Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

K-State's Bill Snyder Has 'Extra Pep in His Step' during KU Week

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

K-State's Bill Snyder Has 'Extra Pep in His Step' during KU Week

Article excerpt

It's just another game. It only takes on more significance because it's the next game on the schedule.

Yeah, right.

That's the standard line from Kansas State coach Bill Snyder, but the Wildcats' annual Sunflower Showdown against Kansas must hold some special meaning as he prepares to face the Jayhawks for the 24th time Saturday.

Snyder maintains the game is important to him because it's important to so many others.

"I would never downplay the rivalry because, as I've said many times, it's so significant in the lives of so many people: The fan base in the state of Kansas for either school, the players from the state of Kansas," Snyder said. "It's something that has evolved from their birth and I appreciate that.

"Still, it is important to me that we take everything in context. I don't want any particular game to be the most significant game on your schedule until you play it, and when you play it it becomes the most significant game on your schedule."

In simple context, Snyder is 19-4 against the Jayhawks with six straight wins since he returned from his three-year retirement in 2009. That isn't just coincidence.

"There's a little extra pep in his step," Kody Cook, K-State's senior wide receiver from Louisburg, said of Snyder during KU week. "He puts a bigger emphasis on beating the Jayhawks.

"We go about things the same way, but there is a bigger emphasis because it is KU."

The preparation and routine may be the same as any other week, but the Wildcats sense an extra dose of intensity from their coach.

"He knows it's a rivalry game and he doesn't want to lose to KU so he's fired up for it," said Wildcat quarterback Joe Hubener, a junior from Cheney.

The significance of retaining the Governor's Cup -- even if Snyder doesn't know where it is displayed in the new Vanier Complex, as he said earlier this week -- has major implications from positioning in the Big 12 Conference, an upper hand in recruiting across the state and simple pride. …

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