Saturday, September 30, 2006

I have to agree with CycloneFanatic on this one: ISU has got to open up the playbook and go on a shock and awe campaign for not only the fans and their remaining opponents, but to themselves.

The Cyclones need to know that they can score anywhere and anytime, and to play with that mentality on every offensive snap. A bunch of points in the second half wouldn't hurt anything.

A workman like 21-3 win won't make too many folks happy, I'm afraid. Let's not even discuss what a loss or near-loss would mean to the program.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

More is less- or the same

I heard Auburn's Tommy Tuberville on the radio state that his staff has calculated that the new clock rules have shorted games by 6-7 plays per team per game. On the surface, that isn't much, since most teams run around 70 plays per game on average.

But stretch that number by 11 games and you get, in effect, the plays required for the twelfth game that has been added to the season. If there were 770 offensive snaps each 11 game season, there will be around 770 snaps in the new 12 game season.

Same wear and tear on the players, but one more game completed. Very clever, if that was the goal.

But when some loudmouth on the radio credits a stat record to an additional game, you can set him straight.


The Gulf

Saturday's loss to Texa$ only clarified the talent gap between schools like ISU and schools that win championships.

Until ISU doubles its football budget and loosens the rules around who can and can't come play, our Cyclones will be a nice team that hovers around 7-5. Maybe the right bunch of kids will go 9-3 or 10-2.

But the list of schools who win titles is short for a reason.


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Gotta score, boys

What a waste of a good rushing effort.

When ISU had good offensive rhythm, points weren't scored. Score TDs instead of trying Field Goals, and the game may- may- have been out of reach.

The title of Most Overhyped Preseason Unit now officially belongs to the Iowa State Offense.

The last 5 possessions in Iowa City:

6 plays/21 yards/punt
5 plays/20 yards/punt
5 plays/18 yards/punt
4 plays/9 yards/downs
3 plays/13 yards/end of game

Way to finish. The tight helmet looks good on everyone.

This game is emblematic of the SUI/ISU series. ISU is feisty and can go toe to toe with SUI, and will occasionally embarrass the team from out east. But at the end of the day, when you have double the fans, double the press coverage, and triple the money, you usually win.

Fortunately, Tate is a Senior, and no longer our problem.

At least ISU covered.


Monday, September 11, 2006

A head game that should have never happened

My theory on the whole "The Football Team Refused To Yield" scene pulled by UNLV is this:

UNLV brought in a whole mess of JUCOs this year to improve their athleticism. They have only been together as a team maybe 6 weeks. Coach Sanford- while rightfully miffed at not being told the review of the final play had found nothing- also used the scene to wisely create a moment to bond the team with. It was a nice "Us Against The World" opportunity.

But it never should have come to that.

The ISU offense, an offense called 'explosive' and "among the Big 12's Best" in the preseason- has scored 39 points in regulation in two games. The defense- giving up 33 in the same span- is kicking butt comparatively, as they entered the season as the glaring weak spot.

At some point, Skladany is going to look across the staff table at Cotton and say- "I'm pulling my share- what about you?" And he will be right.

If Cotton's boys dump 30+ on SUI, all is forgiven. If Blythe goes a&m deja vu in Kinnick, all will probably be well with the world. Until then, who should really get credit for ISU's 2-0 start?


Monday, September 04, 2006

Good News: UNLV is Not

UNLV won what was expected to be their only game over Idaho State Saturday.

CBS Sportsline places ISU at #35 (sure) and UNLV at #90 (ouch!)

I hope that holds true to form after last week.


One more Toledo thought

The point I should have made leading up to the game ws this: A Toledo win over ISU may have signaled a lousy ISU team, but would have definately identified an outstanding Toledo team.

I think Toledo will do just fine in the MAC, and I won't be shocked if they win the thing. I'll be very curious to see if Kansas can escape Toledo with a win on September 15th.

Sometimes a win is a win is a win. That was the kind of game ISU doesn't usually survive.


Friday, September 01, 2006

Stepped on the landmine, and yet walked away

Clearly, no lead is safe for Cyclone football.

When the team HAD to get a score- they find a way, and in spectacular fashion.

Yet when they need just a first down or two- they are meek and mild.

If it isn't the staff getting a case of tight headset, which translates into tight helmet, I don't know what it is. If Toledo was an anomoly, we could rationalize it away, but this happens every dang week. A second-half lead melts into a cardiac finish or a loss. Every game ISU finds a new way to partially rip your guts out.

Since staff changes are unlikely, bring the Extra-Large bottle of Tums.