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Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Best and worst of 2012: Iowa State

By David Ubben

Time to continue our series on the best and worst moments of 2012 for each team in the Big 12. Next up: Iowa State.

Worst moment: Slummin' in Memphis

There was tons of energy at the Liberty Bowl, and 25,000 Iowa State fans made their way to the banks of the Mississippi River, despite the school only being given 14,000 tickets. They were loud as the Cyclones raced to a 17-7 lead over Tulsa with a pair of long touchdowns. The postseason appearance looked promising ... and then it didn't. The offense came back to earth with a thud over the final three quarters. The Cyclones didn't score the rest of the game and didn't even manage a first down in the third quarter, falling behind by double digits in the third quarter after a costly personal foul penalty extended a Tulsa drive. Promising freshman quarterback Sam Richardson was dealing with a flu bug, but he was benched in the fourth quarter for senior Steele Jantz, who promptly coughed up a pair of turnovers and the Cyclones gave up more than 300 rushing yards, getting outmuscled by the Conference USA champs.

Best moment: Another year, another upset

Paul Rhoads has made his legend on these games, hasn't he? Nevermind the specifics (TCU's starting quarterback, Casey Pachall was suspended days earlier after a drunk driving arrest). Iowa State walked into No. 15 TCU's brand-new Big 12 house for its home Big 12 opener and beat up on the undefeated Frogs, connecting on a pair of long touchdowns from Jared Barnett to race to a 37-23 lead and improve their record to 4-1. TCU proved to be a capable team late in the season, but the Cyclones lit up the Big 12's No. 1 defense, shrugging off a talented secondary for a huge win and another upset of a top 15 team. Rhoads beat No. 2 Oklahoma State last year and earned wins over Texas in 2010 and Nebraska in 2009. Line this up as yet another upset on Rhoads' resume, and without it, the Cyclones wouldn't have gone bowling for the third time in four years.

More best and worst of 2012: