In the upper echelon of college football, it’s kind of easy to forget Kansas State. They don’t have the same brand recognition as blue bloods like Texas and Oklahoma from the Big 12.
However, the Wildcats can play football. In 2022, coach Chris Klieman broke through with a Big 12 championship game win over TCU. It was the only loss for TCU before the college football playoff.
This season, Kansas State has losses to Oklahoma State and Missouri but have dominated TCU and Houston in their last two games by a 82-3 score. QB Will Howard leads an offense that ranks 9th in my adjusted success rate, an improvement from 38th last year when they had all-world RB Deuce Vaughn.
Kansas State came into the season with questions on defense, as they lost key contributors like edge Felix Anudike-Uzomah and CB Julius Brents, two players now contributing on NFL teams. However, the defense ranks 24th in my adjusted success rate, about the same as last season.
Texas QB Quinn Ewers will not play in this game, and Maalik Murphy had a 42.3% pass success rate against BYU last week. This is better than the college football average of 39.7%. However, BYU is the 89th ranked pass defense, a unit expected to give up 41.9% success rate to an average FBS team.
Murphy might be good, but he should be at least a small downgrade to Ewers. My numbers have Texas by 3.8 points, and it should be less with the Texas QB situation.
Most of the market has moved from Texas -4.5 to -4 since this analysis was posted for members on Wednesday. However, you can still grab Kansas State +4.5 on FanDuel as of Thursday morning.
Here are some predictions available to members of The Power Rank.
CFB. USC will beat Washington by 0.9 points at home. Yes, I realize how awful my analysis of USC’s defense a few weeks back looks. However, QB Caleb Williams will keep them in this game against undefeated Washington. Don’t be surprised if they upset an overrated Huskies team.
NFL. Philadelphia will beat Dallas by 2.9 points at home. The Eagles have a stellar 7-1 record, but this includes a 4-1 record in one score games. In my metrics that only use adjusted metrics from this season, Philadelphia ranks 9th in the NFL.
NFL. Green Bay will beat the Los Angeles Rams by 2.3 points at home. Nothing is working for the Packers, as they rank 27th on offense and 31st on defense based on my adjusted success rate. They traded away CB Rasul Douglas, their top coverage player, to Buffalo this week.
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