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Football

Fan Blog: A little bit of everything

CycloneFanatic.com’s Chris Williams is away on his honeymoon in Florida. Enjoy this guest fan blog from poster YaMan3.

By Trevor Enerson

Good day Fanatics. First off, here’s the deal. I want to enlist the help of you guys. Kirk Haaland has a sweet name for his blog: Outside the Men’s Room. Now, I tried to come up with one for mine but I have nothing. Inside the Men’s Room was just a little creepy and using any other room just isn’t applicable to what we are doing here. Now, since my imagination is not good enough for this naming thing, I am going to ask you to come up with something. I wrote a couple blogs during last football season and tried a couple different things as far as format but I really didn’t like either one. This time around I am going to do a pseudo Top ?. Basically, I will have a few things that either bug me or that I have a relevant opinion on when it comes to Iowa State. There could be five or there or maybe 10. It will depend on the amount of stuff going on. If I have something else that maybe doesn’t fit into this format, I may have little bit more added to the blog. There you guys go. Now find a name for this thing. This time around, I am going to cover a few different sports but as we get closer to football season it will likely be heavily concentrated with college football, mainly Iowa State.

1. Scheduling

Everyone knows our schedule is very tough this year. With the exception of UNI, I don’t look at any team and say we will for sure beat them, let alone beat them handily. I think a lot of people are coming into this season with lowered expectations as far as wins. Not this guy and not this team. I expect another bowl. I think we will get to another one. I think we beat one of the “big names” and I think we win the games we should win.

Now, Chris wrote about his opinion on how we should schedule. He was of the opinion that we should schedule a little bit easier. I disagree to an extent. I think our first game should be a cupcake. It needs to be. After that, bring em on. Anymore, the bowl season is watered down. A lot of teams that really don’t deserve to be in a bowl are and some that do aren’t. I would like strength of schedule and good wins and good losses to mean something. I don’t want to be that mediocre team that beat three cupcakes and three mediocre teams to get there. I would like to see us go and play Oregon or Cal or Pitt early in the year. I want this team to know where they are. I don’t want Iowa State to go into the Iowa game and Big 12 season not knowing where they stand. I want them know they can play with anyone or, on the flip side, know they have to play their butts off to be in the game. I understand what everyone is saying with the cupcakes. Actually, with a new coach, that method may be better. But once we are in years past the second or third, I want the big names. Obviously, the next two years will be tough. The thing to keep in mind is that tough times breed tough minds. These young guys are getting thrown up against good teams right away. For the future, that may not be all bad.

2. Conference Realignment and Iowa State

Has there ever been a topic in sports that has been as busy as this? Seriously, this is getting ridiculous. There are so many scenarios thrown about by so many people who don’t have a clue to what may actually happen that it just about drives a guy crazy. I have no idea what will happen. I don’t pretend to. I know there are things that are more likely than others, but that’s it. As far as ISU is concerned, I really don’t know that either. I do think that ISU is a bigger player in Big Ten discussions than we think. For some reason, we, as Cyclones, have been brainwashed into believing that no one wants us. I ask you now, why not? The only thing I would say is that we don’t have the one big thing. We don’t have outstanding academics, a powerhouse football or basketball team or a huge fan base. I will say though, that overall we are a decent option. We have good academics, a loyal, even if concentrated fan base and a football team on the rise. We were third in WBB attendance and our volleyball program is becoming a force. I know, I know, they are money losers. The fact is, though that that fact is not black and white. There are varying levels of losing money. We don’t lose as much money as others because we draw crowds and have success. That does matter. What also matters is that we were 22nd in the Directors Cup. Again, not a big deal to some, but I think it indicates a direction in which we are heading. As a whole, the Big Ten could do worse than ISU.

If we are left hanging like some expect, here is what I would like to see. Forget trying to find a different conference. We need to be ahead of the thing. Get a new one fired up. Try and sway a few of the Big 12 also in a similar position as well as TCU, Boise and whoever else is competitive to start a new one. Sure, it won’t be very prestigious but nothing about our other conference possibilities is prestigious. Jamie Pollard isn’t a business dummy. My guess is that he has eyes and ears on this. I am sure he has been doing work in regards to this and will get us the situation possible.

3. Charles Boozer

OK, short and sweet. As most of us know, Charles Boozer got into some trouble. This, evidently, has brought up some other issues that he needs to deal with. There has been speculation on who decided he is transferring. I don’t really care. This kid needs to seek help with whatever his problem or problems are and take care of himself. I would like to thank him for the time he has given here and his dedication to Cyclone basketball. Up until the day he was leaving, he gave everything he had and was one of the guys really trying to get this program on track. Thanks Charles, good luck in your future endeavors.

4. Johnny COrrt

This has been something discussed in a relatively long thread here at CF. I think most people are for some sort of recognition of the coach that resurrected our basketball program and created what has been named Hilton Magic. I know I am. I do think he is deserving of having the court named after him. I just have one little problem. What do you do for Bill Fennelly either now or in the future? Johnny did things here that were outside of just winning. We know this. Bill has won. And won. And won. I think he is as deserving, possibly more than Orr of that honor. Don’t kill me here please. Hear me out. Bill Fennelly has not had the attention around him that a men’s team would have. He hasn’t had the viewer base that March Madness or men’s basketball in general that Orr did. Should that be held against him? I don’t think so. I just there needs to be an equal “thing” that we could do for him when his time here is done, or even sooner. I would love if the floor could be named for both of them but I don’t see that happening. Again, I do not disagree with naming it after Orr. I just think that Bill Fennelly has done as much with his program as Orr did. He simply is not as recognized because that sport is a much lower profile sport.

5. Alexander Robinson

There has been a lot of speculation about what next year will bring for him. I think the consensus is that he will be a top if not THE top back in the Big 12. I concur. If he can stay healthy has the opportunity to be the best back in the Big 12. What I disagree with is that his numbers will show that. Anyone who knows football knows numbers aren’t everything. If they were, Tim Tebow wouldn’t have been mentioned in the Heisman talks last year.  I think that next year, A-Rob will be at about the same level of yards and possibly TDs. The difference will lie in his carries. I look for him to be the premier back but I think we will see a much greater effort in incorporating the other backs. Jeff Woody has been impressive.  Everything I have read or heard points to Shontrelle Johnson being a guy that will contribute at least a little right away. James White was the guy we heard all about last year. Beau Blankenship has seen some time and is a good mix of power and speed. Bo Williams, a guy we seldom talk about (insert sarcasm), has the tools to be a great runner if he can round out his game. Remember, he had the concussion that has held him out of spring ball. We don’t really know where his game has gone. Hopefully he can recover and be a contributor. By the end of next season, I think we will be talking about A-Rob in the Big 12’s elite. I don’t think his numbers will garner him the attention he will truly deserve. As we all know, your number have to speak for you at Iowa State. You don’t get recognized unless they are. Heck, even if you have extraordinary numbers, you don’t get your due. Ask Troy Davis.

6. Austen Arnaud

Paul Rhoads said he could be the most improved player on the team for last year through this spring. Man, I hope so. If he is, this offense could be special. I firmly believe the success of this offense will be determined by the passing game. Our receivers have to be better but Austen also has to as well. I was a huge backer of Austen last year. He did struggle. Please though, keep in mind he had been through three coaching staffs and was learning another new system. I expect the learning to be done with by now. Now he needs to execute. He is no doubt the leader of this offense. Heck, after watching the famed Nebraska video I would say he is the leader of the whole team. The other day, I was thinking about whom I could even compare Arnaud to. It took awhile but one name came to mind. Tim Tebow. Think about it. They have the same strengths and weaknesses. They both are great leaders. They are both tough. They are both great competitors. They run the ball the same way. The weakness is in their passing. The difference is that Tebow was in a system predicated on the run. He thrived in that system. I firmly believe that Austen throws the ball better. When you look at everything, if Austen has grasped the offense and becomes an executor and not a thinker, he could be better next year than Tebow was last year. I’m not saying the world will think so because they won’t unless we are a Top 10 team, but I think when you sit down a look at their whole season, he could be better than Tebow.

7. Fred/Greg

Let me get this straight. We have a coach that basically, a lot of the fans have given up on. The thinking is that we cannot afford to buy him out. Then, another school comes sweeping in and “steals” him from us? Wow. I am not saying I was against Mac. I wanted him to succeed almost as much as I want Hoiberg to. I liked the guy. I defended him forever. But eventually, when the losing continues and players keep leaving, you have to cut your losses. Somehow, we got lucky. At least we think we did. We will have to see what happens with Fred. I think all of Cyclone Nation would love to see Fred take us to new heights in the next 20 years. Will it happen? Who knows? I have come around on this hire. When I first heard he was going to be the next coach I wasn’t thrilled. I thought it was a terrible hire. After all, you have Billy Gillispie out there and you have Nick Nurse just waiting to sign a contract. How could you not at least give them a look? Now I somewhat understand. Jamie Pollard knew who the next coach of ISU was going to be. He has known for four years. I believe that after Fred initially gave Jamie his plan for the program, Fred essentially was hired as the next head coach here. I have to believe that because it happened so fast. I don’t pretend to know Fred’s plan. I will say, though, that if Jamie was that impressed four years ago by it, I will go with it. We have another guy that wants to be here and wants to win here. That makes five coaches that want to be successful at ISU, not at the biggest and best schools within their respective sports. I like to have coaches like that.

8.  Cyclone Fanatic-A Family

This is the serious portion of the blog. Recently, one of our own, as most of us know, has lost two children far too early in their lives. This is a terrible tragedy. I would like to take this little time to say that all of CF’s thoughts and prayers are with the family.

I would also like to say the outpouring of support and condolences for this member and the family from CF has been amazing. I am a member of a few different message boards and I have never seen anything like this. I never would have imagined I would. This is what makes us special folks. This is what makes our fan base special. We are like a family here. Sometimes we bicker and fight, but in the end, even if it is just Internet socialization, we do care about each other. I am very proud of the members we have here. It really is an honor to be part of a message board that runs deeper than little arguments here and there on sports, which in the end, mean very little in our lives. There was one member that has taken it upon himself to go a step farther and create a fund for the family of those lost. FarminCy has started a fund that you can contribute to. I am sure each and every donation would be greatly appreciated. I would like to thank FaminCy for doing this and also thank everyone else who has does donate. Once again, this makes us special compared to other fan bases. Don’t think for a minute this kind of thing is normal across all fan bases. We are anything but normal.

To donate to this great cause, CLICK HERE for more information.