Kansas State University

K-State Q&A: Michael Beasley, Baylor, football projections and preseason hoops

K-State defenders Reggie Walker and Will Geary sack Baylor quarterback Zach Smith in he the 2nd quarter Saturday in Waco. (November 19, 2016)
K-State defenders Reggie Walker and Will Geary sack Baylor quarterback Zach Smith in he the 2nd quarter Saturday in Waco. (November 19, 2016) The Wichita Eagle

It’s time for another K-State Q&A.

Thanks, as always, for a great week of questions. Let’s get right to them.

K-State’s next four games are Baylor, at Texas, TCU, Oklahoma.

I think it’s reasonable to hope for 3-1. A perfect 4-0 is probably asking too much against that slate, but 3-1 seems possible. I’m predicting K-State to beat Baylor. At Texas will be a toss-up. The Wildcats have lost their last two trips to Austin, but I’m not quite sure what to think of the Longhorns yet. If K-State plays well, it could/should win its next two.

TCU and Oklahoma are the hard games.

The Horned Frogs look way better than expected. Don’t mess with Gary Patterson coming off a losing season. And Oklahoma has the single best win in college football this season (at Ohio State). I feel like most fans would be happy to split those games. Bill Connelly, a guru with college football statistics, projects K-State to start Big 12 play 1-3. We’ll see what happens.

You’re right, though, the next four weeks are huge. If K-State wants to establish itself as a Big 12 contender it needs to start 3-1 in conference play. It will be hard to make the championship game with a 2-2 start.

I had them going 9-3 in August. But that was projecting a K-State victory at Vanderbilt. So the prudent move is to now predict 8-4.

It seems fairly likely the Wildcats will beat Baylor, Kansas and Iowa State. They also probably beat West Virginia at home and Texas Tech on the road, but those are far from automatic. At Texas and TCU at home feel like toss ups. Oklahoma and at Oklahoma State are probably losses.

An 8-4 finish seems like the most likely outcome, followed by 7-5. The Wildcats will really have to play well to finish 9-3.

I’m thinking pretty low.

Baylor’s average touchdown pass this season is 47.6 yards, and the Bears have thrown for 11 touchdowns. The last thing K-State defenders want to do is get beat deep.

The most surprising part of the spread: K-State opened as a 13.5-point favorite, and the line got bigger. How often does that happen?

A good rule of thumb: Never buy stock in a team that points to a loss as the most impressive thing on its resume. That’s Baylor right now. Losing 49-41 to Oklahoma doesn’t mean it will play that well again at K-State.

I do think the spread is too high. Baylor is 0-4, but it hasn’t lost a game by more than 14. Still, the Bears are coming off a high and the Wildcats are coming off a low. The score could get lopsided.

It’s a significant loss. Platt caught 16 passes for 401 yards and five touchdowns in Baylor’s first four games. Zach Smith has thrown all of his touchdown passes to Platt or Denzel Mims. So K-State will obviously be able to apply extra pressure to Mims this week.

But it’s not like Baylor’s offense will fall into the toilet without him.

Mims alone will be hard to defend. He torched Oklahoma for 192 yards and three touchdowns last week. This will be the first serious test of the season for K-State’s secondary.

Camping World Bowl in Orlando.

K-State plays its first bowl game in Florida!

Frank the Tank!

I can’t take credit for a 600 percent population increase like Michael Beasley. Hard to believe how much Manhattan has changed since he arrived on campus and only 8,300 people lived here.

The most recent census data shows Manhattan has a population of 54,983. If you took my family out of the equation, it would drop to 54,979. My moving here created a 0.007 percent population increase.

I do like to think my love for Chic-fil-A and Five Guys played some small role in those restaurants opening here, though. My children would probably take credit for Widgets, if they could.

Sorry. If I had the money to bring Whataburger to Kansas I would have done it by now.

Vincent Adultman is pretty high up there for me, too.

“I went to stock market today. I did a business.”

Pinky Penguin really cracks me up. He loses so often he drinks coffee out of a cup that reads: “World’s 3rd Best Dad.”

Matt Foley, probably.

Chris Farley was really onto something with that whole “living in a van down by the river” bit. I laugh just thinking about him jacking up his pants.

The Wildcats are getting three votes in the Associated Press top 25, so they’re still on everyone’s radar. They could sneak back into the polls if they win their next two games. But they would obviously then have to beat TCU or Oklahoma at home to stay there.

The onus is on K-State to prove it belongs in the polls. Right now, it’s the team that lost to Vanderbilt, which lost to Alabama 59-0.

Frank Martin and Bruce Weber both tried to do it, but none of the events attracted big crowds or gave the basketball team a big recruiting boost.

Midnight Madness is best used as a recruiting tool, but it seems like Weber and his coaching staff get more bang for their buck by taking recruits to home football games. So they’ve gone that route and chosen to begin each practice season with an actual practice.

Barry Brown.

Everyone says he has established himself as a leader on this team, and he isn’t backing down from those claims.

“I feel like this is my team,” Brown said.

Here are his stated goals for the upcoming season: “I want to win the Big 12 regular season. I know if we win that then we will be in the NCAA Tournament. We need to win some games against some tough teams. I also want to stay ranked throughout the whole season. Whenever we begin to be ranked, I want to stay ranked the rest of the season. That is a big goal for me. I feel like we were ranked last year for maybe a week and a half. This year, we have the tools to compete at a high level and be up there with the top teams in the country.”

The Wildcats need an alpha leader, and Brown might be it.

My starting lineup: Kamau Stokes, Barry Brown, Xavier Sneed, Dean Wade, Makol Mawien.

Key bench players: Cartier Diarra, Mike McGuirl, Brian Patrick, Mawdo Sallah, Levi Stockard.

Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett