By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams
It has been a while since this postmaster has delivered a CycloneFanatic.com Mailbag. Ready to roll? Let’s rock here on Wednesday, May 4.
RING4CY writes: With the new conference alignment and now having to play every team in conference play, how strong do you feel about the likelihood of the football team going bowling this year?
CW: That is a loaded question. I’m not saying that the postseason is impossible, but with this schedule and some of the obvious questions that still surround this roster (like who the quarterback will be), it is going to be tough. The thing that makes me optimistic about this program going forward is the fact that during both years of the Paul Rhoads era, his team has pulled off upsets (@Nebraska in 2009 and @Texas in 2010). The Cyclone nearly knocked off a top 10 Nebraska team last year too. If Iowa State is going to go bowling in 2011, that trend will need to continue. Let’s take a very premature look at the schedule and discuss if on May 4, Iowa State is a favorite, a dog or a push in each of its games.
Northern Iowa – This is a game that Iowa State should no doubt win
Iowa – Hawks will be favored but can you really call this a “sure loss”? I wouldn’t.
@ UCONN – A tough non-conference road game but a contest Iowa State COULD win. I’d still label UCONN a favorite though. New coach or not, the Huskies did play in a BCS game last season.
Texas – The Horns should be better than the team ISU beat last year but I doubt they’ll be the Texas of old. Of course Iowa State could win this game, but they likely won’t be favored.
@ Baylor – This one is similar to the UCONN game but Baylor is probably a little better. Look for Iowa State to be a dog here.
@ Missouri – Blaine Gabbert is gone, but Missouri will still have a ton of talent. Dogs.
Texas A&M – Will be nice to come back to Ames for homecoming but it is hard to imagine Iowa State being favored in this one. Many pundits believe that A&M is a BCS sleeper team.
@ Texas Tech – Another game similar to @UCONN and @Baylor. Not slam dunk losses. But far from sure thing wins. Again, Iowa State will likely be an underdog here.
Kansas – This is a home game that Iowa State should win.
@ Oklahoma – The Sooners will be the nation’s No. 1 team when the season kicks off. Dogs.
Oklahoma State – Friday night lights! Oklahoma State will be a preseason top 20 team for sure. The Cowboys will likely be favored here.
@ Kansas State – A game that Iowa State can win. This is probably a must-win if Iowa State wants to qualify for a bowl. This one is more of a toss up than the rest, but with it being in Manhattan, my premature guess is that the Wildcats will be favored.
So according to my VERY early breakdown of the schedule, I have Iowa State being favored in two games next season. Still, wins over Iowa, UCONN, Baylor, Texas Tech and Kansas State don’t seem out of line either.
Yes, Iowa State can go to a bowl game but in order to do so, the Cyclones will have to surprise a lot of people out there.
How many times did it take you to pass the English Usage Test?
CW: I believe I passed the test the second time I took it. That was a long time ago! Best of luck to you in your attempts. Feel free to e-mail me anytime you have questions about the business. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mksmith2 writes: When are you going on vacation next? (We could use some good news).
CW: Unfortunately, I do not have an upcoming vacation planned. I’d like to get away for a little while sometime this summer though. Stay tuned.
Chadm writes: With Nebraska going to the Big 10, which team between Iowa and Nebraska will be the most disliked out of conference team for most ISU fans?
CW: I write with complete confidence that Iowa will be the more disliked of the two within Iowa State’s fan base.
Keep in mind that this isn’t my personal opinion on the question. I grew up in southwest Iowa. For those of you who have lived in that part of the world, you know what living in Iowa with a slew of front-runner Husker fans is like. It is nauseating to say the least.
This is more my read on Iowa State’s fan base. I think that if you could poll every single Iowa State fan in the world, they’d dislike Iowa more in a landslide.
Does anybody out there disagree with me on this topic? Vote your little hearts away.
SuperCy writes: If you were a WWE Superstar, what would your gimmick be? Along with that, would you have a catchphrase like The Rock or Stone Cold Steve Austin? What would you call your finishing move?
CW: This is probably one of the mailbag’s top five, all-time questions. In fact, the question is so good that I don’t even know how to answer it. I’m not sure exactly what gimmick I’d go with, but I do know a few details about my character. One, I would never wear tights or the Speedo type thing we see wrestlers in all of the time. One thing I have never understood is when a guy goes out to cut a promo, why don’t they just wear street clothes? Why wear your gear if you’re not even going to wrestle? These guys just like walking around in their underwear?
I’d rock blue jeans and a flannel shirt. I’d be a major wise guy and of course I’d have a catch phrase. You’ve got to have a catch phrase!
I am a big fan of Randy Orton’s RKO. I’d likely just steal that as my finisher. Good question….Good times.
Isuaggie writes: What do you want to see most out of Cyclone Athletics next year and why?
CW: I could write a book about this topic.
Within the entire Iowa State athletic department, getting to another bowl game is by far the most important feat. Football pays the bills and we all know that it’s all about the Benjamins baby.
But as you read earlier in this column, that’s going to be tough to do in 2011.
So besides that, what I am I looking for the most? An NCAA Tournament appearance by Fred Hoiberg’s roster. There’s too much hype (and risk with the transfers) to not have this pay off. Hilton magic needs to be magical again. A year-two tournament run would set the tone for the rest of Hoiberg’s coaching career.
Cyfan964 writes: Why is backyard one word, but front yard deemed necessary to be two?
CW: I majored in journalism but did not invent the English language man.