Who is the Big 12's real coach of the year?

December, 19, 2011
12/19/11
4:22
PM CT
The Big 12 media and coaches agreed: Kansas State's Bill Snyder was the conference's coach of the year.

But the national crowd?

The Football Writers Association of America named Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy the Coach of the Year after leading his Cowboys to an 11-1 season and the school's first Big 12 title.

So, which is it?

Snyder's team was the Big 12's biggest overachiever. The team's leading rusher and quarterback from 2010 didn't return, but first-year starter Collin Klein put the team on his back and the defense made huge improvements. Klein nearly burrowed his way into the Heisman conversation after scoring 26 rushing touchdowns.

The Wildcats were picked to finish eighth in the league and ascended to second after a 10-2 season that deserved a BCS bowl and nearly earned a share of the school's first Big 12 title since 2003. Still, the double-digit win total earned K-State a trip to the Cotton Bowl, in part because the Cats found ways to win games.

In contests decided by seven points or less, K-State is 8-1.

Oklahoma State, meanwhile, was a Big 12 contender but likely third in line to win it. The media picked the Cowboys third. OSU won its first 10 games and suffered the lone loss at Iowa State in double overtime. A winning kick in regulation just missed, too.

During the season, Oklahoma State had to deal with the death of assistant coach Glenn Spencer's wife, and the day of the loss to Iowa State, the Cowboys found out two members of the athletic department -- women's basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna -- had died in a plane crash.

That coaching job is difficult to quantify on the field. Suddenly, Gundy's job, and the rest of his staff's, shifts to somewhat of a counselor and a crisis manager in both situations.

Gundy's team ascended to the national stage and beat Oklahoma for the first time since 2002, and did so in convincing fashion, 44-10. That nearly landed the Cowboys in the national title game.

Oklahoma State equaled its school record for wins and can surpass it with a Fiesta Bowl win over Stanford.

Kansas State did what few thought possible.

So, which coach had the better performance? Which do you value? Overachieving? History?

Vote in our poll.

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