Matt Campbell’s star has been on the verge of burning out for a while now, and it took another step in that direction Saturday.
Not only did Iowa State lose at home to Ohio, 10-7, after a potential game-tying field goal was ruled no good, but the Cyclones’ head coach nearly confronted a heckler following the loss.
As his team walked to the locker room, a fan yelled: “Hey, Campbell, what are you doing? You’re on the hot seat. You’re on the hot seat.”
Campbell turned to answer back, but was held back by security, other coaches and players.
With a 1-2 start to the season following a hugely disappointing 2022, Campbell is indeed on the hot seat.
The high watermark for his tenure in Ames came with a 9-3 record and Fiesta Bowl win in 2020, but it’s been all downhill from there.
The Cyclones will need a drastic improvement in Big 12 play, where they went 1-8 last season, to have a chance of even reaching a bowl game this season.
Since beating Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl, they are 12-15, and a loss at Ohio is probably the worst of the bunch.
History says Iowa State can put up with a lot of losing — prior to Campbell being hired in 2016, Paul Rhoads put up six straight losing seasons before losing his job, including three straight seasons of three or fewer wins.
Iowa State is historically unsuccessful, and the Fiesta Bowl win was its first New Year’s Six bowl victory, so Campbell may have some rope.
Suffice to say, though, the buzz that once existed around his name has dampened considerably.