Saturday, October 28, 2006


What many of us had suspected was confirmed today in Manhattan:

Iowa State is now the worst team in the Big 12.

I don't see how the coaching staff survives this, regardless of years left on contracts.

Two 0-8 league records in four years, anywhere, gets staffs fired.

The optimism of August seems years ago.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Playing the percentages

The final four games are a big contrast according to ISU's historical performance.

Since ISU is 2-23 since '00 against Big XII teams that finished over .500 (Henceforth referred to as "Overs"), ISU shouldn't beat Mizzou, since they already have 7 wins.

With ISU 18-4 since '00 against Big XII teams that finished under .500 (Henceforth referred to as "Unders"), ISU should beat Colorado, even in Boulder, since CU already has 7 losses.

That leaves KSU, and KU, both 4-4, and yet to play each other. KU ends with Mizzou, which should be a loss, but they get KSU at home, which should be a win, making them 5-5. Their games in Ames and Boulder will seal their fate as an Under or Over. I don't see them losing to BOTH ISU and CU to become and Under (Which ISU should defeat), so they will beat ISU, finish 6-6, and be an Over for this exercise.

KSU hosts Texas in November, a sure fifth loss. Again, I don't see them losing to BOTH ISU and CU to become and Under (Which ISU should defeat), so they will also beat ISU, finish 6-6, and also be an Over.

There it is, ISU goes 1-3 the rest of the way to finish 4-8, and 1-7 in the conference. Enjoy that game in Boulder, everybody!

Disclaimer: The previous is not intended for betting advice, and is for entertainment purposes only. Then again, if you bet money based on the above theorem, you deserve to lose.


Saturday, October 21, 2006


Saturday's 42-26 loss to Tech could become the 49th loss to a conference team that finished above .500 if the Raiders find two more wins the rest of the way.

Ironically, an ISU win would have pretty much doomed Tech to a losing season, with UT and OU left on their schedule- but wouldn't have helped ISU improve their 2-48 above .500 percentage. But loss #49 is now much more likely.

We'll handicap the reat of the season once all the games are final, but I think the Clones are done.


Monday, October 16, 2006

A tiny ray of sunlight

A bit of home in this week's Sagarin rankings:

8 Texas A = 89.13 6 1 68.83( 60) 0 1 | 1 1 |
20 Nebraska A = 82.99 6 1 64.22( 97) 0 1 | 0 1 |
21 Oklahoma A = 82.50 4 2 72.85( 28) 0 1 | 0 2 |
29 Missouri A = 79.09 6 1 62.54( 112) 0 0 | 0 0 |
43 Texas A&M A = 75.00 6 1 61.78( 118) 0 0 | 1 0 |
53 Oklahoma State A = 72.79 4 2 61.20( 121) 0 0 | 0 0 |
55 Texas Tech A = 72.37 4 3 67.10( 71) 0 0 | 0 1 |
61 Kansas State A = 70.36 4 3 67.67( 68) 0 1 | 0 2 |
81 Baylor A = 67.88 3 4 69.22( 58) 0 1 | 0 2 |
83 Iowa State A = 67.40 3 4 72.88( 27) 0 1 | 0 4 |
104 Kansas A = 63.17 3 4 63.21( 101) 0 0 | 0 1 |
105 Colorado A = 63.09 1 6 70.62( 43) 0 0 | 0 1 |

Probably hard to read due to format, but take a minute. Look at ISU's line. Notice anything?

All four of ISU's losses have come to teams in the Sag's Top 30. Good teams.

And- four of ISU's last five are against teams #55 and below. KU and CU are far below ISU at the moment.

Win those four, (TECH, ksu, KU, cu) and ISU finishes 7-5, just as I predicted at the start of the year, and where I believe ISU's paltry football budget maxes out.

Here's hoping Tech remains in it's funk.


Saturday, October 14, 2006


Iowa State had 13 possesions against Oklahoma.

5 of those possesioins were 3 plays and out.

Only 3 possesions went further than 12 yards: 80 (TD), 57 (end of half), 39 (INT).

Nothing more needs to be said.


One Dollar

One dollar says that at this moment, somewhere, someone is writing a post saying "Kirk Ferentz has peaked at Iowa".

He hasn't peaked, and football season will continue to be fun in Iowa City, but that won't stop somebody from writing that.

What a fickle bunch fans are.


Saturday, October 07, 2006

A nice Osborne touch

The Time Out with 90 seconds left to ensure the Fuskers would get enough shots at the end zone was a nice nod to Coach Osborne.

I never again want to hear about how "Classy" the NU program is. Was Callahan psychic that ISU would sprint down the field and match NU's meaningless TD? Please.

I'm not sure Dan will get the chance to return the favor- for either talent or longevity reasons. Callahan might not last that long, either, if you listen to the whispers.



A running deficit is killing the Cyclones.

The first two games ISU had a rushing advantage of 120 and 44 games. But their last four games, three losses and an almost, they have deficits of -39 (SUI), -137 (UT), -79 (UNI) and tonight, -200 (NU).

Until this program can stop the run, and run the ball themselves, it will continue to be mediocre, just another team in the XII. Call it the Fine Curse.

A bowl game is a reach at this point. A North title just a bad joke. A coaching change not implausible.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Little things

I can't help but wonder if a record crowd for UNI- yes, UNI- can't be attributed in some small way to having enough Kybos in the parking lots to allow fans to tailgate how they want to.

I used to stop after my third beer, not wanting to endure a 20 minute wait for the one lone Kybo within 200 yards of our tailgate spot. There are now a dozen within 100 yards (or so it seems) and it has an effect on how you approach a tailgate.

get the little things right, and the big things often sort themselves out.


The long shadow of Marty Fine

I don't mean that as a fat joke, either.

By all analysis, Fine's tenure as OL coach were a disaster. His bio at Bryant University takes lots of credit for things that happened in the first 6 games of that season- but makes no mention of how pathetic the line play became as the season went along, nor does it discuss the carnage that was 2003. That's marketing.

But Marty's impact was probably deepest in recruiting. The anemic offensive numbers of the seasons since '04, especially in the running game, can be directly blamed on OL play, and the recruits Marty did and did not help bring to Ames. Coach Cotton can only do so much, since the old saw is that OL skills are the slowest to develop. Its a garbage in, garbage out problem. If the players being signed by Fine were less than B12 quality, the results may not appear for 3, 4 or now 5 years later. We are reaping what Marty sowed- a lowsy running game, and a league high in sacks.

That's why I am reluctant to dump too much on Dan's shoulders directly- but Fine was his hire, although if memory serves, he was a last minute job after Looney went north to the Vikings. So it goes.

But this season's OL play is exhibit A of why hiring and retaining quality assistants may be the most important part of a head coaching job. To use management speak, if you have the right people on the bus, the bus will drive itself.

Can Dan identify who needs to stay, and who needs to go?


Sunday, October 01, 2006

Back of the pack

ISU is last or second to last in 5 Big 12 defensive categories.

That says alot about our predicament.


A Piece Of Good News

The first Basketball exhibition is November 3rd.


Half Empty Wins

When you are 3-2, and each of your wins has come down to the final play, and have come against 3 teams with 3 Div. I wins amongst them, it means two things:

1. You coulda woulda shoulda been 0-5;
2. You ain't very good.

I can only think of 4 area codes worthy of having the ISU/NU game broadcast to them. If any more than that receive it, ABC should have to give up its NCAA broadcast rights.