Baylor follows up its road matchup against Oklahoma with a home game against the Kansas State Wildcats on October 6th. This could be an extremely important home game for the Bears, as one of the more likely wins needed to reach 6 and go to a bowl game.
S&P+ has Kansas State projected at 5-7 this year, missing a bowl game. However, S&P+ projected them similarly last year and Bill Snyder somehow willed them to 8 wins. So there is reason to believe the Wildcats could again overachieve. However, there is some turmoil to resolve as Snyder has two new coordinators to get settled in.
Offensively, the Wildcats should be fine with a lot of pieces returning. The big issue will be who is beyond center. The Wildcats have two candidates for quarterback that both could receive significant snaps at least early in the season. Both have talent, with Alex Delton being a run heavy quarterback and Skylar Thompson a better throwing quarterback. The offense might very well remain a two-headed beast, with each quarterback playing in different situations.
Defensively, Kansas State suffered a ton of injuries last year. This season there should be more depth and less freak injuries. However, the Wildcats lost 5 of their 7 top havoc players (which includes tackles for loss, passes defended, and forced fumbles). So, the defense should be more stable but perhaps less effective. But if Snyder can do anything, he can coach scrappy defenses, so don’t overlook the Wildcats defense.
This is game 6 in the Baylor football season. According to FPI, Baylor has a 63.9% chance to win against Kansas State this year, which is their 4th best odds behind ACU (99.3%), UTSA (90.0%), and Kansas (87.0%) and ahead of Duke (55.0%) and Texas Tech (50.2%). Those 6 games could make or break the Bears chances at making a bowl game after a one year hiatus, and if the Bears aspire to more than a bowl game these are must wins. Luckily the Baylor home crowd should help the Bears in their mid season battle against the Wildcats.