Snyder’s return not instant fix for Kansas State

Story by Kyle Davis

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The slogan that Kansas State fans are living by this season, now that head coach Bill Snyder is back at the helm is “because the Hall of Fame can wait.” You may have heard that phrase tossed around, with those words containing a sense of optimism.

Do you think expectations for Snyder are high?

The stadium the Wildcats play in is now called Bill Snyder Family Stadium and Saturday’s opening game against Massachusetts is being called K-State Family Reunion. Not to mention, the man who led the Wildcats during Snyder’s absence, Ron Prince, was, well, no Bill Snyder.

Snyder’s job pressure level this season may fall somewhere between being the president of the United States and a man who juggles chainsaws.

I am, and have always been, a Kansas Jayhawk. Naturally I don’t mind seeing Kansas State struggle, at least in the hands of the Jayhawks. So I was not thrilled about Snyder returning to coach the Wildcats.

However, it was not for the reason you may think.

It was not because I was worried that Kansas’ short reign of dominance in football would end, but because I do have a lot of respect for what he has accomplished in his career and I was worried this comeback could end his career on a bad note.

KSU and its fans need something positive, a change in the right direction. For 17 years Bill Snyder was that something positive.

The Wildcat football program was atrocious before Snyder took over in 1988, but after five seasons with Snyder the Wildcats were in a bowl game every season from 1993-2003.

If anyone can turn this program around, I would say it would have to be Snyder, but he has been away from the game for three years and it could take some time.

Let’s be honest, the Big 12 is not the easiest conference in which to make a comeback as a program. The ‘Cats play three Big 12 teams in the Top 25, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska, as well as face a rebuilding Missouri club, an up-and-coming Colorado team and an always-dangerous Texas Tech program. Throw in a trip to the Rose Bowl to face UCLA, and Kansas State will have its hands full this season.

This takes me to my initial worry that should K-State struggle this season, the fingers will be pointed at Snyder. The talk will go from “he’s back” to “he’s lost it” and depending on how long Snyder wants to coach, the fans’ final memory of him could be less special than his legacy the first time around.

So K-State fans, remember that this is a rebuilding process, not an instant fix, and for coach Snyder, I hope you made the right decision.<br/>