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Who Killed Kansas State's Football Program?

Today, I was inspired by this post on TechCrunch that posed the question, "Who Killed Microsoft?"

It was an empty post, yet 35 comments had already been made. Rather than trying to answer questions that are sent to me, I think I'll try this one out as a weekly and see how it goes. I'm even going to try to leave the body empty if I can (at least brief). For starters though ...

Who Killed Kansas State's Football Program?

Reader Comments (11)

I'd say that the rest of the conference getting good killed KSU football, more than anything. Their best years were mostly during a time when KU, MU, NU, CU, OSU, UT and OU were not as good. Now those schools have gotten better and taken more of the talent. Snyder getting older didn't help either.
January 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKyle
Ummm...2 words. Tim Weiser.

I think KSU was kind of declining a bit when Snyder left anyway, but hiring an outsider in Scary Smart certainly doesn't help the situation. Not such a good decision going outside the K State family.

Likewise, he so kindly ensured their basketball program would stay cursed with continued mediocrity by hiring controversial Bob Huggins...who was uh, gone after a year. Then another shady character in Frank Martin, who is what so far, maybe 1- 4 in conference play without Beasley and Walker. His days are probably numbered too.

Honestly, I'm just kind of scared to see what else Weiser can jack up for the entire conference now that he's in the Commisisoner's office.

Just an opinion here, but I think it has become pretty clear that Football programs (at least to some degree) go as their ADs do. As good as things are now with Sweet Lew...anyone remember Al Bohl?
January 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterROWYHO
Apparently, the private jet restrictions that went into effect I think 5 years ago or so really crippled KSUs ability to recruit. Now if a kid wants to visit KSU, they need to fly to KCI, then drive around 435 to 1-70, go west past Lawrence, home of the 2008 National and Orange Bowl Champions. Then through Topeka, then an hour later turn north, drive for another ten miles and your there.
But I must say the biggest killer of all was the arrogance of Ron Prince. I dont think I will ever get a sound reason behind that hiring.
January 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfabio
Since Mark Mangino is still on the board, I'll go with him ... or should I go with Mark Simmons and John Randle? Probably not though, since Randle had the leave the program under regrettable circumstances.

Anyway, you all touch on some good points. The re-emergence of OU certainly re-configured the recruiting landscape that Snyder was able to take advantage of in the mid-90's. Also the run they made in '98 alerted a lot of programs to the practical utilization of JUCO's. KSU used to get a lot of the top JUCOs, seems like now all of the top JUCOs are spread across the best programs. Academic standards also changed for the Big 12 right? I may need some help on that one.
January 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDJ
God killed K-State's football program because he hates K-State. Plain and simple. God hates the color purple. He hates K-State fans. He hates Bill Snyder. He hates Ron Prince. God just hates K-State . . . look how he tried to destroy the campus with a tornado a few months ago. And really, can you blame God? I don't.
January 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJake
I like this short list:

God, Tim "Bud" Weiser, the Big 12, OU, Mark Mangino.

Two things caught my eye this morning re-reading this:

1) I do love the thought of recruits drivin' past Lawrence and seeing those two signs

2) If I ever need to hire a football coach, I want Al Bohl's input. Maybe he's not so good at managing a business, but he should probably be heading up a coaching search firm
January 27, 2009 | Registered CommenterDJ Goodwin
In reality, I think that Snyder saw the writing on the wall and got out when he was stil on top. Now, it doesn't matter if he can't will get blamed on Ron Prince...if he does win he will get all of the credit.

I think that a lot of it had to do with other people taking some of KSU's philosophies and using them against the Cats. The use of quality JuCo recruits as an influx of talent while younger players develop has been adopted by just about every other Big XII school. K-State has to fight within their own conference for those quality athletes in the Texas/Oklahoma/Kansas JuCo systems. Before, they really didn't. Scheduling has changed as well. KSU was NOTORIOUS for scheduling 4 cupcakes before the conference season. Then all they had to do was get 2 wins to get bowl eligible. NOW everyone does that so KSU has to not only win their non-conf they need to make sure they are in the top 4 of their division to get a bowl.

The recruiting regulations that are now in place for private flights has also really hurt K-State. Not only do the recruits have to drive RIGHT PAST a rival school, they are forced to see just how far away KSU really is. It is about 135 miles from KCI to Manhattan. After you pass Topeka, there is quite literally NOTHING to stimulate the eyes for an hour. It is pretty country, but after about 10 minutes, it all looks the same. It's hard to convince a kid that ISN'T used to driving a long distance that KSU is a good fit. Lincoln is a metro-area. Lawrence is on the edge of a metro area. Norman is a metro area. Columbia is right on the interstate and is pretty big. Austin is a metro area. KSU is going to have to fight those schools for kids and Manhattan has the least to offer geographically.
January 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCW
I think maybe Captain Ron could have utilized a little more softer scheduling. That Auburn trip didn't do the program much good ... or Louisville for that matter.

You know I thought maybe a few KSU fans would show up and argue that the program isn't dead.
January 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDJ
DJ, you would be more likely to see a KSU fan come on and say that Snyder will perform another "turn-around of the century" than you would a KSU fan come on and say that the program isn't dead. It was starting to fall off the radar his last few years at KSU and Ron Prince pretty much completed the fall.

Bill Snyder has his work cut out for him, that is for sure. Ron Prince set him up with two HUGE-JuCo-Heavy recruiting classes. KSU loses 28 this year and 28 next year, if memory serves. The over-all recruiting hasn't improved under Bill Snyder...not that it would this year because recruiting was all but done for most schools by the time he got hired...but he is going to be hard pressed to improve it next year as well.

To be able to convince potential recruits that KSU isn't without a heartbeat, Snyder is going to have to win 7 games to be competitive, 9 games to have an edge, and 10+ to be "back" in recruits minds. Few of these recruits remember the 2003 team....fewer remember the 1998 team. For the average recruit, KSU hasn't done anything for 5 years. Unlike Snyder's first go-round, he wasn't dealing with another competitive in-state school so he was able to get his pick of the litter. That isn't the case now. Nebraska is on it's way back up and so is Mizzou. If Snyder doesn't start fixing the situation in his first year, KSU could end up sliding further down the rabbit hole.

If K-State doesn't get to a bowl next year, that will be three straight years. 3 years may not have meant much in the early 90's, but when over half of the teams in the country get a bowl, it is a big litmus test for where your program sits. A 3rd consecutive year without a bowl could push K-State back to where they were in the early 90's...better than the 80's but a far cry from where they were in the late 90's/early 2000's.
January 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCW
One person is responsible - Kerry Meier!
January 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKoobe
Don't forget his trusty sidekick -- the Snake Wrangler from Austin
January 29, 2009 | Registered CommenterDJ Goodwin

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