Hey there folks, it’s time to talk some football. While there were plenty of headlines to be made this past weekend in both the college ranks and the NFL (most notably the horrible officiating), I have decided to talk about something that I feel hasn’t gotten enough attention: Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder and the amazing job he’s done over his many years in coaching.
Coach Snyder is one of those people who seem to fly under the radar every year; that’s in due part to his unflashy, low key personality as well as the fact that he coaches at Kansas State. K-State is by far what you would call a “national powerhouse,” yet Snyder has made that program into an extremely respectable one that should receive moar attention. But since K-State plays in the Big 12, it’s overshadowed yearly by Texas and Oklahoma, and now even West Virginia, which joined the conference this year.
Think about this: Snyder has spent his entire college football coaching career at K-State. He’s twice turned around a floundering program; once when he first got there and again when he came out of retirement in 2009. He has moar 10+ win seasons (8) than Georgia coach Mark Richt (7). You might say that’s because Snyder has coached much longer, and you’d be right. But remember, this is K-State, and there’s no coach who deserves the “does so much with so little” moniker than Snyder. When everyone was mentioning Joe Paterno in the tragic Sandusky saga as the last great coach synonymous with one program, people in Manhattan, Kansas were reminding everyone that their guy was just as one with the program as JoePa was. After all, the stadium is named after him and his family.
Yet this is the way of the current college football world. Snyder and co. seem to only appear in national headlines when they manage to pull an “upset” like this past weekend against then #6 ranked Oklahoma. However, many K-State fans and a few national pundits, such as the controversial Skip Bayless, picked the Wildcats to beat Bob Stoops and his Sooners at their home turf. Myself included. The narrative that I heard over and over again on ESPN after the Wildcats victory, was how this was the first time since 1997 that Snyder had beaten Oklahoma at Norman (their home). Yet many fans will tell you, the better narrative to follow was that up until that point, K-State was 4-4 against Oklahoma when they were both ranked, and now they’re 5-4.
Unfortunately, this was seldom mentioned at all, and it goes to show that only the big time schools get the spotlight. I’d much rather hear about K-State’s outside title chances rather than a yearly overrated team such as Notre Dame. Speaking of title chances, I’m rooting for the Wildcats, or at least I’m rooting for them to get a BCS bowl bid. They’re currently ranked #7 in the AP and #8 in the Coaches’ poll. Many are wondering if they can sustain their momentum. Are they a flash in the pan, or legit? As David Ubben of ESPN points out (based on analysis from insider KC Joyner), the Wildcats are indeed legit, with great offensive line play, smart decision making by QB Collin Klein, and a great defense.
Of course you have to look at their schedule, and there are a few games to point out. They travel to the nationally tagged favorite in the Big 12, West Virginia, on October 20th. They also travel to TCU and Baylor in back-to-back weeks on November 10th and 17th. Then they finish up at home against Texas on December 1st. It’s asking quite a lot of K-State to go undefeated. However, if anyone can do it, the Wildcats can. Wouldn’t that be something if the Big 12 title came down to the last week with Texas and K-State? That would be definitely be a headline grabber.
While Bill Snyder and Kansas State are no Nick Saban and Alabama, they should be getting some national notoriety. Yet maybe it’s better they don’t. We’ve seen high expectation teams like USC and their ever lovable coach Lane Kiffin and star QB Matt Barkley fall. Everyone outside of Notre Dame is just waiting for them to lose. And even though they have a clear path to a BCS bid, can Jimbo Fisher and Florida State put it all together? Perhaps it’s better that Snyder does things the old fashioned way. Not flashy, but just gets the job done. Then, when it’s time to start deciding who’s worthy of a BCS bid, Snyder and Kansas State will be right there. Most of the nation will be wondering where they came from if they’re there at the end; Snyder will remind you not through words but through play, that he’s always been there.