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Envisioning an 11-1 Season for Iowa State


Northern Iowa v Iowa State Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images

Before the season started, I went on record (twice) with a prediction that Iowa State would go undefeated this year. The team nearly pulled through for me; unfortunately, they slipped up with only 11 games remaining in their quest for a 12-0 season. So close!

Now that we know a 12-0 season is out of the question, it’s time to temper expectations and be more realistic about what this team can accomplish in 2016. That’s why I have revised my prediction to a much more reasonable 11-1.

As of this morning, Iowa State sits at 0-1 after losing to the 3rd ranked team in the nation FCS. There’s no shame in that! In fact, there were even some positives to take from week one. If you cut out all the turnovers and penalties and safeties and missed tackles and players running into each other, Iowa State easily could’ve won.

I, for one, think the loss to UNI was the perfect wake-up call this team needed to realize their full potential. Without further ado, here is exactly how the rest of the season will go:

Start: 0-1

Iowa dominates the first half, taking a 21-3 lead into the break. In the locker room, Iowa’s star CB Desmond King tweets, “Besides Allen Lazard Iowa state is a joke.” This rubs true freshman running back and kick returner Kene Nwangwu the wrong way. He changes his legal name to Kene Niangwu and proceeds to score four touchdowns in the second half, blowing kisses to the crowd after each one, to propel Iowa State to its third straight victory at Kinnick Stadium.


After his legendary performance against Iowa, Niangwu forces Matt Campbell to play him nearly every down. Iowa State ditches the traditional QB and instead lines up with three running backs in the backfield against TCU. This gimmick allows Iowa State to take up the entire fourth quarter without giving up possession, as they slowly work their way down the field to win the game. The new offense becomes known as “The Fifteen Minute Drill.”


Playing at home for the first time in three weeks, Iowa State destroys San Jose State. Hakeem Butler is bored with making one-handed touchdown grabs and has now resorted to catching the ball with his knees. He uses his free hands to stiff arm defenders and dance the Macarena. The Cyclones win by four touchdowns.

Iowa State v Oklahoma State Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images


Baylor has fallen back to their early 2000s ways by this point. They fire Jim Grobe the week before this game and replace him with Texas offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert. Gilbert, who has no FBS head coaching experience, allows an average of 63 points per game in his first season at the helm.


After starting out the 2016 season undefeated thanks to his mullet, Mike Gundy contracts a rare combination of Zika and super lice. This forces him to get his mullet cut. It turns out the magic was in his hair. Iowa State wins 40-10 and Gundy refuses to coach again until his mullet regrows, sending Oklahoma State into a downward spiral that could only be rivaled by the end of the Travis Ford era.


After losing OC Sterlin Gilbert a few weeks prior to this game, Texas hires former head coach Mack Brown run the offense. Brown’s first course of action is to move QB Shane Buechele to free safety. Iowa State holds Texas scoreless for the second straight year. Austin is burned to the ground within an hour of the final whistle.


Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder, who turns 137 this October, is unable to stay awake for the 7 p.m. kickoff. The Wildcats are unable to use the Wizard’s magic and end up losing by 30. Iowa State finds themselves ranked 12th in the AP poll.

Iowa State v Oklahoma State Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images


Baker Mayfield is involved in the first ever collegiate player trade as Oklahoma sends their star QB back to Texas Tech so he can try to beat Texas later that week. The Sooners try to copy The Fifteen Minute Drill offense with Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine, but due to a poor offensive line, the Fifteen Minute Drill doesn’t work for Oklahoma like it does for Iowa State. OU scores a measly 13 points as the Cyclones cruise to their eighth straight win.


November is basketball season in Lawrence. Even though Kansas is 9-0 at this point and ranked in the top five, only 2,500 fans show up for the game. ISU wins easily. After the game, the Cyclones are ranked 4th in the AP poll, 4th in the coaches poll, and 29th by the playoff committee behind every SEC and Big Ten school.

NCAA Football: Rhode Island at Kansas John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports


Texas Tech has trouble balancing snaps between Baker Mayfield and Pat Mahomes and can only muster up 80 yards through the air when they come to Ames. Kliff Kingsbury, frustrated that he isn’t as hot as his seat, quits his job at midfield of Jack Trice Stadium during the third quarter. The next day, pictures surface of Kingsbury and some Iowa State students holding cans of Natural Light.


The entire week of practice leading up to the final game at West Virginia, Matt Campbell plays John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” on repeat. Sometime early Wednesday afternoon it surpasses “Sweet Caroline” as the most obnoxious song in the minds of most of the Iowa State players and coaches. Cole Netten intentionally misses a 4th quarter extra point that would’ve put the Cyclones up 70-0.


Immediately after the season ends, Houston and DMACC are added to the Big 12. The committee adds points to Oklahoma’s strength of schedule for losing to a Big 12 team rather than an AAC team, which in turn gives a boost to every team in the conference. Iowa State squeaks by Purdue for the final spot in the CFB Playoff.

Both of Iowa State’s playoff games are rematches. First, the Cyclones knock off 11-1 Kansas in the semifinal. In the championship, Iowa State is squared against UNI. UNI, of course, was added to the Big Ten in October after Michigan and Ohio State left for the MAC “in order to face better competition,” according to Urban Meyer.

The Cyclones get their revenge from week one as they win the championship game 3-2 over UNI in quadruple overtime.