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Schedule analysis: Kansas State Wildcats

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder will have a veteran quarterback in Jesse Ertz this season, a sign that usually signals success. Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire

With the season just weeks away, we've been reviewing the schedule for each Big 12 team.

We continue the series with Kansas State:

Nonconference opponents (with 2016 record)

Sept. 2: Central Arkansas (10-3 FCS)

Sept. 9: Charlotte (4-8)

Sept. 16: at Vanderbilt (6-7)

Big 12 home games

Sept. 30: Baylor

Oct. 14: TCU

Oct. 21: Oklahoma

Nov. 11: West Virginia

Nov. 25: Iowa State

Big 12 road games

Oct. 7: Texas

Oct. 28: Kansas

Nov. 4: Texas Tech

Nov. 18: Oklahoma State

Gut-check time: Amazingly, Bill Snyder has never defeated Bob Stoops in Manhattan. The Wildcats have sprung a couple upsets in Norman, and also in the 2003 Big 12 championship. But never at home. The Wildcats could very easily be undefeated when the Sooners arrive in Manhattan this time around. But to truly state its case as a Big 12 title contender, K-State will finally to need to knock off Oklahoma inside Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

Trap game: Whatever happens against the Sooners, the Wildcats figure to be emotionally drained going into Lawrence the following weekend. Kansas, however, might not be the pushover its been in recent years, thanks to the collection of talent David Beaty has quietly and gradually put together. As Texas found out, Kansas is now capable of pulling off a stunner. This year, the Jayhawks could be catching the Wildcats at the right time, too.

Snoozer: The first two weeks of the season don't do a whole lot. Either for the fans, or for the Wildcats themselves. It won't be until a Week 3 trip to Vanderbilt that the Wildcats begin to learn how good they can be.

Final analysis: Whenever Snyder has had a veteran quarterback, success has usually followed. That's exactly what the Wildcats will have in second-year starter Jesse Ertz. The nonconference schedule is certainly manageable, and the Wildcats have five home games in conference this time around. The Oct. 7 tilt at Texas will be key. If K-State can get out of Austin with a victory, then it could challenge the Oklahoma powers for a spot in the Big 12 title game.