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Kansas State: 2009 Projections

With Kansas State Week wrapping up, it looks like the Unholy Alliance goes on hiatus for a while...oh who am I kidding, the Unholy Alliance never goes on hiatus.

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I'm not going to lie: K-State's BTBS projections are potentially the most surprising of anybody's (well...then again, CU's 2-10 projection was rather surprising too). Here's a reminder of how the projections are determined: I start with last year's Offensive and Defensive S&P+, I apply percentage increases or decreases based on the projections of my FO colleague Brian Fremeau, I boil things down to a relative point value, and I project the games. It's still very much in an inexact stage because I clearly don't know if certain factors (returning starters, 5-year history, etc.) will affect my S&P+ ratings in the same way as Fremeau's FEI numbers, but it's a start. And it should be, at the very least, at least a hint that Colorado might be worse than expected and K-State better.

Before we get to the BTBS projections, here's K-State Week in review:

2009 BTBS Projections

Date Opponent Proj. W/L Margin Record Conf. Rec.
9/5 UMass W +22.6 1-0
9/12 at UL-Lafayette W +6.5 2-0
9/19 at UCLA L -9.9 2-1
9/26 Tennessee Tech W +36.5 3-1
10/3 vs Iowa State W +7.1 4-1 1-0
10/10 at Texas Tech L -9.8 4-2 1-1
10/17 Texas A&M W +2.1 5-2 2-1
10/24 Colorado W +8.9 6-2 3-1
10/31 at Oklahoma L -22.6 6-3 3-2
11/7 Kansas L -5.4 6-4 3-3
11/14 Missouri W +0.5 7-4 4-3
11/21 at Nebraska L -9.0 7-5 4-4

So there you go. With two 1-AA games, a probably winnable game at UL-Lafayette, and a VERY favorable conference home slate, K-State could go 3-1 at home in conference and probably get to six wins just like that. Of course, six wins won't get them bowling because of the two 1-AA FCS teams, but seven will, and potentially tight rivalry games against Kansas and Missouri could get them there.

One thing I like to do is add or subtract 6-7 points to/from the projection to see what the impact is if a team is better or worse than expected. If KSU is better than expected, it really only brings one more win into the mix--Kansas. If they're worse than the numbers project, they could lose to ULL, ATM, Missouri, and maybe Iowa State. So we're looking at a range of 3-9 to 8-4 for 2009. I'd say 6-6 is more likely than 7-5, but there's still a very clear path to a .500 record for Bill Snyder this year despite a glaring lack of depth at the skill positions, and that has to excite K-State fans at least a little bit. Even if the team is only marginally improved, there is a defined path to bowl eligibility. Of course, lose to UL-Lafayette, and this projection gets altered just a wee bit.

Starting Monday: Iowa State Week!