Saturday, December 29, 2007


If there is one school in the Northern Hemisphere that ISU should have nothing to do with, ever, it's Hampton.

Just typing the word Hampton puts a knot in my belly.

To see Fennelly's crew paying the Pirates to come to Ames just sickens me.

got their perpetual moment in the sun (replayed every damn year by CBS)
courtesy the Cyclones. Do we need to be writing checks, too? Really?
Tennessee Tech was busy?

This will be the one and only time I am boycotting a WBB game. No watching, no writing, no listening, nothing.

I know it won't matter, but I will feel better for not contributing to the process.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Bama loss from the other side

It's always interesting to get the opinion of the opponent, and this blog
has an interesting take. Some excerpts:

- While disappointed they didn't get to play Purdue for RPI reasons, they thought ISU gave them a good game.

- In their eyes, the second half was Bama's best half of hoops this season.

- Thought ISU had good size, but Bama's bigs had too much muscle. Same song, different verse.

- Was surprised at how many ISU
fans were there. I'm surprised there even is a blog about Alabama
basketball, and that more than 17 fans made the trip. They did know it
was for a basketball game, and not a football scrimmage, right?

Alabama is a quality team- #50 in the Sagarin
at the moment- and it would have been a nice win. Given the issues the
team has at the moment, returning from Vegas 1-1 is an achievement.

Keep up the improvement.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bold Gold

I'm the odd fan- I like ISU in gold unis.

Leave white hom ejerseys to Nebraska. We've got a second color- use it!

Oh- I like beating teams you are supposed to beat, and by a comfortable margin.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Pssssst- Wanna Hear A Secret?

Former Iowa State QB Sage Rosenfels is 3-0 as a starter for the Texans.

If you read the DSM Rag, you would never know it, unless you are a box score junkie.

Sage looked solid Thursday against the Broncos. Nothing flashy, but he was almost always on the mark and he made some throws that are harder than they look. He managed the game, including a strong 4th when the Texans put it away.

Not a mention in the Rag, since they were busy writing up the pregame for Drake SUI, and finsing space for a wire story about Kyle Orton. True, Kyle and Sage stopped playing footbal in Iowa around the same time, but I gur-run-teee that if Brad Banks makes a practice squad, the Rag will find 6 column inches to write him up.

Then again, if the Rag is ignoring Sage, perhaps the rest of the NFL is too. Finishing the season 6-0 should help get a pay raise, no?


Monday, December 10, 2007


Cruise over to Sagarin right now, and take a gander at the Big TenEleven.

is not only ranked lowest in their league- behind even Northwestern and
Penn State- they have earned that ranking while playing the weakest
schedule in their league, and byalot.

That's an impressive double dip.

Normally, the Sag is distorted this time of the year by teams with weak schedules running out to a 7-1 record or something. But not SUI, they do it the hard, er, easy way.

On the bright side, Drake will bring up their strength of schedule in a way that ISU couldn't. They're #58.

There but for the grace of God....


Big Picture

While Sunday's dual loss to SUI was a disappointment, especially in the lighter weights, we are taking the big picture view.

business a valuable metric is to compare how one is doing, all things
the same, to the previous year. Compared to the '07 dual,ISU was vastly better. The Cyclones were far less hesitant
, took chances when they had an opening, went for the big win when they
had a mismatch, and had every opportunity to win compared to their
visit to Iowa City last year. That is great news.

Last season's Cyclones were far different in March than in December, winning the B12 and falling a takedown shy of a National Championship, while SUI, which looked so intimidating against the Cyclones, finished a distant 8th. If Cael
can engineer another strong finish from this starting point- a win over
#1 and a loss to #3- there will be plenty of wins to celebrate, all
more important than a potential December win over SUI.

Besides, had ISU swept SUI this weekend, the Iowa river would have been filled with Black and Gold icebergs, jumped from the Burlington Street bridge. Nothing is worse than a sweep at the hands of Silo Tech.


Saturday, December 08, 2007


The Trophy ISU Should Never Win will return to Ames.

Hopefully SUI can find the janitor that knows which supply closet they keep it in. It's not exactly the kind of trophy they are proud of.




SUI athletics actually played the href="">"We
won the second half" card in their writeup of their beat-down

For a school that looks down on Moo U., they sure know how to put out quality BS.



I snuck into the Lafester game back in '87.

That ISU-SUI game was the Saturday after Finals, meaning it was a break game, which allowed anybody with a horn to show up and play in the Pep Band. Show up we did. The Band may have pushed 100 pieces that night, which is the size of some college marching bands. In those days the band sat just off the right shoulder of the visiting bench, so when a trainer went to get a cup of water he would bump into the backside of the band conductor. We were that close, and absolutely deafening.

One of the biggest differences since that night Rhodes entered Cyclone lore is the dramatic drop in talent on both ISU's and SUI's squads. '87 was a matchup of monster teams. Today was a matchup of mid-majors.

ISU won for the same reasons it lost at Drake- hustle, defense, turnovers. It was fun watching SUI's guards fumble around trying to start the offense, Cyclone defenders guarding them at the timeline without fear. Rashon shutting down SUI's best player. Juri scoring down low, drawing fouls, making trouble.

Defense like that won't win every game, but it will let you hang around until your offense gets on track.

SUI has some talented freshmen, and ISU will be in better shape next year than this. Perhaps the next couple of ISU-SUI tilts in Hilton will return to Epic status.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Two To Clinch

ISU is again on the cusp of winning The Trophy ISU Should Never Win.




BF's defensive gameplan is to always take away the other team's best player offensively, try to slow the second best, and make somebody else beat you.

ISU shut down Kristi Smith, and Ausdensmore wasn't enough.

Game over.

Going in, if you knew ISU would only shoot 32% and make only 2 threes, you might have though SUI had a good shot. But when SUI could only muster 13 first half points their goose was cooked. Credit ISU's defense.

Effort like that will win a lot of games this winter.

Sure, SUI will claim some lame "we won the second half" BS, but they got their head handed to them. They got outrebounded despite being giants.

The funniest part- ISU had more bodies in Hilton tonight than SUI might draw for their B1011 home schedule. That speaks volumes about both programs.



If ISU is going to beat the SUI men, even though the SUI men are pretty weak based on reports, it will require a much, much, much better effort than what was thrown out at Drake tonight.

No kidding, eh?

We ISU fans are a forgiving bunch if you work your tail off, especially in the building stage of a program.

You aren't working hard if you lose by 35 to a Valley team. Just because Drake wears blue doesn't make them Kansas.

Win Saturday and much will be forgiven.



Three basketball games tonight, but one isn't on TV. Can you guess which one?

ISU at Drake, Men
SUI at UNI, men
SUI at ISU, women


The FauxHawks are the team not on TV. Not even the B1011 Network picked up that game, which I find just amazing.

I'm curious what kept that game off TV- it can't be for a lack of interest.


Editor- Disregard the above post. I watched SUI-UNI on the telly myself. The above is what happens when one depends on The Paper Dillards Depends On for information. Trust but verify.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A Weekend Clinch?

ISU only needs 4 points to clinch The Trophy ISU Should Never Win.

With four events between now and Sunday, I like ISU's odds of sealing it up before gymnastics gets theeir chance.

If memory serves, the school with home field/court/mat/water has won the thing every year. Then again, the winner of the football game has won each year, too. Could there be some kind psychological carryover? Could football set the tone for the remainder of the school year?

Seal the deal, Cyclones.


Sunday, December 02, 2007


It only took 36 hours for The Newspaper Dillard's Depends On to inform me that Alex Thompson, the player nobody missed in Iowa City, was the hero of ISU's OT win at Oregon State.

30 minutes? 12 points? 2 fouls? Where the heck has he been hiding?

Perhaps it was one of those machup situations where AT's defensive style fit whoever he was guarding, and whateveer OSU player was assigned him couldn't stop AT's offensive prowess (that was an odd phrase to write). Perhaps we won't see it again this season.

But 20 minutes, 10 points and 5 reounds every night from Alex would really change how opponents plan for our Cyclones.

C'mon, AT, keep that up!


Head scratcher

I'm still not used to the idea of ISU having a vollyball team that isn't a joke.

Sweeping the high seed on their floor says something about your squad- things like "underated" and "peaking at the right time".




Not very subtle, guys, falling behind to the defending champs on their mat, crowd going crazy, looking for the kill shot.

do respond? href="">Win
out by scores of 4-0, 3-0 and 7-2. Way to take the air out of the building.

That win won't raise expectations for next Sunday's home meet against you-know-who at all.

Nice work. Keep improving.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007


The intertubes tell me that ISU lost to UNI tonight.

I'm not surprised, but since I don't subscribe to the cable company that carried the game, I didn't witness it.

I feel like FauxHawk fans who don't have the B1011 Network. Perhaps its better I didn't see it.


Maly Has Seen Enough Already

Ron's letting the FauxHawk bandwagon pass him by.

a guy who has spent years claiming not to be an SUI fan, he spends a
heck of a lot of time there, especially to watch bad teams. The press
meal must be spectacular.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Quick Hits

Random bits bouncing around my brain:

-I was at the Dome for UNI's insane win over UNH. Two things stuck out: how good UNI's line was, and how solid both teams were at tackling in the open field. It was rare that the first man to make contact with a reciever didn't bring him down. The problem was in covering the recievers in the first place. ISU could take lessons.

-Quick: who's last six games would you want less: KState's or Nebraska's? Each got to enjoy a blowout during their 1-5 fades, but somehow the Husker's crunching of KSU probably felt better than dumping on Baylor felt for the Wildcats.

-Selfishly, I hope Nebraska's "Win 10 games NOW" mentality keeps them in a 4-years-and-yer-gone cycle. That will only help ISU.

-How many jobs will Pinkel and Mangino be offored this winter? Why wouldn't they take any of them? Mizzou could be a great job, but if KU goes 6-6 next year, will anyone in Lawrence really care?

-Pinkel should have been not only fired for trying to turn Brad Smith into Terry Bradshaw, but should have been banned from coaching for life. He's got a North title depite himself. Huh.

-I snicker at every "Iowa's offense is from the 50's" complaints. It may be, but it sure looked great when they had NFL caliber O Lines. Going to a spread offense would only hurry the calls for the backup QB each game.

-It seems KF's inability to take the ISU game seriously will (among other things) cost him a shot at the Michigan job. How can a coach that can't beat Iowa State be trusted to beat Ohio State?

-Crazy OSU fact: Earle Bruce and John Cooper both have and use offices in the football offices in Columbus. I doubt we'll see much of Danny Mac in Ames. As much as Walden and Criner would like free office space, I don't see either of them getting it.

-If 10% of the ISU football team was involved with the police in 10 months, there would be cries from both the faculty and The Rag to fire the coach, shut down football, and implode Trice. Funny how the only complaint about the situation in IC is "a lack of oversight" or some such thing.

-You still need 20 seconds to get off a field goal without a time out.

-Calahan almost said "F.U." on his way out the door with the first half in Boulder. Fran said "F.U." by upsetting UTA. Danny Mac did the same to us last fall. Criner's boys won his last game after he was canned. Somehow I like it when that happens.

-I don't forsee much trouble selling season tickets next year. You?


Sunday, November 18, 2007


As of today's Sagarin, KU has the nation's 101st toughest schedule.

ISU's? #6.

Granted, KU has beaten everyone that was lined up, but they have yet to play a team ranked in the Top 30. ISU played 5 of them. Small difference.

That changes the next two weeks: Mizzou is #9, and OU is #8.

Two games to make us believers.

FWIW- ISU finished #95. That's well south of where we want to be at the end of a season, but it sure beats the #135 or wherever they were before they beat KSU.

The possibly-no-longer-bowl-bound team from IC has fallen to #75, and only Indiana and Purdue played easier schedules in teh 1011. Maybe SUI is lucky to have 6 wins. How did they beat Illinois again?


Ron Goes Off The Deep End

He calls Saturday's loss to Western Michigan the worst SUI football loss.


118 seasons of football, most below .500, and that's his nadir?

I thought old age was supposed to develop perspective, not remove it.

Besides, I thought all of SUI's "Worst Losses Ever" involved our dear Silo Tech one way or another.

Come back off the ledge of your shiney new pressbox, Ron. You'll be back. With the money that gets dumped on football in IC, you have to be.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Don't Fret

The SUI footballers, despite their stunning loss to a 4-8 team from the MAC, will go bowling.

Any third tier bowl would love to have 10K satin "IOWA" jackets wandering through their city.

Bismarck North Dakota could invite SUI to play NDSU outdoors on Jan. 3rd and the stadium would be full. I don't know if that is a sign of loyalty, stupidity, or just not having enough going on in your life. Probably a bit of all three.

Wait and see. They'll go somewhere, practice for another month, give someone a better game than they should, finish 6-7, cash the check, and inspire thousands of SUI fans to predict 9, 10 and 11 win seasons in '08.

It's one of the constants of physics.



So much for opportunity and halftime pep talks. KU came with their A game offensively and took it to ISU. When you give 8 yards a play and only muster 3.4 yourself, it is going to be a very long day.

On the bright side, 45 was the lowest point total for KU at home this year, along the 45 the scored on Toledo. At least it wasn't the 76 they hung on the Huskers two weeks ago. KU punted 4 times, so it's not all bad. The Huskers only forced one. (Heavy, heavy sarcasm there.)

From the TV feed, (BTW- I love how Ron Franklin calls a game. He makes watching your team get blown out tolerable.) it sounds as if KU has had the perfect season: no serious injuries, a mathmatically impossible TO ratio, a very, very favorable schedule, a freshman walk-on turning into Johnny Unitas, etc. It's a fun ride when everything works.

KU is a nice team, but I suspect they are 8-4 in any other year. We will find out the next two weeks, as Mizzou and OU are far better than any of the first 10 teams KU has played.

Luck with things like TO margin and injuries has a tendency to even out year-to-year, so '08 could be rocky for KU. Ask the Hawkeyes what its like when the breaks stop going your way for a while.

On the ISU side, I can't help but look at Meyer's stats for his career and marvel: # 3 all-time in the B12 for yards, but #10 in TD's. That sums up the last 3.75 seasons with Meyer under center: lots of movement between the 20s, but too many failures in the Red Zone. How many more wins would ISU have had in that span with another TD per game? Don't answer that, it hurts too much.

But unquestionably the fouundation has been laid for better football. Jamie should move a boatload of season tickets for '08. Given the 5 game stretch in the back half of the season, Gene and crew can take any motley crew of athletes and play B12 caliber football. I am anxious to see what the staff does with their player, what they can teach over the winter and spring, and where this thing could go.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Cold Revenge

It feels like a lifetime ago, but KU delivered the Shiv In The Belly Loss II, back when ISU Football still had shots at North titles.

You know ABC has sent the whole week profiling every dang player and coach, digging through whatever KU calls a trophy case (probably hidden by the stack of Big 8 Basketball banners Allen Fieldhouse doesn't even have room to hang), building up a reel of tender moments to roll into not just the game against ISU, but the game against Mizzou next week and OU in the championship game. Just like they did before ISU collapsed against Mizzou and KU back when we were young and a little less bitter.

Wouldn't it be appropriate if ISU knocked KU from the Hot Team Of The Moment Mantle?

I would laugh for days.

Besides, come New Year's Weekend, only about 500 more KU fans will fly to a bowl game than ISU fans will. The Jayhawks play at Boston College on the 5th. You can't risk missing the game on the telly stuck in some airport in some warm-weather city. Where's the fun in that?


Why The Hell Not?

CrossCyed gives a heck of a pep talk, of sorts.

Why the hell not, indeed?


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Kids, Kids, Kids

A nice effort against Bradley, really it was, the kids (and I do mean kids) just don't quite yet know what they are doing.

I was pleased with the general hustle on the defensive end, even if they did get caught flat footed on pick and rolls and drives coming out of The Weave. It was one of those nights when the loose balls and crazy bunces seem to go to the other team.

On offense, Mac might as well stick with the two point, three guard lineup because nobody down low knows how to get open, catch the ball when open, or score once they get said ball.

When one of the tallest fellows on your roster only appears late to try three pointers, you've got issues inside.

Just get better each week, boys, and we'll hang with you.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Keeler: Improvement

Sean makes good points.

The Minnesota comparison is interesting and apt. Plus, Brewster may or may not have been a candidate for Ames. I think we got the better guy. Gene seems sane, or at least to have played fewer snaps without a helmet.

I stand corrected on posts I made earlier in the season: this coaching staff has certainly learned how to coach 2 star recruits into holding their own against 4 and 5 star studs. That's great news.

Now we need to catch some 4's and 5's of our own. Then the fun starts.


ISU hoops- a step back in '07-'08?

This guy sees a step back.

I vote for a horizontal move, with better structure for the future.


UNI, BCS, and computers

The computing revolution begun at ISU is showing some love to UNI, which is as high as #12 in the Sagarin, if scoring margin is taken out.


Good for them. Too bad it doesn't get them anything, but still.

Nice arguement about one BCS flaw at that link, too.


Field Goal Time Trial

Watching CU's fire drill of a field goal attempt reminded me of a
discussion I heard during an NFL broadcast in the last month or so
about exactly what CU tried to do.

The color man was a former
coach, and while watching an NFL team successfully execute a
no-time-outs-and-the-clock-is-rolling field goal try at the end of the
first half, coach explained exactly what we saw Saturday: A team needs
a minimum of 20 seconds in such a situation to get aFG try off before the clock runs out, ideally 22 or 23.

A whole bunch of things have to happen in that time: the offense needs to get off the field; FG
unit onto the field, lineup and set; kicker run 35 or 40 yards, find
his mark and set; and the officials need to get the ball from the
offensive player who couldn't get out of bounds, mark the spot, get
another ball to the hash, set it, get the original ball off the field,
check the down and distance marker, get back into their correct
position for aFG try, get the offense set, and start the play clock. That is a bunch of crap in a small amount of time.

I recall, the Buffs tried to do all that not in 25 or 20 seconds but
12. 12! Half the recommended time. Honestly, it probably took the far
side guard 10 seconds to run from the sideline to his spot and get into
his stance. If the refs really wanted to get picky, I bet CU had
offensive players still scrambling to the sideline at the snap, leaving
them with too many men on the field. It looked like a hockey line
change gone bad. In other words, there was no way CU could legally make
the play work. They were going against the laws of football physics,
and they lost- literally.

Given the way the refs have influenced the end of the last two season home closers, Mizzou can't too excited about being the Senior Day opponent in '08, no?


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Unhappy Campers

For the second week in a row, an unexpected road loss to ISU has the fans grumpy with their coaches.

The groups have three things in common:

- they think ISU is worse than Baylor
- they lost to said team on the road
- they have second-year coaches they already want to throw under the bus.

Check out the comments to the story wrap up at the Boulder Daily Camera. The Hawkins Honeymoon is definately over for some fans. Doing things differently is always hard to sell.

We saw the same things coming from KSU over Prince's performance last week. Prince, still over .500 in just his second year, has a warm seat because he isn't 10-2 and in the BCS. Apparrently that is where we are at, now: BCS or bust. Every Year.

I hope we can avoid that. Granted, we need some more wins to overinflate our expectations, but still, can we collectively check ourselves for the next couple of years?

Oh, nice comeback fellas. That showed some tasty moxie. Nice "court awareness" by the CU long snapper, too. Very savvy, and it almost worked. Twice.

Somehow I feel that was a tiny bit of payback for the '95 loss to CU when Ricky Neweasel went for two with a minute left to push the final margin to 22 because the line on the game was 21. Subtle, Ricky, very subtle. Why was I the least surprised person in America that he was busted for betting on college sports while working as a college coach?

Another 10 or 12 similar gut wrenching losses for the Buff and we might be even.

Even though it has only been two years since ISU beat Okie State, a$m, KSU and CU in succession, it still seems very far away. It's nice to have a winning streak to tallk about.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Win #2 Rehash

This KSU blog had someinteresting nuggets:

- the story that was linked was titled "Abomination in Ames". (A little strong I think. It's not like KSU was Top Ten or anything.)
- ISU is an inferior team (can't say I disagree)
- ISU is better than Baylor because it took advantage of a lousy KSU first half (That's something)
- KSU seriously thought it had a shot at the North Title going into Ames. (Really? The Cats were essentially two games out of the title hunt, needing MUCH help in getting that title. I guess the losingest program in college football history has bigger aspirations than just a bowl trip now.)
- KSU fans are pissy because Prince, with the impressive resume of 22 games as a head coach, is only 12-10. (For the record, I'll be doing handsprings if Gene is 2 games over .500 in his third year.)

Winning is just like making money: as soon as you make $50, you want $55. Even KSU, so long the joke, now is unhappy with anything less than a title shot. We can learn from that.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

That Didn't Take Long

This story is what, three days old and there's a website?

Man, I love the internet.

Again, if Lucca was in Lawrence the NCAA wouldn't have even opened a file. Can't bring down a TV ratings star.


Sometimes The Other Shoe Doesn't Drop

Up 28-10 with 6 minutes left in the third, the clock stopped moving, or so it seemed. Every ISU fan at, listening or watching the game was waiting to see how this specific version of the same tourtuous movie called "Cyclone Second Half Collapses" would play out.

Just this year we witnessed disaster at Toledo, slow measured failure at Lincoln and Columbia, an exertion of better talent in a loss to OU. Yet the Cyclones managed to find a way to win by not giving everything they had gained back.

KSU's fourth quarter resulted in 28 plays and 154 yards, but they ended with a missed FG, a failed fourth and goal, an INT, and the end of the game. Painful as hell to watch from the Cyclone standpoint, but the scoreboard is what matters: exactly 0 points scored in crunch time. Victory.

That game will sell season tickets for '08. A solid game on both sides of the ball against a team that should end up bowling. Everyone can agree that progress is being made, that growth is happening before our eyes.

If the staff can replace the departing with better talent and increased depth, days like this will be more common.


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Name On The Jersey Matters

Do you suppose if Mr. Staiger was pulling on a Kansas jersey his eligibility would have been questioned?

Damn straight it wouldn't have, and you know it.

Its stuff like this that makes us so confortable in the role of the underdog.


Danny Mac, Hawkeye Shill

A friend of mine who lives in the Tampa area reports that current South Florida assistant coach Dan McCarney was the featured speaker at the fledgling Tampa-area I-Club in the last month or so.

For those of you who don't know, the I-Club doesn't support ISU.

That didn't take long, Dan.

How much did you make from ISU over the years?


Ever Closer?

Few of us saw it in person, but the chatter is that ISU again played with a team that was 4 TD's better going in. Better offensive numbers, touchdowns to finish drives, and a heck of a lot of plays snapped for the offense. Another yard per play on the average might have made things interesting.

Are we really getting closer to getting off the losing streak?


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Small Draw

A 1-7 ISU team isn't much of a draw on the road. 55,000 are expected in Columbia Saturday, or about 20,000 short of a record crowd.

The fewer witnesses, the better.


MU's View

A nice interview with Mizzou's
QB Daniel
where one of my questions coming into the season is
confirmed: Gene is running the same schemes he ran at Auburn and UTA,
but with inferior athletes. Either the talent level is going to have to
come up, or the schemes will have to evolve. Would that be "Coaching
Down" is Gene's view?

Also mentioned is href="">this
photo which reveals the critical holding call from last year.
I recall seeing a photo from a moment earlier where you can clearly see
handful of jersey instead of hooked arm. Regardless of the technical
rule, when one a blocker is perpendicular to a defender and holding on
to any part of his body he is screaming for a flag.

But I love the next part:

"Either way, Missouri’s gripe wasn’t necessarily that there was no hold, but that a hold was called on a goal-line play in the first place."

What, the offense can do whatever is wants in the Red Zone? Does that mean
pass interference shouldn't be called in the end zone, either? I just
don't get the logic, and I also don't understand why the officials
apologized for it later. If it is the right call at the 50, its the
right call at the 5.

Besides, ISU has been on the short end of enough official calls in the Red Zone over the years that it is going to take a dozen more going ISU's way to even the karma, so to speak.


Not For Weak Stomachs

A scan down the conference stats puts a glaring spotlight on just how anemic the ISU offense has been in its first four conference games.

Scoring offense: last at 11 ppg.
Pass offense: 11th
Rush offense: 10th
Total offense: last
Pass efficiency: 11th
First Downs: 9th
3rd Down conversions: 9th
Red Zone offense: last, 7-13, with only 4 TD's. OU is 13-13 with 10 TDs. Small difference, eh?
On bright spot: ISU is second on the biggest non-stat category: Time Of Possesion. ISU's running backs stay inbounds! Yeah!

The most damning of those numbers is the Red Zone disaster. If that 4 TD number was 8 or 9, our conversations would be very different.

Until ISU can push those numbers up to the middle of the pack, it is going to be touch sledding.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Chuck Sees A Blowout

It's about the matchup.

I can't disagree. ISU's two worst losses are aginst Tech and UTA, and Mizzou fits the same mold offensively.

Perhaps the Tigers have a listless game in them after least weeks big win against Tech. Perhaps I'll be 22, thin and good looking come Sunday morning.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Surprising Ron

A: Ron went to Ames Saturday instead of watching his beloved SUI on the Telly. Maybe he Tivoed it.

B: He had many nice things to say. He must have been served a heck of a pressbox lunch. He even liked the band.




I look forward to the day that I can be like Sooner fan Saturday, grumbling about how ugly a win was, how the team played 3/4 speed, lost the TO battle 0-3, was held scoreless for the first 36 minutes, and was generally outplayed and still managed to win. What a luxury.

The word is that 27 of somebody's Top 100 recruits were in Ames Saturday. They were the guests of ISU, too, and generally liked what they saw. I'm not used to hearing news like that. Gene isn't setling for whatever ends up at the kid's table for talent. Good for him.

I wonder if the Time Out at the end of the first half was used to jaw at the refs for their mornic timekeeping or to make Stoops run one more play in a "We aren't done here until I say we're done here" kind of statement.

If the Cyclones had taken steps back against Tech and UTA, they made a huge leap forward against OU in execution and effort. Score TDs in the red zone and things will get interesting.

Again, the season ticket requirement for the SUI game paid dividends Saturday. About 15 thousand more people apeared than should have. When you already have the tickets you find a way to Trice. Genius.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Irony Missed

Ron Maly slaps ISU for scheduling OU for Homecoming with this:

"By the way, whose idea was it to schedule Oklahoma as the Cyclones' homecoming opponent?

You're supposed to make Chadron State -- or at least some other team you can beat -- your homecoming opponent."

You mean a team like Indiana?



Expect A Hammer Drop

I expect OU to make a statement Saturday, as in:

"We have dibs on a shot at the title."

With South Florida losing Thursday, and BC, S. Carolina, and LSU having bruising stretch runs (LSU and OU have easier paths, conference title game included), I fully expect the OU offense to get a quality workout lighting up the scoreboard against our hapless Clonies. BC and LSU have challenging games this week. If OU is to position itself as the new #2 (I'm assuming OSU won't lose at home to the Spartans), a big spread will be needed if either BC or LSU win. Leapfrogging a winning team is harder than it looks.

The Sooner starters should get at least three quarters of work, or a 50 point lead, whichever comes last.

Unlike the Jamel Halloway days, I don't expect to see any OU players on the sidelines, eating hot dogs with their pads off. That kind of disrespect only a Switzer team could dream up.

Leave the children at home. This one will be ugly.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I see the line for OU sits at 30.

I thought only the Brits did halftime lines.

On a positive note, while the line is at 30, the over/under is 57. Somebody thinks ISU is going to score. Happy day.

Is basketball here yet?


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

All You Need Is Cash

I guess I will have to send my Christmas card to Pederson's home address.

$2+ million to fire your AD, and in a few weeks that much or more to fire your football coach.

It's good to have cash.

How long will it take for NU to rebuild after blowing up The Callahan Experiment?

Not long enough, in my view.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Who Makes These Calls?

The following games will be on TV this weekend:

TT at Mizzou
KU at CU

Sorry, the ISU and Baylor games should not be on TV, when these two games are not televised:

a$m at NU
KS at OS

I would watch both of those games over the ISU game (and I'll be at the ISU game). Granted, NU wants as few witnesses to their situation as possible, so they got a break.

If I'm a K State or Okie State fan, I'm honked.

ISU needs to just accept the cash for being on TV, another 50 point drubbing, and move towards Spring Ball.

Hoops starts Nov. 1. I can't wait, if only for the distraction.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Yet Again, The 1011 Gets Over

Dan Wetzel brings up a great point: href=";_ylt=Al0jAGGC3dKq8qVXa1JPXe8cvrYF?slug=dw-bcs101307&prov=yhoo&type=lgns">The
BCS favors crappy leagues without a Championship Game.

Ohio State vs. South Florida or Arizona State for the title, anyone?

Let chaos reign.


Any Other Year

Any other year and ISU probably wins in Lincoln.


Husker fan is in full implosion mode. Best line from the message boards: "We're about to become Iowa State."

I don't want to know if they mean ISU this week, or ISU in general. I'm all for the latter. We don't have enough equals in the league right now.

My lifetime suspicion has been confirmed: Nebraska Fan is a fan of winning, not football. Thousands of "The Best Fans In College Football" streamed out of Memorial Stadium at halftime, down 38-0. Can we officially remove that tag now?

If NU continues losing, I suspect the Nov. 10th "sellout" against KSU will included thousands of loyal Husker fans dressed as empty seats. I wonder how many will pony up $29.95 for the PPV of that one?

It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch.


The Gulf

I'm glad I could see the UTA game in person, because it really illuminated how wide the gulf is between ISU's talent and the talent at a Big Time Football School like UTA.

For example, I'm not sure where Blythe would fit into UTA's two deeps. He would play, but he would be their #3 option, their "posession reciever". He had more drops than the team in white did combined.

One of UTA's DT's chased down ISU's starting running back from behind. That's sick.

I'm sure Gene and Co. had drawn up a killer defensive scheme to stifle McCoy's passing game, and several times ISU had him in trouble. But when McCoy is two steps faster than every defender, and the UTA recievers can shake free when the play breaks down, chaos favored the talented. McCoy would either find the reciever who was all alone in the middle of the field, or behind the safety, or 5 yards past the first down marker on the sideline, or just scamper 20, 30, 50 yards, looking better than any offensive player ISU can run out there, regardless of position.

The difference in talent was that stark.

Here is where Gene will earn his salary. Either he is able to recruit to Ames the kind of athletes that haven't come to Ames in the past, or he learns how to scheme 2 and 3 star talent into nutralizing 5 star skills. Failing both will be a disaster.

I'm a big fan of what Frank Beemer did at Virginia Tech. He didn't recruit the 5 star kid at first- he recruited the kid that every HS coach wished he had 50 of. The kid that lifted the most weight, ran the most miles, worked his butt off, and had a nose for the football. That's the kind of kid ISU will need to build its program on.

I thought several times Saturday that I don't understand how a team with the talent of a Texas ever loses. How do you mess that up? Twice in a year?

UTA returns to Ames in 2012. Gene will potentially be in Year 5 of his tenure, and we can use the Texas game as perhaps the final yardstick of his program. UTA may be even better than this year (and with 2 losses already, to Horn fan they stink) but I doubt they will be any worse. ISU will be better, or Gene will be headed back to coordinator somewhere.


Chuck Sees Slippage

I can't disagree.

Much of the increasingly bad performances can be attributed the toughening of the schedule. Tech and UTA are a far cry better than UNL or SUI. But still, it was hard to watch.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Enjoy Saturday

At least, if you like watching our Cyclones on the Telly.

As I understand the B12 TV deal, each team gets a minimum of one TV appearance for a conference game per year. Since our Clones aren't the best draw at the moment, I am assuming Saturday's game against UT is their last shot at live coverage for the year.

Looking at the schedule the rest of the way,league I don't see many opportunities the rest of the way, either.

We can bitch all we want about about the quality of the deal (it's not good) all we want, but the only way to work out of consistently being one of the two or three non-televised games each week is to win some dang games. There's no magic formula. Win.

Beating the 'Horns would get some attention, now wouldn't it?


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Random Bits From Saturday

Ed note: Heavy doses of sarcasm in the following post. You've been warned.

From the Glass Half Full camp: ISU has more conference wins in the last 12 months than SUI 1 vs. 0. Who says ISU isn't the better program?


the Tech final was about what I expected, even in August. The match up
just isn't there yet. The more I think about it,ISU should adopt a similar offensive plan. It seems to work for Tech regardless of who they throw out there.


The Tech fans apparently booed their team when ISU scored in the fourth. What, a 25 point win is beneath you folks? Or are you Nebraska
fan and unhappy with anything less than 70 on the board? Win a game
that matters and then you can get picky about the style of a win.


ISU was clearly looking past Tech, anxious for the Horns to come to Ames. They already beat one wealthy, privileged, arrogant and endlessly hyped program; why not another?


Walters has inherited one trait from the late, great Pete Taylor: you
can turn on the radio and in an instant tell how the Cyclones are
doing. Tuning in to the start of the third, you knew it wasn't good.
Thanks for not being a shill, John. People respect that.


There are rumors that the Homecoming game against OU
will be an 8:15 start for TV. The programmers at VS are clearly hoping
for another improbable upset like they got with Stanford atUSC. I wish I could share their optimism. Perhaps the match up will be better in 2011 when OU returns to Ames. The one thing I am optimistic of for an 8:15 kick: One very lubed crowd. The first 5 minutes will be rocking! Then OU will score and we can all sober up, figuratively and emotionally.


ISU clearly needs to take a page from SUI on who to schedule for Homecoming.


Since ABC forced me to watch the SUI-PSU debacle instead of OU-UT, some thoughts on that game:

We all thought Chizik had a brilliant game plan for SUI. Turns out it started and ended with having 11 defensive players on the field.

I now understand
why Meyer looked so smooth and in control against SUI. style="font-style:italic;">Everyone looks smooth and in
control against SUI.

KF is now 1-39 when behind at the start of
the fourth. Watching an SUI game is like watching an America's Cup boat
race: the first boat to the turn wins- you can turn you TV off for the
next 4 hours. Even ISU has had a come from behind win in that span- against SUI last month. Odd coincidence, no?


SUI has the look of a team that left it all on the field in Ames. They haven't been the same since, have they? Have they? The folks in IC clearly need to deemphasize that game. When they lose to ISU they often tank the rest of the year.


It was funny hearing John Miller on the radio correcting callers that KF's base salary is $1.4 Million, and the rest is incentive based. I'm sure that made everyone feel better.


SUI is killing ISU's power ranking. If your team is going to only win one game, it should at least be a great win. No such luck this year.


I assume Dan Mac has a net worth that is a multiple of the rest of the staff at USF. Perhaps DM
is worth more than the rest of the staff combined. That's a nice
position to be in- you work because you like it, not to pay the
mortgage. Good for Dan. I'm going to insist that his presence is
putting USF over the top. I need something to cling to the rest of the season.


Memo to the North: In Peterclone's universe, each school is allowed to be good in either football or hoops, not both. KU and Mizzou, you chose hoops decades ago. Nebraska and lately KSU, you like the football. Now act appropriately.


At the end of the day, I think ISU has better odds being good at hoops than the pigskin. It is that thought that gets me through fall.


The worst sin of USC's loss to Stanford? They lost to really smart guys. Ouch.


I haven't read if UT has ever started 0-3 in league before. I'm all for seeing history Saturday.


The Domers finally won. All dreams eventually die.


I think that's enough for now. Please, no flaming piles of dog doo on my porch. I just painted.


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Fashion or Tradition

Andrew Logue raises an interesting point:

Would ISU be better off with a crazy pass-every-down offense like Tech, or stick with what usually wins titles, the traditional power running offense?

I have a hard time seeing Tech or anyone else winning a National Championship with basketball-on-grass, because having a month to prepare great athletes for a title matchup will overcome the oddness of a pass-happy offense. I know, BYU did well in the 80's, but they didn't have three or four Top-20 power running teams in the WAC, either.

But you can win a bunch of games with it, and sometimes beat the team you shouldn't beat. It is fun to watch, looks great on TV, and will put butts in the seats, which is why its perfect for Ames. If you aren't going to get the best athletes, you need an offense that can overcome their limitations.

Spread it out. Chuck it up.


How Bad Can A Loss To Indiana Be?

This Bad.

When a guy who sits in the press box, but isn't working, and calls it KF's worst loss, you know it's bad. I'm surprised Ron didn't dive from his lofty perch to save himself from the Frank Lauterbur and Bob Cummings flashbacks.

Crazy stat from that game: KF is now 3-4 vs. Indiana. Indiana.

Indiana has had exactly 0 winning seasons in that span. The Hoosiers haven't been to a bowl game since 1993. KF is 5-1 against Penn State in that same span. That makes no sense.

I know, I should be focused on ISU and their game at Lubbock this week, but the scene in Iowa City is such a train wreck, you can't help but stare. They were so impressively good in that '02-'04 stretch I had convinced myself the farthest they might fall would be the accidental 7-5 or 6-6 season. Not this. Not "I don't see enough Big Ten wins to make a bowl" talk. Amazing.

To think: 14 months ago lots of people thought that program was on the cusp of a National Championship. What a Potemkin Village they turned out to be.


Very Half Full

The reviews from Lincoln continue to trickle in, and ISU played just
well enough to continue Husker Nation's collective
case of heartburn.
Husker fan is approaching this weekend as
the underdog, an odd position for them in a North tilt.

Running 102 plays on them really has them freaked out, and it should.

Add in last weekend's wins by CU and KSU, and suddenly the win-at-Mizzou-and-you-win-the-North season NU had planned out looks iffy.

What will be the reaction out of Lincoln if the Reds don't win the North? Probably not good.

I think NU finds a way to win, only because I've never been sold on Mizzou in an important game of late. Nut NU is certainly pedestrian enough to lose, and I won't be surprised.


Monday, October 01, 2007

Tech and Tackling

The one reason I don't think ISU will win at Tech:

Lousy tackling.

The key to beating Tech's scheme is for the first guy to make contact with the ball carier or reciever is to bring him down. No getting juked. No broken arm tackles. First contact, man down.

Getting pressure from a four man rush wouldn't hurt anything, either. Scoring TD's while hanging onto the ball would be a good idea, too.

But I keep seeing the tape to Toledo's kickoff return for a TD in my head. Every Cyclone bounced off that guy what seemed like 6 times each.

Tackle. It's that simple. Tackle.



I'm not the only one who wonders about the directions of the two programs:

"It’s interesting. Iowa and Iowa State both lost by 18 points on Saturday, yet don’t you get a completely different feeling about the two teams?"

Unfortunately, it's a lot easier to become bad that to get better.


Missed Memo at the Rag

Apparrently, the current batch of sportswriters at the Rag missed the memo that they are suposed to at least try to polish any turds they find wearing Black and Gold:

Sean Keeler:

"Is it me, or is the Iowa football program of present starting to sound a little like the Iowa State football program under Jim Criner?"


Shuck Schoffner:
"...this is a program in a serious tailspin. The Hawkeyes have lost seven straight Big Ten games. They’ve won only three of their last 12 games overall – two wins over Northern Illinois, one over Syracuse."


Randy Peterson a week ago:

"It could be another long season without a homecoming win against the Hoosiers."

What's the deal with the honest reporting? I feel like I'm reading the ISU articles, but the names are all wrong. The are using phrases like "step backwards", "mistake-prone" and "at risk of missing a bowl" in a context that my pedestrian brain can't comprehend.

This will take some time to get used to. Hopefully SUI doesn't start winning games, forcing the press corp to zag back to their usual fawning writing. They would have to file workmen's comp from the whiplash.


Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ships Passing?

It is waaaaaay too early for this, but could the "upset" of SUI a few weeks ago be the passing of two programs on the line chart of success? Not that ISU's line is more than horizontal at best, but the folks out east are pointing way more down than sideways.

Here's hopin'.


Epic Hlas

I wish I could pack as much insight into as few lines as Hlas.

Best sportswriter in this state, at least among the full-time-employed.

Every line is dead on, too. Read it now.


Baby Steps

I only heard bits and pieces of the Nebraska game on the radio, but
given that John and Eric aren't the kind to blow smoke up our
collective skirts, it sounds as if each week the football team

We just can't see it, figuratively and literally.

I consider a Big Time Football Program in Year Four of a new staff
struggling against a Have Not with a rookie staff a failed experiment.

me to send a Christmas card to Steve Pederson for giving Calahan an extension. The longer they are merely good (and not great) the better for everyone else in the B12 North.

Perhaps our next trip to Lincoln will have a different outcome.


Alex Hits The Numbers

He finds a cause for many of our football problems:

It's not just that the team keeps turning the ball over, its where.

If we didn't make it so dang easy for the other team, ISU might have a few more wins.


Saturday, September 29, 2007

As Usual, Chuck Nails It

Funny that the best sports writing at the Rag comes from a fellow who never worked for them full-time, and is now "retired".

Chuck on the lack of ISU TV.

A sign that the B12's TV deal stinks? Nebraska isn't on TV every week. Nebraska. Any league that signs a deal that doesn't allow its marquee teams on the telly every dang week shouldn't allow itself to be a league.

I understand why ISU isn't on much, and winning might fix that someday. But I think the Huskers have earned the privlidge of wall-to-wall TV.

Or put it this way: SUI's home game against Indiana is on, but Nebraska's game against ISU isn't. If you had the chance to sell ads for those games, which one would you pick? I thought so.


Friday, September 28, 2007

Odds and ends

I agree that ISU's loss to UNI is not the B12's worst this year. UNI is a solid I-AA team, and nobody expected much from ISU this year. It happens. But a$m losing to Miami or Okie. St. losing to Troy look much worse based on what was expected from each school in August.

The new unis, with red helmets, regardless of logo, are sweet. USC-lite, sure, but so is the football. (Nice Photoshop work. Not)

We get some love from a Husker and intelligent answers from Alex.

Corn Nation brings up a point that is lost on most Husker and all SUI fans: Given the lack of football success the last 50 years in Ames, exactly 220 people should attend home games- the parents of each player. Make that 235, since the coaches would make their wives come to pad the total. Really. If Lincoln or Iowa City went on a walk of football futility like we have, they would average about 6,000 per game.

The question should never be: "Why doesn't ISU sell more football tickets?"; it should be "Why doesn't everyone else sell twice what they do now?"

Nebraska 42, ISU 21. We're a few years away. Again.


Save Cy?

I found a surprise in my spam folder- someone has set up a website
dedicated to keeping Cy
on the football helmets.

Personally, I've been ambivalent to the current Cy. A clever integration of Cy and Cyclones, but the sandwich board he has been forced to wear or carry these 12 years looks a little odd.

For maximum visual impact, ISU should return to this.

Yep, the Criner era helmet was the best logo, period. But, like the current Cy, it reminded everyone of bad football, so had to go.

we don't hurry up and get some winning football, we may run out of logo
possibilities, and will have to switch to the naked Penn State helmet.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007


To recap the season at the quarter pole:

Two surprisingly lopsided losses to teams ISU isn't used to losing to;

One surprising win over a team ISU is, surprisingly, used to beating, despite that team having each and every advantage;

One demoralizing giveaway loss, a game that ISU had all but won, that was not surprising in that we all have seen that movie too many times in our Cyclone lives.

Wouldn't it be just like this squad, a bunch that we truely don't know what to expect from one game to the next, to rise up, play the perfect game, and beat the doggone 22 point-favorite-Huskers?

It ain't gonna happen, but at this point I don't know that I would be surprised if they did win. I'm not sure what will surprise me the rest of the way.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Welcome To Ames, Gene

Were you warned that Cyclone teams sometimes just find a way to lose? Now you've seen it first hand.

As fun as last week was, we're all in for a long climb together.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Gotta Beat Someone Decent

Nothing will shut up SUI fan (OK, nothing will shut up SUI fan, but at least we will have valid ammo) about the SUI game being "ISU's Super Bowl" than ISU beating a team or two that is better than SUI in the same season that ISU beats SUI.

This is one place where SUI fan actually has a bit of a beef:

Season/SUI finish/Record of best team ISU beat other than SUI

'05/SUI 7-5/CU 7-6
'02/SUI 11-2/Tech 9-5
'01/SUI 7-5/Mizzou & OKie St. 4-7
'00/SUI 3-9/UNLV 8-5 & Pitt 7-5
'99/SUI 1-10/Mizzou 4-7
'98/SUI 3-8/KU 4-7

The last three wins against SUI proved to be ISU's "Best Win" of the year, '05 being a tossup.

Part of this list rises from how inept DM was against teams that finished the season with a winning record. Hayden had a horrid stretch against decent teams, too, and his teams went to a series of bowl during that run, so what the heck.

To turn it around, in three of those same years the loss to ISU was SUI's "worst loss":

'05- ISU 7-5/Mich and NW both 7-5 (but you know which one hurt the most emotionally)
'02- ISU 7-7/USC 11-2. No contest.
'01- ISU 7-5/MSU was 7-5, Purdue 6-6, Wisky 5-7 (again, the emotional loss)
'00- ISU 9-3/Indiana was 3-8
'99- ISU 4-7/NW 3-8
'98- ISU 3-8/Indiana 4-7

The simple plan: ISU beats someone really good (OU or UT would be perfect) while SUI tanks and finishes 5-7 or something. That wouldn't bother me at all.


What The Heck

I took a big gulp of the Kool-Aid last weekend.

While ISU will be sluggish, clumsy, and full of penaties from the Hawkeye hangover (the good kind) they, like last week, find a way to beat Toledo. 24-21 or something like that.

Hopefully the Rocket D continues to be a sieve.


Best Line About ISU's Win

From Ron Maly's blog: (he was a little dissapointed, to say the least)

Iowa fan Mark Robinson responded to my column from last week, in which I wondered if Iowa State coach Gene Chizik understands the significance of the Cyclone-Hawkeye rivalry:

"Ron, the real question which needs to be asked is if Kirk Ferentz understands the Iowa-Iowa State rivalry," Robinson wrote. "Chizik seems to understand it just fine."

All I know is that I've seen far too many Iowa-Iowa State games in recent seasons when the Hawkeyes were flat emotionally in the first half, and occasionally throughout the game.

Like I wrote earlier, there's absolutely no excuse for that.


No there isn't Ron. No excuse for the Best Program To Never Win A National Championship to lose to a trade school like Silo Tech.

The longer KF stays in IC, the more I like him.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Positive Press

Such that it is:

They're not dead! Nice dig on KF and his program, too: 15-13 (7-9 in the 1011) over the last 2.25 seasons, or since that miraculous finish in Orlando.

That's $445,000 per win, or probably not far from what Dan made per win last year. Good work if you can find it.

Two digs on SUI here.

Chuck lists several facts SUI fan overlooked in the runup to The Big Game. Some are valid, some are not for the BPTNWANC.

This guy nails it. I think I will enjoy reading his stuff in the future.

(edit note: The above came from Paul Clark at Cyclone Report. It's still good stuff.)


Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Quote In My Head Saturday

From href="">Rocky:"He
doesn't know it's a damn show! He thinks it's a damn fight!"

The paralells are heavy. Gotta rent that one this week.


Sorry, Ron, you will have to wait

Ron Maly will have to wait a few weeks before burying Gene's career in Ames.

I'm not saying it won't happen, but it won't happen this week.


Great Hlas post

Mike nails it.



Random thoughts from a wild, wild day:

-The Cyclones should never, ever take those throwback unis off. Petition the B12 to wear white at home. That was a moment where you caught lightening in a bottle, and now that you have it, lock it in. Those beautiful uniforms would be a perfect way to do it, too.

Plus, every time Iowa fan sees those unis, he will think back to the pain of yesterday. Hee hee.

-I guess "" will have to delay their rollout a few weeks.

-KF may not put any extra emphasis on the ISU game, but his fan base clearly wants him to. They, fans of The Best Program To Never Win A National Title, are quite tired of losing to Silo Tech.

-I didn't see Randy P polling fans on their way out to see if they thought $90 was worth it in the end. Imagine that.

-My small survey found tickets availible 2/$100 30 minutes before kickoff.

-Perhaps the cliche should be that the most improvement comes between games 2 and 3.

-It now may be possibel to test the age old question: "If ISU beats Iowa for their only win of the season, will Cyclone fan think the season was a success?"

More as the week continues. The last 90 minutes were more tention than I like, but damn that was fun. I should be able to talk again on Tuesday or so.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Drop like a rock

The first chnce SUI gets we're off the schedule, never to return.

They never wanted to play us, and they see no upside to having the series.

The emotional rewards of going Sipowicz on lowly ISU is not worth the embarrassment when ISU squeeks out a win over the mighty Fighting Buzzards.

Simply put: They believe SUI should never lose to ISU in football. Ever.

The best way to guarrentee that is for SUI to end the series. The sooner the better.



Now we understand Randy's mysterious post. Good research, Randy: "Hey- Any Iowa fans feeling they easy access to Hawkeye football being repressed? Anyone?"

So he found a bunch of SUI fans to bitch and moan about how they are being gouged this weekend, how $90 is more expensive than (implied) bigger matchups like Michigan-OSU, and how the new ticket policy will keep Trice a few thousand short of a full house this weekend.

Waah freakin' waah.

First, folks bitch at ISU for not regularly selling out. Then they bitch when ISU cranks up they price for games that will sell out. Finally, they bitch because ISU won't gouge as many visiting fans as possible.

Maybe Jamie should have made the single game price for the SUI game $350, and thrown in the rest of the home schedule for free. But folks would have bitched about that as not showing respect to OU and UT.

Folks just like to bitch, especially SUI fans. No reason they are the most despised fan base in the Big 1011.

The Red Sox and Cubs have some of the most expensive tickets in baseball. Why? Perhaps their small stadiums have something to do with it. Michigan and OSU each host 100K for their big tilt. While the demand for that game may be bigger, so is the supply of tickets.

I chuckle at the Hard Core Capitalists I know who are the first to scream "Gouge!". If Jamie could charge $300 per ticket and sell out Trice once or twice a year, he would, and should. We need the cash.

Did it not occur to anyone that perhaps the $90 is to make the season ticket look that more attractive? Did it occur to anyone that sometimes it's not about the Hawks?


Sunday, September 09, 2007

56,795 Witnesses

If Gene finds coaching success in Ames, there are over 56,000 witnesses who will be able to say "I witnessed the bottom".

I expect to get blown out by OU and UT this year. But to get pushed around by UNI? Even very good UNI? Please.

If Gene moves onto a better job in the future, that loss will be one end of the yardstick measuring how far he will have come as a coach, and the program has grown in general.

Keep your ticket stub.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Sagarin hates ISU

As it should right now.

ISU dropped from #61 last week to #108 this morning, putting them 14 spots below Baylor and 53 (!) behind Okie State. Ouch and double ouch.

That's the lowest Sagarin ranking that my feeble brain can recall. 80's, often, 90's on occasion, but this is a new low, literally.

10 I-AA schools are above ISU right now, including UNI at #94. I'm making ISU a home dog this week by at least three. Until they show a better grasp on the new schemes, things may be ugly.

For point of reference, Kent State is now #75.

I know, the Sag is a little weird until the third or fourth week of the season, but you have to start somewhere.


Brett, you are now on the clock

According to Gene's comments on Monday, nobodies job is safe. The next three games will determine who gets playing time in the B12 season.

I can't disagree with Gene's policy- we're all on day-to-day status in our workplaces, so football should be no different.

It would be ironic if Brett was pushed aside for a younger kid with "upside" when Brett got his job because he was young and had "upside". So it goes.

I would have never guessed that Brett is fourth on the B12 career yards list. He's had an eventful career, regardless of how it ends.

Clock's ticking, boys.


Sunday, September 02, 2007

Any Road Rash, Ron?

You might want to get that nasty bit on your face looked at. Head first dives off the bandwagon will do that.

I knew his positive words were a mirage.

I'm not saying he's wrong either way, but that was a dramatic about face. Perhaps he hand a few gulps of the Kool Aid, too.


Mediacom Baloney

Mediacom's claim that Fox prohibited Mediacom from airing the Kent State game? Probably BS.

The production folks at Mediacom were never asked to tentatively schedule that game and never made any calls looking for crew. The folks at ISU were never asked, either.

In fact, most of the Mediacom staff who would have worked that game were in Ames already, as Mediacom had a function there: tent, catering, drinks, and a block of tickets.

Nice spin, though. Too bad it had no basis in reality.


Another Rational Voice

Keith Murphy agrees with me: (BTW- Nice Graphic, Keith. You look good in a wig.) The Chizik Era won't be a Instant Football Solution. We've got to be patient here. You may have been in the camp bitching for change since '03, and you got it. You may have been geeked on Gene's hire. But like Dan, there will be some on-the-job training, and progress will be in fits and starts. No serious evaluations until '09 at the earliest.

It's always darkest right before you get popped on the back of the head by a pipe wrench.


Friday, August 31, 2007


Kent State goes to Columbus at the end of the month to play the Buckeyes. That will be an interesting game to compare and contrast last night's performance with.

Kent State also returns to Ames next season. I expect the two teams will have changed between now and then.

The Kool-Aid Drinkers who expected Gene to come in, sprinkle some magic BCS title dust around will have to readjust their short-term expectations.

Gene himself looks as though he is finally realizing he is going to earn every one of the zeroes in his paycheck the hard way, using 3 star and 2 star and no star-walkons that would hardly be able to buy a ticket in Austin, let alone start for the Longhorns. Welcome to the Have-Nots. Win here, and you can write your ticket anywhere. I hope you will.


Thursday, August 30, 2007


My last minute guess?

ISU will finish 5-7, with the wins coming from this bunch:

Kent St., UNI, SUI, Toledo, Mizzou, K State, KU, CU.

I won't be surprised if this team loses to UNI and Toledo, yet beats SUI and Mizzou. It could be that kind of surprising yet maddening year.

All I want is competitive football all 12 weeks. I don't expect to beat UT, OU and Nebraska this year, but don't be down 28 at the half, either.

Go State!


Friday, August 24, 2007

What He Said

Keeler agrees with me on the white helmets.

I've always been a fan of the 49er look.


Neck Up, Neck Down

Us fans get to pick next season's helmet. Yippee.

I love, love, love the pant and shirt combos. Top shelf.

But the helmet choices, all white, none with the current Cy logo, do nothing for me.

They really want to go back to a Walden-era "Cyclones" script? Ugh.

I think the current red helmet and logo would seal the deal, but that must be off the table. I've joked for 10 years that "I'll miss the current Cy logo after Dan gets fired". I had no idea how prophetic I was.

Gun to my head? I'll take the "I State" thing.

Is "None of the above" an option?


Wednesday, August 15, 2007


When you get a summertime thread about Big 1011 expansion like this, inevitably some fan from a B1011 school chimes in about the "high academic standards" of the B1011, insisting that nobody in the B12 could fit in save Texas.

Please direct your attention to this post of mine where I actually looked up the ACT scores of the student body from each school in both leagues. ( I wish it was easier to read- so it goes.)

Like 5 Star football players, a student body rich with kids scoring above 700 on their SATs can be considered a deeper academic environment than a student body where 500 was the common score. The final numbers are the most telling for me. ISU does well in the B12, holding even with UT. (The schools that only reported ACT scores were converted in a way that I think inflated their result)

But look at some of the 700 SAT numbers in the vaunted B1011: Indiana with 4/7%, Purdue 5/10, MSU 7/10, PSU 8/16, OSU 9/14. SUI, that citadel of higher education here on the prairie, the school that Ames Community College wishes it was, only earns a 16/16- a statistical tie with ISU.

Looking at the numbers, outside of Michigan, Northwestern and Illinois, the 1011 is hardly a pinnacle of higher learning. The Ivy League with Sports it isn't.

Shove that back in the pie hole of the next 1011 fan (SUI, probably, always first to ride the coattails of someone else's glory) and see what kind of reaction you get.

I know, I should stop trying to bring facts into the discussion, as they get in the way of the emotion.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Diminished Expectations

The most revealing tidbit from Cyclone Fanatic's recap of Meet The Coaches Night was all the way at the bottom.

Notice a difference in the bids for road trips with the basketball teams?

Now, a flight to Austin in February is just a touch more enticing than a bus trip to Lincoln, but $1900 difference? Wow.

The women drew a bigger bid for the Iowa game, too. There was a time the guest would have received $1200 to sit next to the team when Stringer and Co. rolled in to deliver a 50 point smacking to ISU. (I'm due some back pay in that regard.) 5000 SUI fans polluting Hilton uncontested is not a sight I hope to see again. Greg has some work to do to get on the top side of that auction.

What's this talk about Marty Tirrell? Is he back on the radio? Does he phone it in from Boston?


Monday, August 06, 2007

From Best To Worst

Once in a great while I feel sorry for Iowa fan. Today is one of those days.

As frustrating as it is to live with the bad TV deal the B12 signed, it now has to be worse to live in the new B1011 universe. Every SUI game will be televised, but as few as one will be over the air, with most fans locked out of as many as nine games if they don't have access to the brand-spankin'-new Big 10(11) Network. For a crowd that has grown large from years of easy TV access to their team, this will be a tough withdrawal.

The B1011N is an interesting concept, and the B1011 is one of the few leagues with enough eyeballs to attempt it, but its "Basic Package Or Bust" approach isn't going to work out in their favor. Ask the NFL Network about making a living with token household penetration.

Given the TV options, I would rather not have my team on TV at all than know that they ARE on, but having no easy way of seeing it.

I'm going to miss seeing Kirk write on his Toastmasters Cue Card "Paid too much for that kid" 14 times a game.


Sunday, August 05, 2007

This Makes Me Nervous

Ron "Never Missed A Chance For A Cheap Shot At ISU" Maly thinks Gene and crew will finish 5-7. He even thinks they will only lose to SUI by 7.

He must be double-dosing his meds.

At least he freely admits his talents from this time a year ago- he predicted ISU finishing 8-4 and SUI going 12-0.

Yes. 12-0. He was serious, too.

Most predictors would run from a result like that. That's standup.

But Ron had every reason to throw out a 2-10 record, and a 35 point drubbing to his beloved Black and Gold.

If he was 4 games off of ISU's finish in '06, that means ISU is going to finish- 1-11?


Here's hoping he's off the other way this year.


Good News From Media Day

Courtesy Andrew Logue:

*It was the sort of subtle change that can set a tone.

When the Iowa State football players showed up for media day, there were no names on their backs.
The only words on the front were, Iowa State.

-- Amen to that. I'm old school when it comes to names on jerseys- team only, no individual.

*There was lots of talk about running the football.

Running backs coach Jay Boulware said he wants somebody to carry the football 25-30 times. But with a revamped offensive line, I wonder if the backs will be asked to fill the role of receiver.
I envision a lot of three-step drops and quick-hit passes.

-- Probably a safe guess on Andrew's part. You have a smart athletic QB, decent receivers, and big questions on the OL. In the short term, it is wise to play to your strengths, however few you might have. It will be interesting to watch the offensive scheme evolve (or be "intelligently designed" if you prefer) as the season, and Gene's tenure, goes on.

An old coach told me that it is a fine line between "taking what the defense gives you" and "playing your game". You have to do a bit of both, really. We've all witnessed ISU teams that insisted on the latter while ignoring the former, which cost the team wins and coaches their jobs. No repeats, please.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Brewster: Didn't want ya

Or so Keeler says.

Then again, Brewster may not have been the personality to follow fired up Dan.

According to Keeler, Brewster makes Dan looklike Steven Wright.

That would have been a bit much.


Nice Catch

Clone Cronicles: "It was near 90 yesterday in Ames, and Gene's wearing a sweatshirt with cutoff sleeves. WTF?"

Is Gene going to be one of those coaches who wears a short sleeve shirt when it's snowing not because he thinks he's tough, but because he doesn't notice it's cold?

That's focus.

BTW- nice redesign, CC. CSJ staff is jealous.


A Logic Free Link

Interesting: A Non-ISU fan who thinks ISU to the 1011 is a good idea.

Too bad his thought process ignores the only reason a league expands: to get more TV money.

It's that simple, people.


How Did I Miss This?

Mizzou has an offer to join the 1011?

Again, I don't get it. While Mizzou is higher profile than ISU, they don't have the eyeballs that Syracuse or Rutgers would bring to the next TV contract, which is all that matters: TV money.

A Mizzou departure would really shake things up, and open a spot for a TCU or Colorado State to jump in.

But this is all summer talk- great over beer under a shade tree, but not worth a lick once football starts.


My thoughts exactly

An appropriate evaluation of the '06 Buzzards.

I agree with everything but this: "they scraped by an awful Iowa State team that finally got Dan McCarney fired". Does the author think Dan should have been fired earlier than he was? Haven't looked closely and the handicaps ISU football has, have you?

The Cyclones play from the white tees, and it's not because they are long hitters, friend.


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Stop It Already!

What is it about summer that brings up this topic every dang year?this topic every dang year?

Unless ISU can suddenly:

A. Move 1000 miles East, AND
B. Aquire a couple of million people curious about their sports teams in the Boston-to-DC Corridor, AND
C. Attract the daily of The World Wide Leader In Sports

ISU isn't moving to the Big TenEleven to make it the Big TenTwelve. No way, no how. Forget it.

SUI gets booted to the B12 to replace CU before the opposite happens.

Don't Worry SUI Fans

Athletics are still in charge in Iowa City.


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Interesting view from ESPN

ESPN is ranking each DI program over the past 10 years, and puts ISU at #66- which is about where Sagarin starts ISU every dang year.

Given the 52-67 record over those 10 years, it is surprising that ISU went to 5 bowl games in that span. When they were bad, though, they have been atrocious.

I shudder to think where ISU would have ranked over the previous 10 prior to the '97 season. Now there was some impressively bad football.

Teams of interest: Okie State at #56, Mizzou at #62, past foe Northern Illinois at #65, KU #83, Baylor #101.

USC is #1, OSU #2, Texas #3, OU #5, NU# 13 (still milking the '97 Shared National Title) KSU #20, SUI #25 (far below where their fans think they belong, no?) a$m is #32, Tech is surprisingly #35(Quote: "Texas Tech has won 56 games since 2000 -- only Oklahoma, Texas and Nebraska have won more games among Big 12 Conference teams." Huh. Who would have guessed that?), CU #49

Opening paragraph from the article that accompanies this batch of teams states:

" is a nether region of programs in college football that tend to be just decent enough that their coaches retain their jobs. Yet these teams never get over the proverbial hump and make it to a bowl game you'd watch for more than 10 minutes."

Sums up ISU under Dan, doesn't it?

Here's hoping Gene somehow gets ISU over that #50 hump.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

LE, old players, and Barry Stevens

The Stevens fundraiser was a nice event. It was well produced, a nice crowd showed up on a geourgous afternoon when a million other activities cried out for your time, and the basketball was on a higher level than I expected.

Guys looked like they gave a damn about how they played, and were working hard to get the assist and not let somebody else show them up.

It was good to see LE again, and he looked at peace with himself, comfortable in his skin in every way that he wasn't when he was coaching here. He was greeted as the Prodigal Son, and when Greg gets hired away after a fantastic run here, (yes, I've drunk the Kool Aid.) I would be all for hiring LE back, sober, tan, rested and ready.

While there are no second acts in America, there are second halves in sports.


We're 11th!

At least according to the preseason writers. The drop off in votes from Cu to ISU isn't as steep as it is from Tech to Baylor. Thus, I declare ISU 11th.

Glass Half Full.


Topic for the next BBQ

Following the thread this writer takes on TCU/Baylor:

Would ISU fans be happier winning in a lesser football conference- WAC, MWC, CUSA, etc- than getting its brains beaten out year over year, with the occasional (failed) shot at the title?



Big Red Network Thinks We'll Stink

I know, that could be the headline from any Nebraska-centric preview the last 75 years, but they are thinking another oh-for in the B12, and they equate ISU with Ball State. Ouch.

Read enough previews and somewhere you will find the consensus. I think this one is overly pessimistic.

ISU will get 1 conference win. ;-)


Fun to get you through the summer

This makes me wish I had an old GameDay on the Tivo. It's worth having friends over on a road game weekend.


Thursday, July 19, 2007


Well, nowhere to go from there but up.



We're not the only ones who think KF was living the good life for a few
years: SI
has noticed
that his job has gotten harder over the last few

KF rose while ND, IL and OSU were slumping. Now all are beating SUI for recruits.

Money quote:

"And Iowa? Ferentz's top signee from the state (Illinois) was a kicker, Ryan Donahue. Iowa State had more top commitments from Illinois than the Hawkeyes did. Ouch."




As much as I hate Vegas, a game against Purdue might be enough to get me there.



I am always amazed at the parade of "student" athletes who find some stupid way of losing what may be the most valuable opportunity of their lives.

Today's "student" athlete is Mike Taylor. Leading scorer Mike Taylor. Could make a little (but probably not alot) of money playing basketball. Now he's "former Cyclone" Mike Taylor.

I did lots of dumb things in college. I also maanged to never be cited, let alone arrested. I can't fathom the series of stupid things you have to do to be arrested three times in a single school year.


On the up side, there are now 38 minutes a night that somebody is going to get to fill. If Greg recruited with the promise "You'll play right away", he wasn't kidding.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It must be working

JP is holding firm to his "you gotta buy season" pledge. A bunch of Politicos chose to buy singles through SUI than pony up for season tickets through Jamie. Good for both.

I'm impressed JP is sticking to his guns. The fact that a record number of tickets have been sold helps once intestinal fortitude.

I'm glad the politicos chose to buy singles. Selling them season tickets would have meant cash up front, but a bunch of empty seats the rest of the season. Sell to folks who want to come every week, not just the Big Game Fan. Plus they will have a lousy view in one of the corners, and will have to sit next to some drunken sod screaming expletives every time SUI fails on third-and-whatever. SUI fans have become a bitter bunch now that they are merely average.

Good job Jamie.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Scheduling Similarity

Mizzou has undertaken the same scheduling philosophy so familiar to ISU fans: One BCS opponent (in our case, SUI every year), one I-AA team, and home-home with non-BCS DI teams.

JP is quoted extensively in the article, but there is one line that jumps out at me: "and home-and-home games against two I-A teams that Pollard considers comparable to Iowa State’s talent level."

If JP really said that, I admire his candor. I think ISU has been picking noncon opponents that they should beat two out of three, and for the last few years has shown the right level of difficulty for the program.

If the writer inserted that description, then we know what writers in Columbia think of ISU football. Not that it is off the mark, but I always like confirmation of my suspicions. Feww illusions of grandure here.

This also raises a larger point. I personally am a fan of what Bobby Bowden did at FSU 30 years ago: as an independant, FSU took an "any place, any time" philosphy to scheduling and played some impressive road games: Pitt, LSU, Nebraska, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Auburn, plus home-home with both Florida and Miami each year. Either you buuild a heck of a program or die trying.

I realize the economics discourage that kind of scheduling now, even with a bidding war on for decent Mid-Major football opponents. But a guy's gotta dream.