For the second time in the last three seasons, Kansas State was ranked 21st in the preseason Amway coaches’ poll released Thursday morning as the Cats were one of four Big 12 teams ranked in the season’s initial top 25.
The Wildcats were also ranked 21st by the coaches prior to the Big 12 Championship season of 2012, which was the first time K-State was in the preseason poll since 2004. It is the first time overall Kansas State has been included in the coaches’ poll since the final 2012 survey when the Wildcats finished the year at No. 11.
Other Big 12 programs joining the Cats in the 2014 preseason poll were Oklahoma (third), Baylor (10th) and Texas (24th). Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas Tech were among 27 schools that received votes but sit outside the top 25. Additionally, Auburn — K-State’s opponent on Thursday, September 18 — checked in at No. 5.
The Wildcats return 39 letterwinners — including 14 starters — from last year’s squad that tallied an 8-5 record, which included a victory over Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. The group is headlined by wide receiver Tyler Lockett and defensive end Ryan Mueller — both 2013 Second Team All-Americans — as well as multiple awards candidates in quarterback Jake Waters, place kicker Jack Cantele and offensive linemen B.J. Finney and Cody Whitehair.
Kansas State will host its annual media day on Wednesday, August 6, while Fan Appreciation Day is set for Saturday, August 16, at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Head coach Bill Snyder and the 2014 team captains will address the fans at approximately 6 p.m., with an hour-long autograph session to follow. Complete details of Fan Appreciation Day will be announced at a later date.
The Wildcats kick off the 2014 season with an August 30, matchup against Stephen F. Austin at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The sixth-annual K-State Family Reunion will begin at 6:10 p.m., and be shown world-wide on K-StateHD.TV.