The Kansas State Wildcats are ranked No. 16 in Sports Illustrated's 2012 preseason Top 25. The Big 12 landed four other teams in SI's rankings, as well.
The Wildcats finished the 2011 season with a 10-3 record, placing them at No. 15 in the final AP rankings. They return 12 starters for 2012, including honorable mention All-Big 12 quarterback Collin Klein, who accounted for 40 total touchdowns. Explosive sophomore kick returner Tyler Lockett is also back, while first-team all-conference cornerback Nigel Malone will anchor the KSU defense.
SI listed senior tight end Travis Tannahill as its "Breakout Player" for KSU, while senior linebacker Arthur Brown earned "Player Spotlight" honors.
The Oklahoma Sooners are the highest-ranked Big 12 team, coming in at No. 5 in SI's poll. The West Virginia Mountaineers (No. 10), Texas Longhorns (No. 16) and TCU Horned Frogs (No. 21) round out the conference's five teams to make the cut.
Alabama is SI's top-ranked team, while USC, LSU and Oregon occupy the next three spots.
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