Matt Campbell took on a difficult task when he agreed to become Iowa State’s football coach last November. The Cyclones went 8-28 in the last three seasons, winning just four Big 12 Conference games during that time.
But Campbell knows a thing or two about defying expectations. His Toledo squad stunned the college football world last September, when it beat Arkansas 16-12 inside Little Rock’s War Memorial Stadium.
The Razorbacks were ranked No. 18 at the time, and that victory was part of a 10-2 season that helped Campbell land his current gig with the Cyclones.
At Big 12 Media Days on Monday, Campbell was asked if he has used last year’s win over Arkansas as a lesson for his new team, which must face programs like Oklahoma, Texas, TCU, Baylor and Oklahoma State in the Big 12.
“I think the country found out about us, but it didn’t shock anybody in our walls because I think we had built our program to play at that level and to not be afraid of anybody we played,” Campbell said of the win over Arkansas.
“We haven’t talked about that with our team, but I think it’s the mentality and the understanding and the belief that you come into the walls of our football program with. I do think we have to create that mentality at Iowa State and we have to continue to understand that every time we step on the field we expect to win.”