The Eagle’s Kellis Robinett and The Oregonian’s Aaron Fentress conclude a 10-part series comparing Oregon and Kansas State ahead of Thursday’s Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. on ESPN, Ch. 32. Go to Kansas.com/wildcats for past matchups.
Oregon’s Chip Kelly
Stats: 45-7 (.865), 1-2 bowl record, three Pac-12 championships, four BCS bowl games.
Buzz: Kelly has risen from unknown assistant at obscure New Hampshire to one of the more recognizable coaches in college football who frequently appears in television commercials and reportedly has NFL teams salivating at securing his services. He got there by finding success as one of the most innovative offensive minds in the game. Kelly didn’t invent the no-huddle offense, the spread-option attack or the idea of playing fast. But nobody has put all three elements together with such dizzying success. That unique brand of football has helped Oregon becoming a national power under Kelly. The Ducks have won three conference titles and will make their fourth consecutive appearance in a BCS bowl game.
K-State’s Bill Snyder
Stats: 170-84-1 (.669), 6-7 bowl record, two Big 12 championships, two BCS bowl games
Buzz: Snyder is considered one of the best coaches in the business not because of what he has accomplished, but because of where he started. When he came to K-State in 1989, the Wildcats were one of the worst programs around, fresh off back-to-back winless seasons. In his fifth season, he guided them to a bowl. In his seventh season he guided them to a 10-win season. Then he won 11 games six times in seven years and won a conference title in 2003. He didn’t face the same adversity when he returned to the sideline, but K-State has won 21 games in two seasons a year after missing out on the postseason three straight years. Some also credit him for inventing the wildcat formation and adding new wrinkles to the quarterback run game.
The Oregonian’s Aaron Fentress says
Edge to Snyder. This is a tough call. Both have accomplished similar successes but Snyder resurrected a severely struggling program twice while Kelly picked up where Mike Bellotti left off with the help of powerful Nike’s influence. Plus, discipline accounts for something. K-State ranks third in the country in both fewest turnovers committed (10) and fewest penalties per game (3.5). Oregon ranks 45th in turnovers (19) and 115th in penalties (8.2).
The Eagle’s Kellis Robinett says
This is a tie. Snyder is an old-school coach who gets the most out of his players. Kelly is an offensive innovator who churns out impressive stats and wins with top-tier players.