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