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 :yes 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.