Welcome to the 2015 WRNL year in review! It's time to take a look back at some of the biggest stories that happened around Iowa State athletics, as well as some of our favorite articles that were published in the last year.
Before we begin, we'd like to thank all of our readers for stopping in once, on occasion, or even daily to read our content. This year was a HUGE year of growth for WRNL, as we more than doubled the amount of people who visited our site in 2014 to 2015. Some of that is due to us, some of it is due to the type of stories that broke this year, but a large part is also because of YOU. Thank you for spreading the word about our little corner of the internet to your friends, family and fellow Iowa State fans. We're glad that so many of you enjoy and share the same humor that we do regarding Cyclone sports.
Okay, now that the mushy gratitude portion of our program is out of the way, it's time to move on to the main attraction. Strap on your seatbelt and join me as we take a leap back to the beginning of the year...
The Mayor started off 2015 with a bang, appearing in a commercial for the Infiniti Coaches Charity Challenge that showcased some of his best dance moves.
College Gameday and Kansas Victory
Just a couple weeks later, the Iowa State basketball team defeated Kansas 86-81 with College Gameday in town. The atmosphere for the morning broadcast within Hilton Coliseum was electric, and the cherry on top was the win at the end of the day. Cylentbutdeadly offered up one of the most detailed recaps in the history of WRNL.
Exercises in Subtlety with Adam Woodbury
ClonesJer took it upon himself to teach Iowa's seven-footer how to get away with eye-gouging people without getting caught.
Is Iowa State the New Dream Team?
Following a period of sloppy play from Iowa State (including that inexplicable loss to Texas Tech), our commenters started to get a little upset with how negative we were being regarding the Cyclones. Naturally, we countered with the positive article to end all positive articles.
Top 10 Reasons Fred Hoiberg is Better than Bill Self
With the second regular season game against Kansas approaching, Cyclone Scholar analyzed what made Fred Hoiberg superior to Bill Self.
The Joy & Frustration of Being Second Best
Our friend bitterwhiteguy from Barking Carnival stopped by to lament how difficult it is to be an Iowa State or Texas, always finishing behind Kansas in the conference standings. Don't worry though... He offered up some suggestions on how the Cyclones and Longhorns could jump the Jayhawks, including the ever popular "Clone a dozen copies of Anna Kendrick, just because."
Animals That Remind Us Of Big 12 Coaches
This one's a classic, and you'll be amazed at how close some of the comparisons are. Especially the Scott Drew/Sloth side-by-side.
Hilton Magic: A Comeback for the Ages
All seemed lost when Iowa State got down to Oklahoma by 21 at one point in the second half of a crucial late-season conference game in Hilton Coliseum. Of course, we all remember how the Cyclones roared back and eventually won 77-70, further proving that Hilton Magic is indeed real.
Cyclones Repeat as Big 12 Tournament Champions
This served as the high point of the year when it comes to ISU athletics. The Cyclones ripped off three straight wins (over Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas) to win their second consecutive Big 12 Tournament title. Georges Niang grabbed tournament MVP honors.
Ames, You've Been Good To Us But The Time Has Come...
Riding the high from the Big 12 Tournament championship, ClonesJer famously proposed that Ames, Iowa be renamed to Hoiberg, USA in honor of The Mayor's accomplishment of returning Iowa State basketball to national relevance.
Upset: Iowa State Goes Down
Only one day after the above proposition to rename Ames, Iowa State does the unthinkable and loses to UAB in the very first game of the NCAA Tournament.
Fred Hoiberg Leaving to Coach Russian Basketball Team
In hindsight, our 2015 April Fool's joke became slightly less funny a couple months after it was published...
The Imperfectly Perfect Heart of Fred Hoiberg
Steve Good dropped by to tell us the story of his personal relationship with open heart surgery and how Fred Hoiberg's heart embodied the Cyclone spirit.
As it became more apparent that our beloved basketball coach was going to do the unthinkable and leave Ames for the greener pastures of the NBA, NormanUnderwood vented his feelings on the subject. Among them, he made the bold claim that Fred Hoiberg doesn't love Iowa State as much as you do.
Perception and Reality With or Without Hoiberg
The Iowa State basketball program is bigger than one man, even if that man is The Mayor, writes cylentbutdeadly.
Possible Replacement Couches for Iowa State
KnowDan got ahead of the official announcement that Hoiberg was leaving and offered up our list of replacement couches. All couches were graded on their pros, cons and the Bob Huggins Burnability Scale.
Fred Hoiberg Leaves For Chicago Bulls
It finally happened. The Mayor, universally loved by the Iowa State fan base, left his alma mater to take the head coaching position with the Chicago Bulls.
A Lesson in Class from Iowa State Basketball Players
While Cyclone fans were freaking out about the Hoiberg departure, The Mayor's players kept their cool and offered up heartfelt tributes on Twitter to the man they once called Coach.
WRNL Re-Writes the Fight Song
Our revised edition of the Iowa State Fight Song reflected what most people felt like at the time.
O we'll get kicked, in the nuts, by Iowa State,
And may we keel over and cry.
Yes, we'll take one downstairs, from Iowa State,
Until the very day we die,
Ow! Ow! Ow!
Sharp groin pains forever new,
And we'll have balls of black and blue.
Cause we're a real great place to go and coach, until you find some! where! new!
Fred Hoiberg is a Better Tweeter Than You
I took a look back at the best tweets of the Hoiberg era. No matter what your opinion is on Fred, you can't deny that he's great at social media.
Murray State's Steve Prohm to Take Over Iowa State Basketball
Only a week after The Mayor's departure, Jamie Pollard and Steven Leath found the next head coach of Cyclone basketball: Steve Prohm. With his hire, the Prohman Empire was born.
WRNL ASKS THE FANS: Favorite and Least Favorite Big 12 Teams
We asked you which teams you like and dislike the most in the Big 12 outside of Iowa State. Come to find out, everybody hates Kansas.
Turning Over the Keys to WRNL
KnowDan and CanAzn ended their run as the site managers of WRNL and handed the reigns to some younger guy. Luckily they haven't left the site completely, because they're both awesome, hilarious dudes.
Hawkeye Ticket Specials
Remember when it was announced that the University of Iowa would start offering student football season tickets to Kirkwood students? We do. And grapplecy educated us on the other ticket specials that Iowa would be making available to Hawk fans.
The Big 12 as Mild Everyday Inconveniences
In this article, austinnarber explained the schools of the Big 12 in what could be the most accurate fashion possible.
The Big 12 Walks Into a Bar
NormanUnderwood introduced us to his popular "Big 12 Walks Into a Bar" series, full of the blatant stereotypes and debauchery you've learned to love. Here's part one, and here's part two. (We're still waiting on the conclusion!)
Help End Iowa State Football Abuse
We called on you, the reader, to help end Iowa State football abuse. WRNL even produced a commercial to further emphasize our cause.
'America Needs Another Lawyer' Program Introduced at the University of Iowa
For hate week, we graciously helped get out the word about the University of Iowa's ANAL program. You're welcome, Iowa.
The Time Has Come to Fire Paul Rhoads
Cylentbutdeadly started calling for Rhoads' head following the embarrassing loss to Toledo. Looking back, it's amazing how much that game against the Rockets ended up shaping the future of Iowa State football.
Mark Mangino Fired as Offensive Coordinator
The rift between Paul Rhoads and Mark Mangino became too much to bear, as the former Kansas head coach split from his position at ISU.
Dear Iowa: America Doesn't Care What You Think
Iowa fans started spouting off homer takes on their untested, undefeated football team. Naturally, we countered them with some cold hard facts about why America doesn't give a shit about the Hawkeyes.
Colin Cowherd Calls Iowa State "The Best Program in College Football"
The Cyclone football program received a glowing endorsement from one of the most respected and adored radio personalities in the business.
Paul Rhoads Dismissed as Iowa State Head Coach
Following another season of disappointment, it was announced that Paul Rhoads would no longer be the man to coach Iowa State football.
Early Potential Candidates for the Iowa State Football Head Coaching Position
This was our early list of candidates for the vacant ISU head coaching job. Why is this being featured, you ask? Because it's actually become the most viewed article in site history. Shout out to CYHusker for holding the new post views record!
It's Time to Bury the National Narrative on Coaching at Iowa State
WRNL Interviews: Grant Mahoney
Former Iowa State kicker Grant Mahoney gave us one of the funniest interviews of all time in this exclusive piece put together by austinnarber.
Matt Campbell Agrees to be Next Iowa State Football Head Coach
Former Toledo head coach Matt Campbell was announced as the man to take over the Cyclone football program. The Campbell hire has been widely praised, and his recruiting efforts so far have been fantastic.
Iowa State Basketball Managers Defeat Iowa Managers in an Epic Class of Titans
ESPN personalities Jay Bilas and Fran Fraschilla covered the amazing ISU victory.
A Day in the Life of Fran McCaffery
IOWAHAHA: Cyclones Mount Massive Comeback to Beat Hawkeyes
Another classic Hilton Magic moment has happened already in the 2015-16 season, as Iowa State rallied from a 20 point deficit to defeat Iowa in the annual Cy-Hawk rivalry.
3sus to Miss Remainder of 2015-16 Season
Naz Mitrou-Long, affectionately known in these parts as "3sus of Nazareth," had to end his season early due to hip complications stemming from prior surgeries. He'll apply for a medical redshirt to hopefully be able to play next year.
Cyclones Rally Late, Get Dat 'Nati
In the last basketball game before Christmas, Iowa State went on the road to take on a ranked Cincinnati squad in a hostile environment and came away with a victory thanks to a late Abdel Nader 3-pointer from the corner.
As you can see, it was a year full of ups and downs for ISU. Coaching changes in both major sports made for a heck of a year covering the Cyclones. Luckily, there's always something to joke about here at WRNL (many times it's the Iowa Hawkeyes...).
We hope you enjoyed this look back! From the WRNL family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.