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Kansas State's start is legitimate

Kansas State is 5-0 and ranked in the top 20, despite low expectations entering the season.

The start is no flash in the plan, writes ESPN Insider's Will Harris.

Harris tackles a pair of myths in college football, and one of them is that this early spurt is somehow illegitimate and the Wildcats are due for a late-season crash.

Often, when a team is habitually outgained in its wins, it's a red flag marking unsustainable fortune.

Other times, it's a sign that superior coaching has produced a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Kansas State has won three straight as underdogs while getting outgained, but that's the norm for Snyder teams, which habitually excel at finding the hidden yardage that wins games. Avoiding and forcing turnovers, winning the field position struggle, excellent third down and red zone play and the ability to score in all three phases are qualities that this year's Wildcats are starting to share with past Kansas State editions.

Perhaps the strongest measure of Snyder's ability to consistently produce a "more than meets the eye" team is this: Against the most accurate measure of expectations available -- the point spread -- Snyder's Kansas State teams have posted just two losing seasons in his 21 years.

Snyder is not a way-past-his-prime old geezer cooking up a brief Cinderella story on the verge of his second retirement. He's a Hall of Famer who has accomplished the impossible and belongs at the head table with the likes of Bryant, Paterno, Stagg and Rockne. He's also a very young 72, as sharp as ever, and is not going away again anytime soon.

I was skeptical of Kansas State's start, but the Wildcats won me over when they beat Baylor, which I was really high on entering the season. Now I'm on board with the Wildcats and it looks like I'm not alone.

I'd encourage you to join in the fun, too.