Dictionary.com defines the word streak as, “A continuous period of specified success or luck.”
Urban dictionary counters with, “The act of removing ones clothes, and running about in the buff, usually near a group of people, but only be seen momentarily, makes people go "wtf?"
Thus ends my streak of not using a definition to start a column – an unfortunate turn of events. Don’t fret, we will get into the second definition shortly, all clothes will remain, I think.
When Iowa State and Kansas get together, the eyes of the nation most certainly will not be upon them. This is no Big Monday; that will have to wait until January. But if you look beyond the rudimentary stakes of this early October contest, there are some hard-to-fathom streaks waiting to be broken. Cal Ripken Jr. and Joe Dimaggio have nothing on these feats. But trust me these are not much to brag about.
The first streak on the line is the one the esteemed Kirk Haaland touched on last week. Iowa State has not won a conference opener since 2002. As Kirk mentioned, that was Mark Mangino’s first game on the KU sidelines. The No. 1 song was Nelly and Kelly Rowland’s timeless classic, “Dilemma.” Even when I’m with my boo, you know I’m crazy without you.
Twelve straight years the Cyclones have opened up the Big 12 season 0-1. So if we extrapolate this further, Iowa State has not been above .500 in conference play since they defeated Colorado in the "Tornado Game" of 2005. The Colorado quarterback that night was FOX’s main college football analyst Joel Klatt.
But that is only a portion of the weirdness that could end on Saturday.
Get this: Iowa State has lost 16 straight games that have started before noon. No, that is not a misprint. The Cyclones have not won an early start game since the November 5, 2011 game with Kansas kicked off at 11:30 a.m. In that contest, Zach Guyer hit a 42 yard field goal with four minutes left to hold off Turner Gill’s club 13-10. Two weeks later, Jeff Woody would more memorably drag Oklahoma State defenders into the end-zone. But 16 morning kicks have occurred since with no Cyclone victory.
Perhaps the Cyclones are uninspired by the lack of quality morning programming on TV these days. What happened to the Looney Tunes on Saturday morning? Where did the cartoons go? Now everything is educational and odd. I miss Tasmanian devil’s solid morals.
Maybe the pillows at the team hotel need flipped? The air conditioning fan a little too loud?
This brings me to a story. Iowa State’s first morning game of the sleepless steak was November 26, 2011 at Oklahoma. The team stayed at a certain hotel about 10 minutes from the Norman campus (I will withhold the hotel name to protect the innocent.) The wake-up call for the team that morning was scheduled for 7 a.m. On four separate occasions in the middle of the night, the fire alarm went off throughout the entire hotel. Four times! Nobody got much sleep and the zombie Cyclones lost to the Sooners 26-6. Needless to say, Iowa State has not stayed at the same collection of embassy suites since then.
So, if you own a coffee shop in Ames this seems like a fine investment to make in the local team. Get those fellas some Folgers in their cup Saturday morning.
On the other side of the streak ledger, Kansas has lost 27 straight road games in the Big 12 Conference. Their last conference win came on the road at….Iowa State on October 4, 2008. Sixteenth ranked Kansas (yep they were ranked for the 16th straight week, a school record) trailed Gene Chizik’s Cyclones 20-0 at the half.
The Jayhawks proceeded to put up 35 second half points and clip the Cyclones 35-33. Kansas’ head coach that day was of course Mark Mangino. Also on his staff was Brandon Blaney (Iowa State’s offensive line coach) and Tommy Mangino (Iowa State’s wide-receiver coach). Mangino’s wide-receiver coach at the time was David Beatty—now Kansas’ head coach. Wacky, wild stuff I tell you. The newest iPhone 3G just debuted and Sarah Palin was just named John McCain’s running mate.
Ever since that day, the Jayhawks have not won a Big 12 road game.
While that Kansas streak is ugly, Baylor holds the Big 12 record for winless years on the road. They went nine years without a Big 12 road win from 1996 to 2005. Their streak breaker came in ….Ames in a 23-13 victory on October 8, 2005. The win was so transcendent for the Bears, their managers gathered together at midfield and had the Iowa State video guys take their picture with a digital camera (what are those?) with the scoreboard in the background.
Now almost seven years to the day from their last Big 12 road win, the Jayhawks return to the scene of the crime. Something has to give.
As promised, back to the urban dictionary definition for a second. The Frank the Tank version of streak also has an Iowa State connection. To my knowledge, it has been a 22 year streak since a streaker last streaked across Jack Trice Stadium.
On a frigid November afternoon in 1993, Iowa State hosted 18th ranked Kansas State. Trailing 17-6 in the third quarter, Iowa State appeared lifeless and on their way to another loss. Then a gentleman with no clothes on ran across the frozen astroturf before being corralled by a police officer. WE’RE GOING STREAKING. To quote the late, great Pete Taylor, “And there is a streaker and oh is he streaking. He is caught by the police and he doesn’t have a STICH on. He is in full view of everybody I want to tell you.”
Video here at 1:55:
“Now there is a guy with a big ego,” Taylor said.
Somehow after this brazen act, Iowa State and Todd Doxzon mounted a comeback to upset K-State 27-23. Jim Walden never won another game. No word on what happened to the guy with the big ego.
Streaks are made to be broken, especially when Iowa State and Kansas get together. When the Cyclones and Jayhawks battle Saturday, it may not get national attention, but it’s bound to get weird.
Let’s just hope everyone keeps their clothes on.