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(All information as of July 1, 2005)
COACH AND PROGRAM
If anyone in Big 12 coaching has earned himself a mulligan, it is Kansas State head man Bill Snyder.
Snyder has done more for the popularity of the color purple than kids' TV star Barney the Dinosaur and author Alice Walker combined by taking a K-State program thought to be road kill and turned into a perennial national power.
When Snyder stepped to the podium back in 1988 and accepted the job, the Wildcats had just finished their second consecutive winless season. Since his arrival, K-State gas gone to 11 straight bowls between 1993 and 2003, becoming one of only seven programs to pull off the feat during that time frame.
Then, out of nowhere came last year's thud -- a 4-7 season in which the Wildcats played like it was 1988. Quarterback play was spotty. The defense was inconsistent. The team seemed to lack togetherness. Throw in some key injuries and some uncharacteristic second-half breakdowns on both sides of the ball and it was no surprise that Snyder and Co. were home for the holidays instead of getting first-class treatment from bowl officials at some warm weather locale.