Kansas State University

K-State Q&A: Bill Snyder’s future, the waiting game and more

Bill Snyder on Wildcats blowing 17-point lead against Iowa State

Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder said he couldn’t recall blowing a 17-point fourth-quarter lead before falling to the Iowa State Cyclones on Nov. 24, 2018.
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Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder said he couldn’t recall blowing a 17-point fourth-quarter lead before falling to the Iowa State Cyclones on Nov. 24, 2018.

At the beginning of the week, a former Kansas State football player told me to be on alert for Bill Snyder’s decision on Monday. The Wildcats had a team meeting scheduled that afternoon, he said, and it seemed like the perfect time for Snyder to share his plans.

Nothing happened.

Then Gene Taylor said to expect a decision at some point this week, potentially as early as Wednesday when he hoped to meet with Snyder and discuss the future.

Again, nothing happened.

It’s now Friday morning and we’re still playing the waiting game. Wish I could tell you when to expect an announcement. There is hope that it will come today, but there was also hope it would come every other day this week. All I can say is, stay tuned.

Might as well pass the time by answering some of your questions. Thanks, as always, for providing them.

Let’s just say Bill Snyder Retirement Watch 2018 has lasted longer than we all hoped it would have, and leave it at that.

The good news for K-State fans is that none of the top-tier coaches expected to be candidates (if Snyder retires) have been hired elsewhere. Brent Venables, Seth Litrell, Jim Leavitt and many others are still available.

I personally like Matt Wells and think he will do a good job at Texas Tech, but his name hasn’t come up as much as some others. I doubt Gene Taylor was eying Les Miles or Mack Brown, either.

I really liked what Blake Seiler did as defensive coordinator this season. The Wildcats had some key injuries on that side of the ball (Elijah Sullivan, Duke Shelley) and still played at a high level in most games, especially at home. There were obviously bad outings like Oklahoma, but the results were mostly encouraging. He seems like he has a bright future as a defensive play-caller.

Not sure what grade to give Coleman. The offense took a step back this season, but that was probably to be expected given the roster was built for Dana Dimel’s system and not his own. His head coach also did some silly things like forcing him to start the backup quarterback against Texas. And his best receiver was in the dog house for a few games. The offense looked quite a bit better in the final two weeks with Skylar Thompson and Isaiah Zuber out there.

Those numbers do hurt him anytime someone tries to make an argument for Snyder being the greatest coach of all time, which K-State fans like to do.

You obviously have to put everything in perspective. He regularly won 11 games in the 90s at a school that didn’t win at all in the 80s. Very few coaches could have done that. It really might be the greatest turnaround in college football history.

When it comes to replacing him, I don’t think it’s an impossible task. Ron Prince wasn’t great, but K-State fans tend to exaggerate how bad he was. He went 17-20 over three years and took the Wildcats to a bowl. His worst season was 5-7. Things could have been a lot worse.

K-State is starting from a new position this time. The school has good facilities and great fan support. Gene Taylor will select from a strong of pool of candidates, whenever he looks to replace Snyder.

He’s not the only coach who can win in Manhattan.

That being said, Snyder took K-State to eight straight bowls and won a Big 12 championship since coming out of retirement in 2009. It honestly will be hard for a new coach to duplicate that success.

Contracts don’t mean all that much in college football.

Look at Gus Malzahn at Auburn. Not long ago, he signed a new contract with a monstrous buyout and some people think he is in danger of being forced out. And the Tigers just went 7-5.

At least $100.

That would have made this week a lot less stressful.

Well, my brother had tickets to the Sporting KC game last night and I had to pass because of retirement watch. I also canceled my trip to Milwaukee for K-State’s basketball game against Marquette on Saturday to stay here.

But I’ve never missed a big family event. If something is so important that I can’t be bothered to work, I use vacation time.

I angered my wife by pulling out my laptop to work during a college graduation ceremony (Ron Prince settlement) and some friends laughed at me for doing the same during a quiet moment before a wedding (conference realignment), but that’s about it.

Part of the job, I guess.

I had Jesse Newell, our KU beat writer, show me all his tricks after the Jayhawks officially hired Les Miles.

That’s never happened to me ... give me a second to knock on wood before I continue typing ... and I hope it never does.

Like the Pat Mahomes ketchup thing, it’s out of control.

I get that Texas fans view the “Horns Down” as a sign of disrespect, but it’s crazy to wonder this much about whether that gesture deserves a penalty during a football game. Players and fans poke fun at other teams all the time. And everyone does the “Horns Down” when Texas comes to town. Why is this just now an issue?

Growing up in Austin, though, I can tell you Texas fans have long gotten a kick out of Texas A&M fans purchasing Longhorns flags and stickers and then turning them upside down. What other rivalries have fans going out of their way to buy apparel from the school they hate?

I’m always up for talking about Christmas movies.

Watched Christmas Vacation for the first time this season on Tuesday. And it won’t be the last! That is definitely my favorite Christmas movie.

I laugh every time I see Cousin Eddie and the Griswolds’ neighbors.

Little known fact: Brian Doyle-Murray, the actor who plays Clark’s boss, is a big K-State fan. Met him at a bowl game once, and we talked about the Cats for a good 15 minutes.

Can’t wait to throw Die Hard on the TV next. Yeah, it might not be a real Christmas movie, but it’s a good excuse to watch it.

Bruce Weber’s boys are 6-0 with a tournament championship. They can only play the teams on their schedule. I see no reason to suggest fans should be any less excited about the team than they were before the season.

Also: Penn and Missouri aren’t bad.

A true road game against Marquette on Saturday could be a telling game. The Wildcats are actually slight underdogs, per KenPom. A win could help ease some of the schedule concerns.

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