Believe it or not, Iowa State has just ended the season with a winning record for the first time in 4 years. I think what I learned the most, is that the whole "extra practices" shtick, is a kind of a crock. The story about these teams' is that the offenses were inconsistent and forced a lot of errors. Despite the extra practices, the teams' offenses were inconsistent and force a lot of errors!
In the end, you are who you are. A few weeks wasn't going to suddenly make ISU's defense more athletic, and the offense a high scoring aerial show. The same flaws were there. Still though, against most opponents, these guys play hard enough to stay in games. I think a lot of the improving heading into next year is going to have to happen during the spring practices.
The Cyclones were fortunate they were playing Minnesota. Committing 4 turnovers typically would result in getting spanked around. That MarQueis Gray fumble was one of the luckiest things I've seen, but glad it worked out, mostly because Gray just showboated after getting a first down just a play or two before. I don't believe in talking shit when you're losing, and when they panned to him with his head down on the bench when ISU was driving, I laughed my ass off!. Either the guy learns, or he's just an asshole that some defense is going to tear his head off when he does crap like that! Seriously though, I was telling those with me that I felt like if Minnesota had gone 99 yards and scored the TD, I didn't like ISU's chances, as they hadn't done much in the 2nd half. But somehow, someway, the Cyclones did not quit on defense, despite giving up the yards, and was able to get the turnover.
After our wins over Nebraska now now Minnesota, I don't think any ISU fan can complain about being an unlucky program. We've seen our share of the ball bouncing the other way, but this year we saw a good amount of the ball bouncing ours. Every game, there are a handful of plays that make or break it. We've seen ISU in some of these games step up and do it. In general, the lucky and unlucky even out, and we do get the good end of things at times. We need to remember that, the next time we lose on a circumstance we're disappointed with.
To me, the game MVP ought to be Cyclone Fans. Despite a tough economy and the fact it was expensive to get out to Tempe, they showed up in large numbers, making Sun Devil Stadium feel like home.