Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder’s eating habits have long been the stuff of legend. Instead of downing three meals a day like the rest of us, he waits until late at night to scarf down food (sometimes Taco Bell, other times steamed vegetables) in order to maximize his workday.
At least he used to.
One of the hardest-hitting pieces of news I gathered at Big 12 media days in Frisco, Texas earlier this week is that Snyder – get this – is beginning to eat like a normal person while he recovers from throat cancer.
“He is eating more now than he has ever eaten,” said Sean Snyder, K-State’s special teams coordinator and Bill’s son. “He is nibbling and eating pretty much all day now. He is getting some stuff in him for breakfast, stuff in him for lunch, stuff in him for dinner and snacks in between.”
Don’t just take his word for it. K-State players are starting to see their coach eat more, too.
“Throughout the day I see (K-State staff) bringing up food from the training table through the elevators and they say it is going to Coach Snyder,” said junior right tackle Dalton Risner. “He’s definitely eating more than half a meal a day.”
Bill Snyder’s new diet has helped him regain strength and energy after months of cancer treatment. He lost noticeable weight during the spring, but he is starting to put it back on.
He made it through the entirety of his media day responsibilities (several hours of interviews) on Tuesday without slowing down.
“I’m doing fine,” Bill Snyder said. “I mean, the recovery is ongoing, quite obviously, but I’m doing fine, getting around fine. Don’t have any issues right now other than trying to prepare for the season.”
Sean Snyder said eating three meals a day was a bit of a shock to his father at first, and a major disruption to his routine.
But he has embraced the advice of his doctors. His legendary eating habits have become normal, and the extra calories have made a positive impact.
“He is putting nutrition in his body,” Sean Snyder said. “Right now, he looks great. His energy levels are getting better and better every day. He has been doing really good.”
With that, let’s move onto your questions. It’s been too long.
This is a tough one.
Alex Barnes certainly has the ability to rush for 1,000 yards, but I’m not sure he is going to get enough touches. K-State has a lot of mouths to feed in its backfield. You’ve got Barnes, you’ve got Justin Silmon, you’ve got Dalvin Warmack, you’ve got Winston Dimel and you’ve got Jesse Ertz.
It might be hard for any of them to put up big yardage.
Ertz eclipsed 1,000 yards last season, but Barnes and Silmon both failed to top 500. Charles Jones only posted 596 yards. The last K-State running back to top 1,000 yards was John Hubert. Before that it was Daniel Thomas. It’s not easy in K-State’s system. I want to see Dana Dimel’s new running back rotation before I predict anyone to produce at that level this season.
Maybe a little too optimistic.
I think 9-3 is the better target. The schedule is definitely favorable, and the Wildcats could win 10 games without anything crazy happening at all. But it’s not a cakewalk, either.
K-State should win at Vanderbilt, but that could be a tricky game. Everyone seems to be overrating Texas, but the Longhorns will be hard to beat in Austin. Oklahoma always beats K-State in Manhattan (or was that just Bob Stoops?). At Texas Tech is no automatic win. Neither is West Virginia at home. Winning at Oklahoma State will be very difficult.
It’s easy to project losses to the Oklahoma schools and wins everywhere else, but it’s not ever that easy.
The Vegas odds makers setting K-State’s over/under at 7.5 are going too low. Expecting 10 wins is, perhaps, too high. Nine victories seems like a fair compromise.
In September, I expect to see Trent Tanking, Sam Sizelove and Jayd Kirby. As the season progresses, I suspect K-State will find ways to use Da’Quan Patton or Daniel Green.
A hot dog is most definitely NOT a sandwich. I’m perplexed why this is even a debate.
How many sandwich shops sell hot dogs? I’m guessing zero. Maybe I will say close to zero just to be safe. Walk into McCalister’s Deli, Which Wich or Subway and you ain’t getting a hot dog. Maybe they are in the same extended family, but a hot dog and a sandwich are not the same thing.
Also, while we are on the topic of hot dogs, I would like to say it is absolutely 100 percent fine to top a hot dog with ketchup. I can’t remember the last time I ate a hot dog with anything but ketchup on top. This shouldn’t be a debate, either.
I don’t have a bar in my basement, and it’s one of the biggest disappointments of my life. Thanks for bringing it up!
But I do have a mini-fridge down there, and I tend to keep it well stocked with assorted beers. Not usually six different brands at a time, but you have given me something to shoot for.
Anyway, here are my six:
1. Shiner Bock - the ultimate Texas beer, with a smooth refreshing taste.
2. Tank 7 - I once willingly paid $10 for a bottle at a hotel bar.
3. Stone Ripper - discovered this while on vacation in San Diego this summer. A terrific mixture of fruit and IPA flavors.
4. Sam Adams Oktoberfest - my favorite seasonal beer.
5. More Cowbell - it tastes good, has an alcohol content of 9 percent and ... well ... I really love the name. Texas brewing company Buffalo Bayou did a great job with this one.
6. Brew Free or Die IPA - tastes great and I love looking at the can, which brings the presidents at Mt. Rushmore to life.
Stop it. You’re making me hungry.
Let me start by saying this: I will be happy as long as Christian Pulisic is on the roster and Chris Wondolowski is not.
I trust in Bruce Arena. He can name the starting 11 he wants depending on matchups.
But here are the 23 names I want to see: Christian Pulisic, Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Deandre Yedlin, Bobby Wood, Tim Howard, Jordan Morris, Geoff Cameron, John Brooks, Gyasi Zardes, Brad Guzan, Evan Horvath, Clint Dempsey, Matt Besler, Jorge Villafana, Omar Gonzalez, Steve Birnbaum, Kellyn Acosta, Fabian Johnson, Darlington Nagbe, Alejandro Bedoya, Dom Dwyer, Graham Zusi.
K-State’s ceiling: 11-1. Wildcats have the offense and schedule to make it a memorable season.
K-State’s floor: 7-5. Defense has some legitimate question marks.
KU’s ceiling: 5-7. Would take winning a road game for the first time since the Louisiana Purchase, but, hey, stranger things have happened.
KU’s floor: 2-10. Here’s guessing the Jayhawks at least beat Southeast Missouri State and Central Michigan at home.
I think the Big 12 championship game will help the league send a team to the playoff. It’s rare for a Big 12 team to go undefeated in conference play, so the championship game will help teams overcome a loss and make a good final impression on the selection committee the same way you see in other conferences.
There is certainly risk of a dominant team losing that game and missing out on the playoff. But I think it’s a risk you take. Oklahoma won all of its conference games last season and even that wasn’t enough to make up for two nonconference losses. The Big 12 needs something to boost its playoff odds, and a championship game seems like as good an option as any.
Starting five: Kamau Stokes, Barry Brown, Xavier Sneed, Dean Wade, Makol Mawien.
Top reserves: Cartier Diarra, Mike McGuirl, Brian Patrick, Nigel Shadd, Mawdo Sallah.
I don’t see this team sticking to an eight-man rotation. They will probably go even deeper than the 10 listed above.
Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett