Sunday, January 08, 2012

Cyclone Beatdown, Hawkeye Meltdown, Criteria!?!?!?!?!?

By Zach Borg

Life without college football for eight months began this week and, for the first time in a couple years, there's legitimate reason to believe we'll actually have something to hold our interest this winter season.

Remember last week when we were all concerned about Iowa State men's basketball slipping past something called Mississippi Valley State by two points?  Me neither.

Photo Courtesy Houston Chronicle
As @mebreton reminded me on Twitter, Texas A&M was picked in the coaches preseason poll as co-favorite to win the Big 12 along with Kansas.  Iowa State was picked 8th out of nine teams.  In addition to today's beatdown, A&M also lost in non-conference to the same Rice team ISU had beaten by nearly 30.  Copies of that preseason poll are being used as toilet paper in the locker room facilities at College Station.

Royce White had the Big 12's first triple double since 2006 (ISU's Curtis Stinson).  10 points, 18 rebounds, 10 assists.  The guy can dominate a game even if he's not scoring a ton.

We all wondered how this team would react to conference play.  So far they've played two of their most complete games of the season.  Up next?  A chance to make a national splash with a home game against #7 Missouri (that ranking will change after they got worked at K-State though) followed by a roadie at #14 Kansas.

Seemed like Iowa missed 15,400 shots
 Beatdown on one side, meltdown on the other.  I was in Iowa City along with 15,400 Hawkeye fans dying to see a basketball resurgence and the #6 Ohio State Buckeyes.  Unfortunately Iowa didn't really show up.

There's no shame in losing to OSU.  They are the elite team right now in the Big Ten and it's not even close.  Jared Sullinger is worth the price of admission alone.  Iowa could have played a perfect game and probably still lost, but.......

....what stings is how badly they did play.  Iowa had their chances in the first half when three OSU starters had to ride the pine, and yet they were down nine at the break, and the game was over quickly in the second half.  When OSU started to press the Hawkeyes reverted to what got them killed earlier this season-they stopped running offense and started jacking up bad shots.

What's most frustrating is seeing a team that was so poised in road wins at Wisconsin and Minnesota completely lose it so quickly when things got tough against Ohio State. 

Drake and UNI kind of got lost in the shuffle, but the Panthers picked up a nice win in Des Moines.   For being a fairly young team they really have handled the in-state rivalry games well.  The pattern in all of them seems the same-the game is tight most of the way, and then the Panthers put the peddle down and out-execute (and outwork) the Cyclones, Hawkeyes and, now, Bulldogs. 

The door is open for UNI and ISU to get at large bids to the tournament IF they play well in conference.  ISU's early loss to Drake is a wart, but they'll erase that with a solid Big 12 season.  UNI's two Valley losses are worse, but if they beat Wichita State and Creighton all is forgiven.

The ISU women hung with Brittany Griner and #1 Baylor for most of the night before the Bears pulled away 57-45.  Watching Griner is like watching the sequel to Juwanna Mann.

Griner & Mann at least have to be related

Iowa wrestling lost it's first dual in three years to Oklahoma State on Saturday night in front of 15,400 at Carver Hawkeye.  Or did they?  The two teams were actually tied at 16, but OSU won on "criteria".  Gymnastics and figure skating think that's a stupid way to break ties.

Didn't watch much of the NFL Playoffs today.  Did I have to?  The Bengals are the Bengals.  And Drew Brees is really good.  Ho hum. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Who cares man its the playoffs! Good lord. Definitely NOT a legit NFL fan there.