Bill Snyder is the resident master of manners in college football. Remember: Should you lose to Kansas State, you risk receiving a handwritten note in purple ink, written on the desk of the eldest of statesmen himself. The note will talk about how well you played, how privileged he and you and everyone else is to play this great game, and how he wishes you luck in all your future endeavors. It will be sincere, and signed by Bill Snyder in his looping, left-handed script written on the diagonal.
It’s the most grandaddy-swag move in the college football coaching game because it is both sincere, and also because Kansas State probably just beat you in a 27-24 game where they held the ball for forty-five minutes, and held you to 25% of your game plan.
And it has been the usual rocky start for a Texas head coach for Tom Herman, but let us point out two things.
First of all, Texas beat Kansas State 40-34, and their freshman QB Sam Ehlinger had an unreal stat line: 380 yards passing, two TDs, and 107 yards on the ground. Ehlinger also forearm shivered poor Kansas State DB Denzel Goolsby into November.
The second thing: Texas beat Kansas State, and then gave Bill Snyder a birthday card signed by the entire football team.
Take note of that, if you’re looking for signs Tom Herman understands not only his job, but the conference he’s working in as head coach at Texas. Not only did Texas outplay Kansas State on the field—which has been an issue, since K-State was 6-2 in their last eight meetings prior to Saturday—but the Wildcats got out-etiquetted.
That’s team-specific gameplanning on a whole other level. If Tom Herman wears a parka on the sidelines in mild weather against TCU to attempt to out-sweat Gary Patterson, you know he’s taken the next step in psychological warfare against opposing coaches.*
*He will lose this fight because no one in the world is sweatier than Gary Patterson, but it’s the attempt that counts.