I’m a big country music fan (don’t judge!). There’s an old song from Shania Twain called “That Don’t Impress Me Much” and it fits perfectly to the Kansas State Wildcats this year. Everyone loves crusty old Bill Snyder, his JUCO castoffs and the “little apple” of Manhattan, Kansas. They are showing the big boys that they can play despite obviously not having the resources they do. Heck Kansas State doesn’t even have the biggest fanbase in their own state. That title goes to the Kansas Jayhawks. All these built in disadvantages and I’m hating on their national title chances? Yes, yes I am. I must not have a heart!
When I think of national title contenders they almost all have some ability to throw the ball. Kansas State does not. Collin Klein is a load in the backfield and runs a great power option game but you’ve got to be able to the throw the ball consistently downfield. Hell even Tim Tebow did as a member of the Florida Gators despite having a goofy motion. So this obviously isn’t all about Klein’s mechanics, which are poor to say the least, this is about production. Kansas State won’t be able to come back from deficits in a hurry. It basically forces them to play a near perfect game to even compete for 60 minutes. Solely option football might have worked for the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the mid 90′s but to think you can win without throwing the ball downfield in today’s game is downright foolish.
Defensively Kansas State plays a lot of “bend but don’t break” and that is bound to come back and bite you at some point. They haven’t shown the ability to get a ton of pass rush against the better offensive teams and their corners like to keep the play in front of them. Can they press up and be physical? I don’t think so. Their entire defense is based upon the other team making a mistake, not them forcing one. That doesn’t mean though they don’t have individual talents. Corner Nigel Malone and linebacker Arthur Brown are phenomenal. Please unleash them!
Look at the games they have played so far this season. The Miami Hurricanes are one of the worst teams in the FBS against the run. That’s obviously a perfect matchup for the Wildcats. The Oklahoma Sooners meanwhile played one of the ugliest games I have seen this year. They couldn’t snap the ball to the quarterback. Just embarrassing. One fumble happened in the redzone and the other at the Sooners own goal line. The former wiped out a nearly certain TD in a game that finished with just a 5 point spread. Just last week against the Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas State had to survive a close game despite Iowa State being without leading rusher James White. Oh and the Cyclones forgot to tackle on a late 45 yard pass before half that eventually put Kansas State up going into intermission. Listen, you are what your record says you are. All that really matters is the score after 60 minutes but that doesn’t mean you aren’t without major flaws that will hold you back from being anything close to a serious contender.
Kansas State is a nice story. They will certainly make a good bowl game but I don’t even think they are the best team in their conference (Oklahoma), let alone one of the 2 best in the nation. You just can’t be this one dimensional and win a national title. The game has become too complex. That might be a bad thing but if you don’t adapt you’ll die.
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