Column: K-State has what it takes to win the Big 12 championship


More often than not, K-State has been displayed as the underdog. In 2012, they were picked to finish in the bottom half of the Big 12 and, of course, went on to win the Big 12. At one point, the 2012-13 team ranked as the number one team in the country and I believe this year will be no different.

K-State, although picked third in the Big 12 preseason poll, received no first place votes and has been considered to have no chance at competing with Baylor and Oklahoma for the conference title.

With a schedule that has some of K-State’s toughest games on the road, it is easy to doubt the Wildcats’ chances. That especially rang true after barely beating Iowa State, a team with little expectation for this season.

Last Thursday, K-State proved to be a real player after an incredibly close game with No. 5 Auburn. It was a game where head coach Bill Snyder admittedly said that K-State beat itself with too many mistakes.

Hanging tough with the Tigers proved to the fans and the rest of the Big 12 that K-State is a player for this year’s Big 12 championship.

K-State’s defense proved it is one of the Big 12’s elite by holding Auburn to a measly 2.8 yards per carry while also forcing an interception. This bodes well for the rest of the Big 12 regular season, as good defense in the conference can help slow down the potent offensive attacks that they are known for.

The main reason K-State is a contender for the Big 12 championship this year is seniority and leadership. Seniors Jake Waters and Tyler Lockett lead a potent passing attack, while senior Ryan Mueller leads the defense. With 11 starting seniors, along with Snyder, leadership is what will guide this team to its third conference championship.