Ben Bruns played the game. Played it very well.
He was an Iowa State offensive lineman from 1996 to 2000. He was on the ’00 Insight.com Bowl-winning Cyclones, was one of the people who turned the team from perennial losers to a program that went to five bowls this decade.
Bruns, an Iowan, never fully bought into the Gene Chizik era at ISU.
This is a bright guy, an engineer. This is an articulate guy, the sideline reporter on Iowa State football radio broadcasts. This is a Cyclone.
Now he has a blog, and here are excerpts from his first entry:
So I was a little conflicted when I first heard about Gene Chizik’s decision to go to Auburn. Obviously, as a career move, it was a step up for him; I won’t diminish him for that at all. The funny part to me was a couple of days afterward when he asked to meet with his old team once more. I wasn’t in the room, but I have heard the same thing from a number of people that were. Accounts say it was a 90 second to 3 minute session where the “CEO” coach told his guys it was something he had to do for his family and that it was his dream job. By all accounts, he didn’t look one person in the eye. By a number of other accounts, he didn’t talk to his old staff in the time leading up to the meeting and in the time immediately after. …
2008 should have started where 2007 left off. It didn’t. Too many changes in the o-line (Brandon Johnson should have been up and ready as soon as Knapp got hurt), some young guys playing that shouldn’t have (Carter Bykowski- not because he couldn’t contribute, but because we were loaded at the TE spot already), a Kansas game that got away – not for lack of effort on anyone’s part, a Baylor game with the worst defensive game plan I have ever seen in my 13 years as a Cyclone and absolutely zero meaningful adjustments, followed by a offensive nightmare against Nebraska, left me knowing we didn’t have a whole different level of coaching, in fact changes were needed. Gene Chizik was taking steps to address the problems he saw, and then Auburn stepped in. …
December 20th changed everything for me. I know Coach Rhoads. Paul Rhoads is everything Gene Chizik sold himself to be – a great recruiter, a great coach and leader. Coach Rhoads will reestablish relationships with the coaches across the state – not just the ones that have kids we want right now, but ones that may have great kids in the future. It won’t be just because of that future kid, though — it will be because he actually cares about ISU’s reputation and he respects what those coaches do for young people every day.
Here is the link to Bruns’ blog: http://hitithardeveryyard.blogspot.com/2009/01/chiziked.html