QUESTION: Looking at Michigan, their entire starting lineup, there's a lot of seniors. How are you preparing for that?
COACH SNYDER: Well, you don't change your preparation in regards to how you organize it. What you work against is relying upon the opponent that you're going to play.
Michigan, it's not just the fact that they have a number of seniors in their program, it's the fact that they have a number of extremely talented, fine players. You have to practice as well as you possibly can.
We have to practice good on good, meaning the best we have against the best we have as frequently as we can in order to somewhat replicate to a smaller degree, but to some degree, what Michigan presents. But you work against what your assumption is that you'll see on game day.
QUESTION: Are there any teams in the Big 12 that look like Michigan to you?
COACH SNYDER: Well, there's not one team in particular that has the identical schematic history as Michigan does. There are teams throughout the conference that have a certain segment of what Michigan would present offensively. Defensively, there are a number of teams that have some of the same schemes that Michigan would present. Special teams, same thing is true.
It's a smattering throughout the conference that we play in, if that makes any sense to you.
QUESTION: I want to talk to you about your first bowl here with K State. You're back several years later. Talk about being back.
COACH SNYDER: This is our sixth venture here. I say 'here.' We played one in Tucson. It was the Copper Bowl, but it was the same organization as the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. We've always enjoyed the experience.
The people here have been so very, very gracious. They have always been more than accommodating. Probably the most significant thing is the fact that they're very genuine about how they care. They care about the young people in our program. They go out of their way to be helpful. I think you find that to be true at every bowl, whatever number we've been to, a substantial number. But just the idea that they're all so genuine about it and caring about it means an awful lot to me, I know. I'm quite certain it does to the rest of the people in our program.
QUESTION: Brady Hoke just told us that he doesn't expect Devin Gardner to play at all. Does that change anything looking at Michigan, knowing they will be going with Shane Morris?
COACH SNYDER: I'm sure there will be some things that will be perhaps a little bit different. Those are things that Brady knows and I don't know. We can only speculate. The biggest difference is the fact that you're going from a right-handed quarterback to a left-handed quarterback. Our preparation has had to be divided in that respect. Some things you do a little more to the left than you would to the right with a left-handed quarterback. You have to prepare for it both ways. Right now, I think their offense is their offense. I'm sure they have certain things they would feel better about with the Morris youngster or better about with the Gardner youngster. But those are things they know, and we really wouldn't know those things. Where they put the emphasis on their offense, I couldn't tell you that. We couldn't speculate that. Well, we can speculate, but I don't want to get ourselves in trouble that way. We have to plan to play against their offense with the idea that at some point in time during the course of the ballgame, as all teams do, you probably define yourself a little bit. It just takes a little time to figure out what that definition is.
QUESTION: What is it like trading in a white Christmas in Kansas to a cactus Christmas?
COACH SNYDER: We're honored to be here, as always. Our families are acclimated to that. We've been to a lot of bowl environments that took place over Christmas itself. We had a nice Christmas dinner last night for all of our travel party, our administration, just everybody in our travel party. Everybody deals with it a little differently. We on a personal basis tried to have a little bit of our Christmas the night before we left, and we had a little bit here, and we'll have a little bit when we get back. It's divided up. But, like I said, we're acclimated to it. My children, our three oldest, have been to I think 24 bowl trips. They’re hotel rugrats. They know how to move around and take care of themselves, manage to do it seemingly all right anyway. I haven't heard any problems yet.
QUESTION: Was Santa able to find you down here or is that all waiting back home for you?
COACH SNYDER: We personally have eight grandchildren. Three of them are really into that. Santa kind of every night slips down the chimney. We make a little gift for them during that period of time. As a coach, you get invested in what you're doing. So it's a normal week of preparation other than travel time, which makes it a little more difficult.
QUESTION: Your program has a very strong tradition of walk-ons. Why is this important in your program? Who have you seen blossom out of the walk-ons this season?
COACH SNYDER: Well, we have a large number of young guys. Probably in our starting group, I don't pay close attention to that because I don't like to make a distinction between who is a walk-on youngster and who is not. To me they're all young people that are part of our program in a very significant way. There are countless number of young guys. Jordy Nelson is just one of countless number of guys that have had longevity and success in the NFL that walked on in our program. One thing they possess in common is they have a value system that is in place that allows them to achieve at the highest capacity that they're capable of. The intrinsic values that are part of our program, what they call the 16 wildcat goals for success, it's what you teach your children, will teach your children.
QUESTION: You've coached three Lockett receivers now. How does Tyler compare to his father and uncle? What did you know about him when he first came to K State?
COACH SNYDER: He kind of grew up in our program to a certain degree because of his family being involved. I just knew he was a Lockett and came from good stock, a tremendous family. The other two that preceded him, his father and his uncle, they all possess the same thing. What was most significant to me, what I was sharing a moment ago, a tremendous value system. Certainly hard workers, but always do the right things on and off the field, all aspects of their lives. They have a tremendous sense of accountability and responsibility. Young guys that worked extremely hard. Tyler just asked me yesterday if he could stay out after practice, even though the bus was leaving, if we could take some footballs back to the hotel that he could work with, et cetera. But that's the way he is. He is like that. My office overlooks the stadium. After practice every night, he's always out there catching extra balls off of the JUGS Machine, doing some extra things to try to help himself improve. They were all like that, all three of them. As you look at his father and his uncle, if you were to identify what's taking place in their lives now, you would see that both of them are extremely successful and they still possess those same values that were housed in our program when they were here.