Being raised in a family of football fans, I have had the privilege of attending dozens of college football matchups. Game days are a staple of my childhood and current college experience. After witnessing unbelievable underdog victories, top ten matchups and overtime thrillers, last weekend’s thrashing of the Texas Longhorns stands out as the most enjoyable game I have attended.
To the outside eye, this matchup would appear to be fairly inconspicuous. A pair of unranked teams battling to either become bowl eligible in week nine or to stay above 0.500 is not a big draw. Yet those devoted to the teams knew what was at stake. Texas was desperate to prove that their generously-funded and historically prestigious team did not actually suck. Iowa State was eager to send the team that traditionally viewed them as just another rung on the ladder out of town with one last loss in Ames and to prove that five-star culture truly beats five-star players.
Fueled by the most beautiful fall night you could imagine (59 degrees, 59 percent humidity and clear skies), a ridiculous stripper-monkey-attack scandal, and the opportunity for vengeance, the crowd, made Jack Trice Stadium the best venue in the country on Saturday. The S-E-C chants, alongside some other less-repeatable ones, were relentless in harassing the Texas sideline and never ceased to remind the team of their many shortcomings. It was a party-like environment free of any stress and full of the bliss that comes with soundly beating Texas. Not to mention the welcome addition of fireworks. It surpassed anything I have seen before, and I was lucky enough to run into a gentleman who was studying abroad and attending his first-ever American football game. How awesome is that for that guy?
A spanking, beating, shellacking, whatever you want to call it, we ran Texas out of the stadium in the second half. The seemingly incompetent Texas coaching staff once again failed to make a single positive adjustment at halftime and opened the flood gates for Cyclone fireworks. A wide receiver pass for six, a dominant performance from Will McDonald and yet another Breece Hall rushing clinic allowed ISU to score 27 unanswered points. It was euphoric to completely outplay, out coach and outclass the program that seems to believe it is above the Big 12 on what may be its last trip to Ames.
The environment, setup and success of the night are things that will be extremely difficult to ever recreate. I applaud and thank all of Cyclone nation for seizing the moment and creating the most enjoyable sporting environment many of us may ever witness. And I hope that along with their $200 million athletic budget, 5-star athletes and SEC invite, Texas carries this loss with them for a long, long time. Horns down and roll clones.