K-State's Snyder still favors Big 12 title game

K-State's Snyder still favors Big 12 title game

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) Kansas State coach Bill Snyder still believes the Big 12 should ultimately expand to at least 12 teams, creating two divisions and a conference championship game.

Snyder said Tuesday that ``there are a number of programs in our conference who have and would profit from that type of system,'' pointing out that teams with multiple losses would generate more interest late in the season by still having a chance to play for a championship.

``You walk out here and you walk through the lobby and you see a trophy case here, and if we didn't have divisions that would probably be a single trophy case,'' Snyder said. ``We had a chance to play for division championships, and then conference championships, and that was positive.''

The 73-year-old Snyder has seen the Big 12 go through a dramatic series of changes since he took over the once-downtrodden Kansas State program in the late 1980s. When the old Southwest Conference disintegrated, the Big Eight expanded by four teams to become the Big 12, and played a conference title game every year from 1996-2010.

The game has cut both ways for the Wildcats: They were in position to play for a national championship in 1998 before losing to Texas A&M in double-overtime, but managed to win the Big 12 title and earn a Fiesta Bowl berth in 2003 by upsetting then-No. 1 Oklahoma.

The league has undergone even more change the past couple of years, with longtime member Colorado leaving for the Pac-12 and Nebraska heading to the Big Ten, and with Missouri and Texas A&M joining the Southeastern Conference beginning this season.

The league picked up West Virginia and TCU to remain at 10 teams, and locked up broadcast rights to stabilize a league not long ago on the brink of extinction.

The conference realignment merry-go-round has been spinning again in recent weeks. Maryland is leaving the ACC and Rutgers the Big East to establish a 14-team Big Ten, while Tulane announced Tuesday it would join the Big East, with East Carolina joining as a football-only member.

That's left the Big 12 in a precarious position: Stand pat with 10 teams or expand to 12 or more, thereby re-establishing its lucrative conference championship game.

``You look at the North Division,'' Snyder said, referring to the old six-team division of the Big 12. ``I would suggest there are probably four schools that profited by that system. It gave teams opportunities. When I first came back, we were 6-6, not a very good team, but the last game of the season we were playing for a division championship. That has some meaning.''

Provides some drama, too.

Rather than playing a single winner-take-all game on Saturday, two games will be played with title implications: TCU plays No. 12 Oklahoma early in the day before the Wildcats finish up the regular season against No. 23 Texas at night.

TCU can essentially make Kansas State's game irrelevant by beating the Sooners, because the Wildcats would be assured of at least a share of the title and, through tiebreakers, the league's automatic BCS bowl berth. And if the Sooners and Wildcats both win, they'll share the trophy.

``I don't know that K-State's game is irrelevant. That's a bit strong,'' Kansas State athletic director John Currie told The Associated Press. ``I mean, it matters from a national ranking standpoint, from an individual award standpoint. It's certainly going to matter to the 50,000 people out here, and the University of Texas, where their season is and where it can go.

``I don't disagree that you can make an argument against that, but the bottom line is we have four teams playing Saturday, in two different games, that determines the conference race.''

Currie said the Big 12's athletic directors regularly discuss the merits of expanding to 12 or more teams, but at the moment, league officials appear content to remain at 10.

``Certainly coach Snyder has been up front with his perspective, and I don't disagree with his perspective, and we talk about those types of opportunities,'' he said. ``Right now, I believe we continue to discuss the landscape of the league and see where it goes.''

Currie said there are undeniable benefits to having fewer teams: more opportunities to play on television, fewer ways to split revenue, and a deeper conference from top to bottom.

The Big 12 already has nine schools that are bowl eligible.

``It's a tough deal, but our fans, what have they seen? Everybody in the Big 12 can beat everybody, and that's not the case in other conferences, where there are games that are just completely non-competitive,'' Curry said. ``There's no weak sister in the Big 12. Everybody is really good. And who wins at the end for that? Our fans and our television partners.''

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 21, five days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington

Should the Redskins pursue Dez Bryant? This topic was one like a meteor, very hot for a short period of time before it quickly faded out. It started to heat up as soon as the Cowboys cut Dez (about a month too late) and when it was reported that he wanted to play against Dallas twice a year it really picked up steam. But then people started to actually think and figured out that signing Bryant didn’t make much sense for the Redskins. Add to that the reports that the Redskins had no interest and would not look into signing Dez in the future and the Redskins fans quickly lost enthusiasm for the topic.

Seven-round Redskins mock draft—I think that most Redskins fans would be happy with this mock. Well, I’ll say some Redskins fans, most is a pretty strong word in this case. 

Is the draft pool deep enough for the Redskins to trade back? There is plenty of talk about the Redskins trading down in the first round to recoup the third-round pick they gave up in the Alex Smith trade. But they need to be careful. Many consider the draft to be top heavy and they may lose their chance to pick up an impact player if they trade back too far. The question then becomes one of quality vs. quantity. 

Three questions as offseason workouts get underway—There will be plenty more questions that we can ask about this team. But we don’t really know what to ask before the draft, particularly when it comes to the defensive line and running back. One the personnel settle into place we will know what we don’t know. 

Tweet of the week

On Chris Cooley’s thought that the Redskins might try to trade back and get Da’Ron Payne in the draft and the use the assets obtained to move up to get Derrius Guice. 

This is related to the questions about trading back. On paper it looks like a good idea, assuming the Redskins want Payne. We’re pretty sure they would like to have Guice but we haven’t heard as much about the Alabama defensive lineman. 

I had many reply that Guice won’t be there in the second round. It’s possible, perhaps even likely, but you just don’t know. There was zero chance that Jonathan Allen would be there at No. 17 last year, right? 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS.


Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 31
—Training camp starts (7/26) 96
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 141

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Game 5 Capitals vs. Blue Jackets Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

Game 5 Capitals vs. Blue Jackets Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

Alex Ovechkin said the Caps would return to Washington with a tied series. The Caps captain is a man of his word as the Caps won both Game 3 and Game 4 to even up the series at two games apiece.

John Tortorella had no answers after seeing his Columbus Blue Jackets fall in Game 4, but he will have to figure things out quickly as the series shifts back to Washington for a pivotal Game 5.

The Caps return home with two straight wins and all the momentum. There's just one problem: No one seemingly can win at home.

What: Washington Capitals vs. Columbus Blue Jackets, Round 1, Game 5

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 3:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 5 will be broadcast on NBC.

Live Stream: You can watch Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 5 on NBC Sports' live stream page.


The Capitals take on the Blue Jackets in Game 5 on Saturday, April 21 at 3:00 p.m. ET in Washington. The series is tied 2-2.


Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 5 will be broadcast on NBC. Coverage kicks off on NBC Sports Washington with Capitals FaceOff at 2:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 2:30 p.m. Tune back to NBC Sports Washington after the game for Caps Extra and Caps Overtime at 6:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

2:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
2:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
3:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Blue Jackets on NBC
5:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
6:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime


Capitals-Blue Jackets Game 5 is available to stream live here through the NBC Sports live stream page.


Here are the Caps' projected lines:

Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Tom Wilson
Chandler Stephenson - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly- Lars Eller - Devante Smith-Pelly
Jakub Vrana -  Jay Beagle - Alex Chiasson

Michal Kempny - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Christian Djoos

Braden Holtby with Philipp Grubauer as backup.

Scratches: Travis Boyd, Andre Burakovsky (upper-body), Shane Gerisch, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek


Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.