1912 to 2020: Looking back on the last time Iowa State made a conference championship

A team photo of the 1912 “Ames Cyclones,” the last Iowa State team to win a conference championship.

Matt Belinson

108 years. That’s the last time Iowa State football won or shared a conference championship in program history.

The year was 1912, and Iowa State was declared co-champions of the Missouri Valley Conference Championship with Nebraska, who shared a 2-0 conference record with Iowa State.

After a tough 5-0 loss to Minnesota, Iowa State went on to beat Simpson College 24-7, Missouri 29-0 and Grinnell 31-7. The team would rattle off two more wins against Morningside and Cornell before losing 20-7 to Iowa.

Iowa State would win its season finale against Drake University 27-3 and chose to not play Nebraska in a potential postseason game to determine an outright winner of the conference. 

Back then, Iowa State was referred to as “Ames” or Iowa State College, not even receiving an official locker room until State Gym opened a year later in the spring of 1913.

And now, Iowa State has a chance to make new history Saturday in the school’s first appearance in the Big 12 Championship against Oklahoma.

With so much history from the Missouri Valley Conference title to now, let’s look back 108 years and see what was happening in the world in 1912.

1912 in the United States

-William Howard Taft was the 27th president of the United States. James S. Sherman served as vice president.

-On Jan. 6, 1912, New Mexico became the 47th state of the United States, and a month later on Feb. 14, 1912, Arizona became the 48th state in the Union.

-Women still could not vote and would not receive the right to vote for another eight years.

-On Nov. 8, 1912, New Jersey then-Gov. Woodrow Wilson won the 1912 presidential election over former president Theodore Roosevelt and incumbent Taft.

What was happening in the world

-The RMS Titanic, the world’s biggest ship at the time, sank after hitting an iceberg April 15, 1912, killing over 1,500 people.

-The Summer Olympics, officially called Games of the V Olympiad, began in Stockholm, Sweden, on May 5, 1912.

-The American Girl Guides, later renamed the Girl Scouts of America, was founded by Juliette Gordon Low on March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia.

-On April 20, 1912, Fenway Park opened in Boston, Massachusetts.

-Babe Ruth would not begin his baseball career for another two years.

-George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert) was the king of England.

What was happening in Iowa

-The Villisca axe murders were reported on June 10, 1912, in Villisca, Iowa.

-Beryl F. Carroll was the governor of Iowa. He was the first native-born governor of Iowa. His salary was $5,000.

-The state had over 30 recognized colleges. Iowa State University was known as “Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts.”

-According to the census, 24,053 people were living in Story County, Iowa.

1912’s inventions

-On March 14, 1912, Nabisco National Biscuit Company created the Oreo Biscuit, which would later be called Oreo.

-The first modern tank was patented in 1912 by the inventor Lance De La Mole.

-On July 27, 1912, Clarence Crane invented Life Savers candy.

-Sterling Camera and Film Company created motorized movie cameras instead of hand-cranked cameras.