Snyder says that thought is especially true for a program that has a certain degree of fragile makeup: "We need to understand that we're in the Big 12 Conference ... a dynamic conference and that's strong enough. We want to make sure we do everything in our power to make sure we are alive and kicking when we get into conference play."
With that being the philosophy, schedules starting in 2010 are being formulated to give the Kansas State program the best chance to get back on its feet as a player in the Big 12 Conference.
That could mean a sincere attempt to eliminate some of the bold and daring games against Oregon, Miami and Virginia Tech scheduled by former coach Ron Prince, and, it could mean playing a Division I-AA type game each fall season.
Prior to Big 12 play, Snyder said, "We want a schedule that could provide a better opportunity to compete with a higher number of players, which can happen against smaller schools as opposed to major schools. That's where young guys get experience and that allows you to stay a little healthier."
And, Snyder wants to play at least three, if not all four of the non-conference games in the stadium that carries his name.
"The Manhattan community does so much for us, and we want to do our share in giving back by enhancing the economy in Manhattan through home games," Snyder said.
Snyder inherited a two at home, two on the road 2009 schedule that has the Wildcats hosting Massachusetts, traveling to Louisiana-Lafayette and UCLA, and coming home to play Tennessee Tech. In 2010, K-State will host UCLA and Missouri State, and travel to North Texas.
In 2011, the Wildcats will host Oregon and Louisiana-Lafayette before going to Miami. In 2012, K-State goes to Oregon, plus hosts Miami and North Texas.
In each of those seasons, one more game needs to be scheduled. No games are on the 2013 slate; in 2014 K-State goes to Virginia Tech and hosts Auburn; and in 2015, a home game with Virginia Tech is on the slate. Both the Louisiana-Lafayette and North Texas contracts were three-game deals with those schools coming to K-State twice, plus one trip to their stadium. "Ron wanted to play a non-conference game in Texas," said interim athletic director Jim Epps. "He wanted to play at Houston, but they were never interested, so we ended up with North Texas." Snyder openly admits that attempts are being made to break the contracts with Miami, Oregon and Virginia Tech. "If you go back on our schedule, we played some awfully good teams and respected programs, but you have to pick the right time and the right place to play them," Snyder said. The results of the last five years - a 26-33 record -- indicate to the Wildcat coach that this is not the right time. K-State is coming off consecutive 5-7 seasons and has but one winning year since winning the 2003 Big 12 championship.