Wednesday, November 30, 2011

ISU MIA, MC22 strikes again, Ugly Babies

(By Chris Hassel)

Well, it's pretty clear the Cyclones won't be challenging for an NCAA Tournament berth, this season. Iowa State is now 0-2 against the MVC, after losing to UNI, 69-62. It's clear that the Cyclones have much more talent, than the Panthers, but they just don't have the right plan. Half of the time Royce White is bringing the ball up the floor. The other half of the time, he's posting up inside (which is where he should be). UNI didn't have a player to stop White on the post...not many teams do. It's clear, at this point, that Ben Jacobson is a better basketball coach than Fred Hoiberg. He proved it last season, and he proved it again, tonight. 

When is MC22 going to step up to the big leagues and upgrade its cameras and signal? I'm not asking for HD, just a clear picture. Please! It's just brutal watching these games.The only moment during the game when the picture was clear, was when the screen went black for 90 seconds.

MC22: Please get new equipment
I watched the first half of the game at home, on my dinner break. My wife walked in and asked me, "What decade is this game from?" She honestly thought it was some classic game from the early 90's. 

That being said, I guess it's better than what the Big Ten is doing. The majority of Iowa basketball games have been on BTN.com (and you need a subscription to watch). As a kid, growing up in the late 80's and 90's, I remember every Hawkeye game being on tv. Is this the wave of the future? Games on a computer screen? What are we going to use our thousand-dollar HDTV's for?

Bears quarterback, Jay Cutler, says that he could be out for the rest of the season. The Bears were hoping his broken thumb would heal in time for Cutler to return by the final week of the regular season. If he's done, so are the Bears.

As a Bears fan, I've already conceded the fact that the Packers are going to win their second straight Super Bowl. There's no one better than Aaron Rodgers. In fact, I think he's on his way to becoming (arguably) the best quarterback of all-time. Just typing that makes me want to vomit.

Ed Wilson says the season's first big snowstorm could be on the way. I'm all for a white Christmas, but we're still nearly 4 weeks away!

We had an interesting discussion about ugly babies, today, on the Murph n Andy show. How big of a sin is it to tell someone their baby is hideous? It may just be the worst thing you could ever say to someone. The next time you have a beef with someone, and that person says 'you're fat', 'no one likes you', or 'you can go to hell' ... just fire back with, 'Oh yeah, well at least I don't have a baby that looks like it belongs in a jar of water in some high school anatomy class!"

Sadly, this baby is wearing a men's medium.

I've been running a lot lately --- way more than I've ever run in my life. The problem with running is, it gets boring after a while. I've been able to work my way up to running 5 or 6 miles 3 or 4 times a week. I think my body could do more, but my mind can't keep it going. I've got an iPhone, and a TV...what else can I do to keep my mind occupied? 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hawks get rocked, Cy-Hawk rematch, Valley on top

(By Chris Hassel)

On Monday's newscast, I said Fran McCaffery's Hawkeyes had a long way to go. After getting blown out by a Clemson team that's lost a home to Charleston, and Coastal Carolina, it's clear this team has an even longer way to go. I must admit, I expected this team to be quite a bit better than it has shown the first month of the season. There's still a long way to go, but when the coach and a few players said they were hoping to make the NCAA tournament, I expected a little more than this.

We'll be seeing a lot of this, I'm afraid
Anyone else finding it hard to get into college basketball? I seem to have this problem every November. I'm still in football mode, but the basketball season is already nearly 25% over. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that no Iowa team is expected to make the NCAA tournament. 

An Insight Bowl official says a Cy-Hawk rematch isn't out of the realm of possibility. What are they supposed to say? We know the national audience wouldn't care to see it, but it's pretty clear that we don't want to see it either. On the Murph n Andy quickie poll of the day, only 11% said they would actually go to the game. The majority said they want to see each team play someone new. I wouldn't hate to see it, but it really doesn't make much sense. ISU already proved that it's better than Iowa, this season.  

I had the opportunity to watch Jeff Horner's Valley Tigers open the season against Johnston, and boy do they look good. Peter Jok and Kale Abrahamson aren't just D1 players...they're really good D1 players. Valley has only one state championship (1993), but this team could snap the drought. The rich just keep on getting richer. For a long time, Valley was known for everything --- except boys basketball. Now, they're good at everything.

Andy is all upset because the Cubs are talking to Albert Pujols. Give me a break. You've had him for 11 years, let the Cubs have him for the next few.

My favorite show to DVR is Boardwalk Empire, on HBO. I like to save up 2 or 3 and then watch them all in one night. The problem is, I have to be in a certain mood to watch it. I need to be in a mindset to concentrate. That seems to only happen about once or twice a month.

Has anyone else tried 'Gigolos' on Showtime? I love the show, but I could do without so many closeups of genitalia.

This is one of my favorite 'Onion' headlines of all-time. Reader beware. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Post-season awards vs. Regular season wins

(By Chris Hassel)

The American Football Coaches Association has named Iowa defensive coordinator, Norm Parker, has been named the National Assistant Coach of the Year. Huh?! Parker's defense ranked 8th in the Big Ten in scoring, and in total defense. This was the worst defense Iowa has had since 2000. The award is supposedly not based entirely on performance, but if it's called 'Coach' of the Year, coaching has to count for a lot of it.
Huh?!
For the second straight season, the Hawkeyes have more players earning post-season awards, than regular season wins. Eight Hawkeyes were named to All-Big Ten, on Monday. Great players are supposed to equal great teams --- but that hasn't been the case over the last two years.

It sounds like the Hawkeyes are going to end up in the Meineke Car Care Bowl, in Houston. If this is the case, I think we'll see the smallest gathering of Hawkeye fans at a bowl game in the Ferentz era. Not only are many fans down on their coaching staff, and their program, Houston isn't exactly a vacation destination. If Hawkeye fans are hoping for a shake-up in the coaching staff, they need to seriously consider not going to the bowl game, and rooting against their team. Yes, rooting for the other team is basically impossible to do if you're a real fan, but in all honestly, the bowl game means absolutely nothing. If the Hawks win, Ferentz and Barta will spend the off-season talking about how they've now won 4 bowl games in a row. Don't give it to me. The majority of bowl games are just an excuse for the bowls to make money, and for the teams to play another game. 70 teams play in bowl games. It's not a novelty anymore.

I was disturbed when I tuned into the Hawkeye post-game show, last Friday, and heard Ferentz talking about what an achievement it is to be going to another bowl game (after getting his rear handed to him by Nebraska). Ferentz mentioned how Nebraska is one of the best programs of all-time, yet the Hawkeyes have been to bowl games 10 of the last 11 seasons --- more than Nebraska. Give me a break. There's sugar coating, and then there's sugar dumping. Ferentz is dumping sugar on a big ol turd if he thinks 7 wins this season is some kind of achievement to be proud of. This was Iowa's easiest schedule I can ever remember. The Big Ten is down. And so are the Hawkeyes.

Paul Rhoads is being rumored as a possible replacement for the vacant head coaching position at Arizona State. While I don't think Rhoads wants to go anywhere (or will go anywhere), I do think Iowa State needs to give him a big fat extention/raise this off-season. He shouldn't be the lowest paid coach in the Big 12 any longer. Rhoads has proven himself in his first three years, and the University needs to give him a few million more reasons to stay in Ames.

The University of Iowa is doing anything, and just about everything, to put fanny's in the seats at Carver Hawkeye Arena. The Hawks are playing Clemson, in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Wednesday. Not only are the Hawks handing out Bryce Cartwright bobbleheads --- they're letting students get in free. I can't argue with the gimmicks. Getting fans back to Carver is the single most important thing (outside of winning).

Coaches Canned, Ferentz & Rhoads, Bye Murph Stache

(Zach)

It was Black Sunday in the college football world.  Ron Zook got the hook, and there was no surprise there.  Aside from the Rose Bowl year in 2007 he was at Illinois what he was at Florida-great recruiter, average in-game coach.  The Illini were the first team in FBS history to start 6-0 and finish 0-6.

I'm a little more surprised by Turner Gill.  Three years ago he was the hottest name in the game for what he'd done at Buffalo.  I remember watching his first game at KU, a 6-3 loss to North Dakota State, and it just didn't seem like a good fit.  Gill went 5-19 in two years, the exact same record as Gene Chizik at Iowa State.  I think Gill will pop up somewhere else and do well, probably at the non-BCS level again.

Other coaches out or rumored to be gone-Paul Wulff (Washington State), Rick Neuheisel (UCLA), Dennis Erickson (Arizona State), Larry Porter (Memphis), Neil Callaway (UAB).

Not on that list to the disappointment of some Hawkeye fans-Kirk Ferentz.  I'll say this, I do think there needs to be a shakeup on the staff.  Things are growing stale on both sides and they need an infusion of new ideas.  What's most concerning is that some players(Vandenberg in particular) seem to be regressing as the season goes on.  And yes, I think Ferentz is overpaid for the results he's gotten the last two years.  But I saw some things on Friday that changed my mind about the situation at the top.

I know there's a portion of the fans who think Iowa is a coaching change away from becoming a consistent BCS team, if not occasional national title contender.  In truth, I think Iowa is closer to being a coaching change away from becoming a 4-6 win program.

All summer I was warned by people in the know that once I got a look at Nebraska's facilities I'd see just how far behind Iowa was.  I scoffed because the Huskers haven't been the Huskers since Tom Osborne left.  After seeing it firsthand Friday, I was dead wrong.  While Iowa is making strides, they still have a LONG way to catch up to NU.  Below is a photo of Nebraska's press box and suites.  They are building an IDENTICAL structure on the other side of the stadium which will raise capacity to between 90-100 thousand.  Get ready for a new arms race in the Big Ten like nothing we've ever seen.

But here's the thing-for all Nebraska's money and facilities, it only takes one terrible hire at head coach to screw it all up.  Enter Bill Callahan.  But Nebraska and other programs with similar facilities and resources (Michigan with RichRod or Ohio State) can afford the occasional swing and miss because chances are they won't fall too far down by the time they can get a good coach in.  In my lifetime, Iowa has only had two coaches-Hayden Fry and Ferentz, 32 years since Fry took over in the 1979 season.  Anyone remember Jerry Burns?  Ray Nagel?  Frank Lauterbur?  Bob Commings?  Those were your Hawkeye coaches from 1961-1978, roughly half the span of Fry-Ferentz.  Iowa never had a winning season in that stretch.

Yes, I realize times have changed and the program has more money than ever coming in now.  But the song remains the same to some extent.  In Ferentz you get a coach who not only wins usually at worst in the 6-8 game range per year, but a guy who made Iowa one of the Big Ten's top producers of NFL talent.  Don't take that for granted because the NFL pedigree is a huge selling point on the recruiting trail.

Whenever the time comes for a new head coach Iowa needs to hit another homerun as they did with Fry and Ferentz.  So if you believe, as I said earlier, that the Hawkeye football program is a coaching change away from bigger things, then answer me this-how many coaches are out there that you can bank on for winning at least 8-10 games every year, developing NFL caliber talent at the same pace (or better) than Ferentz, and do it with less to work with than several of his chief conference rivals?  I don't think there are that many.  In any case, be careful what you wish for Hawkeye fans.

Of course it's tough to look at Ferentz when you see the job Paul Rhoads is doing in Ames.  He's the polar opposite in every way.  We often get the question asking how each guy would do if you put them at the other school.  I think it's an unfair question because each guy has to adapt to the situation to some extent.  The Big Ten doesn't have the caliber of offense or speed that the Big 12 has.  It's two different and contrasting styles of play.  Doesn't mean one is better than the other-remember that Nebraska nearly won the Big 12 twice before departing, yet they didn't dominate the Big Ten upon arrival.  Point is, each guy would adapt in some way to the place they're in and if they didn't they'd likely be shown the door.

Rhoads is clearly the perfect coach for Iowa State, whether it's his hometown roots or his understanding and grasp of the situation.  Assuming he stays a while in Ames, I'll be curious to see where things evolve.  Right now Rhoads is still playing with a lot of Chizik (and in some cases Dan McCarney) players.  Recruiting and player development is the lifeblood of college football.  We still haven't really gotten a gage on how things will go when everybody on that roster is one of Rhoads' recruits.  Considering the history and the current Big 12 configuration, as long as Rhoads won 6-7 games a year, spring the occasional upset, and took them to bowls, most Cyclone fans will never complain. 

Yet some callers and emailers, Hawkeye and Cyclone fans alike, are wondering if the OSU upset is a turning point in this program's history, a moment similar to Iowa's 1981 win over Nebraska.  While the Cyclones can pull the upset or two, OU showed that the Cyclones still lack the speed and firepower in places.  If ISU is ever to become more or, dare I say, challenge for a conference title/BCS Bowl, Rhoads will have to prove to be one of the best recruiters in the nation to make it happen.

Finally, Murph's mustache will be off by this time next week.  I know, you will miss it too.  But, you can buy one of these cool shirts from GroundZero Screen Printing!

Okay I'm a lame pitch man, but the money from every shirt goes to the battle against cancer.  And much as he hated the stache, Murph was happy to wear that caterpiller for a great cause.  Here's a link to their website ( http://groundzeroscreenprinting.bigcartel.com/ ) and Facebook page ( http://www.facebook.com/groundzeroscreenprinting ).

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Where you come from?

(By Chris Hassel)
My journalism professors always told me, "Don't bury the lead!" Here you go http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjjEMkNomR     

 
Had the Cyclones not turned the ball over FOUR times in the first half, they would've had a chance to beat another top-ten team. Jared Barnett finally looked like a redshirt freshman, and James White must've been soaking his bands in canola oil. Whites line reads like this: 1 carry, -11 yards, 2 fumbles.


For the fourth straight week, the ISU defense was fantastic. They played well enough to win. Unfortunately the offense didn't hold up it's end of the bargain. The Cyclones have said, many times, that there's no such thing as a moral victory. I agree. However, I think it's safe to say morale is still sky-high. One year after losing at OU, 52-0, the Cyclones continue to show improvement. They have a chance next week, at K-State.

If you're an Iowa State fan, I'd suggest rooting for Oklahoma to beat Okie State, next week. If OU wins, both teams could go to the BCS. That would push the remaining bowl eligible teams in the Big 12 up rung up the bowl ladder. 

On Saturday night's 10pm newscast, I said that in the inaugural 'Heroes Game', Kirk Ferentz coached more like a coward. We've received several comments on the statement. Some Hawk fans loved it. Other Hawk fans hated it. But one fan tried to pull a fast one on us. He created a Cyclone email account and tried to claim that he was offended as an ISU fan. After saying that the word 'coward' was unacceptable, he proceeded to call us 'dumb sh-ts' ... Only he didn't use the hyphen. 


If you watched the Big Ten Network, at all this summer and fall, you probably heard all the commentators drooling all over Illinois. Every year, smart people forget who is coaching the Illini. It's not Urban Meyer. It's Ron Zook. The experts got 'Zooked' again.

Remember Hawkeye-for-a-day Anthony Hubbard? He left Iowa, this summer, for Morgan State. He still hasn't played. The NCAA hasn't cleared him to play because he enrolled in classes at Iowa. I'll bet he wishes he would've stuck it out in Iowa City. And I'll bet Fran McCaffery does too. The Hawks still have a long way to go before becoming relevant again.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Heroes Game a big dud, just like Iowa's season

(By Chris Hassel)

Well that was a year of build-up for 60 minutes of hell (if you're a Hawkeye fan). Iowa saved its worst for last, in arguably its most meaningful game. Maybe they thought the game was on Saturday. If I had to guess, I would say Nebraska fans didn't enjoy it that much either. It was a brutal game to watch.


As the season has come apart, Hawkeye fans seem to be standing on opposite sides of the fence. Some fans want change. Other fans think things are fine the way they are. I think changes have to be made. With programs like Michigan, Michigan State, and Nebraska on the rise, Iowa is headed slightly downhill. Yes, you can make the argument that the Hawks won 7 games and could win an 8th at some meaningless bowl game, but come on...this team isn't good. Who has Iowa beaten? Michigan was a good win, but after that you have Tennessee Tech, Pittsburgh, Louisiana Monroe, Northwestern, Indiana, and Purdue. None of those teams are good. This was the easiest schedule Iowa has had since I started watching football in 1990.


Heading into Big Ten play, the Hawks hadn't lost by more than 7 points, since 2007. Three of Iowa's four conference losses were by double-digits. So much for Ferentz's conservative nature keeping him in games. They were completely out of this one by the 3rd quarter. 

Looking ahead, things don't look any better. Iowa's schedule is easy again next season, but the team loses a lot of its key players. Then, you're adding Ohio State and Wisconsin into the mix, beginning in 2013. The future looks very hazy in Iowa City.

What in the world happened to James Vandenberg? There was a time, earlier in the season, that I thought he was the best passer in the Big Ten. Saturday, he wasn't even the best passer on the field...that distinction belonged to Taylor Martinez --- the guy that throws a football like a submarine pitcher.

My wife (a Hawkeye fan), went to the game with her grandpa, uncle, and cousins ... all Husker fans. They made her wear a pink Husker jersey after the game.

Not only is it an ugly jersey, it's number 0. Ick.
The good news is, Cooter Ray Cornholer is on cloud 19. He tweeted that he was making "garbage angels" in the Lincoln landfill. I'm sure we'll be seeing him on SoundOFF, Sunday night.

What's the deal with the balloons that Nebraska fans let go when the Huskers score the first points of the game? Isn't that just a fancy way to get away with mass-littering?

I'm really looking forward to watching Iowa State play, at OU, Saturday. I have no idea what to expect, but with ISU, we should all expect the unexpected. Iowa has come to be extremely predictable, under Kirk Ferentz. To me, that's one of the exciting things about Paul Rhoads and the Cyclone football program. 

I don't think I ever remember the bowl situation being this cloudy as the season comes to an end. If I had to guess, I'd say Iowa will go to the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Houston. I would also say that's ISU's most likely destination, but I highly doubt the bowl reps want an all-Iowa rematch. Maybe ISU slides down to the Pinstripe Bowl in New York. Or, better yet, maybe the Big 12 gets two teams in the BCS, and the Holiday Bowl in San Diego comes into play (highly unlikely). I've never been wrong about a bowl prediction before ---- but I've never made one, either. I'm going with Iowa vs. Texas A&M in the Meineke Car Care Bowl, and ISU vs. Cincinnati in the Pinstripe Bowl.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hawks/Huskers Pregame, Eyes Of Texas Are Shamed, Giving Thanks

(Zach)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I know the buzz is largely gone, but I can't wait for tomorrow's Nebraska-Iowa game.  I think during the game things will heat up, and I have a feeling something will happen to start cementing this as a real rivalry on the field tomorrow.

In many ways Nebraska reminds me of Michigan (who of course they lost to 45-17).  The Huskers are a great running team, but if you force their run first quarterback to pass they can be had.  Taylor Martinez is a throwback.....in that he comes from the leather helmet era and looks like he doesn't know how to throw a pass.

That said, I don't know that Iowa can take away the Huskers running game enough to win, though the Hawkeye defense has played relatively well the last three weeks (I give them a bit of a pass on MSU because of terrible special teams and turnovers putting them on short fields).  Ultimately, I just can't see the Huskers losing on their senior day either.  I'm guessing Nebraska wins 24-20 and it's a long year of smack talk from the children of the Corn ahead.  But I REALLY hope I'm dead wrong here.

As I finish this blog I will be going home to sleep for about four hours and then get up to make the drive to Lincoln.  Yes I know I should have booked a hotel.  Procrastination has always been a pain in my ass.

Chris Hassel will not be making the trip with me tomorrow.  I must admit I'm a bit disappointed,  I was looking forward to seeing both Husker fans reaction to him and his reaction to being in enemy territory.  Then again, I won't have to carry a weapon in case someone were to take a swing at Chris or try to shoot him.

I'm not going to debate that the Oklahoma State win is the biggest in Iowa State football history.  But I do think a win over Oklahoma will be just as monumental within the football office.  The Sooners are 68-5-2 (what is it with this 2 ties in every series thing anyway?) against the Cyclones.  ISU lost by 52 in Norman last year.  The Cyclones were ranked 9th in 2002 and got drilled by 39 in Norman.  ISU hasn't beaten OU since 1990 (surprisingly they have more wins in Norman, 3, than they do at Jack Trice, 2).

Ndamukong Suh isn't a dirty player, he's just stupid.  Grow up kid, you're too good for that crap.  Unfortunately if he read this he'd probably just try to kick me too instead of take it to heart.

I'm watching Texas and Texas A&M play for what may be the final time in a LONG time.  It's an absolutely shameful night for college football (which is saying a lot since there's been plenty of shame to go around this year).  Tonight we really begin to see the effect of conference realignment, and it stinks.

But it can't all be blamed on that.  The bottom line is that these two schools have grown adults who are in a pissing contest, and the losers are the fans.  If either school wanted to make a non-conference date to play together, they could easily buy out whatever patsy they have on now and do it.  I saw a similar thing in North Dakota where the two state schools stopped playing in 2003 as they changed divisions and still have yet to play even though they are both on the same level now.  Instead the egos of a few are winning out over the needs of the many and best interest of the state.

As it is Thanksgiving, we should all be thankful that our state schools, Iowa and Iowa State, haven't gone that route.  They've each had a lot of great moments outside of the CyHawk game this year, but can you imagine how much less fun this year would have been without that classic?  Can you imagine not having that game to look forward to every year (especially as weak as non-conference schedules typically are)?  The rivalry is always hot, but at least the people in charge in Iowa City and Ames listen and see what is in the best interest of the fans.

On that note, I hope you all had a happy and safe Thanksgiving, filled with family, friends and good food.  Unfortunately I couldn't spend it with my immediate family, but I've been blessed to find a second family of sorts through my work here.  Keith and Jenny Murphy opened their home to me for dinner and I can't thank them enough.  I really hope all of you get a chance to work for and with a guy like Keith, no matter what you do in life.

I always take stock in what I'm thankful for on this day, and I'm honestly overwhelmed this year.  I'm working at a place I grew up watching and at the station I've always wanted to be at.  I'm thankful for being given creative freedom at a place that understands the value of local sports in its community.  I'm thankful for every chance I get to stand on the sidelines at Kinnick, Jack Trice, Hilton Coliseum, the UNI Dome, and all the places I watched as a kid but could never afford to go to.  And I'm thankful to work with some of the best people in the business at WHO-TV.  I hope everyone is counting their blessings, large and small, on this day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Football, Family, Food... Bring On Thanksgiving

It feels like March. Not only the weather, but the Duke vs Kansas game. That. Was. Awesome. Duke won Maui again...

I saw great basketball, and didn't have to see bad basketball. Iowa lost at home to Campbell. The Campbell Camels. I'm not making that up. And the Hawks lost by 16. This on the heels of being embarrassed by Creighton Sunday in Des Moines. Clearly, basketball relevance at Iowa is not a quick fix for Fran McCaffery...
Not joking.
Iowa's lopsided loss to Campbell---did I mention it was Campbell?---makes Hawkeye fans appreciate the football season a little more. Or it should...

The buzz is missing from the Iowa-Nebraska football game. There are many reasons, including you can't manufacture a rivalry, the players have never faced each other, and "Heroes Game" is forced, but the biggest reason is simple: neither team can win the division title, and neither can wreck the other's chance of winning it...

The trophy was unveiled. It's as straightforward as it gets. A pewter football. Then again, after the Pewter Family atop the Cy-Hawk trophy was lampooned and rejected, it seems a simple approach is a smart approach...

Role reversal. Iowa State has Oklahoma's full attention, and the Cyclones have to put the weekend's biggest win behind them...

The NFL tripleheader on Thanksgiving is fantastic. The entire day rules. The football. The family. Especially the food. I'm thankful...

I think I want to see the new Muppet movie more than my kids...
Must-see.

The Stache for Cash cool donor of the day is Josiah Neiderbach. The fight against cancer thanks you Josiah. Only a few days left. Thank goodness... http://teamacs.acsevents.org/site/TR?fr_id=42808&pg=entry
My wife, Jenny, even rocks a stache in November

DJK in the AFL, Back to Bears, Iowa Boys

DJK to the Barnstormers. It's going to happen, just as soon as the man formerly known as Derrell Johnson-Koulianos signs and returns the contract. DJK has also signed to play for Montreal in the CFL, which he can still do after moonlighting in the AFL---the two seasons don't overlap.

It's a natural for the Barnstormers, though not ideal.  Johnson-Koulianos can really play, he's charismatic, and he will draw fans. I've been asked several times if I think Iowans will welcome him back. The answer is yes. DJK has apologized, expressed regret, and asked forgiveness for his foolish transgressions. I also believe recent college football scandals, especially the one at Penn State, offer some context to essentially victimless crimes. I think most, not all, fans will cheer DJK.

I can't vouch for what he'll do with the opportunity. I like Derrell the few times we've talked, but I've learned that's enough to pretend I really know someone. I'm pulling for him...
DJK. (courtesy Hawk Central)

I think Iowa State's basketball team will put fans through some real highs and lows this season. It should be a fun ride, and right now, it's too soon to tell where it's headed...

The Denver Post says Kyle Orton asked for his release and wants to go back to the Bears. If true, that makes Chicago's game in Denver December 11th appointment television...

I can't wait for Packers-Lions from Detroit on Thanksgiving. It sounds like a great start to the best day...

A viewer sent me this old Iowa Boys video. You may recognize an Iowa (State) boy or two. The video will not be mistaken for an IceBorg Cold Cut...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5Xrw2C_Po8

Monday, November 21, 2011

Occupy Jack Trice, Rhoads Sees Replay, Why Not Stanzi?

Cyclone fans are still riding the wave of the greatest win in Iowa State history. Fans should enjoy every moment. This kind of feeling is what makes sport so addictive. You chase the high...

Paul Rhoads told me that after the game, he was celebrating with his buddies at the house, long into the night, when they noticed the replay of the game starting on ESPN. Naturally they watched. Rhoads will have a chance to leave ISU at some point, but there's only one place he can coach at home...

Love the reaction of Bama fans in Tuscaloosa as Jeff Woody scores the game winner for ISU:
http://www.yfrog.com/jjwjuz

I've found it refreshing on both SoundOFF and our radio show that Hawkeye fans have not tried to downplay ISU's moment at all. We need more of that. Be rivals, be reasonable...

The buzz is mostly gone from the Iowa-Nebraska game, but I'm hoping it picks back up by Friday. Can you remember the Hawkeyes winning a late season conference road game in a bowl season that excited fans less than Saturday at Purdue? It was a bad football game, but a win is a win. Especially a needed road win...

Lynn Melling did her Christmas shopping so long ago, I think there's a chance her friends and family receive beepers, VCRs, and Snuggies...

The Chiefs don't seem to believe in Ricky Stanzi. KC back-up QB Tyler Palko didn't play well at New England, but Stanzi stayed on the sideline. (Perhaps Stanzi felt conflicted playing a team called the Patriots?) Maybe we'll see Stanzi next game. What do the Chiefs have to lose? Then again, the way the Chiefs are playing, maybe it's better for Stanzi if he hangs on to the clipboard for now..

Stan Musial turned 91 Monday. Jeff Jorgensen sent this cool picture of Stan the Man in a very different time. He's working at a Pittsburgh grocery store owned by his wife's parents in 1942.

Stan the Man

More generous donations in the No Shave November Stache for Cash fight against Cancer (. Among others, special thanks to Mara White, Jeff Hilsabeck, Dan Huser, Katie Stocking, and Anthony Farrell. I really appreciate it, and it makes it worth putting up with this:
No close-up please.
http://teamacs.acsevents.org/site/TR?fr_id=42808&pg=entry

In Iowa All We Do Is Win (Except in Basketball), Miss The Murph Stache?

By Zach Borg:

Great SoundOFF tonight.  From content to callers, even the critical ones who went against the grain (little debate is good for the show). 

I said it two weeks ago when the four division one football teams all won on the same day, and I'll say it again as three won this week and two (Drake and UNI) won conference titles at the FCS level.  In Iowa, all we do is win.

Leading up to the Iowa State game, one thing kept getting to me.  Everybody was ready to build a temple to Mike Gundy and worship that Oklahoma State offense, but was anyone paying attention to the fact their defense was average at best?  Though they came in off their best defensive effort at Texas Tech, for the most part the OSU strategy is to simply jump out on teams and never look back.  What happens if the offense has a bad night or runs into a strong defense?  It nearly happened at Texas A&M earlier, but A&M turned the ball over far too many times and didn't force enough.

With that in mind, when ISU isn't giving the ball away, or making stupid penalties, the Cyclones have shown they can at least hang with or beat most teams they line up with.  Looking at their worst losses (Texas, Baylor, Mizzou) early turnovers helped things snowball out of control.  It's why Steele Jantz went from legend to the back of a milk carton.

And the kicker in it was that Iowa State played far from a perfect game.  A missed field goal early and a pick six by Jared Barnett were the type of things that killed the Cyclones over and over again.  But this time their defense made a few more plays, and the Cyclone offense wore down the Cowboy defense.

It's been kind of funny to look back on critical comments regarding Paul Rhoads past upsets now.  When he beat Nebraska it's because the Cornhuskers were down.  Same deal at Texas.  The Iowa win?  Clearly not a great Hawkeye team, and they gave it away.  Texas Tech?  Clearly they just got lucky at Oklahoma and were spent.  And of course some will try to excuse this one with the OSU women's basketball tragedy distracting the team or perhaps OSU getting screwed on a close field goal call late.  Haters gonna hate, but hard to beat those five wins, especially when Rhoads predecessor (who went on to win a national title) managed just 5 wins TOTAL in his two years.

We will see how committed Rhoads is to ISU in the coming months.  He will be getting a nice raise very soon, and I think his hometown roots might even lend to a hometown discount.  But there will be big programs after him very soon with bigger checkbooks than Ames has.  One such example?  Penn State.  Unless Rhoads has skeletons in his closet, he's the perfect kind of coach needed to rebuild the mess out there (that said I don't think he'd take that job, heck I don't think many people will want to take on that cesspool).

That this guy ain't up for WR of the year is a JOKE

Not pretty and not against a good team, but I still think Iowa's win at Purdue is a statement win of sorts.  A lot of people, fans and media (myself included), thought the Hawkeyes might quit after seeing their division title hopes flame out on senior day, especially with the memory of how a more talented team last season laid down at the end at Minnesota.  Guys like Marvin McNutt and Broderick Binns weren't going to let that happen again, and there's real reason to believe they can go into Lincoln and beat Nebraska Friday.

Bowl possibilities are fun to think of now.  Chances were slim that we'd get a CyHawk Bowl to begin with, and now that both teams won't finish 6-6, chances are they'll move up the bowl pecking order.  However, I do think we will see a familiar face and get a matchup that us media folks think is TV gold-AUBURN.  Some projections have Auburn and Iowa in the Gator Bowl.  If ISU can win another game, I wouldn't be shocked if they get the Tigers.  ISU-Auburn would certainly be the more interesting matchup, but I think the entire state will unite behind whoever has a chance to stick it to Gene Chizik.
They Got Screwed
Northern Iowa wins a share of the Missouri Valley title, yet gets saddled with the #5 seed and arguably the toughest road of anyone to the FCS national title.  UNI hosts a tough Wofford team in two weeks.  If they get through that, they'll likely have to win road games at Montana and at top seed Sam Houston State just to GET to the title game.  I think the Panthers got hosed.  Certainly they deserved to be seeded below an NDSU team they lost to, but couple that loss with the one point defeat to Iowa State that looks better each week, and the Panthers body of work deserved better.
You Know It's Hoops Season When The Local Teams Get Drubbed
For all the positive vibes of football, the reality of what's to come in hoops season hit hard this weekend too.  Iowa was outclassed in every way by Creighton at the Well.  With former Ames High product Doug McDermott leading the way, Fran McCaffery had to be envious of the Creighton program.  That's the kind of team that McCaffery probably wants to build.  Weapons inside and outside, likes to play fast, and is experienced.  The Hawkeyes are getting better, but still have a long way to go.

I hope Drake and UNI prove me wrong, but I think Creighton is far and away the cream of the crop in the MVC.  Wichita State and Indiana State will have something to say about that, but barring injuries Creighton has too many weapons.

And then there's Iowa State.  When all is said and done I think they will be the best of the Big Four, and I think they'll actually have a decent season.  But right now it's clear they are still trying to find some chemistry and sorely lack presence at point guard.

In other words, it's another year of hoping we have a team good enough to make the NIT.

Since we're near the end of November (and our ratings book), Keith's mustache will be coming off soon.  I've got to admit that it will be weird seeing him WITHOUT one.  I think after time we've all gotten used to it.  Kind of like we're used to the state of Nebraska.  It's ugly, but it's there.
MurphStache-It Will Be Gone, But Never Forgotten

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cyclone aftermath, Hawkeye yawner, Snapple memories

(Chris)

24 hours later, I'm sure the party is still raging on, in Ames. I had the pleasure of being on the field for ISU's monumental upset for Okie State. It's the second time I've been to Jack Trice Stadium, this season. Both games went to overtime. And both ended with fans storming the field. Everyone keeps asking me what it was like in the mob of fans on the field and I continue to let them down by telling them the truth. I high-tailed it to high ground. I've been in too many mosh pits in football stadiums to want to be involved in another --- especially with a camera.


Paul Rhoads just earned himself a nice little pay raise. He's going to be one hot coaching commodity, this off-season.

The question remains the same, "Can Iowa State win another game?" I don't see why not. This defense is playing better than any other defense in the Big 12. Do I think they'll win another regular season game? No. But I'm really excited to see how ISU closes out the season at Oklahoma and K-State.


Iowa fans (not all, but many) need to stop trying to kid themselves. Some are trying to downplay ISU's victory over #2 Oklahoma State. Those same people are still trying to say that it was a fluke that ISU beat Iowa back in September. I'll be honest --- my own dad is one of these people. Leave Iowa State alone, and face the fact that the Cyclones are better this season.

The hardest thing I had to do, Friday night, was leave the field after watching ISU score the game-tying touchdown in the 4th quarter to do a live-shot for Channel 13. That was probably one of the least-watched newscasts in WHO-TV history. Everyone (even non-sports fans, and non-ISU fans) were glued to that game.  Even my wife, who spends the majority of her TV-time watching the Kardashian family make fools of themselves, was excited about it.

I ran into a woman that was tailgating before the ISU game, Friday afternoon, that jumped all over me for my anti-Iowa State jargon. She was clearly intoxicated, and had a smile on her face, but I could tell she really thinks I've been unfair to the Cyclones over the years. I asked her to give me an example of what I've said to make her feel this way and she said, "there are too many to list!" So I said...just list one. She couldn't.

I want as much chaos as possible in the BCS. I'd love to see a 3-way tie in the SEC West, between LSU, Bama, and Arkansas. The more jumbled and confusing, the better.

The Hawks finally won a game on the road. Nebraska got spanked at Michigan. Not exactly the Heroes Game match-up we were all dreaming of, last summer. 

The IceBorg just walked in with a pair of Diet Snapple's. Remember that campaign they had in the mid-90's where you could call Snapple and they would send you a free drink? It was one drink per-address. I ordered one for every address on the block, on the same day, and about a week later mine arrived. I then went around to all the mailboxes in the neighborhood and grabbed my free drinks. I didn't even like Snapple, but the idea was fascinating.

Yes, That Just Happened.

Bedlam. (Picture by Brandon McCauley)
Well, who saw that coming? Not Nostradamus. Not Miss Cleo. Not Cyclone Fanatic. Maybe Cyclone Jerry. But he's picked Iowa State in 500 straight football games. His record is exactly the same as ISU's during that time...

It is, simply, the greatest win in Iowa State football history. Maybe Iowa State sports history. The Cyclones beat the #2 team in the nation, and turned the college football world upside down. The BCS is now back to being a mess...

#2 Oklahoma State arrived in Ames averaging 52 points a game, but needed double overtime just to hang 31 on Iowa State. In the process, 28 year old OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden had his Heisman trophy hopes intercepted by a Cyclone defense playing out of its head, and eventually into Weeden's...

Was Okie State looking ahead to Oklahoma? Maybe, but the real bedlam happened on the Jack Trice Stadium field after the Cowboys lost. Was the gut-punching tragedy of losing two women's basketball coaches in a Thursday night plane crash a distraction? No doubt. It's cruel and unthinkable that Oklahoma State has been hit hard twice in ten years. I'm sure the Cowboys had heavy hearts. But I don't think that's why OSU lost. I received tweets from fans before the game who thought OSU would be even more focused and determined. They wanted to win for many reasons. The effort was there...

And Iowa State won even though it missed many early opportunities. Didn't you think the Cyclones would regret those? I did. But ISU kept coming, kept believing...

All Jared Barnett does is win. Since being named starting quarterback, Barnett is 3-0. That's even better than Tebow...

Lost in all this, Iowa State is now bowl eligible. Forget eligible. With that schedule, Iowa State is going to a bowl...

Paul Rhoads is now going to turn up as a candidate for many coaching jobs. He was warm after ISU won at Nebraska, Texas, and Texas Tech. Now, after engineering his first big upset at home, he's on the hot list. I think Rhoads is the rare coach who might see ISU as a destination job---it's one of most difficult gigs in country---but you can be sure he's going to get a significant raise soon. Rhoads is the lowest paid coach in the Big 12. Not for long. The winning is the main reason, but a new record for ISU season attendance doesn't hurt either. Cyclone fans love the guy. It's easy to see why. Rhoads always plays to win, and never fails to show how much he cares. See another emotional locker room speech for proof:
https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10100342216168020

It's nights like this that makes sport the ultimate reality show. You just never know. Cyclone fans, enjoy it. Moments like this don't come along very often...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tebow Wins Again, OSU Xbox, Sexy Hassel

Tim Tebow did it again. He played poorly for most of the game, and then led the Broncos to a last minute come-from-behind. This will make some people far too giddy, and others far too angry. Me, I enjoy it. It's fun. It doesn't make sense, but there's no doubt Tebow has something. How long that something lasts in the NFL, I don't know. I'm rooting for the guy...
Tebow Tebowing
Don't look for Demi Moore on the sideline of any more Iowa football games...

The Hawks have won three straight basketball games for the first first time in three years. How is that even possible? Never mind. I remember the Lickliter era...

I can't wait to see Oklahoma State play in Ames Friday night. The Cowboys are one of the most exciting offensive football teams ever.  It's xbox. I also think Paul Rhoads will try everything short of turning on the automatic sprinklers in the middle of an OSU passing play, and the whole game should be fun. Hard to see ISU being in the game for long, but all the pressure on the visitors...

Here's the Stache for Cash encouraging email of the day:

Keith,

What is up with the turd on your lip? Are you being serious, or are you going to tear it off. Is it fake or real? I noticed you darkened it a bit lately.

Keith, A group of us from Iowa State, think you look silly.

Just trying to help you out... Shave it man...

Thanks

Dave

That one made me laugh. I think the funniest part of this email is that vanity would drive me to darken my mustache, but not my hair...

Chris Hassel attended the Cityview part Thursday to celebrate Des Moines' sexiest people. Chris being one of the chosen sexy broke out his sexy black shirt and favorite jeans. He was captured in this picture. I hope it doesn't melt your computer.
mamg.jpg
That is one sexy line-up.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cubs May Have Their Man, Paterno Statue Wobbling, Stache Hate

All signs point to the Cubs naming Dale Sveum their new manager. Sveum is the hitting coach for the Brewers, so he knows the Central. And he worked for the Red Sox as third base coach in their championship season of 2004, so Sveum knows Theo Epstein...
Dale Sveum

If the Marlins really did offer Albert Pujols a nine-year deal for more than $200 million, they've gone loco. No way the Cardinals should try to match that. Pujols is already showing statistical proof of age decline, and it's not going to get better. Nine years?!...

There are reports, denied by Penn State, that the university plans to remove the Joe Paterno statue during Thanksgiving break. I think PSU needs to pause. Paterno had to be fired, and the statue may need to come down eventually, but right now it represents his 60 years of coaching at Penn State. It's not a statue of Jerry Sandusky...
Is this Paterno on the way out too?
Iowa State has sold more than 50,000 tickets to every home football game for the first time in Cyclone history. Several weeks ago on SoundOFF, we challenged the ISU marketing department to pull out all the stops to make that happen. I didn't think it likely with Kansas and OSU at the end of the schedule, but ISU was relentless with ticket deals and news releases, and it's done. Nice job. Paul Rhoads and two straight wins didn't hurt either...

I had a double pizza day. That's a good day. Lunch was from Gusto Pizza, dinner at Noah's. Both delicious. I had pizza for lunch every day when we were in Italy. It's the perfect food...

I've always been fascinated, and flabbergasted, by the nasty letters, emails, and voice mails our female anchors sometimes receive about their hair, make-up, clothes, or just general appearance. I can't imagine doing that to a store manager, sales rep, or school teacher. Now for the first time, I can empathize with how Erin feels when someone she doesn't even know is mean about a haircut. I've had numerous messages and emails from viewers about how bad or awful or ugly or old I look with a mustache. They're not joking. Most instruct to me shave it off right away.

I assume most, if not all, of these people don't realize I'm growing the Stache for Cash to raise money for the American Cancer Society (in honor of my mom, a two-time cancer survivor) during No Shave November.  Even if I had no reason, other than wanting to grow a mustache, and even if it looked as bad as it apparently does, I worry that so many people don't see rude comments about personal appearances as a loss of civility and manners...
The Stache
On the flip side, the vast majority of people have had a good laugh, and given me grief in a fun way. I appreciate that. If you can't laugh at yourself, you're taking life too seriously. I'd also like to again take a moment here to thank some of the folks who have made nice donations recently on behalf of the stache: Gina Gettler, Andrew Downs, Karen & Eric Hoiberg, Andrew Wilcox, Justin Sheeder, Chad Svendson, and Patricia Murphy (mom). Thank you for standing up to Cancer...

Stache for Cash: http://teamacs.acsevents.org/site/TR?fr_id=42808&pg=entry

-Keith


      

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bulldogs Humble Cyclones, CBS News Bait and Switch, Mustache Club

Iowa State beat Drake by 48 last year, and that was a less talented Cyclone team. So when Tuesday's betting line dropped down to ISU by just 1, that seemed grape nuts. I thought ISU would win by at least ten. As a friend of mine often says, when a betting line seems too good to be true, it usually is. Vegas knows. Somehow Vegas knows...

Anyway, Drake dropped Iowa State by nine, and most of us did not see that coming...

What did we learn? Well, Drake had an undersized line-up and a nice game plan by Mark Phelps. Kurt Alexander and (especially) Rayvonte Rice showed why they only served a one (regular season) game suspension for allegedly stealing at Scheels. They're good, and Drake doesn't beat ISU without them. Rice, at times, was the best player on the court. Ben Simons' clutch 24 points didn't hurt either. Drake deserved the win...

As for the Cyclones---fans, deep breath---it's only one game. One early season game. It's not the end of the world. But... we did learn several things that show ISU has a LONG way to go. The lack of a true playmaking point guard is a glaring hole. Bad free throw shooting will cost this team some games, and make Fred Hoiberg---a great shooter---lose his hair. Royce White is a force, but he hasn't played in games that count in a long time, and he still has to learn to harness his power. Great talent doesn't automatically equal a great team (see the Eagles). Players have to learn to make each other better. I also think it's apparent Hoiberg misses right hand man Bobby Lutz. The bench needs to adjust as well. But again, it's just one game...

CBS News flat out embarrassed itself Tuesday night. The network promoted an exclusive interview with Mark McQueary---the first time we'd hear McQueary talk since the Penn State scandal broke. The usually reliable investigative reporter Armen Ketayian even tweeted about how McQueary "breaks his silence and opens a window for me into his emotions".  The interview is essentially McQueary in front of his house saying he has nothing to say right now. Not kidding. Here is the entire interview as it appeared on the CBS Evening News http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1tCys5I0Yg&feature=player_embedded

It's a cautionary tale for all newscasts at every level. Don't bait and switch the audience with promotion you can't live up to. You may gain a few viewers that night, but the trust you lose makes it foolish in the long run...

CBS made Bob Costas' actual exclusive with actual content look even more impressive...

Here's how an actual email I received from a viewer begins:

Keith-

I don't like you and I don't think I ever will.

Some days the job is more fun than others.
As Andy and I were leaving our radio show at KXNO, we bumped into Clear Channel Grand Poobah, and good guy, Joel McCrea. Since Joel has a mustache, naturally Andy had to take a picture.
Only one of these mustaches survives to see December

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Costas Asks the Tough Questions, Packers Keep Rolling, UNI Up Late

Not a great year for central Iowa football teams at state. Murray in 8-player, Valley in 4-A. That's it...

Bob Costas had an exclusive interview with Jerry Sandusky on Rock Center with Brian Williams. Costas was at his best, and that's saying something. He showed the poise and interview skills that have made him the most respected sports broadcaster of his generation. Sandusky had been coached by his attorney, and claimed his complete innocence, but to my ears, Sandusky still said much without saying a lot. He said he regrets showering with young boys, and Sandusky paused and didn't answer right away when asked if he's sexually attracted to young boys. See what you think: http://rockcenter.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/11/14/8804779-jerry-sandusky-to-bob-costas-in-exclusive-rock-center-interview-i-shouldnt-have-showered-with-those-kids

This Penn State scandal is infuriating, exhausting, and fascinating. The story is just getting started too. It will go in many directions, and bring down many people...

Andy Fales had the most raw, honest take I've seen on why we all think we'd do the right thing, but often don't.  It's this week's What's Bugging Andy, and if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend you check it out. (You'll find it in the video player in the SoundOff dropdown menu)...

The Green Bay packers are making it look WAY too easy. So is Oklahoma State...

I appreciated Paul Rhoads basically saying Iowa State needs to be at its best, and that may not be enough Friday night. OSU has to help...

ISU has won two straight Big 12 games, the Cyclones are at home, and they're still a 26 point underdog. That's unreal...

The ten Biletnikoff finalists for the nation's top receiver are announced and Marvin McNutt's not one of them?! Come on, man! If McNutt's not top ten, Kirk Ferentz isn't conservative...

The NCAA needs to change the rules to keep defensive players from faking injuries to slow down an up-tempo offense. Michigan State embarrassed itself Saturday. Ridiculous. You get hurt, you're out that series. We're watching football, not soccer...

The first basketball game I really cared about this year was the Carrier Classic. The second is Drake at Iowa State Tuesday night...

Then again, it's 12:50 a.m. and UNI plays St. Mary's in 10 minutes. I'll watch that too, and take back the previous sentence...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hawkeyes Present & Future, CyHawk Bowl, Get Help

(Zach)

Courtesy AP
I never liked roller coasters as a kid, so maybe that’s why this Iowa football season has a sickening feel to it.  There are moments of brilliance (Michigan, Pitt comeback, even the time where they began rallying against Michigan State).  And then they are canceled out by equally inept moments.  This is the definition of a mediocre 6-6 football team, which is probably what Iowa will be.  The Hawkeyes couldn’t win on the road when they were in title contention, why should we believe they will now, especially after the way last year’s team quit in the end at Minnesota when title hopes were gone?
A few weeks ago we got emails, including one from an SEC fan, which claimed Marvin McNutt simply put up great numbers against bad teams.  After the last two weeks against Michigan and Michigan State things have been quiet on that front.  Wonder why.


Last night Chris lamented at next year not being any better.  I’ll go out on a limb and say it will be, at least in the win column.  Why?  Because it’s possible next year’s schedule is EASIER than this years!  I realize things and teams change, but get a load of Iowa’s first five games: Northern Illinois at Chicago, Iowa State, Northern Iowa, Central Michigan, and Minnesota for homecoming.  That’s at worst a 4-1 start if Iowa State beats them.  Hell, a team of 80 year olds could probably go 3-2 with that schedule. 
The rest of their home slate includes games with Penn State (who probably will have a steep decline after the sick mess they have right now which I think is only going to get worse) and Purdue before the Nebraska game, with only four real road games at Michigan, MSU, Northwestern and Indiana.  And let’s face it, anyone see the Big Ten getting much better as a whole next year?

Though the schedule is even more favorable, the question will be whether or not Iowa’s recruiting can pull in enough talent to turn the corner from a 6-7 win type of season to an 8-11 win campaign. 
Perhaps if Iowa State gets to six wins we’ll get a CyHawk rematch in a bowl game.  I’m guessing the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas or the Ticket City Bowl don’t draw well that often, and since Iowa and ISU will likely land in the middle to bottom of their conference packs (right where those bowls pick from), I’m guessing one of them tries to invite both knowing that Hawkeye and Cyclone fans would probably flock to Antarctica if they were playing down there.
All of which begs the very reasonable question of how in the hell Iowa State will win one of their last three.  I think Kansas State is still the best bet.  The Wildcats play no defense and the Cyclones showed they can roll up the points on defenseless teams provided they don’t commit turnovers (Iowa and Texas Tech).
Congrats to Drake football on winning the Pioneer League.  They weren’t that far from finishing a perfect season.
I’m setting the over-under on points for Royce White against Drake at 30 Tuesday night.  The Bulldogs best big men are hurt, and I just don’t see who they can put out to stop him.  Be ready for some more highlight reel dunks.  
The Hawkeye hoopsters will be 2-0 by this time tomorrow after playing something called North Carolina A&T.  The nicest thing I can say about the last team they played, Chicago State, is that their uniforms were secondhand store quality (hence their play?), but the story of that game for me was the fact 12,000 people came out to see it.  There were quite a few empty seats and they had some kind of dance mob promotion too, but I’d still say the actual attendance was around 10,000.  That’s pretty good on a Friday night against a garbage team.  Clearly fans are dying for a winner.  Iowa will be 3-0 (Northern Illinois follows on Thursday) when they come to Des Moines to play Creighton next Sunday.  We’ll learn then against a good Blue Jay team whether there is real cause for optimism in Iowa City. 

Those who know me think this is long overdue, but I think I need psychiatric help NOW.  I watched the entire Chiefs-Broncos game.  If you wasted your time watching one of the worst offensive football games since people wore leather helmets, I highly suggest you join me.

Anytime somebody tries to tell you how much smarter about football head coaches are, just ask why so many of them keep kicking to Devin Hester.