Bill Snyder: Architect or Magician

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Here we go ... Bill Snyder is retiring as coach of the Kansas State Wildcats. Stand by for all the stories about how he took this crappy team and built it into a "powerhouse."

Smoke and mirrors. That is Snyder's contribution, not just to Kansas State but to the Big XII as a whole. Snyder showed the rest of college football that you can't get beat if you don't play anyone who might be able to beat you. And if you don't get beat you'll eventually rise above those other teams who do get beat.

I'll give him credit for taking the Wildcats from a team that really sucked, to mediocre. The rest of K State's improbable rise is an illusion - a product of Nebraska's decline, not having to play Oklahoma every year, and the media-driven "the Big XII is awesome" fairy tale.

I'm reading stories recounting those years where the Wildcats were one heartbreaking loss away from the National Championship picture. True enough. For two or three years in a row K State was in the thick of things right up until they played their first quality opponent late in the season and proceeded to get hammered.

That's what the rosy-spectacled Big XII apologists are conveniently forgetting. In those mythical years, when K State finally got beat, these weren't narrow defeats. They didn't leave you walking away thinking, "Hmm. Team X stole one today. K State is still real good, they just caught the wrong team on the wrong day." They got hammered, leaving us grasping for their schedule trying to figure out why we thought they were any good in the first place.

Also conveniently forgotten is the fact that in each year, after the Championship was tragically wrestled from them, K State went on to drop their bowl games to teams that, for all the K State hype, should have been monumentally inferior.

Thanks Coach Snyder. For your next trick, would you mind making the BCS disappear?


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