What goes around does, in fact, come around. So this could very well be the year Kansas State goes from bully to bullied in the Big 12.
The Caesars Palace book has omitted K-State on the individual school listing of odds to win the national championship. If you can get past Coach Bill Snyder’s usual list of September softies (Florida International, Marshall, North Texas), it’s highly likely the Wildcats will hit bottom in the North Division.
K-State is off a 4-7 campaign and, starting with the Big 12 opener at defending league champ Oklahoma, every team on the schedule figures to finish .500 or better. Even Kansas, which for the first time in years, has a greater upside than the Cats.
Snyder is not alone in a fall from grace. Nebraska opened at 100-1 at Caesars and is currently 75-1 at both the Palace and the Las Vegas Hilton SuperBook. Colorado, the North champion a year ago, is a whopping 250-1 at Caesars and 200-1 at the Hilton.
So where is the power, you ask? Well, just where it has been through the decade — Oklahoma and Texas. The Sooners have to replace former Heisman winner Jason White at QB, while the Longhorns must find a horse in the backfield to match the great Cedric Benson.
Don’t feel too sorry for either. Texas QB Vince Young is a stud and should post his best-ever numbers. Oklahoma RB Adrian Peterson could earn the Heisman as a sophomore. Many felt he should have won it last year.
Texas is third nationally at 8-1, while the Sooners (12-1) are fifth at Caesars. The only other Big 12 team on the radar screen is Texas A&M at 45-1. The Aggies have preseason All American DB Jaxson Appel leading a physical defense, a growing talent in QB Reggie McNeal and the famed Kyle Field "12th man."
A&M also features 18 starters coming back to College Station, while Coach Dennis Franchione has had two full years of Aggie knowledge under his belt.
Unless Nebraska finds a needle in the haystack at QB, look to the Aggies as the major threat to Oklahoma and Texas in the South division. Nebraska gets our early nod in the North.
The league’s big game? Only one — OU vs. Texas on Oct. 8.
Next up: USC and the Pac 10.