It is never too early to start looking at next year. This series aims to take an early look at the upcoming 2017 schedule of each Big 12 team. We continue with the Kansas State Wildcats.
If history has taught us anything in the Big 12, it is that a Bill Snyder led Kansas State team is consistently underestimated. This goes doubly when Snyder has an experienced signal caller returning. K-State is full up on returning talent. Jesse Ertz is not a world beater passer, but, Snyder values a dual-threat QB so that defenses must play 11 vs 11. And, Ertz brings that in bunches (159 rushes for 945 yards and 10 TD’s). While Ertz is will never be confused with Michael Bishop, he should enter 2017 as a more polished passer.
Kansas State Football 2017 Schedule
SEP 2 – Central Arkansas
SEP 9 – Charlotte
SEP 16 – at Vanderbilt
SEP 30 – Baylor
OCT 7 – at Texas
OCT 14 – TCU
OCT 21 – Oklahoma
OCT 28 – at Kansas
NOV 4 – at Texas Tech
NOV 11 – West Virginia
NOV 18 – at Oklahoma State
NOV 25 – Iowa State
The Wildcats finished the 2016 regular season at 8-4 overall and 6-3 in the conference with a limited passing threat. That was good for fourth place. Looking at the 2017 schedule it is hard to envision this team to finish any worse. And, considering that there is the very real likelihood that this will be Bill Snyder’s last season at the helm with his health concerns and expect this team to locked-in and focused with one goal in mind: win a Big 12 title. The schedule sets up nicely for the Wildcats. It gets both Oklahoma and West Virginia at home.
Central Arkansas might be an FCS level team, but they did make the playoffs in 2016. Let’s not kid ourselves, though. Kansas State should have the talent to deal with them. The Vanderbilt match-up is intriguing. Kansas State rarely likes to schedule good teams in the non-conference schedule. Nor does it like to leave the state of Kansas. This game should give some preview into the depth of the Big 12 with a solid SEC squad against one expected to be competing for the Big 12 title.
Big 12 play opens against the three biggest enigmas within the league. Both Baylor and Texas will have new coaches and new schemes. Texas Christian had the most mercurial ups and downs of the Big 12 last season. October ends with welcoming fellow Big 12 title favorite Oklahoma to Manhattan and then making the short trip to Lawrence for the Sunflower Showdown.
November opens with the contrast of styles with a trip to face Texas Tech in Lubbock. The next two weeks will be the toughest the schedule gets in 2017 with a home game against West Virginia one week and the next a trip to Stillwater. Following that is the rivalry with the greatest name ever, Farmageddon.
All the pieces are in place for this to be a magical season in Manhattan, Kansas. Could this be the year that the Hall of Fame career of Snyder is cemented with a national championship? No matter what, Kansas State has the talent and the schedule to finish the season with Snyder holding the Big 12 trophy.