The 1-10 record Bill Snyder turned in after he took over as head coach of the Kansas State Wildcats in 1989 wasn’t surprising. Kansas State had been a Big Eight doormat for a long while. After the Big 12 was born, Snyder took the Wildcats to heights never before dreamed in Manhattan, KS. Now, he’s poised to top himself.
Charging back to the rescue after the botched Ron Prince experiment following his own retirement, Snyder shrugged off those who scoffed at the idea that he had any magic left. Several aren’t fans of his JUCO-heavy strategy, but he has a system and its results are proven. Now, he finds his team atop the college football world, if only for a moment.
Kansas State is ranked No. 1 in the latest BCS poll. Not the Alabama Crimson Tide, LSU Tigers, Oklahoma Sooners, USC Trojans or any other traditional name from the past decade. Forget a BCS buster, Snyder busted national perception and changed a laughing stock of a program into a team that all but a few would welcome the challenge of playing.
With Alabama’s loss, a unique scenario presents itself.
Following the Crimson Tide’s toppling, some fans asked if the college football world would truly want to see a BCS Championship Game that doesn’t feature Nick Saban. It appears the only things that could prevent Oregon from showing up is an amazing choke job or bad luck via injuries and if the Wildcats can plunk the Texas Longhorns, that should be all she wrote.
On one sideline, you’d have the Oregon Ducks, a team that’s been under the brightest spotlight once before, but fell short. On the other sideline, you’d have a man who coached up a program from college football’s abyss to its highest point. Armed with a Heisman Trophy-caliber quarterback, only a few hours could separate him from an even greater chapter in the record books.
Yes, the nation would tune in to see history be made. A team would win their first national title ever and the possibility exists of one team’s head coach doing the unthinkable. Kansas State isn’t playing for all the marbles just yet, but the legitimacy of their current place is most certainly cause for applause.
Brandon Cavanaugh is a college football columnist for Rant Sports and member of the Football Writers Association of America. Feel free to follow him on Twitter and join in on the conversation.