The wizard, that is Kansas State’s head coach Bill Snyder, was part of Monday’s grouping for Big 12 Media Days, and his session got off to an entertaining start with the coach expressing his thoughts on the topic of Big 12 expansion.
“I have always favored the way it was at one time. I favor a 12-team conference, I favor two divisions, and I favor a championship game. You might remember that, when we had that format, we were one of only two teams that played a game in December, and that was one of only two conferences. That was the Big 12 Conference and the SEC. Now we’re the only conference that does not do that and have that particular format.”
Coach Snyder went on to state that he understands not everyone in the conference agrees with his opinions on expansion.
ON KANSAS STATE’S PASSIONATE FAN BASE
A rabid fan base has been a key component in Kansas State’s success under Snyder, particularly at home.
“The fans have been — they’re wonderful. They care about the young people in our program. I have a great appreciation for that. They care about them as young people, not just win or lose guys. They’re not nameless. They’re young guys that I believe they’re good young guys. Our fans believe they’re good young guys. And they appreciate very much the kind of young people that we have in our program.
“That’s what’s important to me. We haven’t always been — we’ve had some years that have been what some would consider to be down years, and the fans have been there for all of these young guys. In this day and age, that’s somewhat rare, and I appreciate it a great deal.”
ON THE QUARTERBACK SITUATION
When asked about the seven quarterbacks currently listed on the Wildcats roster, Snyder made it clear he has his eyes on four quarterbacks in particular which are vying for the starting position.
“Yes, we do have seven quarterbacks. I think probably four of them at this particular point in time– in my eyes, anyway — should be competitive for the position. We will go into our proverbial two-a-day practices with that in mind.
“It’s hard to get all the repetitions you would like with four guys sharing the opportunities, so it will be significant for us to be able to pare that down as quickly as we possibly can. I don’t know how fast that will be. Right now they’re all on equal footing.”
Snyder indicates that JUCO transfer Jonathan Banks is one of the four quarterbacks with the possibility of winning the starting job.
“The young guy that you mentioned, Jonathan Banks, just recently joined us, a very athletic young guy. We haven’t seen him in a practice environment yet. So that remains to be seen. But he will be one of the four probably that will be certainly in competition for the position.”
Coach Snyder went on to add that platooning quarterbacks is not his intention this season. He acknowledges that it has been done in the past at Kansas State and that the possibility cannot be excluded.
ON DANTE BARNETT
The Kansas State safety is currently on several award watch lists, including the coveted Thorpe Award.
“I think he cares more about the accomplishments of his collective team and his teammates than he does about his own. I have great appreciation for that. There’s a humility there. Dante is a very confident young guy, and I appreciate that a great deal. But by the same token, humility is part of his makeup, and I appreciate that a great deal as well. But I also believe that it’s deserved because he has been — aside from the other things, he’s been a fine player as well.”
ON WHY HE CAME OUT OF RETIREMENT
You don’t have to look past the win/loss record to see what Bill Snyder means a great deal to K-State, but he’s so much more than that. He’s a coach that’s truly focused on the betterment of the young men playing the game.
“When I was asked to come back, that was not an easy decision to make. Most people think “You missed it so much, you had to be back,” and that was not the case at all. It took me, as I’ve indicated, probably around six months to make the decision to come back.
“And the reason I came back was because of what I perceived, anyway, to be the capacity to help guide and direct young people to become successful in life and to help create a value system or implement a foundation for the rest of their lives. That has always been my highest priority in coaching, and that had more to do with me coming back than anything else.”