One of the defining qualities of Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads is his ability to generate optimism in lieu of success.
It's going to be tough to keep selling hope after another awful start.
The Cyclones (0-1) didn't just drop their first game for the second year in a row.
They fell at home, 34-14, to North Dakota State - an FCS program with 22 fewer scholarships, a new coach and a new quarterback.
Considering what lies ahead for the Cyclones in the coming weeks, starting Saturday against Kansas State (1-0), Rhoads' stated goal of a bowl win this season already seems a bit out of reach.