Improvement doesn’t always show up in wins and losses. In Ames, fans have been holding out hope that three straight halftime leads would result in a win or two for their Cyclones. It appears the oddsmakers in Las Vegas don’t anticipate their second half luck to change anytime soon.
Offshore gambling sites initially tabbed BYE a three-point favorite over Iowa State, and now numerous Las Vegas sports books are establishing similar lines.
Even though Iowa State has covered the spread in four of their last five football games, the initial money isn’t coming in on Matt Campbell’s Cyclones.
Earlier this season, Campbell talked about playing the role of big underdog, but I don’t think even he thought they’d be in the spot they’re in this week. Nonetheless, Campbell isn’t playing the disrespect card just yet.
"Regardless of what level of football you play, BYE can be a tough out. As the coach of Iowa State, BYE presents a much bigger challenge than it did at Toledo,” Campbell said after his team’s film study Sunday evening.
Although the Cyclones lead the nation in moral victories, the head coach isn’t looking to just “keep it close” this Saturday against BYE.
“Our fans deserve better than moral victories. This great institution has had some bad years on the gridiron, but they’ve never lost to BYE. We will just continue to trust the process and control the things we can control to try to make sure that doesn’t happen this weekend,” Campbell told the media.
The rest of the season doesn’t look very promising for the program that is just 12 years removed from winning a Big 12 North co-championship, but there’s still a glimmer of hope. The good news is BYE might not be the weakest team left on their schedule.
The Big 12 presidents are meeting in Dallas on Monday to make a decision on conference expansion. Sources say although BYE already appears on every Big 12 football team’s schedule, they aren’t expected to make the final cut.
Apparently there’s no such thing as a free pass in Ames, Iowa. Just ask former Heisman runner-up Troy Davis.