ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 06: Head coach Bill Snyder of the Kansas State Wildcats on the sidelines during the Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium on January 6, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
It seems that despite what Kansas State football did in 2011 they will once again have to prove themselves to many people in 2012.
As it seems to be the case every offseason when it comes to preseason rankings it is much better to field a college football squad in towns like South Bend, IN and Austin, TX than say a town like Manhattan, KS.
Despite returning eight starters on offense, including a Heisman trophy candidate at quarterback in Collin Klein, and seven starters on defense the website cfn.scout.com has put the Wildcats ranked all the way down at #42 in their preseason rankings. This at least puts the Wildcats ahead of Texas Tech who come in at #43 despite their 5-7 record last season.
This ranking puts K-State down below three teams, Missouri, Texas A&M and Texas, that the Wildcats beat last season. In regards to the Big 12 Conference, they have five teams, Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma State, West Virginia and TCU, ranked ahead of K-State.
The most obvious example of how name recognition helps mold these preseason rankings can be seen with the Longhorns. Despite finishing 8-5 overall last year with a losing record of 4-5 in the Big 12, they show up right behind Alabama in the top five of the rankings. Apparently they are far more confident in the ability of Texas QB David Ash to step up and lead the team than many others are.
As everyone has probably heard before, past performance is not always an indicator of future results so it is entirely possible that Kansas State over-achieved last year when they finished 10-2 in the regular season and with a #8 BCS ranking. This earned head coach another award to add on his resume as he was named the 2011 Sporting News head coach of the year.
It is hard not to think though that if you simply looked at what K-State had coming back on paper following their performance last year and changed the name to a higher profile school that you wouldn't see them magically jump at least into the Top 25.
Preseason polls in the end are meaningless as Kansas State proved last season. It appears at least from one poll that Snyder should still be able to use the no respect card in 2012.