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The Hypothetical Big 12 Coaches’ Royal Rumble

Spoiler alert: Matt Campbell would wreck everyone.


The start of a new season brings up about a zillion questions.

Will Iowa State make a bowl game? How is the offensive line going to look? Which linebacker will step up? How many yards will Mike Warren rumble for? The list of questions goes on and on and on. And I’m sure there will be well-informed people writing intelligent articles on all of those subjects, and many, many more this season.

This is not one of those articles. Here’s the thing — all of that stuff is important. This is also important.

This is the most important article of the entire preseason. Question: If you threw all of the Big 12 coaches into WWE’s Royal Rumble, who would emerge as the victor?

Sure, you might prefer a Big 12 title or a bowl game victory for Iowa State, but we can all agree that no matter what happens this season, there is some comfort in knowing that Matt Campbell would absolutely obliterate the field in the Big 12 edition of the Royal Rumble.

So what if Oklahoma is the hands-on favorite to win the Big 12? Matt Campbell, decked out in his cardinal and gold tights, would Stone Cold Steve Austin Bob Stoops into oblivion. Matt Campbell would RKO Charlie Strong, choke out Kliff Kingsbury, and drop-kick Gary Patterson from the top rope.

So, yes, there are tons of questions concerning Iowa State football, and the Big 12 this season. But one thing is for sure. Matt Campbell would wreck everyone in the Big 12 Coaches’ Royal Rumble. Here is your Royal Rumble Power Rankings and scouting report:

1. Matt Campbell – Iowa State

Here’s the scoop: Matt Campbell is younger, more athletic, super intense, and probably stronger than every other coach in the Big 12. He’s got a winning pedigree (hello five national championship rings) and he’s also a huge WWE fan. So you know he’s got the skills, and the knowledge, to completely dominate the field. Football success is on the horizon for Iowa State, but Matt Campbell is ready to dominate the Big 12 in the Royal Rumble right now.

2. Charlie Strong – Texas

If Charlie Strong wasn’t 56 years old, he might be able to challenge Matt Campbell in the ring. Let’s face the facts: he’s just too old now. It’s not all bad, though. Charlie Strong was an athletic guy back in his day, and judging from Google Images, he has maintained it well. Seriously, Google “Charlie Strong muscles” and tell me he wouldn’t give you a beat down.

3. Kliff Kingsbury – Texas Tech

The most attractive head coach in college football is a solid contender for the belt. The dude made it to the NFL, so he’s obviously athletic enough to put up a fight. He was a quarterback during his playing days, so you know he can take a hit, but can he deliver enough blows to make it? I don’t think so. Still, I think his ability to take a hit buys him plenty of time in the Royal Rumble, plus his pretty boy status would make him an interesting character in the WWE.

4. Bob Stoops – Oklahoma

Bob Stoops was a four-year starter at that other school in eastern Iowa, and an All-Big 10 selection during his playing days. He’s another athletic guy, but also a bit older now. He’s obviously found plenty of success at Oklahoma, but when Stoops was a Hawkeye, he was only 1-3 against the ‘Clones. I know that means nothing, but it is fun to mention. I also know that Oklahoma has dominated Iowa State football, but that’s not as fun to mention.

Anyway, maybe Stoops puts up a better fight in the ‘90s, but Matt Campbell has his number in 2016 (at least in the imaginary Royal Rumble, but also hopefully in real life football, too).

5. David Beaty – Kansas

Sure, the Jayhawks are terrible. And yes, David Beaty led Kansas to a winless season last year. I’m not saying he would be great in the Royal Rumble, but I’m guessing he has plenty of pent-up anger that he would be more than happy to unleash in the ring. Plus, he’s on the younger side at age 45. If he can learn a few moves quickly, he’s got a chance at success in the Big 12 Coaches’ Royal Rumble (which is good, because Kansas definitely has no chance of success in the real Big 12 rankings).

Okay, so I’ll be honest. The top-5 guys make things fairly interesting. Like, I would want to watch that Royal Rumble. I would pay money to watch that. If you throw the next five guys in a ring, as entertaining as I think it would be, I’m not paying a dime. Mike Gundy is clearly the best of the rest, and we’ve seen how fired up he can get. Dana Holgorsen (Iowa native!) isn’t putting up much of a fight, and Jim Grobe probably could have done some damage in the ‘70s, but not anymore.

So, I’ll put Holgersen and Grobe at seventh and eighth respectively. Bill Snyder shocks the world and comes in ninth. He’s the oldest, and at a significant disadvantage physically, but The Wizard always has something up his sleeve. He finds a way to sneak past Gary Patterson, who gets thrown out of the ring by Campbell about 12 seconds into The Rumble. Sorry, Gary. I guess your 142-47 head coaching record will have to suffice, because there’s no way you’re winning the Big 12 Coaches’ Royal Rumble.

Matt Campbell is all over that championship, and hopefully, somewhere down the road, he brings Iowa State a few championships of the non-fictional variety. Now, if only we could get Mark Mangino back in the Big 12. There is a legitimate Royal Rumble contender.