5 Biggest "What ifs" in Kansas State sports history

Kansas v Kansas State
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Think back to some of the biggest moments in Kansas State sports history, both good and bad. Do you remember the day Bill Snyder announced his retirement the first time, do you remember the second time?

Every sports fan has a "what if" for their team meaning what if something had not happened or what if something had happened. For Kansas State maybe it involved Bill Snyder, Collin Klein, or Lon Kruger. Maybe it involved a big game or a big move that happened in rankings.

So looking back at the history of Kansas State sports, what would be some of the biggest "what if" moments? Here are some of the biggest ones we could think of.

What if Bill Snyder had not returned to Kansas State?

Bill Snyder took over a Kansas State football program in 1989 that was in shambles. They were constantly at the bottom of the Big 8 and winning seemed like a foreign concept. After firing head coach Stan Parrish who comprised a 2-30-1 record over three seasons, the administration chose to bring an offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach from Iowa named Bill Snyder.

Little did everyone know that Snyder would bring not just a winning culture to Kansas State, but a professional culture sending not just football players into the world, but good men. After coaching for 16 years at Kansas State, Snyder chose to announce his retirement, ending his coaching career at Kansas State, or so everyone thought.

Kansas State hired Ron Prince to take over for Snyder, but in just three seasons, the culture Snyder had built crumbled and fans missed the days of seeing Snyder on the sideline. Clearly Snyder felt it too because after Prince was fired in 2008, Snyder announced he would come out of retirement to coach at Kansas State once more.

So what would have happened if Snyder had not come back? Well, we would not have seen Snyder coach many players that went on to the NFL. We would not have had the type of program he built from 2011 to 2013 where the Wildcats reached a No. 1 ranking in college football. The football program at Kansas State could have taken a turn for the worse again had Snyder not come back.

What if the Big 8 had not become the Big 12?

Nowadays, the movement of conferences seems to be the thing everyone is doing. However, this is not the first time schools have moved from conference to conference. It happened back in 1994 when the Big 8 became the Big 12 when it added a number of Texas schools including Texas, Baylor, Texas Tech, and Texas A&M.

So how did this affect Kansas State you may ask? Well when the Texas schools made the Big 8 the Big 12, they completely took over the conference. Competition became much more fierce and Kansas State did not find themselves at the top of the conference as much as they used to.

Had the Big 8 not become the Big 12, could the Wildcats have competed for more conference titles? Could they have had a better chance at playoffs and National Championships?

What if Lon Kruger had not left Kansas State?

Every Kansas State fan knows of Lon Kruger playing for the Kansas State and being one of the best player in Wildcat basketball history. That is why it was so exciting to have him then later become the head coach of the program later in his coaching career.

However, it was painful to see Kruger leave for another position. Leave his player, his alma mater, the place he grew up to coach at another school and see more success. What if he had stayed at Kansas State? Could the Wildcats had a more successful basketball program?

What if Collin Klein had won the Heisman Trophy?

Collin Klein was one of the best quarterbacks to hit the field for Kansas State. He was even recognized for his talent with many award nominations and was even a finalist for the Heisman Trophy award in 2012, which is given to the best college football player for that season.

Klein was one of the three finalists for the award, Notre Dame's Manti T'eo and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel. Manziel ended up winning the award and went on to be drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2014. Klein however went on to go undrafted and was an undrafted free agent jumping from team to team until he ended up playing in a Canadian football league.

What would have happened to Klein had he won the Heisman Trophy? Could he have been drafted by an NFL team instead of going undrafted? Could he have had an actual NFL career? However, because Klein did not play i the NFL, he chose to become a coach and ended back at Kansas State to begin his coaching career. he worked his way up the ranks and was event he offensive coordinator for two seasons before leaving the Wildcats at the end of last season to become the new OC at Texas A&M.

What if Kansas State football had beaten Baylor in 2012?

This might be the biggest "what if" in Kansas State sports history because the Kansas State-Baylor game in 2012 had National Championship implications riding on it. After becoming the No. 1 ranked team in the country, the Wildcats were set to face Baylor, a team near the bottom of the conference and a very winable game.

However, it seemed like the pressure had gotten to the team and they folded and lost to Baylor, therefore destroying any changes of the Wildcats making it to a National Championship. The 2012 team was by far one of the best if not the best team Kansas State has fielded in its long history.

If Kansas State had won that game, they would have gone on to play in the National Championship. Now this is not to say they would have won it all, but they would have had the opportunity to compete for it. It also would have been the Wildcats' first-ever appearance in a National Championship game.