By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
This might be my favorite time of the year. We’re getting into the really meaningful college football games across America and ready or not, hoops season is upon us. I love it! I’ve got plenty of questions about both topics, along with one about sausage croissants from Casey’s (seriously) in this week’s mailbag. Enjoy.
I’ll start things off with a question from RING4CY.
RING4CY writes: In the pregame show, you talked about a statement win over Kansas. Was the win over Kansas the statement win you were looking for?
CW: First of all, thanks for listening to the CF/Wilson Toyota of Ames pregame show on 1460 KXNO, three hours before kickoff of every Iowa State home game (shameless plug, deal with it).
No, that isn’t what I was decribing before the game. At that point, I was talking about a 20-30 point win with the game never really being in doubt. BUT, I will certainly take what happened on Saturday. The defense only gave up 268 yards of total offense and Iowa State’s offense showed the consistency I was looking for in the third quarter. It wasn’t a complete football game but the Cyclones clearly showed their dominance over the Jayhawks. I’m glad that Iowa State played well in the second half, instead of the opposite.
There were two big things that I wanted to see last Saturday. The first was a convincing enough of a win so that Iowa State’s starters could be rested for the majority of the fourth quarter. Check. The second was a win that made Nebraska nervous coming into Ames this weekend. Check.
I am from southwest Iowa. There are more Nebraska fans in my hometown than Iowa State and Iowa fans combined. It is a sad, sad thing. I’ve talked to a lot of those people this week and thee majority are fearful of what could happen on Saturday. That’s a good thing.
Judoka writes: Who do you pick in the Colorado vs. Kansas game this weekend? I am pulling hard for Kansas because I think regardless of how the ISU game this weekend turns out I’d much rather be facing a Colorado team that has given up on the season on the 13th.
CW: I would have to agree with your analysis. Kansas is in the rearview mirror. We shouldn’t care if the Jayhawks get momentum at this point in the season. The Buffs are currently 0-4 in the Big 12 and a loss at Kansas very well could do Dan Hawkins in for good. Might as well bury them now right? ROOOOOOOOCCCCKKKK CHAAAAAALK JAAAAAYHAAAAAAAWKKKKK>>>>>KUUUUUUUUUUU.
This has somewhat been my interpretation of next week’s game from the beginning of the season. I think it is a deal where yes, it is a Big 12 road game so you can’t chalk it up in the win column, but how much will Colorado actually want to be there? Will their heads still be in it? Do they even respect their coach?
I see that the Buffs are a nine-point favorite heading into that one. Kansas should be their first and second string quarterbacks back though. I don’t know. Flip a coin. Colorado probably has more talent but it is in Lawrence. For some reason, Turner Gill has been pretty vocal about his team’s recent “improvement.” I might go out on a limb and pick Kansas to win this thing.
CYCRAZY writes: If I asked for your hand in marriage would you say yes?
CW: I don’t do this very often, but can I pass on a question? Is that legal?
And I spotted you in the south end zone last week…………
CW: That’s kind of creepy…And you didn’t say hi? I tend to stop by there from time-to-time. That is where my family sits. I have to leave games early in order to get to Des Moines in time for Cyclone Reaction. Whenever I feel the game is in check, I’ll go say hi to my parents, wife and in-laws. Plus, I get to sit in the stands for about 10 minutes, which I rarely do anymore. I even cheer a little bit. Don’t tell on me. I’d hate for my objectiveness towards Iowa State to be put in jeopardy. JIMLAD
Cy’s Taxi writes: You’re probably not going to answer this question just yet, but I’ll ask it anyways. How many wins are you thinking our Men’s basketball team is going to get this year? Are we looking at another.500-ish year? Better? Worse? And why?
CW: I have no problem answering this question. Just so you know, I’ll be putting out my Iowa State men’s basketball ultimate preview sometime next week. After really studying this schedule, I think that the team will win anywhere from 12 to 15 games this year. I think that 15 is probably a best case scenario. I see nine or 10 wins in the non-conference schedule and with Iowa State’s frontcourt situation, winning against anyone in the Big 12 will be tough.
I think that the Cyclones are catching a bit of a break in a lot of these “tougher” non-conference games though. Iowa more than likely won’t have Matt Gatens when the two teams meet up. Virginia is picked to place dead last in the ACC. Northern Iowa is a good Missouri Valley team but they’ll be down compared to recent years. Cal is being picked to finish towards the end of the PAC 10. A lot of these tough non-con games are good matchups for Iowa State, as they are teams who don’t score a lot of points. These teams like to slow it down and in return, that should keep them close at the very least.
If I was to put Iowa State on upset alert, it would be next Friday when Northern Arizona comes town in game one of the Fred Hoiberg era. I will elaborate on that statement next week.
To me, the whole season hinges on the type of production Iowa State gets from Diante Garrett and Jake Anderson. They are the key. If God forbid one of them were to ever go down with an injury, things could get ugly in Ames. I’ll go into more detail with all of this next week.
My thought on this season is to keep expectations as low as possible. Let this team surprise you and enjoy the ride leading up to 2011. Just my two cents.
Cloneswereall writes: Why does Casey’s make the most delicious sausage croissant? In addition, what do you think the odds are that we actually win more than one of our last three games?
CW: No need for me to breakdown the tastiness of the Casey’s sausage croissant today. Like Lucky Charms, they are magically delicious. Is that the slogan for Lucky Charms? I have my breakfast foods mixed up right now.
Odds that Iowa State wins one of the last three games? I will go at about 60 percent. I really don’t see wins against Nebraska or Missouri. I think that Iowa State matches up better with Missouri than Nebraska. I think that number six will come at Colorado. I alluded to that in one of the above questions. I just don’t think that team will have anything to play for. Their starting quarterback is out and the coach is the definition of a lame duck. Still, it is a road game so you have to take it seriously, regardless of how hapless the Buffs appear to be.
Cyrocksmypants writes: What should I be more embarrassed about watching on T.V.: House Hunters International or The Suite Life on Deck?
CW: Honest question: What is The Suite Life on Deck? Give me a second while I go Google this……………………………………………………………………………………………..
Uhh, I assume you watch that junk because you have kids? If not, I’ve got to go with that ridiculous excuse of entertainment for my answer. I hate the Disney channel. I’m sorry but the shows on there are so as riveting as Todd Lickliter’s style of basketball. The actors are bad. The writing is worse and if you really want to torture me, make me watch that channel for more than 25 minutes. The only reason I have any experience with this at all is because of my three-year-old niece. Recently, I’ve gotten her switched over though. Instead of Mickey, she’s now into the WWE, NASCAR and South Park. She’s growing to be a well-rounded young lady. For that I am like Paul Rhoads, so proud.
Justcynn writes: Would an ISU Victory Saturday be the biggest in its history?
CW: This type of question is tough. Yes, it would be for me. Now ask a 50-year old that question and he’ll likely give a different response. It would be Paul’s first win against a top 10 team and it would secure bowl eligibility for the second season in a row. It could also put Iowa State in the driver’s seat to play for a Big 12 North championship. But would Iowa State be in this spot without winning at Nebraska last year? Where would this team’s confidence be without winning at Texas? It depends on who you ask but for me, yes, I’d vote for it being the biggest since I’ve covered the team at least.
Wesley writes: Do you believe coaches polls or computer polls more?
CW: The coaches poll cracks me up. What do you think these guys are doing on Saturdays? They are coaching their teams. It isn’t like they go to their game for three hours, call it quits and then go work the DVR for 10 hours. They are busy all day long! How can they possibly watch all of these teams? I venture to bet that the majority of the coaches actually aren’t voting, but a grad student or SID fills it in and completes it with the big man’s approval. Just a guess. I’ve always been critical of that poll. Being that I am a member of the media, I prefer the AP poll because trust me, nobody is smarter than a sportswriter. JIMLAD
Pick between the two? I’ll go with the humans every day without even having to think about it. Computers can’t calculate injuries, margin of victory, style points (yes they do count), etc.
Isugcs writes: With all the Nebby jokes going around this week, what’s your favorite/most original Nebraska joke?
CW:This is one of my favorite threads of all-time. I enjoyed reading it yesterday while waiting for a meeting to begin.
I’m not a fan of “huck the fuskers or N stands for knowledge.” To me those are old and worn out.
Two posts stood out to me. By the way, CF users jdoggivjc and CY’s Taxi get helmet stickers for these.
Opposed to equal Big 12 Revenue Sharing since 1994. In favor of equal Big 10 Revenue Sharing since 2010.
NEBRASKA: If you can’t beat them, leave them.
Phipsiclones writes: What do you think the Saturday’s attendance will be realistically? Will we see a JTS conference game record attendance?
CW: I highly doubt that there will be a record crowd in attendance on Saturday. I am guessing anywhere from 50 to 53,000. Hopefully it is higher than that.
Tec71 writes: What’s more important to the future of the program, bowl eligibility this season or last?
CW: On the surface, I’d say this year because it shows that last season wasn’t a fluke. But you can’t go to back-to-back bowl games without starting things off right in year one. Confused yet? They are both important but for this program to take that next step, I think winning one of the next three games is very necessary.
Which current or former cyclone athlete would make the best heelin the WWE?
CW: Current? Jacob Lattimer. Former? Matt Robertson, also known as “Robo.” He still haunts my dreams.
jj-cyclones writes: With you being around the team (football) so much, who would you say is the guy that keeps things "light" in the locker room or is always making people laugh (my guess would be Ben Lamaak, that guy is hilarious to follow on twitter)? Also, if the football team had a fight, who would be the last guy standing? Sims? Knott? Klein?
CW: I think that Austen and Ben really inspire the guys to loosen up. I don’t know what they’re like in the locker room but it is easy to tell by being around both of them. They are leaders. They smile a lot and are just pleasant human beings to be around.
Last man standing? I’ll go with Kelechi Osemele. Can you imagine getting in a fight with all 335-pounds of that 6-foot-5 frame? The dude is unmovable. Make this an over-the-top-rope battle royal and I’ll put my life savings on KO.
RedBlooded writes: What do you think of RedBlooded’s Dead on Predictions? I hope I’m wrong this Week.
CW: I don’t believe that Iowa State will beat Missouri and I think that the Cyclones will probably fall a notch or two below the Pinstripe Bowl. Other than that, I agree on the next two games.