Bill Snyder is pissed about this slight to his team. You know, since he cares so much about preseason rankings. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
I know, I know. No one ever said the Big 12 was going to be easy. There are a lot of good teams here. Plus, this mightbe the best possible thing for this team, if last year was any indication.
Still....DISRESPECT!! Aaaaargh. The fact is Kansas State deserves to be thought of a better than the sixth-best team in the Big 12, even if the teams ahead of the 'Cats (OU, WVU, UT, OSU and TCU) all have the potential to be nationally relevant (as a sidenote, the bottom four teams, especially TTU and kU, could be terrible).
It shouldn't be surprising that the media would vote this way, considering the way K-State defied every statistical trend and was everyone's favorite pick for the team that just got "lucky" and didn't have the "talent" required to be a top ten team. It also shouldn't be surprising that one media member was so entranced by Bill Snyder's wizardry that he absurdly picked K-State to win the conference, which (if I'm being honest) is easily more unrealistic than K-State finishing sixth.
I don't want to spend a lot of time on this, but let's take a quick look at how this mistake happened.
If you only looked at the rankings in a list form on Twitter or something, or maybe just read the headline, then you're probably a lot more pissed off than you actually should be. There are only 33 points separating KSU from 3rd-place Texas, who is probably overrated in accordance with annual tradition. It's just 10 between 4th place OSU and the 'Cats, then TCU is a measly 3 points ahead. In other words, we might as well be 4th.
OU is the obvious #1, but in my mind West Viriginia is getting way too much credit, though that might be because I have no respect for the Big East. Sure, this is a team that put up massive offensive numbers and returns basically everyone, but they looked suspect at best all year defensively in the Big East. Shouldn't that be a bit more of a concern in the best offensive conference in America, especially with the switch from a 3-3-5* to a 3-3-4 to get used to?
*I don't know about anyone else, but I HATED playing against this defense in NCAA Football. It totally throws your deep ball strategies out of wack until you learn to read it, and even the running lanes aren't the same. Maybe I'm just a slow learner.
There seem to be strong cases to put K-State ahead of Texas, TCU and Oklahoma State, which is probably where I would put them if I had been asked to fill out a ballot with my purple pen. Texas and OSU have big questions at QB, while TCU's depth of talent is going to be tested a lot more this year.
After it's all said and done, perhaps K-State in 6th isn't so egregious, especially when you factor in strength of schedule (I don't, but intelligent minds will disagree). I'll be shocked if the 'Cats aren't higher in next week's coaches poll. Here's hoping this mistake will just add more fuel to the metaphorical fire.