Getting back at Kansas should have been the driving force for Iowa State. Last season, the Jayhawks kept the Cyclones out of the Big 12 Championship game with a come-from-behind, overtime victory in Lawrence. For Iowa State, thoughts of revenge may have been clouded by the fact that their team has been suffering through a winless conference campaign in 2006. It quickly became evident that no amount of revenge, redemption, or fan support that shuffled into Jack Trice Stadium could lift the Cyclones toward victory…
A sunny day in Ames splashed some vibrance into the stadium even though the hearty faithful that showed up for their Cyclones were grumbling about the team’s weak efforts and bad mouthing the coaching staff. While the band offered its pregame hype, the school president marched onto the field and took the microphone. He urged the fans to stand up (he had to repeat himself a couple times before the fans actually followed through), and cheer their team onto victory. In a matter of moments, the east side of the stadium was chanting, “CYCLONE!” while the west side answered with “POWER!” Cyclone power is a mere suggestion of what Iowa State has been able to muster this year. The fans changed the chant to “I-S-U,” but in unison, it sounded more like a mutter, which reflected the frustration of this football season.
Iowa State forced out of the gates with a strong drive that finished in a field goal. However, the three-point lead would be transitory as Kansas answered the Cyclones furiously and repetitively. The four touchdowns scored by the Jayhawks lifted any Cyclone power clear out of the stadium. The Kansas band played “Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight” and waved their hands back and forth to emulate the waving wheat that grows in their proud state. By the game’s end, Jayhawk arms grew weary as Kansas dropped 41 points on the stumbling Cyclones. Iowa State watched their Big 12 record sink deeper and their bowl hopes vanish.
Iowa State’s only attempt at fighting back came from the Cyclone band. During the third quarter, Cyclone band members snuck up behind the Kansas band and began pounding out their tunes in an effort to drown out the Jayhawk side of the stadium. Their efforts were in vain as the Kansas band stood undaunted. As the Iowa State band walked away, a few Jayhawk fans screamed, “SCOREBOARD!” to emphasize the Kansas domination.
The Jayhawks are moving in the right direction as the season nears its finale. One more victory, and Kansas will be headed to a second straight bowl game. Iowa State will have to save their Cyclone power for next year and hope that revenge can help get them out of the Big 12 cellar.