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Roster Reset: The Game Has Changed

Drew is taking a deep dive into the Kansas State roster this off-season.

NCAA Football: Central Florida at Kansas State Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

I’m starting my football off-season early this year. Normally, I get around to looking at the roster around July, but with the constant churn of players, if I don’t start now, I’ll still be trying to learn names three weeks into the season.

This article is the first in an upcoming series that looks at the Kansas State roster as it stands today. Of course, things can change mid-stream, but we’ll cross that bridge when we stumble upon it.

In the new version of college football, movement is the norm. Guys sticking around for 4-5 seasons is starting to feel like the exception and not the rule. The portal with unlimited transfers fundamentally changes the sport. I was bummed out over the college football of my formative years dying, but after a sufficient amount of mumbling about “kids these days,” I decided to stop sulking.

We’re kind of in a cool spot at the moment. Bud Elliot’s dreaded “blue-chip ratio” may not be the only path towards college football glory. It’s getting harder for the elite teams to hoard talent like they have in the past. Teams like Kansas State are going to have more access to top-end talent, but other teams are going to have more access to the experienced talent teams like Kansas State develop.

Speaking of player development, what does that look like now? While teams like Alabama may start losing players to Kansas State, we’ve already seen Kansas State lose some of their normal developmental talent before it finds the field to whatever we’re calling the teams not in a major conference. Will players sit on the bench at Kansas State and develop when they could just as easily transfer down, get on the field, and then transfer back up if they’re successful?

What about red-shirting players? Should that still be a thing if you’re most likely developing that player for another team? Should players push for a red shirt unless they are in the two-deeps in order to boost their overall career earnings potential?

I don’t know the answer to any of these questions, and neither does anyone else!

I’m sure there are plenty of questions I haven’t considered yet. I think that’s cool. We’re on the ground floor of what is essentially a new sport. The game is the same, but how teams go about winning the game is totally up in the air.

It also puts writers...bloggers...whatever I am...in a weird spot. I like to support my positions with facts, and there are currently no college football facts. Everything is speculation. How do you support an argument?

For instance; I think recruiting home state/region players is crucial because I think they’re more likely to stick around the program. I have no statistically significant evidence to support this thought, but I do have immaculate facial hair so you should probably believe me?

I’m going to kill two birds with one stone with this series of articles. The primary reason I’m writing these is to figure out who is on the football team. As an added bonus, I’m going to build a player database using these articles. I’m going to collect some Year 0 data on whatever we’re calling this version of college football. I’m not sure what any of it will mean, but we can try and suss it out together.

Welcome to the Brave New World of College Football!