The photo above features the victorious coach of Kansas State University meeting the losing coach of Oklahoma University at midfield following an exciting meeting of ranked teams. Kansas State now stands at #7, while Oklahoma has fallen to #17. So the two schools should be relatively equal in recruiting prowess, right? True to infuriating form, the Wildcats currently sit in last place for recruiting in the conference this year. The university has secured six recruits, while other BCS conference schools out there have 20. The highest ranked talent is Isiah Williams, the number 40 linebacker in the country. Four and five star recruits are nowhere to be found.
There are a lot of reasons to explain this situation away. In spite of your love for Aggieville, it’s not easy to convince kids from Dallas that Manhattan is where they want to live. There is no storied history behind the program to sell, and legacy does matter. The money spent on athletic facilities is less than K-State’s peers. Snyder almost seems to prefer to recruit JUCO kids anyway. Kansas isn’t exactly a hotbed of high school football talent. How long does it take you to get to an airport if you need to fly home?
Due to these deficiencies, there may be a case for running up the score in conference games when K-State has the chance. There’s no point in beating up on directional Missouri University, because they’re not competing for the same recruits. Iowa State, on the other hand is. If a senior is considering two schools and thinks they’re close in talent level, intangibles may come into the matriculation equation. If the two schools are separated by 50 points on the field, there’s a desire to go to the definitively better team. When you look at the limited pool of nationally recognized recruits coming out of Kansas, demonstrating a tremendous gap between K-State and KU is important for securing those regional recruits. It looks good on the national stage as well. Snyder has a reputation of showing more mercy against nonconference foes – those he’s less likely to compete for athletes with. But in convincing students to choose K-State West Virginia’s thrill-a-minute offense, there would be some justification should Snyder eschew sportsmanship in favor of running the score to 70.