The Iowa State Cyclones suffered another bowl loss this post-season in college football and finished the season at 6-7. What does this mean for the future of the Cyclones football program?
Since head coach Paul Rhoads arrival to the program back in 2009, the Cyclones have finished around six to seven wins per season, only winning three conference games per season for four seasons. His all-time record as a head coach is 24-27. While Rhoads has definitely improved the Cyclones record over the seasons, the fan base has got to want more than just three conference wins a year. The last time they won any type of conference championship was back in 1911, when they were members of the Missouri Valley Conference.
Rhoads mentioned after their loss in the Liberty Bowl that he is completely motivated in getting over the road humps:
Motivation comes in several ways. And the taste that’s in our mouths right now will be plenty motivation enough, to get back in the weight room and attack the off-season program.
His first road hump he is attempting? To get over the three conference win hurdle. With one quarterback transferring out and the other moving on to the NFL, the Cyclones are looking at Sam Richardson to take over. Richardson did get the start during the bowl game, coming out as the starter and even playing while being sick. But he still has a lot of work to do and will need the right options in receivers and running backs. The defense is the unit that is taking the most hits, losing players like A.J. Klein and Jake Knott.
The coaches and the players are committed in making this team better than a middle of the road, barely bowl eligible team. Rhoads is very well respected not only by the players, coaches and Cyclones community but by the other coaches in the Big 12. They will all go out of their way to help Rhoads get out of the three win slump. I’m afraid if he doesn’t get out of this rut soon, he may feel his seat getting a little bit warmer.
The tides have shifted in the state of Iowa, now is the time to go after those recruits who may want to stay in-state and continue to build on the program.