Team previews for Nos. 20-16

Impact players, win projections and season previews for top-25 teams

Originally Published: August 6, 2012
By Travis Haney, Mark Schlabach, KC Joyner and Brian Fremeau | ESPN The Magazine
Arthur Brown Peter G. Aiken/Getty ImagesBig 12 teams aren't sure what to make of this season's Wildcats.

These top-25 team previews also appear in the college football preview issue of ESPN The Magazine. They will be released five per day this week on ESPN Insider.

Team capsules are written by Travis Haney and Mark Schlabach, kick-starter player sections by KC Joyner and Football Outsiders season win projections by Brian Fremeau.

20. Kansas State Wildcats

Last season: 10-3 (7-2 Big 12)

SLEIGHT OF FOOT
Call it smoke and mirrors if you want -- K-State fans just hope the Wildcats have bottled the magic from their first 10-win season since 2003. Bill Snyder's team won eight of those games by an average of 4.5 points, which is why Big 12 teams aren't quite sure what to make of the talent pool in the Little Apple. The offense returns eight starters, notably QB Collin Klein, who ran for 1,141 yards and tied a Big 12 record with 27 TDs despite an obvious aversion to passing (147.5 ypg in 2011). An inability to stop teams from scoring in bunches led to K-State's giving up a combined 110 points in its two Big 12 losses, to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. All-Big 12 LB Arthur Brown (101 tackles) and seven other senior starters must put out more fires (27.9 ppg) if the Wildcats hope for magic this season.

Brian Fremeau

ESPN Insider
• Has been a contributor to ESPN Insider and ESPN The Magazine since 2009
• Creator of the Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI), a measure of college football team efficiency
• Contributor to Football Outsiders and his own site, bcftoys.com