<
>

Was KSU on the cutting edge of scheduling strategy?

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Louisville Courier-Journal columnist Rick Bozich is one of the most astute observers of college sports. He had an interesting column today as Kansas State prepares to meet Louisville tonight at Papa John Stadium.

It's Bozich's contention that former KSU coach Bill Snyder led the run of teams charging to the pastry wagon as far as filling up on cupcakes during their nonconference schedules.

Because of this -- and the way it's been adopted across college football -- he nominates KSU as the most influential program in college football. And he puts them in the same breath with programs like USC, Miami and Florida State over the last 20 years.

Bozich's research indicates that in Snyder's 17 seasons at Kansas State, the Wildcats played 62 regular-season nonconference games. Only 10 were scheduled against opponents currently in BCS conferences.

His record against Top 25 opponents was 16-31-1. But he credits Snyder for popularizing the current strategy of fattening up before nonconference play begins.

I can't argue with him -- even if current KSU coach Ron Prince has shown a little more propensity to play the big boys than Snyder ever did. The Wildcats made trips to Auburn and Fresno State last season. They bought their way out of the return game with Fresno State for this season, but still will be playing Louisville tonight.

So even as Snyder popularized the easing up of nonconference schedules, his old school isn't universally accepting his strategy.