Big 12: Ben Bruns
McCarney led the Cyclones to five bowl trips in the first six seasons of the decade. That record was as good as any team's in the North Division to that point.
Things didn't go as swimmingly for the Cyclones for the second half of the decade, although Rhoads' gutty underachievers were one of the biggest surprises in college football in 2009.
Here's a look at my all-decade team for Iowa State.
QB: Seneca Wallace
RB: Alexander Robinson
RB: Ennis Haywood
WR: Todd Blythe
WR: Lane Danielson
TE: Mike Banks
OL: Reggie Stephens
OL: Cale Stubbe
OL: Bob Montgomery
OL: Aaron Brant
C: Ben Bruns
DL: Nick Leaders
DL: Brent Curvey
DL: Jordan Carstens
DL: Reggie Haywood
LB: Alvin Bowen
LB: Tim Dobbins
LB: Jesse Smith
DB: LaMarcus Hicks
DB: Ellis Hobbs
DB: JaMaine Billups
DB: Leonard Johnson
P: Tony Yelk
K: Adam Benike
Offensive player of the decade: QB Seneca Wallace. Fans remember his serpentine touchdown run against Texas Tech in 2002, but he also led the Cyclones to back-to-back bowl trips while setting the single-season school records for passing and total offense.
Defensive player of the decade: LB Alvin Bowen. A two-time team most valuable player, Bowen produced 155 tackles as a senior in 2006 to become All-Big 12 linebacker and one of the most productive players in ISU history.
Coach of the decade: Dan McCarney. When he was fired after the 2006 season, he had more wins, more bowl trips and more bowl victories than any coach in the school's history. And if he had a more consistent field goal kicker, McCarney might have won that elusive North Division championship that the Cyclones are still looking for.
Moment of the decade: Iowa State’s 37-29 victory over Pittsburgh in the 2000 Insight.com Bowl. Sage Rosenfels passed for 308 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Cyclones to their first bowl victory in school history. It capped a 9-3 season that was the most victories by a Cyclone team since 1906.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Today is a reminder of rebirth and renewal.
Lawrence, Kan., was burned to the ground by pro-slavery forces 153 years ago today on May 21, 1856.
On that date, a pro-slavery posse led by Sheriff Samuel J. Jones burned the Free-State Hotel, destroyed the printing equipment of two anti-slavery newspapers and also looted several businesses in what has come to be known as the sacking of Lawrence. One man was killed in the ransacking of the city when he was struck dead by a stone falling from the burning hotel.
From those horrific events, one of America's most beautiful college towns has emerged.
I always think of the story of "Bleeding Kansas" every time I visit Lawrence. It puts all my thoughts about athletics into perspective.
Today, we have a large collection of Big 12 links for your reading pleasure.
- Former Michigan wide receiver Toney Clemons has decided to transfer to Colorado, the Boulder Daily Camera's Kyle Ringo reports.
- Jeffrey Martin of the Kansas City Star/Wichita Eagle writes of the extensive work that new KSU athletic director John Currie will have in rebuilding trust at his new job in the wake of the "secret deal" between former athletic director Bob Krause and former KSU football coach Ron Prince. And the Wichita Eagle's Bob Lutz writes how the deal besmirches outgoing KSU president Jon Wefald's once-proud legacy at the school.
- The Williams and Hyatt Sports Blog can't believe that Mike Leach is only the seventh mouthiest coach in college football.
- Kyle Ringo of the Boulder Daily Camera writes of the loneliness of covering the Big 12 meetings.
- Former Iowa State All-American offensive lineman Ben Bruns is working as the project manager on the $12 million renovation of the east side of Jack Trice Stadium, the Ames Tribune's Bobby La Gesse reports.
- The Independence Bowl landed a new title sponsorship with AdvoCare International, Roy Lang III of the Shreveport Times reports. The bowl has been linked with the Big 12 since 1998, although it didn't have access to a team from the conference last season.
- Nebraska guard Andy Christensen has been officially granted a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA, Rich Kaipust of the Omaha World-Herald reports.
- After being arrested twice in the last week, the Houston Texans released former Oklahoma Sooners offensive lineman Brandon Walker before his first training camp, the Oklahoman's Jake Trotter reports.
- The Omaha World-Herald profiles new Iowa State strength coach Yancy McKnight, who it terms might be the key for respectability for the Cyclones' football program.
- Dustin Eskew of China Springs, Texas, tells Chad Conine of the Waco Tribune-Herald he's excited about his chances of sticking at Texas Tech as a preferred walk-on quarterback.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Here are some of the best of today's Big 12 stories.
- The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel writes that Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder isn't happy about being the only Big 12 South team without an annual game in the Dallas area.
- Tulsa World columnist Dave Sittler breaks down the awards opportunities for several key Oklahoma and Oklahoma State players.
- Boulder Daily Camera columnist Neill Woelk writes that Colorado officials mishandled a recent decision to move a group of fans from their favorite parking area after they were required to buy seasons tickets and make donations to the school.
- Cedar Rapids Gazette beat writer Eric Peterson catches up with Ben Bruns on Iowa State's $10 million renovation project on the east side of Jack Trice Stadium.
- Linebacker Matt Ritchey, from Big Spring, Texas, committed to Baylor, the Waco Tribune-Herald's John Werner reports.
- Bo Pelini and Nebraska basketball coach Doc Sadler spent some time the last several days playing the Augusta National Golf Course, Steve Sipple reports. The Nebraska coaching duo played 18 holes on Sunday and Tuesday and 27 holes on Monday.
- The Associated Press reports that former Nebraska safety Mike Minter is considering a run for the 8th Congressional district that encompasses suburban Charlotte, N.C.
- The Austin American-Statesman's John Maher writes that the owners of a vintage Texas uniform once belonging to Len Barrell have chosen to relist the historic artifact on eBay, despite a high bid that reached $14,900.