I get the distinct feeling that the Kansas State Wildcats are living in the past.
A recent sheet of accomplishments put out by K-State at the Big 12 NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament highlights the school’s athletic accomplishments of the past school year. It is nothing new for a program to promote the things it has achieved during an academic year, especially when you win the Big 12 in both football and basketball, but for KSU’s football program 2012 will be a year they want to hold on to.
On the high gloss piece of paper the Wildcats list their football achievements from 2012, which are rather impressive. Mentioned is the fact that they won the Big 12 Championship, that then quarterback Collin Klein finished third in the Heisman vote, and that head coach Bill Snyder was named the Big 12 coach of the year. Nice list, especially considering that none of that will be happening for K-State in 2013.
Replacing Klein will be no easy task because the Wildcats are essentially replacing their QB and a RB. Klein had the second most rushing yard on the team last season for KSU, trailing running back John Hubert by only 20 yards, and had by far the most rushing TDs with 23. Quarterback Daniel Sams was the only other K-State player to line up under center last season and will be a sophomore in 2013. Considering that he has only thrown the ball eight times in his college football career, he can safely be put in the untested category.
Coach Snyder will still be around but in addition to replacing Klein he will be looking to fill the shoes of his top WR and TE going into 2013, but that is nothing compared to the gaps to be filled on defense.
K-State lost seven linebackers, five defensive backs and four defensive linemen to graduation following the 2012 season. That is a lot of talent to try and replace from a unit that ranked in the top 30 nationally in terms of points allowed per game.
Kansas State will still by far be the better football team in the Sunflower State in 2013, but they won’t be topping the Big 12 again. Right now I’ve got them finishing fifth in the conference, so the Wildcats should hold on to those fond memories of 2012 for as long as they can.
Follow Spenser Walters on Twitter @SpenserWalters