K-State football ranks 25th in Coaches Poll

Willie the Wildcat joins students in cheering on K-State's football team during their game against Nicholls State in Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Aug. 31, 2019. The Wildcats took the Colonels 49-14. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State Wildcats are off to a hot start in 2019 with a 3-0 record and a victory over a Power 5 opponent in Mississippi State last weekend.

After three weeks of no votes in the Associated Press and Coaches polls, K-State broke into the ranks in week four, sitting at an unofficial No. 26 in the AP and No. 25 in the Coaches.

The last time K-State ranked in either poll was in 2017, right before a loss to Vanderbilt.

Big 12 preseason rankings predicted a ninth place finish for K-State, but the new era of Wildcat football brought a new level of swagger to the field.

K-State head coach Chris Klieman said the real challenge lays behind the early success.

“I’m happy obviously that we are 3-0, but the big picture, we haven’t started conference play yet,” Klieman said. “We know every game is going to be a dogfight.”

Klieman said the team is taking the season one game at a time.

“We know that whatever you did last week has no bearing on the next week, so you better just put your head down and go to work and make sure that you’re preparing every day to be successful on Saturday,” Klieman said.

Junior quarterback Skylar Thompson plays a crucial role in the team’s success, but he said he isn’t satisfied yet.

“Yeah, having a 3-0 start and getting a national ranking is special but at the same time, that’s just one of many goals we have set for ourselves this year,” Thompson said.

Thompson, who has already thrown for 486 yards and four touchdowns, said there is still work to be done.

“We have to remain humble and remain focused on the little details and things and continue to grow as a team,” Thompson said.

Junior defensive back AJ Parker dominated offenses in the first three games, but still is focused on improving as a team opposed to paying attention to the national rankings.

“It’s a good thing to see, but I feel like as a team, that not something that we focus on,” Parker said. “We focus on being the best team that we can be week in and week out.”

K-State will have a week off before beginning conference play against Oklahoma State in Stillwater at 6:00 p.m. on ESPN+.