It’s quite a turn of events, is it not?
We are about to enter the month of November. In November of 2021, Matt Campbell was — in the eyes of many analysts and journalists who were following the situation closely — a leading candidate to take the open head coaching job at USC. Lincoln Riley was not part of the conversation until hours before he was actually hired (and in actual time, after Mike Bohn had already made his move and had started the process of bringing Riley aboard).
Now, here we are, 11 months later. Campbell just lost to Brent Venables, Lincoln Riley’s successor at Oklahoma. Lots of people are realizing that while USC didn’t necessarily dodge a bullet with this hire, Campbell’s stock is down and his career is in a very uncertain place.
Let’s talk about this, shall we?
Iowa State scored 43 against Ohio and 42 against an FCS opponent.
Against Power Five teams, Iowa State has not scored more than 24 points in any game this season. The season is already in November for the Cyclones after their 27-13 loss to Oklahoma on Saturday.
AVERAGE POINTS PER GAME AGAINST POWER FIVE OPPONENTS IN 2022
Iowa State is averaging just under 15 points per game against Power Five teams through two months of play.
13 OR FEWER
Iowa State has scored 13 points or fewer in four of its six Power Five games and in three of its last four games.
Oklahoma had allowed 41 points or more in each of its previous four games. It held Iowa State to just 13.
Campbell’s Iowa State teams have wasted a very good defense this season. Saturday’s loss to Oklahoma marked the fourth consecutive game in which Iowa State lost despite holding an opponent under 28 points.
Iowa State has lost two games this season when holding an opponent to 14 points or fewer.
HILARIOUS (IF YOU'RE NOT AN IOWA FAN)
Iowa State won a game this season in which it scored only 10 points. Naturally, that came against the Iowa Hawkeyes, who scored only seven. Two of the worst offenses in the nation come from the Iowa schools.
Let’s talk about Matt Campbell. First of all, defensive coordinator Jon Heacock continues to be great. Campbell has a great defensive staff, and that is something for him to tout if he does interview for a new job.
Speaking of a new job, Campbell plainly needs to look for one. Just what more can he achieve at Iowa State? He will never recruit the elite athletes needed to win big there. He took Iowa State to the Fiesta Bowl and won it, the biggest achievement in school history. He reached his ceiling. Now he needs a bigger job where he can get his hands on top talent. He can still be a very good coach, but he seems to have maxed out at Iowa State. Staying in Ames would not seem to be the right move for him or his career. Betting that he can find a higher level of achievement at Iowa State would be quite a gamble.
We’re seeing how much Breece Hall (the injured running back for the Jets, who delivered a promising start to his NFL career before that setback) meant to the Iowa State offense and Matt Campbell.
Last year’s coaching carousel was very active, but Campbell stayed put. He would have had many attractive offers, not just at USC, had he chosen to leave Iowa State. Did he miss his ideal opportunity?
Probably not, because:
The Nebraska job is open. The Colorado job is open. Other jobs will come open. There are plenty of places where Campbell can start fresh and probably get better offensive talent than what he had at Iowa State.
Lincoln Riley’s successor at Oklahoma, Brent Venables, had his best defensive coaching game of the season against Matt Campbell. That’s quite a plot twist. We’ll see how much OU benefits from this game.
Matt Campbell’s stock value has clearly dipped. However: This doesn’t mean he can’t or won’t be a good coach at a program with more resources than Iowa State. The key question is whether Nebraska or another school offers him a job.
This time, he probably should accept.
— 247Sports (@247Sports) October 29, 2022
For the record, this isn't some metaphor for "The Process" being Matt Campbell.
I said before the year started that this team could basically not win a game and he'd be fine and I still believe that. He's not on any hot seat, and Iowa State isn't moving on from him.
— DBrags (@DBSportsYT) October 29, 2022
If Matt Campbell can’t recognize how bad this is, how ineffective Tom Manning is at his job – how they score despite his plan – then you have to question his decision-making overall. He’s the best Iowa State has ever had, but he’s not infallible.
— Jeremiah Davis (@jeremiahdavis10) October 29, 2022
On the other hand, under Matt Campbell, Iowa State has been involved in 20 games in which the spread was within -3.5/+3.5. Iowa State is 5-15 (.250) in those 20 games. In that span only 1 coach has a worse win pct in “close” games, min 10 games – Kliff Kingsbury 1-9, .100…
— Chris Fallica (@chrisfallica) October 28, 2022
THE COACH SPEAKS
Campbell: "It's not an attitude and effort thing, which is something we're grateful for, but it is a details and precision thing." #Cyclones
— Nick Osen (@TheRealNickOsen) October 29, 2022
Oklahoma fake FG + Matt Campbell reaction pic.twitter.com/G4iluMGvvJ
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) October 29, 2022