Most Painful Losses, 2000-2009 (Part 1)

If you didn’t notice, ESPN did a weeklong feature last week called “House of Pain: 50 Most Painful Losses in College Football History”. Now, if you’re like me, your first reaction upon hearing that title is “Pfff. Iowa State could probably fill most of that list by ourselves.” Well, like a moron, I had a few beers and for some reason thought it’d be a good idea to see how many of those painful losses I could list. After ticking off 12 or so off the top of my head, it occurred to me that this would make a good article (assuming I didn’t kill myself from alcohol poisoning in the process of putting it together)

I went back through some results and found 25 painful losses over the past 10 years. Just like ESPN, each loss was graded on four categories:
-What was at stake?
-Who was the opponent?
-How was the game lost?
-How bad does it sting today?

So this week, we’ll tick down our take on ISU’s 25 most painful losses over the past 10 years, 5 each day. In doing so, we’re hoping to exorcise some demons as we kick off a new decade of ISU football this September.  Feel free to leave your memories of these games in the comments section.  Finally, since it’s going to be painful to remember some of these (trust me, it hurt like hell compiling the list), next week we’ll tick down the 25 sweetest victories over the last decade as we creep closer to football season.

25.) “Thrashing the Apprentice” – Texas 56, ISU 3 – 10/13/2007

Forgive my insolence, my master

Now, it may be just my opinion, but losing a close game hurts FAR more than a blowout. Unfortunately, this was a helluva blowout. #22 Texas walked into Ames to face the 1-4 Cyclones in Gene Chizik’s inaugural season. Although Chizik coached under Brown at Texas, Big Mack Daddy wasn’t about to give his former employee any slack. Texas scored on their first offensive play – a 58 yard TD pass from Colt McCoy to Jordan Shipley, and the rout was on. By the time Chizik said, “Uncle” (to which Mack reportedly said, “No, you call me ‘Daddy’, bitch”), Texas racked up a 56-3 victory, outgaining ISU 514-228. The 53-point loss was the largest of the decade, the most since a 77-14 loss to Nebraska in 1997.

24.) “The Hangover” – UNLV 34, ISU 31, OT – 9/21/2008
After a tough 17-5 loss in Iowa City, the Cyclones looked to rebound in Gene Chizik’s second season, and headed out to Las Vegas. Unfortunately, someone apparently slipped roofies into the water and the team forgot to show up for the first half. UNLV ran up a 21-point lead in the first half, holding the ISU offense to a whopping THIRTY-EIGHT yards in the first half. ISU found their offense on the roof of Ceaser’s Palace at halftime, mounting a furious comeback, driving 92 yards in the last 1:34 to score the tying TD with 0:03 left on the clock. ISU settled for a FG in OT, but UNLV needed only one play to seal the deal, scoring on a 25-yard TD pass and giving ISU fans another overtime hangover, and making me somewhat relieved that Hurricane Ike forced me to cancel my plans to attend this game.  Seriously. Look at this shit.

1.) Take job at Iowa State
2.) Get coin minted in your image
3.) Fail as a coach
4.) Receive golden parachute
5.) Profit

23.) “We’ve got…high hopes…” – Kent St. 23, ISU 14 – 8/30/2007

After 12 years under Dan McCarney, ISU played its first game under new coach Gene Chizik. Expectations were sky-high that Chizik would take ISU to the next level, (remember the infamous “Gene Chizik Commemorative Coins”, anyone?). That high vanished in the first game. Although the first half was fairly even, Kent State’s Julian Edelman and Eugene Jarvis took Kent to a 16-14 lead, when Bret Meyer threw a crippling interception near midfield that was returned to the ISU 8-yard line. Kent State took 2 plays to score, and held on for the win, providing a horrifying sneak peek to the Gene Chizik era.

22.) “OK, what the hell, Gene” – UNI 24, ISU 13 – 9/8/2007

A horrible, horrible day to be a Cyclone

The Kent State game was written off by many as a fluke, first-game jitters, whatever. A record crowd showed up to Jack Trice to watch ISU face off against in-state opponent UNI. Turnovers cost the Cyclones dearly, and UNI jumped out to a 17-6 lead at halftime, which was padded to 24-6 in the third quarter. ISU couldn’t come back, and ISU lost to UNI for the first time since 1994. Fortunately, a win the following week prevented ISU from officially taking the title of “State Bitch”, which may have been Chizik’s greatest accomplishment at Iowa State.

21.) “Just out of reach” – KU 41, ISU 36 – 10/10/2009
Kansas has tortured ISU every year since 2005. 2009 was no different. ISU went into Lawrence to face the #16 Jayhawks after a devastating loss in Kansas City (we’ll come back to that one later). Over the next 3 hours, an offensive slugfest ensued. The lead changed hands 6 times, but the ISU defense held firm and got the ball back with 2:36 to go, ISU marched down to the KU 31, but on 4th and 9, ISU went for broke, with Arnaud throwing downfield to Darius Darks, streaking towards the endzone. The pass fell just past Darks’ fingertips, and KU ran out the clock. It was a missed opportunity for ISU and bad omen for KU, who moved to 5-0, but lost their next 7 games to close out the season. Mangino found his way into a nursery as he tried to ease his pain, and he was fired at the end of the season.  We all remember his “retirement” press conference:

Tomorrow: #20 – #16

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9 Responses to Most Painful Losses, 2000-2009 (Part 1)

  1. Die Hard in the Front Row says:

    Ahhh the Texas game.

    All I can say is… “MASHED PO-TATOES!!! *Clap Clap, Clap Clap Clap!*

    To be followed by “WE WANT GRAVY!!!” *Clap Clap, Clap Clap Clap!* ”

    And the team had the nerve to get pissed at us for trying to entertain ourselves in the 4th quarter… I think they were more annoyed that we were still there watching that disaster

    • mksmith2 says:

      I remember absolutely ****ing with the cheerleaders that game…
      Only good friggen thing about that game.

  2. 4Shaw says:

    The Texas Cylone Massacre. Ah, what hazy memories. It was my first live game and taking the 3-0 lead was the only thing I remember. Grain Alcohol and repression has taken care of the rest. It’s better that way

  3. st8te says:

    of those listed, losing to UNI has to hurt the most. that’s a 1-AA team that is only on the schedule to be a warm up. I’ll take a thrashing at the hands of texas over that

  4. cjwick says:

    that mangino clip is funny shit

  5. TarHeelHawk says:

    I’m glad I’m a Husker fan…..

  6. I am a Cyentist says:

    Good god. What fanbase puts up with more shit than ISU? Good thing (most) of us have a sense of humor.

    PS – Man, the Chizik era was a debacle.

  7. ThatGuy says:

    I was at the KU game, sitting in the KU alumni seats about ten rows up from the end zone where the last play took place. KU fans were very typical. They started by giving us a little grief for having the tickets, but decided it was no big deal because they, “are a football powerhouse now (there words not mine)” and we shouldn’t be that big of a hassle and would be gone by halftime.
    After we kept it close through halftime, they were still friendly but a little bit testy. Allot of “you guys brought your A game” and “our D underestimated you” talk.
    then at the end was when their true colors came out as I heard, “go back to Ames you redneck” and “the ISU side is over there”
    then after the ball fell to the Earth they were all nice again, with the passive aggressive fandom that defines KU people. “Ahh you guys made it close, but never did I think we were going to lose” and “wow we really played down to your level today, nice work”

  8. fatkid1974 says:

    Oh ya the UNI game. I drove over last minute, scalped a ticket to get in all excited to watch the “explosive offense” we were supposed to have that year. Next thing I know we’re booing the team off the field at halftime and the biggest cheers of the second half were when Arnaud subbed in for Meyer. But in true ISU fashion I stayed the whole damn game and suffered every second.

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