An absolutely thrilling final day of the college football regular season mixed with plenty of hoops and volleyball for a great sports Saturday in central Iowa.
It's gotten to the point where, when Iowa State is close with a ranked team, you expect them to pull the upset. Not this time. Cyclones defense was strong, but Kansas State just does not beat themselves with turnovers or penalties and wore them down. The Cyclone offense had their moments, but too often it looked like a team quarterbacked by a redshirt freshman.
How can you not love Paul "the Gambler" Rhoads? Win or lose it is great drama. And how about Kirby VanderKamp on his fake punt run? He actually looked like he knew what he was doing carrying the football.
So Iowa State finishes 6-6 for the second time in three years with a bowl game ahead. At most other places that's nothing to write home about. Against this schedule, and knowing the situation any staff faces in Ames, it's different. That said, at some point I think 6-6 type years will get stale, even to Cyclone fans. Especially if ISU keeps pulling off these landmark upset wins. The difference will be seeing how Rhoads has recruited. If he can truly upgrade the team speed and talent then there's no reason this program can't jump into the 8-win range, or maybe better. But we still don't know just how good a recruiter he is. A lot of guys the last three years were Chizik (and even McCarney) holdovers.
Iowa fans don't seem to care one bit about where the Hawkeyes go bowling. If it's the Insight with a team like Texas I bet that changes.
|No dude, it's not a penalty, you just cost your team it's season|
Still, you have to credit the Panthers. That's why you never stop playing till the whistle sounds. Mark Farley and company really got screwed over in this playoff bracket. They open with a tough Wofford team, and their reward for winning will be a trip to Missoula to play Montana in the next round next weekend. This game should be in Cedar Falls. UNI has two close losses to solid teams (one point loss to Iowa State, eight point loss #2 playoff seed North Dakota State) while Montana's resume isn't quite as clean (blown out at a bad SEC Tennessee team, lost by 14 to Sacramento State who didn't make the playoffs). Having spent last year working in Missoula Washington-Grizzly Stadium is one of the toughest venues in FCS (and a bucket list place to watch a college game by the way). Still, what better way to win a national title then by doing it the hard way? Buzz is that ESPN may pick it up for a nationally televised Friday night game too.
Shout out to the Iowa State volleyball team. They dominated the U (Miami) and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. But maybe they got screwed too. They have to play Minnesota in the Gophers home gym next Friday. Get past that and they can probably get to the Final Four though. And also congrats to UNI. Florida ended their season, but the Panthers finished 33-2 this year.
Lots of hoops on Saturday too. Good to see Curtis Stinson and the Energy raise their championship banner, even if Stinson likely won't be back to play this year.
About 20 minutes of bad play between the end of the first half and the start of the second half might have cost Iowa State a chance to upset #15 Michigan. Royce White is a beast but this team runs hot and cold, and defensively they have far too many lapses. Potential is there, but still a long ways to go.
After losing to a can of soup (Campbell), the Hawkeye basketball team didn't lose to a color (Brown). Melsahn Basabe came off the milk carton at last and delivered a double-double in Iowa's 75-54 win.
There's no doubt right now the best hoops team in the state is Northern Iowa. The Panthers moved to 7-1 after holding off Colorado State 83-77. Not that I'm above pimping my alma mater CSU, but that's a solid win for UNI. The Rams were coming off a win over Pac-12 Colorado and it had the makings of a trap game between the Iowa State and Iowa games. The Panthers will crush Iowa and move to 8-1 on Tuesday.
Drake followed a 108-64 loss at Boise State with a 62-60 home win over Air Force. How bad was their defense in Potato country if they could win and STILL not score as many as they did in a loss like that?