Oh what could have been..
I honestly believe the 2005 Iowa State football team was one of the most talented in history, and boy did they under-perform.
With a stacked roster led by the three-headed monster of Bret Meyer, Stevie Hicks and Todd Blythe, as well as one of the best defenses in the conference, this team had the makings for another great year.
After f*&^ing up the previous year by shanking a 24-yard field goal to win the Big 12 North outright, here we were again.
After trouncing the Team Out East beforelosing to Baylor at home (their first conference road win....ever), this Cyclone team picked up the slack, winning four games in a row. They had just come off the famous “Tornado Game” against Colorado, and were on track to win the Big 12 North Title yet again.
All that stood in their way was lowly Kansas.
Mark Mangino had just started his fat-man regime, and KU was fighting for bowl eligibility, but ISU was far superior in talent and momentum. The Jayhawks were just coming off a 14-66 Trouncing at Texas a week before.
This game was over Thanksgiving week, and I made the trip with the family to BFE Lawrence, KS to watch history be made. Sitting in the family section of ISU fans, everyone was confident that the Cyclones could pull this one out.
The atmosphere was about as shitty as a junior-high girls basketball game, and the play on the field wasn’t much better. ISU’s lone bright spot was Austin Flynn, who had over 120 receiving yards on the day. Holding onto a 14-6 lead in the third quarter, the Cyclones allowed KU deep into ISU territory, where a pivotal 4th and goal play ensued.
It appeared KU’s quarterback Brian Luke was stuffed, and the call on the field was such. ISU’s offense ran onto the field to run a play and stood on the line for a solid five seconds. (I was yelling in the stands like a rabid dog for them to snap it.) Remember, back in the day there were no challenges and no quick-trigger replay officials to review calls on the field. Sure enough, the Big 12 refs called a timeout, they reviewed it, and after a successful 2-point conversion, we were all knotted up at 14 apiece.
After a Ryan Kock 1-yard plunge put the Clones up by 7, KU was driving late in the fourth quarter, only to turn it over on downs with under 3 minutes to play in the game.
What does Iowa State do? Two Stevie Hicks’ runs for negative-1 yards, and an incomplete pass by Meyer that stopped the clock on 3rd-and-11. Kansas goes RIGHT DOWN THE FIELD, and scores in 44 freaking seconds. Tie Game
We go to overtime, and shades of 2004 all over again.
After two incomplete passes and a Typical-Everyday-Color-Me-Surprised 2-Yard Gain for Stevie Hicks, Mr. Bret Culbertson lines up for a tough 40-yard field goal.
WIDE. RIGHT. AGAIN.
Kansas drives down the field, lines up in the middle of the field, and tears down the goal posts as if they just won the Natty.
And for this (as well as single-handedly beating Iowa) we thank you Shaggy. Out of this (and a couple others) pile of shitty ashes, Wide Right Natty Lite was BORN.