By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
I’ve just got a few notes and opinions to drop on you in today’s blog. This will be brief, but action packed. Tighten your seatbelt Fanatics.
The awkwardness has begun
So as far as the Big 12 goes, Nebraska and Colorado are long gone. Adios amigos. Syanara. It was fun while it lasted. My parting thoughts for these schools go something like this.
Thank you for a fun rivalry over the past hundred years. I am sorry that we couldn’t have been a little more competitive early on. Having said that, it has been fun beating you on the hardwood for the past decade. Good times. And also, thanks for your hospitality in my trips to Lincoln for football games every other year. If you’re reading this, a big thanks goes out to that one guy who randomly bought me a pizza last year. Yes, your gesture was waaaay over the top but I appreciated it nonetheless, as did my belly. That was a great day. I will leave it at that. It isn’t like me to rub losses in your face. Good luck in the Big Ten but as Iowa can tell you, be aware of Northwestern. Those pesky little scholars will sneak up and bite you when you least expect it. All in all, it stinks that you’re leaving but I don’t blame you. More money for a better fit. So long.
Thanks for nothing.
For the past week, I’ve thought a lot about how fans from other schools will treat these programs over the next year or so. My conclusion? Awkward moments will be inevitable.
The first awkward moment happened yesterday during Doc Sadler’s timeslot in the Big 12 basketball coaches teleconference. Here’s what went down between a reporter and Sadler, with my thoughts in parenthesis.
Reporter: What do you think about other coaches in the Big 12 saying that the league is going to be stronger without Nebraska and Colorado?
Sadler: I have not heard any other coaches say that. (Liar, liar pants on fire)
Reporter: I have. Rick Barnes said it the first day. (Oh no he didn’t. ZING)
Sadler: Oh Rick did? (Yes, Rick did. So did all of the other coaches. Doc is lying again. Poor guy. He’s stuck and this guy is playing hardball.)
Reporter: Yes. (Well aren’t we direct? Who is this guy anyway? He’s like Jeremy Schaap on steroids. I want to shake his hand. This dude has some serious marbles.)
Sadler: Again, I haven’t heard those things. (Your nose keeps growing Doc and it isn’t flattering) If that is what some people think then that is their opinion.I know that there was an awful lot of talk of trying to keep Nebraska in this league. (For the football program Doc, it has absolutely nothing to do with you.)
Sadler went on to talk more but about nothing of substance. I’m not trying to kill Nebraska or Sadler here today. I just wanted to provide proof that really odd moments like this are going to keep happening around Lincoln and Boulder until next spring. It is inevitable. I actually felt sorry for Sadler yesterday. How do you respond to that? It is kind of a lose-lose situation for the guy. He did his best. But I don’t buy for one second that he hadn’t heard anything like that prior to yesterday. Does Doc Sadler live in a cave? That’s the question of the day Fanatics. The whole conversation actually reminded me of Tom Osborne’s quotes about how he doesn’t feel any ill-will towards Texas. Really? I mean, really? No bad blood between Nebraska and Texas?
If I can, I will now steal a line from the great prophet and greatest musician (and maybe human being) of all-time, George Strait.
"…if you’ll buy that, I’ve got some oceanfront property in Arizona. From my front porch, you can see the sea. I’ve got some, oceanfront property in Arizona. If you’ll buy that, I’ll throw the golden gate in free…"
Another reason to play Iowa
This morning, I experienced one of the proudest moments of my young journalism career. I actually talked the one and only Steve Deace out of his opinion.
Heading into this morning’s show on Des Moines Sports Station, 1460 KXNO (where I was filling in for Jon Miller who was sick), Deace was of the opinion that Iowa State shouldn’t want to play Iowa anymore in football, once the round robin Big 12 schedule begins in 2011.
My opinion is that the two programs should play. My reason is simple. Iowa vs. Nebraska is inevitably going to become a huge rivalry. If both programs are successful consistently, this could be one of the biggest new rivalries in the entire sport.
If I am Iowa State, I am concerned about the amount of attention that these two teams will get in the market, especially with the Huskers chipping away at my airtime.
What’s the best way to stay relevant? Well, you can’t beat Nebraska anymore because they aren’t on your schedule and more than likely, won’t be in the future. You keep snagging headlines by beating Iowa. You can’t beat Iowa if you don’t play them. That’s why it is so important to keep Iowa on the schedule.
Cyclone fans constantly complain about the lack of attention and sometimes negative attention that the local media gives Iowa State. By dropping Iowa and adding a team like Akron (I just used them because I love the nickname ‘Zips’), sure, you might get an extra victory, but your visibility decreases significantly in your home state.
It’s my opinion that a loss to Iowa is better for the program’s future than beating up on a cupcake. And keep in mind that Iowa State has beaten Iowa seven out of the last 12 times that the two schools have played.