Iowa State is my favorite college football program. Taylor Swift is my favorite musical artist. Sometimes two good things don’t go well together, other times they do. This is one of the good times.
Northern Iowa Panthers - Bad Blood
This one is easy. Iowa State’s opening game is its biggest game of the year for several reasons: it’s the first game of the Matt Campbell era, it’s a matchup of the state’s two premier football programs, and it’s Iowa State’s Super Bowl. For that reason, the Cyclones and Panthers have plenty of Bad Blood.
Iowa Hawkeyes - White Horse
“I’m not a princess, this ain’t a fairy tale...
This ain’t Hollywood, this is a small town...
Maybe I was naive,
Got lost in your eyes,
And never really had a chance.”
I have it on good authority that these are the exact words the Iowa football team cried to Christian McCaffrey after he torched them in last season’s Rose Bowl to the tune of 368 yards in a 45-16 blowout. I think the best part is the part about being naive and never really having a chance, but maybe that’s just me.
TCU Horned Frogs - Should’ve Said No
Once upon a time, I liked TCU. Gary Patterson wasn’t routinely killing us (in fact, we beat them once! Thanks, Josh Lenz!) and they were an underdog in the new Big 12. We were pals. But all of a sudden, TCU decided to become really good. As TCU was fighting for a bid in the inaugural College Football Playoff, they routed Iowa State 55-3 in the season finale. I’ll let Taylor take it away:
“You can see that I've been crying. Baby, you know all the right things to say. But do you honestly expect me to believe, we could ever be the same?”
San Jose State Spartans - Fifteen
“You take a deep breath and you walk through the doors. It's the morning of your very first day. You say ‘Hi’ to your friends you ain't seen in awhile. Try and stay out of everybody's way.”
San Jose State is supposed to be a nice, relatively easy win for the ‘Clones this year, and anything else would be a problem. They’re the upbeat freshman Iowa State emotionally destroys on the first day of high school. Simple as that.
Baylor Bears - I Knew You Were Trouble
This one writes itself.
Oklahoma State Cowboys - Today Was A Fairytale
November 18, 2011 was a fairytale for Iowa State, and this wonderful Swift song does a great job encapsulating that with lyrics like:
“Can you feel this magic in the air? / Today was a fairytale.”
Since then, football has been anything but a fairytale for Iowa State, but we’ll always have that magical night.
Texas Longhorns - Blank Space
Fun fact: there are 24 letters in “Texas Longhorns Blank Space,” one letter for each point Iowa State scored on Texas last October in a game where Texas put up, well, a Blank Space.
Here’s how Longhorn fans reacted after last year’s game:
Advice for Texas -- it’s easier to win football games if you score points. Try that next time!
Kansas State Wildcats - All Too Well
To quote Taylor:
“And I know it's long gone,
And that magic's not here no more…”
The days of Bill Snyder’s wizardry are over. After a 6-7 record in 2015, the Wildcats come into the 2016 season ranked 8th in the Big 12 preseason poll. Iowa State gets to host K-State this season and I’m predicting a win.
By the way, Paul Rhoads went 0-7 against Kansas State. The only other Big 12 team Rhoads didn’t beat at least once is Oklahoma. The dude could beat undefeated #2 Oklahoma State, no problem, but for whatever reason, KANSAS FREAKIN’ STATE was too much. What the hell is up with that?
Luckily that’s over now. It’s Matt Campbell’s time to shine and the Wizard stands no chance.
Oklahoma Sooners - Mean
Oklahoma has always been and always will be Mean to Iowa State. They currently hold a small lead in the all-time series, with 73 wins over Iowa State to just 5 losses. Iowa State can take the series lead with a mere seven decades of consecutive wins over the Sooners. No easy feat, but I think we can do it! Take it away, Taylor:
“You have knocked me off my feet again. Got me feeling like a nothing. You, with your voice like nails on a chalkboard, calling me out when I'm wounded. You, picking on the weaker man.”
Kansas Jayhawks - Back To December
Jayhawks and Cyclones can’t wait to get Back To December. Basketball is the one common ground for these schools and there’s nothing like turning around after a rough football season and beating the crap out of TCU to avenge what they did to us on the football field.
Texas Tech Red Raiders - Teardrops On My Guitar
This one isn’t so much about Texas Tech as it is Kliff Kingsbury, AKA the Hoiberg wannabe.
“And there he goes, so perfectly. The kind of flawless I wish I could be. She better hold him tight, give him all her love. Look in those beautiful eyes and know she's lucky.”
Kliff is a handsome man. He makes me long for a handsome coach. Steve Prohm is a good basketball coach and all, but he’s no Fred Hoiberg in the looks department and that’s what really counts, right?
West Virginia Mountaineers - Picture to Burn
“I hate that stupid old pickup truck. You never let me drive. You're a redneck heartbreak.”
This was the easiest team/song combo ever. Lyrics about rednecks AND the word “burn” in the title?!? If there’s one thing Mountaineers and Cyclones can agree upon, it’s that it’s really fun to light shit on fire. Riot Bros for life.