The Sweep

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Bill Snyder left Kansas State after going 9-13 in 2004 and '05. But before then, he'd gone 44-7 from '97-'00. :: AP

Sequels usually stink. For every Godfather II or Aliens, there are a dozen Teen Wolf Toos or Godfather IIIs. So what are we to make of Bill Snyder II at Kansas State?

Bill Walsh (Stanford) and John Robinson (USC), gridiron geniuses both, returned to their old jobs with little success. It's easy to assume Snyder, at 69 and after three years away, will suffer the same fate. But maybe not.

Snyder took the stage Monday saying he is refreshed and invigorated. He said he made a mistake when he resigned in 2005. The notoriously media-unfriendly coach also kicked off his second tenure Monday by scolding reporters for breaking the story before he could tell his friends and family. So in one respect, Snyder has already returned to 1997 form. But can he do that on the field? Can he come close to the 44-7 mark he posted from 1997-2000, or will he be more like the coach who went 9-13 in 2004 and 2005?

If Kansas State athletic director Bob Krause or president Jon Wefald re-hired Snyder expecting multiple 10-win seasons and a second term that stretches into JoePa territory, they might be disappointed. If they re-hired Snyder to right the ship and either develop a successor from within his staff or make the job attractive enough for a hotshot coordinator or small-school head coach to want, then they probably hired the right guy.

Snyder took over one of the worst football programs in the nation in 1989 and retired in 2005 with six 11-win seasons. He tapped the Kansas junior college system to sign athletes who otherwise never would have set foot in the state. His successor, Ron Prince, also scoured the jucos, but Prince did not have Snyder's program-building skills. If Snyder does well, Kansas State can play Flip This Football Team and turn it over to a successor of Snyder's choosing or to a worthy candidate.

Despite the drama early this month surrounding the false report that he'd already struck a deal to take the K-State job, TCU coach and K-State alum Gary Patterson would have landed in Manhattan had he truly wanted the job. But he didn't, and neither did any other "it" coaches. They've seen former Texas defensive coordinator Gene Chizik struggle at Iowa State, and they've seen current Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp get a $900,000 salary to stay at Texas and eventually succeed Mack Brown, who isn't retiring anytime soon. Which seems like the safer long-term proposition?

Snyder certainly sounded more like a fixer than a lifer on Monday. "The Kansas State family is in flux right now, and I want to be able to help," he said. "I want to be able to smooth the waters."

If Snyder can smooth those waters, K-State will have an easier time finding Snyder a worthy successor the second time around.

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