Big 12 Sports Articles

The Pain of being an Iowa State fan and why Paul Rhoads must go

I don’t think I’ve ever been so upset and sad as I was after the devastating 35-31 loss to then No. 8 Oklahoma State. Throughout the majority of the game, the Cyclones were in complete control and about to hand the Cowboys their first loss of the season, a loss that would have absolutely devastated their chances of making the College Football Playoff. It wasn’t until 3:06 left in the game when Oklahoma State took their first lead of the game and as soon as that happened, Jack Trice Stadium fell silent.

As a fan, I tried to keep the hope that Joel Lanning and the rest of the Cyclone offense would have one last magical drive that would end with a touchdown and the fans rushing the field. Sadly, all I (and all of Cyclone nation) was left with was a pit in my stomach because it would have been an extraordinary moment to upset the Cowboys, especially inside Jack Trice.

In the first half, everything seemed to be clicking. Joel Lanning was having his way with the Cowboy defense and it actually seemed possible that the Cyclones were going to win this game. They scored on three of their first four drives and I had already lost my voice from cheering so much. They entered halftime up 10 points and had the Cowboys on the ropes.

The second half was a completely different story though, as it has been for much of the season for the Cyclones. Stalled drives and inconsistency allowed Oklahoma State to creep back into the game and ultimately avoid a disastrous upset.

One moment in this game particularly stood out to me and left a bad taste in my mouth. On the Cyclones second to last possession, they had 3rd and 1 at around mid-field and instead of trying to pound the ball on the ground with arguably their best player, Mike Warren, they chose to throw the ball, which ended in an incompletion. Then, on 4th and 1, they decide to run the ball and got absolutely stuffed, resulting in a turnover on downs. I’m sorry… but why not try and take your chances running the ball twice? If they hadn’t gotten the first down on either third or fourth down running the ball, I could have lived with that; but I can’t live with them constantly trying to be too fancy.

With the loss, the Cyclones will yet again be unable to reach a bowl, something they haven’t done since the 2012 season. Now, while it doesn’t surprise me that they Cyclones lost this game, it still kills me to watch them be so close and then fall short.

At this point, if Paul Rhoads doesn’t get fired, I don’t think he ever will. Iowa State needs to completely cleanse its entire coaching staff and start fresh next fall. Rhoads and the rest of the coaching staff clearly can’t get the job done and that’s been evident for the majority of the games this season. The big problem I think that is going to arise if Rhoads does get fired is: Who is going to want to coach at Iowa State? I know there will be interest, but lets be honest, this would not one of the more appealing head coach jobs in the NCAA.

Whether it’s getting blown out by 50, or losing on a last minute field goal, being an Iowa State football fan is not an easy task.

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