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  1. #1
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    so, greatest coach in isu modern football history ...

    my favorite, clay stapleton of the dirty 30/peach section era?
    johnny run-to-home majors?
    the earl of bruce?
    dan with heart mccarney?
    or, he's here now paul?




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    Re: so, greatest coach in isu modern football history ...

    Right now it's Earle Bruce, but Rhoads will have every chance to have it be him.



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    Re: so, greatest coach in isu modern football history ...

    what?



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    Re: so, greatest coach in isu modern football history ...

    It's got to be Earl Bruce, the only coach since WWII to finish his ISU career with a winning record. Even Johnny Majors really only had one good year going 8-4. His next best season was 5-5-1 with a loss to Georgia Tech in the 1972 Liberty Bowl. Clay Stapleton had consecutive 7-3 seasons (1959 and 1960), only playing against 2 ranked teams during those years and losing to both. Dan McCarney had five 7+ win seasons from 2000 - 2002 and 2004 - 2005, against 16 ranked teams and beating 3 of them. Both McCarney and Rhoads have something over all the other coaches on this list in that they won a bowl game. I'd probably put them in this order.

    1. Earl Bruce
    2. Dan McCarney
    2A. Paul Rhoads
    4. Johnny Majors
    5. Clay Stapleton

    If Rhoads can have an 8+ win season and win another bowl game in the near future (3 years let's say), he'll surpass Dan. If he can sustain that level of success with only say one rebuilding year out of four, he'll pass Bruce. I think all the tools are finally in place for that to happen.


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    Re: so, greatest coach in isu modern football history ...

    Can Earle Bruce and Johnny Majors really even be considered "modern era" in terms of ISU football? ISU football was so bad for most of 20 years in the 1980s and 90s that Bruce and Majors really have nothing to with ISU football now, other than it's fun to talk about.


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    Re: so, greatest coach in isu modern football history ...

    I don't see why Earle Bruce is the clear favorite. I think a lot of people just assume his success would have continued if he hadn't left after 6 seasons, but who's to say? He didn't do anything that spectacular other than tie for 2nd and beat Nebraska a couple times. His record reflects a guy who showed up, had a few good years, and split when his stock was high.

    Dan McCarney, on the other hand, elevated our program and took it up a notch. For those that don't remember, Iowa State football was in a pretty dismal state in the early 90s. It's so easy to look back on Dan's record and call him "mediocre", or say that he was never able to "take it to the next level"...but if you would have told me that we'd have back-to-back-to-back winning seasons and bowl appearances within a decade when McCarney was hired, I'd have laughed in your face. If you'd have said we'd be within a couple botched field goals of back-to-back division titles, I'd call you nuts.

    And it's not just that everyone had low expectations; when you consider what McCarney did, it's not that bad at all. Except for the last few years, the Big 12 North was pretty tough (Nebraska and K-State being very good, and Colorado still being decent). We had some pretty good NFL talent under McCarney, and he deserves a lot of praise for tapping into Troy Davis, the real 1996 Heisman Winner (yeah, **** you South Region voters). If you ignore the 90s years, in which not even Nick Saban could muster 3 wins at Iowa State, McCarney's W/L is virtually identical to Earle Bruce's (and it includes a real clunker of a 2003 season). And many of those games came down to inches, literally; there were some heartbreakers.

    You can argue all you want about how he "plateaued" and couldn't take the next step, but there's no denying that McCarney did a lot for this program and busted his *** to make us something more than the Big 12's doormat, which is exactly where we'd still be without him.



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    Re: so, greatest coach in isu modern football history ...

    Coach Cooper, hands down. 3 NC in 4 years. Nobody else comes close.

















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    Re: so, greatest coach in isu modern football history ...

    Quote Originally Posted by DBQ View Post
    I don't see why Earle Bruce is the clear favorite. I think a lot of people just assume his success would have continued if he hadn't left after 6 seasons, but who's to say? He didn't do anything that spectacular other than tie for 2nd and beat Nebraska a couple times. His record reflects a guy who showed up, had a few good years, and split when his stock was high.
    .
    Earl finished 8-3 in his last three regular seasons going to a bowl the last 2 years in a much different bowl era. He also finished as high as 2nd in a strong Big 8. I think the year he didn't make a bowl he lost to Nebraska, Colorado and Oklahoma who were rating #1, #2 and #3 in the nation. Bruce is the clear winner, hope CPR can surpass him.



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    Re: so, greatest coach in isu modern football history ...

    Quote Originally Posted by ExCyment View Post
    Earl finished 8-3 in his last three regular seasons going to a bowl the last 2 years in a much different bowl era.
    And his teams looked awful in both of those bowls.



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    Re: so, greatest coach in isu modern football history ...

    Quote Originally Posted by ExCyment View Post
    Earl finished 8-3 in his last three regular seasons going to a bowl the last 2 years in a much different bowl era. He also finished as high as 2nd in a strong Big 8. I think the year he didn't make a bowl he lost to Nebraska, Colorado and Oklahoma who were rating #1, #2 and #3 in the nation. Bruce is the clear winner, hope CPR can surpass him.
    I wouldn't say that. The Big 8 in those days was a two-man show with Oklahoma, Nebraska, and everyone else. Bruce only tied for second because we eked out a close win against Nebraska. Colorado might not have been terrible, but they were most definitely not ranked 3rd in the nation back then, pre-McCartney.

    Again, is 8-3,8-4, and 8-4 (0-2 in bowls) really that much better than 9-3,7-5, and 7-5 (1-2 in bowls)?



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    Re: so, greatest coach in isu modern football history ...

    Quote Originally Posted by ExCyment View Post
    Earl finished 8-3 in his last three regular seasons going to a bowl the last 2 years in a much different bowl era. He also finished as high as 2nd in a strong Big 8. I think the year he didn't make a bowl he lost to Nebraska, Colorado and Oklahoma who were rating #1, #2 and #3 in the nation. Bruce is the clear winner, hope CPR can surpass him.
    I went looking through the ISU archives for the season when all the losses were to 1 - 3 and couldn't find it. Maybe those teams ended the season 1 - 3, but they weren't ranked there when ISU lost to them.


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    Re: so, greatest coach in isu modern football history ...

    Quote Originally Posted by ExCyment View Post
    Earl finished 8-3 in his last three regular seasons going to a bowl the last 2 years in a much different bowl era. He also finished as high as 2nd in a strong Big 8. I think the year he didn't make a bowl he lost to Nebraska, Colorado and Oklahoma who were rating #1, #2 and #3 in the nation. Bruce is the clear winner, hope CPR can surpass him.
    The year was '71, under Majors, when Nebraska was #1, Oklahoma at 2, and Colorado at 3.... it was ISU's first bowl appearance and at the end of the year in the coaches poll ISU was #17...



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    Re: so, greatest coach in isu modern football history ...

    Quote Originally Posted by DBQ View Post
    I wouldn't say that. The Big 8 in those days was a two-man show with Oklahoma, Nebraska, and everyone else. Bruce only tied for second because we eked out a close win against Nebraska. Colorado might not have been terrible, but they were most definitely not ranked 3rd in the nation back then, pre-McCartney.

    Again, is 8-3,8-4, and 8-4 (0-2 in bowls) really that much better than 9-3,7-5, and 7-5 (1-2 in bowls)?
    Yes, Colorado was a top rated program back then. There was a year where OU was 1st, Neb 2nd, and CU 3rd.



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    Re: so, greatest coach in isu modern football history ...

    Earl Bruce, then McCarney..... Rhoads has to win some conference games to get into the conversation.



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    Re: so, greatest coach in isu modern football history ...

    Quote Originally Posted by vortex View Post
    Earl Bruce, then McCarney..... Rhoads has to win some conference games to get into the conversation.
    If winning conference games is part of the conversation, you should remove McCarney then.



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