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  1. #1
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    ISU football coaches

    I typed this up for some Cyclone fans in the family. It's pretty length, but thought I would share it here for the sake of discussion.

    Here's an analysis of how Rhoads’ first three seasons stack up against the other modern era ISU football coaches. For the sake of this discussion, we’ll consider Majors to be the first coach in the modern era of Cyclone football. Here’s how each of the coaches stack up, ranked from highest to lowest winning by percentage. Some of the rankings may surprise you, and keep in mind Rhoads still has one more winnable game to coach yet this season.

    Rhoads .486 (soon to be .500 )
    Duncan .424
    Walden .424
    Bruce .364
    Majors .354
    Criner .333
    Chizik .208 (2 seasons)
    McCarney .182

    You’re probably surprised to see Duncan and Walden ahead of Bruce and Majors, and rightfully so. But keep in mind that when Duncan took over, Iowa State was coming off of its most successful three-year stretch in history with three straight 8-win seasons. So it could actually be argued that Duncan underachieved given what Bruce left for him.

    Walden is perhaps more of an enigma. He wasn’t building from anything spectacular following Criner, and he did inherit a program that had been hit by NCAA sanctions. Given the fact that Walden went 3-8, 5-6, then 6-5 in his first three years, one could make the argument that he at least appeared to be rebuilding the program. I have always heard that Walden was a good coach that never got the administrative support he deserved. On top of that, a specific incident where the administration declared his kicker academically ineligible (before a big game with OU that ISU lost on missed kicks???) apparently took the wind out of his sails. I may not be recalling this correctly, but I’ve heard that Walden kind of checked out emotionally after this and things went into a tailspin.

    But the point of this analysis was to demonstrate how well Rhoads has done in his first three seasons relative to his predecessors. The numbers suggest he and his staff are something special. Rhoads could end up with a .500 winning percentage after the Pinstripe Bowl. The most recent ISU coach to have a better start than this was Clay Stapleton, who had an 18-12 record over his first three seasons (1958-60). And it’s not as if Rhoads is riding the coattails of his predecessor as Duncan was able to do to some degree. In the three season prior to Rhoads being hired, ISU went 4-8, 3-9, 2-10. Cyclone football was in a competitive tailspin, which Rhoads abruptly stopped in his first season.

    The question now is can Iowa State hang on to Rhoads. I think they need to up the pay for him and his assistants regardless. And I’m not too worried about him leaving as long as his dad is living. Beyond that, we have to hope that being close to his hometown and around a program that he is building is enough to keep him around for the long haul. Fortunately, Rhoads has an AD in Pollard who is willing to step up and support the coach with things like facilities improvements.

    Honestly, I think the biggest thing ISU needs to worry about is how long Barry Alvarez will remain the AD at Wisconsin before he retires (he turns 65 this December). I have no doubt that Wisconsin will take a strong look at Pollard when Alvarez retires, and Pollard will undoubtedly be interested in the job as he is a Wisconsin boy and the job in Madison is much more high-profile. When Pollard leaves someday, it will be critical that ISU hire another good AD if we’re going to keep coaches like Rhoads happy. Maybe Dan McCarney would come back to ISU someday to be an AD??? If he could surround himself with quality business people, I think Dan’s charisma would make him an excellent figure-head AD and a tremendous fund-raiser.


    Last edited by psychlone99; 12-06-2011 at 08:04 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: ISU football coaches

    Don't take this the wrong way, as I'm a huge Rhoads supporter, but I'd be interested to see the numbers of all the previous coaches you mentioned in years 4-6.

    I think Rhoads has brought in some great players and coaches, but I'd be interested to see what our other coaches did after the previous coaches players were gone.



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    Re: ISU football coaches

    Quote Originally Posted by psychlone99 View Post
    I typed this up for some Cyclone fans in the family. It's pretty length, but thought I would share it here for the sake of discussion.

    Here's an analysis of how Rhoads’ first three seasons stack up against some of the other highly-regarded coaches in ISU football history. For the sake of this discussion, we’ll consider Majors to be the first coach in the “modern era” of Cyclone football. Here’s how each of the coaches stack up, ranked from highest to lowest winning by percentage. Some of the rankings may surprise you, and keep in mind Rhoads still has one more winnable game to coach yet this season.

    Rhoads .486 (soon to be .500 )
    Duncan .424
    Walden .424
    Bruce .364
    Majors .354
    Criner .333
    Chizik .208 (2 seasons)
    McCarney .182

    You’re probably surprised to see Duncan and Walden ahead of Bruce and Majors, and rightfully so. But keep in mind that when Duncan took over, Iowa State was coming off of its most successful three-year stretch in history with three straight 8-win seasons. So it could actually be argued that Duncan underachieved given what Majors left for him.

    Walden is perhaps more of an enigma. He wasn’t building from anything spectacular following Criner, and he did inherit a program that had been hit by NCAA sanctions. Given the fact that Walden went 3-8, 5-6, then 6-5 in his first three years, one could make the argument that he at least appeared to be rebuilding the program. I have always heard that Walden was a good coach that never got the administrative support he deserved. On top of that, a specific incident where the administration declared his kicker academically ineligible (before a big game with OU that ISU lost on missed kicks???) apparently took the wind out of his sails. I may not be recalling this correctly, but I’ve heard that Walden kind of checked out emotionally after this and things went into a tailspin.

    But the point of this analysis was to demonstrate how well Rhoads has done in his first three seasons relative to his predecessors. The numbers suggest he and his staff are something special. Rhoads could end up with a .500 winning percentage after the Pinstripe Bowl. The most recent ISU coach to have a better start than this was Clay Stapleton, who had an 18-12 record over his first three seasons (1958-60). And it’s not as if Rhoads is riding the coattails of his predecessor as Duncan was able to do to some degree. In the three season prior to Rhoads being hired, ISU went 4-8, 3-9, 2-10. Cyclone football was in a competitive tailspin, which Rhoads abruptly stopped in his first season.

    The question now is can Iowa State hang on to Rhoads. I think they need to up the pay for him and his assistants regardless. And I’m not too worried about him leaving as long as his dad is living. Beyond that, we have to hope that being close to his hometown and around a program that he is building is enough to keep him around for the long haul. Fortunately, Rhoads has an AD in Pollard who is willing to step up and support the coach with things like facilities improvements.

    Honestly, I think the biggest thing ISU needs to worry about is how long Barry Alvarez will remain the AD at Wisconsin before he retires (he turns 65 this December). I have no doubt that Wisconsin will take a strong look at Pollard when Alvarez retires, and Pollard will undoubtedly be interested in the job as he is a Wisconsin boy and the job in Madison is much more high-profile. When Pollard leaves someday, it will be critical that ISU hire another good AD if we’re going to keep coaches like Rhoads happy. Maybe Dan McCarney would come back to ISU someday to be an AD??? If he could surround himself with quality business people, I think Dan’s charisma would make him an excellent figure-head AD and a tremendous fund-raiser.
    Thank you for the info. A problem I see is that --NEXT year's chart (an accumulation of wins/losses) will be nearly the same. 50/50 is the best that can be expected. In other words CPR's record will have peaked, AND most likely will head down. If CPR is all about money and glory, it will be time to leverage his game and move on down the road.



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    Re: ISU football coaches

    I'm not sure I'd call Walden and Criner "highly regarded". Maybe the OP ment "mildly ********".



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    Re: ISU football coaches

    Quote Originally Posted by SCarolinaCy View Post
    Thank you for the info. A problem I see is that --NEXT year's chart (an accumulation of wins/losses) will be nearly the same. 50/50 is the best that can be expected. In other words CPR's record will have peaked, AND most likely will head down. If CPR is all about money and glory, it will be time to leverage his game and move on down the road.
    Or we may surprise the league.


    Let my Fred's Posse Ride: Georges, Naz, Hogue, Bryce, Nader, Monte, Matt, and McKay.

  6. #6
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    Re: ISU football coaches

    Quote Originally Posted by intrepid27 View Post
    I'm not sure I'd call Walden and Criner "highly regarded". Maybe the OP ment "mildly ********".
    HA! I should clarify. When a family member asked me to throw this together, he was interested in seeing how Rhoads compared to Majors and Bruce. I decided just to throw all of the "modern era" coaches into the analysis. Clearly, there is a wide range of coaching quality on that list.



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    Re: ISU football coaches

    duncan followed bruce, not majors



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    Re: ISU football coaches

    Quote Originally Posted by cycoticfan View Post
    duncan followed bruce, not majors
    Was just going to post this.



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    Re: ISU football coaches

    I am always one to knock Dan McCarney down with a shot or two (as far as his over all record goes), but honestly, it's hard to say that any coach came in with less to work with than he did. For Dan, it would almost be more fair to throw otu his first 3 years and use 4, 5 and 6 as his first 3. As bad as everyone thinks it was when Dan left, Chiz had a lot more to work with than Dan.



  10. #10
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    Re: ISU football coaches

    Quote Originally Posted by cycoticfan View Post
    duncan followed bruce, not majors
    Good catch.



  11. #11
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    Re: ISU football coaches

    Quote Originally Posted by SCarolinaCy View Post
    Thank you for the info. A problem I see is that --NEXT year's chart (an accumulation of wins/losses) will be nearly the same. 50/50 is the best that can be expected. In other words CPR's record will have peaked, AND most likely will head down. If CPR is all about money and glory, it will be time to leverage his game and move on down the road.
    I sure hope not. If you look at what has happened with most coaches in 'recent' ISU history (and I'll be the first to admit that other than looking at the numbers, I don't know anything about the cyclones before DMac), they haven't even been here long enough to fully develop players that they recruit. When they have been here for long enough, it seems like they either plateaued or got worse once the program was made up mostly of players they had brought in.

    Bruce had a few good seasons, but once he left, we were on a string of coaches who left before they could push the team to the next level. Walden had a couple of decent seasons in 88 and 89, but couldn't keep developing players to the next level. My guess is that he had a hell of a time trying to recruit good players when competing with Fry at Iowa. And you guys said something about sanctions? What happened?



    DMac took ISU from being perpetual losers to actual competitors when he beat Iowa. He had some great teams in the early 2000's, but I think he was too used to Fry football, having played and coached at Iowa. For him, beating Iowa was the goal, and it shows. Don't even get me started on the 2005 season that started out with that perfect 23-3 game at Jack Trice, but seemed to be lost in the last quarter or overtime in later games due to what almost seemed like a lack of will to win. He was a great coach, and probably would have continued to get ISU to a bowl game every couple years, but there just wasn't enough drive to get to the next step.


    Chizik. What he did was more tearing down what was already there than it was building the program up. I think that between his time here and at Auburn, we are seeing that he doesn't have coaching ability unless he has that star player playing for him. My prediction is that he will continue to have a decent amount of success , but will never again come close to doing as well as he did when he had Newton playing for him, instead he will ride on the coattails of his NC game for the rest of his career.

    Rhoads though, is different than anything I have ever seen at ISU. He most definitely has the will to win, the only question is whether or not a team coached by him is capable of the discipline (in terms of not getting things like false start penalties) that it takes to get to the next level. Every single year he has been head coach, ISU has had a signature win. Many of his young players seem to be stepping up to the plate, and it will be exciting to see how they develop in the next couple of years. Recruiting seems to be getting better as well. I think if he can continue to pull in talented players and give them his vision of winning and taking all comers, the sky is the limit. It is all a matter of never plateauing and continuing to build now.

    The way ISU is looked at in the state(/conference/nation) seems to be changing.
    The old saying of "We are Iowa State" isn't an excuse anymore. Paul Rhoads is a big part of it, and I think if he continues to be himself and can keep building on what he has done, we may even start to see TavernClones in the state.


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  12. #12
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    Re: ISU football coaches

    Great information. Thanks.

    Gotta love what Rhoads has done and is doing.



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    Re: ISU football coaches

    Quote Originally Posted by SCarolinaCy View Post
    Thank you for the info. A problem I see is that --NEXT year's chart (an accumulation of wins/losses) will be nearly the same. 50/50 is the best that can be expected. In other words CPR's record will have peaked, AND most likely will head down. If CPR is all about money and glory, it will be time to leverage his game and move on down the road.
    What would possibly make you think the CPR has peaked? Did you think we would beat a top 5 team this year? No. Did you think we would go to a bowl game? No. What will CPR do next year that you didn't think we would do? We'll have to see, but I don't think you can conclude that CPR has peaked. I don't know how far this guy can take us, but I can't wait to find out. I can totally imagine CPR being our Bill Snyder, taking us to a level of national prominance. Not saying it WILL happen, but CPR at least has me imagining it for the first time in my life as an ISU fan.


    Last edited by MIClone; 12-06-2011 at 10:04 PM.

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    Re: ISU football coaches

    Quote Originally Posted by MIClone View Post
    What would possibly make you think the CPR has peaked? Did you think we would beat a top 5 team this year? No. Did you think we would go to a bowl game? No. What will CPR do next year that you didn't think we would do? We'll have to see, but I don't think you can conclude that CPR has peaked. I don't know how far this guy can take us, but I can't wait to find out. I can totally imagine CPR being our Bill Snyder, taking us to a level of national prominance. Not saying it WILL happen, but CPR at least has me imagining it for the first time in my life as an ISU fan.
    National Championship



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    Re:ISU football coaches

    The kicker you reference, Jeff Shudak, was suspended- not declared academically ineligible. He mouthed off to a coach. Walden was an offensive genius-but you are correct he didn't have administration's support



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