Big 12 Power Rankings: Little Separation At the Top

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Jan. 3, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA: Kansas State Wildcats running back John Hubert (33) rushes for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Oregon Ducks during the 2013 Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Oregon defeated Kansas State 35-17. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

3. Kansas State Wildcats

Last Season: 11-2 (8-1)

Key Player: Jake Waters and Daniel Sams

Key Word: Repeat


All Bill Snyder does is win.

Last year the Wildcats were projected to finish sixth in the conference and take a small step backwards from their “overachieving” 2011 campaign. Instead, KSU came within one bad night in Waco, Texas of being in the national championship.

This year, however, KSU will not be returning a Heisman candidate at quarterback. Collin Klein is gone and in comes two unproven replacements in Daniel Sams and Jake Waters. Waters was a beast in junior college, lighting up the scoreboard on his way to being named the National Junior College Offensive Player of the Year. Sams brings more speed and athleticism to the table but not the same arm.

How Snyder chooses to balance the two quarterbacks is going to be something to watch.

What may end up being the undoing of the Wildcats is their secondary and general lack of depth on defense. K-State lost a lot of production between Arthur Brown, Meshak Williams, Nigel Malone, and Allen Chapman. Replacing that, especially in the secondary, is going to be tough. A lot of pressure is going to be on Ty Zimmerman to have a big season.

On paper, the Wildcats do not appear to have a strong chance at repeating as Big 12 champions. Then again, they rarely look good on paper, but always look good on the field. Never count out Snyder and K-State.