Claremore Daily Progress

Sports Columnists

September 19, 2012

HORNING: Stoops must know Snyder's secret

NORMAN — It’s too bad that Bob Stoops, despite being in an otherwise good mood during his weekly Monday meeting with the media, remained one not to speculate, because the answer would have been fascinating.

Because ever since Ron Prince departed Kansas State making way for the return of Bill Snyder, architect of the Manhattan Miracle, nobody has decided Prince to be a coaching bum.

The guy’s coaching in the NFL these days, running Jacksonville’s offensive line. They don’t let bums coach in the NFL, do they?

Here’s the thing.

Snyder arrived in Manhattan in 1989 and turned the Wildcats into a top 10 program, a Big 12 champion, a national title contender.

It was maybe the greatest turnaround story in the history of college sports.

He didn’t do it by stockpiling talent. He didn’t do it with the best talent. He didn’t do it by finding talent and hiding it away until it was time to sign.

Texas and Alabama and USC and sometimes Oklahoma make runs at Signing Day titles, but not Kansas State.

Some pros have come out of Manhattan the last two decades, but they were pros when they left, not when they arrived. There have been no Adrian Petersons under Snyder, no Tommie Harrises, no can’t-miss stars.

All Snyder and Kansas State ever do is win on Saturday.

So Prince left and Snyder returned and somehow — magically? — Kansas State began to win again. The Wildcats will enter Saturday night at Owen Field a perfect 3-0, ranked No. 15.

People will say Kansas State didn’t look that good against Missouri State and North Texas on both sides of the Wildcats 52-13 victory over Miami and they will be right.

But make no mistake, Snyder’s program is overachieving again. How and why are the questions.

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