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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Snyder: KU football situation not as bad as one he inherited at K-State

Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder walks the sidelines during the fourth quarter, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder walks the sidelines during the fourth quarter, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

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Back in 1989, Bill Snyder inherited a Kansas State football program that had won three or fewer games in 12 of the previous 14 seasons under his three predecessors. The Wildcats, at that point, had played in one bowl game in their history.

Given Snyder’s familiarity with taking on a job that looked dire, the K-State coaching legend, who has gone 205-109-1 and led the Wildcats to 18 bowl games since, was asked at his weekly press conference whether the current situation at Kansas reminded him at all of what he took on in Manhattan.

Though Snyder, now in his 26th season at K-State, initially replied he hadn’t thought about it or paid attention to the state of KU football “in that realm,” he went on to give his opinion on the matter.

“I don’t know that there’s any program that has been or will be in the situation that was at Kansas State at that particular time,” Snyder said. “Once again, Kansas has had some success in the past. They’re not the losing-est program in the history of college football and all that goes along with it. They’re going through some difficult times right now, but it’s not as though — no, they’re not where we were, I don’t think.”

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Since KU forced former head coach Mark Mangino out in 2009, the program has won three or fewer games every season, under head coaches Turner Gill, Charlie Weis, David Beaty and interim Clint Bowen (1-7, in 2014).

Headed into Saturday’s Sunflower Showdown at Memorial Stadium (2 p.m., FOX Sports 1), versus Snyder’s Wildcats (3-4 overall, 1-3 Big 12), the Jayhawks are 1-6 on the season, bringing the program’s record in the post-Mangino era — spanning seven-plus seasons — to 15-76.

Snyder went 1-10 in his first season as a head coach at K-State, in 1989, before going 5-6 in his second year, 7-4 in his third, 5-6 in his fourth and 9-2-1 in a breakout 1993 season. His teams have finished below .500 just three times since, with Snyder’s worst season to date coming in 2004’s 4-7 campaign.

Snyder is 21-4 all-time versus Kansas, and 9-3 at Memorial Stadium.

Wildcats’ perspective on rivalry game

Although KU (0-4 Big 12) enters its annual rivalry meeting with K-State coming off six consecutive losses and back-to-back non-competitive shutouts, Snyder isn’t worried about his Wildcats overlooking KU.

"If I have to motivate them to play any team, then we've got some problems. There's 365 days in a year and you get to play the game 12, and if you're fortunate, 13 times. That's 13 out of 365 days that you really get to do a thing that you love doing. That, to me, ought to be the motivation to do it,” Snyder said.

What’s more, K-State has 49 players on its roster from the Sunflower State, so Snyder said the matchup “automatically” means something special to them.

“Guys from out of state,” Snyder added, “they treat it as another game. But hopefully the motivation of another game means we need to be motivated to play as well as we possibly can. But, if you're not from in state, be there for your teammates that are from in state because this is something they live with year in and year out, as much as anybody can. Aside from that, it just goes back to the same thing – to me, it's not about the University of Kansas, it's still about Kansas State. We have to do all we can to become a better football team, become better than we are and make improvements."

The Kansas roster features 23 in-state players.

Importance of showdown for KU

At Beaty’s press conference this week, he also referenced the importance of the rivalry series.

“Our people that are on our football team, the people inside our department, our university, all of our stakeholders, all of our fans, all of our former students, former players, it has a lot of meaning,” KU’s third-year head coach said of the Sunflower Showdown. “This is one of those games where you can have an opportunity to make yourself a household name. One game has the potential to do that. It's something that we don't take lightly.”

Beaty said Tuesday’s team meeting began with him taking measures to ensure all the Jayhawks understand “the levity of the rivalry game,” especially those players less familiar with it.

“We really don't have to do a lot, but it's important for me to educate our guys, particularly our young guys, because we have a lot of young guys on this team that are playing,” Beaty added, saying he wants them to make the rivalry “part of their fabric.”

“It's one of those games that can change the whole year for you,” he reiterated, “and for us, getting that first one in conference is a big, big deal. But getting it against Kansas State would be a huge shot in the arm for us.”

Comments

Brad Watson 1 year, 7 months ago

There is some hope....what we need is someone who loves a challenge....someone who wants to climb Everest....my pick...Gene Chizik....do the google and Wiki dive....he is an impressive guy and available.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 6 months ago

A one season wonder, and the feds are now checking on paying athletes.

No thanks.

Brad Watson 1 year, 6 months ago

Nothing came of the story....a lot smoke from disgruntled Alabama folks that hate Auburn....those stories appear every year down south....easy to make allegations ....to get a story generated ...all it takes is a little money to tempt an underpaid reporter...happens everyday...everywhere...Chizik... like all coaches... isn't perfect and a lot of things are in the gray area....lets face it...if the NCAA really enforced rules all D1 programs would be on probation...period....College Football is about blue bloods...if you aren't...they send teams in to dig up your dirt and keep you down...lucky for us...we don't want to win national championships..we just want to field a decent team

Brad Watson 1 year, 6 months ago

....and i think Chizik can get us back to a winning record in a couple years.....but conference championships will take 5 to 10 years of sticking with one coach.....Beaty isn't the guy....but i like him.....i also like the Northern Illinois coach and the coach at Minnesota that filled in for Jerry Kill...Tracy Clays

Adam Gall 1 year, 6 months ago

KU has been down the road of trying a retread coach who couldn't cut it at a major university. How can you already forget the failure that was Charlie Weis. Not only did Chizik fail in the Big 12 already, he also failed at a major football contender, Auburn. If he can't win with the recruits available to a school like Auburn, he will not win at Kansas.

Bryan Mohr 1 year, 6 months ago

Iowa State wasn't sad to see him go. No thanks. But if I had to choose between Chizik and Beaty, I'd choose Chizik.

John Brazelton 1 year, 7 months ago

The one thing to remember is that during Coach Snyder's early Big 8 coaching years is that 2-3 wins each season came from scheduling "cupcakes" as pre-conference opponents. Under Big 12 scheduling procedures, you get one easy pre-conference opponent and the other two must be more competitive. Also during the conference, you didn't have to play OU,Texas and Texas A&M every year. But no doubt that Coach Snyder is an excellent coach developing 2 and 3-star players that no one else wanted.

David Kemp 1 year, 7 months ago

Sorry John but back when it was the big 8 yes you did play everybody Nebraska, OU, Texas A&M, etc. Texas was not a member then

David Kemp 1 year, 7 months ago

As a matter of fact in his third year one of those cupcakes you speak of was the national champion.

Jim Keen 1 year, 6 months ago

... and Texas A&M was also in the Southwest Conference with Texas during the Big 8 years.

Austin Bergstrom 1 year, 7 months ago

What would you consider Ku's 1st 3 opponents for the last 5 years? Snyder went 5-6 in his 2nd year. Even if 3 of the opponents were "cupcakes", he still beat 2 Big 8 teams...something Beatty hasn't done in 2+ oh heck I'll go out on a limb here and say his 1st 3 years!

Dirk Medema 1 year, 6 months ago

Or 4 (3 W's)

In 1990 Western Illinois, New Mexico State, at Northern Illinois, New Mexico

In 1992 Montana, Temple, New Mexico State, Utah State

In 1995 Temple, Cincinnati, Akron, Northern Illinois

There were always at least 3.

Jeremy D. Morris 1 year, 7 months ago

“the levity of the rivalry game” ??? Sad, misuse of the word as I think he meant to express the opposite. Sadly, I fear this rivalry has indeed become one full of levity--we have watched our football program become a national joke.

Barry Weiss 1 year, 7 months ago

Well coach, KU has already become a "household name" via ESPN as the biggest joke in major college sports.

Brad Watson 1 year, 7 months ago

The mention of Kansas Football brings on belly laughs ...enough is enough

Brett McCabe 1 year, 7 months ago

Who friggin' cares what the purplest pussycat of them all thinks? Screw him. Shut up old man and worry about your down sub-500 team.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 6 months ago

Not exactly what I was thinking, but yes, why should we listen to a critique from the opposition?

Austin Lopez 1 year, 7 months ago

Let’s see if David Beaty has the balls to do what Steven Alfrod did at UCLA! For those who don’t know UCLA basketball team was underachieving in I believe Alfrod 3rd or 4th season and the fans wanted him gone. He had signed a extension the previous year before everyone started calling for his head the season after he signed the extension. After a disappointing season and the fan base calling for him to be gone UCLA coach Alfrod have the school back the extension he signed and didn’t get the pay upgrade but he sure did get it over the summer with a good season, thanks to Lonzo Ball. Beaty do the right thing and give Kansas back the extension you know you didn’t earn.

Len Shaffer 1 year, 6 months ago

Austin, if you are going to mention someone three times, I think you should spell his name correctly. His name is Alford, not Alfrod.

But I can see how you would make a mistake like that. After all no one has really hard of Alford before, right?

Mike Stewart 1 year, 6 months ago

"After all no one has really hard of Alford before, right?"

Len, if you really must leave a comment correcting someone else's spelling mistake, I think you should be extra careful not to make a spelling mistake yourself.

John Strayer 1 year, 6 months ago

More spelling smack down amongst the KU fan base.

Austin Lopez 1 year, 6 months ago

Well my spelling mistake was accidental considering this new thing on smart phones called auto correction, you know the option that replaces words with written words you already spelled correct but it still likes to auto correct names even if you spelled it correctly.

Robert Brock 1 year, 7 months ago

Saturday will look like a home game...for K-State. I am hoping that Sheahon Zenger will do the right thing and resign.

Robert Howard 1 year, 7 months ago

Love Beaty or hate him, it doesn’t matter. The key to success is stability. Just look at our basketball program; 7 coaches in the history of the school. Same is true in the NFL - look at Green Bay; they’ve overachieved for a small market team with stability at the coaching position. K-State gets recruits because they know that Snyder will be around as long as he wants to coach.

We have emptied the chamber on coaching changes; there are no more - or shouldn’t be any more - bullets to fire. Even Mark Mangino took several years of suffering before finally building success.

We are in a bad place. But changing coaches is not - and can not be - the answer. We have picked our coach, and in this case, I believe we need to give him 5-10 years - vs the trend of 2-3 years or else. Recruiting suffers because kids don’t know if the current coach will be around next year.

Plain and simple. We need stability. If we try to change coaches again - we’ll be setting our program back another 3-5 years. It might hurt, but I’m willing to let it ride for the sake of stability.

We. Need. Stability.

David Kemp 1 year, 7 months ago

That is the worse excuse I have ever heard and don’t compare this to Mangino . He went to a bowl in his second yr and fourth yr. see it for what it is , the players are undisciplined and the coach has no answers. Just admit the cheap route failed and 5,10 whatever years won’t change his ability.

Austin Bergstrom 1 year, 7 months ago

Zenger...is that you? You have got to be kidding!

Matthew Gaylor 1 year, 7 months ago

Anytime someone says they want stability with a coach who has won 1 FBS game in 3 years is really saying that they want KU to continue to be a dumpster fire. They don't actually believe things will get better, rather they want things to continue to be so bad that the next guy to come in inherits a program that is fully known as the worst P5 program.

You know why KU basketball only has had 7 coaches, it's because they won. They only had 1 losing coach in their history, and it was the founder of the game. They have stability because they win, because there's progress, etc. You wouldn't be screaming to keep a guy like Bruce Weber if he was KU's coach. You'd be screaming to fire him, hell, some KU fans complained about Bill Self for losing early in the NCAA tournament.

The reality is, Beaty was hired to rebuild the program and get to full scholarships. There was no actual hope that he'd be the long term fix, that's why they gave him a cheap contract. He's the lowest paid coach in the Big 12 because he's the least qualified coach, because he wasn't supposed to take KU back out of the gutter. He was supposed to rebuild the recruiting pipelines, refill the scholarships, etc. He's done that, and he isn't getting the results. It's time to hire a real coach, one with actual HC experience, not one that was an OC for one year with a team whose offense regressed under him.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 6 months ago

It is nice to see someone admit that Coach Beaty has done the first and most important task; rebuild the roster. He has pretty much done that, though the last spots were all practice squad schollies for kids that have supported the program.

Unfortunately, you missed the part about us also being one of the youngest teams with only 6 seniors. Remember when everyone was clamoring for Coach to take the long view and avoid the JC quick fix. Some even complain that he had offered JC's.

Rebuilding a D1 team from an FCS team takes time, and more than 2 years.

Len Shaffer 1 year, 6 months ago

That is such a tired argument, Dirk.

Yes, rebuilding takes time and KU is young. But you would expect to see SOME progress by the third year, SOME signs of life, not the pitiful excuse for a team that we have now.

No one (other than apparently Beaty himself) was seriously expecting KU to make a bowl game this year. But I think we had a right to expect that they woudn't be the laughingstock of the country.

Tim Orel 1 year, 6 months ago

His pipeline is now leaking. Several recruits have backed out of their commitments and more may follow as this season goes on and more and more schools use the national press against KU when talking with the few remaining commitments.

What will you say if next year's recruiting class is only 8-10 players? That's not rebuilding the team, as the program would be shrinking.

Tom Horner 1 year, 7 months ago

For you youngsters; The Big 7 was 1. Kansas, 2. Colorado, 3 Nebraska, 4. Iowa State. 5. Kansas State, 6. Missouri, 7. Oklahoma. When Oklahoma State joined they became the big 8. When the Southwest Conference was dissolved Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor and Texas Tech joined to form the Big 12.

Clara Westphal 1 year, 6 months ago

The Big 6 was Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma and Missouri. That was when Ray Evans, etc. played. Kansas went to the Orange Bowl my 1st year at KU.

Benny Armstrong 1 year, 6 months ago

I think Snyder overlooked several factors in coming to his response that KState was a tougher rebuild compared to what we have/had at KU. Not to belittle his accomplishments during the first or second tenures, but he might be overselling a little when comparing the two.

First and foremost, the state of college football was totally different in 1989. There wasn't near the money involved in college sports and specifically football at that time, and therefore coaches didn't have the resulting pressure to win immediately. Yes, teams wanted to win, but coaching turnover wasn't as severe as we see today (the same could be said of Coach K at Duke and his early struggles). Additionally, there wasn't the concern about the threat of conference realignment and positioning yourself for the next round of movement. This again places more focus on winning immediately so your brand is worth retaining/poaching to another conference. Finally, there weren't the roster restrictions on teams that we have now. There were more players allowed in recruiting classes and teams were larger, which as a result prevented KState from ever facing a situation like ours where we had 25 seniors graduating, but could only fill 18 scholarships.

In addition to these factors, I think Snyder glosses over the fact that despite a few bright spots, we don't have a lot of historical success. We rarely went to bowls prior to the expansion despite being a strong team because either Nebraska or Oklahoma would win the conference and there was only one bowl bid per conference. Additionally, when we had the 8 teams in the conference we had 5 non-con games and 7 conference games. Scheduling wisely you can make a bowl game winning the non-con and picking off a conference foe. When we went to 12 teams, there was the unbalanced schedule where you rotated south opponents and played 4 non-con games, which again makes a bowl feasible if you win those and beat 2 conference foes. Now, with 3 non-con and 9 conference games without the benefit of avoiding certain teams (Texas OU) each year, it makes it that much harder to win 6 games and make a bowl if you're coming from where we are.

I don't have the answer on how we get back to making bowls consistently like we did under Mangino, but also recognize that the ability to do so is hindered based on the current landscape of the game.

Bryan Mohr 1 year, 6 months ago

I'm not sure what you meant by "We rarely went to bowls prior to the expansion despite being a strong team because either Nebraska or Oklahoma would win the conference and there was only one bowl bid per conference". As written, this fails the fact check. The Big-8 typically had 4 teams go to a bowl game, sometimes 3.

There are a good number of people so desperate to explain why winning is so much more difficult today than in the past. I suppose to defend Beaty. The argument is worthless considering Beaty can't beat non-conference MAC teams. I doubt KU would go to a bowl game if KU was in the MAC conference instead of the Big12.

Brad Watson 1 year, 6 months ago

I like Coach Snyder and his teams really play hard and he develops his players in all the right ways...on and off the field....but there is no doubt that...his favorite food are CUPCAKES!...as kids today would say...."Coach loves him some cupcakes "

Bryan Mohr 1 year, 6 months ago

Snyder eats his cupcakes, and Beaty chokes on them.

Snyder wouldn't have a career winning percentage of 65% if cupcakes were his only meal. Today he'll be eating roasted jayhawk. KU isn't even a meat dish anymore; jayhawk cupcakes.

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