When we define greatness we often refer to records, banners, and rings.Based solely on these standards of greatness Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder would not warrant mentioning. Unlike past greats Bobby Bowden, Joe Paterno, Tom Osborne and Paul Bryant or recent greats Pete Carroll, Nick Saban and Urban Meyer there are no national championship banners hanging in the rafters or no crystal balls collecting dusts in the trophy case.
But this does not make Snyder any less greater than his contemporaries. His contributions to college football is immense and nearly covers four decades. Although Snyder’s story of turning K-State from a laughingstock to contender is well documented but what is more remarkable were his methods of achieving greatness. Unlike his ‘championship’ peers Snyder amassed his success without a single scandal or NCAA infraction.
Over Snyder’s 20+ tenure in the Little Apple his rosters may not have included many 4* and 5* but unlike his peers it also did not include murders, rapists, thieves, and sex offenders. While mining the infertile recruiting pool of the too small, too slow, or too troubled Snyder unearthed a few NFL champions, an eventual congressman, as well a mentored his fare share of prominent coaches at some of the top programs in the country (Bob Stoops, James Franklin, Brent Venables, Bret Bielema, Jim Leavitt,
Although winning a national championship will always be a factor in evaluating greatness, be sure to consider the thousands of fathers and husband whose life was forever changed due to the impact Snyder had on their life. From the handwritten notes of encouragement to the opposing team to him molding young men into college graduate and instilling in them an unrelenting will to not quit regardless of the odds. Snyder may have come up short a time or two on the gridiron, but he is the epitome of perfection in the game of life. What will he do for an encore? Stay tuned…I know I will.
Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. Listen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio Subscribe to podcast
In college football players may come and go but in Manhattan, Kansas Coach Bill Snyder is forever, and although everyone is aware of his genius the Kansas State Wildcats shock us all one year after the other. As usual the Wildcats will begin the season unranked and in the shadows, but that is just the way Snyder likes it. While other programs hog the limelight and generate most of the preseason attention the Wildcats may find themselves in the National Championship discussion before its all said and done.
The Wildcats may have lost a considerable amount of talent on both sides of the ball but in typical Snyder fashion a collection of undersized athletes that bigger programs overlooked are poised to breakout and make a name for themselves like so many other Wildcats before them had done in the past. Despite a disappointing start in 2013 the Wildcats finished the season on fire, as one of the hottest teams in the country.
Despite his diminutive size All American Tyler Lockett may be the best wide receiver in the country. At times last season Lockett was unstoppable and now that quarterback Jake Waters has gotten over his first year jitters, the best may be yet to come. Demarcus Robinson will be the next in a long list of KState mighty mites to run for 1,000 yards. Although losing two All Big 12 lineman will be hurt a bit, there is little doubt that Snyder has found a bevy of big bodied JC transfer offensive line to fill in the gap.
The Wildcats may have no problem putting up points, but the biggest question is will they be able to stop opposing offenses from doing the same. The secondary will be undergoing a complete overhaul. The youth and inexperience of the back four will be helped considerably by one of the best defensive line in the Big 12 Conference. Last season defensive end Ryan Mueller led the conference in sacks by making a living in opponents backfield. Senior safety Dante Barnett and linebacker Johnathan Truman have shown glimpses of greatness and they will be relied on heavily to get the younger Cats on board.
As long as Coach Snyder the magician is at the helm there is always hope in the Little Apple. Snyder has built his legacy on doing more with less and although the losses of seniors Ty Zimmerman, Tremaine Thompson, Josh Hubert, and others are considerable why should 2014 be any different. The Wildcats may start the 2014 season unranked will they end it that way? Does Snyder and his cats have what it takes to prove us wrong again? Stay tuned…I know I will.