The numbers that matter most: 8-4. That's the pick here for Kansas State's record in 2010, and don't be surprised if it's a game better.
There's every reason to believe that K-State will get off to a 4-0 start with three home games – UCLA, Missouri State and Central Florida – plus the neutral site game in Kansas City against Iowa State.
Fast-forwarding to the end of the season, there's a pretty-certain victory against North Texas for a fifth victory.
In the remaining seven games – home against Nebraska, O-State and Texas, and away against Kansas, Baylor, Missouri and Colorado – K-State needs to go just 1-6 to get to .500, which in the Big 12 is a near guarantee for a bowl game.
Only against Nebraska, Texas and Missouri will K-State be the likely underdog, which means if the ‘Cats can just go .500 in the four games where they will be favored, they will be 7-5. The thinking here is that it will be a game, if not two, better than 7-5.
True, K-State will have trouble stopping some teams from scoring, but it's also true that few teams in the 2010 12-game lineup will be able to score with the Wildcats.
10 OTHER NUMBERS OF NOTE:
10-5-6-1 – That's the breakdown of starters for Saturday's game: 10 seniors, 5 juniors, 6 sophomores and 1 freshman. The freshman is wide receiver Tramaine Thompson.
17 – Kansas State has a run of 17 straight season-opening wins under coach Bill Snyder. The only time the Wildcats opened the year 0-1 was in 1989 when the Snyder-era debuted with a 31-0 loss at Arizona State.
20 – KSU's Tysyn Hartman leads the team in consecutive starts with 20. Saturday, Hartman will take his familiar position at safety.
115 – This is Kansas State's 115th year of football. During that time, K-State's all-time record is 458-604-41 (.434). Since 1990, KSU's record has been 158-84-1 (.652).
141 – Bill Snyder has coached the Wildcats to 141 victories since 1990. That ranks fifth-high among active NCAA coaches only behind Mack Brown of Texas (195), Frank Beamer of Virginia Tech (176), Joe Paterno of Penn State (174) and Steve Spurrier of South Carolina (157).
164 – Kansas State has scored points in 164 consecutive games. That's the 10th longest string of consecutive games scored in in college football. The ‘Cats were last skunked in 1996 by Colorado, 12-0.
356 – In his KSU career, long snapper Corey Adams has been on-target with all 356 of his snaps for extra points, field goals and punts.
1,265 – Daniel Thomas has rushed for 1,265 yards, which ranks 18th on the all-time KSU rushing chart. Thomas needs 328 yards to reach the Top 10. With a similar season to last year, Thomas' two-year total would be 2,530 yards, which would put him only behind Darren Sproles (4,979), Ell Roberson (2,818) and Eric Hickson (2,637).