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  1. #1
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    Post A look back : History in the making.

    A look back

    As days pass, it becomes more evident that the Cyclones are in a transition time. With new coaches, and falling programs, the outlooks of some ISU teams are not as prominent as it once was. The football team is one great example. History though has shown that we can come back to greatness. It might not be the best, but it is far from the worst.

    As I searched the high-speed media called the internet, it soon became apparent to me that finding such info was going to be more difficult than anticipated. Though there has been some success at Ames, the impact is not as great as some programs out there that sprout endless topics of discussion and information. So instead of comparing history to the present, I had to change my way of thinking.

    This sprouted the idea of taking a look back. Reliving the history of what once was, and following it to what it is today. If your like me and hear of the glamour and success of our teams from the 1970’s, but know nothing of them, this might be your day.

    This glorious time started with a man named Earle Bruce. From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he played running back at The Ohio State University until 1951. Unfortunately a knee injury ended his career and began his coaching debut. After several winning seasons at the high school level, and five seasons with the University of Tampa; Earle Bruce arrived on the campus of Ames, IA to soon become one of the most successful coaches in school history and pave his way into the Iowa State Louis Menze Hall of Fame. From 1973-1978, Bruce coached the Cyclones to some of their most successful years in the football era. Including the legendary year of 1976.

    This team was lead by none other, All-American Luther Blue, and shifty Dexter Green. Blue was a 5-11, 185lb Split End that got drafted in the 4th round by the Detroit Lions. He caught 69 passes for 1274 receiving yards in his college career, and returned kickoffs with a total of 1006 yards. This including a 95 yard return in a victory over Nebraska. He was also the recipient of the first catch ever made in Jack Trice Stadium.

    Greene was 5-9, 170lbs of pure heart and talent. Known to teammates and fans as ”Money”, he ran for 3437 rushing yards that now ranks third behind the Davis brothers. He also accumulated 34 rushing touchdowns over his three year career. This earning him All-Big eight honors in 1977, and a second-team pick All American plus Heisman Trophy candidate during his 1978 senior season that was plagued with injuries.

    With Blue and Green, ten other seniors, and seven outstanding sophomores, the 1976 team became one of the ages. They hold records in categories that still stand today such as: Most avg. yards per game and most rushing yards in a season. The team ranked as high as 14th in the AP poll but lost to Oklahoma State in the final game. They finished with an 8-3 record and 18th national ranking, but were overlooked by the bowl committee and missed out on a happy ending to a terrific season. This was their second eight win season of the decade and paved way for more memorable seasons and bowl games to come. One just so being the very next year at the 1977 Peach Bowl.

    The team wouldn’t be overlooked though from the heart wrenched finish, as several players received post season honors. Four were selected to the All-conference team, and two to the Academic All Big Eight team. And as noted before, Luther Blue was selected to the 1976 All American team.

    To this day, these groups of players are remembered as one of the best. Their hard work, dedication, and love for the game of football and one another showed out on the gridiron. But nothing at that time would soon be more exciting than the 1977 Peach Bowl.


    "You must try to generate happiness within yourself. If you aren't happy in one place, chances are you won't be happy anyplace." -- Ernie Banks



  2. #2
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    Re: A look back : History in the making.

    nice work! its cool to here about some of the cyclone greats.

    on a side note: it amazes me how much bigger football players have become.

    Blue was a 5-11, 185lb Split End

    Greene was 5-9, 170lbs

    both were probably good enough to play now, but you just dont c it often anymore.



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    Re: A look back : History in the making.

    Good write-up. I was on campus 71-76 and there was some pretty good football. I still remember the 1972 game against Nebraska as probably the best game I ever saw. Clyde Williams field was awesome for the fans - the seats were more up at the edge of the field rather than back and away like Trice. It was much noisier on the field, IMO. That 72 game with NU ended in a tie - unfortunately, because we missed a PAT.



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    Re: A look back : History in the making.

    and what happened next? how did it all go kerput so badly? i could see a drop off after a coaching change, but didn't we really start to stink it up in a hurry not long after these glory years?



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    Re: A look back : History in the making.

    My opinion on what happened is that the talent level slowly dropped off after the coaching changes. Recruiting to ISU consistently with the level of talent needed to compete with NU and OU is an extremely hard challenge. What Snyder did at KSU, with the same problems that we have, make his turnaround that much greater. Its going to be hard to follow up on Snyders success at KSU.



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    Re: A look back : History in the making.

    Quote Originally Posted by ISU BET View Post
    and what happened next? how did it all go kerput so badly? i could see a drop off after a coaching change, but didn't we really start to stink it up in a hurry not long after these glory years?
    Actually the very next year after Earle Bruce's departure.

    Well, I was hoping to make this continued if the response from this one was positive. With that said, I was hoping to cover some of this in articles to come. I will tell you, I wasnt even born in the 1970's, so my knowledge of cyclone athlectics at this time is slim to none. So my knowlege, and the information out there is pretty vague that I might not have all the answers. I will do my best and thanks for the feedback.

    Yes it is amazing on the actual size of the players out there these days compared to back then. Heck the best QB ever, Johnny Unitas was only 6'-0" 150ish pounds. Never topped 200 like his late clone Peyton Manning reaches.


    "You must try to generate happiness within yourself. If you aren't happy in one place, chances are you won't be happy anyplace." -- Ernie Banks



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