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|
|They Got Screwed|
|You Know It's Hoops Season When The Local Teams Get Drubbed|
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|