Big 12 Sports Articles

Understanding why Kansas State ‘owns Texas’

bill snyder after kansas state wins the texas bowl

After Kansas State beat Texas A&M in the Texas Bowl on Wednesday night, the reality is this: the Wildcats own the state of Texas.

Kansas State works as a family.

Playing as a family is a major reason why the Wildcats took down Texas A&M 33-28 Wednesday night in the Advocare V100 Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium in Houston.

The victory provides Kansas State with wins over every Power Five Conference team in the state of Texas. Kansas State finished 2-4 against Power Five Conference teams from other states. As the Wildcats took possession for the final time, and throughout the post-game trophy celebration, a sea of purple chanted “We own Texas” loud and clear. They do. In fact, Kansas State plays better when in Texas. In their three games within the Lone Star State, Kansas State outscored opponents 109-55.

College teams in Texas are widely known for their high-octane spread offense. Sonny Cumbie at TCU and Kendal Briles, who was at Baylor this year, are members of the Mike Leach coaching tree. Charlie Strong hired Sterlin Gilbert as offensive coordinator at Texas this year specifically to implement the spread offense. Kevin Sumlin has been known to produce high scoring offenses with quarterbacks such as Case Keenum and Johnny Manziel. His offensive coordinator was Kliff Kingsbury, before the former Texas Tech gunslinger became the head coach of his alma mater.

All five of these Power Five teams in Texas have vastly more talent than Kansas State. Yet, while all five of those programs are the young, hot talents who are far more entertaining to recruits with their helicopters and faux WWE practice shows, it’s Bill Snyder’s old school style that puts the hot shots back in their place year-in and year-out. Snyder preaches family, and the Texas Bowl proved that Kansas State plays as a family.

Kansas State wide receiver Dominique Heath

Kansas State wide receiver Dominique Heath catches the Wildcats’ first touchdown of the game during Wednesday’s Texas Bowl victory over Texas A&M. Credit: Michael Sudhalter.

Wide receiver Dominique Heath scored a 52-yard rushing touchdown because he had one block on the outside to open up a gaping hole that Peyton Manning could run through. Fullback Winston Dimel ran 20 yards in front of quarterback Jesse Ertz to place the Wildcats inside the five-yard line to set Ertz up for a 1-yard rushing touchdown late in the game. It’s the simple things like effort and teamwork like those blocks which contributes to that family atmosphere Snyder preaches. It works. Kansas State is a team. The players buy into the system and are there to help each other.

Meanwhile, Sumlin and Kingsbury have so many players transferring out of their programs, it’s almost as if they have a completely new team every year. Baylor and Texas have their fair share of players transferring as well. Jarrett Stidham is going to Auburn. He didn’t even provide Jim Grobe a chance.

If Texas wants to start beating teams they are more talented than, it has to come from within. All five Texas schools are large groups of individuals who are prepping for the NFL. That mentality will continue to prove dismal results and the firing of their coaches.

kansas state jesse ertz texas bowl

The Kansas State offensive line gave quarterback Jesse Ertz plenty of time during Wednesday’s Texas Bowl victory. Credit: Michael Sudhalter.

The only Power Five school to have fewer than three coaches since 2000 is TCU. Gary Patterson took over for Dennis Franchione for the 2000 Mobile Alabama Bowl and has been there ever since. However, he’s had three losing conference records in the five years TCU has participated in the Big 12 Conference. It’s ugly for a state that places so much pride in its football.

Call Bill Snyder a wizard if you want. He’s done some magical stuff in Manhattan, Kansas. He’s the greatest coach in college football. He’s a teacher and knows what makes a good player. That includes being selfless.

Until college players in the Lone Star State start playing for their team instead of their draft stock, Kansas State will continue to “own Texas”. It all starts with the man at the top of the program.

For Kansas State, they have the best man in the nation to run their football program.

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