Monday, August 24, 2009

Kansas State Comes to Norman for Homecoming 2009

Bill Snyder took over a Kansas State program that had the worst record in Division I-A and had gone winless in its prior 27 consecutive games. Snyder then presided over one of the most successful rebuilding projects in the history of college athletics.

In Snyder's fifth season in 1993, Kansas State posted the first victory in a bowl game in school history. Success and high rankings continued over the next decade, including six top-ten finishes in the AP Poll and a perfect (11–0) regular season in 1998 (before stumbling in the Big XII Championship Game v. Texas A&M). As the team improved, recruiting also improved, and Snyder was able to bring in athletes such as quarterback Michael Bishop, the Heisman Trophy runner-up in '98 behind winner Ricky Williams (Texas), and running back Darren Sproles, who in 2003 led the nation in rushing and holds the current Big XII all-purpose yards record for a career. The run of success culminated in a Big XII championship in 2003 with a 35–7 upset victory over #1 ranked Oklahoma. The 69 years since the last conference title in 1934 was the longest span between football titles in Division I history.

In his 17 years as head coach at K-State, Snyder won 136 games – as many as his predecessors had won from 1935 to 1988 – and led Kansas State to eleven consecutive bowl games (1993-2003), including six wins. Snyder's legacy at K-State also includes winning or sharing four Big 12 North titles ('98, '99-Tie, '00, '03). Snyder also led the Wildcats to a 44–7 record from 1997 to 2000, and six 11-win seasons overall.

Snyder retired following the 2005 season, and on December 5, 2005, Ron Prince was named the new head coach. Needless to say, the Ron Prince era of Kansas State football was not a success and appears to have prompted Snyder to come back, right the ship and hand off to a hand-picked successor. So far, he has the KSU faithful feeling good about him being back in charge of the program. Kansas State is off to a 6-2 record overall and 2-2 in the Big XII. The next four games will really tell Snyder and the Wildcats where they stand. KSU plays at #6 Oklahoma, #12 Kansas, Missouri then at #4 Nebraska. If KSU can win two of those four they'll end the season at 8-4 (4-4) and cap the season off with a bowl game. Most around Manhattan, KS would be very happy with that. Most Las Vegas book makers have the Sooners as a 21 point favorite.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, this is waaaaay too long...I'm going to shorten it...Thanks for reading!