How did ISU lose the 2000 era momentum?
ISU-Brew, a member on many ISU related sites including CycloneFanatic, has written what I believe to be a very good critique of the past few years in Cyclone world...
How did ISU lose the 2000 era momentum?
A little backstory:
I attended and graduated from Cedar Rapids Washington High School in 2002. An idol of mine who graduated in 1998 attended Iowa State, and I always kind of thought I would too, even though I knew nothing about Iowa State.
Going into my senior year of high school, I couldn't pick out Ames on a map of the state of Iowa. I had never been to Ames. I knew the team name was the Cyclones, I knew Seneca Wallace, and that's about it. I couldn't even tell you what Iowa State was really known for as a college other than George Washington Carver and Vet Med.
I was a Hawkeye fan, but that's because pretty much everyone was in Cedar Rapids. I never went to Kinnick or Carver, and I never really made a special point of catching them on TV (other than the BCS game), but I had a general idea of what the Hawks were doing.
There wasn't a huge distaste for Iowa State around us, people just generally followed Iowa more. I remember watching ISU's games in the NCAA Tournament and cheering for them.
During my senior year, I toured Iowa State and Nebraska as they were the only two colleges I was serious about attending. Despite having a $1000 scholarship waiting for me at Iowa, I didn't want to go there. Everyone from my high school went there, and it was just too close to home. I loved Iowa State and Nebraska, but ISU won out, of course.
I did a year at Kirkwood in Cedar Rapids before applying to ISU.
After I received my letter of acceptance, I immediately started amassing Iowa State gear and following the Cyclones. I renounced any and all allegiance to the dark and yellow side.
In case you're confused about the time frame, I entered ISU in the Fall of 2003. The 2-10 football campaign, and the start of the Wayne Morgan era.
I had to learn the Big 12 cities and teams. I had to learn how the football and basketball scheduling worked. After being exposed to nothing but Big Ten for years and years, it took a little while.
Despite the struggles of the football team, I attended every game. I was an active member of Cyclone Alley during a basketball campaign that saw ISU knock off a few teams in true Hilton Magic style.
Through this all, I was left shaking my head. How had we fallen so far and so fast? Wasn't ISU a national name on the basketball landscape? Was this not a football team ranked ELEVENTH in the country during the 2002 season?
For a school that was never really known for athletics (other than basketball), how could we allow this success to escape us?
I'm blown away when I realize that THE IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY won Big 12 championshipS, PLURAL, in Men's Basketball. They won them in Women's Basketball too. I can't even COMPREHEND that. I can't wrap my head around it. We went to an Elite Eight in Basketball. ELITE EIGHT... one of the EIGHT best teams in the country?
I see highlights of Seneca Wallace in front of a national cable audience on TBS, which intones on their corner scoreboard that THE IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY is the ELEVENTH RANKED TEAM IN THE NATION... IN FOOTBALL!
I can't comprehend what it must've been like to be on campus in the early 2000s, and to experience success on that level. I wish I had been a fan then so I could have appreciated all of it more.
But how, how did we let this slip away? How do you get that kind of momentum behind your school -- first bowl win in school HISTORY, Big 12 championship, Elite Eight appearance, and not use it to slingshot this school forward in athletic standings?
If this is really the handiwork of Bruce Van De Velde, my respect for that man declines more by the day.
Another question is this -- how can our fans be this negative and apathetic toward our own programs? Some have likened our fans to Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox fans.
Well guess what? I was born and raised a Red Sox fan -- they were my dad's team, and as he taught me the game of baseball, I learned through the Red Sox. Every year we were so close, but not quite good enough. Each year April rolled around, I smiled and said, "This is our year." Why not be optimistic?
Cubs fans do the same thing -- just 4 months after the Bartman debacle, the Chicago Tribune printed up a summary before the 2004 campaign telling how the Cubs would win the NL Central and go to the World Series. Eternal optimism -- every year, despite starting with Wood and Prior on the DL -- it is THEIR YEAR.
Do Iowa State fans do this? Of course not. They find things to ***** about, and when they're addressed, they find new things to ***** about.
Take McDermott for example -- there were PAGES, and I mean PAGES of posts about how the man won't recruit outside of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa. The moment he gets recruits from states all over the US, then they say, "Oh, well, the recruits haven't proven anything yet."
Our fans are predicting a LOSING SEASON in football... after coming off a campaign where our largest margin of defeat was TEN POINTS. Ten stinkin' points. Show me another ISU campaign in the HISTORY OF THIS SCHOOL WHERE THERE IS NOT ONE LOSS LARGER THAN TEN POINTS. It cannot be done, because it's never happened. Not ONE blowout loss.
This may well be the best offense ever to wear Cardinal and Gold, but you wouldn't know it by reading posts around here.
There's a well-documented effect in Psychology called the "self-fulfilling prophecy". If you think you will do bad, you will. This has invaded Cyclone athletics and their fans for far too long.
Maybe that's why there are still some here that would criticize Jamie Pollard, because he challenges this pervasive mind set throughout Cyclone athletics and fandom. Jamie Pollard has demonstrated an attitude from day one toward people who say, "You can't do that at Iowa State." You know what he says -- "Why not?"
I honestly think that bugs some people. Misery enjoys company. They would prefer to ***** about Bruce Van de Velde than listen to someone who says ISU athletics can be so much more than it is.
I may have only been a Cyclone fan for three years now, but I've attended 19 straight games at Jack Trice Stadium, regardless of wind, snow, tornados, cold, or whatever else Mother Nature throws at us. I've been at Hilton for some awful losses and some amazing victories.
When I first came to Iowa State, I couldn't name all the Big 12 schools, let alone their cities. Ames, Lawrence, Manhattan, Boulder, Lincoln, Columbia, Norman, Stillwater, Lubbock, College Station, Waco, Austin.
Now I eat, breathe, and sleep it. I may only have been a fan for three years, but the negativity must stop, and I sure am glad we have a guy like Jamie Pollard leading our program. He's the kind of guy that thinks every year is our year... and you know what?
We're playing in fourteen football games this year.
Tailgate hard, cheer even harder. Pack the Jack early before the National Anthem, cheer the band at halftime, and stay late after the final gun singing the fight song. Yell until your voice gives out. Clap until your hands are numb. Then go tailgate some more.
GO CYCLONES! See you on August 31st!
Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.
ISU MBB: Bigger than a single person.
ISU Football: They key to expectations is not having any in the first place.
Agreed. Thats all I can say is Agreed.
That's the greatest thing I have ever read. I agree, some people on hear call them Cyclone fans and then ***** about every move. I for one believe that you should support your team all the way, whether you agree with every move or not, it is not your decision to make, just be happy with it and cheer on the Clones.
Also, even with the tough football schedule and the loss of our 2 defensive studs, we will have a winning record and finally win that North crown.
Yeah, Amen to no negativity! If ISU fans think we'll lose then it could filter to the fb team! We need be more positive and do what we can to help the team this year. But season ticket sales are skyrocketing so perhaps most of the negative-nancies are just on these sports-blogs saying how Meyer won't get the job done. The Jack will be packed most of the year - and it will be a beautiful thing!
Excellent. Thanks for the perspective, ISU Brew.
I admit that I've been one of the naysayers about football.....especially with our "Play to not lose" mentality instead of "Play to Win" the last couple of years, the mediocrity in the program, etc. But the close losses (although they are hard to take) are much better than the 70 point thrashings that we used to take when I was at ISU in the early - mid '90s (except for my best moment in Cyclone football when we cheered Marv Seiler and the 'Clones at JT on November 14, 1992 with the defeat of No. 7 Nebraska, 19-10). Hell, we never beat the Hawks. But, now we consistently field a team that can beat the Hawks and with my wife as an Iowa alum, IT IS AWESOME.
Now living in the Chicago area, I travel for 3-4 home f'ball games a year. I can't tell you how disappointed I was with our fans during our victory over Oklahoma State. We had several friends that came with us (non 'Clones, mostly OU fans) and our crowd was dead. It wasn't the atmosphere that I had experienced at ISU....or at most college football stadiums. But, when we returned for the CU game, the fans redeemed themselves. The atmosphere at JT was phenomenial and I will never forget it. My hope is that JT has that atmosphere for the every game....no matter the opponent.
I continue to support the 'Clones, bleeding cardinal and gold. 2006 will be a good year, and can't wait for the home games against UT, OU, CU, KSU, and Iowa in 2007!
By the way, Jeremy, the website is great. I am so much more connected to ISU Athletics.
THANK YOU....It's time that we put our trust in this athletic staff and cheer the Cyclones on!!!
"If it was easy, someone else would have done it already." ISU Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard
I would completly have to agree with everything this kid has said.....me and him are kind of in the same boat coming from Dubuque. I cant even begin to tell you how long I thought Ames was on the western edge of Iowa. One thing I have to say is I think Jamie Pollard is going to expose the Cyclones to the state, and hopefully increase the fan base! this guy is looking forward to the years we have ahead of us with Jamie!!!
Chills man, I literally got chills. Thank you!
Also, I think Jamie Pollard aught to see this. ISU-Brew or Jeremy - please - I beg you...send it to JP. Not really anything to act on...but it's an excellent fan perspective many of us likely share.
About the football program...I think the free-fall in '02 from being highly ranked to the debacle @ OU and thereafter...took us a full year to recover. We clearly saw that in '03. It was very, very embarrassing. I honestly can't think of a football program that went from fame to embarrassment that quickly. A hard pill to swallow for fans - just think how hard it was for the players/coaches/misc. athletic staff.
It seems we're on the way back up in football - with a few bumps along the road. I've said it many times, 2006 is a very critical year for ISU football. A 3rd straight year ending in disappointment will undoubtedly alienate some fans, damage recruiting and the overall morale of the program.
Tossing the monkey off the back, beating it with a stick and running it over with a tank will not only be a fun spectacle to watch...it'll be damn satisfying for all!
Lets hope...no...behave...like the latter will happen.
Winning is an attitude we all must embrace. :)
Again, kudos to ISU-Brew. Easily one of the best things I've ever read!
Doesn't this post answer its own question? How did ISU lose the momentum and why are fans down? Fans are down because the success experienced in '00 has not been sustained. Why? There are a variety of reasons, but first and foremost in my mind is coaching (or lack thereof) and recruiting.
As for why can't fans be positive all the time and doesn't this rub off on the team: would it have made a scintilla of difference if fans were positive at the start of the '03 FB campaign? Weren't fans jacked up last year for BB coming off of a tournament appearance in '05. I think this whole positive/negative fan thing is way overblown. The disappointment and negativity regarding the way the BB season ended and the last two FB seasons ended is justifiable considering what was on the line. Actually, the disappointment and frustration indicates that fans believe it is possible for big things to happen in Ames and they are mad when it does not. I believe JP even had a quote saying he was glad that people were mad about losing.
We're having a winning season in both Basketball AND football next year... that's all I gotta say.
I hope this article will make some of the negative fans here at least think about the fact if they are complaining to complain or because they genuinally unhappy....of course there are probably people who will complain about the article.......CAn't wait til August 31st!!!!!
AS you can see Urb, people in general don't agree. The response to this post on CR was similar. While less vocal there are many, many Cyclone fans that feel just this way. You can rag about coaching all you want but we have the same football coach today as we had in 2000. What went wrong is Mac and larry lost their assistants because ISU woudn't/couldn't pay them and we had to start over. In BB that was compounded by Larry's personal issues. No one wants to hear constant negativity.
Mods, please make this a sticky, everyone needs to read this.
I am in a very similar situation as ISU-Brew and I may be overcritical at times. After reading this I am truly going to be a positive fan from here one out. 10 wins next year with a North Championship and ranked in the Top 15 in the Final poll. Its gonna happen.
I don't know what your problem is. You take issue with everything I write because you don't like my opinion. TOUGH!
If you want me to run around saying we are going 14-0 in FB every year, I won't do it. Isn't that the exact kind of unjustifiable arrogance we despise in Hawkeye fans. You want us to be positive, be positive, be positive. You state that we have the same FB coach now as in '00. Do we have the same BB coach as we did in '02 or in '05? Do you think negative fan reaction had anything to do with those moves?
These are Internet message boards. People are entitled to their opinions. Not all of us put on BLINDERS just because we are fans. I believe the originator of this site predicted a 6-6 campaign this fall. For the record, that is exactly what I predicted. I guess you need to go on a witchhunt now against Jeremy as well.
PS - DM has earned my skepticism. I EXPECTED to beat BAYLOR, MISSOURI, and KANSAS and ISU did NOT. See how little my (or anyone else's) positive vibes affect the outcome of a game?