It’s a piv­otal sea­son at K-State

The Kansas City Star (Sunday) - - DAILY DEUCE -

plays into big plays. Any­way, there’s enough here to do more than just qual­ify for a bowl game. A 6-6 sea­son should be a letdown. There is no more get­ting used to Sny­der’s ways. No more ad­just­ing. Ev­ery player on the ros­ter was ei­ther re­cruited by Sny­der or been through a year with the man, so ev­ery­body knows what to ex­pect. Last year was the time for mis­takes, for learn­ing. This year is the time for win­ning, and here is where this whole re­sus­ci­ta­tion project gets in­ter­est­ing. Win this year, and there is ev­ery rea­son to be­lieve Sny­der can have K-State in bowl games ev­ery year and con­fer­ence ti­tle con­tention ev­ery few years. This is the plan, the hope, and the in­di­ca­tions are good. Much of Sny­der’s suc­cess be­fore built upon get­ting the best re­cruits in Kansas. Harper, Smith and the Brown broth­ers are all trans­fers but rep­re­sent tan­gi­ble steps to­ward re­gain­ing that old form. Sny­der came back, in his words, “to calm the wa­ters” and get the pro­gram he fell in love with back to where it was be­fore his last few sea­sons and the for­get­table years un­der Prince. But what if it falls back? What if there’s no progress? What if K-State goes only 6-6 and then watches Thomas go into the NFL? Then maybe K-State is look­ing at a stag­nant pro­gram coached by a sep­tu­a­ge­nar­ian and peo­ple start talk­ing about a failed ex­per­i­ment. If they’re hon­est, K-State fans will tell you this is their worst fear. Maybe the pain is dulled a lit­tle bit as long as Frank Martin has the bas­ket­ball pro­gram among the nation’s best, but there would be a sad sort of hurt if the most beloved man in school sports his­tory can’t fix the foot­ball team. Those jokes about K-State be­ing a bas­ket­ball school will take on a harsh sting of re­al­ity if Sny­der fails the sec­ond time around. And, ac­tu­ally, if that hap­pens, would Sny­der still be the most beloved man in K-State sports? Maybe. But maybe not. So, yeah. There’s a lot rid­ing on this sea­son for Sny­der and K-State.

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