Iowa State's double-overtime upset of Oklahoma State hurt the Big 12 — it kept the Cowboys out of the national title game — but did wonders for the Cyclones. Gave Iowa State a bowl berth and a night to remember for the greatest win program history.
“I think the most significant component of that victory for our football program has been national attention,” said Cyclone coach Paul Rhoads. “And you play that game on a Friday night at a point late in the season that affected the BCS race, and you got the whole nation talking it all weekend long.
“Now, that spills over, most importantly for us, into recruiting. And you go into living rooms and you go into schools and on the practice fields this spring and the Iowa State brand is recognized on a national level probably more so than it's ever been.”
K-STATE THE UNDERDOG — AGAIN
Kansas State was picked eighth in Big 12 football last season. The Wildcats finished second. Now KSU is picked sixth. Is that a good thing for the ‘Cats? Does K-State embrace the underdog role?
“I'm not altogether certain,” said KSU coach Bill Snyder. “I just hope that we can do something similar to that. Do we perform better as quote/unquote underdogs? That I don't know. I haven't seen any statistics in that regard. Last year, we played reasonably well in those circumstances.”
BIG 12 SETS SIGHTS ON HOSTING TITLE GAME
Looking ahead to the dawning of the playoff era, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said the conference is positioned to be a major player in the process of hosting the national championship game, with premium stadiums within its boundaries.
“Yeah, I like our chances,” Bowlsby said. “I think we don't aspire to be competitive. We aspire to be the best in everything we do.
“And that brings with it a measure of aggressiveness that we will bring to everything we're doing, from where we go for our bowl games to how we position ourselves to compete for the national championship, to hosting and helping to host things within our region.
“So I like our position very much. And I like it in the short term and I like it in the long term.”
ISU DEFENSE A DIVERSION?
Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said he probably will wait until after the last scrimmage of training camp in August before deciding between Jared Barnett and Steele Jantz.
“We most definitely need better play from the quarterback position if we're going to become a better football team,” Rhoads said, “and namely in the area of accuracy. Our quarterbacks completed, I think, 51 percent of their passes is all last year. We threw too many to the wrong-colored jersey.”