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.