One day, these tight losses are going to turn into decisive wins. One day, Iowa State will begin their reign as a football powerhouse. That day is this Saturday.
Right now: 1-5
Iowa State travels to Austin to face a Texas squad that is far from flawless. In four of their five games this year, Texas has allowed 40+ points. To see something as holey as the Texas defense, you’d have to go to the Vatican. Iowa State wins 77-76. Charlie Strong is given a “Kirk Ferentz” 10-year contract extension for “signs of improvement” due to the fact that Texas loses by 23 fewer points to Iowa State in 2016 than they did in 2015.
After a bye week, the Cyclones return to action against Kansas State. Kansas State, which was founded in 1863 -- just a few years before president Lincoln’s assassination, the end of slavery, and Bill Snyder’s birth -- has never seen a beating like the one it receives from the Cyclones. Joel Lanning runs for six touchdowns and throws for five more. Iowa State wins 86-0.
The Oklahoma Sooners come to town on a hot streak. After beating Kansas a few days before the game against Iowa State, Oklahoma finds themselves in the midst of a five game winning streak. That ends when they arrive in Ames. Matt Campbell and the coaching staff finally decide to solve the real problem that has been plaguing the Iowa State football program -- the music.
Instead of playing Thunderstruck as the team enters the stadium and Sweet Caroline before the fourth quarter, Campbell hires Jake McDonough and the 816 Boyz to create a Sweet Caroline/Thunderstruck remix that Iowa State plays after every down. Finally faced with a song even more annoying than Boomer Sooner, Oklahoma crumbles. Baker Mayfield throws a dozen interceptions and Iowa State storms to a 73-5 win.
In what is later dubbed “the greatest college football comeback of all time” by ESPN, Iowa State travels to Lawrence, Kansas to play the Jayhawks. The Cyclones start off slow, going behind 140-0 in the first quarter. This is largely due to the fact that Iowa State’s entire team is in the locker room for the whole fifteen minutes.
In regards to the slow start, Allen Lazard would later say, “we legitimately didn’t know the game had started. There were about five thousand Iowa State fans in the stands but not a single Kansas fan. Coach Campbell kept us in the locker room until he heard cheers. Turns out the only reason anyone showed up at that point was because their basketball bus took a wrong turn and ended up here.”
The slow start doesn’t hurt Iowa State too much. Iowa State wins 141-140.
With only two games remaining, Iowa State has a bowl game in its sights. After some emergency conference expansion, the Big 12 adds Dowling Catholic and West Des Moines Valley to the conference. Instead of playing Texas Tech and West Virginia to end the season, the Cyclones play Dowling and Valley, who join Kansas on the list of high school teams Iowa State plays in 2016. The Cyclones sweep the pair of games to finish 7-5.
With one of the nation’s longest win streaks, Iowa State accepts a bid to the newly-formed Streakers Bowl, played in Alaska. Uniform numbers are painted on the bare chests of players, who are otherwise naked. Iowa State beats Miami 21-0 (after Miami’s players die of frostbite during the second quarter) to cap an 8-5 season for Iowa State in year one of the Campbell regime.