A lot has been made of Kansas State’s ’16 Goals For Success,’ but there is also a 17th area of emphasis that this Wildcat football team of 2012 has been hearing on a daily basis.
The word is … complacency.
Goal No. 17, if you will.
“Our youngsters have been hearing about that since last January after the Cotton Bowl,” said Snyder. “They may think its rule 17, 18 and 19, because they’re going to continue to hear it an awful lot.”
Still, it was after K-State’s 35-21 victory over North Texas last week that Snyder said, “It goes back to what we talk about all the time, which is taking something for granted. We were flat and we did not practice well.”
After a 2011 season when K-State started the year ranked No. 8 in the preseason Big 12 rankings, the Wildcats found ways into the victory column 10 times, which included eight games decided by a touchdown, or less.
How unusual was that? Well, never before in K-State history has a Wildcat team won more than three games decided by a touchdown, or less, in the same year.
To that, Snyder says, “We’ve all had a lot of pats on the back. You have to be aware of that. You appreciate the kind words, but they mean nothing in 2012. You can’t just take for granted that those narrow wins will continue.”
Throughout the weeks of this season, Snyder will make sure that specific examples of how complacency has touched the Wildcat program in past years.
• 2004 – Kansas State came off a Big 12 championship season in 2003 when it won 11 games, which included a league title win against the No. 1 ranked Oklahoma Sooners, 35-7. In 2004 the Wildcats found themselves in the win column just four times.
“Complacency very much had something to do with that season,” said Snyder. “To a degree, there was an expectation that wins would just come automatically.”
• 2001 – The Wildcats enjoyed 11-win seasons in 2000, 1999, 1998 and 1997, but in 2001 K-State was no better than 6-6.
“When we got to the 2001 season, every player on the roster had only been a part of 11-win seasons,” said Snyder. “In 2001, 11 wins were expected. We had a letdown early and couldn’t get it turned around.”
Even last year, Snyder said that complacency was a concern.
“All you have to do is look at the first game we played last year,” said Snyder in reference to a 10-7 win over Eastern Kentucky when the deciding points came in the final 99 seconds of the game. “It was a season where we were tremendously fortunate in a number of games.”
Then, Snyder said, “As the season progressed, we started playing with great confidence in our capabilities. But I firmly believe that confidence came from those ’16 Goals For Success’ playing a significant role.”