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Five questions for Kansas State in 2016

Bill Snyder, 76, guided K-State to a bowl game again, but will he return next season? AP Photo/Orlin Wagner

With Kansas State's season officially in the books following a 45-23 defeat to Arkansas in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, it's time to look at the Wildcats going into 2016.

Here are five questions for K-State entering the offseason:

1. Will Bill Snyder keep coaching? There's been nothing yet to suggest that Snyder is ready to hang it up. But at 76 years old, the possibility of retirement is something worth monitoring. By getting the Wildcats to a bowl game even during a rebuilding year that also included several injuries to key players, Snyder showed he's still got the magic touch. And with a good chunk of the team returning, K-State will have a chance to return to the top half of the Big 12 in 2016. Of course, having Snyder back at the helm dramatically increases the chances of that happening.

2. Who plays quarterback? This was not a banner year for quarterbacking at K-State, and the position will be a major question mark this offseason. Receiver-turned-quarterback Kody Cook, who started in the Liberty Bowl, is graduating, leaving Jesse Ertz, Joe Hubener, Alex Delton, Jonathan Banks and incoming freshman Skylar Thompson to battle for the starting job. Ertz began the year as the starter before suffering a season-ending injury in Week 1, Delton turned heads last spring before he too was injured and Hubener has the most experience. None, however, has the inside track to the starting job. But to be better than a .500 team, the Wildcats will need one of their quarterbacks to separate from the pack.

3. Will more playmakers emerge? K-State was hurting for playmakers offensively all year, especially whenever Cook -- also the team's top receiver -- would move to quarterback. To improve, the Wildcats are going to need way more consistency and explosiveness from their running backs and receivers. Deante Burton had a nice finish to the year and figures to open as the go-to receiver in 2016. Elsewhere at receiver, freshmen Dominique Heath and Zach Reuter, redshirts Denzel Goolsby and Isaiah Zuber and incoming ESPN JC50 WR Byron Pringle have potential. At running back, the Wildcats had to like what they saw in the Liberty Bowl from Dalvin Warmack, who finally impacted the offense. Warmack is a big-play threat and will have every opportunity to get touches alongside returning starter Charles Jones.

4. Can the Wildcats restock the offensive line? The strength of the team this past season will be an uncertain one going into 2016. The Wildcats are graduating four starters up front, including All-Big 12 stalwart Cody Whitehair. Dalton Risner is one of the best young centers in the country, but besides him the line is going to be largely unproven. Figuring out the line will be paramount as K-State attempts to remake the offense.

5. Can the defense start to dominate? With so many moving parts offensively, the Wildcats are going to have to lean on the defense, at least early on, in 2016. The good news is that in tackle Will Geary (who missed the Liberty Bowl), end Jordan Willis, linebacker Elijah Lee, cornerback Duke Shelley (who also missed the Liberty Bowl) and safety Dante Barnett (assuming he gets the year back), K-State could have a difference-maker at every single level. If that results in the defense being salty, the Wildcats could be salty overall, as well.