Monday, June 18, 2012
Kansas State set up for disappointment?
By ESPN.com staff
We're wrapping up our series on the 20 teams that can win it all, but Football Outsiders' Brian Fremeau doubled back to peg the five teams that are getting some preseason hype but won't win it all.
You'll need Insider to see the full piece, but Fremeau says those K-State SnyderCats are one of five teams he says won't win it all in 2012.
The projection won't surprise those of you who followed Kansas State last year. The biggest question mark is wondering whether last year's 10-3 campaign was fool's gold when it comes to projecting 2012. The Wildcats won an FBS-record eight games by one score or less, losing just one -- a narrow 52-45 loss at Big 12 champion Oklahoma State.
All this is despite K-State's 16 returning starters. What's not mentioned, and what's most troubling to me was the 41-point drubbing Kansas State endured at home to a very good, but hardly great, Oklahoma team. Starting running back Dominique Whaley broke his leg early in the game, but K-State looked entirely outclassed in the latter part of the game.
Kansas State's schedule is also a big question mark. The strength of the Big 12 this season -- six 10-win teams and three conference champions return to the league in 2012 -- means a brutal schedule for everyone. Is anyone -- Kansas State or otherwise -- built to emerge from what should be a weekly fistfight to win it all?
One loss will still keep hope alive, but two would essentially be a knockout punch.
Can Kansas State navigate that schedule and show improvement? Fremeau says no. I say be careful betting against Bill Snyder with a team that's got plenty of talent.