The Kansas State Wildcats received a well needed and deserved bye week this past Saturday. The break came after the Wildcats had played 10 straight Saturdays in a row.
Of those 10 games, four had been against ranked opponents and one game went to four overtimes. It is possible that no other team in the Big 12 may have needed the rest quite like Bill Snyder's squad. In their last contest before the bye, the Wildcats had played arguably one of their worst games of the season on the road against a rugged Texas Longhorn squad. Somehow they had made just enough big plays and once again found a way to win another conference game.
The first reason the break was so important is obviously that K-State's quarterback Collin Klein got a weekend free of being beaten into a pulp by defenders. In the Wildcats last game against Texas it appeared ever so slightly that maybe Klein was a step slower than he had been earlier in the year.
Because of the gaudy numbers and sparkling plays that Klein has made this year it is easy to forget that he is in his first year as a starter and he would probably be wearing down even if he didn't absorb the punishment he does. Having Klein fully rested will be key against an Iowa State who will be looking for another victory against a ranked foe.
Another reason the break came at such a crucial time for K-State is that it allows Bill Snyder extra time to focus his team for this weekend and the possible ramifications outcomes of games hold. If K-State can beat Iowa State on Saturday and Oklahoma takes our Oklahoma State in Bedlam then the Wildcats finish as co-champions of the Big 12. Debating the actual earning of a co-champion title is another story as the Wildcats have already lost to both potential co-championship teams.
It would not be out of the question for any highly ranked team like K-State to have a letdown in the home finale against an unranked opponent after hearing all week about the possibility of three-way title. This is where the bye could be important as Bill Snyder will have had plenty of time to review the gruesome footage of the contest against the Longhorns and point out the many areas that the Wildcats still have to improve upon.
And finally an area that may be overlooked right now as the season is still moving right along is the bye week should have allowed Snyder and his staff time to work on recruiting in some form or function. Even if the coaches only were able to watch a little more film than usual of high school or junior college athletes that is something that shouldn't be forgotten about.
With how Bill Snyder has coached this year and his team has responded one would have to expect the bye week to have been nothing but positive for the Wildcats as they look to finish off a double digit victory regular season.