Kansas State’s 2018 season is set to be a bit of a struggle for the football program.
The Jayhawks are currently ranked 23rd in the country, and they’ve gone 5-1 in their last six games.
They are now on the verge of upsetting No. 12 Wisconsin for the second consecutive year.
The Badgers have been the class of the Big Ten Conference and are coming off of an impressive win over No. 1 Ohio State in the national championship game.
It was a big win for head coach David Beaty, who was promoted after the Badgers’ win over Wisconsin.
Beaty was hired in September, and he’s led Kansas State to back-to-back Big 12 titles.
He’s also earned a reputation as one of the best coaches in the nation.
So, if the Jayhawks aren’t able to win on Saturday, there’s a good chance they’ll be relegated to the cellar of the conference.
This is a good time to check out how Kansas State stacks up against other Power 5 conferences.
The Big Ten is the only Power 5 conference with two teams that currently sit in the top 10.
Kansas State will face the likes of Penn State and Ohio State for the Big 10’s final two conference titles.
The two teams are tied for the league’s third-most wins.
Wisconsin is the conference’s third seed.
It’s also in the middle of a six-game losing streak, which is a bit disappointing.
Kansas and Wisconsin both finished 9-4 last season, but the Badger’s record didn’t get much better.
Wisconsin finished 10-4 and the Jaykeyes were 7-5.
So the Badgies and Jayhawks may be on the same level.
However, Kansas State is a different beast.
The Wildcats have won eight of their last nine games.
This season, they are 7-2 in those games, and that includes a win over Oklahoma State.
That’s impressive enough for Wisconsin to be the Big 12’s most-improved team.
However: Wisconsin lost to Ohio State.
Wisconsin also lost to Michigan State and TCU.
Kansas is one of only two teams to have a losing record against the other conference’s champion in the conference, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
That doesn’t bode well for the Badgs, who also have a 1-5 mark against the Big Eight.
So it’s not all good news for the Jayhawks.
Kansas won’t have an easier schedule this season.
The Sooners play eight games against Power 5 opponents, which includes a home game against Wisconsin.
Oklahoma is also in attendance at Kansas, but they’ve only played three times.
Kansas’s schedule will be a challenge for Oklahoma.
The Cowboys are 8-5 and have lost three straight games.
The last time they were beaten by the Sooners was last season when they won 31-23 in Norman.
Oklahoma State is one other Big 12 opponent that the Jaycats have faced.
The Horned Frogs play TCU and Baylor, which are both Power 5 teams.
The Frogs are 8.5-1 against the Jaybirds and 5-0 against the Bison.
It will be an interesting matchup, but not one that will be easy for the Wildcats.
Oklahoma has lost all four games it has played against Kansas State since the start of the season.
Oklahoma isn’t the only team with an uphill battle.
Kansas isn’t expected to be any more successful than it was last year, either.
Oklahoma finished last in the Big 8 in total offense last year.
Oklahoma’s total offense was 28th in the league, and its scoring average was 25th.
Oklahoma ranked 22nd in scoring defense and 20th in total defense.
It won only seven games last season and finished 8-8 overall.
Kansas hasn’t had to rely on its offense to win games, but it has to be better defensively to win the Big Sky Conference.
The Eagles were the only Pac-12 team to play a conference rival in 2018.
The teams split two games, with the Eagles beating Colorado State 38-28 and then losing at Oregon 28-24.
Both losses came on the road.
Oklahoma will look to rebound from those losses, and it should be a good test for the team’s defense.
If Oklahoma can get better in the return game, it could be a tough road to beat for the Horned Heads.
Oklahoma lost to UCLA in the first game of the regular season, and the Bruins were the first Pac-10 team to beat Oklahoma State in five seasons.
That could prove to be an obstacle for Oklahoma as it looks to improve on its 2017 season.