At the macro level, the Iowa State athletics department took another step forward competitively in 2012-13.
The championship season in the Big 12 recently concluded and the Cyclones placed seventh in the league all-sports race. That is ISU’s best finish since the conference formed in 1996 (although the school did finish eighth in a 12-team conference the first year and again in 2010).
Like most prior seasons, schools from the south led the all-sports standings as Texas (which won the title for the 15th straight year), Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Baylor finished 1-2-3-4.
What stands out more than anything from 2012-13 is that 10 of the Cyclones’ 18 sports finished in the upper division of the conference. That’s an all-time high for one season at Iowa State.
To put that accomplishment into proper perspective, consider this:
One decade ago (2004), the Iowa State gymnastics program (placing 2nd of four teams) was the one and only sport that finished in the first division of the Big 12 standings. That was the second year in succession that only one sport (in 2003, it was men’s cross country) finished above the mid-point in the Big 12.
The record-breaking total of first-division programs in 2012-13 is a sign of total department progress. It’s proof positive that the Cyclones are trending in the right direction. Finally, it’s a reflection that some of the investments made in prior seasons are paying dividends.