Senior quarterback Lynn Dickey led the team to a third straight season as the top-rated passing offense in the Big Eight. Kansas State also led the conference in total defense, and posted its first win against a top-ten team, beating #8 Colorado. The Wildcats went into the final conference game of the season against Nebraska ranked #20 and playing for the Big Eight championship. The #4 Cornhuskers throttled Kansas State 51-13 in the game. Kansas State would not return to the national rankings again until the 1993 season.
The team finished with a winning record in conference play for the first time since 1953. After the season Vince Gibson was named coach of the year by the Big Eight Conference.