Cyclone Slant: Bowl season blues

By Chris Williams, Publisher

The wife and I took a little road trip back home to southwest Iowa this weekend. As you’d imagine, it was lovely. We did the whole family Christmas thing yesterday. So on Saturday night, while the girls were baking cookies etc., my father-in-law (who is one cool dude) and I sat in the basement, drank a few cold beverages and attempted to watch football…(key word is "attempted).

If you didn’t get to watch, you didn’t miss much.

The New Mexico, uDROVE Humanitarian and R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowls all reeked of terrible football.

In the past, I have always been a major advocate of these tiny bowl games. I probably still will be in the future too. But they are a heck of a lot more enticing when Iowa State is playing in one of them.

Northern Illinois, a team that the Cyclones handily defeated on the first Thursday of the college football season, routed a very average Fresno State team 40-17 on Saturday night. Did watching that that not drive anybody else crazy?

Six teams played in bowl games on Saturday and Iowa State is better than every single one of them by a fairly significant margin. That’s just one specfic reason as to why this system is jacked up. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with 6-6 teams playing in bowl games. The more football the better in my opinion. But a 5-7 Big 12 team (Iowa State) is pretty much always better than a 6-6 Conference USA team (UTEP).

I don’t have an answer to fixing this. It’s just incredibly frustrating to watch some of these teams play in the “postseason” while the Iowa State’s of the world sit at home.

–       One other issue I have with these games is the ridiculous amount of money that American companies are throwing away. For instance, how much good does R+L Carriers (what?) get out of sponsoring the New Orleans Bowl? It is their money. They can do with it as they please. But how many people are going to go out and purchase a semi because they viewed a bunch of R+L Carrier commercials on ESPN?

Speaking of crappy bowl games, do you think you’re a football know-it-all? Step up big dog. Prove it by participating in this year’s Cyclone Fanatic/Wilson Toyota of Ames Bowl Pick’Em and CLICK HERE. This is your final day to enter. The winner of this year’s competition wins two free arena level ticks to Iowa State’s men’s basketball game way Baylor on Jan. 15 courtesy of Cyclone Fanatic and Wilson Toyota of Ames.


Below are my bowl picks according to confidence. Obviously, 32 means I am the most confident in that pick, working down to one being the least.

32 – Oklahoma over UCONN (Sooners will be tired of hearing about their past bowl game flops. Bob Stoops will have them focused).

31 – Nebraska over Washington

30 – Hawaii over Tulsa

29 – SMU over Army (I just watched that ESPN 30 for 30 on the Mustangs. I have no choice but to rank them high).

28 – Nevada over Boston College

27 – Texas Tech over Northwestern (Keep in mind that Dan Persa isn’t playing in this one).

26 – Boise State over Utah

25 – Oklahoma State over Arizona

24 – Alabama over Michigan State

23 – Stanford over Virginia Tech (The ACC stinks).

22 – Pitt over Kentucky (Kentucky quarterback Mike Hartline has been suspended for this game).

21 – Air Force over Georgia Tech

20 – Mississippi State over Michigan

19 – Maryland over East Carolina (Terps should play an emotional game with their coach being let go).

18 – Baylor over Illinois

17 – Missouri over Iowa

16 – Georgia over Central Florida (This game makes me nervous. Playing an SEC team is like a Super Bowl for Central Florida).

15 – Florida over Penn State

14 – West Virginia over N.C. State (ACC stinks)

13 – San Diego State over Navy

12 – Notre Dame over Miami

11 – North Carolina over Tennessee

10 – Clemson over South Florida

9 – Kansas State over Syracuse

8 – Florida State over South Carolina

7 – Wisconsin over TCU

6 – Ohio State over Arkansas

5 – Miami (OH) over Middle Tennessee State

4 – LSU over Texas A&M

3 – Oregon over Auburn

2 – Florida International over Toledo (zzzz,zzzz)

1 – Southern Miss over Louisville


–       That mystery recruit that you saw inside of Hilton Coliseum on Sunday…He was a potential walk on.

–       Over finals week, Iowa State’s coaching staff used that time to do some recruiting. I heard that T.J. Otzelberger spent some time on the east coast. Could more NYC prospects coming Iowa State’s way in 2012?