Iowa State Trivia

Stuart WhitehairAnalyst INovember 10, 2009

AUSTIN, TX - SEPTEMBER 23:  Quarterback Bret Meyer #7 of the Iowa State Cyclones drops back to pass against the Texas Longhorns on September 23, 2006 at Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Iowa State won its first two games of 2008, then proceeded to lose its last 10.

The 2008 team joined those from 1994 and 2003 as the only squads in school history to have a 10-game losing streak in a single season.

With a 5-5 record to date in 2009, Iowa State has accumulated seven wins since the start of the 2008 season. They are the only school in the Big 12 with fewer victories than Colorado (eight) over the past two seasons.

Despite the fact that Iowa State has a long history of coaches leaving with losing records, Gene Chizik gets the “Bottom of the Barrel” award, departing for Auburn with a .208 winning percentage (5-19).

Chizik was also the first coach in 50 years to not last at least four seasons in Ames.

As hard as it may be to believe, Iowa State has won seven of the past 12 games in the Cy-Hawk Trophy rivalry game against Iowa.

The Colorado Buffs have dominated their rivalry with the Cyclones more than they have against any other Big 12 rival. CU leads the all-time series, 48-14-1, including a run of 16 consecutive wins between 1985 and 2000, which ranks 21st on the all-time list of consecutive wins over an opponent.

However, the Buffs have lost in their last two trips to Ames for the first time in the series since losing three in a row in 1979, ‘81, and ‘83.

Like Miami (Ohio), the Cyclones are not known as the “cradle of coaches," but more like the “weigh station." A number of famous names have spent a short time in Ames before moving on, starting with Glenn “Pop” Warner, who came to Iowa State in 1895, until Georgia offered more money.

Other head coaches who went on to bigger and better results include Johnny Majors (four years at Ames) and Earle Bruce (six seasons). Assistants with ties to the Cyclones include Mack Brown, Pete Carroll, Jimmy Johnson, and Jackie Sherill.

In his 12 years at Ames (1995-2006), Dan McCarney's success hinged on his taking Iowa State to five of the nine bowl games the Cyclones have ever played.

Still, McCarney’s overall record of 56-85 is indicative of how hard it is to win in Ames.

Earl Bruce, with a 36-32 record (1973-78), is the only coach to leave ISU with a winning record since World War II.

How to dress up a Cyclone mascot: that was the Iowa State dilemma. Unable to come up with a suitable mascot, ISU reverted to the original team nickname in 1954 and dressed a Cardinal on the sidelines, nicknaming the bird “Cy.”

The only conference championships won by Iowa State came in 1911 and 1912, when the Cyclones won the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association titles.

In those seasons, ISU posted wins over such luminaries as Coe, Grinnell, Simpson, and Cornell College.

To be fair, the Cyclones were a decent kicker away from winning the Big 12 North in 2004 and 2005, when they lost both of their final regular season games in overtime because of missed field goals. The benefactor of the Cyclones’ dismay on both occasions: Colorado.

With a lack of success in its history, it is not surprising that there are few famous former players. Iowa State has produced only three consensus All-Americans (CU has had 25), and only one first-round NFL draft pick (CU has had 22).

On both short lists for ISU is running back Troy Davis, who is the only player in Division I-A to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season twice (1995 and 1996).

Others: Matt Blair, Keith Sims, and Mike Stensrud.

Other famous alumni outside of football: George Washington Carver (inventor), Henry A. Wallace (U.S. Vice-President).