Coach Snyder Wants a Big 12 Title Game

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Bill Snyder will not get his wish, but the Kansas State football coach is solidly behind divisional play and a Big 12 Conference championship game. While the league announced its one-division, nine-game conference alignment this week for the 2011 season, the move is coming against Snyder's wishes.

K-Staters seem to thrive on tough times. For that reason, while having concerns this summer with the possible Big 12 Conference dissolving, Kansas State coach Bill Snyder maintained faith.

"I know our people were struggling and had concerns, but my approach was always that K-State people have been through difficult times.

In reality, more than most, and they have always come through those times," said Snyder. "I was quite sure, regardless of what took place, K-State, and K-State people, would come through it."

With the K-State cousins to the South Division filling their pockets with even more dollars and cents, it was their allegiance to the Big 12 that kept the league in tack, and Kansas State, along with Iowa State, Kansas and Missouri, a part of that conference.

"By and large, it was the people carrying the biggest stick that wanted to hold things together," said Snyder.

While the decision was a huge benefit to Kansas State, Snyder's concern is that the arena where he is making a career has become so money-driven, which is a concern: "What does that say about what kind of role models we are?

"When we (coaches) started in this career, it was about the value of sport being able to teach young people about life skills and being successful with those life skills," said Snyder. "I know my coach (Norris Patterson, William Jewell College) taught that selfishness was not a good life skill, but today that's what it's all about. ‘I'm going to get mine. (Most money possible.)' That sends a mixed message to our young people.

"I really feel we need to get back to understanding, or defining, what the values are that we want to portray at our level. Most people can say all the right things, but then how do they respond?" said Snyder. "To me, if you know what the right thing is, you either do it, or you don't."

Concerning to Snyder during the summer was listening to all the talk about television sets, and the almighty dollar. "Never," he said, "did I hear the conversations touch on what was best for the student-athletes, the coaches, the faculty and the communities of the schools."

While the Big 12 Conference announced its single-division, nine-game schedule for 2011 this week, had it been up to Snyder, the league would have petitioned the NCAA for a waiver that would have allowed the league to have two five-team divisions, and a championship game. The current rule is that a conference must have at least 12 teams divided into two six-team divisions.

He points out that the Big 12 was one of the national leaders in going with a championship game, which is now the desire of the Big Ten and Pac-10 with their expansion.

"We set the model and now we're going in an opposite direction," said Snyder. "We could still provide television a full inventory of games by playing eight conference games, plus the championship game, which has become the hallmark game in college football."

While not always a proponent of the title game, today Snyder says, "Speaking on behalf of myself and our program, I think it's been very beneficial to Kansas State University. I see a lot of schools in our conference that it's been a great benefit to."

Snyder says he believes that coaches of the Northern schools would support maintaining a North-South setup with Oklahoma State joining Kansas State, Kansas, Missouri and Iowa State in the North, while Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Texas would make up the South.

Snyder admits that the coaches in the South might have a different opinion, but he adds, "I think most everyone understands the value of divisional play. I know at K-State, had we not had a North and a South Division, some of the things that we accomplished would have never taken place. Right now we have five trophies in our case. Without divisions we might have an empty case."

2011 K-State Football Schedule

Sept. 3 Eastern Kentucky Manhattan
Sept. 10 Open
Sept. 17 Kent State Manhattan
Sept. 24 at Miami
Miami (Dolphins Stadium)
Oct. 1 Baylor Manhattan
Oct. 8 Missouri Manhattan
Oct. 15 at Texas Tech Lubbock, Texas
Oct. 22 at Kansas Lawrence, Kan.
Oct. 29 Oklahoma Manhattan
Nov. 5 at Oklahoma State Stillwater, Okla.
Nov. 12 Texas A&M Manhattan
Nov. 19 at Texas Austin, Texas
Nov. 26 I owa State Ames, Iowa

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