The top 10 college football programs based on all-time victories won’t change with the bowls, so heading into 2014, it’s Michigan, Texas, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Alabama, Tennessee, Southern California and Georgia.
This isn’t to say these are the 10 best programs. Neither team in the Florida State-Auburn national championship matchup makes the list. LSU, Florida, Penn State and Miami, Fla., are multiple national championship winners of the last three decades and are historical powers.
But for this point, let’s stick with the top 10, and the point is that Bill Snyder’s Kansas State teams have held up well against this group.
The 31-14 victory over the Wolverines in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl that wrapped up early Sunday morning here, improved Snyder’s records against the all-time top 10 to 21-30.
If the reaction is “Meh,” then you probably don’t have an appreciation for Kansas State football pre-Snyder. The bowl triumph capped an 8-5 record for 2013 and the program’s 15th winning season in his 22 years.
Counting backward from Snyder’s first year in 1989, it took 73 seasons to produce 15 winning records.
And beating Oklahoma and Nebraska in those decades? Not so much.
Let’s give Snyder five years to construct the program. That’s how long it took his program to reach a bowl game. The Wildcats went 1-9 against the all-timers in that stretch, beating Oklahoma in 1993. That gives Snyder a 20-21 mark against the historical best since then.
Twenty years ago, that would have seemed impossible.