There were only 11 schools in Division 1A athletics whose football team played in a bowl game and the men’s & women’s basketball and volleyball teams participated in their NCAA Championships last season.
Iowa State was one of them.
Much of the credit should be directed toward coaches Paul Rhoads, Fred Hoiberg, Bill Fennelly and Christy Johnson-Lynch.
Hoiberg became the latest of them to show his allegiance to the Cyclones by agreeing recently to an eight-year contract.
“Our recent achievement has been achieved through hard work by many individuals, but the pillars of that success are Paul, Fred, Bill and Christy,” Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard said. “The common trait of these coaches is dynamic leadership. Each has also demonstrated a commitment to Iowa State and a desire to be Cyclones.”
Consider these facts:
· Rhoads has guided Iowa State to two bowls in the last three years (it had been seven years since that happened)… Rhoads agreed to a 10-year contract extension in 2011;
· Hoiberg led his Cyclones to their first NCAA Tournament since 2005… Hoiberg agreed to an eight-year contact in May;
· Fennelly had coached his clubs to the NCAA Tournament six years in a row (unprecedented at Iowa State)… Fennelly agreed to a 12-year contract in 2007; and
· Johnson-Lynch has taken her program to six straight appearances in the NCAA Championship (unprecedented at the school)… Johnson-Lynch agreed to a four-year contract in 2010.
When you are able to surround yourself with outstanding individuals in leadership positions, there is an opportunity for sustained success. The Cyclones seem pretty well primed for an exciting future.
Followers of college football have been clamoring for a playoff so that a true national champion can be crowned.
What’s puzzling is that some fans, media and athletics administrators believe the playoff field should include only conference champions. That seems out-of-touch in light of what has transpired the last two years. Here is a partial list of the teams that won world or national championships in seasons they didn’t win their own division:
· St. Louis won the 2011 World Series (they finished 2nd in the NL Central);
· Green Bay won the 2011 Super Bowl (they finished 2nd in the NFC North);
· Dallas won the 2010-11 NBA Championship (they finished 2nd in the Southwest);
· Alabama won the 2012 college football championship (they finished 2nd in the SEC West);
· UCONN won the 2011 college men’s basketball championship (they finished tied for 9th in the Big East);
· Los Angeles & New Jersey are currently competing for the Stanley Cup (L.A. was 3rd in the Pacific and N.J. was 4th in the Atlantic).
Saying that conference champs only can make the playoff really means you want to limit the number of schools from any one league or division. That could eliminate a worthy contender if more than one great team competes in a division or conference.
Requiring a conference title for playoff admission in college football could be awkward.
Let’s say LSU wins the SEC West with a 9-3 record and undefeated Georgia (12-0) wins the SEC East. Let’s say UGA also registered a non-conference road win vs. a nationally ranked team and defeated LSU during the regular season.
Then, the Tigers defeat the Bulldogs by a field goal in double overtime of the SEC Championship game. If only league champs advance to the playoffs, it would mean a 10-3 team gets selected over a 12-1 squad with a much stronger full-season resume.
There have certainly been many conference, league and division winners who have gone on to the win championships. But, there have been others (non-champs) who got hot at the right time and made worthy championship runs, too.
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