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12.20.13 KSU Bowl Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Dec. 20, 2013 Game Facts What: Michigan vs. Kansas State. When: Dec. 28 • 10:15 p.m. Radio-TV: ESPN will televise the game nationally. The game can be heard on the Michigan Sports Network (950 AM in the Detroit area and on both the Armed Services Radio and SiriusXM) with longtime partners Frank Beckmann and Jim Brandstatter, and sideline reporter Doug Karsch. Coaches: Michigan: Brady Hoke (26-12, third season). Kansas State: Bill Snyder (177-90-1, 22nd season). History: Michigan and Kansas State have never played. Kansas State State Notes: KSU is 1-1 in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, winning in 1993 (the thenCopper Bowl) and losing in 2001 (Insight.com Bowl) … Kansas State is 0-3 against Big Ten teams in bowl games … Bill Snyder is one of only three coaches in Big 8/Big 12 history with 100 conference wins, joining Nebraska's Tom Osborne and Oklahoma's Barry Switzer … A total of 13 former Wildcat players are currently in the NFL, including New Orleans standout utility back Darren Sproles. No State Is Eager ToLike TheLosing Streak Time End Its Five-Game Bowl Present Kansas T By Michael Spath he day Bill Snyder returned to the sidelines in Manhattan, Kan., was a good day for Wildcats fans. After he retired in 2005, Kansas State tumbled, going 17-20 in Ron Prince's three seasons. Snyder did not ride in on a white horse — some felt that at age 69 upon his return to coaching in 2009 he was too old and out of touch for today's game — but he was largely lauded as a savor of Kansas State football. Following 6-6 and 7-6 campaigns, Snyder has delivered, going 10-3 in 2011 and 11-2 in 2012, including an 11-1 regular season that earned the Royal Purple their first BCS bowl invite since 2003 (Fiesta Bowl). They fell to Oregon 35-17, but what else is new? A pesky postseason record (6-8) is the only spot on Snyder's otherwise impeccable résumé (a 177-90-1 overall record and two Big 12 championships), but that bowl losing streak — now at five straight dating back to the 2003 season — has become a source of frustration and embarrassment for Kansas State. "With the type of success Kansas State has had under Coach Snyder, to still have a bowl losing streak, it's really incredible and overshadows a lot of what this program has accomplished," junior quarterback Jake Waters said. "If we're fortunate enough to get a win against Michigan, it would be special and a great way to end the season, and end the streak." Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder has an overall record of 177-90-1 in 22 seasons (spanning 1989-2005 and 2009-13) leading the Wildcats. photo courtesy kansas State The streak spans 10 seasons and the tenures of both Snyder and Prince. It has occurred in campaigns after KSU went 11-3 (2003), 7-5 (2006), 7-5 (2010), 10-2 (2011) and 11-1 (2012), and has included hundreds of different players, so there is no common thread amongst the defeats. "If I had a genuinely accurate answer to explain [the losing streak], you would not have to ask the question," Snyder said. "It could be a multitude of things, and perhaps it is, or maybe it is something simple that I am overlooking. The bottom line is I do not know." Redshirt junior defensive end Ryan Mueller has been a member of the last three bowl-eligible (and losing) teams, and he admits that it has been difficult to go into the offseason without momentum and without a sense of accomplishment. He's eager to be a member of the team that ends Kansas State's struggles and starts a new tradition. "This is an opportunity for us to achieve something everyone on this team wants to achieve," Mueller said. "Bowl victories create positive attention for your program that the coaches can use on the recruiting trail, and then everybody wants to feel like a winner at the end of the year. "You may not win your conference or play in a BCS bowl, but if you win that last game, you feel like you did something great." Kansas State has good reason to feel confident heading into the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, having won five of its final six games, including a 31-10 victory over in-state rival Kansas Nov. 30. The Wildcats rallied back from a 2-4 start that included a

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