Friday, September 21, 2007

I would have written sooner, but opening, not answering, opening the e-mail after an Iowa-Iowa State football game is a full-time job. Let me summarize:

-ISU fan: It's a Cyclone State! Deal with it you overrated choke-eyes. That's 7 of 10. Who's the little brother now?!

-Iowa fan: Same story. ISU was up for its Super Bowl, and Iowa didn't really care. The better team didn't win, just the one that wanted it more. The Cyclowns season is complete, while Iowa will now win games that actually matter.

It's just plain obnoxious. Here's what's real:

-ISU does have more to gain by winning, and the past ten years, the Cyclones have played with more emotion.
-If Iowa doesn't care, and it's ISU's Super Bowl, how did the Hawks win 15 in a row?
-No matter what happens from here, nothing changes the scoreboard. Yes, Iowa had the better team and season in 2002, but no matter how much some Iowa fans tried, nothing changed that one loss to ISU. Scoreboard trumps all in this one argument.

Several fans forwarded the following column from Paul Clark at

I am putting this post here so anyone and everyone can read it. This will crush one fallacy that is prevalent with Iowa fans and - more importantly - misinformed media people, regarding the Iowa State vs. Iowa game and in particular, the wins that ISU has posted in the last decade or so.

The fallacy is that ISU somehow musters a David-like performance to slay Iowa as Goliath. And it is, pure fiction and fantasy. Let me show you.

1998 - Iowa was indeed a huge favorite coming into the game. But Iowa wasn't very good, it was just that nobody realized it yet. Both teams went 3-8 and ISU won the head-to-head game. Superhuman effort? No, just one 3-8 team beating another.

1999 - Iowa went 1-10 and was a bad 1-10. Iowa State went 4-7 and was a good 4-7. This one is easy, the much better team won. Superhuman effort? No.

2000 - Iowa went 3-8 and Iowa State went 9-3. This one is beyond easy. The much, much, much better team won. Superhuman effort ? No.

2001 - Played at the end of the year, the teams came in with identical 6-4 records. Neither had done anything throughout the year to distinguish itself from the other. It was a ridiculously even match-up that ISU won by three at home. Three points, as in the standard home field advantage. Superhuman effort? No, just one 6-4 team beating another.

2002 - Based on entire seasons, yes, Iowa was the better team. At the time of the game, it wasn't so clear. ISU went 6-1 and reached #9 in the country before tanking. Iowa State was better against Fla. State, Nebraska and Texas Tech than it was against Iowa. Superhuman effort? It really wasn't, but I will concede this one only based on final records of 7-7 vs. 10-2.

2005 - Iowa was rated no. 8 and a big favorite, but it shouldn't have been. As the seasons played out, Iowa State went 7-4 and Iowa went 7-4. So the teams were pretty even and ISU won at home, with a final margin bloated by being +4 on turnovers. Super human effort? No, just one 7-4 team beating another.

2007 - See 1998 and 2005. We thought we knew how good these teams were based on two weeks. Could be right, could be wrong, we'll see how the respective seasons unfold.

The factual reality is: only Iowa State's win in 2002 can be considered to fit the mold of an ISU team beating an Iowa team it shouldn't beat. And in context, even that one has asterisk qualities to it. In 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2005, Iowa State was AS GOOD AS or BETTER THAN Iowa. Period and no one can make an intelligent argument against that statement.

Interesting. Do you agree? The bottom line on the ISU upsets for me is that most of those years (not 2002) Iowa came in overrated.

Another e-mail I've received from a few dozen people is this one:

Hawkeyes Announce 2008 Schedule
September 17, 2007
Iowa City, Iowa

The University of Iowa Athletic Department has released the 2008 football schedule, and it was a surprise to see Iowa will only play 3 teams next year.

Aug 30 - Bye
Sept 6 - Bye
Sept 13 - Bye
Sept 20 - Bye
Sept 27 - Bye
Oct 4 - @ Ohio State
Oct 11 - Bye
Oct 18 - Bye
Oct 25 - @ Michigan
Nov 1 - Bye
Nov 8 - Penn State
Nov 15 - Bye
Nov 22 - Bye

Gary Barta announced the change after the Hawkeyes lost, again, to in-state rivals, the Iowa State Cyclones. Barta, "Our great fans demanded that the Cyclones be removed from future schedules because the Hawkeyes had nothing to gain in national prominence by playing [the Cyclones]."

Barta went on to explain that after looking over the schedule there really weren't many teams that did give the Hawkeyes a chance to gain respect nationally. Iowa will only continue to play Penn State, Ohio State, and Michigan.

After being questioned about past losses to struggling Big 10 programs such as Indiana, Northwestern, and Minnesota, Barta explained that [the Hawkeyes] couldn't win those games because [Iowa] is every teams' "Super Bowl" and that those games don't mean as much to Iowa.

In related news.....Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State look to end their series with Iowa as those schools have nothing to gain and everything to lose in national respect by playing the Hawkeyes.

Now that's funny. It should be noted the Hawkeye players and coaches, unlike many fans, did give the Cyclones credit for winning and did not make excuses, other than poor execution on Iowa's part.

I love the rivalry, and it's fun to not have a dog in the fight. Our second night in the RV, the sweetest lady you can imagine, and her daughter, brought us this huge gift basket full of goodies; everything from aspirin to blankets to beer. As she left, this Cyclone fan handed me a deck of Hawkeye cards and said, "I got these for you because I know you're a Hawk fan."

Last night at our channel 13 client party at the Science Center (which was fun, by the way), I had two Hawk fans corner me and just grill me about being a "Cyclone".

Basically, passion runs so high in this state, if you're not obviously for one side, you must be for the other.

Back soon with something other than this game. I'm sure you're tired of it too.


Anonymous said...

Well, ISU lost to a SOLID Toledo team this past weekend as you know. If this doesn't tell you about the importance of the Iowa/ISU game to ISU and Chizik as a coach, I don't know what does. Yeah, good one Bryan, it's not more significant to ISU, yeah, what are you going to say now?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, still not enough testicular fortitude to sign your posts with your name?

I was there at the game and the team was just as intense for the Toledo game as the Iowa game. They had the game won and special teams mistakes bit. It happens. Big deal. Smart fans knew this would be a rebuilding year, and even though they really should be winning games like these, it isn't the end of the world when they don't. The program is being built for the future, it isn't going to happen over one season's time.

Iowa State doesn't need to get up for the Iowa game any more than any other game. Iowa just isn't any good. They're going to be exposed this year again, Hawk Fan.


Anonymous said...


I have signed my name on here, but since you are a Cyclone fan, you must not have the mental capacity to remember that, so I'll sign it at the bottom of this.

Take out ISU's top three offensive players in the first quarter of any game and see how they do. I was impressed with Iowa they way they played against #9 Wisconsin without three of their best offensive players.

Anwyays, what's Toledo rated? Oh yeah, ISU had a good game though.

Your mom says hi too!


Anonymous said...

Yeah Gary, I mean, only a couple dozen other people post anonymously on here. I should have recognized your typing patterns, I guess.

Wisconsin is overrated, but congrats to Iowa for the L on their schedule. They played well, but it still counts the same at the end of the season.

Face it, its going to be a long season for pretty much all fans in the state (aside from UNI, most likely).

Hi mom!