The History of Senior Day

With all of the hoopla surrounding tomorrow night’s game with #2 Oklahoma State, the quest for the Cyclones to become bowl eligible, and national TV on ESPN it is almost lost in the shuffle that it is also senior day for the Cyclones.


Nineteen seniors will walk out on to the turf of Jack Trice Stadium for the final time.  Regardless of notoriety or achievement or amount of playing time they have all contributed a monumental amount to a program on the rebound with Paul Rhoads.  They all deserve their moment and time to be honored for their hard work and dedication. 


All of those individual moments can inspire new heights collectively for the team.


No matter the sport or team, senior day is one of my favorite moments as a fan to watch.  An incredibly bittersweet event and it often creates a different feel throughout the stadium.  Crazy things can happen on senior night.  That is just one more added element to all of the hoopla noted above.


Curious about all of the senior day results I went back 40 years to see how the Cyclones have fared in their home finale, here’s what I’ve got:


·         Iowa State is 17-21-2

·         18 times ISU has played a ranked opponent and is 5-12-1

·         Just once have the Cyclones been ranked for senior day (1972, 23-23 tie with #3 Nebraska)

·         Iowa State has played Missouri or Colorado in each of the past 8 home finales

·         ISU has played the Cowboys 10 times on senior day in the past 40 years—all from 1971-1990 and is 4-6 against the Pokes in those games

·         Senior day 2011 versus Oklahoma State is two days shy of being exactly 40 years after the Cyclones beat the Cowboys 54-0 on senior day of 1971 (November 20th)

·         Three times that Iowa State played Oklahoma State on senior day the Cowboys have been ranked and ISU is 2-1 in those games:

o   1988, #13 Oklahoma State, 49-28 loss

o   1985, #7 Oklahoma State, 15-10 win

o   1973, #18 Oklahoma State, 28-12 win

·         The 54 points scored in that game is the most by ISU on senior day followed by:

o   48-19 win over Kansas State in 1986

38-17 win over Kansas in 2000

o   37-28 win over Nebraska in 1976

o   36-11 win over Kansas State in 1989

o   31-28 win over Colorado in 2007

o   30-16 win over Colorado in 2005

·         Four games have had an attendance of higher than 50,000:

o   52,942 – 1980, Nebraska, 35-0 loss

o   52,887 – 1982, Nebraska, 48-10 loss

o   51,042 – 2001, Iowa, 17-14 win

o   50,781 – 1976, Nebraska, 37-28 win



It’s safe to say that a win tomorrow would not only be the biggest win in school history on senior day; it would be the biggest win in school history, period.


That sums up the things that jumped off the page at me…anything else that you’d like to see? 




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