Kansas State Preview 2006
Bill Snyder might have left Kansas State, but the legacy continues.
Depth Chart |
No, not the legacy of tough overacheiving teams with a killer
quarterback and talented running back who put up huge numbers
against horrific non-conference slates while occasionally stunning Big 12 big
names. The legacy of secrecy.
New head coach Ron Prince has done a fantastic job of not
revealing his hand when it comes to his depth chart, his offense, or
just about anything else he has plans for with his team. One thing's
for sure: Kansas State will be better than it has been in recent
After years of success under Snyder, but no Big 12 titles, the
program reached the summit with the 2003 Big 12 title victory over
Oklahoma to finally complete one of the greatest rags to riches
stories in college football history. And then it went plummeting to
also-ran status losing 14 of the next 23 games with the most
impressive victory coming in Snyder's finale against Missouri. So
why did everything go so wrong?
Talent, or a lack of it.
Head coach: Ron Prince
Off. 21, Def. 16, ST 4
Lettermen Lost: 20
Best KSU Players
1. LB Brandon Archer, Sr.
2. FS Marcus Watts, Jr.
3. WR Jordy Nelson, Jr.
4. RB Thomas Clayton, Sr.
5. QB Dylan Meier, Sr.
6. WR/KR Yamon Figurs, Sr.
7. DT Quintin Echols, Sr.
8. OG Greg Wafford, Sr.
9. CB Bryan Baldwin, Jr.
10. QB Josh Freeman, Fr.
2005 Record: 5-6
Preview 2005 predicted wins
at Oklahoma L 43-21
at Texas Tech L 59-20
Texas A&M L 30-28
at Iowa State L 45-17
at Nebraska L 27-25
27 Wildcats were drafted from
1999 to 2003, and then got through the 2003 season by beating a boatload
of mediocre teams before getting hot at the end of the year thanks to
Darren Sproles and Ell Roberson, but only two players off that team were
drafted in 2004. Sproles was the only one taken in 2005 and tackle
Jeromey Clary was the only one taken in last year's draft. Has the
talent level really dropped off that much?
That should change under Prince as he started to show right off the bat
that he can recruit by snagging potential superstars like quarterback
Josh Freeman and JUCO running back James Johnson and wide receiver
Cedric Wilson. And that's just for starters.
The new excitement surrounding the coaching staff, along with the air of
mystery about what this team really might be like, makes Kansas State
one of the wild-cards in the Big 12 race. The receiving corps can fly,
the defense will likely go to an even more aggressive than before
scheme, and there are plenty of interesting options to work with in the
While the lines need at least a year of seasoning and several major
position battles still need to be settled, a little bit of tweaking and
a little more production could mean a return to the days of winning
seasons and going to bowls. Last year's team lost three games by a total
of seven points and still went 5-6. This isn't a North title contender,
but the train should be back on the right track.
It's Kansas State, so you know the cupcakes are coming. The Ron Prince
era should get off to a flying start with Illinois State and Florida
Atlantic, but Marshall should be a bit of a challenge and Louisville
will be a true battle. If the Wildcats can get by the Cardinals, not
only will is signify that the program is back to top 20 status, but
it'll mean a 6-0
start is likely before facing Nebraska. While the Wildcats don't have the
firepower to beat Texas, that doesn't come until
mid-November. Playing Baylor and Oklahoma State from the South is a nice
gift for Prince.
Junior WR Jordy Nelson. Nelson went from being a
defensive back prospect to a next-level caliber wide receiver in a few
short months. He's an explosive 6-3, 210-pound playmaker who led the
team in receiving last season and should flourish with more of an
emphasis on the passing game.
Defensive Player: Senior LB Brandon Archer. It has been hard for
Archer to get noticed in a league full of tremendous linebackers, but
his stats this year might be too impressive to ignore. He'll get more
room to roam moving from the strongside to the weakside and will have
more responsibility than ever. Expect him to be one of the team's top
to a successful season: The entire offensive line. Tackles Derek
Meyer and Gerard Spexarth, guard Matt Boss, John Hafferty, Greg Wafford
and Caleb Handy, and centers Ryan Schmidt and Jordan Bedore have to form
a more solid run blocking unit while providing far more protection than
last season. Injuries were a major issue, and now with everyone healthy,
there's good competition at each spot. The faster this group comes
together, the better the chance for a great year.
will be a success if ... KSU gets back to a bowl game. There are plenty of holes and
too much young talent to count on for a big season, but the schedule is
breezy enough to fall into five wins by simply showing up. An upset over
a team like Iowa State, Nebraska or Kansas will mean a 13th game.
Sept. 23 vs. Louisville. Of course, the Big 12 battles will mean the
most, but a win over Louisville, who might be in the top ten, would show
that this doesn't have to be a rebuilding year. Confidence could mean
everything to this young team before dealing with Nebraska and a road
trip to Missouri.
The Last Time Kansas State…
- First quarter scoring: Opponents 74 - Kansas State 49
- Fumbles: Opponents 25, lost 14 - Kansas State 24, lost 16
- Interceptions thrown: Kansas State 12 - Opponents 8
…played in a bowl game…2003 (Fiesta Bowl vs. Ohio State)
…missed a bowl game…2005
…pitched a shutout…2003 (Iowa State)
…was shutout…1996 (Colorado)
…scored 50 points…2005 (North Texas)
…won a conference title…2003 (Big 12)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…never
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2004 (Darren Sproles)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…2003 (James Terry)
…had a first-round draft choice…2003 (CB Terence Newman)