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.