The Kansas State Wildcats football team have seemed to be one of the top teams in the Big 12 Conference ever since Bill Snyder returned to coach them in 2009. With that said though, the Wildcats still have yet to win a National Championship and time might be running out on them winning a title in the Bill Snyder era of coaching.
KSU has potential, but this year could be tough for them. I predicted the team to go 9-3 in 2015 when I skimmed the schedule a few weeks ago, but there are a few games on their schedule that could go either way.
With college football season less than two months away, it’s time to get down to business and dig into the local college teams and what’s ahead for them. One of the most annoying things for good football teams are trap games. Trap games are games that the favored team might falter against a lesser opponent. An example of this would be like the Wildcats’ opening game in 2013, when they fell to the North Dakota State Bison IN Manhattan.
Typically you don’t see trap games that early on in the college football season, but North Dakota State was a rare case I guess. Here are some of the biggest games this season that have could potentially be “trap games” for Kansas State.
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (September 19th)
The second home game of the season will take place in Manhattan when the Kansas State Wildcats welcome Louisiana Tech to town. This is the third and final non-conference game for K-State, and I very well think the Bulldogs could pull off an upset here.
LA Tech had a nice season in 2014 and shouldn’t be overlooked as far as winning early season games go. Bill Connelly of SB Nation covered the Bulldogs recently and felt that the team has an exciting season on the horizon. With Cody Sokol under center last year, the team saw a lot of success due to big plays, in which Connelly said the team depended way too much on at times.
Sokol is gone, but the Bulldogs should still be a fairly competitive team in 2015. I think if this game weren’t in Manhattan, the chances of this being a trap game would be a lot more possible. I still think Kansas State gets a victory here, but it could be a lot closer than fans would like.
Texas Longhorns (October 24th)
Last year the Wildcats handled the Texas Longhorns with ease in Manhattan by a score of 23-0. This year, however, I think the result could be different. The game will be played in Austin this year, and against an improved Texas squad.
Braden Gall of Fox Sports feels like the Longhorns will either strongly contend for the Big 12 title or will fade away all together. No in between for 2015. Gall feels a lot of the success of the team will depend on quarterback Tyvone Swoopes.
Texas is very talented and will be extremely well coached. However, there are major concerns at two critical areas of importance: quarterback and defensive front. Strong can work miracles with a defensive front, but offensive issues stemming from inconsistent QB play keeps this team from being a preseason Big 12 contender. Swoopes could prove all doubters wrong but his development could be the difference between six or 10 wins.
The Wildcats will face the Longhorns midway through their stretch of tough opponents (Oklahoma State, TCU, Oklahoma, Texas, and Baylor) so it’s important that the Wildcats get this win because otherwise it could get ugly record wise.
Texas Tech Red Raiders (November 14th)
Okay I know that Texas Tech went 4-8 in 2015, but that was only their second losing season since 1992, and the Red Raiders will be more than ready to prove that that wasn’t their style. Tommy Magelssen of College Sports Blog had five way too early predictions for Texas Tech’s 2015 season that he wrote back in January, but a lot of it does seem legitimate.
Last season KSU destroyed the Red Raiders by a score of 45-13, and it’ll obviously be important for the offense to score. With a five-star recruit on the defensive side of the ball for Texas Tech, I’m curious to see how well the Wildcats can fight and put up points.
K-State’s defense will need to show up too because Texas Tech has a terrific running back in De’Andre Washington, who according to Magelssen, had over 1,000 yards rushing in 2014.
Now Magelssen did predict that Texas Tech’s bowl eligibility will come down to their final game of the season, but with a win against the Kansas State Wildcats, that might be the extra win the team was looking for.
In a season where there are three potential starting quarterbacks at this time, it’ll be interesting to see how the Kansas State Wildcats football team does in 2015, and it’ll be extremely important that they win the “must-win” games. K-State will have tough conference games in the middle of the season so we’ll be able to gather a lot about this team from those stretch of games.