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Let's Not Forget the K-State History

PERSPECTIVE
 
 
By Mark Janssen
 
 
Bill Snyder says an introductory Kansas State Football 101 course for his 2010 Wildcats wouldn't be all that bad of an idea.
 
He doesn't think it's all that necessary to know all the gory details of the first 50, 60 or 80 years of Wildcat history when they were, honest to goodness, the worst program in college football history (and you can look it up). But he does say, "I think it's important for the players of today to know the general picture."
 
He continued, "What I think is important is for today's guys to know that we didn't have success, then we did have had success, and most importantly, what it took to get there."
 
No current Wildcat players played under Snyder prior to his brief retirement following the 2005 season.
 
However, on Snyder's first staff of 1989 are current assistant coaches Dana Dimel and Del Miller, plus players during the "Greatest Turnaround" era now on the present Wildcat staff, which includes Sean Snyder (1991-92), Joe Bob Clements (1995-98) and Michael Smith (1988-91). In addition, Mo Latimore, a former Wildcat player (1970-71) joined Snyder's staff in 1994 and has been a Wildcat assistant ever since.
 
"Here are some guys who are proof of the pudding. They've experienced it here ... the good and bad," said Snyder. "It's an opportunity for our young players to understand what it can be, and what it really takes. That's not only the hard work, but how a team can draw together, and as a player, be accountable."
 
And, Snyder does not dismiss the importance of the Kansas State fans filling the stadium with purple.
 
Reflecting to the late-1980s when Snyder took over a program that had crowds of 17,000 to 20,000, he said, "I can distinctly remember in 1989 being able to say, 'This isn't like Field of Dreams.' It wasn't a matter of saying, 'We'll build it and they will come.' It was a matter of saying, 'You come so we have a chance to build it.' I don't think it's different today."
 
OK, just as a refresher course, let's all now take a trip through K-State history, breaking it down to the 93 years prior to Snyder's arrival, to the last 21 years of 1989-2009, which includes three seasons under coach Ron Prince.
 
First 93 years: 299 wins, or 3.2 wins per year
 
Last 21 years: 159 wins, or 7.6 wins per year
 
First 93 years: 1 bowl game ... Independence Bowl in 1982 (Note: In the late-1970s, K-State's media guide was voted down in a national contest for not including a bowl section ... when there wasn't a bowl history to include.)
 
Last 21 years: 12 bowl games ... including an 11-year run from 1993-2003
 
First 93 years: Six seasons of at least seven wins ... five of those came prior to 1935
 
Last 21 years: 12 seasons of at least seven wins
 
First 93 years: Three wins over ranked teams ... prior to Snyder's arrival, the Wildcats had lost 66 straight games to ranked teams
 
Last 21 years: 19 victories over ranked teams
 
First 93 years: Five weeks in Top 25 rankings
 
Last 21 years: 105 regular-season weeks in the Top 25 rankings
 
First 93 years: Two 1,000-yard rushing seasons - Isaac Jackson, 1,137 (1973); Cornelius Davis, 1,028 (1966) - and one 2,000-yard rushing career - Jackson, 2,182 (1971-73)
 
Last 21 years: Nine 1,000-yard rushing seasons; six 2,000-yard career rushers
 
First 93 years: One passing career of more than 4,100 yards - Lynn Dickey, 6,208 (1968-70)
 
Last 21 years: Six passing careers of more than 4,100 yards
 
First 93 years: One receiver with at least 100 career catches - Dave Jones, 127 (1966-68)
 
Last 21 years: Ten receivers with at least 100 career catches ... which includes Jordy Nelson's 122 in 2007 single season
 
First 93 years: K-State lost games by an average of 19-13
 
Last 21 years: In 12 seasons Kansas State averaged at least 28 points and in seven years allowed no more than 15 points per game.
 
Let's appreciate the present all the more by understanding a bit of K-State's football past.
 
 
We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact either Mark Janssen at mjanssen7@cox.net, or Kansas State Director of Athletic Communications/SID Kenny Lannou at klannou@kstatesports.com.