Monday, April 30, 2012

Big 12 Orientation, Week 2: Iowa State Football.

You see that?  That's the sight of Oklahoma State's 2011 season dying.

ISU At-A-Glance:
  • 492–584–47 Overall Record
  • 0 National Titles
  • 2 Conference Titles (Both Big 8)
  • 1 Division Title
  • 10 Bowl appearances, 3-7 record.
  • Play in Jack Trice Stadium, Capacity 55,000
School Mascot:  A weird tornado/bird/man thing.

History with TCU:  The Frogs and Cyclones have met three times on the football field, with TCU taking all three matchups.  The first two were in the latter half of the 20th century, with some mediocre TCU teams beating up on two even mediocre-er ISU squads.  The most recent meeting you may all remember a bit more clearly as it came in the 2005 Houston Bowl, a game TCU won 27-24, otherwise known as the time Peter Lococo was not known as Lochoko.  This was also the year that TCU potentially could've received a BCS at large bid, had the current non-BCS qualifications been in place.  Fuckin' SMU, man.  The most vivid memories I have of this game are Michael DePriest's COMICALLY wide open 84 yard TD reception to put the Frogs ahead, as well as Robert Merrill's fumble on the 1 yard line, negating a scoring drive that would've taken Lococo's 44 yard game winner out of the equation.  This was also my first vivid memory of attending a TCU football game where alcohol was readily available, an enlightening experience, indeed.  I highly doubt that TCU/ISU will turn into some sort of barn burning rivalry, but there is definitely some history there and a good reason for the Cyclones to be fired up to finally take out the Frogs.  

Recent History:  Iowa State is certainly one of the more polarizing teams in the Big 12 when you check their results.  Case in point:  This year's Iowa State team started the season 3-0 in non conference, but were then absolutely run out of the stadium by their first four Big 12 opponents in Texas, Baylor, Missouri and aggy.  In their next three games they would dismantle Texas Tech and Kansas and cap things off by taking out eventual Big 12 champ and presumed national title game participant Oklahoma State in a game they had no business winning.  From there?  Dominated by Oklahoma, beaten by KSU and failed to show up in their bowl game against Rutgers to finish 6-7.  It's unclear how this makes sense, but when you look back, this is simply the Iowa State way under much-loved Coach Paul Rhoads.   Seriously, check the 2009 season:  Destroyed by a bad Iowa team early, beat a good Nebraska team late.  Even in 2010 when they would finish 5-7, they beat a ranked UT team in Austin and played ranked Nebraska close.  Paul Rhoads is commonly hyped by the talking heads as the next big thing in the NCAA, but he's overall a below .500 coach with two of his three seasons ending with more losses than wins.  For his efforts?  a 10 year, $20 million deal.  Hmmm...

2012 Outlook:  Iowa State may have locked up Paul Rhoads prematurely, because with all the depth he has returning I can't imagine he would've left these Cyclones had a job offer rolled in.  He returns both of his QBs from last season, including the awesomely named Steele Jantzen, his leading rusher including Dallas' own Jared Barnett, and several of his top receivers.  Of course, the caveat here is that this same crew only managed to score 22 points per game last season, but with another year under their belts, you'd have to think the prospects are looking good.  Even still, the Cyclones aren't going to be picked by anyone to win their first Big 12 title since the league was formed.  The defense just isn't there - barely cracked the top 100 last year - and the Conference is just too good.   ISU did luck out with a 7-5 home/road split of games this season, but those home games include Oklahoma, Kansas State and West Virginia, three teams they aren't beating anywhere. 6-6 looks like a generous ceiling for this team.

Miscellania:  Iowa State's rivalry with Kansas State has perhaps my favorite of all rivalry names in Farmageddon.  That's really the only interesting thing about Iowa State Football.


LOLfolding said...

$20MM per year seems kind of stiff...

hornedtoad said...

please tell me this is the end of the Iowa State segment....

Lyle Lanley said...

Does Iowa State offend you?

Sir Wesley Willis said...

It is not the end of the Iowa State segment.