After dropping both opening games to Northern Iowa and Iowa at home to start the season, Paul Rhoads knew that his honeymoon with the Iowa State football fanbase was over and his team would have to work hard to meet the expectations of a bowl. One win and seven straight losses after, are things even worse for the Cyclone head coach?
They shouldn’t be, and Rhoads himself doesn’t believe he could lose his job after already clinching his worst season.
From Rhoads’ weekly teleconference call (via the Des Moines Register):
“You always feel job pressure when you’re not performing well, because the pressure of the job is to be successful and to get your fans excited about what is it you’re doing,” Rhoads answered. “If you’re asking the question, ‘Do I feel like I could lose my job?’ Absolutely not.”
While there’s certainly questions surrounding both coordinators, Courtney Messingham and Wally Burnham, anybody that expects Rhoads to lose his job over a three-win or less season needs to settle down.
Rhoads has potentially one of the best recruiting classes in Iowa State football history coming in next season, and his previous coaching experience at Pittsburgh and Auburn gives him connections to recruiting in the Northeast and Southeast regions (especially Florida).
Fans were spoiled with three bowl games in his first four seasons and big victories over top 25 teams. None of that came even close to happening this year, but remember that Rhoads isn’t rebuilding a program. He’s trying to create something out of nothing.
Iowa State went to just nine bowl games before Rhoads became head coach in their entire history. Since 1920, the Cyclones have only had one of 21 coaches finish with over a .500 record – Earle Bruce from 1973-78 with a 36-32 overall record in six seasons. They’ve won just 506 of 1,162 total games they’ve played.
This season has been a trying time for everybody involved with the program and no blame should be focused on one person.
The Cyclones may have one of their worst seasons in history and could finish with just one win, but that’s not nearly enough to even think about putting Rhoads on a hot seat. If the injuries continue to compile, the offensive line shows zero improvement, the quarterback position continues to be abysmal, and the team gets blown out multiple times next year, then we can chat. Until then, let’s put the focus on finishing up this season and looking ahead to next year.