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.