For years Iowa State has been living off football players who weren't asked to play for the University of Nebraska. It's one of the reasons why Nebraska has a huge home advantage when playing in Lincoln but why Iowa State plays us very well when the game is in Ames. They play with a chip on their shoulder in Ames, but coming to Lincoln takes the life out of them.
I have good friends who attended Iowa State. I like Iowa State, but how many times can you get close to something you want so badly and yet not get there? Even "The Little Engine That Could" finally made it over the mountain. The Cyclones never won a Big 6, Big 7, or Big 8 title. They've never won the Big 12 North (although in 2004 they claim to be the Big 12 North co-champion), much less the Big 12.
The door was left wide open for them while Kansas State, Colorado and Nebraska were rebuilding. Now that door has closed.
Due to their failures, ISU is not corn. They are wannabe corn. Sadly, Iowa State can only be ranked as peas.
Other Corns of the Big 12