Kansas State University

K-State Q&A: Wildcats get another low over/under win total

K-State players take the field before the Texas Bowl. (December 28, 2016)
K-State players take the field before the Texas Bowl. (December 28, 2016) The Wichita Eagle

A handful of sports books released over/under win totals for college football teams this week, and Kansas State’s was predictably on the low side at 7.5.

The Wildcats return the bulk of their roster from a team that went 9-4 last season and they are currently showing up in some preseason top 25 magazine rankings. Some expect them to challenge Oklahoma for a Big 12 championship. Many expect them to be an improved team. With seven home games and a road game at Kansas, it’s not hard to imagine them winning nine or 10 games before bowl season.

So, yeah, 7.5 seems low.

Anything can happen, obviously, and it’s possible Vegas has this right. But if last year’s team could go 8-4 against a harder schedule, odds are good this team will at least match that record. The Wildcats will probably be underdogs against Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Maybe at Texas, too. Here’s guessing they are favored in all the other games.

I think 8.5 is a more accurate over/under for this K-State team. At least right now. But K-State never gets an over/under that makes you double take because it’s too high.

Anyway, let’s get to your questions. Thanks, as always, for asking them.

Schools in both conferences would hate me if I was granted that kind of power. Because, unlike the decision-makers currently in charge of this basketball challenge, I would force Big 12 and SEC teams to play the most interesting games possible.

Kentucky vs. Kansas has pretty much carried the challenge on its shoulders the last two years, so I would make those two teams play as often as possible. This year, they are scheduled to play outside of the challenge so you have to get a little creative, but there is one SEC team I can think of that would make a good opponent. One that has a new coach and a star-studded recruiting class on the way and is a natural rival. Amazingly, that team (Missouri) isn’t even in the Big 12/SEC challenge. Decisions like that are why the matchups announced Thursday were met with yawns.

Kentucky at West Virginia could be good. So could Baylor at Florida. The other eight games? Meh.

Here is the slate I would propose:

Missouri at Kansas: Border War.

South Carolina at Kansas State: Bramlage would go nuts.

Texas A&M at Texas: Another old rivalry renewed.

Kentucky at West Virginia: They got this one right.

Baylor at Florida: Another good matchup next year.

Oklahoma State at Arkansas: Proximity makes this one appealing.

Oklahoma at Alabama: Would be a good football game.

Vanderbilt at TCU: Could be entertaining.

Tennessee at Iowa State: Running out of good matchups.

Texas Tech at Georgia: Red Raiders have to play someone.

Nike really should just go ahead and rename its Cortez shoe after Bill Snyder.

They could ship them in large quantities to Manhattan sporting goods stores and sell them like hot cakes. Instead of people standing in line to buy the new Jordans, they would be lining up for the new Snyders.

K-State should have a stellar offense next season. It returns everyone outside of Terrale Johnson, Deante Burton and Charles Jones. And Jesse Ertz is back for his second year as a starter. The passing game will need to improve for the Wildcats to truly have a dynamic attack, but their receivers have the potential to do exactly that. Running backs Alex Barnes and Justin Silmon should both be really good.

It will be hard for K-State to compete with that on defense after losing Jordan Willis and Elijah Lee. I’m not expecting a big step back or anything like that on that side of the ball, but they face question marks. The offense doesn’t.

Special teams should be good, as always. Not sure that’s enough to put them on top of the conference, but the Wildcats will be a threat to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

It really depends on how quickly he learns K-State’s defense. Most junior-college transfers need time to do that before they can hit their stride in practice. So, for now, it seems like Sean Newlan has the edge at safety and Cre Moore is the favorite at nickelback/slot corner. But his former juco teammate, D.J. Reed, stepped in and immediately made an impact at corner last season. Maybe Walker can do the same.

That will be one of the better position battles of the summer.

Keep hating, probably.

I’m not sure what it will take for Bruce Weber to truly win over K-State fans, but it might take more than a 25-win season, though that would be a big step forward. He hasn’t advanced past the round of 64 with the Wildcats, and that seems to be the biggest knock against him. March success would help his reputation more than anything.

Bruce Weber presents Hollywoo Stars and Celebrities: What do they know? Do they know things? Let’s find out!

I feel like he would be even better than Mr. Peanut Butter.

1. Eat at all the restaurants that are too packed to get into during the school year. Took my kids to Varsity Donuts earlier this week, and there was no line!

2. Wade through the water and check out the waterfalls at Pillsbury Crossing.

3. Take advantage of Manhattan’s swimming pools/water slides. They are nice and plentiful. There’s also Country Stampede, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Daniel Green, Anthony Payne and Wyatt Hubert could all have a chance.

Green is probably the true freshman to watch. He has the talent to make plays at linebacker next season, but Trent Tanking, Sam Sizelove, Jayd Kirby are all more established players, and Da’Quan Patton participated in spring practices.

Football season will be here before you know it. Until then, get outside and do whatever it is you like to do. Play golf, go to some baseball games, take a vacation, grill, go to the lake, go to the beach, read a book. It’s really up to you. Netflix just released a new season of Bloodline and House of Cards returns next week. If you hate the sun, stay inside and watch those.

Or start thinking up what questions you will ask K-State Q&A in the fall!

Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett