Saturday, December 17, 2011

End Of The Big 4 Hoops Era, Rhoads/McCarney, Dedication To Bobbi D

By Zach Borg

I guess I'm supposed to talk about Iowa's 82-68 win over Drake.  I really don't have that much to say-these look like two teams headed nowhere this year, but at least there were some nice highlights.  Both teams are going to have a tough time in tough conferences this year.

More than the game itself, one thing kept crossing my mind-why is this probably the last Big 4 game on a campus site?  Yes, I know there will probably be some tournament next year, but unless its a two day deal where both the Cyclones and Hawkeyes play the Bulldogs and Panthers it won't be the same.

I know there's a lot of moving parts to this.  Conference realignment, money from home games, the list goes on.  But you can't tell me UNI's dominance over the last decade, coupled with Drake becoming more competitive as well, isn't playing a role in this. 

If Iowa State and Iowa are backing out of this in any part because they don't want to risk losing non-conference road games it is cowardly.  If either program is going to return to being an NCAA contender these are the types of games you have to win and prove yourself in.  Is it really going to make either team better for the conference season if they add more games with Chicago State and Prairie View?  If the answer is yes, then don't be shocked if, after UNI or Drake win games at this Big 4 tournament, Iowa and Iowa State decide to take their ball and go home altogether.

Paul Rhoads is breaking a lot of molds at Iowa State.  I'm not sure he'll last all ten years of his new deal because bigger jobs will come along if he wins, but I do think it shows how attached he is to this state and program.  This is an Iowa guy who grew up seeing legendary coaches like Johnny Orr, Dan Gable and Hayden Fry build/rebuild programs and become icons.  Whether he admits it or not, I think that's something that has to drive him.

So the natural question-how long before 5-7 wins a year isn't good enough for ISU fans?  Dan McCarney had a similar commitment to Iowa State.  He never had quite the splashy wins that Rhoads, who was an assistant under McCarney, had and it was the pre-Twitter/social media era.  But ISU football was, by Rhoads own admission, in far worse shape.  Even then, fans eventually tired of 5-7 win years and McCarney was gone after a down year.  Maybe Rhoads local roots buys him more time, but eventually all fans get spoiled (see Hawkeye, Iowa fan).  Over the next three years we'll find out if Rhoads is the kind of recruiter who can boost talent to get into the 8-10 win range.

It's not just Hassel, I think everyone in the sports office is being asked this question: "Is Bobbi D for real?"  First off, it is NOT me (sorry but I couldn't pull this kind of a prank off and sustain it this long), and I do believe Hassel when he says it isn't him.  I keep flipping back and forth on whether this is real.  You'd think a real person would have given us some actual identity (Bobbi D is an alias), yet I don't know how someone could keep being so persistent if it is just a gag.

In any case, as a guy who has been called ugly myself plenty (on multiple women....and siblings...and strangers who look at me like I escaped a carnival show.....) I try not to judge the beauty of anyone (though I certainly don't think it is a crime).  In any case, I'd like to dedicate this one to Bobbi; a track from "Handful of Peter" off the Family Guy LP that I hope will unite us all.

But if it doesn't and like Bobbi you can't take a joke, I'll save you the trouble of telling me I'll rot in hell.

By the way, on SoundOFF tomorrow night, two Cold Cuts.  Plays of the year for Hawkeye and Cyclone football.


Anonymous said...

Bobbi D = Bob Vanderplaats? (I wouldn't put anything past this guy)

Evil Adam said...

Part of the reason that McCarney got forced out is ISU didn't achieve, we commonly lost games we should have won, we threw away leads routinely and we could not win close ones. Did we have even a single OT win with McCarney? Not that I recall no. There's a reason anytime one of those things happens it's "another Cyclone Classic."

Rhoads has come in and (at least so far) reversed all of the things that McCarney couldn't. Will he be able to get over the hump and get 8 to 10 games won? I think so, I think he's a coach more players will want to play for, and, quite honestly, I think he's a better coach then McCarney was.

Also don't forget CPR took a 2 win team with essentially an empty cupboard to a bowl in one year... it took McCarney multiple seasons to take teams that included such names as Troy Davis anywhere.