Head coach and football icon at Kansas State, Bill Snyder is considered by many as one of the best coaches in the nation when it comes to getting the most out of his players and playing fundamental, hard-nosed football.
The 72-year-old coach came back to Kansas State in 2009 after coaching the Wildcats for 16 years from 1989-2005. In just three years he has taken Kansas State to two bowls and won ten games in 2011.
The Wildcats aren't losing many key players either. Senior wide receiver Sheldon Smith had 177 receiving yards on 22 receptions and one touchdown. Highly touted but disappointing running Back Bryce brown was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles as the 229th pick overall, but didn't contribute much at all as he had 12 total yards in the 2011 season.
The talented quarterback-running back duo of Collin Klein and John Hubert will both be returning for next years season. Klein rushed for 1141 yards and was almost unstoppable in the red zone with 27 rushing touchdowns. The speedy halfback Hubert, who stands just 5'7" tall rushed for 970 yards and three touchdowns.
The Wildcats won ten games last year by running the ball, playing sound defense and keeping themselves in each game. Of their ten wins in 2011, eight of them were won by ten points or less. As long as Snyder is coaching, fundamentals and team mentality is expected and for the most part, is achieved.
Recruiting has always been a problem when it comes to reeling in a top 25 class to Manhattan, Kansas, but this hasn't seemed to bother Snyder as he continues to develop players who weren't recruited by powerhouse schools.
For the 2012 recruiting class, the Wildcats got their best talent from the state of Texas. Three star OG Aderius Epps (Cedar Hill, TX), three star MLB Will Davis (Southlake, TX) and three star TE Cody Small (Cypress, TX) all could become contributors next year.
With just about all their key players returning from a team that was very close to earning a BCS bowl bid, the Wildcats could be in for another exciting season in 2012.
Big 12 season record predictions:
Given wins: Missouri State, North Texas, Kansas
My prediction: 9-3