July 13, 2007

Center of attention

Sorry to ruin the suspense, but an offensive lineman isn't going to earn the No. 1 spot on our list of most important Wildcats. If we did this series by position, however, it's entirely possible that the line as a group would claim that top spot. All five projected starters are in our Top 25 and two are in the Top 10, starting with center Jordan Bedore at No. 9.

The 6-foot-3, 297-pound junior started nine of K-State's 13 games last season, missing most of four due to injury, and examining the difference in the Wildcats' production with and without Bedore in the lineup actually yields some surprising results.

In the four games Bedore sat (Louisville, Oklahoma State, Nebraska and Missouri) K-State averaged 143 rushing yards a game, a number that is pushed down significantly by a 22-yard rushing effort against the Cornhuskers.

In the nine contests Bedore started (Illinois State, Florida Atlantic, Marshall, Baylor, Iowa State, Colorado, Texas, Kansas and Rutgers) K-State actually averaged far fewer rushing yards, 103 per outing to be exact.

Statistics can always be deceiving, however. It's important to point out that the Wildcats were 6-3 when Bedore started and 1-3 without him, and there's little argument that the most important stat are those Ws and Ls. Besides, hardly anybody who watched the Wildcats play last season or during the spring would argue that the Goodland native isn't the best linemen on the K-State roster.

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