3 Biggest Questions Facing Kansas State Head Coach Chris Klieman Ahead of Big 12 Media Days

    With the Wildcats on an upward trajectory, what questions is Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman expected to face at Big 12 Media Days?

    Since taking over for revered coach Bill Snyder in 2019, Chris Klieman has guided the Kansas State Wildcats to at least eight wins in four of the last five seasons, including the last three consecutive years. The Wildcats finished 9-4 last year with a Pop-Tarts Bowl victory and No. 18 finish.

    Riding the waves of success, what questions is Chris Klieman expected to face at Big 12 Media Days?

    Three Most Significant Questions for Chris Klieman at Big 12 Media Days

    1) Can Avery Johnson Be a Full-Time Starter at QB?

    Unquestionably one of the more dynamic and exciting players in the Big 12, Avery Johnson showed flashes of brilliance in small doses last year. However, he hasn’t been unleashed for an entire season yet.

    Appearing in eight games with two starts, Johnson demonstrated his dual-threat prowess, throwing for 497 yards and five TDs with no picks while rushing 296 yards and seven scores.

    The Pop Tarts Bowl MVP and a Big 12 Freshman of the Year honorable mention, Johnson will get the keys to the offense this season after Will Howard transferred to Ohio State. He’ll have to learn to adjust to a new offensive coordinator, and time will tell how long his run-and-gun style can physically hold up.

    2) Can Matt Wells And Conor Riley Emulate Collin Klein?

    Collin Klein played QB at Kansas State from 2008-2012, then he was on the Wildcats coaching staff in various roles from 2014 to 2023, cumulating in him taking over as OC in 2022. Now, Klein has finally left Manhattan for College Station to take over as OC of the Texas A&M Aggies.

    Klieman opted to replace Klein by committee, promoting highly-respected OL coach Conor Riley to co-OC and newly-hired QB coach Matt Wells. Riley is in his sixth season with the Wildcats, while Wells joins Klieman’s staff after serving as an offensive advisor at Oklahoma for the last two years.

    Wells is the former head coach at Utah State (2013-2018) and Texas Tech (2019-2021).

    3) Who Steps Up After Crucial Player Departures?

    A successful season means a higher profile for better players, which was the case for Kansas State. Several of its key contributors left for the NFL, including OL Cooper Bebe, TE Ben Sinnott, and WR Phillip Brooks.

    FREE: Sign up for the College Football Network Newsletter to receive unique stories from the world of college football directly to your inbox!

    Making up ground in the transfer portal with double-digit additions, plus retaining key returners like RB D.J. Giddens, will go a long way for Klieman’s staff.

    Big 12 Media Days Schedule: Chris Klieman, Kansas State Head Coach

    • Date: Tuesday, July 10
    • Time: 2:20 p.m. ET
    • How to watch: ESPN+

    With Texas and Oklahoma officially members of the SEC, the remaining 16 teams in the Big 12 will fight it out to the death to reach the summit of the conference.

    Klieman and the Wildcats have a lot to prove to be considered frontrunners. Still, if Johnson can continue his trajectory and development under new OC tutelage, Kansas State could surprise the lot and emerge on top.

    College Football Network has you covered with the latest news and analysis, rankings, transfer portal information, top 10 returning players, the 2024 college football season schedule, and much more!

    EA Sports College Football: Everything You Need For the Game’s Historic Return

    After a decade-long hiatus, EA Sports College Football has made its return to glory. The popular college football video game is here to stay, radically changing the video game landscape forever.

    Related Articles