When was the last time anyone in Stillwater was excited about playing Iowa State?
Not last year. In the days leading up to our road game versus the Cyclones the game was thought to be a mere tune-up before the all-important Bedlam/by-default Big 12 championship. Iowa State was 5-4, and not thought to be dangerous at all. The Weeden2Blackmon train was rolling, OSU was fresh off of an eerie 66-6 drubbing of Texas Tech, and the championship picture was clear. The Cowboys controlled their own destiny. However, that destiny would not be kind to the Cowboys.
Despite only learning of the tragedy that befell the Cowgirl basketball team hours before game time, the football team was obligated to play. The Cowboys were able to go up 24-7 on ISU before surrendering seventeen unanswered points to the Cyclones. Iowa State was able to sneak the win on a disputed missed field goal by OSU, but the Cowboys should have never allowed it to be that close. OSU had four quarters to beat an inferior team. Still no one could fault them for playing flat. There were more important things to think about.
This season, for the first ever season, Iowa State comes into Stillwater with a number 24th BCS ranking on its back. It's a big-ish game. The stakes for both teams are much higher. For OSU, it is a last chance to get the season back on track, a crossroads that will send us in the right or wrong direction. For ISU is a chance to continue to prove the fledgeling football legitimacy they forged last season when they rushed the field after beating the Cowboys. The tables will be reversed as the Cowboys will be the ones playing spoiler; ISU is the team with a shot at the Big 12. The Cyclones will want to defend their 24th ranking like the poor child who has finally gotten a shiny new toy at Christmas. Or the hobo who found a case of just barely out of date Natural Light out behind the local Kum and Go. After seasons in the desert, Iowa State appreciates and values their new found respect, so we must do what they did to us last year. We must humiliate them.
It's Payback Time.