Kansas State University

College Football Playoff committee takes notice of K-State in opening rankings

The College Football Playoff selection committee has a great deal of respect for what Kansas State has accomplished under new coach Chris Klieman.

The Wildcats checked in at No. 16 in the first playoff rankings of the season unveiled Tuesday night.

K-State (6-2, 3-2 Big 12) was expected to be ranked in the committee’s initial top 25 The Wildcats are ranked 20th in the Associated Press poll and 22nd in the USA Today coaches poll.

But 16th is the Wildcats highest playoff ranking since 2014, when the climbed as high as No. 9 under former coach Bill Snyder.

The ranking puts the Wildcats within reach of one of the six playoff-affiliated bowls if they continue their current winning streak and contend for a Big 12 championship.

They next play Texas at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Ohio State topped the playoff rankings, followed by LSU, Alabama and Penn State.

K-State is one of four Big 12 teams in the playoff rankings. The Wildcats join No. 9 Oklahoma, No. 12 Baylor and No. 23 Oklahoma State.

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Kellis Robinett covers Kansas State athletics for The Wichita Eagle and The Kansas City Star. A winner of more than a dozen national writing awards, he lives in Manhattan with his wife and three children.