Monday, September 12, 2011

CyHawk 2011-Simply The Best


It took a few days for all of the WHO sports team to recover from an epic Iowa vs. Iowa State game and RVTV.  Lot of work, but a great week with great people at the stops, and the capper on Saturday was beyond anyone's expectations.

I've heard it called the best game in the CyHawk series and there aren't many people arguing that.  Sure, the 2002 game might have featured better players, and maybe it's a little more special to ISU fans in that it happened at Kinnick.

For my own two cents, it's the best college football game I've ever been at in person.  Save a bit of a sloppy start with fumbles, both teams played at a high level.  I'm always going to marvel at so many unbelievable plays that were made on both sides (though mostly by one Steele Jantz).

Speaking of Jantz, I'll take my medicine here.  Granted I wasn't around when Seneca was doing his thing, but I've never been a great fan of bringing in JUCO quarterbacks.  Seems like for every great one there are two who just disappear or are never a factor.  ISU got themselves a special one.  In two games Jantz has made more pressure plays (especially on 4th down) than most quarterbacks will make in an entire season.

I'm neutral in this fight (the only way I'd ever openly root against any Iowa school is if they played my alma mater), but I got to admit that I feel great for Paul Rhoads and the Iowa State community.  It's been a rough couple of years and offseason (especially with the Big 12's fractures) and there are still many tough battles ahead in Big 12 play.  The passion Rhoads has for this program is infectious and he has really changed the culture in Ames.  On my twitter page I (somewhat) jokingly said Iowa State should start working on a lifetime contract extension for Rhoads.  If he wins 6-8 games with this schedule that might be warranted.

And the game itself gave the series a shot in the arm at a time when some Hawkeye fans (wrongly so in my opinion) were using the last couple of CyHawk blowouts, along with ISU's conference uncertainty and scheduling issues, to question whether they should continue playing the series.  Any question now?

All that said, the UCONN game Friday may end up being bigger than the Iowa game.  The Hawkeye win should be a springboard, not the highlight of the season.  The Cyclones can't afford to go out and lay an egg.  A 3-0 start with the tough non-conference gets them halfway to bowl eligibility.  Texas comes to town and the Longhorns have been a mess of late.  With a bye week to prepare, 4-0 looks like a realistic possibility.

They mentioned it in postgame, and the Hawkeyes have not been a good tackling team.  Tennessee Tech's little QB gave them fits all game.  Jantz killed them because he could actually pass too.  Looked a lot like last year with Persa and Pryor, and it's clear this D-Line doesn't have the kind of NFL talent we've been used the last few years right now.

I don't agree with any Hawk fan who says Iowa gave it away.  For all their flaws at times, Jantz made play after play every time he was called upon.

The only thing that leaves me puzzled is the final drive in regulation.  1:17 left and two timeouts and they play for overtime.  I keep hearing over and over again that it's "Kirk Ferentz Football".  I get it, and normally I can see the logic in playing for overtime with a first time starter at QB on the road.  But the problem is that James Vandenberg has been nearly flawless.  I can't really remember many bad throws or balls that nearly were picked.  Plus Mike Meyer had been automatic all game, hitting from as far out as 50 yards.  Throw a couple of safe outs or slants, get in that 45-55 yard field goal range, and take a shot.


Evil Adam said...

I think there are two reasons for it, one is obvious, if there's a mistake and ISU somehow wins in regulation Ferentz is called a fool for having gone for it. The second is the Hawks offense really isn't designed to chew up large amounts of yardage fast, McNutt had been shut down all game, and Vandenberg, while good in that game, hasn't shown he's a great clutch quarterback yet.

Dave said...

The Iowa defense showed again it can't handle a option type QB, i.e. Pryor and Persa. The Iowa offense can chew up yards in a hurry but Vandenberg showed he couldn't handle a mediocre pass rush when it counted so he failed. McNutt wasn't shut down...I believe the Iowa game plan had very little McNutt in it, he was nothing more than a decoy...another Ken O'Keefe offensive strategy gone wrong.

People are calling this a classic simply because ISU won, if Iowa pulls it out everybody just says it ended the way we thought. As a Hawk fan I am embarrassed by the complete lack of executed by every player on most downs. ISU showed that this game is their Super Bowl again by winning it, if they win 2 more games this year I will be surprised. If Iowa plays this way all year, I give them that same amount of wins.

Anonymous said...

I was not one bit surprised that Iowa did not go for the win at the end of regulation. They had the chance to do the same in the Ohio State game two years ago and did not. It has been this way for 12+ years. I fully admit that the Ferentz era has been spectacular but where could it be if they took a risk from time to time??

Evil Adam said...

The box score and both sets of announcers disagree with your assessment on McNutt, he was well covered the entire day and when they did throw it to him he was immediately dropped, he was also Iowa's second leading receiver.

The game is a classic because it was a really good game with a great deal of back and forth and gutsy performances on both side. If Iowa had won it still would have been a really good game. It was the first OT game in the history of the series (going back now 109 years) the highest total score ever, and the highest attendance at ISU for an Iowa/Iowa State game (Iowa's stadium is larger so not close to all time).

Also why do Hawkeye Fans have such a horrible attitude about Iowa State, even the fans I've seen that have admitted they were outplayed always add "Yeah, but you'll be in *insert conference that no one cares about here* next year," or "it just proves that Cyclones spend all their effort to beating Iowa cause it's their bowl game."

The Cyclones cannot possibly put that much effort towards it as it's the 2nd or 3rd game of the year, but every year win or lose Cyclone fans have to hear disparaging remarks from Hawkeye fans who seem to have the same collective attitude as a school yard bully. There was even the guy on SoundOff last night who said "The only school in the State of Iowa that could ever win a national championship is wearing Black and Gold." Yeah until Hayden Fry came to the U of I the Hawks were a complete and utter joke. Perhaps they ought to remember that before they make such silly statements.

Zach Borg said...

The Super Bowl line is ridiculous. Did they forget it was their super bowl when they lost the last three years by a combined score of 87-15? The Hawks will, almost always, have a better chance to go to the BCS and be in a conference title. If you want the kind of team and program that can win BCS bowls and conference titles, you'd better not have a team that doesn't treat every game like it's a super bowl, otherwise you'll end up with plenty of losses, and not just to Iowa State (See Western Michigan and Minnesota).

It would have been a classic if Iowa had won. What most probably expected was a comfortable Hawkeye win, not a 3OT game. Had Iowa found a way to win (which they nearly did) with an opposing quarterback playing out of his mind it wouldn't have been another ho-hum CyHawk game.

Damaged Rooster said...

You somewhat jokingly said Rhoads should get a lifetime contract??? Really??? Cause I've been arguing that point with you for 2 days, and you have yet to intimate you were "joking" till now.
I've never argued that Rhoads isn't doing a good job. My point was that it's only been 2+ years with 14 wins and an Insight Bowl win. You have kept insisting he should get a lifetime contract because he has done more with less and has beaten Nebraska, Texas, and Iowa.
Seriously, if you're somewhat "joking", say that upfront, and/or admit you got a little crazy with your opinion after you calmed down after a great game. There is no shame in saying you may have overstated something, but continually insisting on an ignorant opinion is embarrassing, especially for someone in the sports genre.

Zach Borg said...

I don't know what you're trying to get at here. I said after the game START working on a contract extension, not hand it to him right now. There is still a long way to go, but read between the lines of what I was getting at (you mentioned it in saying he'd probably get a huge payday from someone else)-main point is back up whatever money truck you have to his door and give him whatever you can. 14 wins and an Insight Bowl win in 2 plus years probably isn't that impressive in most other situations. Not at ISU. A coach who went on to win a national championship (and oh by the way only won 5 games in Ames in 2 years) couldn't figure things out there and left it in tatters, and in a little over two years he's not only rebuilt it, but picked up signature wins in places (Texas, NU) where the program struggled even in good years under Dan McCarney. It's becoming clear his name his starting to rise and I expect we'll hear his name pop up more and more in coaching searches. I hope he stays at ISU a long time and there might be a better chance with him than others considering his roots in nearby Nevada.

If you want more in depth analysis ask twitter to go to more than 140 characters. If this team with this schedule goes on to 6-8 wins this year, what more does he have to do? Win the Big 12?

Damaged Rooster said...

Zach!!!!! You are the one that brought up LIFETIME CONTRACT!!! I'm not denying that he's doing a good, or even great, job, I'm just saying that bringing up lifetime contract is ridiculous.
BTW, this was your comment on twitter;

"Thoughts on Iowa State-start workin on Paul Rhoads contract extension. I'm thinking lifetime deal."

Sorry if I didn't "read between the lines", or not know that saying "lifetime deal" was a "joke".

Zach Borg said...

How hard is it to realize I wasn't being that serious about a lifetime contract? I mean, HAS anyone ever actually gotten one? I don't think Paterno has one. If nobodies ever gotten one (at least in the modern era), do you think I'm being dead serious about it? Though I'm sure there might be a few Cyclone fans ready to do it.

Damaged Rooster said...

Well Zach, if you allegedly say something "jokingly", don't spend two days defending what you said before you finally admit you were joking.
I get sarcasm, in fact I love sarcasm and all, but it doesn't always read so well on the world wide interwebs.
I accept your apology, and look forward to further dialogue.

Zach Borg said...

I'm sorry you take every tweet so literally. I suggest avoiding any tweets from anyone named Fake Dan Beebe too.

Duh Moines Register said...

Zach, you should probably not take fake scores from Des Moines Register and have Keith Murphy report them on air.

Billy Ray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I think that you might want to review more tapes before you say Ferentz has no emotion. There are plenty of times you'll see Ferentz on the sideline showing plenty- and plenty of post game news reels where he's wearing his heart on his sleeve. Please be accurate before you make such sweeping comments. Different coaches, different styles- both with great feeling for their teams.

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