The phrase trust the process, or believe in the process, well, about anything to do with a process has been the rage in sports the past few years. Somewhat coined by the Philadelphia 76ers, in their forever eternal rebuilding project that’s lasted since Allen Iverson skipped out of town, trust the process is a simple phrase to understand
“Hey, we know what we’re doing, just give us some time and we’ll right the ship.”
To me, that’s what trust the process means. Now in Philly’s case, the process has been a long, painstaking ordeal that’s seen countless bad draft picks not pan out or continually get hurt. What’s up Joel Embiid?
The process has been going on for some of our in-state football programs. Iowa State has been trying to build up their team since, well, for as long as I’ve been alive. Since the ‘glory’ days of Dan McCarney, I’ve seen Iowa State struggle their way to three or four win seasons for at least 25 of my 30 years. I can count on my hand the number of times I’ve seen Iowa State in a bowl game.
Although if not for Iowa State’s collapse in 2002, I don’t think I would’ve been introduced to Boise State as early as I was. Hipster Sports Guy liked Boise State before they beat Oklahoma in a BCS bowl game.
I remember thinking in that 2002 season with Seneca Wallace, after that thrashing of Nebraska that Iowa State is finally going to get this program off the ground. Then the Cyclones were smashed by Oklahoma and sent back to the pit of mediocrity that has been Cyclone football since 2002.
Look, Paul Rhodes did some good things with the program after McCarney was fired and there was that weird two year period that doesn’t exist in the history books anymore. Rhodes got Iowa State some big wins but was unable to keep the momentum going which ultimately lead to his downfall, much like Coach Mac.
Both of those men tried so hard to get the program on the map while their peer in Iowa City is content to chew his gum, churn out a 10 win season every three years to earn another large contract, and generally draw the ire of his fan base with conservative play calling. Hey, if you can do what Kirk Ferentz does for 20 years or so and remain a head coach, stick with what brought you to the dance.
Regardless, Iowa State has never been able to turn that corner like their supposed big brother of a program out east. I’m not going to make any lies about it, I was born in Ames and grew up around the Ames area. My grandparents worked at Iowa State. I was born and bred to by a Cyclone fan. I’ve been a fan of struggling franchises who have shown hints of greatness before going back down to the depths of the standings.
This three game run of the 2017 Iowa State football team might be the best three game stretch I can ever remember. They beat an Oklahoma team they had no business beating, but as a life-long fan, you’re always wondering when the shoe would drop. Then they handled Kansas as they were meant to, but alright we have a road game coming up against a high powered offense. Huh, they beat a Texas Tech team and held them to just 13 points.
I told a friend of mine over the weekend that this are year four results in year two under Matt Campbell. One of the ESPN talking heads was spouting all over Twitter on Saturday that Campbell is gonna leave because some bigger school is going to poach him. This is why it’s hard trusting the Iowa State process.
Anytime a major program like football or basketball get some momentum built up, oh here comes something to take it away. Whether it be not getting the right players or having them pan out for football, or your hometown basketball coach chases an NBA dream that’s turned into a nightmare.
Side note: Iowa State men’s basketball coaches, do not go coach the Bulls. Didn’t work out for Tim Floyd in a post Jordan world. Not working out for Fred Hoiberg as the Bulls GM never gave him a shot with a complete team world either. Just stay in Ames or move to a different college town. The Iowa State-Chicago connection should be buried in the history pages along with Gene Chizik.
Coach Campbell is showing a progress to a tortured fan base, but as with anything with Iowa State, we’re always waiting for that shoe to drop. Unlike the 76ers in the NBA, the Iowa State process has lasted longer than I’ve been alive for the football program. If Campbell wants to stay in Ames and have us trust the process, keep doing what you’re doing.
Otherwise it’s back to crying on Saturdays and laughing at Iowa struggling to beat Northwestern consistently.