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  1. #1
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    This time it's different

    Iowa State opens the season at 2 - 0 for just the 7th time since entering the Big 12. Those fast starts led to bowls in three seasons but two four win seasons, and in one season (2003) the Cyclones didn't win another game.

    So which path will these Cyclones take? Let's take a look at an admittedly small sample size of information to make a best guess:

    Paul Rhoads got his signature win early in 2011, winning his first non-conference regular season game against a BCS AQ school. He'll have another crack next week at UConn in what looks to be a winnable game against a program looking for leadership (three QBs played for first year head coach Paul Pasqualoni). CPR also is enjoying the first 2 - 0 start of his brief career. His postgame shout out to the fans and the band continue to add to his legend and are endearing him to an ever widening fanbase.

    Steele Jantz put together an entire game, proving that that last 8 minutes of the UNI game weren't a fluke. At the end of the Iowa game he was drawing completely unfair comparisons to legendary quarterbacks. We'll know just how good he is soon enough, but he's just the 3rd ISU QB to start their ISU career 2 - 0 in the last decade, and neither Austin Flynn (UNI, Ohio) or Austin Arnaud (South Dakota State, Kent State) beat teams anywhere near the caliber that Jantz has already put away. He's put together back-to-back come from behind victories for a program where you can literally count them on your hands. This was just Iowa State's SECOND overtime victory in school history. The 4th quarter, once the enemy of Cyclone fans everywhere, has suddenly become "our time."

    7 turnovers (and a -5 turnover margin), 18 penalties, and two missed field goals rarely result in wins for any team, regardless of the talent on the field. This team has made far more mistakes than either opponent yet has still found a way to win. Luckily those mistakes are unlikely to continue at this pace, and the silver lining is that this team has now faced adversity and come out on top. Unlike the Cyclone teams of the past, this team isn't afraid to have to make plays to win the game. They know what it takes and how to do it. That will definitely factor in during conference play.

    Iowa State does not have a storied history of football success. In nearly 120 years of playing, we've averaged 4 wins per season. Our all-time leader in coaching wins (McCarney, 56) would be surpassed in 6 seasons by top programs. We've qualified to play in 10 bowl games, but nearly all of those have come in the expanded bowl season era. But successful programs start somewhere, and despite all of the disadvantages that make a logical person say it can't happen in Ames, you've got someone like Paul Rhoads that says "unacceptable."

    CPR's teams have improved each year, and while he was cautiously optimistic before the season, he did his best to temper fan expectations. With so many new variables this season, how could you predict what we would see on game day? The end result so far is a team that has taken on the personality of their most dynamic offensive player, a defense that can be counted on to keep the game within reach, and aside from missed field goals that have haunted the program forever, a very solid special teams unit (Mahoney's deep kickoffs, Lenz and Shontrelle with great returns, and Kirby Van Der Kamp likely to kick on Sundays).

    Because of these factors, I now see this Iowa State team winning 7 games and qualifying for a bowl in 2011. I said to start the season that if we could start 2 - 0 that we'd have a great chance to be 4 - 0. I see us winning by 10 in Storrs next weekend and then beating Texas in Ames by 4 in a game that likely won't surprise as many people as it should.

    Road games against strong Baylor and Missouri teams will be tough tests, but I see the Cyclones going 1 - 1.

    The brutal stretch to close the season has some relief with the two Kansas schools providing the final two wins of the season. I see one close game with A&M, OSU, OU and Tech, but I don't see us winning any of those games.

    Thanks to the Cyclone football team for providing two great games. I'm looking forward to the rest of the season and expect to see more special performances!


    Last edited by Kickedinthenuts; 09-11-2011 at 01:38 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: This time it's different

    Hard to tell exactly from this game....we dominated Iowa, yet almost gave the game away on silly mistakes. I think we are definitely better than the past few years, but I think Iowa is just simply not that good.



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    Re: This time it's different

    Quote Originally Posted by Ficklone02 View Post
    Hard to tell exactly from this game....we dominated Iowa, yet almost gave the game away on silly mistakes. I think we are definitely better than the past few years, but I think Iowa is just simply not that good.
    +1

    Wishing we had Iowa's schedule unstead of our slate... then I'd feel real confident. Still see us getting to a bowl game, but realistically seems like we could end up anywhere from 4-8 wins.



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    Re: This time it's different

    Quote Originally Posted by Kickedinthenuts View Post
    Iowa State opens the season at 2 - 0 for just the 7th time since entering the Big 12. Those fast starts led to bowls in three seasons but two four win seasons, and in one season (2003) the Cyclones didn't win another game.

    I haven't read the rest of your post, but noticed this. The Cyclones also started 2-0 in 2008, and didn't win another game.




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    Re: This time it's different

    Don't jump the gun yet. Who knows what we will end up at, but this is a great start :)



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    Re: This time it's different

    Quote Originally Posted by RING4CY View Post
    [/B] I haven't read the rest of your post, but noticed this. The Cyclones also started 2-0 in 2008, and didn't win another game.
    Oops. How could I forget that turd?



  7. #7
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    Re: This time it's different

    Quote Originally Posted by crash_zone View Post
    Don't jump the gun yet. Who knows what we will end up at, but this is a great start :)
    It's definitely early to be thinking about a bowl when you've just beaten an FCS team by a single point and an unranked Iowa team at home. But, if there's anything that CPR wants is for Cyclone Nation to think big. Our schedule looked daunting two weeks ago. Now it looks much less so. Just trying to get some conversations going.



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    Re: This time it's different

    Quote Originally Posted by Kickedinthenuts View Post
    Because of these factors, I now see this Iowa State team winning 7 games and qualifying for a bowl in 2011. I said to start the season that if we could start 2 - 0 that we'd have a great chance to be 4 - 0. I see us winning by 10 in Storrs next weekend and then beating Texas in Ames by 4 in a game that likely won't surprise as many people as it should.

    Road games against strong Baylor and Missouri teams will be tough tests, but I see the Cyclones going 1 - 1.

    The brutal stretch to close the season has some relief with the two Kansas schools providing the final two wins of the season. I see one close game with A&M, OSU, OU and Tech, but I don't see us winning any of those games.

    Thanks to the Cyclone football team for providing two great games. I'm looking forward to the rest of the season and expect to see more special performances!
    I had predicted 7 wins before the season as well, though I had predicted the Iowa game to be a loss. I had predicted wins over:

    UNI
    UConn
    Baylor
    Kansas
    Kansas State
    Texas A&M
    Texas Tech

    No reason why we shouldn't be able to get to at least 6 wins now, as we better get wins over UConn, Baylor, Kansas, and Kansas State to get to 6.




  9. #9
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    Re: This time it's different

    Quote Originally Posted by RING4CY View Post
    I had predicted 7 wins before the season as well, though I had predicted the Iowa game to be a loss. I had predicted wins over:

    UNI
    UConn
    Baylor
    Kansas
    Kansas State
    Texas A&M
    Texas Tech

    No reason why we shouldn't be able to get to at least 6 wins now, as we better get wins over UConn, Baylor, Kansas, and Kansas State to get to 6.
    If we learned anything the last two years in Conference Play, its that Rhoads and Co will get one no one was expecting, with Iowa now in the Win Column (doesn't count as unexpected), UConn is critical, after that I agree 6 wins should be attainable, 7-8 wins would be pheonominal.

    We are watching the transformation of a team that most say "nice Coach" but is "too outmanned to make any real noise" to a team that will beat you on the field based on the quality of play and coaching. I expect a few more bumps before we get there, but lets remember Coach said we would be celebrating a Conference Championship one day after the big Nebraska win. Beating Iowa in 3 OT's playing straight up and not taking any chances shows real improvement. Sure makes up for the Nebraska loss last year. Don't know which games they will be, but I predict beating Iowa will be an after thought of what this team accomplishes this year



  10. #10
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    Re: This time it's different

    Quote Originally Posted by Kickedinthenuts View Post
    Oops. How could I forget that turd?
    Oh its easy to forget one turd, when you have laid as many as we have.



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    Re: This time it's different

    I could definitely see us winning anywhere from 5-8 games this year. It just depends on how we finish down the stretch. We can beat UCONN, Texas, Mizzou, Tech, KU, and Kstate, no doubt in my mind.



  12. #12
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    Re: This time it's different

    Quote Originally Posted by RING4CY View Post
    I had predicted 7 wins before the season as well, though I had predicted the Iowa game to be a loss. I had predicted wins over:

    UNI
    UConn
    Baylor
    Kansas
    Kansas State
    Texas A&M
    Texas Tech

    No reason why we shouldn't be able to get to at least 6 wins now, as we better get wins over UConn, Baylor, Kansas, and Kansas State to get to 6.
    Have you been paying attention to Baylor so far? Beating them this year is going to be really tough.

    The main thing this team needs to do now is forget about Iowa and make sure they get focused on UConn. We can't afford a let down after a nice W against our rivals.



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    Re: This time it's different

    Quote Originally Posted by ISU_phoria View Post
    Have you been paying attention to Baylor so far? Beating them this year is going to be really tough.

    The main thing this team needs to do now is forget about Iowa and make sure they get focused on UConn. We can't afford a let down after a nice W against our rivals.
    I sure have. Did you see that they gave up 48 points in their first game of the season? That tells me they're beatable, and they won't win many ball games this year, if they continue to give up that many points in a single game.




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    Re: This time it's different

    Quote Originally Posted by Kickedinthenuts View Post
    Paul Rhoads got his signature win early in 2011, winning his first non-conference regular season game against a BCS AQ school.
    Way way way too early to call this a signature win. It sure means a lot to our team and fans, but if Iowa finishes 5-7, it's not a signature win. Wins over teams like Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State all have the potential to be much more meaningful and truly be signature wins for the season.



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    Re: This time it's different

    I agree that Friday is critical, a very winnable game. I see this season coming down to how we play on the road. If we step up and grab a couple conference road games, we will have one heck of a season. 5-8 wins is where I see us, I hope I'm low.

    One game note, I don't remember us sending any blitzes yesterday, used our front four. We didn't get any sacks, but they pressured him just enough to change a few passes. We have great lb's and corners and they seemed to keep most passes in front of them.



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