Monday Musings: 8-1 Edition

By Chris Williams, PublisherFollow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams

Happy August Cyclone Fanatics.

Big 12 media days are behind us. Iowa State’s media day is on Thursday. Football season is officially here folks. I hope that the spring and summer weren’t too painful for you. Before I begin this week’s musings, here’s a heads up that I’ll be away from the site on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. I’m going to take a two-day vacation before the gauntlet, also known as football/basketball season begins.

Have no fear though. Ian Smith will bring you some hoops (Italy) coverage later this week and I will be back for Thursday. Just like we did in Dallas a week ago, WILL cover Iowa State’s media day more than anybody else. That’s a promise. Stay tuned.

Realignment rumors…

I’m so sick of writing about this. But when stories like THIS get published, sites like CF tend to get a little bit nutty.

I have no idea how legitimate the above linked story is. I have no idea who that man’s sources are. As I wrote on our forum earlier today, ever since Chip Brown’s reporting during the last realignment craze, we’ve seen a lot of reporters try to go down the same road. Deciphering who is legit on this topic and who isn’t is sometimes hard. I won’t go either way with this Texas A&M report because I’m just not familiar with the author.

Having said all of that, I do have a few thoughts/clarifications to make on the topic.

1 – Though I am one of the few, I have a hard time believing that Texas actually wants to be independent. It would make a ton of sense for football, but what about everything else? Which conference out there would actually allow Texas to participate in its league in every sport but football? The Pac-12 won’t.

Under this scenario, the Big 12 would likely not exist. Would almighty Texas actually play basketball, soccer, water polo or whatever in the Mountain West? I don’t think so. Notre Dame has an ideal situation. Independent in football and house the rest of its programs in a BCS conference. Something tells me that Texas would not be offered that luxury in today’s day and age.

2 – If Texas A&M wanted to leave the Big 12, then why wouldn’t they just leave? They had a chance to do it last year and didn’t. If they really do have a standing offer from the SEC (which I happen to believe), then why not just go? This seems like a power play to me. Texas A&M is trying to work a better deal and frankly, I don’t blame them.

3 – I think that people are forgetting about Texas politics here. Separating Texas and Texas A&M is much more difficult than many believe. Point being, even if A&M wanted to leave the Big 12, they might have a hard time doing so, all due to Texas politics. We’ve seen this in the past, as recently as last summer.

4 – If the Big 12 blows up, ESPN will lose more money than if it can’t show high school games on the Longhorn Network right?

5 – I’m going to specifically address the following post that I read on our forums last night, point-by-point.

I know Texas brings a lot of money to the conference, but I’m getting sick of people saying that the conference would fold if it left. The big eight was a good conference with out all the texas schools. Nebraska and Oklahoma were the big guns. Now we are well represented by Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma state, Tech (had their year) A&M has good tradition stuff.

*** The difference between now and the old Big 8 days is television revenue. The old Big 8 just wouldn’t be able to compete financially today. Oklahoma wouldn’t just sit by making $8 million (just an number I threw out there and nothing more) while everybody else is making $20 million and neither should Iowa State. Texas is one of (if not the) largest national brand in all of college athletics. With that, comes a heck of a lot of value.

Texas creates an unfair environment in this conference.

*** Correct. But everybody agreed to that last summer, did they not? This is a much better situation for Iowa State than what could have gone down.

I personally would rather complete in a fair conference than a rich one that we don’t have a legit chance in. We would have a better chance of going to a BCS bowl in the Mountain West or Big East. If the Big 12 loses Texas and we are considered a lesser conference, isn’t that a good thing for a school like Iowa State?

*** No it isn’t. Because like every school, business or person, Iowa State has bills to pay. If you’re all of the sudden making Mountain West type money, you can’t afford to pay the Paul Rhoads’, Fred Hoiberg’s and Bill Fennelly’s of the world. Iowa State dropping out of a BCS conference could mean people losing their jobs. The Ames economy would take a significant hit.

Here’s an example. In the Mountain West last year, Utah made $1.2 million on television revenue. When the new Pac-12 deal goes into effect in 2014, the Utes will pull in $21 million. If Iowa State would go from $10 million (estimate, just throwing a number out there) to $2 million, where would the difference be made? Significant changes would have to be made.

This isn’t all about what happens on the football field.

Iowa State’s new scoreboard is up. The football complex construction is scheduled to be done before the 2012 season. That stuff has to be paid for.

Big 12 thoughts…

While trying to get organized on Saturday morning, I ran across the following Big 12 football items from my notebook down in Dallas.

— I’m still not convinced that Texas’ offense will do much in 2011, but safety Blake Gideon somewhat made me a believer in the 2011 Longhorns. I talked to Gideon for a good five minutes last Monday and he made it clear that veterans on last year’s team sensed a bit of a problem during fall camp. He assured the media that the attitude has changed in Texas and essentially, the Horns know that they can’t win games just because they are Texas any longer. So now, I’m left with two thoughts and I can’t decide which one to follow.

Texas has sooooooooo much talent. Can they really stay down for long?

There are questions all over this offense and Mack Brown is working with six new assistant coaches. A lot of times when that is that case, you’re applying a Band Aid to a wound instead of attempting to heal it.

That’s where I’m at. Where are you with the Horns?

— If Missouri can escape its first five games in decent shape, I think that the Tigers could really surprise some people in 2011. BUT with a new quarterback, those first five (Miami (OH), @ Arizona State, Western Illinois, @ Oklahoma, @ Kansas State) could be tough. Even so, minus the quarterback position, this is probably the best team that Gary Pinkel has ever assembled. That usually makes an unproven quarterback look a lot better.

— I like Oklahoma State over Texas A&M in 2011. Oklahoma State has the better offense. Texas A&M has the better defense. But this Cowboy offense has the chance to be GREAT. Give me Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon please.

There is one major flaw in this argument though. That’s that when these two teams meet on Sept. 24, it will be in College Station.

Scoreboard sneak peak…

It’s times like these when I wish I wasn’t a part of the working media. If that were the case, I’d sign up for the Cyclone Gridiron Club today. The brass at the club have informed me that Iowa State’s new mammoth scoreboard and sound system will be on display at the club’s annual scrimmage viewing later this month.

Here’s the club’s release with details on the event.

The Cyclone Gridiron Club is happy to host the 2011 Member-Only Pre-Season Tailgate and Closed Practice on Saturday, August 20.  This will be your first opportunity to see Jake Knott, Kelechi Osemele, and the rest of the 2011 Iowa State football team in Jack Trice Stadium.  And as a special treat for Gridiron Club members, the brand new 357,000 pound video board will be fully active for us!  Be one of the first to check out the new board in operation.

CLICK HERE if you’d like to join the club. Why not?

Hoops recruiting…

It seems like every day, I hear about another school trying to poach Georges Niang from Iowa State. No need to worry though. Niang told me yesterday that he is still 100 percent committed to Fred Hoiberg and the Cyclones.


I’ve got a lot of these today. Read at your own risk.

– While in Dallas, a good friend of mine (who lives there) took me out to eat last Tuesday. We ended up at some Mexican joint and he highly encouraged me to order the brisket tacos. Besides my wife, country music, my cat Smoke and our dog Paisley, I now have a new love in life. Brisket tacos, welcome to the club.

– It’s the most wonderful week of the year. It’s SHARK WEEK on Discovery. I am glowing. I love me some Shark Week.

Shark Week

– The Bachelorette finale is tonight. Personally, I’m a Ben guy. My gut tells me that Ashley will go with J.P. though, which will be a major mistake. The guy has shown hints of excessive jealously all season long. Can you imagine how he’ll react to watching her make out with random dudes on national television? It won’t be pretty folks. Nonetheless, this finale should be as vanilla as they come. Our only hope is that somehow Bentley and that dork Ryan show up at the final rose ceremony to create some raucous.

ashley hebert bachelorette 523x350

– One more Bachelorette comment and then I promise to move on. That Chris guy has the best job in the world. All he does is travel from sweet vacation spot to sweet vacation spot and say, "This is the final rose of the evening" at the end of every show. Tough gig man. Tough gig…

– Speaking of quality television, Jersey Shore Season 4 will hit the MTV airwaves this Thursday night. I guess that the crew will be in Italy this time around. Things are sure to get pretty nutty. This all equals must-see TV on Thursday’s. Consider my DVR set for a good time. By the way, I hate Snooki.

– Go ahead and poke fun at me but the WWE is back. This recent CM Punk vs. the world angle has been nothing short of spectacular. CM Punk has managed to go from being just another guy in the locker room to a mainstream star in the matter of like a month. It’s been amazing to watch. It all began with this promo that he cut on RAW about a week ago. This just might be, the greatest promo in professional wrestling history.

– Eric Church’s new album, "Chief," might be his best piece of work ever. "Jack Daniels" is far and away my favorite. While Church isn’t there yet, he’s well on his way to being the next George Strait in my book. He’s far and away my favorite country music artist in the game right now.


– Donavan McNabb to the Minnesota Vikings…My thoughts? It all comes down to this. I’m not a big fan of "rebuilding." I don’t want to sit through and watch the Vikes go 5-11, even if it means that we’re breaking in a new quarterback. I love the move. McNabb likely won’t be what Randall Cunningham was back in the day, but he very well could keep this team in contention for a playoff spot. That’s really all that I’m asking for out of the upcoming season.


Ian Smith