A fan’s take on the bowl situation

The following is a blog insert from yaman3, also known as Trevor Enerson. Trevor gives an interesting take on Iowa State’s bowl scenario and where he’d like to see the Cyclones end up in December.

Okay, now that the Cyclones are assured of a bowl game, us fans can look at the possibilities and try to determine which would be the best for the program as a whole. There will be differing opinions but when you look at the possibilities, I think one stands out as being the best for Iowa State’s football future. The possible destinations for ISU are most likely the Texas, Insight or Independence Bowl.s All of them have their positives and negatives. All of them are games in the postseason, which, at this point, is a very positive sign of things to come.

Insight Bowl

Host-Tempe Time-December 31 @4:30 Likely Opponent-Minnesota Probability of ISU playing here-%50

The game… For fans, this may be the best option. Arizona in December is what Iowans dream about. Great weather and a lot of stuff to do equals a great time. This game seems a lot more likely to happen right now after the comments published by Missouri media yesterday. I take these comments pretty seriously, since they came from the team that should be embarrassed if this happens. I don’t know if I like this game as it is not a very sexy match-up. It gives Iowa State the best chance of winning, but a win here is not that impressive to the nation, in my opinion. ISU vs. Minnesota will not draw a lot of TV viewers. This is one of five bowls that day and it is later in the afternoon of New Years Eve. There are a lot of things working toward a lesser audience here. This is not in a traditionally rich recruiting territory either, leaving Iowa State’s recruiting boost opportunity pretty low, in comparison with some other possibilities.

If the Cyclones were to win… Iowa State would have beaten a perennially mediocre Big Ten team whose days of success seem to have left with Lawrence Maroney and Marion Barber. It would be a bowl win nonetheless and that cannot be understated. This would give Iowa State a lot of momentum going into next season. There are not a ton of local recruits in this area that will be paying much attention to these two programs, so I do not see a huge recruiting image improvement here. Due to the fact that I do not think this match-up creates a lot of interest, I don’t see a ton of exposure to the average college football fan.

If the Cyclones were to lose…. I would be incredibly disappointed. I hate to look at situations that involve us losing because it goes against my core school spirit beliefs, but to judge potential impacts, I think it is important I do so. Iowa State would have then lost to a bad Big Ten program that hasn’t had any semblance of success in over five years and even then, they weren’t tearing people apart. Like I wrote earlier, there would not be a huge audience, so I don’t think the external hit is nearly as large as the hit we would take as fans. I think this would be step backwards if we were to lose this game.

Texas Bowl

Host- Houston Time-December 31 @ 2:30 Opponent-Navy Probability of ISU playing here-30%

The game… could be a fantastic watch. Houston is a nice city with plenty of additional things to do. The game would take place in a nice stadium and has the potential to become a very close, hard fought contest. I think that Iowa State matches up with Navy pretty well because the Cyclones defend the run well, especially when they know it is coming. With Navy, the run is coming. Like the Insight, this is one of five bowls on the same day. This is also a bowl with two teams that are not all that attractive to non-fans. What this bowl has that the Insight does not is the fact that this takes place in the heart of a key recruiting territory. This could trigger some interest from local kids who watch the game because they are close to it. I do not see a large national audience for this game due to the fact that.

If the Cyclones were to win… They would have beaten Army and Navy this season. I don’t think beating them opens a ton of eyes. This would give us some added momentum into next year as far as current players are concerned. A win is a win is a win, but I don’t believe this is an eye-opener to anyone. Again, not a lot of exposure and not a large amount of respect gained from a win here.

If the Cyclones were to lose… I would again be disappointed. I really feel that Navy is a team Iowa State should beat. I think they are a team that Iowa State can defend. The Cyclones can’t say that about a lot of teams. Due to the lack of audience, this doesn’t kill Iowa State to a lot of outsiders, but it also doesn’t help. If there are potential Cyclones in the area watching the game, Iowa State will not prove in this one game that we are indeed a team to be taken seriously. I am not saying a loss kills the program with recruits, but it does hurt. Overall, I would feel bad about a loss, but it wouldn’t be a situation where the whole season is defined. That, I think, was already done by the efforts we have seen so far.

Independence Bowl

Host- Shreveport Time-December 28 @ 4:00 Likely Opponent-Auburn, Kentucky, SC (in that order) Probability of ISU playing here-20%

The game… Would be in Shreveport. I know, I know, it’s not a great place to travel too and the stadium resembles a high school field. For fans, it isn’t spectacular. For the team, it is a big deal. This gives them the biggest match up with the biggest school in likely the most tradition rich bowl of the three. Iowa State would get an SEC team in the south. There will be an audience. Make no mistake, in the SEC, other teams fans will watch to see if they lose. This means we get portions of other SEC audiences besides that fan base. This game is in the Southeast, which is huge for recruiting. This bowl is also by itself that day. Any college football junkie, such as myself, will be watching this game. This, I think, is Iowa State’s biggest opportunity for national exposure.

If the Cyclones were to win… There would be pandemonium in two separate places. Cyclone Nation would be ecstatic. Think, Iowa State would have beaten an SEC bowl team. The Cyclone brand would be made known to a lot of recruits in that area of the country. They may not have seen one of Iowa State’s games all year. All they remember is that the Cyclones beat an SEC team. That is what matters. I have to believe the reaction of the fans would rival that of the Nebraska win. This is as big as that win. I won’t say bigger, but I think it symbolizes the direction this team is headed in. No doubt in my mind this is Iowa State’s biggest opportunity for national respect.

If the Cyclones were to lose… Well, it depends. I think that Iowa State is competitive against any of the three teams they are likely to play. Even with a loss, Iowa State could actually gain. If Iowa State plays an SEC team tough, that still shows improvement and it can show viewers that this team is respectable. If the Cyclones were to get blown out, well then what was expected to happen happened. I think there would be a lot of “I told ya so’s” and why not the Texas Bowl, but in the end, I don’t think the Cyclones would get blown out. Call me crazy, but I think that Iowa State has a great shot at winning. I know a lot of you don’t want this game because you think that the Cyclones will lose. I, for one, have been a fan for a while and I am done being scared to play someone because of that. This team isn’t the same team. There is a will to win. If this program wants to be respected and wants to get better, they have to earn it on the field and being competitive in this game is an opportunity to do so.

Final Take

I want to go to the Independence Bowl. Not Shreveport, the Independence Bowl. I want to see the Cyclones beat a good football team. With all due respect to Minnesota and Navy, I don’t think that Iowa State beating them does anything close to what a win over an SEC team does for recruiting, national opinion, etc. It would by naïve to think that the committees don’t, at times, make deals. I know there will be disagreements here. This is my opinion on the situation. I, for one, am just happy to be talking about which bowl game we want to go to and not what the team will do next year. One thing about the upcoming bowl game is for sure. Paul Rhoads will have the guys ready to “hit when they come off the bus.”


Cyclone Fanatic