football-fbs flag

Cliff Brunt | The Associated Press | October 19, 2017

Kansas State vs. Oklahoma pits oldest, youngest FBS coaches

  Bill Snyder, 78. and Lincoln Riley, 34, meet as opposing head coaches for the first time Saturday.

NORMAN, Okla. — Bill Snyder coached his first game as Kansas State's head coach in 1989.

At the time, Lincoln Riley had just turned six.

Now, they will match wits. Kansas State's Snyder is, at 78, the oldest coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Riley, Oklahoma's 34-year-old prodigy, is the youngest. Their teams will face off Saturday when the ninth-ranked Sooners travel to Manhattan to face the Wildcats.

Snyder has been a head coach for 26 years and has a career record of 205-108-1. In the months following Riley's sudden offseason promotion to head coach, he has gained even more respect for Snyder's body of work.

WATCH: Relive Syracuse's upset over Clemson in 360 degrees 

"I'm not going to be doing it at 78, I can tell you that much," Riley said. "It's amazing. It's just — I can't even comprehend it, honestly. Honestly, even now being in this role, I probably appreciate it even more with what he's done and how he's — as everybody said, it's one of the greatest coaching jobs in history, any sport, anywhere."

Riley said he likes the way Snyder has been able to plug people into his system and remain successful. Snyder has relied heavily on junior college players over the years.

"His longevity, the consistency, the way those guys have played for so long — and then, he does it with new players year-in and year-out," Riley said. "It's remarkable."

MORE: Penn State, Georgia rise in latest poll | Full Top 25

Snyder said he hasn't followed Riley for long, but he likes what he has seen so far. Snyder said he can see Riley's work in quarterback Baker Mayfield's progress. Riley was Oklahoma's offensive coordinator in 2015 and 2016, and Mayfield finished fourth and third in the Heisman balloting those years. Mayfield set the NCAA record for passing efficiency last season.

"I know that in his tenure at Oklahoma that he's brought a very productive offense to the table," Snyder said of Riley. "I think he's matured his quarterback a great deal and has really been pretty beneficial in his development, which has been tremendous."

Snyder continues to make an impression on the younger generation with the letters he sometimes sends opposing players after games. Mayfield has received three of them over the years and values them greatly.

"It can't get much better than him," Mayfield said. "People around college football have so much respect for him. Obviously, they do at Kansas State. He's been there for a while and it's a special thing to have respect from a guy like that because he's very well-known and he's established."

RELATED: Oklahoma's Mark Andrews is a matchup nightmare

Kansas State has had a bit of an up-and-down start. Even though the Wildcats are 3-3 and coming off a 26-6 loss to TCU, Mayfield considers the Wildcats to be a dangerous foe.

"It's always fun playing against his teams because they're always fundamental and they're well-coached and you've got to play well to beat them," he said. "If you make mistakes, they're going to capitalize."

This article was written by Cliff Brunt from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

5 predictions for the 2019-20 Big 12 men's basketball season

Andy Katz reveals his five predictions for the 2019-20 Big 12 men's basketball season, including Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and five non-conference games to watch.

College football takeaways: Top results from Week 1 and what they mean for the playoff race

The opening weekend of 2019 was filled with show-stopping moments, late-game drama and even a triple-overtime thriller. Here are some of the top highlights from Week 1.

Oklahoma vs. Houston: All-time series history, scores, notable games

Oklahoma and Houston will play each other in college football for the fourth time in FBS history to start off the 2019 season. Here's what you need to know about their prior matchups.

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from and our partners