May 21, 2024

Iowa State off to best Big 12 start in 18 years

Iowa State Football

Iowa State Coach Matt Campbell addresses reporters after a 23-21 win over Texas Saturday November 16, 2019 at Jack Trice Stadium. (Lynn Harrington/stayaliveinpower5)

Iowa State is one of the hottest teams in the Big 12 after a 31-15 victory over Texas Tech Saturday.

It’s the program’s first 3-0 start in conference play since 2002 and the Cyclones have scored at least 31 points in all three wins. Coach Matt Campbell always has his team playing at their best in the month of October. After dismantling the Red Raiders the Cyclones are now a jaw-dropping, 12-1 over the last four years during October under Campbell.

The loss to Louisiana in game one doesn’t look as embarrassing now. Especially since the Sun Belt team is still undefeated and ranked in the AP Poll. Iowa State is starting to live up to its’ potential. The Cyclones were projected as one of the Big 12’s top teams in the preseason and has since delivered. All of a sudden there’s no more underachieving or inconsistency. No other team in the conference wants to face the Cyclones at this point.

After all, quarterback Brock Purdy has returned to his All-Big 12 caliber form. True sophomore running back Breece Hall has made himself a household name in the league, with 531 yards on the ground and eight rushing scores through four games. All-America tight end Charlie Kolar has returned with a vengeance, after he hauled in six passes for four touchdowns over the last three games.

Iowa State’s offense can pretty much score at will and defense in the Big 12 hasn’t been a stronghold. That’s a recipe for success with the Cyclones as they navigate through the Big 12 gauntlet. Not to mention the defense has decreased the opposition’s point total over the last three games.

Iowa State is currently one of three ranked teams in the Big 12. Expect the Cyclones to have their highest ranking in the AP since October of 2017 when the poll releases Sunday. All of these accomplishments by Iowa State solidifies that Campbell has the program on the rise. It’s safe to say the Cyclones have arrived and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

The 40-year old Campbell is again one of the best young coaches in the game. Iowa State is handling the spotlight well, instead of crumbling as a ranked team, which speaks volumes of the team’s maturity and leadership. Now Iowa State will have a well-deserved week off before resuming conference play with Oklahoma State. The Cowboys are the highest-ranked and only undefeated Big 12 team.

A win in Stillwater will catapult the Cyclones to the top of the Big 12 for the first time ever and they’ll have a clear cut path to conference championship. The fact that Iowa State is one win away from controlling its’ own destiny speaks volumes. Campbell has done a remarkable job with his players. Plus he proved that he’s worth every penny of his contract extension.