Winning football games at Iowa State is a simple, two step process:
A. Hang around games until the 4th;
B. Win games in the 4th.
Rhoads was 10-6 his first three years in 10-point-or-less-games, but only 3-13 his last four years.
The constant underdog has to stay above .500 in the close games to survive.
Seven wins across his last four seasons would not have set the world on fire, but it would have meant a bowl trip and keeping one's job.