Well, that’s it.
It might be unfair, it might be disappointing and it might hurt, but the 2014-15 Big 12 season is over for K-State.
It ended not with a bang, as T.S. Eliot said, but a whimper as No. 9 K-State lost last Saturday to No. 5 Baylor in what amounted to be less of a game and more of a eternal game of catch-up to the tune of 38-27.
Going into Saturday’s game, K-State was 0-10 under head coach Bill Snyder when teams on both sidelines were ranked in the top 10.
Unfortunately for the purple-clad faithful, that trend continued as K-State participated in the swan song of the opening season for Baylor’s shiny and new, McLane Stadium.
It’s a stat that has twisted and turned it’s way through the program’s history. A dark blemish on what is a legendary run by Snyder.
It’s honestly baffling how a coach with such an impressive and sterling record could have this stat attached to him.
Does Saturday’s loss have any clues on what could be lingering behind such an ugly stat?
“We just didn’t do a good job in our preparation,” Snyder said after the loss.
One would find that hard to believe, especially with the type of work ethic that Snyder is known for having.
This is the man who asked his doctor if there was a way to safely get less sleep because, to Snyder, sleep is wasted time. This is also a man who is well-known to partake in a fourth meal at Taco Bell like an average K-State student cramming for a final.
Senior tight end, Zach Trujillo, who had a career night with 88 yards on three catches and a touchdown, respectfully disagrees with his head coach’s assessment of why things happened like they happened.
“I feel like we prepared pretty well,” Trujillo said. “But we just didn’t execute enough in the game.”
While execution may be the main reason for Saturday’s loss, to assume that for 10 other games that execution was the issue might be a stretch.
K-State prides itself on getting the most out of what seems to be very little. That’s why there is such a strong walk-on tradition in Manhattan.
Snyder knows how to get every little bit of toothpaste out of the Crest tubes that are his players.
To continue with the toothpaste metaphor, sometimes it just runs out. That’s what happened to this team and what happened to several great K-State teams before it.
Snyder is a great coach, by a large contingent’s estimation the best, and the guys who trot out onto Bill Snyder Family Stadium wearing that silver helmet with the Powercat sticker are special people.
They are some of the hardest working and best people that one could have a privilege of knowing.
However, the facts are the facts. K-State does not recruit on the level of a Baylor, or an Oklahoma, an Oregon or even a Nebraska.
Sometimes in life the honest truth is that you just aren’t good enough. You put everything out on the field and you just got outplayed.
K-State has “snuck-up” on top 10 teams when it was outside of the top 10 multiple times. That happens year after year in college football for one reason or another.
However, when a team with elite talent gives K-State its full attention, there’s just not enough in the tank to take care of business.
Again, what Snyder and those K-State players do is special. You won’t find another coach in the country who does what Snyder does, as well and as consistently as Snyder does it. You won’t find players who maximize on their potential the way that K-State players do.
However, if K-State wants the reach that next level, namely a national title, the final threshold of recruiting must be crossed.
If K-State can be as good as they’ve been with one hand tied behind their back, just imagine what they would do un-handicapped. One would think a certain streak, would break.