NCF Nation: Jon Wefald

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- The game-clad figure in purple and white jumps out from the billboards along the Kansas prairie, standing apart from the notices for truck stops, ice cream parlors and outlet malls.

The image of Kansas State coach Bill Snyder can be found at several locations along Interstate 70, pointing across expanses of the Sunflower State as he seemingly implores motorists to get out of their cars to hurry into game action.

 
  John Rieger/US Presswire
  Bill Snyder knows he has his work cut out for him at Kansas State.

While Snyder says he's uncomfortable with becoming such a front-and-center symbol of the school's intended resurgence, it's understandable why he has become spotlighted so much since his return.

"I'm not a big fan of that," Snyder said. "This is about a program and not Bill Snyder. But maybe I'm in a position where I can help smooth the waters. I'd like to think I could do it without my face being all over billboards. It's not appropriate, because it's never been about Bill Snyder. I'm just a part of it."

On the school's Web site, Snyder's return has been given a prominent constant presence. An advertisement for season tickets harkens that "the Hall of Fame can wait" and "the tradition continues" with Snyder's return to bring the Wildcat program back from its recent doldrums.

As fans and players exit Interstate 70 and head to Manhattan, they turn onto the Bill Snyder Highway. And when they arrive in Manhattan the focal point of the campus is where the Wildcats play their games -- the Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

But even with that exalted status after his legendary career, Snyder was restless during retirement. Those concerns led him to return to coaching after a three-year sabbatical, eager to resume coaching with another challenging rebuilding job facing him.

It won't be easy. When asked about where the Wildcat program is and where he wants it to eventually be, Snyder has a succinct answer.

"I can't see there from here." Snyder said. "It's a long ways from where I would like it to be."

(Read full post)

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Here are some links to send you hurtling into the Super Weekend -- just like the Nebraska walk-on candidates are doing.

  • About 40 Nebraska students showed up before daybreak on Thursday to chase their dreams as walk-on players for the Cornhuskers, Lincoln Journal Star reporter Brian Christopherson writes.
  • Is coffee only for the closers? If so, Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford might deserve exalted status not just for his play on the field but also for his ability to recruit standout wide receivers, Tulsa World columnist Dave Sittler writes.
  • Former Texas players Rashad Bobino, Henry Melton and Chris Ogbonnaya are still smarting from their BCS title game snub, the El Paso Times' Bret Bloomquist writes. All are in El Paso this week for Saturday's Texas vs. the Nation All-Star Game.
  • The Tulsa World's Guerin Emig wonders where's the angst among Oklahoma fans after the Sooners' BCS title game loss to Florida?
  • Georgia-Oklahoma State and Oklahoma-Miami make John Walters' list of 2009's five most intriguing nonconference games.
  • Topeka Capital-Journal beat writer Austin Meek suggests a thorough examination of Kansas State president Jon Wefald's tenure. While some of his recent athletic decisions have been blasted, Meek still remembers Wefald's passion as a guest lecturer in his freshman history class.

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Some interesting topics popped up across the conference this morning. Feel free to digest them with your lunches this afternoon.

  • Austin Meek and Kevin Haskin of the Topeka Capital Journal report that outgoing Kansas State president Jon Wefald said he would be willing to provide the university's next president a head start at picking the school's new athletic director.
  • Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops told the Tulsa World's Dave Sittler he "likes the quarterbacks we have," in regards to reports linking the Sooners with former Miami quarterback Robert Marve.
  • Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star reports on the tumultuous year of Kansas State athletic director Bob Krause, who was re-assigned Tuesday to a new role at the school's Olathe campus.
  • Lincoln Journal-Star columnist Steve Sipple reports that six former Nebraska players -- Matt Slauson, Nate Swift, Lydon Murtha, Marlon Lucky, Zach Potter and Cody Green -- have received invitations to the NFL Scouting Combine next month in Indianapolis.
  • Boulder Camera beat writer Kyle Ringo remembers the playing career of former Colorado quarterback Bernard Jackson, who was sentenced to more than five years in prison last week along with former teammate Lionel Harris last week.

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

C'mon, admit it. You thought that all of the action was usually reserved for the playing field.

But welcome to the Big 12, where a lot of things happened since the games finished up Saturday night in Norman.

Here's a look at some of the more notable events from around the conference.

  • Jeffrey Martin of the Kansas City Star/Wichita Eagle provides the details of Bill Snyder coming out of retirement to direct the Kansas State program. The Topeka Capital-Journal's Tim Bisel writes about why the return of Snyder to coaching reminds him of the B-52's "Love Shack." And the Wichita Eagle's Bob Lutz writes that bringing Snyder out of retirement is a gamble that KSU president Jon Wefald is ready to take.
  • Here's an amazing story written by ESPN.com's Bruce Feldman about spending the last few hours before the Texas Tech-Oklahoma game with the Red Raiders. Maybe they should have known something was wrong. Their omelet station ordered at the team hotel before the game didn't materialize.
  • Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman writes about why Texas should have jumped Oklahoma in the human poll, why he boosts Colt McCoy ahead of the rest of the Heisman contenders and Bob Stoops' praiseworthy move of giving up his coach's vote after other balloters declined to acknowledge his team's victory over Missouri in last season's title game.
  • The Oklahoman's Jenni Carlson did a nice job on a feature about former Oklahoma State wide receiver Brent Parker. His dropped pass cost the Cowboys a 1988 victory over Oklahoma in the biggest "Bedlam" probably other than the upcoming one.
  • The Lincoln Journal-Star's Steve Sipple writes that Nebraska offensive coordinator Shawn Watson could be an intriguing possibility for a vacant head coaching position somewhere.
  • Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News writes that Oklahoma could be well positioned to sneak past Texas into the Big 12 Championship Game with a big victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday.

SPONSORED HEADLINES