Manhattan, Kansas – The Ron Prince era has yet to officially begin, but that hasn’t cooled off the expectations of Kansas State football fans. Promising “a return to form”, Prince has ignited hope in the Wildcat fan base by agreeing to a home and home series with the 1988 Kansas State Wildcats football team to be set in 2009 and 2010. Both games will be played in Manhattan, but each team will only be allowed to choose “heads” once during the opening coin flips.
Prince has stated that he believes strongly in cupcakes, cupcakage and cupcake tradition – the question now is, can he also make a young Wildcats team believe?
“We are excited to get back to our roots. [Recently retired Kansas State head coach] Bill Snyder built this program on a philosophy of solid football and playing teams that were just shy of being declared lepers. By signing this deal we feel we have honored the memory of one of college football’s greatest pioneers in cupcakery. Here’s to you, Bill,” Kansas State athletic director Tim Weiser said.
From 1989 to 2005, Snyder turned around one of college football’s most moribund and mediocre programs by concentrating on junior college recruiting, sound fundamentals and a voracious eye for scheduling other moribund and mediocre programs. The Wildcats played in eleven straight bowl games during Snyder’s final years, compiling an impressive record against non-Big 12 opponents like Indiana State, Idaho State, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Western Illinois, Northern Illinois, Montana, Temple, Utah State, UNLV, Western Kentucky, Louisiana-Lafayette, Rice, Northern Iowa, North Texas, Cincinnati, Akron, Ohio, Bowling Green, Louisiana-Monroe, UTEP, Louisiana Tech, Ball State, Eastern Illinois, Troy State, McNeese State, Massachusetts, Marshall, Florida International, Sister Mary’s School for the Blind Yet Technically Gifted, and Sister Mary’s School for the Blind Yet Technically Gifted State.
“The Wildcats have a proud history of playing anyone with slightly more than a pulse but less than what could be characterized as a healthy heart rate,” Prince said.
“We are excited to continue that tradition of scheduling like there’s no tomorrow, ‘tomorrow’ being the operative word for ‘national governing body designed in part to make sure football programs don’t play all-girl Catholic schools’. We always knew we could do it, but this just proves that our hearts and our heads are in the right place,” the first year coach continued.
“A place devoid of traditional football powers, that is, and, preferably, completely lacking in BCS teams,” Prince added.
The 1988 Wildcats are widely considered one of the worst college football teams ever, having gone 0-11 in the midst of a twenty game losing streak that didn’t end until the fourth game of Snyder’s first year in Manhattan after the iconic Kansas State coach replaced Stan Parrish (2-30-1 in three years). They were outscored 448 to 171, inviting comparisons to the 1981 Northwestern Wildcats (0-11), the 1985 Columbia Lions (0-10), the 1991 Prairie View Panthers (0-11), the 1997 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (0-11), the 2000 Duke Blue Devils (0-11) and the 2001 Houston Cougars (0-11) as the sorriest accumulation of college football non-talent of all time.
“We were in talks with both ’91 Prairie View and ’00 Duke but, in the end, we felt that this was the only choice anyone would be satisfied with. It has a nice, circuitous feeling to it, like coming back home again. I mean, we are literally going to be playing the worst team in the history of our traditionally awful program. Not only do we get to complete the historic circle, as it were, but we’re pretty much guaranteed a win. Frankly, I’m kind of surprised Bill didn’t do this when he was still coach,” Weiser said.
Though both teams were still unsure whether the actual 1988 Kansas State team or the older version of that squad would play, Weiser was “confident” that the decision would be announced soon.
“We’re going to explore all the avenues on that one. To the average college football fan it’d seem pretty obvious that playing the older version of the ’88 squad would be an easier win. After all, they’ve aged eighteen years since that horrible season and it’s even possible some of them have died already,” Weiser noted.
“Kansas State football is about more than that, though. We like to take our time and really figure out all the factors in trying to find out who would be the easiest out of conference opponent out there. If you’ve ever watched a nature program there’s always this point where you can tell the crocodile or lion or whatever has settled on the youngest, slowest wildebeest in sight. By 2009 those God-awful former Wildcat footballers will be that much older and we’ll have a pretty good gauge as to whether they’re cagier with age or just more arthritic. Think of this as stalking our prey,” Weiser said.
Both Weiser and Prince would not comment on rumors of a possible home and home with the French military.