Sweetest Wins, 2000-2009 (Part 5)

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Which means it’s the final day of our countdown.  Thank God, because I’m looking forward to getting some sleep again.  If you missed it, catch up with:

It’s been a blast to put these together.  (Well, last week sucked.  This week was pretty awesome)

5.)  “One for Coach Mac” – ISU 21, Missouri 16 – November 18, 2006

Thanks for the memories

Now, as you can probably tell, winning seasons get a big boost in these rankings over losing seasons.  However, this game made it into the Top 5 for two reasons:

  • The end of the Dan McCarney era
  • The results of the 2004 and 2005 Missouri games (both Top 10 on the “Most Painful Losses” list)

Despite high expectations after 2004 and 2005, the 2006 Cyclones couldn’t match the success of the previous two years despite a large senior class.  After squeaking out last-second wins over Toledo and UNI, ISU slumped to 3-6 and the Cyclone fanbase was divided on the future.  Some believed Dan McCarney had peaked as coach, while others favored staying the course.  The former group won out, and McCarney “resigned” on November 8.

On the final game of the season, the 7-3 Missouri Tigers came to Ames for the season finale, and they came out firing, scoring a touchdown on the first possession, and added a field goal in the 2nd quarter to go up 10-0.  However, the Cyclones had a plan:   Kock, and lots of it.  Fullback Ryan Kock was starting for injured RB Stevie Hicks, and ISU spent the entire afternoon ramming Kock down the throat of the Missouri defense, who would be Kock-slapped for 179 yards on the day.  In the 2nd quarter, Kock accounted for 60 yards on a 90-yard touchdown drive, capped with a 9-yard strike from Meyer to Blythe.

In the 3rd, ISU rammed the Kock in the A-hole twice to finish off two more scoring drives to go ahead 21-10.  However, at the start of the 4th, Missouri scored again but failed to convert for 2 points to bring the score to 21-16.   ISU had a chance to put it away, gaining possession with 9:23 to go on their own 41.  They would ride the Kock all the way down to the Missouri 2 yard line.  Meyer would be sacked for a loss of 9, and, in a horrid moment of deja vu, Culbertson missed the 28-yard field goal wide right, giving Mizzou the ball on their own 20 with 3:33 to go.  Chase Daniel would engineer another 4th quarter drive, bringing Mizzou to a 4th and goal with 0:26 to go.  Then, the ISU fanbase had their hearts ripped out for the third year in a row, as Daniel ran off right tackle for the winning touchdown.

NOT so fast, my friend.

Argue all you want, Pinkel. Looks like a hold to me

Missouri was called for holding, and they were moved back to the ISU 11 for one last play:

The game was over, and McCarney got his ride off the field.

4.) “The Cyclones of New” – ISU 36, Nebraska 14 – September 28, 2002

ISU had defeated Nebraska once since 1977.  Total score of those games:  1070-277 (average 45-12).  The #19 Cyclones welcomed the #20 Cornhuskers into Ames in late September for a highly-anticipated contest.  What ensued over the next few hours, however, was a beating.

The Huskers fumbled in the opening drive on their own 38, which was recovered by ISU’s Atif Austin.  ISU drove down to the Nebraska 6 and got on the board with a 23-yard Adam Benike field goal.  After a quick Nebraska three-and-out, ISU and Nebraska traded turnovers before ISU drove to the Nebraska 1 to end the 1st quarter.  Hiawatha Rutland would dive into the endzone (left) to start the 2nd quarter and put ISU up 10-0.  Nebraska appeared to momentarily get in the swing of things, completing a 90-yard TD pass from Jammal Lord to Ross Pilkington on their next play.

ISU would score another Benike field goal and a touchdown on 3-yard toss from Wallace to Danielson (the two also connected for a 2-point conversion), to bring the score to 19-7.  ISU would threaten once more to end the half, but Wallace was intercepted by Fabian Washington in the endzone to end the half.

ISU got first crack in the second half, and marched down the field to score on a 1-yard run by Wallace.  Late in the half, a Tony Yelk punt would be blocked, giving Nebraska the ball on the ISU 2-yard line, where Judd Davies plunged into the endzone to narrow the gap to 26-14.  The Cyclones would pull away at the start of the 4th, when Brandon Brown intercepted Lord and returned the ball to the Nebraska 8.  Wallace entered the endzone 2 plays later to bring it to 33-14.  Nebraska finally was able to mount a drive that entered ISU territory with 10 minutes to play, but they turned the ball over on downs on the ISU 30, and Benike added one more field goal to increase the lead to 36-14.  Nebraska fumbled their final two possessions, and ISU fans stormed the field to celebrate the first win over Nebraska since 1992.

3.) “Tornado Game” – ISU 30, Colorado 16 – November 12, 2005

On a three-game winning streak in conference play, ISU’s home finale was against the slumping #22 Colorado Buffaloes in a must-win game for a shot at the conference division title.  The big story on this day, however, was the weather.  Slightly before kickoff, this shit happened:

Ames PD and the Jack Trice staff scrambled to get ISU fans to safety in Hilton Coliseum.  Many (present company included) chose to stay outside or in the stadium to preserve their seats.  Although the game was delayed a half hour, the crowd was a-rockin’ in Jack Trice, seemingly drawing energy from what Dan McCarney would call “Cyclone Weather”.  There was electricity in the air (literally) and the wind was whipping through Jack Trice as ISU struck first on a 23-yard Bret Culbertson field goal.  ISU would score on their next two drives as Meyer connected with Ben Barkema on the next drive to put ISU up 10-0 and Culbertson hit a 30-yarder to pad the lead to 13-0.

CU woke up, connecting on two long Joel Klatt passes and finishing off with a 1-yard TD run by Hugh Charles.  After an ISU punt, Mason Crosby hit a 32-yard field goal to make it a 13-10 game, and another from 42 in the 3rd quarter to tie it at 13-13.  Shaggy hit a long ball from 45 to put ISU up 16-13, but the momentum appeared to shift when Milan Moses fumbled on the ISU 34.  However, on CU’s first play of the drive, Tim Dobbins stripped the ball from Lawrence Vickers.  Steve Paris scooped it up and sprinted 66 yards to paydirt and give ISU a 23-13 lead going into the 4th quarter.

Crosby showed off his leg strength at the start of the 4th, booming a 57-yard field goal that probably would have been good from 70.  After some good defensive stands by both teams, CU was threatening to tie the game on the ISU 27 when ISU put it away.  On an attempted screen pass, Klatt was hurried by Jason Berryman and threw the ball right into the hands of “Big Play” Curvey, who rumbled 66 yards to the endzone to kill any chance of a comeback.

After the game, Colorado head coach Gary Barnett would say:  “I thought we had a pretty good mascot. But when we showed up at Iowa State and they had a real tornado, that’s the real deal.”

2.) “SO PROUD…” ISU 9, Nebraska 7 – October 24, 2009

1977.  The last time ISU beat Nebraska in Lincoln.  As it turns out, this would be the LAST TIME for the foreseeable future that ISU would play a football game in Lincoln, as Nebraska would move to the Big 10 in the offseason.  Husker fans may cite the Texas game as the reason, but I still think we should take credit.

No words are required.  Highlights:

Now, the turnovers set to “Yakety Sax” (Benny Hill theme):

CPR’s reaction:

And, of course, the immortal words:

1.) “There’s a first time…” – ISU 37, Pittsburgh 29 – December 28, 2000

108 different squads had suited up for their alma mater, be it Iowa Agricultural College, Iowa A&M, Iowa State College, or Iowa State University, and all 108 squads had one thing in common:

None of them had ever won a bowl game.

There were close calls (particularly the ’72 Liberty Bowl where a failed 2-point conversion was the deciding factor), but ISU was 0-4 all-time in bowl games.

Until this day.

A raucous crowd of nearly 42,000 that heavily favored Iowa State descended on Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix, Arizona to watch the 8-3 Cyclones take on the 7-4 Pittsburgh Panthers.  Pitt would go up first on a 72-yard strike from John Turman to Antonio Bryant, but from there, it was all about Sage Rosenfels and ISU.  Sage hooked up with Chris Anthony twice for scores, and Joe Woodley and Ennis Haywood each added touchdown runs to put ISU ahead 27-7 at halftime.

Pitt’s Rod Rutherford would score in the 3rd quarter, and Antonio Bryant would find the endzone again to make the score 27-20 in favor of ISU.  However, early in the 4th quarter, JaMaine Billups sprung free on a punt return and scampered 77 yards to extend the lead to 14.  Pitt would pull to 29-34, but good defense and special teams play, including a downed punt at the 1, would prevent Pitt from taking the lead, and Carl Gomez added a 41-yard field goal to put the game out of reach, and the ISU fans stormed the field, tearing down the goalposts in celebration of ISU’s first 9-win season since 1906.

Thanks for coming along.  Hope you enjoyed this look back at the past 10 years.  A new decade is upon us, so here’s to enjoying the good and drinking away the bad.



Sweetest Wins, 2000-2009 (Part 4)

Thursday morning.  8 a.m.

Football season is 14 days, 11 hours away.  I’m getting slightly anxious, as you can probably tell.  These last two weeks can’t go fast enough.  A new decade of ISU football is just around the corner.

Enough chit-chat. Let’s get on with the Top 10*


Let’s rock-and-roll

Sweetest Wins, 2000-2009 (Part 3)

Double down on the sweetness today.  Fight the urge to go break some shit and yank out some parking meters.  That only works in a mob.  You’re going to get your ass kicked if you do it by yourself.

If you’d like to recap, you can find #25-#21 and #20-#16 in the archives. As always, if you think I’m whacked out of my mind, feel free to leave a comment and correct me.  This is just some asshole’s opinion, and I’m already waffling on what I should have done different. Let’s continue…

Sweetest Wins, 2000-2009 (Part 2)

First off, my apologies for missing yesterday’s update.  Turns out I’m not in college anymore and I can’t handle a week of 4 hours of sleep per night like I used to.


Thus, Part 2 goes up now (8 a.m.) to give you something for the morning of Hump Day.  Part 3 is scheduled to go up at noon to get you through the afternoon.

One thing I did want to do, though, is to encourage you to comment. Think I’m way off? Let me hear about it. I’m a big boy (both figuratively and literally), I can take it. To be perfectly honest, I had a hard time ranking these wins…I’m finding it much more difficult than ranking the losses.  There’s a logjam in the area of today’s rankings where they’re so close I could move them up or down 5 spots easily without feeling any different.

Also, if you missed Part 1, you can find it here.

Next 5 in

Check back tomorrow for more “Sweetest Wins”

The next round of ISU’s “Sweetest Wins” of the past decade isn’t ready just yet because I “fell asleep” last night.

My bad.

Check back tomorrow, where we’ll double-down on the day and release #20-#11.

Sweetest Wins, 2000-2009 (Part 1)

Set dumpsters ablaze at your own risk

If you were reading WRNL last week, you were subjected to ISU’s 25 most painful losses of the past decade.  That was a bit of a bitch move right before the season, particularly since it wound up being a lot more painful than anyone anticipated.  So, to make it up to you, this week we’ll recap 25 of ISU’s sweetest wins over the past decade.  We owe you at least that much.  Next week we’ll start making some predictions for the 2010 campaign, and we can start talking tailgating…look for an announcement regarding a WRNL tailgate on the shores of Lake Hilton coming in the near future.

Now, some of these towards the bottom may not be riot-worthy (depending on how much justification you require to riot), but the top few might stir some urges to overturn some cars or send a dumpster down Lincoln Way*

*WRNL takes no responsibility for any riots sparked off by the recalling of these wins, or any resulting damages from the Ames PD teargassing Friley/Helser and macing the folks coming out of the bars…you were warned.

Happy Days are here again…

Most Painful Losses, 2000-2009 (Part 5)

It’s over.  It’s finally over.  Our final five are revealed today, and over the weekend we can start debating over some WINS.  Thank God, my co-workers were beginning to wonder why I was coming into work looking like I’d been up crying all night and reeking of booze and anguish.

If you want to re-live the horror, you can go read #25-#21#20-#16, #15-#11, and #10-#6.*

*Caution:  Reading all these losses in one sitting may cause depression, alcoholism, an urge to cut yourself, and general misery.  Heartbreaking losses are to be remembered only in moderation.

WRNL would like to thank the Murph and Andy Show on KXNO for the opportunity to discuss this list on the air yesterday. You can listen to the podcast here.  And yes, I am still alive.  Hammered, but alive.

And now, the top 5…