New Kansas State coach Chris Klieman, 3-0, proving ‘football is football,’ no matter the level

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SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Paul Myerberg provides his opinion of the top three programs in the history of college football.
USA TODAYMANHATTAN, Kan. – Just inside the entrance to the head coach’s office, a rectangular acrylic block sits on a table. Suspended inside: five national championship rings. If you miss those, two more sets are displayed — one with six rings, the other with seven. Chris Klieman says — and he has said this many times in the last few months — “football is football.” He long ago wearied of the recurring questions, since he was hired last December as Kansas State’s coach, about the adjustment to the FBS level. Or whether his success at North Dakota State is, well, never mind replicable — if it’s even applicable.“I am tired of it, to be honest with you,” he says, because if football is football no matter the level, then the biggest difference so far between Fargo, North Dakota, and Manhattan, Kansas, has been that he’s learning the ins and outs of Kansas State.Three games in, there’s no discernible difference in results. His catchphrase, “Win the dang day,” has translated so seamlessly that a better question might be how Kansas State found a coach whose first team resembles what we grew used to seeing in Bill Snyder’s better seasons.No one, including Klieman, is predicting national titles at Kansas State – he won four FCS national championships in five seasons as North Dakota State’s head coach, and three more as an assistant before that – but the Wildcats are 3-0 (extending Klieman’s personal winning streak to 24). In a 31-2

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