July 24, 2013
This feature appeared in the July 24 edition of the K-State Sports Extra.
By Mark Janssen
Bill Snyder understands why fans are a bit peeved when the Kansas State football team is not perceived as a Big 12 contender in preseason polls. But as the coach of the Wildcats, he personally doesn’t give them a minute of his time.
Quizzed at Monday’s Big 12 Conference Media Day in Dallas, Texas, Snyder was asked if he was ever tempted to say, “Told you so,” after exceeding expectations.
Appearing at his 22nd Big 8/12 preseason media gathering, Snyder answered, “No … is the simple answer. If given the opportunity, I would have picked us 99th.”
It was prior to the 2011 season that K-State was selected eighth, and finished second; in 2012 the ‘Cats were tabbed to place sixth in August, but when late-November rolled around, they were Big 12 champions.
“One of my day-to-day concerns is to not take anything for granted,” said Snyder. “Just because we exceeded expectations last year doesn’t mean that it will happen again. The fact that we won 11 games last year has nothing to do with this year.
“The dynamics of every football team is different from year to year regardless of how many you having coming back, or not coming back,” said Snyder. “You start taking things for granted and you’re headed for disaster.”
SNYDER … THE VOTER: It was back in the 1990s that Snyder briefly was one of the coaches that voted on the USA Today Coaches Poll, but it didn’t last long.
“I did it for three weeks and then stopped,” Snyder reflected. “I just realized I couldn’t do it justice and I wasn’t going to turn the duty over to anyone else like some coaches do. I could have let Sean (Snyder) do it, but he’s every bit as busy as I am.”
In Snyder’s mind, to do it justice would mean watching tapes of all the teams that are Top 20-type teams. “When would I have time to do that?”
SPEAKING OF POLLS: While K-State was picked sixth in the preseason poll, it was one of six league schools to receive at least one first-place ballot.
Of the potential balance of the 2013 race, Snyder said, “I don’t know that I could say this year will be more balanced. It may prove to be, but I’m not smart enough to know that. If I had to make a projection, I would say yes, it will be a well-balanced conference. Is it more balanced this year than it has been? I couldn’t answer that either way.”
THE QBING DILEMMA: It’s not only Kansas State that will be breaking in a new starting quarterback this year, as the same is true at seven other nine programs in the Big 12 Conference.
Of the task of deciding on a No. 1, Snyder used Texas A&M a year ago as an example: “They had a young guy down there in College Station and nobody had a clue that he was going to get himself on the field before the season started and he ended up winning a Heisman Trophy. You just never know.”
In his own camp, Snyder said the winner between Jake Waters and Daniel Sams would be determined by … consistency.
“We’re looking for the young man who has the capacity to sustain a certain performance level on a consistent basis,” said the Wildcat coach.
Whether it be arm strength, leadership, executing the run game, throwing accurately, making correct decisions, etc., Snyder said, “All of those will enter into the decision. The one who is most consistent will probably be the one on the field.”
SNYDER PROMISES A RETURN TO GOLF: Pro golfer and K-Stater Jim Colbert will quietly say of trying to help his good friend with his golf game, “He’s not a golfer.”
While the Wildcat coach tinkered with the game during his three-year hiatus from coaching from 2006 through 2008, even personal lessons from his good friend didn’t all stick.
Even so, Snyder said, “I told Colbert the other day that next summer I was going to start playing a little bit. Colbert spends his summers back here and likes to play, and I like spending time with him. Even if it’s just sitting in the cart, I told him I was going to get back on the course.”
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