By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
The week from hell is over.
I apologize for that first sentence. It was harsh. But it’s true. While the drama of realignment seemed to intrigue and excite a lot of people out there, it kept many others from sleeping at night, myself included.
Had Iowa State been thrown into the MAC, Conference USA or some other low-level conference, a lot of people would have lost jobs. The Ames economy would have suffered greatly. Iowa’s economy would have felt it. This situation was about a lot more than wins and losses on a football field.
Enough of that kind of talk though. Things worked out well for Iowa State and I haven’t stopped celebrating. There’s no better way to cap off a Wednesday than the CF Mailbag.
Quickly, I do owe you all a quick apology. Last week’s mailbag was never completed. I got like three questions done when expansion mania entered its most extreme hours.
Let’s get going this week with a question from CloneState1028.
CloneState1028: Chris, Many people here have alluded to the fact that the fan base needs to step up in order to help enhance ISU’s product for if/when this conference realignment comes around again. First, do you believe this can really make a difference? And second, do you expect the fan base to indeed step it up?
CW: I want to make one point before I get to your questions. Based off of conversations I have had about this topic over the last 24 hours, the Big 12 is not planning on “realignment mania” being an issue in the future. It sounds to me like everybody around Iowa State is pretty confident in the current agreement among the league’s schools. Could that change? You bet it could. But that’s what I’m hearing at this point in time.
Let’s just say though that all of this this goes down again in five years. There is no question that winning programs are worth more. So yes, if Iowa State would go to a bowl every year for five in a row, I think they’d be in a much better spot. Money helps to create a winning program. A winning program creates fans. Fans creates more money. What was the main talking point regarding realignment over the past few weeks? Cold hard cash. That’s the evil cycle that is modern day college athletics. Win and you’re in a much better spot. It takes resources to do that. Here are a couple of ways you can help.
And yes, I expect the fans to step up. They’ve been doing that since the day Jamie Pollard got on campus and I don’t expect things to change.
Kurimski writes: Is the Big 12 looking to add a couple teams in the future at all now? Will the new conference look have an impact on football and men’s basketball recruiting?
CW: No, the Big 12 does not plan on expanding. Jamie Pollard was very clear about that with the media on Tuesday night. The current number (10) is part of the reason that Texas and Oklahoma decided to stick around. Instead of splitting the money 12 ways, you split it 10 ways and everybody makes more. This whole situation makes a lot more since the more I think about it.
About recruiting, it will absolutely help in my opinion. Think about it this way. In football, Texas is the hotbed in America. Well, the Texas schools can’t take every D-1 prospect in their state. There isn’t enough room. What’s second best for those kids? Playing against the Texas schools who passed them up. Now, Paul Rhoads can use the “you’ll get to play at the very least two games in the state of Texas per season if you come to Iowa State” pitch. Sounds good to me.
I think that it affects basketball recruiting less, although Fred Hoiberg did mention it last night in an interview.
Cyclonepride writes: How big would a $10,000,000 Johnny Orr statue be?
CW: About the size of a typical Nebraska fan’s head.
Yaman3 writes: How pathetic is it that three of my hawk friends called me last week just to give me crap about going to a crap conference?
CW: Pretty sad but expected. I had this loser Husker fan friend I have mocking me on my Facebook wall all week. It’s so stupid too because when we were growing up, all he did was make fun of the Big Ten and our Iowa friends. Again, I expected this.
Can you please tell me what exactly this "power" that Texas has over us is? I guess from what I can tell on this contract, we split the first half equally and then the rest is based on the TV slot you get which, as I understand is largely determined by how successful you have been. Is Texas able to use our wins or something? Is there something I am missing?
CW: The power that Texas has over Iowa State is the fact that without Texas, Iowa State could have ended up in Conference USA. It sucks to admit but it is true. Iowa State needs Texas more than Texas needs Iowa State. I know. It stinks. But that is the truth. Everybody is angry with the Longhorns but without them, Iowa State isn’t in this spot today. But when it comes to competition, they have nothing over Iowa State. The team with the best players on that given day will win.
Phipsiclones writes: Do you see the South end zone project taking a huge step forward because of the projected money we will receive? I think people will also be more willing to donate now because of the scare of the past weeks.
CW: No. I think that there are other things that the athletic department could use before bowling in the end zone. It’s probably not popular, but that is my opinion.
Dino writes: If the Cyclones fail to make a bowl game this season, will Matt Perault get so excited his head explodes in pure unadulterated glee? I would almost be willing to give up a bowl game for that.
CW: Your question did make me laugh out loud. But still, a lot of you guys don’t get it. By putting that in the mailbag, you just gave the guy you don’t like even more exposure. In the business Matt is in, exposure is a very good thing. He’s been talked about more than any other radio personality in Des Moines over the past week. While the talk has been anything but flattering, it has certainly been there. In return, his stock has probably never been higher. I’m not defending any of his opinions or anything, just stating a fact.
ItsCYence writes: What is CPR’s opinion on playing OU and Texas every year?
CW: I haven’t talked to Coach Rhoads since the news went down but I doubt it really changes things much for him. At Iowa State in the year 2010, you are expected to win. The boys aren’t wearing the old retro gold pants anymore. It doesn’t matter who is on your schedule. You need to win.
R1975P writes: Adding more teams seems to be a dead issue? Are there any teams that would change that? Award for top sports reporting 2010 in Iowa, CMW, who else?
CW: First of all, thank you very much. As for your questions, according to Jamie Pollard, the league will not be adding any teams. Will any school change this? I hear that Notre Dame is available….
Clones21 writes: What’s your favorite color/flavor of Ice Pops?
CW: That is the most random question I have ever answered. It’s so random that I don’t know how to answer it. I haven’t had an “ice pop” since I was like six. I have always been partial to the flavor grape though so I’ll go with purple.
Kkise writes: I just started liking country music recently (past two years). Who is the best country guitarist? Brad Paisley seems to play a pretty mean guitar.
CW: Good answer to your own question my friend. Paisley is sick on the axe. He’s probably the best that I have seen. Keith Urban is really good too, although I don’t really think he’s a country artist. Take a look at this video LINK HERE of one of my favorites, Eric Church. When I saw this, he proved to me that he could play a little guitar himself. He’s not doing anything fancy with the capo and all, but still, if you play the guitar, it is impressive. That’s my kind of musician. Just sitting in the back of his tailgate a strumming away!
CyCub13 writes: Will taking Iowa off the schedule lower the hatred for the opposite school in Iowa in the future? If so, wouldn’t it make sense to take them off? Not like I’m wanting a love fest or anything, but I wouldn’t mind being able to cheer for them in a bowl game once and awhile. Thoughts?
CW: I think that if you’re playing them or not, Iowa State fans are going to dislike Iowa. I can’t imagine a world in which Iowa State fans genuinely cheer for the Hawks. I’m sorry. Even if they aren’t playing, I just don’t see this happening.
Hey man. If you want to cheer for the Hawks in a bowl game, go for it. I rooted for them against Georgia Tech last year. Does that make me a bad Cyclone? I hope not.
Wallruss64 writes: I’m just starting a band to play cover songs. What song(s) do you wish you would hear when you go to a bar and a band is playing? (No Taylor Swift)
CW: How about a little “Wonderwall” by Oasis. That one always got my friends and me on our feet during F.A.C. back in the day. Trust me. That is a crowd pleaser. "Hey Jude" is good. Everybody loves "Sweet Caroline." Other than that, anything country makes me smile.
Vmbplayer writes: 1) Do you have any idea how much we will be on the hook for to buyout our 4th non-conference football game from 2013-2017?
CW: No I do not. I assume that will depend on the individual school that Iowa State is trying to buy out. We probably won’t know that information for a while. I assume there is a process to this that JP probably hasn’t had time for yet.
2) What’s your best guess, will the TX schools have to head north later in the football season now?
CW: Probably not. I assume the league will come up with some lame excuse that reads like this. “In honor to preserve the league’s best rivalries, we’ll play the conference’s geographically sensitive games towards the end of the season.” So that way, the big boys won’t ever have to invade the wind tunnel also know as Jack Trice in November.
Psyclone Brian writes: What does the financial outlook look like now?
CW: It is certainly a lot better Brian. Iowa State will make more money with this new deal. You can’t believe everything that you hear and read. I wrote a column on Monday night that I titled the “greatest day.” I stand by that today.
Ajk4st8 writes: Who do you pick to play a non conference game with….Iowa or Nebraska?
CW: I don’t even have to think about this one. Iowa in a heartbeat. That game needs to be played every year. It is very important to our state. Plus, playing Iowa State means a lot more to Iowa than it does to Nebraska.
Mt85 writes: Did Rony Nelson graduate? Any word on the eligibility of Dentrell Pate and Jevoury Wedderburn?
CW: As far as I know, Rony is good to go. I haven’t heard anything solid on the other two.
IcSyU writes: Of the current athletes at Iowa State, who do you think would be the most fun to sit down and do an interview with?
CW: I am partial to Austen Arnaud and Ben Lamaak. Those guys have great personalities and would give some really fun answers. Diante Garrett would be great too. He’s a great guy.