Friday, February 10, 2012
Offseason to-do list: Kansas State
By David Ubben
We're taking a look at what each program in the Big 12 needs to deal with during the offseason, whether it be in the spring, summer or fall preseason camp. Maybe all three!
Next up: The Kansas State Wildcats.
1. Have Collin Klein throw, throw, throw and throw. Then throw some more. This offseason will be huge for the Wildcats' rising senior quarterback. His best asset is his legs, but he made astronomical development from August to December this season. K-State's improvement paralleled Klein's, especially on offense. But can you imagine how much better this offense would be if Klein progressed well above an average passer? It's possible. If he shows up in August with a more accurate arm, it's going to be an unbelievable year for the Cats.
2. Develop the offensive line. Klein's development aside, K-State can't lose what carried it to 10 wins in 2011: the running game. The fastest way to slow that down? Fail to replace the three departing offensive linemen from the 2011 team. Zach Hanson, Clyde Aufner and Colten Freeze are all gone, but promising freshman center B.J. Finney returns. The spring will be key for this group to jell and figure out its personnel heading into voluntary summer workouts and fall camp.
3. Prove they've got some perspective. It's easy to look at those 10 wins and feel pretty satisfied. But like we've mentioned several times, 2011 could have gone much differently for Kansas State. Improvement will be huge this offseason. K-State brings back a lot of talent next year. Only seven teams in college football return more than the Wildcats' 18 starters. Last year's team won 10 games by the hairs on their chinny chin chins, though. Duplicating it will be tough. Daily improvement is one of the founding principles upon which Bill Snyder's program is built. Here's guessing he makes sure his team abides by it.