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.


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