It’s time to drop the asterisks now

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The fourth-largest crowd in Jack Trice Stadium history watched the Cyclones whip Western Illinois Saturday night. It was an amazing turnout.

For years, naysayers marked Iowa State’s largest crowds with an asterisk. That was so they could “explain” the total by pointing out who the opponent was.

At one point in time, many of ISU’s biggest home football gatherings did come against nearby rivals Nebraska or Iowa. Times have changed.

Iowa State’s two non-league home games this season attracted crowds of 55,783 (WIU) and 54,931 (Tulsa). To put those figures in perspective, there was a stretch of five consecutive games in Jack Trice Stadium vs. non-BCS foes from 1998-2000 which had an average crowd of 34,074.

Since the Big 12 formed in 1996, Iowa State has hosted 39 non-league games:

·        From ’96-’05, seven of 21 non-conference games drew fewer than 40,000 fans

·        From ’06-present, eight of 18 non-conference games drew more than 50,000 fans

The Cyclones averaged 42,761 fans in its home, non-conference contests from 1996-2005 and have averaged 50,111 the last seven years. That’s a 17.2% increase.

It’s no longer necessary to note Cyclone support with an asterisks attached to the crowd total. The support is real and the numbers are there to back it up.

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/SteveMalchow

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