The Big 12 figures to be a wide open conference in 2014 with plenty of high powered attacks looking to come out on top and secure a spot in the first college football playoff at season’s end. One aspect that figures to make the race even wilder is the murky quarterback situations of several programs heading into the summer. After committing to Jake Waters as their starting quarterback this spring, however, the Kansas State Wildcats look to be in good shape to start the season.
Despite splitting reps in many games last season with Daniel Sams, Waters emerged as one of the better quarterbacks in the conference over the final month of the season and finished third in passing yards per game and second in passer rating among Big 12 signal callers. Over the final five games of the 2013 season, including the bowl game, Waters found his rhythm and threw for 11 touchdowns against just four interceptions capped by a 21-of-27 for 271 yards and three touchdown performance against the Michigan Wolverines in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
With Sams moving out to wide receiver this spring, Waters becomes the unquestioned leader under center for 2014. Bill Snyder found surprising success switching back and forth between Waters and Sams in 2013 but giving the reins over 100 percent to Waters in 2014 will help the team find better offensive rhythm, particularly in the passing game, and set up the Cats to make a run at the conference title.
While many of the other teams in the Big 12 will have to overcome inexperience or uncertainty at the quarterback position to start the 2014 season, Kansas State is in good hands with Jake Waters under center. Will his veteran leadership be the key to a run at the Big 12 title for K-State next season?