Tuesday, December 30, 2008


The good news about the Goblas playing the early game Thursday is that the game will be over in plenty of time to take a nap. I mean it will be over by halftime.

The Carolina offense is atrocious. SUI's second score will be the winning score. Yes it will be that ugly.

I say 24-7, but it will feel like 44-7. Gobla fan will act like they won the NC.


Sunday, December 28, 2008


Since the bottom half of both the B12 and SEC stunk, Shreveport got to host two teams who actually appreciate a trip there: La Tech and N. Illinois. Good for everybody.

Honestly, I would rather watch two good teams from mid-majors than a #6 vs. a #7 from BCS leagues.



Just when you are ready to mentally prepare yourself for another Sucktastic hoops season, our Clonies pull this rabbit out of their hat.

Then again, when one guy busts loose for 38, you should probably win, but still.

Unfortunately, this win may only perpetuate the "Wait for Steiger or Brackins to make a play" syndrome. Remember how Alford built a team around Luke Recker
that was never as good as its parts? They stood around waiting for Luke
to make the stud play, and often lost because of it. We might have the
same situation on our hands.

Whatever was in your Gatorade today, boys, keep drinking it.


Thursday, December 25, 2008


Well, if a loss to SDSU doesn't suck all of the momentum out of your program, I don't know what will.

To sasy there's a bit of work to do between now and the B12 openere would be an understatement.


Sunday, December 21, 2008


My initial reaction to Paul is positive- not overwhelming, but positive. His biggest stregnth is that he knows what he is getting himself into in every respect- facilities, talent, expectatioins, budget, weather.

Keeler hits an important point: PR has to hire really solid guys in the OC and DC department. Gene messed those up, and it showed. KF nailed them, and it shows.

In a way, the next couple of weeks will go a long way towards determining if PR succeeds or fails.



I've been off the grid the last 36 hours. Did I miss anything?


Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Various sites are reporting Gill isn't interested. I'm not surprised- ISU isn't much of a step up from where his Buffalo program is now.

Sagarin has UB #55, ISU #113. Why should he start over from (percieved) scratch?

Granted, ISU probably has more "upside", but Gill doesn't have to take the first bus out of Buffalo, unlike Gene.

Besides, we shoudl probably accept that perhaps Gene is just one of those rare people who kills interviews, and then crashes at whatever he gets hired to do. A friend of mine just fired someone who 6 months ago gave the best interview he had ever witnessed.

It happens. Perhaps Gene pulled another brilliant performance out of his visor.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Thanks, Ron

Ron Maly thinks ISU football is so pathetic we should just hire a High School coach.

Why would anyone have ever given Ron flak about being an Gobla fan when he was employed?


Stepping Stone

Keeler wonders if we would be happy being a stepping stone, or if we will insist on a "I-want-to-retire-here" guy.

I see nothing wrong being a stepping stone. It would be better than what we have now.

Keeler does raise a good point: ISU is one of the toughest public university gigs among the BCS schools. The meek need not apply.


Chizik/Auburn nuggets

The Wizard of Odds has several http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifinteresting links surrounding Chizik, Gill, ISU and Auburn.

Good post here, too.

Gill would be a great match, and not in a token way.


ISU Post Chizik

An excellent post by Hlas.

He has a pretty good grasp on the pre-Chizik scene, and how it plays out now.

I don't keep tabs on how many open jobs we are competing with, but it doesn't feel like too many.


Another Upgrade

I don't know my aircraft, but I'm confident that Auburn owns at least one more jet than Iowa State.



I can't emphasize enough that being considered a stepping stone job would be an upgrade for ISU football.


Sunday, December 14, 2008


I'm having a hard time swallowing all the complains about Gene "abusing our trust". We all abuse everyone's trust.

We fired Dan with four years left on his contract, and plenty of folks wanted him gone before that. Where was the trust?

Suppose Gene had a breakout year this year: We pull out the tight ones against SUI, UNLV and KU, are 5-0 and are the talk of the league. Not only would Gene have left anyway, but you can bet that Jamie would have been shopping his resume, too. Where's the trust there?

As far as players leaving, we all have only one thing to trust: that athletes are at ISU for their sport and nothing else. Average athletes will look at academics, campus life, etc. when making a school choice; great athletes will look at their sport and their sport only when choosing. The fact we have guys thinking about leaving tells me Gene and crew were on the right track in recruiting.

Finally, any booster who was withholding donations until football improved but is taking Gene's departure personally is a hypocrite, and should understand why.


Stepping Stone

Ten years from now, if ISU Football isn't being described as "regional power", my next hope would be "Stepping stone for coaches".

I wouldn't view that as a slam. Traditionally, your coach gets hired away only after you win a bunch of games. If you lose two or three coaches in a row to better gigs, it means you have won a pile of football games.

The fact that Gene lost 3.75 games for every one he won wasn't a deal breaker for Auburn makes this an anomaly, an outlier.

From here, I have a hard time seeing how becoming a stepping stone wouldn't be an improvement.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bright Side

The coaching search will distract us from lousy basketball for a few weeks.


Why Not This Guy?

Short track record, but this guy certainly knows how to win without 4-star talent.

Think outside the box, folks.


Awesome Wikipedia Snark

I'll assume it will be changed soon, so here's the quote:

On December 13, 2008, the Iowa State Director of Athletics confirmed the un-official reports that Chizik had accepted the vacant head coaching position at Auburn University. During Chizik's interview with Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs, he wore a tie with football prints on it. Jacobs was so impressed with this tie that he offered Chizik the head coaching job immediately. On the day that he was hired Chizik announced that the tie will become the official tie of Auburn University Athletics. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a6/Coach_Gene_Chizik_-_Iowa_State_University.jpg

That's quality snark.



I can guarantee that Gene will be a huge, raging success at Auburn.

Accepting the football gig in Ames has two outcomes: you either get hired by a better college gig and win a mess of games, or you are fired and never take another college head coaching job:

Johnny Majors: National Champs at Pitt, nice run at Tennessee
Earle Bruce: Won or shared 4 Big 10 titles, went 81-26.
Donnie Duncan: eventually became "Director of Football Championship" for the B12
Jim Criner: found success in the minor professional leagues where you can be up front about paying players
Jim Walden: Color for Washington State radio
Dan McCarney: assistant for Florida; young enough to take another head coaching job

Since Gene got hired, he therefore will find success like Majors and Bruce. Congrats, Tigers!



Since it is a Cyclone football tradition that each new coach gets new uniforms, I wish to state that I will miss these unis. Best ever, period.

Oh, and that sweatshirt you just bought with the new logo on it? Collector's item, since a new logo is part of the new uniform clause.

Artists, start your PhotoShops.



Whoever Gene has for an agent, I'm signing up. That's one heck of a salesman.



The best part of pawning off a problem on someone else is all of the millions we save compared to firing a coach that hasn't worked out.

We would have saved some cash had Mac taken the TCU job when it was available, too.



Perhaps we should all look at the Gene years as JP's mulligan.

It looked great on paper, was developing more slowly than we hoped, and now JP gets a do-over.



I've been sitting on this post, unsure of the right time to bring it out.

A sports radio screamer mentioned this in the last month, and I agree: when you can't get the best athletes, you have to have an offensive scheme that is hard for opponents to prepare for on a single week. That's why Purdue did well for much of Tiller's run. Ga Tech was surprising this year running the option in the ACC. Leach has gotten nice mileage out of being unusual.

If I was AD for a day, I would look for:

a. an established coach at some a lower level; non-BCS, Mid-major, I-AA, etc. No more on the job training

b. a coach with success running an unusual offense.

Since the rest of the league has gone pass-happy, perhaps its time to bring back the triple option. Before you run away screaming "Walden!", consider this: Nebraska and Oklahoma were both running the option game when Walden came in, so there wasn't much advantage in the league to being the third.

The triple option would be an advantage now, since it is out of fashion. Just because you know how to defend a system doesn't mean you can install it in a week and make it work.

My $.02.



Did Gene's tenure peak at 15-13?


Second-Worst Ever

Gene ends his ISU career with a winning percentage of .263.

Only Vince DiFrancesca in 1954-56 was worse: 6-21-1 .232.

So close to being the worst, and yet finished 1-1 vs. the Goblas.


It's Done

CBS confirms Gene to Auburn.

Snark to follow.



KCCI says Gene's the coach at Auburn.




I still chuckle every time I see a Gobla fan in a "Beat State" shirt. I remember when they didn't care.

Judging by the "announced" crowd 3,000 short of capacity, perhaps the don't.



At his present winning pace, Gene will be 79 years old when he gets his 85th coaching victory, the number of wins Tubberville had when he "resigned".

Perhaps Auburn and ISU can trade "failed" coaches even up.



I can't see Gene's interview at Auburn as anything more than a courtesy to a long-time friend. There is no way an AD at a power football school could sell a guy who averages 2.5 wins per year as the answer to what ails them.

I don't blame Gene, either. Coaching 4 star talent has to be more fun than coaching 2 star talent.


El Foldo

It appears the playbook that will defeat the WBB team is effective on the men, too.

Push them around on defense, take away their rhythm, and they are done.

It is frustrating to see the Goblas playing better in year two than our Cyclones in year three. Nothing comes easy for us.


Tuesday, December 09, 2008


While both teams tried hard to lose, only one team had enough experience at winning to finally pull it out.

At least we know that 13 point leads are not safe. That sounds like football.

Beat the Goblas.


Falling Short

My household spends a fair pile of cash each month for TV. A downright embarrassing amount in some contexts.

Yet I again can't watch the MBB team.

My inadequacy is again front and center.


Monday, December 08, 2008


If Texas beats OSU in their bowl game, I will name the 'Horns the CSJ National Champion. A trophy is on order.

This carries the same weight as the BCS, right?


Sunday, December 07, 2008


Not a bad day for the clipboard holder.

Not enough to win, but its not like he threw a Pick- 6 to end the game or anything.



The Blago women followed the playbook to beat the ISU women- push them around and be aggressive with teh on-ball pressure. Make the refs blow the whistle. They didn't, ISU never found a rythym offensively and got blown out.

I missed the memo- when did Fennely drop the zone?

The Hy-vee trophy is unlikely now. The "Home Team" keeps winning it. How boring.


Missed Tackles

The worst part of watching the Fennely's bunch play the Goblas on the BTN is watching the missed tackles on the punt return in Iowa City.

That was really a game that got away, and since the BTN can't sell ads, we'll have to be reminded of it a half-dozen more times over the next two hours.


Do's and Don'ts

Do upset the other team's #1 wrestler.

Don't let your #1 be upset.

That's the match, folks.


Saturday, December 06, 2008


They didn't score a lot, but they did spread the love around.



The Goblas can clinch the trophy ISU should never win this weekend.

Wins in wrestling and WBB would require a near-impossible run for ISU to come from behind.

Not that ISU should should ever win, it's still interesting to watch.

I'm always surprised the Goblas play along. It's so beneath them.


The Meet

I hope our Cyclones can leave Iowa City with a win tonight, but I'm never optimistic when wrestling the Goblas.

Cael and crew have shown they can take on anyone and give them everything they want, often winning in tough buildings. But they still show signs of an annoying habit that always bugged me when Douglas was coaching- if the ISU wrestler was better than his opponent, he was aggressive and went for extra points. If he was even or an underdog, he was guarded, tentative, defensive. While the underdog was sometimes able to avoid giving up a pin or major, he never, ever got the upset win. It was great in theory, but often bit the team in practice. The Goblas seem to be the last team the Cyclones wrestle scared against, especially in Iowa City.

With some big underdogs in the Cyclone lineup tonight, I assume we'll see some defensive wrestling.


Our Televised Life

Today is a tough TV day for me.

Can't see ISU play Oregon State- no ESPNU.

Can't watch UNI play football tonight- no Mediacom.

Instead I'm listening to John and Eric while flipping between football games. It funny how quickly you becomes spoiled.

I am weird in that I like listen to sports on the radio. I would prefer to watch, but it isn't the drop off in experience that some believe it to be.

Having a radio team that actually tells you what is going on makes a big difference.


Thursday, December 04, 2008


I read somewhere that KSU's former coach Ron Prince brought in 19 JUCO's this year, and he had exactly none of them pan out. That will get you fired. It makes sense now.

More than a few JUCOs per class is high risk recruiting, and I'm glad that Gene's staff hasn't dipped into that pool. (I counted 11, mostly seniors; the recruiting geeks will have to tell me which staff brought them in).

Now, if we sign a dozen for next fall, we'll know Gene is putting everything on Red and hoping for the best.



I'm not going to complain in any way about the win in Cedar Falls. When you had lost 10 roadies in a row, a win over MOC-Floyd Valley is worth celebrating.

Brackins now has the template for what his game should look like each night. While he won't see single coverage most nights, he needs to become a bit of a Black Hole- you throw the ball to him and start running up the court, because you aren't getting it back: he's gonna score.

It was good to win without the 3, just to prove that it can be done. Dribble penetration will be more valuable.

1 down, 3 to go.


Monday, December 01, 2008

Deck Chair Shuffle

I hope Gene's moves this weekend aren't the Dance To Look Like We're Doing Something. Then again, K-State has raised (or lowered) the bar as far as expected turnaround time. Maybe Gene watched too much of the rookie coach at Georgia Tech dismantling UGa and got suddenly nervous.

Maybe Gene decided to install the triple option after watching that game. Maybe our talent is better geared to that.

As long as it works.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Maly Cheap Shot #742

The Grumpy Old Sportswriter dropped this little nugget at the end of Saturday's post:

But what I also wanted to know was what he studied at Iowa State and when he got his degree -- or if he got a degree.

I also wanted to know what kind of job Hicks had after his education at Iowa State.

No mention of any of that in the Register -- or the Omaha World-Herald, for that matter.

Let me write what you really wanted to write:

What do you expect from a second rate football program at a second rate college like Silo Tech? Nobody who graduates from there finds work, let alone the athletes.

If you are going to make a cheap shot against the dead, just go all the way, OK?


Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Someday I hope to write the B12 North version of this, when there is someone worse than us:

How to Handle Being The Worst Team in the Big XII South:

I wanted to share some thoughts from the hit book "How to Handle Being The Worst Team in the Big XII South". This book, originally authored by fans of Baylor University, with foreword by Oklahoma State, has been a work in progress for 25 something years now.

Now that we have handed that prestigious torch off to your school, and it looks like it will stay that way for quite some time, you and your Aggie friends may want to really get into this material. Here are some highlights:

Chapter 1 - Bring up past records when discussing your program with friends. The best way to do this is to start from the present and go back through the past until you can find where you have more wins than "x" team. Inconsistencies in time frame does not matter - it can be 5 years for one team and 45 for another.

Chapter 3 - Find other parts of your athletic program that you can be proud of and meticulously learn and promote their accomplishments, no matter how embarrassing the sport. Baylor has done this recently with women's basketball, tennis, and most notably, track and field (Olympic gold medalist anyone?). Rumor has it that your men's club lacrosse team is pretty awesome. Just throwing that out there.

Chapter 5 - Find a couple of solid scapegoats and complain tirelessly about them. Your fan base has already advanced far in this area, with "Shermione" and "$Bill" taking the brunt of this effective relaxation technique.

Chapter 10 - Pick a team to hate and root for their failure. For Baylor fans, this has been you, and look how well it's worked! It's like The Secret - the power of positive thinking. It's very refreshing to change the channel from a frustrating loss and watch your sworn enemy fail. You may have to really dig deep here - you want a team that is average to pretty bad. You losing and them winning is a double whammy, so don't set your sites too high (UT/Tech). Arkansas is a good start, they're down this year.

Chapter 11 (THIS IS A BIG ONE) - Focus on moral victories. This chapter has a lot of content, so really pay attention to it. Within the umbrella of the moral victories chapter you'll find subsections such as: a) Don't pin your hopes on winning the game, pin your hopes on covering the spread. The spread is key, and beating the spread will bring you years and years of joy. b) Get excited about first downs. These may be harder to come by than you think, so really cherish them. c) Find remote stats that can highlight your improvement. Really dig into improvement. This should be a buzzword to use in the coming years.

Chapter 12 - Talk about the other redeeming qualities of your school. This is tricky, because it's actually really dorky to engage in academic smack talk, but, if done correctly, can deflect the focus of a conversation away from your school's crappy football program and onto other areas where the playing field is more level. Now, I'm tailor making this to A&M a little here, but I would recommend you focus on your strong engineering and business school reputation, and don't forget to bring up your various traditions! People never get tired of hearing about this.

Chapter 14** - Find another school to support on the side. This chapter is very controversial and was only added in later editions. I myself never went down this road, but several of my friends found a great deal of relaxation and comfort in finding a side school. While immediate family connections are the best (father graduated from Penn State or mom and dad met at Florida), it is also valid to dig deep into your family's history to find that great aunt that went to Alabama or that second cousin who got a masters at USC. The further away the school, the better. Claim that you have been watching them for years, especially as a little kid growing up. This helps ward off eye rolls and front-runner accusations from your friends. **Note: though highly successful, this chapter can be very dangerous, and is probably the only method that will incur hatred from fellow alumni and students. Use Chapter 14 at your own risk. Advanced students only. I'd say you'll be there en mass around 2013, although seeing how your fan base is bailing after 3 losing seasons out of the past 24, you may be there as early as 2010. Talk about advanced students!

That's it folks. I'll send you a copy for free - we're so excited to share this with a team not named Baylor. And you may read this and think: "Wow, Baylor is pathetic. This is really sad stuff." No, no! This is you! This WAS Baylor and now IS your school! I'm talking about what you and your fan base will be and have already started saying and doing.

I want to leave you with this. This can be your chance to practice, right now. Skim some of the material above, and go ahead and start using it on me. I would say the record route is the obvious way to go, but don't be afraid to be creative. Angry phrases like "F off" and total dismissal of my thread also work. Have fun, and I'll critique some of your responses as we go . . .

Good stuff, and dangerously true.


Boring Games

Whaddya do when your team is up 55-0?

Find some action that isn't your spouse.

I'll let you finish the joke.



My Dad always said you've got nobody to blame but yourself if you let a game come down to a questionable call by the guy in stripes.

That's exactly what happened against Hawai'i.

A tip 'o the hat to the Register for sending their coorespondent all the way to Ames to watch the webcast with Iowa State staff.

I guess the Rag didn't want to pony up the $6 so Rick could watch at the office, or at home for that matter.

You don't want to set the precident that your writers don't have to attend the event in order to write it up.


Saturday, November 22, 2008


Watching the Tech-OU game has reminded me that one key to good defense is good tackling. As in the first to arrive seals the deal. As in what rarely happened this year for ISU.

Pressure on the QB seems to throw offenses out of whack, too.

I hope someone notices that as they review tape from this year.



The Goblas are consistent if nothing else: they either improve during the season or get worse, no in between.

To think that the on-the-verge-of-bad team that squeeked by bad-and-about-to-get-worse Iowa State in September is taking the wood to a Gopher team that a month ago looked to be all that and a bag a chips, but now is, uhm, stinky is a little odd. The Goblas had 4-8 written all over themselves even after the ISU win.

Sorry, Gobla fan, it's not a "hangover" if your team isn't any good before a loss. Congrats on the nice finish- your self esteem was starting to lag.



Some really nice 3 point shooting analysis at Clone Chronicles.

The kind of stuff I love digging through, but seldom have time to do myself.



So, all you fans who insisted keeping Danny Mac was "settling for mediocrity", how's your return on this investment?

More importantly, how patient are you willing to be?

DM needed six seasons to win. Will Gene get that?

KSU canned Prince after 17 losses in three years, yet Gene has 19 in only two. On the other end, Robinson of Syracuse delivered consecutive 10-loss seasons, yet wasn't fired until this year's 9-loss stinker. That might be too patient.

So, mediocrity-haters, is next year Gene's Show Or Go? What's the minimum for wins? 4? 5? 7? What wouldn't be mediocre?

Personally, I don't mind losing on Saturday when you think you have a chance of winning on Friday. We don't have that right now.



Two years into the Gene Experiment and we sit at a total of 5 wins, two in conference, worst in the league. I suppose there is some symmetry to the team with the smallest budget also having the fewest wins.

It was nice seeing the offense score on their red zone opportunities: 5/6 which would have won the Gobla game going away- and continued improvement gives one hope for '09.

The defensive side, however, needs some work, to say the least. Until bad offenses stop looking like BCS candidates against our Cyclones, The Gene Project will still be considered a failure.

You have limited nickels, fellas. Use them wisely.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Last Shot

Given the level of play last week in Boulder, and the level of play from KSU the last six weeks, sure, Iowa State can break a couple of streaks this weekend.

I doubt Prince had enough time to build up referee good will like Mac did, not that the Mizzou hold wasn't really a hold. Good will helped that day.

But I assume that the K State players will pull a "win one for the Gipper" bit, though, and ISU's struggles will continue into next year.


Sunday, November 16, 2008


My failing memory is trying to convince me that once upon a time a bad Iowa State football team had a player almost win the Heisman.

I find that hard to believe. Only players from programs that GameDay travels to are eligible, correct? I'm sure that clause is in the fine print.


Bright Side

The good news of this lousy football season is that we'll be able to rebuild with all the awesome draft picks we'll get in exchange for finishing last.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Nickname Proposal

In the fine tradition of the Sheldon High School Orabs I propose future refernces of the athletic clubs from Iowa City be referred to as:

"The Goblas"


Hearing none, motion carries.

Goblas it is.

Of course, our Clonies will lovingly be referred to as "The Cargos".


Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Rick Brown sees potential.

My dad always said having potential means you aren't worth a damn right now, but perhaps the 08-09 sports season won't be a total wash.


Saturday, November 08, 2008


I'm a long, long way from the situation in Manhattan, but I'm not sure 30 games is a fair test period for a coach in rebuilding mode.

Snyder's last team was bad- I mean, ISU made them look JV, and that's bad- so it looked like the classic "empty cupboard" situation.

Unless there is a Wayne Morgan Inmates-Running-The-Asylum scene, I am really leary of expending the time, trouble, trauma and treasure involved in firing a coach in less than four or preferrably five years. The odds of having a dramatic turnaround are pretty low. Look at the Big 12 North the last five years.

On the other hand, Napoleon advised: "Never interrupt an opponent in the middle of a mistake."

Fire away, you antsy Wildcats!


We're Too Nice

Gene would have been fired by now if he was coaching at K-State and not I-State.


Pull The Trigger

Clearly, KF needs to be fired. Trust the Wisdom Of The Crowd!

At least Kirk saved us from another Big TenEleven school boring us on National Championship Night. with yet another blowout.

Clearly, his program is in decline.



Bad teams find a way to lose.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008


I vividly remember the last ISU win in Boulder. I had been in Iowa City that day, witnessing what was expected to be a Northwestern win that was instead an Iowa upset. Iowa played with heart, and NW sinply didn't get off the bus. Observers point to that game as the beginning of the ascention of KF's program.

Driving home I listened to Sage Rosenfels lead the Cyclones through the snow to a win that would lead to that memorable trip to Phoenix for everyone. It would also be the peak of the Danny Mac adminestration, we just didn't knwo it yet.

Needless to say, a win over the Buffaloes would turn the opinions of the Cyclone crowd back into Gene's corner, just as last year's win over the Buffs solidified the feeling that things were headed in the right direction.

If the horrid road losing streak was to die, this week is as good a place as any on the horizon. Perhaps the team has something they can literally leave on the field if they win. Symbolism can be both corny and effective.



How bad are our Cyclones?

According to Sagarin, ISU is worse than any team in the ACC, SEC, Big Ten and the Big East.

Take heart, we're barely better than Washington and WSU.

If Gene turns things around, perhaps this can be the "Look how far we've come" landmark.


Thursday, October 30, 2008


Around this time in 2005, ISU beat Okie State in Ames 37-10. I recall the score being closer than the game was in reality. Mike Gundy was in his first season as head coach.

ISU returns the favor this week with the roles reversed. I suspect the margin will be more than 27 points.

Circumstances change. Having a Daddy Warbucks in your fan base doesn't hurt.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Bright Side

At least we didn't fire a coach who was inconsistent only to hire a new guy, pay him more, and get worse results.

Oh, wait.

Perhaps there really is a correlation to having the smallest football budget in the league and not being able to win games. Crazy facts.


Reality Check

To put things in perspective, UNLV is now 0-4 in the MWC, and Kent State is 1-4 in the MAC.

That should keep us from getting too full of ourselves.


Missed Opportunities

My TeeVee kept telling me all day that Minny won their seventh game today.

According to Sagarin, they've played a similar schedule to our Cyclones. Except they find ways to beat their opponents.

I'm just hoping that we aren't cutting a single corner, and the Gophers are cutting all of them.



ISU had 8 plays for a loss or no gain.

a$m only had three, not counting taking a knee at the end.

And a$m isn't good.



Watching the B12 games today made me think I was watching tapes of the WAC, circa '86.

In six games today, the league averaged 70 points scored. Yikes.

It does make great TV.


Last Chance

Beating a$m will serve three purposes:

1. Make it very unlikely ISU will finish last
2. Make a second conference win this season plausible
3. Ensure we won't have to wait 45 weeks until another win

I think ISU will win this one 35-31. If they don't, well, at least we'll know we are the worst team in the league. No maybes.

Go get 'em, boys. And no, that isn't the Texas State Patrol with trumpets. Ignore them.



It should go without saying that part of the offinsive struggles the last two weeks are due to the fact that with only one servicable QB, a big chunk of the playbook is off limits.

That's why we didn't see Meyer run much option after being so brilliant with it in a bowl game 75 years ago (or so it seems).


Sunday, October 19, 2008


Gotta think that whichever team loses Saturday is staring 0-8 in the face.

Solid tackling will go a long way towards ISU avoiding that.



No wonder the rest of the B12 thinks wwe're a joke:

The last six seasons, ISU has opened Big 12 play 0-3. Only twice did they recover to finish 4-4.



Saturday, October 18, 2008


Remember folks, we gave Danny Mac 6 years to deliver a winning season. The New Guy should get at least five.

Heck, Dan didn't beat a team that finished the season above .500 until that 6th year. TNG has beaten that.

When you don't accept mediocrity, all losses look the same, no?


Spunkily Stinky

While there were some moments that made you hopeful for the short term- forcing turnovers, a big TD run, a few 3 and outs- we're still a stinky football team.

A very mediocre Nebraska team looked like Old Time Big Red today, and that doesn't bode well for the rest of the year. It looked way too easy for the Huskers. According to the TV guys, today was on par with a home game against New Mexico State for NU. Ouch.

Until the ISU OL can run block, this program will continue to get rolled.


Sunday, October 12, 2008


SUI had a good day at Indiana after losing three in a row. So how does the Rag headline it?

"Happy Days Are Here Again".

Pimp much, Rag?


Saturday, October 11, 2008


Who would have thought that Minnesota would be a faster turnaround than ISU?

The Gophers are already bowl-eligible, with several winnable games to play.

I take back the snark I directed north.


3 of 12

To my calculations, Baylor has now won 12 games all time in the B12.

Wins over ISU represent 3 of that total. That's 25%. They've also beaten KU 3 times, and CU twice.

FWIW- ISU has 28 B12 wins, so it will take BU a few years to officially put us in last place.



Perhaps I was harsh in writing that this group of Cyclones doesn't have the guts to end its 14 game road losing streak.

It looks like they are 100 miles from having the talent to do so. Guts, or lack thereof, don't matter at this point.



My local paper negected to mention this little tidbit:

Not only is ISU on a 13 game road losing streak, Baylor has lost their last 13 B12 games.

For the record, ISU has won 3 B12 games in that span.

So, a streak is going to end tonight. Considering the last time ISU played in 2005 BU broke an 0-37 B12 road losing streak- that's oh-fur-since-the-start-of-conference-play- in Ames. The fact that ISU then finished strong, winning 4 of 6 and earning a bowl trip, was remarkable.

I still think BU wins tonight, but a Cyclone win is plausible.


Friday, October 10, 2008


There goes any designed QB runs until further notice.

It's ironic that Meyer was not allowed to run until Arnaud was ready to be a backup; now he won't be allowed to run until a Freshman is ready.

This pretty much guarrentees that Mr. Murphy will snap #4's ankle on the first snap from scrimmage in Waco, or some other cruel twist to ensure that ISU continues its road losing streak. That's unfortunate, because as a 5 point dog it is at least plausible that ISU will win.

I doubt they will. I just haven't seen in this bunch the mental toughness needed to push a team around for 60 minutes to get a win. The ability is there, but not the guts.

All is not lost, though. There are two winnable home games on the horizon, and K State looks to have issues.


Sunday, October 05, 2008


I don't want to hear a single complaint out of Lincoln or Manhattan over big time losses.

It's less fun to be on the short end of it, isn't it?

As a Nebraska once told me: "If you can't stay within 30 of my team, that's hardly my fault."

Amen. Enjoy mediocrity.


Hangover, Week Three

Clearly, the hangover continues in Iowa City.

Keep this up and you will never shake the reputation for placing too much emphasis on the game against Silo Tech.



I assume that all of the same characters who were bitching that support for the previous coach's frequent near-miss losses was "endorsing mediocrity" are not taking comfort in the present coach's near-miss losses.

Consistency is key to winning, no?



I look forward to the day when our Cyclones require an opponent to play four solid quarters of football in order to win.

Right now, only two are needed.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Funny how one can improve by not playing.

Iowa State is now #11 in the Big12 Sagarin rankings.

a$m is now last. Nice place for them.

Soon we will get a chance to keep them there.


Hat Tip

I owe a tip of the hat to Colorado and Nebraska for scheduling far better teams than they need to.

While both lost this past weekend (at Florida State and at home to Va Tech, respectively) CU was rewarded with a big home upset of West Virginia.

Considering they could have backed out of a challenging game and scheduled a cupcake instead, (we're talking about you, K State) CU and NU did the right thing.

I look forward to the year that ISU is good enough to schedule more agressively to the point that SUI isn't viewed as "the tough non con game".


Sunday, September 28, 2008


Personally, I think our program needs more personal fouls. A little more nastiness can go a long way.

Let's wait until we're cranking out 10 win seasons before we start worrying about anti-social behavior.


Hangover Week Two

Clearly, the Hawkeye Hangover continues.

After staking the validity of their entire season on beating Silo Tech, SUI loses to another inferior opponent.

BTW- thanks for tanking our SOS. Losing to a good team is better than losing to a bad team.

That's what you get for putting too much emphasis on one game in September.


Friday, September 26, 2008


Sagarin confirms my suspicion:

We're teh worst in the B12 right now.

stats prove it. Except for TO margin, we're bad. I don't
think being infirst for FG attempts is the sign of a good team.

At least we have the week off.

The only way to gain some respect from both computers and humans is to beat someone decent, and do it regularly.


Saturday, September 20, 2008


Despite their nice little second half rally to force OT, our Cyclones are officially the worst team in the B12. The second half rally can't make up for the gross incompetence of the first.

Good thing they have two weeks to prepare for KU.

I'd put the opening line at KU +30.



Clearly, SUI placed too much emphasis on winning their Super Bowl last week. The hangover resulted in a slow start against Pitt, and overcoming that start cost them in the end.

Their coaching staff really needs to teach them not to place everything on one game. While Big1011 games count more with a conference title on the line, every win gets you a better bowl bid, every loss a lousier one, or no trip at all.

If KF is ever going to bring the National Championship to Iowa City, a title the campus and fan base so richly deserves, he needs to figure out how to win even the seemingly unimportant games against teams like Pitt, Western Michigan and Iowa State.

Note; the above was written with the highest degree of sarcasm. Read at your own risk.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Luck in Vegas?

(I spent a whole 10 minutes thinking up that clever headline!)

Will our Clonies end their road losing streak in the Desert Saturday night?

They could. I think the defense will keep them in it. If special teams can hold their own, and the offense get on track in the Red Zone, sure, they can win.

But they won't. You don't lose 13 roadies in a row by accident.

Vegas will be the first to tell you, never bet against a streak.

Until our team displays the intestinal and mental fortitude to break though and beat somebody outside the 515, I'll keep assuming they won't.

Sorry. It's my nature. I should be in risk management- I only see the bad outcomes.

Vegas 17, ISU 10.


Sunday, September 14, 2008


Winning has a funny way of hiding problems.

My morning paper gushed about the stout, gritty SUI defense, but had nary a word about the SUI offense that managed only 10 points against a team that gave up 28 to Kent State last week.

SUI had two solid drives (69 and 66 yards), and a whole bunch of nothing (17,47,9,0,11,5,0,7), a full-blown QB controversy (Which one will get booed next?), and all we read about is Greene's nice 122 yard day, the bulk which came on the aforementioned two drives.

Time will tell if ISU has a decent D, SUI a lousy O, neither, both, or some of the above.

Winners write the histories.



UNLV had 345 yards and 3 offensive TDs against ASU last night.
WSU had 340 yards against Baylor and scored 17 points Friday.
USC had 340 yards on tOSU, yet managed 28 offensive points- 21 on drives over 60 yards.

ISU had 340 yards, and 3 points, on 6 trips into the Red Zone.

CBS told me last night that the NCAA average for TDs/Red Zone visit is 58%. Below average would have meant 21 points, which would have won going away.



UNLV beat #15 Arizona State 23-20 in OT last night. In Tempe.

So much for a casual trip to Vegas this week, and please refer to the below post if ISU does lose to the Rebels- it won't be due to a hangover.



The Rag tries to stir the pot by bringing up the fact that ISU is 4-6 in their next game after losing to SUI, which takes you back to '91.

Small detail: The season ending record of the teams in those 6 losses?

46-14-1, and one to UNI, who didn't stink.

The record of the teams they beat? 14-31.

Small detail.

I consider the "SUI Hangover" a myth officially busted.

'02 excepted, SUI takes a much bigger dive in years they lose to Iowa State, than the inverse. But that will never get mentioned in the press- that brings down the narrative of Valiant Hawkeyes they work so hard to perpetrate.


Saturday, September 13, 2008


ISU has now gone 10 quarters without scoring a TD against SUI.

Let's put that at the top of our To-Do list for '09, OK?



Our Cyclones outplayed the athletes from Iowa City, yet came away looking like they weren't even close.

Clearly, ISU has the same Red Zone issues that has plagued them since Seneca left for Seattle. New unis, same old ghosts. SUI only had three trips into the Red Zone, and they got points on all three. ISU? 6 trips, one FG. Each failure had less to do with what SUI did, and more in how ISU failed.

The good news is that our defense has arrived, and will keep us in most games. When you hold a team to 52 offensive plays, and 4.7 YPP, you are doing something right.

At least the safety covered the spread. I could hear thousands of fat, drunk, degenerate SUI fans screaming "NOOOOOOOOOOO!" at their TV. Today wasn't a total waste- SUI fan lost the rent.

But since this was a game that SUI is always supposed to win, it doesn't matter much, no?

Get in the end zone in Vegas, and we're 3-1 to start the B12 slate.


Friday, September 12, 2008


ISU enters Saturday's tilt with the Buzzards a 14 point underdog.

Given the forecast of a wet track, and ISU's lack of either a running game or a run defense, a spread of 24 wouldn't have surprised me.

Frankly, it seems that regardless of how good either team is, ISU is always a 14 point underdog. Yet ISU somehow has been coming out on top as of late. Funny how that happens.

As usual, ISU won't win the game, but the Buzzards might lose it.

My guess: The good guys fall 28-21.

See you after the game.


Saturday, September 06, 2008


How about this for measuring progress this season: W/L compared to teams from last year.

ISU has the following common opponents from '07:

Kent State
Kansas State

Last year's record versus the above: 3-4

Right now we're 1-0.

KU and Mizzou are probable losses, even in Ames.

KSU and CU will be challenges on the road.

It's still too early to judge the Cornhuskers.

Of course, we can never hope to compete with the On-The-Cusp-Of-A-National-Title Hawkeyes, so that's an L.

Even 4-3 will be a success in my book.

We will update as we move along.



I wrote a year ago that Kent State's return to Ames would be a yardstick for the program.

By John and Eric's call, Kent's offense has nice weapons that ISU struggled to control.

The good news is that the offense has grown and matured, and has broken out of the Red Zone doldrums it had in '07. The opportunistic scores are a refreshing change.

Time will tell is the scheme to control the scrambling QB resulted in the soft run D, or if the run defense really is that lousy. I suspect the folks in Iowa City will have no qualms about handing the ball off to find out.

The good news is that ISU is 2-0 with more winable games on the horizon. Now we learn if they can win in their new white jerseys.

I'm sure there will be something to write about this week.


They Care! They Really Care!

Has the SUI football program really fallen so far they have to break out the gimmicks when our lowly CyClowns come to town?

Things have changed a bit in 10 years, no?



It's good to hear we have a punter that knows what he's doing.

I was wondering if we were going to see him before we got to Kinnick.


Friday, September 05, 2008


Anyone who knows me knows how much I despise "Slick Rick" Neuheisel.

Ricky made his mark with me in his rookie season at CU by going for 2 with two minutes left in a 50-28 win in Ames. What's the big deal?

CU was a 21 point favorite.

I was shocked- shocked- when Ricky lost his job at Washington over recreational betting. I was equally shocked that both CU and uDub went on probation after he departed.

With UCLA's upset win over Tennessee giving Rick's tenure momentum, there are only two questions:

1. Has Rick committed the rule violation that will ultimately put UCLA on probation yet?

2. What date will UCLA go on probation?

Cats don't change their stripes.

It's funny the things you'll do to keep up with the neighbors: Trophy wives, sub-prime mortgages, hiring crooked coaches.


Wednesday, September 03, 2008


The first Sagarin ranking of the season puts ISU at #72, which I can't argue with one game in.

Sag is skewed towards last year the first few weeks, so we'll see how
this evolves as more current data gets added to the formulas. Winning a few will help, too.

Upcoming opponents:

Kent State #134 (ISU -16 at home)
UNLV #121 (ISU -7 on the road)
Baylor #120 (ISU -6 on the road)
a$m #70 (ISU -2 at home)
KSU #44 (ISU +10 on the road)
Colorado #43 (ISU +10 on the road)
Kansas #36 (ISU +6 at home)
SUI #34 (ISU +12 on the road)
Nebraska #32 (ISU +6 at home)
Mizzou #24 (ISU +10 at home)
OSU #16 (ISU +17 on the road)

Since my football bar is low, all I ask for is to beat the teams that finish with a losing record, and then try to "upset" someone who thinks ISU is a sure win (that doesn't narrow it down much.)

If we can complete step one, step two and 6 wins doesn't seem too crazy.


Sunday, August 31, 2008


Just for fun, let's move a$m into the "Toss Up" category from the "Probable Loss" group.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Positive Sign

If I'm reading the drive charts correctly, Kent State only passed the BC 40 once, on their last possesion of the game, and were picked off.

While the ISU defense is a long way from BC's, I'll take tonight's result as a positive sign for next week.



From what I've seen this weekend, there's no excuse for SUI to not be 5-0 when they head to East Lansing.

Quality teams don't lose home games to MAC opponents, right? Right?


Friday, August 29, 2008

Same Old

Granted, Wake Forest is a wee bit better than SDSU, but Baylor didn't have the opener they hoped for.

Baylor is still eyeing ISU as their best chance for a B12 win. Until ISU shows me it can play competitive football on the road, I concur.

The Bears are also going to dumb down their schedule beginning in 2010. Unless you can get huge guarrentees to play on the road, load up on cream puffs. Just make sure they are cream puffs you can beat.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's Been A While

October '05 was the last time ISU stuck it to someone like that.

a$m 42-14
ksu 45-17

Granted, they were conference wins against Big Time Football schools, but after getting pushed around by a very good UNI team in last year's opener, taking the wood to someone is a good start.

I'm glad I was able to listen to John and Eric, as I haven't memorized the depth chart and I need to be told if a guy is first, second or third team. Lots of #2's and #3's got to play, and that's the point.

A big yardstick game next week, boys. No shortage of motivation.


Is He or Isn't He?

Put him in coach!

Schaub has overcome offseason surgery to his non-throwing shoulder to return to his starting role at quarterback. The Texans are hopeful with a healthy Andre Johnson in the mix, Schaub can play at the level they hoped when they traded two second-round picks to Atlanta for his services. If Schaub struggles early, there could be trouble in the fan base. Sage Rosenfels went 3-1 in the final stretch of last season, and there was a growing concern in Houston that he should have at least been able to compete for the starting job this year. Coach Gary Kubiak refers to Rosenfels as a starter and says the team is lucky to have him and Schaub. But Schaub is the Texans’ No. 1 guy, and he has proven when he is on that he can make good decisions and get rid of the ball with ease. The main problem is simply keeping him healthy and keeping him on the field.

Sage won games in a tough spot, and he's cheap by NFL standards. He will never wow you in drills, and doesn't have "upside", but he knows how to manage a dang game. The point isn't to show potential, but to win.

Sometimes the best guy doesn't get to play. It's good to know there are politics in every job.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I may have read the news reports incorrectly, and ISU's deal with Arrowhead is for $1.8M + gate for two games.

That's less of a deal than I first wrote, and if ISU goes 0-2, not worth doing, IMHO.



In light of how '07 started, it would be foolhardy to get greedy with projection for this year. We should really try to walk before we run.

That said, I would really like a nice, boring, workmanlike win over SDSU Thursday. No flash, no blitzes, no double-reverse baloney. Basic schemes. The same 10 plays run 7 times each. Lots of reps for the second team. An unispiring but white-knuckle free 24-10 win.

My over/under for the season is 5 wins. 6-6 and I'm probably giddy. There will be a crazy "upset" in Ames. We'll find a way to lose in Waco. It will be that kind of year.


Odds and Ends

Ron Maly reminices about hoops in the Armory.

Rick Brown plays golf with LE. (Sorry about the delay on posting that.)

If Men's Hoops can't hit .500 this year, we can't blame the schedule.

CU has a problem with their neutral site game with CSU.

Bret Bielema is a chicken after all.

A fun diversion: Bring back the SWC. Cheating optional.

ISU appears on the list of Best and Worst B12 hires and fires. I'm again reminded how low the our bar is in the eyes of the league.

Major Hat Tip to the Wizard.

It's good to have full-time football back.


Friday, August 22, 2008

When The Bandwagon Empties...

...get out of the way, or you might get hurt.

It appears that one of the most insufferable SUI fans may have jumped ship.

Oh the humanity. Who will we make fun of now?


Thursday, August 21, 2008


So the Newspaper Kohl's Depends On is reporting that Iowa State has agreed to play KSU twice in KC for $1.8 M plus 40% of what should be a sold-out gate.

From a financial standpoint, ISU cleans up. My back-of-the-napkin figures are that ISU grosses $2M or so per home game, so even a lousy KC crowd breaks even. I'm sure the cash from what would have been a trip to KSU is ten fold what they normally get for a B12 roadie, so its as if ISU picked up an extra home game in 2010 from a financial standpoint.

Too bad the game is in a town that ISU fan hates driving to, and ISU fan refuses to drink a touch of the fire water in that city, either. It might be tough to turn out both ISU alumni who live there, too.

Really, if a promoter can get that kind of money for a B12 game, ISU should move all of their games against KU, KSU and Mizzou to Arrowhead. It would be like the Packer's schedule back in the day when they played a couple "home" games in Milwaukee each year.

Then again, if ISU loses the 2009 game in what could have been a win in Ames, the cash might not be such a good idea.

It's all about the Benjamins.


ed note- I fixed an incorrect year above.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bad Math

There has to be a mountain of jokes about this promotion, along the lines of "lottery players and Iowa State fans both have a poor grasp of how long their odds of winning are."

If you can't make fun of your own....


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Near Miss

Not a good recruiting start for Minny's Brewster.

Then again, he didn't want the ISU job.

ISU wearing a similar gold/gold monstrosity would have been worse than his hiring.


Inverse Correlation

There's a logic to winning football teams having an easier time http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifattracting kids to play in their band.

But ISU has been marching 300 kids in their band for most of this decade, without the winning football to back it up.

You could say the band is holding up their end of the equation. Now it's the football team's turn.


Next In Line?

Has it really gotten so bad in IC that articles like this actually seem rational? And a sidebar titled "Next In Line" has quality names in it?

I don't think it's that bad on Melrose Ave., but then I haven't had any dreams of a national championship lately, either. For what the black and gold folks are spending on football, they have a right to expect at least nine wins each year, and especially no losses to a half-assed football program like our beloved Silo Tech.

SUI fan expects a National Championship, and they should start cycling through coaches until they find the one who can bring them the title they so richly deserve. They should get what they're paying for.

KF, you're on the clock.


More of the Same

Hey- I'm back on the grid only to find that Nebraska fan thinks that only one year removed from The Great Callahan Meltdown things will return to their version of normal.

No chance your team will neeed a year or two to adjust, eh?


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Going Offline

I will be off the grid, literally, for the next couple of weeks.

Some of my time will be spent feeding my Cyclone agnst by watching my video collection of all of our most painful moments- Sam Hill's phantom travel, Mizzou '04, Hampton, the Missed FG against 'Bama, Michigan State '00, etc, etc, etc.

Wallowing in the suffering helps me appreciate every tiny success. More fans should do it. Humility is in short supply.

Chat amongst yourselves. See you on the other side.


Sunday, August 03, 2008

Random Bits

They like us! They really like us! Or at least they don't hate us. Our low ratio of idiots to the fanbase as a whole certainly helps.

Sage Rosenfels has a shot at starting in Houston. Nice backgrounder here.

Barney Cotton lands on his feet. I'm sure his experience working with 2-star talent in Ames will help him appreciate the 4-star talent he is working with now.

Alvin Bowen gets hurt at Bills camp. He may be out for the season. Great shot of Alvin here.


Stick to The Basics

Keeler trots out a number of football chestnuts, but he does go to the trouble of having a few stats to back things up.

The interesting one is turnover differential. The last five years ISU has been on the plus side of turnovers, they've gone bowling. 8 of 9 B12 schools did the same last year.

I've always suspected turnover margin was a sign of good or bad football, but those numbers really back it up.

Walk before running, boys.


Best. Unis. Ever.

No white. No blue. Old School shoulder stripes. A nod to the Earle Bruce years in color and design.

Now if we can win enough games to keep this look around.


Monday, July 28, 2008


It looks like the only way to make Iowa fan (and, presumably, the football team) care about "ISU's Super Bowl" is to play the gimmick card.

At least ISU saves its gimmick games for B12 opponents that might have more talent than ISU.

I guess ISU should be flattered. "We're worthy of a gimmick! We're worthy! We're worthy!"

h/t Clone Chronicles et al.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Game Rankings

Every game on the Big 12 composite schedule is ranked by the Daily Oklahoman.

The good news? ISU is not involved in either the worst NonCon game (that distinction is reserved for Chattanoga at OU) or B12 game (Baylor at Tech).

The Bad News? ISU's highest ranked game is #35 at Baylor. (Huh?) Four more games are ranked in the 40's.

Perception is reality.

Hat tip: Wizard of Odds



This new rule will somehow screw ISU this season.

Somehow it will magically help keep a Have from losing to a Have Not.

BTW- In the lineup of helmets on the top of the page, ISU's helmet is the toughest to read. Not enough contrast. But I'm just some blogger in his pajamas, right?


Dream Matchups

ESPN has a fun article of Dream Football Matchups for every school in the Big 12. Most of them are spot-on. While I don't think our Clonies are ready to take on Florida, the Gophers would be a great home-home to renew.

I love the digs that Griffen gets in, too: Dogging KSU for canceling a game against Fresno and Mizzou for dodging Iowa (in hindsight, Iowa may have gotten the better of that deal).

An annual Texas-USC game would be epic. It's a good read.


Friday, July 25, 2008


It has been noted that the ISU-OU "rivalry" is one of the most lopsided in college football.

I bring this up only to gloat for a moment.

I was in Norman in '90 for the one ISU win over OU since '61. I have witnesses too. I may still be carrying a touch of the hangover from the night after.

Here's hoping we can bring an end to that streak the next time we meet OU.



We have officially entered the End Times.

While Vegas has the ISU win total Over/Under at 3, our own Ron Maly, the man who never misses a chance to take a cheap shot at ISU, sees ISU finishing with 4 wins.

Something ain't right. I think I'm going to go lie down with a stiff drink until the world rights itself.


Make Or Break?

Is this year really Make Or Break for KF? Are you kidding me?

The Black and Gold crowd must have gotten more spoiled by that crazy 31-7 run they put together a few years back than I thought. KF has earned the right to go Joe Paterno on them if he wants.

Sure, a string of .500 season is no fun, but ISU fan has a few 2, 3 and 4 win seasons they would happily trade.

No deal? Didn't think so.


Money Talks

The Wizard has an interesting chart of SEC ticket prices with all the extra donation costs figured in.

All I can say is that skyboxes and seats between the 30s must require a HUGE donation at Florida.

Perhaps someoone with better knowledge of the ISU ticket policies can estimate the ISU average. I suspect it is pretty cheap in the global perspective, which is both a reflection of ISU football's lousy track record, and an indicator that it might not get much better soon.


Preview Overload

Everything you ever wanted to know about everybody.

Hat tip to the Wizard of Odds.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Turning Points

It's funny how a win here or a loss there can have a huge impact on a program long tern.

I shake my head at a program that would consider firing a coach after losing a bowl game, win or lose.

Then again, I don't know what it's like to cheer for a winner, so I guess I just don't understand.


You Get What You Pay For

Should we really be surprised with what happens on the field when this is the competition?

We're a stepping stone at best. But the only way to fix that is to win consistently, which will bring in more money, but winning is hard without lots of money.


Marketing Opportunity

There's gotta be a way to tap into this.

It's better to look good than be good, I suppose.


Make The Facts Fit The Narrative

The Register pulled off a Reverse one and a half somersaults with three and a half twists in a pair of stories over the weekend. (Sorry, no link; anything more than 36 minutes old gets scrubbed from their website it appears.)

In a big front section story they blame high gas prices on a slight decline in football season ticket sales in both Ames and Iowa City, but then list gas as the primary reason for an increase of ticket sales in Cedar Falls.

Here's the interesting bit of gymnastics: while last season's success at UNI is listed as a possible reason for an increase, nowhere in a loooong article is lousy football listed as a reason for declining sales for the big schools. Nope, not a chance. Move along- nothing to see here.

Never mind that ISU is 14-22 over the last three years, and KF's crew a slightly better 19-18 over the same span. Dropping $50 to watch lousy football is becoming a tougher and tougher sell every day.

But it's easier to blame the cost of gas.


Thursday, July 17, 2008


I often forget how generous the Hawkeye fans around us are.

I see that two games on their home schedule sold out before single game tickets even went on sale: Wisconsin and Iowa State.

Since no serious SUI fan puts the ISU game ahead of any Big 1011 game, and there are tickets available for the Purdue, Northwestern and Penn State games, this can mean only one thing:

SUI fans purchased all of the single game tickets for the ISU game so that ISU fans can use them.


That is unbelievably generous. No ISU fan would ever return that favor.

It is appropriate that SUI fans would gladly provide tickets to Cyclones fans since Iowa State builds it's season around the game with the Hawkeyes (or so Hawkeye fan tells us). How big of them. It's downright giant.

So- where's mine? Something between the 30's would be nice.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Once JV, Always JV

So Billy Packer was let go. That call was only 20-odd years too late.

Packer was always a shill for the power teams from power conferences, and unlike most of the sports press seemed to hate the underdog.

Somewhere I have a VHS of the '86 ISU upset of Meeeshigan where Billy dropped his infamous "It's the Varsity vs. the JV" when ISU fell behind in the first half. He sounds downright mad when ISU wins in the end.

I'm sure Billy won't stay out of work for long, there's a lot of hoops on the Telly each winter. He would be a nice hire for ESPN or Fox Sports.

I hope the next game I witness him call he acts as if that job is in a tiny way fun. It should be.


Sunday, July 13, 2008


A UK fan remembers a win over a scrappy ISU team in the '92 tourney.

It's always interesting to get the outsider's perspective.

I was there, and Jamal Mashburn was clearly a man among boys. The crazy part of that all-offense game was that I walked out feeling that Orr's boys did a nice job holding Mash to "only" 27 points.

I now feel very old seeing Mash doing studio analysis for ESPN.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Larceny? Ouch.

Love or hate Danny Mac, nobody ever accused him of grand larceny.

I've read complaints of KF's salary, but putting it in that context is really startling. More than Tressel? Tressel need KF's agent.

Don't get me wrong, KF is a solid coach, but paying a guy $500K per win each year is pretty steep, especially when few of those wins come against Silo Tech.

Here's hoping Gene goes 31-7 so we can then have the honor of overpaying him, too. It looks like fun.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Stepping Up

This will be cool once built, but I find it a bit odd that it's way the heck out on the edge of town.

The cynic in me says it is a perfect location. Plenty of cheap apartments around for the players to live in, as part of a "mixed use" plan they will will have shopping and food options close by, and an easy trip to Hilton for games.

And given that they facility is closer to Ankeny than campus, it will be that much easier for players to ignore their studies. Just what a hoops program with a perfect 0% graduation rate needs- further academic isolation.

If your program is going to be an academic embarrassment, at least win some dang games.

There is study hall space in this new gym, I hope. A couple hundred square feet should do, especially if it lacks windows.



Wow- Does ISU really have an 11 game road losing streak? Feels like 30. Anyway, even playing ISU at home and a road game at Pitt, SUI gets the schedule punked by ESPN. I heard some on the radio state that SUI has the easiest B1011 schedule overall, and anything less than 8 wins would be a disappointment. Here's hoping for disappointment.

Really, though, ISU will have plenty of chances to end that oh-fur: in Iowa City (you know the drill- ISU's Super Bowl, SUI doesn't care), at UNLV, at Baylor (won the last trip to Waco), at CU (which Buffalo team will show up?), at KSU (Prince is on the hot seat already? Patience, folks, patience).

The crazy thing is that you can make a decent case for ISU winning more games in their white jersey's than their red ones this year. How very odd.


Saturday, July 05, 2008

No Surprise

So the big ISU-SUI clash will be on the Big 1011 Network. It is a big drag that most people will have to scramble to see it on TV, since Mediacom still doesn't carry the thing, but I'm not surprised.

Check out the Big 1011's composite schedule for that week, and let's eliminate the TV optionis for ISU-SUI:

OSU at USC- that has ABC Prime Time written all over it. One of the best games of the year from here.
Michigan at Notre Dame- NBC, of course.
Oregon at Purdue- nice game, probably an ESPN
Wisconsin at Fresno State- ditto

I'm assuming that ABC/ESPN gets first pick most weeks, so ISU-SUI is the only decent game left of the remaining choices. The BTN probably had to make lemonade out of what they had to choose from.

The one positive- the game will be produced in full HD for those who have BTN in their HD package. A picture so clear you'll be able to smell the Hawkeye indifference!


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Early Bad News

This probably isn't coming as a shock, but according to Keeler the
football mags are
a little down on our Cyclones.

Everybody pictures ISU in some flavor of 6th in the North. Big shock.

there's the ESPN
2008 Bowl Projection:

Short version:

*Nebraska: Insight
*Mizzou: Holiday
*CU: Texas
*KU: Alamo

OU: Fiesta
Tech: Sugar
Texas: Cotton
*a$m: Sun
*OSU: Indy

*Kent State: Congressional
*SUI: Motor City

That's 8 projected bowl teams on the schedule. At least we miss the best three in the league.

baseline is beating all of the non-bowl teams and building from there.
(I prefer to beat every team that finishes below .500, which in the
present bowl universe is the same thing.)

SDSU, at UNLV, at Baylor and at KSU become must wins. Pick off one or two of the others and we've moved forward.

Is it August yet?


Early Good News

ISU is +8 against SDSU.

It's a start.


Big Shock

Jason just couldn't keep his nose clean.

And now he's done.

Big shock, and what a waste. Who in his life failed to instill the importance of just following the rules?


Saturday, June 21, 2008

You're Always Hardest On Those You Love

Ron drops a good one.

Scroll past the Hawkeye Marching Band photo at the top of the page.

Nice one, Ron. That's why I read you.


Thursday, June 19, 2008


What does a college football fan do during the summer? Besides loading in the actual names of every player on every team into your copy of NCAA '09 (get a life- really) you can look ahead to the great potential matchups- and the those that look like dogs in June.

ISU has a couple in the dog category, unfortunately.

We begin with The Sporting News, which puts ISU ninth in the B12 in difficulty of noncon schedule. Given ISU's football struggles, anything above middle of the pack would be stupid. I consider two BCS road games equals out the home game against SD State. I'll be pleased if we leave September at 3-1, which will be a big step up from '07 in itself.

On the flip side, SUI's noncon is ranked #8 in the 1011. I wonder if our trip to Iowa City or SUI's trip to Pitt is considered the tougher test?

Finally, a random shot from a Georgia fan. While the ISU-SUI tilt is the 8th best noncon game on the B12 slate, the rest of our early games are derided as cupcakes, especially the SDSU game.

My only reply would be that you gotta walk before you can run, especially in football.

I would have to agree with the writer's guess that the 12th game has resulted in more cupcake games than interesting inter-regional matchups. Nice paydays for the mid-majors and D-AA teams, and some nice memories too. Right UNI? Right Appilachian State?


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Not A Fan? Hardly

There are two constants in Ron Maly's blog: Digs at Iowa State, especially football (written from a condescending "Football was invented in Iowa City" altitude), and claiming not to be a fan of SUI.

when you read a nugget
like this:

"I was more than excited when I packed up my ‘67 Chevy and headed to Iowa City in August of 1974 to be a Hawkeye football manager.

I started following Iowa football since 1963 when I was in fourth grade, and from that time on wanted to be a Hawkeye."

Hard to claim journalistic integrity after an upbringing like that. Considering how many game Ron watches for free from the pressbox as a kind of Lifetime Achievement Award, his "I was impartial towards ISU" shtick has all the validity of Barry Bonds' "Doesn't every one's shoe size jump four sizes in their 30's?" act.

The whole post wallows in classic "Valient Hawks Fight The Good Fight" dreck. Grab a stiff drink before wading in.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Gotta Fix This

Only two games this year between href="http://blogs.columbiatribune.com/football/2008/05/big_12_summer_countdown_redux.html">the
B12 and the Big1011:


I thought the 12 game schedule was going to increase the number of games between Big Time Football Schools, not decrease it.



This writer agrees with us: CU bothced the end of the game.

Video to prove it, and a nice shout of to John and Eric's play calling.




That's where the NY Times thinks
we start the year at.

I can't argue with that. Lots to prove, like being worthy of uni's that mimic USC.

Those are big black shoes to fill.


Damned If They Do...

You know SUI didn't want to renew the series with ISU, but the fallout of not renewing would be worse than the fallout from each of their upset losses to Silo Tech.

Damn Legislators sticking their nose into football! They should stick to things they know, like declaring Official Bellevue Fried Carp Day and things like that.

See you in September, boys. I know you won't take ISU seriously this year, either, but a bowl trip could be riding on it.


Odd Coaching Poll

I'm not sure what to make of this.

I can't rank Gene very high after one year, just because it's too early. Behind Sherman at a$m is fine, too- Sherm's got about 90 or so more games under his belt than Gene, and they were in the NFL.

He does come in ahead of Price at KSU, though. Ouch!

A grade of C- isn't too out of line considering how the year started, either. The wisdom of crowds.

The real slap? Whoever is coach at Michigan State, at 24-22 in his career, came in ahead of Ferentz. Double Ouch!

I guess those 6-6 finishes are taking some of the shine off his rep.



This comes straight from the "Hypocritical Do-As-I-Say-Not-As-I-Did Pieces Of Advice" File, but Lucca should stay out of the bars for a few years.

This coming from someone who wasted too much of his college carrer at Cy's Roost, both before and after his 21st birthday (I think the statute of limitatioins ran out a while ago on that crime), but then again I wasn't on a D1 basketball scholarship, and thousands of my fellow students weren't chanting my name at games, either.

I know it's a drag, and it makes hooking up a bit more of a challenge, but drink at home until you are legal. It will be worth it in the long run.


Hoop Talk

I went and heard Paul Shirley talk at the Des Moines library last week, and what you read on the printed page is exactly what you get in person: dark, sarcastic, self-depricating, and slightly offensive in a too-honest-kind-of-way. Paul noted at the start that looking out at the room he could tell half the crowd of 200 were avid readers, and the other half were avid sports fans. Each group got something worth coming for.

Paul certainly knows which of his bits will get the big laughs, and he sets those lines up like a seasoned pro, but he is humorous throughout his talks. He just points out the absurdity that seems to permeate his basketball life.

The most surprising thing is his dissolutionment with what most of us civlians build up: Sports, Fame, Money, Success. He has been behind the cutain too much, has seen too many of the inner workings of professional basketball, and it has turned hoops into a job. A very lucrative job, Paul admits, but he has no interest in returning to the NBA, for instance. I suppose he is the type who prefers to play every day in Europe than ride the bench for a bigger paycheck in the NBA.

Buy the book. It is an entertaining an illuminating read.

End of commercial.


Friday, May 30, 2008

A Great Cheap Shot

Marty Tirell:

"The University of Iowa is having trouble finding a TV network willing to air the Iowa/Iowa State game. Given their legal troubles, perhaps Court TV would be interested."


If you are going to make a cheap shot, go all the way, baby.


The Smell Of A Winner

Cyclone Football will never be taken seriously until it mixes in a little of this.

The cause and effect is direct, isn't it? OU wins, it gets in trouble, it wins some more, it gets in trouble again, lather, rinse, repeat.

I mean, the only school I can recall losing AND getting in trouble for cheating is, uhm, well, never mind.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Coach Hornacek?

Does Jeff Hornacek have a future as an NBA coach?

His resume suggests potential. He admits that he didn't spend 12 years in the NBA because of atheltic prowess, but by understanding the game. That is exactly the kind of player who makes a good coach- someone who had to think his way to success, not just be the best guy on the floor.

Longer article here.

Not bad for a walk-on.


Thoughts On Wes

-Keith Murphy has many thoughts on the situation, all of them valid.

-Rick Brown has two different posts with similar themes: Shooting holes in Wes' story. One here, the other here.

-Ron Maly thinks Wes' AAU coach is involved.

Me? I hope Wes doesn't regret this six months from now. The greener grass is often just an optical illusion.


Quad Countdown-Kent

I had no idea how historically bad Kent State is- even worse than our beloved Cyclones.

The NY Times countdown has them at #99.

The most painful nugget: KSU's win in Ames was their first over a BCS team since '87. Ouch, ouch, ouch.

On the plus side, we'll be able to use the Golden Flashes return to Ames as a yardstick to see if our team has improved at all over the last 12 months.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Note to Greg and staff:

The goal of running players off is to
rid yourself of players you don't think can contribute to your team.

Just checking.


FB forecast Pt. 2

A looong writeup at the KSU rivals site.

Big suprise: it's downbeat.


FB forecast Pt. 1

The NY Times Sports Blog "The Quad" is counting up (?) their ranking of every BCS team from bottom to top.

Baylor is #112.

Here's hoping, despite being listed as Baylor's best shot at a B12 win this year, we don't see ISU in this poll for several weeks.


Sunday, May 04, 2008


Somebody thinks we're going to have a spike in interest in football tickets one of these days.

Of course, only Nebraska and SUI fans will be buying them, right?


Front Page

How this wasn't front page, above the fold of the Sunday DSM Rag, I'll never know:

A member of the Iowa State University football coaching staff was arrested after allegedly breaking into a car impound lot and trying to drive his car out through the steel gate.

Floyd Howard White, 30, of 3709 Tripp St., was arrested Friday morning and charged with OWI first offense and criminal trespassing causing damage of over $200, both serious misdemeanors.

I sometimes joke that if football players were smart, they wouldn't be football players. I see the joke can also apply to football coaches.

I expect a full-blown media circus to spin up any moment now. It beats doing hard journalism, especially on a Sunday.


Monday, April 28, 2008

SMQ thoughts

SMQ wraps things up nicely in the very first, admittedly premature
preseason forecast of the fall.

Given the unknowns, I can't
argue with with 5-7 to 2-10 outlook. If the offense gels at all, and
stops getting hives in the red zone, 5-7 isn't crazy. Improved line
play will make whoever ends up under center look better than Meyer did
last year.

More previews as the appear.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Grading the Ungradable

I always chuckle at those who grade how an NFL team has drafted, just as I chuckle at recruiting rankings. With all the variables that go into player development, how can you accuratly grade?

Looking back 3 years in the NFL and 5 years in NCAA makes sense- you can really see how a team improved or declined based on how draftees/recruits panned out. Get a few surprises and your team got a lot better. Miss a few in key places and you are out of a job. I'm glad I'n just a fan.

As I recall, Virginia Tech's recruiting classes won a bunch games in the mid-90's with recruiting classes that wwere ranked as nothing special. Coach Beemer had the audacity to ignore rankings and stats and times and just watch tape and talk to kids and their coaches. He looked for football players- guys who just liked to play football, were the first to come and the last to leave practice, who just worked their asses off because they liked getting better. You get a bunch of those kids as the core of your team and you will win on Saturdays.

Drafting and recruiting is on some level just a crapshoot. Don't place any money of whoever "graded well" this weekend.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008


LE's been sober for five years today.

Keep it up. We're proud of you.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008


is a funny read.

It essentially reiterates what I've
been saying since the start
of the Cy-Hawk series:ISU should never win the thing.

The funny part is that the writer tries really, really hard not to come right out and say "ISU should never win this thing". But reading between the lines, he's saying exactly that.

The SUI quote trots out the old "We want to win TenEleven Championships" chestnut. Yeah, and I want a pony.

The impressive numbers appear late in the column: ISU leads 47-39 overall, and if you remove the results of football and men's basketball, ISU would lead the series 3-0-1. Ouch. When you consider the money spent on "Olympic" sports in IC versus Ames, Double Ouch.

I'll tell you what SUI and its fans really want: to somehow return ISU to its "College" days when it could justify treating it with second-class, little brother, back-of-the-bus arrogance. They would drop the football series in a heartbeat if they could. They would drop the Cy-Hawk if they could. But they can't without looking like they are running from a fight.

So we might as well continue tormenting them by winning the dang thing.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

KU and Winning

I'm not going to harp on the fact that KU should have lost to a team with one stud and a bunch of DII players (which would have been appropriate 20 years after Danny and the Miracles) or that they benefitted from perhaps the biggest choke job in a title game ever. That would be petty and low class.

But could a stat geek out there find for me a team that has won more games and conference titles in the last 20 years that hadn't won an NCAA title? (Thanks for suggesting Princeton, smart guy.) Has any school done less with more? Are they the equivelent to Texas football?


Will KU losing two studs to the NBA make a difference to the rest of the B12 next year?


As long as KU is handing out schollies for hoops, the league is theirs to lose each year. Any season they don't win the league title should be considered a wasted year, and grounds for firing the coach.


Spring Afternoons

I'm the first to admit that I don't memorize the two-deeps for my team, but I really don't see the attraction of the Spring Game at my school, other than the excuse to tailgate on a (hopefully) decent spring day.

When I see 70K+ showing up in Happy Vally and Columbus and Lincoln, I can only conclude that those folks are daft.

Perhaps someday I'll attend and catch whatever it is that makes the expeience so pleasing. Or not.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Crete Watching

This is one of the best rivalry stories of late. If I'm that RedSox
fan, I leave 3 or four bits in the concrete, and only admit one. After
digging out the easy item, the place is still cursed, but everyone
thinks it is fine.

This has ramifications here in Cyclone land.
As Athletics undertakes its planned capital projects, like the current
work at Trice, they should consider hiring one person with construction
experience to monitor the work, especially the pouring on concrete, to
prevent any shenanigans by an SUI fan in a hard hat.

Not that SUI fans care enough about ISU to even bother trying to jinx us. The obvious joke is that Cyclone football is already jinxed.

Still, if something black and gold isn't already in the foundations around ISU athletics, it will be soon.

How well do you know the guy in the hard hat?


Psychic Insight

Black Heart Gold Pants stumbled on ISU's new logo images, and opinionates about them.

thing, he can't use the same yardstick even in
his own analysis.

First, he projects forward that ISU
would use an aerial shot of an SUI game, because we all know the only
time Trice sells out is when the drunken buzzards come to town and buy
up all the tickets. That's why the artistPhotoShopped all the
black-wearing fans out and replaced them with red wearing fans. (If he
was going to all that trouble, why not replace every last one? I

Longtime readers know my feelings on this topic. The question shouldn't be "Why doesn't ISU sell more tickets", the question should be "Why doesn't SUI sell more?" Follow the link for the full reasoning, but in short "ISU can't sell tickets" is the best local sports myth behind "SUI football is on the cusp of a National Championship".

I've personally been in Kinnick
the last 10 years when 20K Wisconsin and Penn State and Ohio State fans
have purchased all of the singles, and were usually the only ones in
the house at the final gun. Get off that horse, my friend. How are
sales for '08 going?

Besides, if ISU is going to use an image of a football game, it might as well be one with a full house and probable win.

then switches gears, acting as if the Hilton shot is past historical
record. No, you dork, like the shot of Trice it is again a future
projection. (Nice angle, BTW. I've never seen that one.) Does BHGP
really expect a marketing department to post an image like that with
the home team losing? Duh.

What is most hysterical about BHGP
is that he, like most SUI fans, claims not to care about Moo-U, and
spends dozens of blog posts showing how much he doesn't care.

Thanks for visiting. I'm sure you won't attend or watch this year's ISU-SUI game because A) It's a walkover for SUI B) You don't care if ISU loses or not C) You are too busy breaking down which bar in IC has the best drink specials 8-11 AM on Tuesdays.