By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
Do you know what today is Fanatics? If you’re thinking “Cinco de Mayo” in your mind right now, you’re wrong. Well, yes, it is the fifth of May. But I was thinking more along the lines of; it is the one-week anniversary of the Mayor coming back to Ames. That’s what I’m talking about.
Interestingly enough, the hot topic in this week’s CycloneFanatic.com Mailbag is conference realignment and not the Mayor. It doesn’t matter where you go on the web right now. People are obsessed with the conference realignment discussion. So I figure that in today’s mailbag, I’ll get all of these questions out of the way first. It won’t take you long to learn what my thoughts truly are regarding the topic.
Let’s start with a question submitted by vmbplayer.
Vmbplayer writes: Has JP said anything about the potential conference realignments and if so, do you get the sense he has contingency plans in place if bad things end up happening?
CW: Has Jamie Pollard spoken publicly to the media about potential changes? Not that I know of. In fact, I hope that he hasn’t because I’d be ticked off if I missed that press conference. He hasn’t spoken about it and I don’t expect him to either. If I’ve learned anything about Pollard over the years, it is that the man is always prepared. Just look at what happened last week. Out of nowhere, Greg McDermott jetted for Creighton. Without hesitation, Pollard had his guy. So I’m sure that deep within the ranks of Iowa State University (going beyond the athletic department even), conversations have taken place. This is where I think a lot of people are wrong. At the end of the day, this issue is above the athletic director. This isn’t going to be a Jamie Pollard decision when, or I should say if, anything ever goes down. Sure, he’ll have a say. But this is a much larger issue. But to answer your question directly, yes, I’m sure that Iowa State is prepared for whatever scenario is tossed their way in the future.
MLawrence writes: With all of the talk about how the PAC 10 and the Big Ten want to expand which might lead to the end of the Big 12, is there any added pressure on Iowa State Athletics to produce and to produce in big a way so they can still be relevant? Has Jamie Pollard mentioned this to the other coaches in the athletic department?
CW: The simple answer to your question is no. Iowa State finished 22nd nationally in this year’s Director’s Cup. That means that overall, Iowa State University is the 22nd strongest athletic department in America. Iowa State has never been more dedicated to winning than they are right now. Iowa State’s athletic budget has increased exponentially since Jamie Pollard took over. Iowa State is heading in the right direction.
BondurantCyfan writes: Is it me or is everyone else sick of hearing about the Big 10 expansion?
CW: Yes. I am sick to death of it. I’m even sicker to death of every blogger in America writing out their scenarios on what is going to happen and why. These guys have a right to write what they want, don’t get me wrong. In fact, I put together one of those blogs months ago. But what I’ve learned since then is that really, nobody has a clue what is going to go down. When this is all said and done, I really think that what the Big Ten wants, the Big Ten will get. The rest of the chips will fall after that.
I’m going to quote my man P-Diddy here. You ready?
“It’s all about the Benjamins baby.”
Now here’s a little Randy Moss for you.
"Straight cash homie."
That’s all that anybody cares about.
Clonegrad07 writes: How do you see the Big 12 shaking out if Nebraska does in deed go to the Big 10?
CW: I personally think that Nebraska wants the Big Ten more than the Big Ten wants Nebraska. Here’s a theory for you.
Notre Dame is the big daddy for the Big Ten right? If they could have any school in America, they’d want Notre Dame. I don’t think that anyone can argue with that. So if the Big Ten wants to play hardball, why not force them into joining up with you? How are you going to do that? By dismantling the Big East. Sign up Rutgers. Sign up Pitt. Sign up UCONN. Heck, sign up Central Michigan. I don’t really care. Sign up whomever you want. It doesn’t matter. If these super conferences start to develop, the number of non-conference games that each team plays will have to diminish. Maybe these Big East/Big Ten schools won’t have room for the Irish anymore. Suffocate them and force them into the Big Ten. That’s what I’d do if I were in the Big Ten’s driver’s seat. But that’s just a theory and nothing more. It’s really easy for me to write that out. Putting an actual plan into action is another thing.
UNIGuy4Cy writes: Where would you like to see ISU end up in this conference realignment? I for one am ok with anything outside the Texas 12.
CW: I will be here to support Iowa State regardless of where they land. Personally, I’d like to see them in an equal revenue sharing Big 12 Conference. That’s the biggest deal that I see here. The way things are right now, the rich keep getting richer. The financial distance between Iowa State and Texas is only going to grow with time. Something has to be worked out so that television revenue is split equally among all 12 members of the conference. If that doesn’t happen, then honestly, I’d like to see Iowa State explore any and all other options.
Okay…We are done with those questions. Let’s lighten the mood a little bit with a question from MoreCowbell.
MoreCowbell writes: Have you and the soon-to-be Mrs. C-Willy chosen your first dance song for your wedding? Will it be T-Swift or your man George? Or, will you go with the old standby At Last by Etta James? Inquiring minds want to know. And by inquiring minds, I mean me. It’s been a long time since I planned our wedding, and I’m curious what the kids these days are doing.
CW: Thanks for the question MoreCowbell. I will say that I was shot down by my original request for a first dance. I wanted to opt for “If the Whole World was a Honky Tonk,” by King George Strait. After about three different dirty looks and a swear word later, we mutually decided on “Then” by Brad Paisley. I like Brad Paisley. However, I see him getting dangerously close to a trap that the likes of Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney (for a while), Keith Urban and many others have fallen into. That is, they get married and all of the sudden, their music starts to suck. I love to hear Brad sing about fishing and drinking. After a while, I could care a less about how pretty his wife is. Enough Brad. Enough! We get it brother. You love your wife. Honestly man, I really don’t care anymore!
Back to your question…You bring up an interesting point with "At Last"…But who are we kidding? When people hear that song, they think of the Obama’s. Our reception is at the freaking Page County Fairgrounds in Clarinda, Iowa. If you’re at our reception, look forward to a nice stench of horse manure mixed with pig urine in the air all night long. I just ordered six Busch Light kegs yesterday. Most weddings use caterers, we will eat whatever the Page County Cattlemen Association scrounges up for us that night.
Now you tell me MoreCowbell. Would us dancing to “At Last” really fit? I personally do not think so.
And as much as I passionately love T-Swift’s music, a first dance to “Teardrops on my Guitar” doesn’t necessarily spew class.
So we settled on Paisley. Do you like the move?
Mjones34 writes: What chance does Bubu Palo have of grabbing a scholly?
CW: From what I know, the McDermott staff was leaning towards giving him one at some point. I have no clue what Fred Hoiberg’s thoughts are though.
Knownothing writes: Who are the biggest 2010 recruits out there for basketball?
CW: At this point, there aren’t many guys out there. If I’m on the staff, I’d just start banking scholarships, unless I know that a guy can help me this year.
Also do you stalk players on facebook?
CW: I can honestly sit here and write that I have never once tried to contact a recruit on Facebook. I’m not even friends with players on Facebook, unless I am actually friends with these guys in real life. Maybe I’m missing the boat in this business by not using a tool that is there for me. I think I see Facebook for what it really is though. It’s supposed to be a fun, social networking site used to connect with old friends. The fact that Facebook “stalking” goes on is kind of creepy. That’s just my opinion. I for one would never add a Facebook friend who I don’t know in real life. That’s just me.
DrewCo writes: Do you have Beiber fever?
Schfinkter writes: Ok Celebrity Apprentice, The Amazing Race, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Kirstie Alley The Big Life, all your favorite shows on Sunday night? How do you possibly handle this?
CW: I hate to burst your bubble but I’ve got to level with you. Even though I haven’t seen them all, I’m almost 99 percent confident that all of those shows suck. I’m more of a Monday night TV guy. Two and a Half Men, Big Bang Theory and most importantly, WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW. Now that is a night of quality television my friends.
Nickwc writes: Will we see Calvin Godfrey in a cyclone uniform next year?
Isucy1234 writes: Will JVB start next year?
52ynnel writes: Is Hoiberg close to naming his full staff?
CW: I wish I had more information on this for you. I have no clue. I kind of thought that it would be done by now. Recruiting must be his priority at this point in time and I can’t say that I blame him.
Cyfan964 writes: How many scholarships do you think Fred plans to give out in basketball this year? Have you heard any information you can divulge on our top assistant candidates?
CW: I addressed the two names that I have heard in last week’s mailbag. I haven’t heard anything new as of today. I think that there’s a good chance that Iowa State could only have nine or 10 players on scholarship heading into next season.
IcSyU writes: In spirit of finals week, what was the crappiest final you had to take in college?
CW: Funny story here…My future wife and I started dating each other while taking a class called “Intimate Relationships,” during our time at Iowa State. I got a D+ in that class and BOMBED the final. Yeah…Intimate Relationships. I’m sure that story will be told at the wedding next week. WORST FINAL EVER, basically because I did nothing in the class for an entire semester. I took the course to meet chicks. I did get a beautiful wife out of the deal so I guess I can’t complain too much.
CW: This was my class schedule during my last semester at Iowa State: Bowling, Golf, Life in Iowa, History of Rock N’ Roll and Creative Writing for the Non-Fiction. Pick any of the above, although the History of Rock N’ Roll was deceivingly difficult.
CYISFLY writes: Is Rony Nelson going to qualify to be able to report in the summer? Wasn’t there also something about Floyd Mattison’s grades? Those seem to be 2 impact defensive players.
CW: The team does plan on having Nelson this summer. I’m not sure on what’s going on with Mattison right now so I don’t want to speculate.
Cycopath25 writes: What happened to this so called Fantasy Sports Forum you were going to create?
CW: We’re going to be doing some restructuring of our forums this summer. I’m adding a Fantasy one along with a few others. Stay tuned.
CYdTracked writes: It’s time to fire up the grill. Gas or charcoal? Any secret recipes you have or do you stick to the basic boring burgers and brats most of the time?
CW: I really appreciate the taste of a charcoal grill but I don’t have the patience or time. So sign me up for a gas grill. My favorite recipe is a beer soaked zucchini. Have you ever tried this? They are phenomenal. Wrap up a zucchini in aluminum foil. Throw whatever spices you want on it. Pour some beer into the zucchini that you have cut in half. Be sure to add some butter as well. Throw that bad boy on the grill but be sure to not overcook it. There is nothing worse than a squishy zucchini.
907CY writes: CW… What is your take on the Women’s Basketball program? How do the returning players, recruits, and walk-on measure up and how well do you think they will do next season?
CW: All you need to know is that Bill Fennelly will be the head coach at Iowa State again next season. As long as that’s the case, Iowa State will be competitive. They will obviously be very strong down low and inexperienced at guard. I plan on interviewing Coach Fennelly sometime this summer and we’ll give you a full scouting report at that time.
Pyrocyz writes: Until Favre decides to come back…Who is the Vikings starting QB? Sage or Tarvaris?
CW: I don’t think that there is much of a question about this. Jackson should be the guy over Sage. It kills me to say that but it’s the truth.
Thatguy writes: What kind of Pro Potential does David Sims have and if you had to speculate what round do you think he grades at?
CW: That’s a really tough question that honestly, I don’t know the answer to. I’d think that an athlete of his nature would get drafted but I don’t know that for sure.