Wednesday, January 31, 2007

When Retired Sportswriters Get It Right

It's a few weeks old, but worth the trip.

Check out Ron Maly rightfully taking the Register to task. Nice shot of Erin Andrews, too. Her accessories tell you all you need to know.


Monday, January 29, 2007

All In?

Short version of the football season ticket plan and the SUI game:

This is much like calling the Statue Of Liberty in OT of the Fiesta Bowl: If it works and you sell 45k+ season tickets, you are a flipping genius. If you only sell 35K and the stadium is half empty for the SUI game, you are an idiot.

JP is asking Cyclone Fan to quit bitching about the quality of the football program and pony up the cash it will take to get there. Selling 45K+ season tickets is goal #1.

In or out, Cyclone Fan? In or out?



I had not seen the wrestling team since watching them on the telly wet themselves while losing to SUI.

They have changed completely, in the best of ways.

Gone is the overly technical, score-just-enough-to-win-or-at-least-don't-do-anything-stupid-to-lose style, and in its place is a probing, carefully aggressive, take-no-prisoners style of wrestling. It's not the overcranked street fight that Old Time SUI Wrestling was, but this is fun to watch. Even an underdog is on the mat looking to score and make the other guy beat him, not just running and hiding, trying to not get majored.

If the team continues to improve at anything like its present rate, they will be scary at B12's (B5's?) and NCAA's.

Nice work, boys.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Head Games

Somehow, McDermott convinced his layers they could win despite glaring weaknesses as a team, and they started a strong 2-1.

Now the players have convinced themselves they are nothing but weaknesses and have lost two games they should have won.

I suspect that Huggins has a special place in his heart for ISU after Floyd's boys upset a pretty good Cincy team in the NCAA's a decade ago. I fully expect KSU's best shot each and every time ISU appears on their schedule. Yuk.

Much hay will need to be made after the turn.


Monday, January 15, 2007

You are always hardest on your own

An anonymous comment from the Register's website in regards to an article titled: "Alford to Big Men: Do More"

"Iowa fans to Steve Alford: Go away. You couldn't coach the Globetrotters past a bucket of confetti."

Brilliant. Damn brilliant.


Follow Through

Most teams worth their salt can execute a game plan that will give an underdog a chance to win at home.

Few teams have the "testicular fortitude" to follow through a game plan on the road against an honestly bad team and win.

We know ISU is in the former camp. Whether they belong in the latter camp will be revealed in Boulder.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

This Is Getting Interesting

Watching the first half, I thought ISU was cooked: Nebraska was making both threes and scoring in the paint, and ISU was struggling to keep up.

But the defensive effort in the second half allowed ISU to make a 26-12 run to open the game up, and solid free throw shooting down the stretch iced it for the Cyclones when Nebraska crawled back in. Hilton started jumping during that stretch after halftime, and you could smell the good times coming back.

Trust me, TV people absolutely love Hilton at full roar, and it was getting good for about 8 minutes of clock time in the second half.

The yellow ponchos on Cyclone Alley was a little silly, but it looked great on TV.

Too bad the Jayhawks appear to be at top form right now. Pull that one off, Mac, and there will be a brawl to get the last seats on the bandwagon.


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Retired Sportswriter Mistakes, Espisode 2

Ron Maly complains that Wells Fargo doesn't need a hotel next door. Wrong.

The sole reason why Wells has been passed over for NCAA wrestling and basketball events is because, well, it doesn't have a hotel next door.

One of the prime selling points of the joint was that it would bring in NCAA wrestling and basketball events. If that's going to happen, more building must go on.

I love the "Who wants to get mugged or their purse snatched walking to a downtown hotel line". Dang, I didn't know downtown DSM was so violent. Alert the Gannet News Outlet. He says folks would rather drive to Big Box Land in West Des Moines to spend the night, after eating at an overpriced chain restaurant I suppose.

I probably shouldn't tell Ron that I took a bus to a Blackhawks game (yes, public transportation), and walked six blocks to a show while staying in a downtown hotel in Chicago.

Somehow, I didn't get mugged. My wife doesn't carry a purse, for the record.

Judging by the crowds I saw in Chicago and at other cities with downtown arenas, I think people would like the option of staying next to the Well. Since the NCAA pretty much requires it, it's going to happen.


Kirk can thank or curse Nick

If Kirk Ferentz had any dreams of coaching in the NFL, Nick Saban may have dampened them.

I suspect a cooling off period has begun in the heavy petting between Big Time College Football coaches and Stupid Rich NFL Owners after Saban's disappearing act. It appears that career NFL guys make better NFL coaches, or, inversely, college success means nothing in the NFL.

Granted, Kirk's .500 record the last two years has cooled the rumor mill, too. So it goes.

I second everything Mike Hlas says, too.


Plus Minus

There is a stat in hockey called the plus/minus. It tracks who is on the ice when each goal is scored, and gives a point to each player on the scoring team, and subtracts one from each player scored upon team.

If basketball tracked the same kind of stat, Corey McIntosh would be minus. Very minus. Bad things seem to happen when he's in the game.

He's a bit like Glen Worley was at SUI, minus the dad trying to coach from the second row. It seemed that every time SUI lost a game, Glen had something to do with it. He played under a very dark cloud.

Hopefully Corey's cloud dissipates.


38 Minutes Of Hell

Too bad ISU had the perfect two minutes they needed.

The gauntlet has been thrown down to the rest of the league by Mac: I may have the most incomplete team in the league, but if you let us hang around, we'll steal the game from you.

Slowing down the tempo to a crawl when Mizzou wants to run: brilliant!
Slapping on the press in the final minute when you hadn't used it in forever: brilliant!
Getting more points from your bench than your starters: brilliant!

Gee, maybe this guy can coach after all.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

It's all about the Benjamins

Cyclone Fanatic has begun an interesting thread asking the group who they feel is in a better long-term position, ISU or SUI.

To me there is no discussion: It's SUI.

As long as SUI maintains a fat athletic budget- the official number is 50% larger than ISU, but I suspect the "in-kind" monies make it at least double- they will succeed at a higher level than ISU in the aggregate.

Look down the list of the top twenty teams in any non-revenue sport. 15 will be from a Big Time Football School, and the other 5 are Ivy/Private and have massive endowments to spend on sports. Schools that are on a pay-as-you-go budget like ISU may have moments in the sun, but will generally be also rans.

It's all about the money. Pluck and hard work only go so far.


Ladies grind one out

Boy, that was tough to watch.

Bill's squads have always been susceptible to physical defense (translation: getting pushed around on offense when the refs "let them play") and KU is back to trying to push people around and call it defense.

Fortunately, KU also stinks on offense, and ISU put on a big push down the stretch to pull out a 61-50 win. The refs certainly didn't eat their whistles tonight, as ISU got 31 points at the line. Ouch.

I hope they draw as many fouls on their return trip to Lawrence, or they might come away with an L.