Editor's Note: ESPN Insider has teamed with Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook to provide a comprehensive look at all 119 Division I-A teams. To order the complete 2005 edition of Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook, visit www.blueribbonyearbook.com or call 1-866-805-BALL (2255).
(All information as of July 1, 2005)
COACH AND PROGRAM
Dan McCarney capped off his first decade as the Cyclones' head man in fine fashion, winning seven games with what was essentially a young team.
McCarney has resurrected this moribund program as the Cyclones' four bowls in the past five seasons clearly show. Last season represented some of McCarney's finest work as Iowa State looked deader than Adam Sandler's Oscar hopes after a 2-4 start (including an 0-3 mark in Big 12 action).
McCarney then snapped his charges out of a 13-game losing streak in league play; the Cyclones won five of their last six games to finish in a first-place tie with Colorado in the Big 12 North. Sure, the Big 12 North isn't what it was a few years ago when Nebraska, Kansas State and Colorado were national powers, but that's still a nice finishing kick.
In fact, the Cyclones came within a field goal of winning the division, but dropped a tough 17-14 decision to Missouri in their regular-season finale. For engineering the improbable turnaround from 2-10 in 2003 to seven victories last fall, McCarney was voted the 2004 Big 12 Coach of the Year by his peers.