AT&T Cotton Bowl Announcement Teleconference

Dec. 4, 2011

Head Coach Bill Snyder
Opening statement…
“As I shared with (AT&T Cotton Bowl President) Rick (Baker) earlier today, we are very honored to have the opportunity to play in the Cotton Bowl. It has been a great experience for us in the past, and I think the Cotton Bowl and Kansas State University have been very good for each other. I know we will have a tremendous following when we go as we have in the past. I think our players are excited about it and are looking forward to it.”

On his favorite Cotton Bowl memories…
“I would start with the tremendous following that we’ve had. I remember the last Cotton Bowl we were at, there was somewhere in the vicinity of 55,000 Kansas State fans, which is absolutely amazing, particularly when the tickets are so hard to come by, and they find a way. That was very impressive for me and for all K-Staters, and it was very impressive for the Cotton Bowl. Rick (Baker) and I have had conversations about that over the years. They were very grateful to Kansas State and its following for filling up the stadium and being so supportive for a magnificent bowl game. The experience to play Tennessee in that ballgame, play as well as we did and beat a very fine Tennessee team was certainly a fond memory.”

On Arkansas…
“I know they are a very talented football team. They probably have the same feelings we do and feel like they’ve accomplished a great deal this year. They throw the ball around extremely well. They have some extremely talented wide receivers and a very good return unit on special teams. So they present some problems across the board. I haven’t had a chance to sit down and study film on them at this point in time. Those are the things that I think all of us know and are well aware of. I think Bobby (Petrino) is obviously a very extremely talented and fine football coach. He has a good staff.”

AT&T Cotton Bowl Chairman Tommy Bain
Opening statement…
“We’re really honored to have Kansas State coming to our football game. I want to congratulate Coach Snyder on a tremendous year that Kansas State has had, and also the fact that they’ve won themselves into this game. They are deserving of a BCS bowl, and, I’ll be honest, we consider ourselves just like a BCS bowl. This year we’ll have No. 6 (Arkansas) vs. No. 8 (Kansas State), which is the third-best matchup outside of the national championship and the Fiesta Bowl. I want to say thank you to (K-State Athletics Director) John Currie for the way he handles himself and the way he has led the athletics department at Kansas State. We’re delighted to be in partnership with Kansas State. As Coach Snyder said, you bring those tremendous fans and great support. We’re excited. Since you were last in Dallas, we’ve changed stadiums. I think the fans are really going to appreciate probably the finest stadium in the world. It will be a championship-type atmosphere. I think everyone will really enjoy it.”

On selecting Kansas State…
“We knew they would be one of our participants over this weekend. With the way things go this year without a championship game in the Big 12, we really postponed everything until the last weekend so we could look at all the factors. Kansas State was an early favorite of ours going into these last few weeks because they had such momentum. Coach Snyder should be Coach of the Year and I hope between now and the Cotton Bowl he’s named that. We felt like they won their way into this game and they had that kind of momentum. We remember Kansas State coming to the Cotton Bowl in the past in similar situations and how great their fans are and the great support they show. We anticipate that same thing happening this time and we’re very excited. We made the call around 3 p.m., because we had to wait to see who was going to be released from the BCS and working with the Big 12 Office as well as the SEC Office to know who were our available teams were going to be. Once we knew who our pool of candidates were, it took us probably three seconds to make that decision because we had already prioritized that if Kansas State was available, that’s who we wanted.”

On the atmosphere surrounding the AT&T Cotton Bowl…
“We’re so proud of our partnership between the Big 12 and the SEC. Year in and year out, the AT&T Cotton Bowl is probably providing better matchups than the BCS bowls. We recognize that we’re not a BCS bowl. But if you come to the AT&T Cotton Bowl and you see this stadium, it’s on FOX television on Friday night in primetime when nobody else is against it and it’s a full national audience and one of the best viewing audiences of the year. I would say outside of the National Championship Game, the AT&T Cotton Bowl, year in and year out, has the best gameday atmosphere in the entire bowl system. I think you will experience that. You will sense that. It will have the feel of the National Championship – just ask Texas A&M and LSU last year. The national audience, the atmosphere and that stadium – outside of the National Championship – is probably the best. I would anticipate the same thing happening this year with Kansas State and Arkansas. It is just going to be tremendous. You’ll forget about the BCS because you will feel like you’re in one of the finest bowl games going.”

K-State Athletics Director John Currie
Opening statement…
“I would echo Coach Snyder’s comments on the excitement of our program about having the opportunity to participate in the AT&T Cotton Bowl. Let me also say as a person who grew up around college athletics and people who have followed college athletics closely, for me to be in Coach Snyder’s office when we got the call from Tommy and Rick Baker, it is truly a thrill and an honor to be associated with one of the most prestigious bowl games in all of college football’s history. I know that our student-athletes are excited about the opportunity. As Tommy mentioned earlier, this is one of the best games. We have a tremendous television partner in FOX that televises the game nationally over the air, which is an advantage for all of our fans everywhere to be able to see the game who are not in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Walking around yesterday seeing the thousands and thousands of Wildcat fans and students who braved a 90-minute weather delay to watch another thrilling Big 12 football game, I did promise a few of our students during the game that we were going to be dry for a bowl game in a dome. We will be in one of the finest facilities in all of athletics world-wide and that will be a thrill for all of our folks. We appreciate the partnership with the AT&T Cotton Bowl and it is an honor to be associated with people of such high integrity and class. As Tommy also mentioned, the Cotton Bowl experience is the highest level of experience in terms of how student-athletes, fans and coaches are treated. We are really looking forward to the opportunity.”

On the AT&T Cotton Bowl selecting Kansas State…
“The Cotton Bowl is the second of the selections of the Big 12. We have a great champion of the Big 12 in Oklahoma State, which preformed marvelously last night. With Oklahoma State going to the Fiesta Bowl as the first selection in our conference, clearly the AT&T Cotton Bowl is the next selection and to have that follow suit shows the class and integrity of the organization.”

On Kansas State’s play during the regular season…
“I think Coach Snyder was very wise – as he always is – in his comments last night to not downgrade the quality of the individuals we have in our program by going back to those expectations that were low from the public. For me personally, having completed my third football season here, what I’ve seen from this football team is really reflected in all of our intercollegiate athletics programs, which is a toughness, discipline and the ability to be focused on teamwork and team goals, and it shows. In the last four days, we’ve won two volleyball games in the NCAA Tournament, including an upset win over the second-ranked team in the country to move on to the Sweet 16. We’ve won two men’s basketball games on Thursday night over George Washington and today on the road at Virginia Tech. We beat Iowa at home at Bramlage last night, and of course, we had another tremendous football victory. We have a great group of coaches across the board who are doing a great job of leading their young people, and we have outstanding young people who are, in turn, investing themselves in an appropriate way.”