College Football Pick
Stanford was once again a dominant force in the Pac-12 last season, finishing at 12-2 and dominating Iowa in the Rose Bowl. With bigger plans this year such as a trip to the College Football Playoff, they’ll get things started against a Kansas State team that is hoping to bounce back from a 6-7 record. But it’s set to be a tough start for the Wildcats as the Cardinal are -15.5 point favorites at home as seen at 5 Dimes Sportsbook.
While Stanford has bigger plans, it’ll be far from easy with so many new faces around, most notably at quarterback. A couple weeks before the Game, head coach David Shaw still didn’t have his mind made up between Keller Chryst and Ryan Burns. Considering KSU’s biggest hole has been in pass defense, that could end up being relevant in this Game.
But either way, running back Christian McCaffrey is still there and he’s going to see a ton of touches with hopes of winning the Heisman this year. The problem is not only will he have a new quarterback, but the offensive line will be a little more inexperienced with only two returning starters. But this is Stanford and talent turnover hasn’t been a huge problem for Shaw in the past.
Kansas State has plenty of holes of its own after struggling to reach six wins last year. Their defense was atrocious against the Big 12’s best and it wouldn’t be surprising to see McCaffrey go off for a huge Game in his home opener.
So to keep this Game around for the Wildcats, it falls to an offense that never showed much consistency in 2015. Their QB situation isn’t the greatest either, although all signs point to Jesse Ertz leading the charge after he tore his ACL a year ago. Still, he only has a couple snaps under his belt at the college level, so he’s not exactly someone to rely on.
Things won’t be easy for KSU on the offensive side either way, because they also have a lot of new faces and are going against one of the perennially best defenses in the country in Stanford. The Cardinal dominated most Games at home last year outside of two contests against Oregon and Notre Dame.
But in the home opener, tensions will be high for Stanford, especially with a new quarterback. The trend for Bill Snyder teams is that they usually bounce back from disappointment. Not to mention, Snyder should be on his way to retirement, sooner than later.
A year after getting blown out by most relevant teams, the Wildcats have their hands full with a tough road opener. There’s no doubt Snyder’s team will be ready, but will it be enough against a Stanford team led by a Heisman favorite?
KSU gave up huge plays last year, while McCaffrey made huge plays. That could be a recipe for disaster for the Kansas State defense. And there’s no reason to believe the Wildcats will look much better offensively in the early going, especially against a defense like the Cardinal.
There is currently a mix of 15.5’s and 16’s on the board as of this writing. Betonline still has 16 and we’re going to go ahead and grab it as the feeling here is that there’s some value with a well coached Kansas State team getting a couple of TD’s plus a couple of bonus points in the very 1st Game of the year. Kansas State +16