Thursday, December 31, 2009

Big Win

Called It.

A big step forward for the program. Celebrate, then get in the weight room, boys.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Looking Back

Mike Hlas looks back 10 years and has some interesting "What if you had told me" thoughts.

I've chuckled about the reversal of fortune Alford and Ferentz both found.

You could add all the winning Cyclone Basketball- both genders- would do in this decade, as well as the nice number of bowl games ISU would earn, considering they hadn't been to one in forever.

There would be some entertaining lows, to say the least.


Monday, December 28, 2009


My hunch is that Iowa State will beat the Gophers, but in a painful, pass-the-kidney-stone kind of game.

Neither team will score much, as each defense is better than the opposing offense. A wacky play or special teams breakdown will be the difference.

14-13 ISU.


Friday, December 25, 2009


If Pat Forde is correct, then ISU's Rope-A-Dope defense is matched by its Rope-A-Dope offense: Give the fans hope of scoring, then fail.


Big 12 Gifts

ESPN has good suggestions.


More Brewster Questions

Now ESPN jumps on the Brewster speculation bandwagon.

Remember, Brewster was too good to take the ISU job in '07.

I made a joke then about Brewster playing too many snaps without a helmet. I think it still applies.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009


They are Bull. The Wall Street Journal shows you why.

Four of the ten teams in BCS bowls have no players in the Top 100 of their classes. None.

Iowa and Ga. Tech have two each.

Neither Ingram or McCoy were Top 100. How is that possible?

The rankings are bull because they are self-fulfilling. If a kid isn't being recruited by, say, Texas, then he must not be any good. Therefore, he isn't Top 100. See how that skews everything?

Just step away.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Bowl Costs

The Wiz has an ugly chart of the amount of money schools normally lose on bowl trips.

The worst example is Ohio- losing a couple hundred grand on a trip to Detroit, the same year you cut three sports.

I hope ISU can at least break even.



The Peoria paper lowers the boom.

Its fun to read when its someone else on the receiving end.



I liked the "Little kid dreaming of wearing an ISU uniform" open to the men's game, it needs to be seriously shortened. The setup needs to be cut to 10 seconds, and get to the archival stuff quicker.

The ending also begs the question: does the kid die at the end?



I caught both sides of the double-header Sunday, and Iowa State overwhelmed Bradley (men) and UNI (women) in the same manner: tough D and good shooting.

I thought both teams looked sharp, and BF had the luxury of going deep into the bench early, trying some odd combinations.

The men were surprising in how quickly they dispatched the Braves. It was good to see how immediate Brackins responded to a weak-side double team by dribbling away from the basket and rotating the ball to the open man. While the double did get the ball out of his hands, ISU scored enough points to send the message: that's not going to work.

Not that others won't try it.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Brewster Hotseat?

The Wiz thinks so.

The bit about Mason getting canned after the 2006 Insight is kinda funny foreshadowing.

Maybe both teams have motivation for this game after all.


Thursday, December 17, 2009


Iowa State is 75th in total offense, but 102nd in scoring offense.

That's been the offensive problem since Seneca left- lots of yards, not enough points.

Minnesota has a decent scoring defense (56th), and an offense that looks bad on paper (113th overall) but one that scores 30+ when they are not playing a Top 10 Defense. Can ISU slow them down?

At least ISU has the "Happy to be here" angle. The Gophers clearly aren't.



The only game ISU didn't win when they held their opponent under their season scoring average was Okie State.

Minnesota's average: 21.5.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009


So the Big 1011 has cranked up expansion speculation again. Some thoughts.

A. It ain't Iowa State. No way, no how. Big picture, we bring nothing to the table. That's how it is. Deal with it.

B. I don't think the checks would be big enough to draw Texas or Mizzou or Nebraska or any other Big 12 team in. The checks would be big, but not big enough. Besides, aside from Texas, no other school increases the net eyeballs, which is all that matters. And Texas runs the B12, anyway, so why leave?

C. Not Notre Dame. See above, add NBC to the mix.

D. Just end this "School X doesn't match up academically" myth. Aside from Northwestern and Michigan, the Big 1011 is just a bunch of Public State Universities. Nothing to be ashamed of, but a long way from The Ivies. Look up the incoming ACT scores of Freshmen. No big thing.

E. It will be either Rutgers or UConn. Both play decent football now, but neither did in 2003, the last time we went around with this.


Big Step

The Fighting Fennellies added an impressive notch to their NCAA belt Sunday, downing Minnesota in Minneapolis.

That's the kind of win that The Committee likes to reward teams for scheduling.


Friday, December 11, 2009


The win over the Goblas played out about as I hoped: SUI would show some spunk, and keep it close with the 3, but Iowa State's athleticism would win in the end.

I like what SUI does on offense, but then again I'm a fan of the drive-and-kick-for-3 style. Given their skill set, that's about all they can do. Their early success witht he high screen was nice basketball. Gatens is the only guy from their team I would want on mine.

My only disappointment is that the final margin wasn't bigger. While ISU was much better in the half court (against inferior opposition, but still) they didn't defend the drive or the 3 as well as I would have liked. ISU should have won by 30, but missed free throws and running the clock took the starch out of the offense.

I know its smart hoops, but when you have a chance to make a statement and blow someone out, blow them out.

But given Greg's struggles, a win is a win, efen if it wasn't as close as it appeared.


Thursday, December 10, 2009


Let me get this straight.

A long-time Rag sportswriter and lifelong SUI fan waits 13 years to ask Bill Fennelly a question, and he gets pissy that Bill doesn't give him a response he likes.

Bill's a smart guy, and knows every member of the working press by name- I've seen him in action. I suspect Bill mistook Ron for the retiree that he is, assumed he wandered into the press room looking for free cookies, and took a "who-the-heck-is-this-guy" tone. Ron got what he deserved.

Ron probably had a chance or two to play the serious journalist with Bill back when he was working. Now that he has retired, he should stay in his comped seats in the stands.

Funny how Ron finds a reason to hate every ISU coach he runs into. It's just amazing.



Iowa State moved closer to Trophy They Should Never Win by thumping (is the term "Manhandle" inappropriate in WBB?) SUI tonight. It was close for the first 8 minutes, then ISU got up eight, and jumped to 14 just before halftime. I think they hit a 30 point lead before emptying the bench.

Wish I could have been there in person- that would have been a fun one.

With any luck the warm ISU shooting will carry over to tomorrow night. I like the template: Iowa starts out strong, hanging with or leading early, but better talent and depth pushes the lead out to a comfortable margin int he second.

Don't be shy, boys. It's OK to be better than someone.


Wednesday, December 09, 2009


When something happens once, it happens.

When something happens twice, its a coincidence.

When something happens a third time there is something going on.

Whatever the word is on Mizzou, it's out.


Thursday, December 03, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Clone Chronicles lays the NW loss at Greg's feet.

My only quibble is it is November- some of the players are still wearing "Hello, my name is" stickers. This can be fixed.



I suspect we will see others use Northwestern's slow-down strategy to try and take the Cyclones out of their comfort zone.

I expect the Iowa game will be hard to watch. First team to 50 wins.

Better do some work on your half-court sets, boys.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

CU and the Spread

There is much chatter on the Interwebs about CU's TD as time expired to cover the spread. One poster recalled how Hawkins, with a win over ISU locked up in '02, threw to the end zone to run it up. Up 5 at the time, an pick 6 would have lost the game for him.

It brings back memories of the Neuheisel tenure at CU, and how he made sure to cover, even when winning by a pile.

Some things never change.


Developing Situation

We may have something fun on our hands.

In dispatching the Billikins ISU continued its undefeated start, and overcame a bad first half where the offense wasn't in sync.

The 13-0 second half run that won it was driven by salty defense. SLU failed to score on 9 straight possessions during the run. D like that will win games in conference play.

An SLU follower concurs.

This continues to be interesting. TV of these games would have made it even better.


Sunday, November 22, 2009


Before we allow ourselves to get glum over having to accept a trip to Shreveport, let's review where we were in August:

- ISU had a rookie head coach
- Was coming off a 2-10 season
- Owned a 9 game conference losing streak
- Owned a 9 game losing streak to the Big 12 South
- Owned a 13 Big 12 road losing streak
- Hadn't won in Lincoln since '77

My over/under in August was 4, and I was the norm. Only the wild-eyed thought a bowl game was possible.

I think by any measure 2009 is a football success.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Its nice to end an ugly streak with an emphatic win.

We don't know if Iowa State is good, but I'm pretty sure they aren't bad.

Kudos all around. Wish I could have watched it.


Mangino Out?

Choking a player is a serious charge.

It's a long way from "He makes us run too many laps".



I'm never one to pull a fire alarm after a basketball game in November, but I am very curious to see how things play out tonight.

Given the infusion of athleticism our Cyclones have received, a win at Drake should probably happen. But funny things happen in November on the road.

A good performance may not mean anything down the line, but a bad performance may be a sign of further trouble ahead.



Remember the UNLV coach who wouldn't leave the field after losing to ISU a few years back?

He gone.


Sunday, November 15, 2009


ISU is the same dog to Mizzou that Meeeshigan is to Ohio State: +12.


Buff Thoughts

Ralphie Report summarizes the thinking on the front range.

It's not looking good for Hawkins.


Saturday, November 14, 2009


It's a weak effort- nothing like the classic "" in his Florida days, which is still active BTW - but it is worth noting.


Gigs for Hawkins

The best line of the day:

While Hawkins was having a time-out chat with the officials, some clever fans yelled out:

"Coach- they ain't hiring!"



Before the season started, the defense stated its goal was to average less than 20 points per game.

So far, the math is pretty simple- the 6 ISU wins have held the opponents under 17, but in losses have given up 24+, usually 35+.

It seems that either the schemes work or they don't. Today they did.

CU's Hansen seemed to make his best throws on the rollout, which also gave him the option of running. The last few series the defense seemed to focus less on pressure and more on containment, which Hansen was unable to convert as well.

Considering ISU's offense never got into a good rhythm (6 3-and-outs), the win gets bigger. If one more second half possession turns into points the game ends early.

Bowl-eligible has a nice ring to it.


Sunday, November 08, 2009


Iowa fan reminds us that it is hard to win football games when your QB isn't 100%.

They are so helpful.


Saturday, November 07, 2009

Check Ourselves

Yes, today was disappointing, but in a "We aren't as good as we hoped two weeks ago" way.

Remember, in August most of us were predicting 4 or 5 wins total. We're already a little ahead of schedule.

Yet after today, CU looks a little tougher, and Mizzou a little easier. Crazy.


Thursday, November 05, 2009

Bummed About The Weather

I was secretly hoping for horizontal snow this weekend to play with Okie State's head.

Instead the Cowboys will be enjoy shirt-sleeve weather in Ames this week.

There goes one potential home field advantage. Perhaps a full noisy stadium will make up for it.


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Modern Medicine

When I heard Reggie had his appendix out, I didn't expect him back until the bowl game, if ISU got to one.

He's coming back a bit sooner.

Medicine has improved a bit since I was last paying attention.


Ruh-Roh Buffs

When your highly rated recruits start leaving the program, things won't be getting better anytime soon.


TV Thoughts

It's nice that we get a date with ABC this week, and the extra cash that comes with it. The rest of the Big 12 can check us out.

While I wish the CU game was televised, it also happens to be one of the weakest games on the B12 slate that week:

Saturday, Nov. 14
Texas at Baylor
Colorado at Iowa State
Nebraska at Kansas
Missouri at Kansas State
Texas A&M at Oklahoma
Texas Tech at Oklahoma State

Really, those are ranked in order of increasing watchability. Or put another way, the bottom four deserve to be on TV; thus, the top two don't. If I'm a TV exec, no games involving Baylor or CU get on my network. Deal with it.

Winning more games will fix the long-term problem for ISU.


Monday, November 02, 2009

Two bits from NU/Baylor

The Husker offense managed 249 yards of offense in Waco. That's weak.

A Waco writer calls out Baylor fans.

Hat tip: the Wiz of Odds.


Changes in Boulder

Since CU can't afford to can Hawkins, an outside the box suggestion.

I always thought Dan M. should have brought in Earle Bruce just to play with the heads of the players. His teams were tough.


Sunday, November 01, 2009


Not athletic enough this week. Tell us something we don't know. Sometimes raw guts just isn't enough.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Humorous realignment


Fortunately we won't have to talk about realignment until Texas and OU bolt for the always rumored "SUPERCONFERENCE".


Other Side

Husker Fan advised to "Calm Down".

Note: ISU hustled a lot more than Nebraska.


Buff Still Alive

CU thinks they can finish strong.

When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.


Two More Thoughts

1. From a Husker Zone summary, the line of the day:'s Stewart Mandel said, "what a waste of an elite defense…what a joke on offense."

2. Which brings us to a quote from an Brian Neal's dad, who was an OL in the '77 win in Lincoln. If the roles had been reversed, and the Black Shirts had forced 8 TO's, the press would have been gushing about the return of the Black Shirts. But since it was ISU going +8, it was some kind of crazy fluke.

Perceptions take time to turn. In our case, it will be 4 or 5 winning seasons before we become something other than "The Baylor of the North".

Here's to turning.



Whitlock sums up the B12 North nicely.

Not knowing who is going to win each week is fun.



I'm hearing lots of "Biggest win in my lifetime" stuff today. I'm a doubter there.

We won't really know where to place this thing until a few years down the road.

If PR has this program winning, going to a bowl each year and pushing for North Championships, then yes, we can look back on this as the "Statement Win".

On the other hand, this could just be a flukey thing like the win in Norman in 1990. We were all feeling pretty good about the future on the bus ride home from that one, too.

Personally, I'm taking the over.


Dishes served cold

ISU vs. Auburn in Shreveport? Sign me up.

Do you think our Cyclones would be motivated for that one?


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I'm not sure which final is the more puzzling tonight- ISU's wacky win in Lincoln, or a$m winning in Lubbock 52-30.

Looks like the Aggies have some momentum. Rats.



The Omaha World Herald doesn't mess around with post game analysis.


"Worst Loss In 40 Years"

Lots of great nuggets in this online chat:

- Huskers want the backup QB to play
- They are in a firing mood
- Because of ISU's injuries, this was the worst Nebraska loss in memory
- They really, really, really consider the forward pass a fad

They really miss their 90's mojo.


Giving It Away

It's nice to be on the receiving end of a self-destruction for once, no?



I think Paul should have hired more of his drinking buddies as assistants. I'm not sure this whole "Hiring guys that know what they're doing" plan is working out.



Isn't it obvious that hosting a U2 concert might be a little rough to a grass field?


Friday, October 23, 2009


I am never one to call an upset, btu boy are the Huskers ripe for one.

Actually, I only see the game playing out one of two ways:

- ISU plays a great game, Nebraska struggles, and it comes down to the last possession. Again.

- Nebraska puts it all together, looks All-World and blows ISU out. In other words, the usual trip to Lincoln.

To be completely cynical: ISU is going to lose, we are just waiting to see what kind of style points they come away with.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Has a$m quit on Sherman?

The Wiz of Odds thinks so.

If Iowa State can benefit from that, so it goes. I don't recall league teams showing ISU much mercy when they were struggling.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bowl Game

A Waco writer called it like it was: Baylor's trip to Ames was theri bowl game.

The funny thing about the article is that it could have been written, with the names reversed, the last time Baylor came to Story County. They won that game.


Sunday, October 18, 2009


Iowa State is up to #70 in the latest Sagarin.

CU is close behind at #72. Perhaps there is life in Boulder.

Baylor is #83, and a$m dropped all the way to #99. Nebraska is #20. Gulp.

On paper we have two more probable wins; anything else is homemade gravy.


Anyone's Guess

This sums up what you need to know for this week.



Gene "Super Genius" Chizik did something Saturday that no Auburn coach had done since 1966.


The view from Waco

Baylor "Lays and egg". Nice old ISU helmet, guys. Way to stay current.

Reading the Waco paper's running commentary is entertaining. They think we're solid tailgaters if nothing else. There's a joke there I won't make.


Saturday, October 17, 2009


It is unfortunate that ISU couldn't punch in another TD or two, and that Baylor scored their TD with 13 seconds left, because the final score doesn't display how dominant ISU was.

Consider that Baylor won this matchup in '08 38-10 and the turnaround is striking. ISU continues to improve each week in both scheme and execution, especially on defense. They kept Baylor puzzled all night. One good play by the Bears would be met by two stops by the defense.

Things are clearly headed in the right direction.

Some more winnable games have appeared, to boot.



You have to wonder, given what is ahead for both teams, if one team jumps out early on the other if the game would turn into a runaway.

I think this will be a wild, defenseless game- last side with the ball wins. But a blowout for either side wouldn't surprise me.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fans Dressed as Empty Seats

I hear John Walters reference the KU crowd leaving at halftime, but I chalked it up to cold weather.

I guess its an ongoing problem.

Much like the Texas fan wandering into a 'Horns basketball game to scout walk-on tight ends, KU fans just don't know what to make of winning football. It's not hoops, so they don't like it.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009


So the media see ISU finishing 8th this year. That seems odd to me.

If you have an All-American candidate and the preseason Newcomer of the Year and you are still predicted to finish 8th, the press must think the other 10 guys on the team really stink.

Based on the predicted order of finish, ISU should get 4 wins from CU and Nebraska, a road win at either Baylor or Tech, and home wins against Mizzou and Okie State gets them to 6. Two more home upsets and they are 8-8 and a lock for a NCAA bid. Good times.

Of course it never plays out as expected, but that's what the preseason is for.


Monday, October 12, 2009


ISU has lost 11 B12 games in a row, yet a favored at home this week by 3.

For as bad as ISU's resume is, folks must be really unimpressed with Baylor, no?



Looks like the knucklehead who threw a hissy fit at the end of a game in Ames a few years back is still struggling to win.

Sucks to be him.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

KU stripped naked?

The view from the other side of the pressbox wasn't impressed with KU's defense.



It looks like Gene "Super Genius" still struggles against quality opponents.



Pete and Eric summed things up nicely in the postgame: The Cyclones are clearly improving each week, and are no longer an easy out. You are going to have to earn it.

At some point the boys are going to make it happen; the play they need at the end of the game will come through and everyone will be impressed with how far Iowa State has come.


Thursday, October 08, 2009


The Interwebs tell me the last time ISU beat a ranked team on the road was their 33-31 win in Norman in ....1990. Since I was there, I can tell you that was a long time ago.

Blaise Bryant was the running back that day.

What does that game share  with the KU game? Both OU and KU are ranked #16, and ISU was a big dog. (+23, +19.5 respectively).

That streak can end anytime, thanks.


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

"We Have Already Lost The War"

Harsh words not just about Iowa State, but the Big 12 North in general.

I question whether the use of never in the article is appropriate. You could have gotten good odds against Mizzou playing int he Championship game 10 years ago.


Jamie, get on the phone

Washington has backed out of games with BYU in 2011 & 12.

Anyone, anywhere.


Tempering Expectations

This article in the World Hearald puts numbers to what I've been saying for years- as long as Texas and its ilk can spend on football what Iowa State spends on sports, anything approaching .500 has to be considered a victory.

Until the B12 starts sharing TV revenue equally- something that will probably never happen as long as UT and OU remain in the league- the level of play of the bottom teams won't approach that of the top.

In college football budget almost always equals wins over the long run.

Some in our crowd need to readjust their expectations.


TV notes

The Baylor game is a 6PM start despite not being on TV. Odd.

This week's game at KU is on TV, sorta, since it's on Versus, which is not part of the DirecTv lineup right now. I'll will be limited to the radio.

This is exactly the kind of moment, after a devastating loss when many of us are ready to throw in the towel, when our Cyclones rise up and upset somebody. The SUI game two years ago jumps immediately to mind. Nobody in red thought we had a chance that day. Certainly nobody in black did either.

Not saying its going to happen, but rather that this is exactly when it would.

Randy agrees.

Wasn't SUI a 20+ favorite in that game?


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Hit The Road

Since Jamie is pleased with our game in KC, and the accountants will love the extra $800K it brought in, I say ISU should hit the road to any "neutral" site game we can find:

- Anybody from the state of Texas at the Jerry Jones Palace
- Anybody from the Big 1011 at Soldier Field
- Anybody from the SEC in Atlanta
- Anybody from the Big East/ACC at the Meadowlands

You get the drift.

When you have the smallest budget in the league, and can increase your revenue with a neutral site game, hit the road, Jack.


Monday, October 05, 2009

Heartbreak Defined

"Clone Zone has a pretty telling cataloging of Cyclone Football Heartbreak and what's most depressing is that it's just the last 10 years.

It doesn't include:

-blowing a 35 point lead, at home, to Kansas.
-having an onside kick run back for a TD to seal a loss to OU
-losing in OT in Lincoln after having several chances to win
-collapsing in the 4th against ranked CU in the infamous Snow Bowl (I was there)
-losing to an unremarkable Okie State team with the Big 8 Title on the line

Those are just off the top of my head. Sometimes I don't know why we keep showing up.

We haven't discussed basketball, either. A phantom traveling call on Sam Hill, anyone? Hampton? Michigan State?


Sunday, October 04, 2009


Funny how games where ISU finds yet another new way to lose we all feel that we have seen that movie before.

This is reason #1 why the casual fan is never an ISU fan. It's too damn painful.


Friday, October 02, 2009

Big Jump

Keeler pushed ISU way up in his entertaining Big 23 rankings.

He even has our Clonies in the Texas bowl! I'll have what he's having.

Judging by his rankings he's thinking wins against KSU, CU and Baylor get up to the 6 win threshold.

It's plausible.


Thursday, October 01, 2009


If you can't go somewhere with good weather for a bowl (Shreveport?) it might as well be New York City.

I know for many BXII fans NY is both Sodom and Gomorrah, and if they can't drive their RV there it just ain't worth doin'.

But a low tier bowl in NY has more style points in the public eye than a low tier bowl in any other cold-weather city.

The down side is the seating chart for football at New Yankee Stadium. The geniuses there managed to make every seat a crappy seat. That's a neat trick.

I also love how they will have to remove baseball box seat to squeeze in both end zones.

It's still worth doing.


ISU wins a squeaker

Poster boys of good design. Or something.



Is that really how this weekend's game against K State is being marketed?

If it isn't it should be. I like it.



It shouldn't be a surprise that when you don't win many games you don't have much money to throw at quality assistants.

Quality assistants increase your chances of winning games.

On the whole I'd say we're getting what we pay for.


Kicking Troubles

While KSU has returned kickoffs for TDs, they are 1-6 in FG tries.

I hope their struggles continue.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Fred gets a promotion

It looks like Fred is putting his degree in Finance to good use.

At some point the T Wolves are going to have to get better or this could end badly.


Cael Speaks, sorta

Keeler gets a few bits out of Cael, but not much.

I chuckled at the claim that it wasn't about the money, but then his new salary wasn't revealed.

The only way to dispel rumors is to be up front about things.

I hope he builds a new Big 1011 power, if only to supplant SUI.


Sunday, September 27, 2009


ISU jumps to #70 in the Sagarin rankings, ahead of #75 KSU and #79 CU.

a$m is #66 and Baylor is #60, so there are winnable games left.


Saturday, September 26, 2009


Limiting Army to 185 on the ground is worth noting. Forcing them to throw the ball by stopping the run and building a lead gives us some hope for the future in both scheme and execution.



Iowa Fan- anything less than a NC is definitely a failure now. Accept nothing less.

Just sayin'.



I assume I'm not the only one who hopes Rhodes can equal or surpass the win total of Gene "Super Genius" Chizik- but in only one season.

Halfway there.


TV Success

Plans were being made to air tonight's ISU-Army game before the implosion against SUI.

Winning when you are on TV earns your team more TV appearances. Unless you are a member of the Big 1011, of course.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Ranking Rise

Atomic Teeth (I'm liking this blog the more I read it) moves ISU up to #10. Improvement is improvement.

ISU's Sagarin ranking has improved, too, up to #83. KSU is #74, CU is #97. Army is #138, and their SOS is #167. Blech.

The only way to improve those numbers is to keep wining.



ESPN sees many blowouts in the Big XII this week, including our Cyclones.

OK, 33-21 isn't a blowout, but it is so odd seeing ISU even favored my brain translates it into one. Sue me.


Army Breakdown

Cliff Notes for Army.

Crazy stat: The Army QB has completed 7 passes in 3 games. 6 are to a 6-10 TE.

Do the corners even bother covering Army receivers?


Back story

There must be a heck of a back story to cause a 180 like this.

How long before it goes public?


Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Atomic Teeth takes a look at BXII alums who are in the NFL and draws some interesting conclusions.

As if we needed more evidence that Callanan couldn't coach.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The New Sheriff

I have to agree with the blogosphere- whatever punishment the three players suspended for possession of pot receive will set the tone for the Rhodes regime.

Assuming this is a "amount for personal use" kind of crime, it's a 3 or 4 game suspension plus whatever the cops want for punishment. It reads that the players are doing what has been asked of them, so they get some leeway.

As anyone in authority will tell you, it's better to lay down the law right off the bat than to try to be Mr. Nice Guy up front and later try to toughen up. Anyone else on the team with some recreational whatever has either disposed of it, or is really, really stupid.

While the first offenders will be made examples of, the second offenders will really get the book thrown at them.

The one thing that strikes me as odd: a search warrant for "personal use" amounts seems a bit heavy handed. Hopefully for everyone the players are being rolled for the bigger fish up the food chain, just like a TV crime show.

But if this is an "intent to deliver" thing, all bets are off.


Opposing Viewpoint

Some interesting comments about Rhodes from an Army fan site.

The fact that PR isn't calling defenses might skew the opinion expressed above, but it is worth reading anyway.


Shiny and New

Now that ISU has taken the plastic wrap off of its new basketball facility in Boone County, the folks in IC will break ground on something bigger, shinyer and awesomer in 12-18 months. Gur-run-teed.

ISU having a better anything than SUI violates at least three of the laws of physics, and we can't have that.

Perhaps they will finally finish CHA- that place just doesn't look "done", ya know?

Adding AC to the place would be a good start.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009


While ISU has rolled out some ugly unis over the years (especially the Criner years) they've never tried anything this bad.

I was cheering against Minny based on the gold jersey alone.

Not a fan of ISU's red pants FWIW.



Iowa fan: Given your 3-0 start, anything less than an undefeated season and a national championship should be considered a huge failure.

You have settled for just being good for too long. Turn up the heat on Kirk: NC or new coach.

Just sayin'.


Kent State wrap up

Mark has an excellent breakdown.

I agree with everything, but I think the second half subs may have diluted the stats a bit, especially defensively.


Kent is not a State

Beaton has a nice wrapup.

Its good to be on the other side of a team in self-destruct mode.



CU got their first win while wearing the ugliest unis ever.

K State struggled in a road loss at UCLA.

Baylor got run over by UConn. Perhaps the bowl planning was a touch premature.

Winnable games, folks.


Four Years

For some reason I vividly recall the butt whup ISU delivered to a$m back in '05. It was on ABC, so an unusually large audience got to witness the unlikely beatdown.

I doubt either Cyclone or Aggie fans could have predicted what the next four seasons would hold.



The quality of the opponent notwithstanding, our Cyclones needed that.

From the radio call it sounds like the game was the perfect mix: The starters got into a solid rhythm and did good things, while the second team got plenty of snaps. Excellent.

With two more challenging but winnable games ahead, perhaps our boys can put a couple more wins on the board before the real meat of the schedule appears.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Winning the Hard Way

Note to the Cornhuskers: Just because Iowa State has won with 15 points from 5 field goals doesn't mean it's a good plan.

Just sayin'.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Report Cards

ESPN gives ISU a D- for last week.

I think that's generous. The good news is that KSU got a D and CU an F.

We'll keep watching the weekly grades.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Keeler thinks 7th in the B12 could get you a trip to New York.

That beats the heck out of Shreveport.


Variable Ticket Pricing

While it works better with a long season like in the NHL, I think there is merit to variable ticket pricing.

If KU is coming to Ames on a Saturday, charge $50. But a Wednesday night visit by CU or a Thursday two days before Christmas game against Tennessee Tech should really start at $1 for the top row and price up as tickets are sold.

This data could also be used to price season tickets for the next year. Average the sale of each type of seat, cut 15%, and there is your price for next season.

It will be hard on the marketing folks as the number will always be moving and dependent on the exact seat and section, but you will quickly learn what each seat is really worth. You will also know you are not leaving money on the table.


Monday, September 14, 2009


ISU opens +6.5. On the road. After losing many roadies in a row. After losing at home by 32 to a middle of the pack 1011 team.

After seeing what Toledo did to CU, I'm not touching that one.


Sunday, September 13, 2009


The next few weeks will show us what kind of crew Paul has assembled.

After an emotional thumping, it can be a fine line between "we have work to do" and "we suck" in the collective mind of a team. The former can lead somewhere good; the latter only bad.

Best case scenario, you are 4-1 headed to Lawrence.

Worst case: you are 1-4 and greasing the skids for 1-10.

Coach 'em up, boys.


Quick Burial

One loss to SUI and Maly starts throwing dirt on Rhodes' grave.

I suspect he gave KF more than two games before calling for his head. Just to jog your memory, KF endured losses of 46, 38, 35, 30, 24, 16, 7, 4 and 2 on the way to going 1-10 his first year. A 7 point loss to ISU was one of the few interesting games all season. But why brings facts into the conversation?

He also drops all the tired "ISU stinks" material he has been sitting on.

But he was always neutral when he was working. Uh huh.



Who would have thought that the Chizik staff actually set the expectations for the 2009 SUI game too high?


Self Esteem

It's probably best that SUI won this year. WHile we Cyclones are resilient folk, and don't tie our self-esteem to the results of a football game.

Yet another loss in Ames would have really made Gobla fan question themselves, and that could have gone in bad directions.

It is nice that they care about their game with us. That was absent from the series for too long.



Our Cyclones need to realize the whole "Beat-SUI-without-scoring-a-TD" is a once in a lifetime strategy, not the game plan for every year.



There is some good news on the horizon- winnable games.

This week's opponenet, Kent State, lost 34-7 at Boston College.
Army lost at home to Duke 35-19.
K-State lost on the road to LA-Lafayette.
Okie State is still good, but mortal.
CU woke up in the second half but still lost big to Toledo. They have a lot of work to do to win their predicted 10 games.

While the loss to SUI impressed nobody, there are opportunities ahead.



After the first weekend, ISU trails in The Contest ISU Should Never Win (aka the Cy-Hawk Series) 3-2. Volleyball won as expected so the weekend wasn't a total wash.

As the team with 'Home Field" has won each of the Series, ISU will now try to win it despite losing in football.

Since they spend half as much on sports as SUI, that will be a tough trick.



Saturday's 35-3 thumping to the Goblas was actually pretty simple: One team looked like it was installing new schemes on both sides of the ball, and the other team looked like it hadn't changed anything in a decade.

One team also looked like it spends twice what the other does.

It would have been nice to keep the game close long enough for SUI to get that case of Tight Helmet they seem to get on the road, but so it goes. Our Cyclones are not going to be a miracle turnaround, but a long term project. We're going to have to keep that in perspective.

I look forward to the day when ISU can deliver a similar payback.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Deep Thought

If SUI loses to the Cyclones and doesn't roll out a lame excuse ("We were using a new flavor of Gatorade, and it threw off our timing on screen plays") did ISU actually win?



Can someone please give the ISU-SUI game a proper name and trophy?

This is the ugliest thing ever:

It's not very creative, but how about The Governor's Cup?

The Corn Cup? The Pork Bowl? World's Largest Kegger? Something!


Deep Thought

ISU seldom beats SUI, but SUI often loses to ISU.



For a guy who blogs about every typo in the DM Register, Maly should pay more attention to mistakes in his blog.

In repeating stories about ISU-SUI from George Wine, he includes several mistakes:

By the mid-1970s, however, political pressure grew and a four-year series of football games was contracted with Iowa State.

That's putting it mildly. When the Legislature is threatening the Regents, you have serious pressure at hand.

The first four games were played at Kinnick Stadium, but when Iowa State built a new stadium in the early ‘80s the series has been home-and-home.

The stadium now known as Jack Trice opened in 1974, three years before the series was renewed. Implying that ISU didn't have decent facilities is nice spin, but wrong again.

Then Ron writes:

We know Donnie Duncan, a former Iowa State coach, placed so much emphasis on the game against Iowa that his teams collapsed at midseason, and we know Ferentz has had trouble winning in Ames.

This is a convenient distortion. I've talked to a few players from the Duncan era, and the annual collapse resulted from a lack of off-season conditioning and bad team chemistry caused by coaches playing favorites- stars didn't have to practice or work out, scrubs did. The results showed up each November. The fact the ISU game was played in September helped cement the falsehood.

Watching UNI come within a point of Iowa sure beats watching the Hawkeyes have their way with the Ball States and Maines of the world.

Translation: We have to play home games against teams we don't care about. Since we didn't show up and still won, it was fun.


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Wednesday Linkfest

A Humorous B12 Powerranking. The good news- we aren't 12th!

Sagarin (I know, heavily weighted towards last year until October) has us #78, one ahead of #79 CU. SUI is #36.

The DM Register has scads of photos you might want to look at. Stick to the ones from before '83 and after '97. Of course, everything is for sale.

KF claims the ISU game is omportant to him. SUI fans continue to question that.

All kinds of Gobla hilarity here. Stanzi wins the Heisman in '10? 6 TDs vs. ISU Saturday?

ISU fans are worryworts in comparison.

That's enough for today.


Tuesday, September 08, 2009


As usual, the Goblas are favored Saturday. This year it is 6.5.

Given past history, you gotta take the underdog. You can probably get that obnoxious guy in your office to give you 10 or 14 points to boot. They can't help it- their team is infallible.


Monday, September 07, 2009


A result like this in the opener is going to make it tough for Hawkins to win his promised 10 games this year.

When you opponent gets the winning score in the first quarter, you've got problems.

Hopefully they will be playing out the string by the time the come to Ames.

Update: It gets worse. Kiszla of the Denver Post ravages Hawkins, both of them.

CU was on the short end in rushing: 168-29

Buff fans roundly booed their team at halftime, down 20-3.

CU was a 10.5 point favorite.

Money quote:
Well, after four lousy quarters, the Buffaloes are already 0-1 and down to 11 chances to meet their coach's expectations, with a rugged schedule including games against West Virginia, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma State and Nebrask



Sunday, September 06, 2009

Dark Side Week

It's best that UNI lost to UNI- had UNI beaten a ranked SUI team in Iowa City, the embarrassment would have caused SUI to cancel the remaining series and to refuse to play UNI for the next 40 years.

As a friend posted, UNI should be ranked #22 16/17th.

Clearly, SUI was looking ahead- to Arizona in two weeks. The first to dates on their schedules were just scrimmages, right?

I'm not sure that I have seen a program whose effort swings more than the Goblas. Drop an undefeated Penn State? Done. Lose 3 of 4 to Northwestern? Done that too. Push Ohio State as far as they can go? Always capable. Lose at home to Indiana? Got that.

Which brings us to this week. Saturday's outcome depends on whether our lowly Cyclones are worthy of a quality effort out of the Goblas. Certainly this would be a good chance for them to make a "statement" now that the national press is dogging them as pretenders. (One ESPN voice said they "slept walked" through the whole game) On the other hand, what kind of statement can they make against Iowa State? If they win by 40, so what?

I expect ISU to get a solid effort out of SUI, but it still won't be what they would deliver to a real program. In their heads, they should always beat ISU, so the effort will never be 100%. Perhaps we'll see 85%.

The mental advantage clearly swings to the home team. Whatever doubt they might have had going in has now evaporated, as they can see on tape that SUI is fallible. The questions are in the black and gold camp. How good are we? We usually struggle in our white jerseys, especially in Ames. Mentally the season has already begun to unravel. ISU only lost to UNI in the years they were terrible- now, a team that is a darkhorse for the Big 1011 title almost got beat. How can that be?

The pressure is all on the SUI sideline, too. Loose this and the fan base goes nuts- every game on the schedule is now in question. The goal becomes another second tier bowl trip, not the National Championship they deserve. That's not the kind of return a $40 Million investment is supposed to bring.

At least Gobla fans care about our game. That's something.


Friday, September 04, 2009


Mark has a nice wrapup of Thursday's win over NDSU.

I especially agree with his list of positives.

Let's be honest- if we are going to have to suffer through 7 or 8 losses, you at least want the offense to score some points for the entertainment value.


Thursday, September 03, 2009


First off, we must celebrate this win, I-AA school or not. It has been way too long, dang it.

Second, I am pleased the offense converted when it got in the Red Zone. That alone would have won 3 more games last year.

Third, the defense needs to improve, but they did some good things when the Bison got in the Red Zone- a forced fumble and a hold for a field goal is nothing to sneeze at after '08.

Key stat- NDSU had 8 drives of 21 yards or less. Nice. The four NDSU drives of 25+: 2 TD, a FG and an INT. You limit teams to 3 scoring chances and you will win some games.

The radio guys were very complimentary about the Bison. Methinks they are better than 6-6 as some from up north are predicting.

Now a few extra days to prep for some team from out east. More on that later.

For now, another drink! Good job, boys!


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Random Thoughts on Season Eve

- The new ISU staff has a lot of leeway against NDSU. Defensive failures can be blamed on blown assignments rather than bad schemes. Offensive mistakes will be chalked up as opening night jitters, not part of the playbook that needs review. Nice luxury to have, if only for one week.

- It wouldn't surprise me is H1N1 plays a role in an ISU game this fall. It would only take a few key players sitting out to change the talent dynamic of a given game. Hopefully it works in ISU's favor- we're due a break like that.

- SUI shouldn't worry about losing their starting RB. They should worry about keeping Stanzi upright and healthy; there is a much bigger drop off at QB. Besides, I suspect their OL is stout enough that it won't matter who carries the ball, they'll get 1000 yeards without much effort.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Aggressive Scheduling

Longtime readers- both of you- know that I'm a long time fan of aggressive scheduling. I would rather go after someone good a be battle hardened than blow out the lesser and not learn anything, assuming you have the horses to do it.

It appears KJ has the same philosophy in wrestling schedules.

Bravo. I hope the boys wrestle each match like they are there to win, not to get high scores from the Hungarian judge who appreciates their technical merit. There are no style points.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dan the Villain?

I guess the 2002 game still leaves a mark.



I've always thought that a sign of a healthy wrestling program is having a few alumni around who are training for Olympic and World-level tournaments to help influence the effort and teaching of the college kids.

Having a couple of Paulsons in the room is a good thing.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009


In business school the talk about something called competitive advantage. It means figuring out what your strengths are vs. your competitor's weaknesses and exploiting both.

Which brings us to the spread offense.

I agree that its a good idea, as the current Cyclone team isn't going to have much success lining up and trying to overpower anyone. Someday, maybe, but not now.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Red Crows?


That's all the better you can do?

At least Goblas took a tiny bit of thought.

A 42-10 prediction? I'm not surprised.


Back Handed Compliments

Rock M Nation has some rather nice compliments in a "for a 2-10 team they weren't that bad" kind of way.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ranking the Games

I think that going down the schedule and assigning a w/l to each one is too much of a crapshoot, so I prefer to rank the games from most likely to be a win to the least.

North Dakota State
at Kent State
at Kansas State (KC)
at Kansas
at a$m
at Mizzou
at Nebraska
Okie State

I put my over/under at 4.

It seemed the biggest problem with the previous staff was game planning 'the perfect scheme' instead of the scheme your players could pull off. I've had more than one commentator use the a$m game as an example of that issue. Since the Rhodes staff seems to understand what it means to coach the underdog, we should be at least 2 games better than '08 based on that alone.

A few random thoughts about each game.

I expect NDSU to be close and sometimes heartburn-inducing. The Bison will score on at least one of the following: Pick 6 INT, totally blown pass coverage on an otherwise ordinary play, or a breakdown in special teams leading to a punt or KO return for 6. Anytime you switch to a new system there are bound to be breakdowns.

Army has moved a 6'10" lineman to tight end. Watching the chess match of that matchup will be worth the ticket. We will all remember how effective the triple option can be when run properly (i.e. Nebraska in the 90's), and what a failure it was under Walden.

If the program has improved at all the fact that this is a roadie shouldn't matter. It did matter on the last road trip to a MAC school, a choke job at Toledo.

We've matched up well against the Buffs the last two years and last two in Ames, so why not?

The effort against Baylor cannot be as bad as last year.

Too many unknowns about either ISU or KSU to have much confidence in predicting a win. Playing at Arrowhead lowers our odds.

As usual, ISU will not win this game- the question will be if Iowa loses it. The Best Program To Never Win A National Championship* has a funny knack of getting a case of tight helmet when they leave Johnson County.

KU will play the whole game this year.

a$m has way too much raw talent to lose this one at home. I think.

The most talented Mizzou team ever lost 4 games last year, and lost a bunch of talent. Exactly how much is TBA.

You don't lose 14 in a row in Lincoln by accident. ISU's chance to break that streak may have closed.

OSU could be the #3 team in the B12 South and #5 in the NCAA. Scary good.


*According to Iowa fan.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Root For and Against

To riff on this topic, the CFB teams I root for other than ISU:

Va Tech. I've been impressed with how Beamer built a program from nothing with a hard-nosed, lunch pail philosophy. Still too many programs downplay the difference good special teams can make. Serious academic school.

Washington State. Perennial underdog in-state and in-conference.

Arizona State. Great mascot and colors. Warm weather. Another little brother.

Okie State (seeing a trend?) will always play in a Sooner Shadow.

Wisconsin. Love the crowd enthusiasm and The Fifth Quarter. Takes their Marching Band seriously.


Texas- like the Yankees I get a laugh every time The Team With The Most Talent fails.

Notre Dame- I get a laugh every time the school with it's own TV network fails, which is often lately.

Florida State- can't stand the tomahawk chop song. Ugh.

Oregon- for crimes against football fashion.

Kansas- In my universe, a school can be good in either hoops or football, not both. Choose.


Thursday, August 06, 2009

Random Bits

Summary from CR Gazette. Money quote: "This is an underdog offense."

Also from the Gazette: notes about the depth chart.

ESPN compares ISU to a$m for being worse off after firing long-time coaches.

ISU might be an upset victim at Kent State.

Strong points from ESPN.

The Jack is not very popular.

The fate of SUI's season may be sealed in September.

A nice look at the B12 North.

That's enough for tonight.


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

This Explains A Lot

Anyone who wonders why ISU struggles in sports only has to look at this list.

Revenue equals winning, which equals revenue. It's that simple.


Big Surprise

For the third year in a row, ISU has been picked to finish last in the North.

Only one way to change perceptions like that: Win some games.


Something New

ISU Volleyball begins the season ranked #11.

Mentally, I'm not used to the thought of good volleyball. But like the idea of good WBB, I'll get used to it.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Big Surprise

ESPN thinks the visit by the Goblas will be tough for ISU to win.

Everybody thought the same two years ago. And four years ago.

It's not our fault that Kirk's boys get a case of Tight Helmet when they go on the road.


Low Bar

If we manage to win in College Station, maybe we get Sherm fired.

I suspect hanging a loss on any B12 opponent will give the other fan base heartburn this year. That's part of the fun of being the perennial underdog.


Sunday, July 19, 2009


Why must teams try to mimic the fashion style of the 70's Pirates?

The fashion trend in football is to have enough combinations of helmets, pants and jerseys to only wear the same combo once or twice a season has struck Baylor.

While pretty tame, long time readers know that I hate schools that have two colors in their usual combo (say, cardinal and gold) who use a bunch of white instead (CU, we're looking at you.) Too bad Baylor is drifting in the same direction.

The all gold number- helmet, jersey, pants- now that's fugly.

I hope our Cyclones can stick with what they have- it's the best uniform they've had in years, if ever.

Hat tip: Wizard of Odds.


Saturday, July 18, 2009


SUI fans are so confident they will beat ISU this year they returned 1200 tickets from their allotment to the game.

Now that's confidence in the outcome.

Those 1200 tickets are being used as the anchor for a 3 game mini- pack.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Brother, Do You Need A Wrestling Writer?

The Des Moines Register has laid off Dan McCool. Idiots.

For most sports writers the wrestling beat would be the equivalent to the sports page dog house. Dan really liked covering wrestling, and now can probably do so full-time as a freelancer.

It's reassuring that doing top-shelf work means little when the "variable costs" need trimming.


Sunday, June 28, 2009


As a fan of college football, this situation really misses the point.

Just come right out and say it: we want a pro atmosphere, not a college one.

The point about Thomas is spot on, too. Nice call, Mike.



CC has a nice writeup of Brackin's trip to the World University Games, and I think one part of this trip can't be overlooked.

The team is coached by Bo Ryan, whose style of play Craig should be somewhat familiar with. Hopefully he picks up some skills that will improve his game this winter.

Go Craig!


Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Bill must have some confidence there isn't a talent drop off if he's scheduling the likes of Duke. (cue applause)


update: So it appears it's the laddies who get Duke, not the ladies.

Good thing there are some other winnable games in that trip.


Monday, June 15, 2009


JP got an extension- and the local press is hoping for controversy.

It was a 2 year extension, enough time to see if Rhodes can get things going.

nothing to see here, folks. Move along.


Rhodes Keeps Saying The Right Things

Coach Rhodes just can't stop saying good stuff.

The focus on every high school in Iowa can't be understated. That's where the core of the program has been and always will be.

My favorite quote:

"In recruiting it's not the players that you don't get that hurt you. I can lose five guys to Nebraska and it doesn't matter as long as I get five guys that are as good or can replace those guys," he said. "It's those five guys that I beat Missouri or Kansas on who can't play that destroy a program."

Find guys who can play. Period.


Saturday, June 13, 2009


In light of what has gone down at 'Bama, why would a school not cheat?

Oh, wait. That's from the "It's-OK-If-You-Are-A-Traditional-Power" page of the NCAA manual.

A school like ISU pulls something like that, and they lose 10 schollies or similar.

hat tip- Wiz of Odds


Courage In Scheduling

Bravo to KU for adding some meat in 2010.

The Fighting Manginos must think they can sustain this winning thing.

Here's hoping more schools follow suit.


Floyd Days

Ron Maly actually has some nice things to say about ISU's past, and has a few interesting bits from that time period.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cost Of Entry

So- the cost of steering a 4 Star stud to your team is only $1000?

By not printing press guides we should be able to 'recruit' about 12 studs.

Get busy, folks!


Saturday, June 06, 2009

Chizik Cheating?

I'm glad Gene "Super Genius" didn't pull anything like this on his stopover in Ames.


Steal This Idea

I've got to like this kind of outside the box thinking.

Now, if one is willing to go on the road for a big payday, why not play somebody you don't normally see?

Regardless, I wonder if Texas or OU would bite at writing a big check to ISU for an extra home game some year they don't appear on the schedule?


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hoops Coaches Rankings

Can't argue with this, except I would have mentioned the talent that has transferred out.

Getting kids to come hasn't been the problem.



Players first.

People often fall in love with the raw data of a player- 40 time, bench press, arm strength of QB's- and they discount whether the kid can play football and make plays.

Sage Rosenfels's raw data was so bad that his only DI schollie was from ISU, who took the time to look at the tape and see a kid who managed the game well. Funny, he did the same thing in Ames and the NFL. Amazing.

VA Tech made the jump to the Top 10 with blue collar, lunchpail players who weren't good enough for other schools, yet excelled for the Hokies because they could play the game.

That's a good model to follow.


The Homecoming Metric

We will know ISU football has escaped doormat status when schools stop scheduling our Cyclones for Homecoming.

KU has ISU for HC this fall.

We'll see if Nebraska and a$m choose the Cyclones, too.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Money Troubles In Manhattan

I didn't realize how expensive athletics at K State had become.

Jamie looks like a miser in comparison. Given the return on KSU's "investment", I'll take the miser.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009


A college football playoff that would work, which ensures the Presidents will never agree to it.

Hat Tip: Wiz of Odds


Big 12 Network?

It's being discussed.

While anything would be better than the B12's current TV deal, is the TV universe ready for the ISU-Nebraska-Mizzou track triangular?

It's all about the Benjamins. The Big Ten Network reports stunning income for a network with hardly any ads outside of football braodcasts. Even MBB broadcasts were half promos for the league, the network and the schools.

Hat Tip: Wiz of Odds



Hlas sees sunshine in the ISU men's program. That would be a nice change.

Chuck sees Lucca as helping Brackins, but not as much as Brackins helps Lucca. I concur.

Barring horrendous injuries, they've got to be better. Perhaps even good enough to beat the Goblas.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Another Paul Profile

The more I read things like this, the more I think we got the right guy for the moment.


We're #112!

I suppose this ranking is no surprise, but it still hurts to be ranked 38 slots lower than this time last year.

The good news is that it won't take many wins to climb back up 40 or 50 spots to being merely lousy.

I appreciate the effort taken in the profile, as it would be easy to write a couple of token paragraphs and move on, but the Times gives us a fair shake. The only obvious errors I found was in the caption of the photo at the top: that game at Kansas was in '07, not Ames in '08. Darn interns.

I did enjoy the digs at Chizik for both their accuracy and pointedness.


The Return of Lucca

I have to agree with Keeler that another season is probably the best plan for Lucca, just as another season in Ames is probably the best plan for Craig.

Their abilities aside, just having essentially the same team roll out in October that finished up in March will be a huge step forward, and will hopefully will pay dividends. Experience matters.



The news of the passing of Wayman Tisdale is sad because Wayman was not only young- 44- but a genuinely decent man.

I met Tisdale while working on a video project for a jazz music website, back when web video was very cutting edge. Wayman was at the end of his NBA career and was ramping up his music career full-time. We did an interview in his modest but top-shelf home recording studio in his nice but not over-the-top home in the Phoenix suburbs.

I haven't seen the tape since '96, but I recall him being humble, gracious, friendly, and saying repeatedly that he was just having fun, whether on the basketball court or in the recording studio. He let us invade his home for far too long, and played along with whatever we asked. He didn't have to- and that was the point.

Follow the link above- it is a nice summary of his career.

So it goes.


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Gene: Chicken

He allegedly wouldn't start his Auburn career against UCLA in Atlanta.

At least he talks a good game.



Recruiting rankings are poor indicators of NFL potential.

hat tip: Wiz of Odds


Schedule Embarrassment

The Wiz of Odds brings up some embarrassing scheduling stats.

If anyone should be given a pass its our Cyclones. We gotta walk against North Dakota State before we can run with the likes Ohio State.

But UT and a$m gotta schedule BCS teams. At least ISU plays SUI every year.



I hope the bowl trip was worth it.

I wonder which sport BSU will cut to finance their football "success"?

hat tip: Wiz of Odds


Half Full

I would take this.

A break or two and a healthy OL and a bowl isn't ridiculous.


Chuck on KJ

It's nice to read the thoughts of someone who has been around more than 5 minutes.

That sounds like is was quite the scene. I haven't been able to find it online.



The school of coaching hires says you alternate personalities with each new coach, and ISU has with the hiring of Kevin Jackson. KJ is the outgoing rah-rah type that Cael wasn't, and for a team that has the resume to win a NC next year, it may be what is needed to push ISU over the top.

In one of the articles I read there was a small crack into criticisms of the Cael regime. One of KJ's points of emphasis would be to introduce himself to every wrestling program int he state of Iowa. Translation: The impression among state coaches was that Cael favored out-of-state over in-state, and KJ should try to change that.

Gene had open disdain for local talent, assuming there were only one or two DI players per year, so why bother. We saw how that worked out.

Hopefully KJ can build enough relationships to slow the flow of wrestling talent to IC.

Jackson is also taking the right tone with the press. It would have been easy to throw down the gauntlet on day one, but he knows that the Brands boys don't need any firing up. They are overcranked as it is.


Lucca Going?

The opinion in Germany is no.

Like Brackins, I hope he stays, but I don't blame him for leaving. I understand finding oneself ina situation that's different than what was sold to you.


He Cares So Little He Devoted An Entire Blog To It

For a guy who doesn't care about Lucca Steiger, he sure devotes a lot of electrons to him.

The "Brackins will take all of the shots" dig was a nice backhand job- it will be agony watching a first team B12 player score 25+ a night. How will we bear it?

That was right up there with Hayden Fry's dig on an ISU QB back in the 80's: "He's a great player. We thought so much of him coming out of HS we asked him to walk-on."

Pardon, Ron, your bias is showing.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Brackins Review

Hlas finds some nice NBA quotes about Craig.


Nutty Attendance

I guess I'm not a true fan as I've never attended a Sprig Game. Since I don't memorize the three deeps or look at grainy youTube video of offensive guards who are sophomores at Waving Grain High in west somewhere, I just don't get the value of a scrimmage other than it's kinda like football that counts.

Anyway, Hlas has a nice roundup of various Spring Football bits, including the attendance at various schools.

The snarky would note that more folks showed up for Auburn's spring scrimmage than often show up for games that count in Ames, but it's also fair to assume that a 5-19 start will be greeting by something other than the slight grumblings Gene might have heard in Ames, too. So it goes in the bigtime.

BTW- Hat tip to any DI school willing to schedule quality noncon opponents. If ISU had a revenue stream other than football I would be the first to applaud taking an "Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime" attitude to road games. Play a power on the road every year, and once you start beating a few you will know you have arrived as a program. That's how Bowden did it at FSU.


Monday, April 27, 2009


Tickets to the bi-annual Gobla choke job will only be $60, $5 less than last year.

While down from the $90 ISU charged for the stunning TD-Free win over the 20 point favorite Goblas in 2007, it will still be a steep price to pay for the black and gold crowd. Charging visiting fans more that $25 to watch their 27-point-favorites lose to a glorified community college is just rubbing it in.

It's hardly our fault that Kirk's boys get a case of tight helmet at Trice. It's not like ISU has ever beaten SUI- the Goblas just find a way to lose.



Ron "I'm Not An Iowa Fan" Maly takes a few more swipes at ISU at the end of a surprisingly interesting wrestling post.

10 arrests for drunk and disorderly in Ames means it's VEISHEA. 10 arrests for D&D in Iowa City means it's Thursday. Pot, meet kettle.

Plus, the police called Walden, not Majors, in '88.

Pretty sloppy for a guy who posts about every grammatical error in the daily paper.


Berkley, Again

It's another trip to Berkley for our Clones, this time the men.

I assume they will use the same travel arrangements, right down to the same room service orders, that BF's crew used so successfully a month ago.

Cal comes to Ames in 2010, making this a home-and-home.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Sage Bio

A nice background piece on Sage.

Not bad for a kid with only one DI scholarship offer. Legend has it he wasn't on ISU's radar until a season ticket holder called up Dan and pitched him. Nice work out of that guy.



Hlas explores the blooming Sanderson-Brands rivalry.

I fully expect Brands to try to crush Cael's boys just as he did each year against ISU. His team seemed ready to go in December, where Cael and crew started slow and came on as the season progressed.

I hope he does well, and I think he will. In three years he pushed ISU up a couple of notches.

An interesting nugget: 12 2009 All-Americans were PA natives. 2 were IA natives. That's how deep the HS talent is. Lock up the borders and things will get interesting.



The Fauxhawk is gone, but the rest of Craig Brackins is staying.

The odds of Greg's group being worth watching next winter just went way, way up.

It sounds like conversations with Mike Taylor opened Craig's eyes to what life in the NBA is like. If he improves as much as he did from Freshman to Sophmore again this summer, watch out. Any scoring help from the other 11 and things could get interesting.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Ever wonder why Cyclone Nation is sometimes a bitter, when-will-the-other-shoe-drop crowd?

This should answer some questions.

Its a wonder we haven't all gone shower rod. That's a lifetime of disappointment in a single decade. I hope a review of the next decade will be better.

The next time Iowa fan whines about their tough lot in life, slap then with this URL.

Also- the idea of using local radio talent that people like and are decent human beings has taken far too long to take hold.


Saturday, April 18, 2009


I knew Cael was making a fair dollar more than Douglas, but I didn't realize he was the highest paid wrestling coach in the nation.

And he just got a big raise. Wow.

The biggest thing I learned following Cael around in '01 and '02 was that the wrestling community is really small. Everyone knows everyone, and all are connected somehow.

ISU is still viewed as a good job, if not a great one. JP won't have to reach out much- others will reach out to him.


Best Case

A run like this would make Cyclone Nation happy, and put JP on better footing.

At the end of the day, football drives the bus. Losing football make for tough going.



Sean Keeler had an odd exchange with Jim Gibbons.




Why is Penn State upgrading their wrestling program at a time that most schools are spinning theirs down?

Why would PSU make a run at a top 5 coach without thinking they had a chance at getting him?

Why would Cael view a program with no history as a better candidate for a NC than one that has finished in the top 5 the last three years?

Was Cael frustrated that three Big 5 titles earned a collective shrug?

Was the weight of being The Next Gable too heavy a crown to wear?

Would wouldn't turn down a 50% pay raise?

How many more changes before JP fixes his HR issues?

JP's got some 'splainin to do. If Rhodes can't turn the corner.....


Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Gone: An offensive system that didn't fit the talent.

In: Schemes that fit the talent you have, not the talent you wish you had.

Gone: Hoping the offense would learn the plays as the season went along.

In: Learning one play at a time, left and right, and not moving on until you know it.

Gone: Complex read blocks.

In: Zone blocking; Step out and hit somebody.

Gone: Gene (Super Genius) Chizik and his HOF 5-win career.

In: Someone who wants to prove himself.

I like the changes so far.


Saturday, April 11, 2009


Clearly every other business using the word "Hawkeye" or a black and gold color scheme in IC needs has been put on notice.

I assume Hawkeye Family Dental is next on the cease-and-desist list.


Saturday, April 04, 2009

We're #2!

ISU is ranked #2, but I'd thought we'd be #1 for no being located in the state of Texas.

Nice yellow helmet/uni change dig, BTW.

A sober analysis of NU, too.


Thursday, April 02, 2009

Gone Fishin'

Looks like whatever fishing Tim finds in LA is better than trying to fish in the dessert.

I just assume coaches have clauses that they can't jump to another league school. Apparently not.

(Shhhh- USC might be the better gig. Nobody notices when you lose, unless you are G. Raveling.)


Final WBB Thoughts

I noticed last fall that BF had rolled out a pretty aggressive schedule (at Stanford, Vandy at home), and took it as a sign that he thought his ladies might have some game in them, and they should be tested.

Looks like he was right.

I now very curious what next season's schedule will look like.

Nice run. Nobody, and I mean nobody, does more with less than Bill.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tempered Enthusiasm

While I love what the Twister sisters have pulled off, their toughest test is next: Stanford.

The Cardinal beat ISU by 38 in December, and just beat Ohio State, the 1011 champ, by 18. They're good in a how-were-they-not-a-#1-seed kind of way. They haven't lost a game in 9 weeks- but it came on the court in Berkley, so there is good karma for us there.

If ISU earns its first trip to the Final Four, nobody can say it is a fluke.