Success shouldn’t be measured in championships for K-State

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After last Saturday’s Baylor loss, there was a overwhelming sense of hopelessness in and around Manhattan.

Now having an 0-11 against top 10 foes in head coach Bill Snyder’s illustrious career, it is definitely is a tough row to hoe.

However, when is it ever a good idea to measure success by what you didn’t do instead of what you did do?

FACT: K-State went into Norman and beat Oklahoma. Even if the Sooners are on a off year, you just don’t do that.

FACT: K-State remained in the top 15 for the majority of the season, proving itself to be one of the best teams in one of the best conferences in the country

FACT: K-State ended the season 9-3. Those three losses were all against top-10 teams at the time and two of those games were played away from Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

FACT: On Jan. 2, K-State will get a chance have their sixth 10-win or higher season in since 2000.

This team doesn’t have the titles that the 2003 or 2012 teams had and they also don’t have the flash that the groups from 1998 to 2000 had.

Maybe that’s what makes them so special.

You could fill a book with the number of articles about how many senior walk-ons are leaders for this squad. How about how many unheralded recruits were overlooked and now have become superstars?

They may not always succeed, but guaranteed, no one is trying harder.

Some have likened this team and past teams to head coach Bill Snyder’s favorite movie, “Pinocchio” with Snyder playing his annual part as Geppetto. A loving woodworker crafting a wonderful, special thing bound to do great things out of wood others may have discarded.

That is very apt. How many people were frightened at the task defensive coordinator Tom Hayes had after spring football had ended?

There were so many new pieces to fit in with returning ones and a lot of round pegs trying to get through square holes.

It came together and even though Nick Marshall and mighty Auburn walked away from Bill Snyder Family Stadium with a win, deep down they knew that a rag-tag bunch of walk-ons and nobody’s pushed some five-stars to the brink.

Sure they bent, and sometimes they broke, but there was always more on the horizon. More motivation to keep rolling.

Jake Waters showed incredible drive to beat upset-minded Iowa State in September while also displaying the player his home state missed out on after two years in junior college.

How about the reminder that Tyler Lockett showed both Oklahoma schools that the greatest wide receiver in K-State history grew up in both of their backyards?

The list could go on and on.

Every player has their own K-State story that drives them and makes them try harder than they did yesterday.

When “Stand up for the Champions” is played on Saturdays, these players understand that a champion isn’t a title. It’s a way of doing things.

One hurdle remains for K-State and it’s in the form of head coach Jim Mora and UCLA.

It is a storied program with a tradition that goes back a long time. The Bruins were picked by some to make a appearance in the inaugural College Football Playoff and they vastly underachieved.

The Wildcats, by some accounts, overachieved.

That is what this team has been made of though. They have an overachieving work ethic with a chance to do something very special that K-State has done only once in winning back-to-back bowl games.

The Wildcats did it in the 1999 and 2000 seasons, but now this team has their chance to leave their own legacy.

Sure, they were never the best, but they didn’t need to be. They got the job done. Because that’s what they do.

Tim Everson is a sophomore in mass communications.

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Tim Everson was born in Wichita, KS in 1994. Before fifth grade he moved up to Manhattan for one year before settling in Riley, KS where he graduated from Riley County High School in 2012. Tim has worked for the Collegian since spring of 2014 and took over as Sports Editor during the summer of 2015. Tim loves sports, music, movies and good food when he can get it.