Maybe I missed the memo, or maybe we are just a bunch of ignorant Hawkeye fans, but when did Iowa State become a team that determines the end of all hope for a football season?
Now, I'm writing this as a senior in high school that loves everything Hawkeye, but plans on attending Iowa State. This is my first time bringing this up on BHGP, but yes, I really loved everything about Iowa State and it would be a shame to pass it up (plus their journalism school isn't on probation - I'm looking at you, Iowa). But this doesn't change my Hawkeye view on things. My first real memory of college football was when Iowa crushed Ohio State in 2004. Next thing I knew, I was crying tears of joy as a 5th grader when Drew Tate lobbed a TD pass to beat LSU in the Capital One Bowl. So trust me, I'm not an undercover Cyclone fan bitching about how our fans have reacted.
No, this is real. And I realize many of the posts on here have been alcoholically-aided and heat-of-the-momently posted, but we need to open our eyes here: Iowa State is a good program. Now, I know some of you may have puked in your mouth a little reading that last statement, but take a few seconds to think about it. This program isn't run by Gene Chizik anymore.
Paul Rhoads is one classy guy (kinda). I am hoping to become a sports journalist and visited Iowa State. A few days later, I got a hand written letter from Paul Rhoads saying he hoped to see me on the sidelines reporting for the Cyclones. As much as I wanted to reply back and say, "I'll be spending my Saturdays at Kinnick," I realized that this coach really wasn't a Gene Chizik. This coach actually has the ability to write something worthwhile (unlike....).
Okay, but it's still Iowa State. They have never been good, right? Well, according to Phil Steele, one of the most respected sports statisticians and predictors in the nation, has put Iowa State in the top-5 toughest schedules EVERY YEAR Paul Rhoads has been coach. The results? Well, so far he has a 14-13 record. That is the best 27-game start for a coach in Iowa State history. He led the team to it's first bowl and bowl victory since 2004. He beat Texas for the first time in school history. He beat #9 Nebraska. Then he almost did it again a year later on a 2-point conversion in overtime. He has beaten 6 different Big XII teams. In the 2 years Gene Chizik coached, he won a total of 5 games.
And all but 2 of those wins have come without Steele Jantz. I'm going to do a little quoting here and see who I can make mad.
Steele Jantz outplayed James Vandenberg: Raise your hand if you thought that would happen. Outside of the mouthbreathers at Cyclone Fanatic, I don't think anyone thought that was even a possibility.
Ross, I'm raising my hand high in the air. I did in fact write back to Paul Rhoads. I ended my message with, "Tell Jantz and Horne good luck this season. They are going to surprise a lot of people this year." And, holy Jesus, I called it. How in the world can you base your assumptions of Jantz on ONE game, let alone the opener?! This is a guy who threw for 3,000+ yards passing, 27 TDs, and then 700+ yards rushing at juco level. That's an impressive stat for a guy coming out of high school. Most colleges will offer a scholarship to a QB like that. But this is at the next level. This is at a recruited level where you have to have some talent to even be on the team. And you expected him to go D-1 and just flop? Did you not see what he did in the last half of that game against UNI? He was excellent. It was almost Ricky Stanzi-like, except he has legs.
Oh, and we say Iowa State sucks for cutting it close at UNI. Wasn't it only 2 years ago when THE IOWA HAWKEYES beat THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN IOWA by ONE POINT late in the game in the home opener?? Hmm.. starting to sound familiar? Ohhh, and then, they beat in-state rival Iowa State the very next game to go 2-0.
So, are we looking at a potential 9-0 Cyclone team this year?
No, but the parallels are kinda creepy. Iowa State plays Connecticut next week. These were the 8-4 Big East champs of last year. They just lost to the SEC-worst Vanderbilt Commodores. They are beatable, and I think Iowa State WILL beat them. Then they have ranked Texas @ Jack Trice. If they get a win there, ISU may be 4-0 and in the Top 25.
This is mainly just for Iowa fans to think about these Cyclones a little bit. We have always seen them as our little brother, but maybe something is shifting. Did you know Iowa State is 1,000 students away from passing Iowa in enrollment? Paul Rhoads may have something to do with that. I understand the rivalry, but have a little respect for a fellow Iowa team. We are all Iowans together, and we should be happy for having a competitive team in-state.