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.