If a reader of The Sporting News, you might have noticed on Page 61 of the Oct. 26 issue the midterm grades for first-year BCS coaches. Nine were listed and Kansas State's Bill Snyder was … ninth. Ninth with a grade of D+.
Yes, it's only mid-Big 12 year, but that's a "D+" for the coach of the first-place Wildcats in the Big 12 North with a 3-1 record.
Arguably, Snyder has never done a better job of piecing together a football team than this one of 2009.
He's taken players and moved them from one position to another, even to the extent of switching sides of the ball.
In Snyder fashion, most would agree, he's taking average players in pivotal positions and coaching them up.
True, the Big 12 North is not full of juggernauts, but he's not to blame for that. He's just trying to be the best of what's there.
While fans were giddy about Saturday's 20-6 victory over the Colorado Buffaloes, Snyder was in anything but a back-slapping mood.
He even said, "I'm angry." And he said, "I'm not a happy camper."
On being 3-1 on Oct. 24… well, as he said, "It's not about being 3-1. It's about whether our team gets better, and we didn't get better and that's why I'm upset."
That was the message to the media, and prior to that, the sermon delivered to his Wildcat team.
"You don't want to hear what I said to the team," he said. "It's all about preparing well and playing well. It's no more complex than that."
And the Wildcats did not prepare well, which is why they practiced for the second week in a row on Friday, which is something Snyder dislikes doing.
To him, his players prepared well enough, and played well enough, for one-half of a football game, but not a 60-minute game.
On this day, that was good enough.
But not good enough to take this team where everyone in Purple and White … players and fans … want to travel, which is Dallas, Texas, for the Big 12 title game.
Snyder, now the author of 141 victories, knows that one-half of football does not make a game, especially with Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska making up the final one-third of the K-State season.
He knows that the games in November are the ones that are remembered.
"I'm angry," he emphasized with a thump of his hand on the podium. "I'm proud collectively as a team that we won the game. I'm proud of wherever we are in the conference, and if that was our only goal, I would be a happy camper and all smiles. But that's not what we're trying to be about. I don't want to feel good about playing poorly … or coaching poorly."
On at least one side of the football, that's what Snyder feels his club did … play/coach poorly.
He's mad about it, and that only means one thing. He knows this team is capable of accomplishing the goals of the K-State fans – Big 12 North title and a bowl game – but only if it accomplishes his goals of getting better each and every day.
K-State won Saturday, but it did not get better … at least on offense. And it's that that made him "angry" and "not a happy camper."
To the Wildcat Nation … that's good news!