There’s a certain type of feeling you get when you know your standards have changed. Maybe you’re consistently meeting a new level at work. Maybe you’ve been working on a project for awhile and it finally clicks. It could be a goal in the gym. We’ve all been there. We know what it’s like. For Iowa State, after years of mediocrity, it feels like the standard is flipped.
Walk around Ames these days and ask any Cyclone fan on the street how they feel about the direction of the Iowa State football program. Even the most pessimistic fans will probably tell you that the program has turned the corner. Ask a rival fan and they’ll get defensive about Kirk Ferentz’s contract and remind you that Iowa State has never won 10 games or a conference title. Detractors have been ready to remind us of that fact for decades. Guess what. We get it. You’re not telling us something we’ve never heard before. The veil hasn’t been lifted.
By the end of the Paul Rhoads era, it was easy to hear that and get beaten down by it. I was one of those fans that just wanted to win 6 games consistently. The last 2 years have proven me wrong. Despite winning 16 games in those 2 years, we should be left wanting more. Those 16 wins could have easily been 20. I’m hear to say that the detractors can’t wear us down by reminding us of our history anymore.
The Iowa State Cyclones are about to enter a football season ranked in the Top 25 for the 2nd time ever. Iowa State has won more road games against Top 25 opponents than anyone other than Clemson since 2017. Iowa State is sending skill position players to the NFL. Matt Campbell came to Ames preaching the fabled Process. Matt Campbell isn’t satisfied with going 6-6 or even 8-5. This is what the next stage of “The Process” looks like in action. Iowa State is a nationally relevant football program this year. Pundits and gambling aficionados are looking at Iowa State to win the Big 12. We’re here. This is new. And this is exciting.
If you’re looking for a way to take shots at Iowa State and all you have is our past, that’s a you problem. It’s time for the haters a new slant. They’re generally lazy, so they won’t. I’m not here to guarantee ten wins or a conference title this year. Maybe it never happens in the Campbell Era. But there’s a different energy around the program now. We’re not bound by our past. The last 2 years have proven that there’s no reason why we can’t compete now and into the future. So go ahead, remind us about our lack of trips to Tampa on January 1st. Tweet some more snark about our lack of 10 win seasons in a weaker conference where you can duck the best teams most years. We’ll be here, building and Processing into a brighter future.