Jayhawks, Tigers offer Iowa State hope for future

Pat Graham

(AP) &#8212 Iowa State, you could be next.

Or you, Colorado.

That’s the kind of hope Kansas and Missouri has given to other schools in the Big 12 North.

A little time and commitment to a program and presto – a successful season.

The most recent Bowl Championship Series standings has Kansas at No. 4 and Missouri checking in at No. 6.

Yet success hasn’t happened overnight for both schools. Kansas coach Mark Mangino is in his sixth year at Kansas, and Gary Pinkel his seventh at Missouri.

“People stuck with them and look at what they’re getting,” ISU first-year coach Gene Chizik said. “It takes time, especially with some programs that traditionally aren’t nationally recognized and aren’t a national power.”

Chizik is just hoping he’s given ample time to develop the Cyclones into a contender.

“Those are two great examples of two guys the administration stuck with and they’ve done well,” Chizik said.

“Obviously, they’re playing top-10 football right now and everyone sees them differently than they did three years ago.”

Kansas, ranked fifth in the AP Poll, and Missouri, No. 7, have helped reshape the image of the Big 12 North.

From what Pinkel was hearing in the offseason, the North was in a state of decline.

So much for that.

“It’s not a surprise from my standpoint,” Pinkel said. “I’ve heard the last few years about the North not being strong and some people taking shots at the league. I think very highly of the strength of our league.”

Pinkel should. Oklahoma is No. 5 in the BCS standings with Texas coming in at No. 14.

“This conference has done a great job of surviving the test of the season,” Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione said. “I think a lot of people didn’t realize how tough this league was going to be.”

The success of the Tigers (8-1, 4-1) isn’t a big surprise to Franchione.

He would’ve picked Missouri to win the North with all the talent the team had coming back.