Iowa State gave TCU a fight in the first half, although some (including me) would say that TCU gave itself a fight during that time. No one expected much from the Cyclones with the 34.5 point spread in favor of TCU, but most of the first half showed there was some fight in this dog. As painful and futile as it was.
Somehow the Cyclones traded punts with the Horned Frogs on their opening drives, but after the Cyclones' second punt the gloves came off two plays later for TCU. A double pass that landed in Trevone Boykin's hands went for 55 yards and a touchdown and TCU never looked back.
The ensuing drive was one of the lone bright spots for the Cyclone offense as they moved to the TCU 45 in a matter of plays. In a move that shocked even the announcers, Paul Rhoads pulled his best Kirk Ferentz impersonation and punted from TCU's 45 on a 4th and 5 play. Down 7-0 with nothing to lose Rhoads sent a strong message to his team: we're not here to screw things up.
The post game presser will happen after this is published, but we already know what Rhoads will say, "Our defense was playing well, and we thought we had a chance to flip field position."
After that there's not really much need to pay mind to the rest of the game. TCU scored on the next drive, Iowa State drove inside the TCU 10 before committing a delay of game penalty, settled for a field goal and the tone of the game was reinforced: don't hurt the Big XII.
A 17-3 halftime score quickly ballooned to 48-3 by the end of the 3rd quarter and that's all she wrote for the 2014 Cyclone football season.
Looking ahead we have to ask ourselves about where the program goes from here. Jamie Pollard is selling a stadium expansion to fans, but no one will be there to see the team likely miss the postseason for the 3rd straight year.
Pollard gave Rhoads the dreaded "vote of confidence" earlier this week, and knew full well this game was going to be a blowout, but with how Iowa State arrived at the result today does he change his mind? The team showed some fight and bought in to the coaching early, but the coaches did the players on the field no favors with some of their play calling. Does that necessitate change? It most certainly does, but does it necessitate it now? Or next year?
The coaching pool is loaded this year, but so are the open opportunities. After the dust settles on the College Football Playoff selections tomorrow it will be time to spin up the coaching carousel in earnest. It's not likely Pollard fires Rhoads this year, but stranger things have happened and this week could become very interesting very quickly.
And to TCU. Our message to you:
For now though we rest. Football is out of mind until April.