Olympic Sports

Outside the men’s room: Cyclone in Alabama

My paying employer has sent me to Alabama for a week. It should prove to be at least a little interesting with the Crimson Tide recently qualifying for the BCS National Title. The sports talk radio is buzzing like you wouldn’t believe. I’ll be here through Friday and will have some time on my hands for the evening. I thought I would offer up a few options of shenanigans for me to partake in and let you Fanatics choose my fate. Here is what I have so far:

A. Drive to Tuscaloosa to personally thank Nick Saban and the rest of the Crimson Tide for saving us all from four straight weeks of the media drooling over Tim Tebow. Surely, Mr. Tebow will still find his way into discussions, but it won’t be nearly as prominent as it could’ve been.

B. Drive to Auburn and hand deliver a bouquet of cardinal and gold roses to Auburn AD, Jay Jacobs, for taking Gene Chizik off of our hands.

C. Once again drive to Auburn, only this time find Eugene’s house and decorate his landscaping with toilet paper. You might say that sounds petty, I say it sounds fun.

D. Initiate discourse with as many diehard Auburn fans as possible at local watering holes while decked out in my ISU gear. Mostly to explain to them that this year’s success isn’t due to their current head man.

Inside the wrestling room

I can’t for the life of me understand any of the discontent some have with Iowa State’s performance against Iowa. I have seen more than one comment saying something along the lines of, “Iowa still dominating the close matches”. Excuse me if I beg to differ. In past years, Gallick probably would have succumb to his injury and not gutted out a tough victory against a very solid LeClere. Jon Reader finally got Ryan Morningstall, errr Morningstar. And while Jerome Ward deserves all of the credit in the world for his upset of Phil Keddy, I can’t remember a single time last year where I saw him come out and wrestle with that kind of fire.

Andrew Long ran out of gas. Nick Fanthorpe pushed the pace in the third period against Daniel Dennis and could’ve easily been rewarded with more stalling calls on that specific Hawkeye. Sorenson is a young guy and just couldn’t quite come through. It was a close meet that was decided by a single match. This dual should always be that close. Let’s not play the ifs and buts game, instead, let’s get behind this team and make a run for the national title.

Insight Bowl

Every bowl game has its inherent advantages and disadvantages. ISU will probably draw a better crowd in Tempe than it would’ve in Houston, have a winnable game against a BCS team, receive a higher payout, and play in what is considered a more prestigious bowl game.

Houston would’ve been more in the Cyclone’s recruiting territory, played on ESPN instead of the NFL Network (which still hasn’t made its way in to every family’s home), and played during a more visible time on New Year’s Eve in the early afternoon.

The Insight Bowl brought ISU to Tempe to get the best fan following possible. This isn’t pressure on the Cyclone fan base, but let’s respond emphatically and show up in droves. If for nothing else than for the sake of future bowl selections and to help springboard the Paul Rhoads era even further with a big win.

Three in a row is a streak

Albeit a streak that is not looked upon kindly. Some of the issues for the men’s basketball team are pretty glaring right now. Struggling in the half-court offense and complete lack of tenacity on the boards. Something has to be changed or we could all be in for a winter unlike we expected.

Let me preface this with how ludicrous it is to worry about the job security of your basketball coach before winter has officially begun. We’re all pretty aware of Greg McDermott’s contract situation. More than likely, he will be around for a while but if he is unable to produce results this year, with this roster, I would be inclined to believe he won’t be able to ever make it happen. That would leave us with a situation similar to Iowa City and Todd Lickliter and a fan base that could quickly become apathetic.

I for one however, do believe that Greg will get it straightened out. I had ISU at 7-2 at this point of the season, and they are 6-3. Two difficult one possession losses and a blowout on the road to the Pac 10 favorite are hardly reasons to jump ship in early December. Try not to let the accumulation of losses affect how you view this most recent loss.

Cyclone Tracker

• Maybe the Big 12 offices have some “hanging chads” they can examine from the voting for coach of the year. On a neutral field Mack Brown coached his talent to a “Les Miles – style” 13-12 victory over Nebraska. In Lincoln, Paul Rhoads coached his talent to a 9-7 victory over Nebraska. Hmmm….

• Congrats to the Cyclone volleyball team on advancing to the Sweet 16 for the third year in a row. Now, beat the Huskers in Nebraska for the second time this season. You’ve already proven to us you can beat them, as well as the Longhorns.

• Alexander Robinson didn’t make any better than Honorable Mention All Big 12 by the coaches or media. Really?

• I mentioned this above, but I feel that Jerome Ward and Nick Gallick earned “helmet stickers”—or perhaps “headgear stickers”—with their efforts in victory in their respective matches against Iowa.

Cyclone Trivia

Last weeks question: Jeff Grayer is the only Cyclone to score more than 600 points in three different seasons. Two others have done it twice, can you name them?

Barry Stevens and Zaid-Abdul Aziz

This Week: Can you name the Cyclone men’s basketball player that has notched more 35+ point games than anyone else? How many?