There's a smorgasbord of great football on TV today, but one of the best match-ups of the bowl season awaits on Thursday when No. 4 Oregon meets No. 5 Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).
The men leading those programs are among the most respected in the game and, at least by reputation, arrived in Glendale through very different paths.
Oregon's Chip Kelly was plucked from the small college ranks to help maintain a run of great success by turning the conventional ideas of football against themselves. Kansas State's Bill Snyder pulled has been at Kansas State has won at Kansas State for decades and won by running the football, playing defense and taking as few risks as possible.
Only, Kelly doesn't see it that way.
“We’re more similar than people give us credit for, we’ll run the football at you just like (K-State) will,” Kelly told Kansas.com. “It may look different to a football purist but our styles are similar. They’re very well-coached and athletic, just like us.”
Kelly, one of the most revered minds in all of football, has the utmost respect for his counterpart on Thursday night.
“I’ve said this before, but he’s going to go down as one of the greatest college football coaches in the history of the game," said Kelly. “Everybody in our profession knows how hard it is to win on Saturdays, so how many coaches have stadiums named after them while they’re still coaching in them? Every time we watch film they cut to the scoreboard so you can see down, distance and time on the clock and I see that ‘Bill Snyder Family Stadium’ right there and shake my head. That right there tells the impact he’s had on our sport."
High praise, indeed.