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.