Maria Taylor sits down with the wives of CFP coaches Nick Saban, Brian Kelly, Ryan Day and Dabo Swinney to share their prospects for the 2020 college football season (5:01)

WHEN MATT CAMPBELL was introduced as the Iowa State soccer coach on Nov. 30, 2015, he told Toledo about a road trip to Ames last year

The team bus arrived at Jack Trice Stadium early, so Campbell, then Toledo’s coach, walked across the grounds overlooking the Iowa state facilities, soaked from the tailgates of the parking lot, and admired the ardent support from fans for what was then 1 -4-Team After the game he called his wife Erica to share his impression

Given the history of the Cyclones up to this point – only 11 bowl games in 12 decades, no conference championships since 1912 – few would consider the school a target.But Campbell saw potential when the job opened a year later, he liked it the idea of ​​bringing the Cyclones from the “mockery of college football”, as he often put it, to a place of national relevance

“There were a lot of hard roads and a lot of hard waters that we had to start over, clean up, and straighten out,” said Campbell. “The reality is, this has never happened consistently,”

In just five years, Campbell has turned his vision into reality – consistently on Saturday, No. 10 Iowa State meets No. 25 Oregon in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl (4 pm ET, ESPN and ESPN App), the first New Year’s Six Bowl game appearance in school history

This season has been filled with similar premieres The Cyclones (8-3) reached No. 6 at one point in the College Football Playoffs rankings, the highest they have on a national rankings since their program began in the 1890s They finished in the top 12 of the regular season for the first time, and their eight conference wins are an all-time high. A win at the Fiesta Bowl would be their ninth win of the season, a school record previously only set twice: 1906 and 2000

“When I played there, it seemed so far-fetched and unreal to think about going to the Fiesta Bowl,” said former Iowa State recipient Allen Lazard, now with the Green Bay Packers, “All credit is due Coach Campbell and his staff for what they did up there “

His predecessor, Paul Rhoads, brought Iowa State to three bowls in its first three years, and its teams developed a reputation for playing hard and occasionally raising eyebrows that were no bigger than what was then No. 2 Oklahoma State’s 2011 surprise derailing the Cowboys’ BCS title hopes

But Iowa State went 8:28 for Rhoads for the last three seasons, and Sporting Director Jamie Pollard made a change, guessing Campbell, then 36 and fresh from a 35-15 stint in Toledo >

The young coach was a soccer player. His father, Rick, was a longtime high school soccer coach in Ohio

“Being in the locker room, being around someone with influence who influences and empowers young people’s lives, and watching it happen as a young child has influenced me profoundly,” Campbell said

Campbell’s own high school coach Keith Wakefield was another strong influence, along with Larry Kehres, a coach who won 11 national titles at Mount Union and for whom Campbell played in the Division III school Wakefield, Campbell said, “taught for us not only the football game, but also the game of life “At Mount Union, Kehres’ program was about relationships, trust and culture”

“If I hadn’t had that experience at this point in my life, I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to become a football coach,” said Campbell

On his Big 12 foray, translating Campbell’s success with Toledo at the Mid-American Conference was a huge challenge. In its first year, the team went 3-9, but Campbell’s expectations remained non-negotiable

“When Coach Campbell and his staff walked in, they immediately changed culture from day one,” Lazard said. “They required new standards, new expectations, and kept us at a far higher level of accountability than many of us – especially I – usually not “

Campbell emphasized details on punctuality, technique “Winning on the Edge”, as he calls it Since the Cyclones weren’t staffed with five-star recruits, they had to spend time perfecting the little things to have a chance. p>

“We do not accept delays in this program,” said Charlie Kolar. “In this program, you are on time or do not practice that day, no matter who it is

“That bleeds to practice, goes the right way, blocks the right gap and makes the right device”

It can get frustrating at times, Kolar said, but one thing that seems meaningless during a camp training session is the difference between a seven point win and a seven point loss, “

“The first year we had to learn to believe,” said Campbell. “The second year we had to learn how to win”

CAMPBELL’S BLUEPRINT SOON Got a Boost from the Inside The winter after Campbell’s first season in Iowa State, in which David Montgomery ran back, established a Friday night routine

Instead of going out and enjoying college life, Montgomery – now a turnaround for the Chicago Bears – started watching movies and training late into the night at the team facility. Soon the Bailey twins – the defensive end of JaQuan – joined in Bailey and the defensive tackle Joshua Bailey – on After a few weeks, a small handful of players had turned into a few dozen

Overtime and concentration on the details paid off. In 2017, the Cyclones went 8-5, lost 18 games against Oklahoma and ranked 14th in the Associated Press poll 3rd place and won the Liberty Bowl Campbell and the Cyclones caused a stir, particularly with their win over the Sooners, who went to college football playoffs later that season

“Winning a game like that against Oklahoma showed us and our kids that there is one thing to be done to be successful,” Campbell said ahead of the 2018 season

That breakthrough was just the beginning. For the past four seasons, the Cyclones went between 31 and 19, making the current senior class – recruited from Campbell’s 3–9 debut season – the most successful in Iowa State history.These teams have eight Games won three times and seven in the other season This marks the fourth consecutive bowl game, an accomplishment unprecedented in programming history

Campbell brought more than a dozen Toledo employees to Iowa State, and many remain on the Cyclones’ staff, including both offensive coordinator Tom Manning and defensive coordinator Jon Heacock

And he’s found reliability with quarterback in three-year-old starter Brock Purdy Since joining the line-up when he first started his career in 2018 with a win over a sixth-placed team from West Virginia, the junior has had a steady hand in a position that had significant sales prior to his arrival

Purdy is 22-11 as a starter, 19-7 against Big 12 teams, and 12-1 at home.The all-Big 12 first-team quarterback was the first Cyclone to receive this award since John Quinn in 1981 In the 33 games he’s started, Iowa State has averaged 432 offensive yards and 32 points

“We have grown as a program as Brock has grown,” Campbell said. “I feel like we learned a lot of lessons and had a lot of growth We all really enjoyed doing this together””

Campbell has also built a strong running game around Purdy in the quarterback’s freshman campaign, he had Montgomery, the Big 12’s second-best rusher in 2018, and he had Breece Hall for the past two seasons after a solid freshman campaign in 2019 Hall became a Heisman Trophy candidate for dark horses that season and is runner-up at Rushing Yards nationwide (1436) and rushing touchdowns (19)

Program stability is complemented by the flexibility that Campbell and his staff have shown in the middle of the 2018 season, Heacock shifted the defensive philosophy from a four-man front to three downliners to better accommodate defensive roster talent this off-season Campbell made changes to the strength and conditioning team and even adjusted details such as the structure of meetings

Heacock’s defense has been a strength throughout the Iowa state’s run, with the Cyclones each in the top three of the Big 12 in goal defense for the past four years, dropping an average of less than 23 points per game over that period >

The staff were also open to feedback from players as the program evolved, which increased the buy-in from the roster

“A lot has been the willingness to really listen and understand the contributions of the players,” said safety Greg Eisworth. “Our coaching staff have been very successful and have been for a long time, so the philosophy can be difficult change or understand what the players are saying

“But in order to have the humility to just have these conversations, from coach to player or from player to coach, we can all be on the same page and move in the same direction I think that has helped us a lot”

Even if the Cyclones win more and squad talent improves, Campbell hammers his message home

“Yes, we may have gotten older and our talent has developed,” said Campbell, “but I think in order to become the best version of ourselves, the best team we can become, the difference is in the details The difference is in our ability to do the little things “

HOW FAR IOWA State Football can go remains to be seen, but the trendline looks promising

Campbell, whose name is speculatively tossed around when big coaching jobs are opened, seems pleased after last season he signed a contract extension to 2025, and during the last coaching carousel nothing meant the intention to take a step

College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T
Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Gardens, Florida) Jan 11: 8 pm ET on ESPN and the ESPN app

College Football Playoff Semifinals at the Rose Bowl game
AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas)
Alabama 31, Notre Dame 14

College Football Playoff Semifinals at the Allstate Sugar Bowl
Mercedes-Benz Superdome (New Orleans)
Ohio State 49, Clemson 28

Pollard acknowledged the likely interest during a recent interview on SiriusXM Big 12 Today – “I’m not naive enough to believe he’ll never leave the state of Iowa,” he said – but he’s confident the two of them trust have built and the quality of their relationship

Campbell, who was enjoying the challenge of building when he arrived in the state of Iowa, did it

The level of performance is unprecedented for the program. At one point this season, the Cyclones were just outside the playoffs. They were close to a direct conference championship they hadn’t won in 108 years

After beating Texas in November, Campbell was asked if he could imagine that success. Referring to his freshman year in the state of Iowa, Campbell said he hadn’t set any goals beyond: “We can not be the ridicule of college football? ”

Iowa State Football

World News – USA – No more ridicule: How Matt Campbell revolved around Iowa State