but Eastern Kentucky doesn't look like a team with a real chance to pull the upset.

More Week 1 previews:

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BIG 12 SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 12/20
Monday, 12/22
Tuesday, 12/23
Wednesday, 12/24
Friday, 12/26
Saturday, 12/27
Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
Friday, 1/2
Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12