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Football

Williams: Time to Think Bigger Thoughts

Silence.

That pretty much sums up what Memorial Stadium sounded like this afternoon when the Iowa State University Cyclone football team was in the victory formation, just prior to finishing off their 9-7 win over Nebraska.

The silence was beautiful.

I will begin working as a full-time employee of CycloneFanatic.com starting this Monday. Today was my last official day to attend a game as a “fan.”

I sat with my father in row 97 of Memorial Stadium’s South end zone. For those who don’t know, row 97 is the second-to-top row in the joint. My nose is still bleeding to say the least.

I take it that you’re all reading this for some hard-hitting analysis right? Let’s dive right in.

Amazing. That’s pretty much the only way I can describe this victory.

I use the word amazing because Iowa State was without their two best offensive players. I use the word amazing because Iowa State hasn’t won in Lincoln since 1977. Again, I use the word amazing because even though Iowa State forced eight Nebraska turnovers on the day, the game never once felt comfortable for Cyclone fans. Iowa State still won.

“Are we cursed?”

That’s the question that was brewing on these very message boards after the Kansas State game earlier this year. You remember that one…there’s no need to get into details. I’ve heard/read Cyclone fans ask that question all sorts of times in the past.

Are we cursed?

Nope. Not today. For once, the breaks went Iowa State’s way. The Cyclones had somebody on their side…and Iowa State is now one victory away from going to a bowl game in year one of the Paul Rhoads era.

That sounds pretty cool doesn’t it?

As I sit here typing this tonight, I face a predicament. That issue is that I don’t want to get ahead of myself. It took an 8+ turnover advantage for the Cyclones to barley squeak this game out. But they did it. They won. Nobody can take that away from a battered football team that proved today they have all sorts of heart.

I don’t want to become guilty of hyperbole here…so bear with me. I’m going to pose a few questions for everybody.

Is this the biggest win in Iowa State football history?

Is this that hump that this program has been trying to get over for the past 15 years?

Is Paul Rhoads the guy to get this program over that very hump?

I don’t have answers to those questions…but I’m curious to hear all of your thoughts.

Dan McCarney accomplished some incredible things during his time in Ames. But he never won in Lincoln. I’m sure that this was a sweet day for Dan, seeing Paul get this elusive win.

Cyclone Fanatics…it is time to get excited.

All of the sudden, Iowa State is sitting at second in the Big 12 North, with a tough road trip to Texas A&M on the horizon. Kansas State is a surprising and impressive 3-1, but have dates with Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska the rest of the way.

It’s not crazy to talk Big 12 North title right now. The division doesn’t have a dominant team. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but seriously. This is something that we can realistically start talking about.

Is that sort of talk a stretch for this team? Probably. Especially with the injuries. My hat goes off to Jerome Tiller and Jeremiah Schwartz. But this team needs Austen Arnaud and Alexander Robinson to be in the conversation mentioned above.

But why shouldn’t that be the new goal though?

After today’s win, all of the sudden it is.

Soak this one up Fanatics. It’s been a long time coming.

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