Sunday, November 05, 2017


It is appropriate that Iowa State now plays Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" at the 3rd quarter break, as it describes the attitude of the football program under Coach Campbell.

Given Iowa State's lack of both football budget and tradition, the CSJ staff has low expectations for Cyclone Football. All we ask is to get yourself within one score in the 4th, and find a way to win half of those games. So far this season they are 2-2 in those games, and the second half has been the better half for this team.

Don't back down.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Don't Blink

This football team has had plenty of moments to fold, to collapse, to blink.

The last three games, they have not.

On physical ability, this team scores above average for Iowa State football.

Schematically they have the right mix of matching players abilities to the jobs that needs doing.

But it's the mental stability of this group has been most remarkable. Press on in the face of adversity. Run your stuff. Find a way.

I don't recall an Iowa State football team this patient with itself. It's putting Cyclone fan in unknown territory, walking a new road. This may not be the fool's errand a few other season have been.

Enjoy the ride. We've waited a while.

Sunday, October 15, 2017


That's what a serious, focused football program should do.

A wet track and bad opponent deserved a vanilla offensive plan, and the offense looked it. But KU bumbled their way into the least impressive blowout you will ever see. The stats don't describe how much of a mismatch the game was.

The next four games- Tech, TCU, WVU, Okie State- are a serious upgrade in quality, and provide four opportunities to break through to the middle of the conference standings.

Being able to say maybe is a great change of pace.

Saturday, October 14, 2017


A typical Cyclone football team of the past would follow an epic win with an inexplicable loss.

The 1990 team followed their win in Norman with a blowout loss at home to Nebraska and a horrid loss on the road to Kansas State. The next year KSU went 7-4 and went to a bowl game, so that win was an early sign of progress for Snyder.

The great 2005 team allowed Baylor to break a 37 game B12 road losing streak in Ames.

I expect a long slog on a wet track against KU. Here's hoping we aren't too grumpy at the end.

Sunday, October 08, 2017


If the Oklahoma press is calling it "The worst loss in Sooner history", then it has to be the best win in Iowa State history.

Given the premise before kickoff, agreed.

Here's hoping it's not an outlier.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Just Good Enough To Not Get Blown Out

In Normal Times of Cyclone Football, Texas beats the Iowa States of the world 45-10.

Apparently we are not living in Normal Times, as Texas is ordinary and some believe Iowa State improved- which explains losing 17-7 and not 45-10.

Considering that Texas spending on football probably exceeds Iowa State spending on sports, keeping it interesting into the 4th quarter can be considered an achievement.

Progress can be odd sometimes.

Regardless, without a win against Iowa or Texas, the bowl math gets very difficult, and would be a triple-bank-shot of some kind.

Just keep grinding and hopefully the improvement becomes real.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Gap Closed

It was nice to push The Team From Out East to their limit for a change. The talent gap has closed, and the knowledge of what the plan is has clearly improved from 12 games ago.

But the Cyclones still found a way to lose a game they should have won.

Horseshoes and hand grenades is ISU's strength under Campbell. At some point they have to push through.

But it's more fun to be standing at the corner than looking for a corner ahead.