Iowa State will head to Texas in what may be once again one of the biggest games in Iowa State history. Shades of 2018 have found their way back to us.
If Iowa State beats Texas, the Cyclones will be in a very good position to find themselves in Arlington on December 19th playing for the Big 12 Championship. The Cyclones haven’t won a league championship since 1912 when they were in the Missouri Valley Conference. Take a drink, because we haven’t heard that over and over again for the last few weeks.
Iowa State has been close to the Big 12 peak before. In 2005, Iowa State was one game away from playing in the Big 12 title game. They ultimately lost to Kansas and missed their change. In 2018, of course, Iowa State had toe beat Texas and Kansas State in the final two games to make it to Dallas. Texas put the beat down on Iowa State and the rest is now history.
It’s funny how things can feel so similar to a not so distant past. But unlike 2018, this team is more mature, bigger, faster and stronger. Each phase of the game compliments each other better than it ever did in 2018. Yet it all feels so similar to that fall.
Texas is looking for much the same as Iowa State. Win and they are in line to head to Jerry World once again with a tie breaker over Oklahoma State already secured. The Longhorns haven’t played in almost three weeks due to a bye week and cancellation due to COVID. While it all seems the same, it also is very different.
This is the most experienced and talented Iowa State team in the Matt Campbell era. Heck, probably in Iowa State history. No more hoping for Iowa State to catch lightning in a bottle and upset Texas on their own field. There’s going to be no stars aligning and aiding the Cyclones to a big victory over a Big 12 blue blood. The two programs are essentially equal on the field these days, and should produce a contest that reflects those evolutions.
I am nervous as hell for this one. Maybe it’s the Iowa State fan in me, always thinking that the ultimate worst possible outcome is going to happen. But Iowa State is on the cusp of reaching heights it’s never reached before, playing for a Big 12 Championship. If there was ever a time to announce to the college football world that Iowa State is here to stay, that time is now. The next step for this Iowa State football program is right in front of them, and it’s time to take it.