With streaming services, kids these days have no idea about the effort it took to watch your favorite TV shows in the 90s. That’s right, back in the day, you had to schedule your day around when a certain program came on. Or, painfully, record it via a VCR and watch it back at about half the quality like a pirated adult film. In the Blum house, it was a set routine in the mid-90s. Mondays were reserved for Monday Night Football. Tuesdays were Home Improvement. Wednesdays were a grab-bag. Thursday’s featured Friends and ER and Friday was the epic and unmatched TGIF on ABC. The greatness of TGIF was unlike anything of that era. It had Family Matters, Boy Meets World and Step by Step in succession. It was like the Curry/Thompson/Durant of television nights.
Saturday mornings were also appointment viewing with cartoons and “The More You Know” programming on NBC. This is where Saved by the Bell debuted (sup Kelly Kapowski?). These programs always had a teenage, real-world problem that was always resolved in an educational manner by the end of the show. Mixed in between the shows were educational messages tagged with the “The More You Know” animation. This animation is stuck in the heads of those in my generation forever thanks to this era of TV.
As you may realize, my brain works in strange ways and it usually involves some random Iowa State fact. It is why every time I come across an interesting nugget of Cyclone information, NBC’s “The More You Know” animation flashes across my eyes. Literally, nobody else in the world should care about these things, but I feel the urge to let you know anyway. Mr. Belding always said to share your feelings. So with that in mind…The More You Know, Iowa State-West Virginia edition.
— The Iowa State-TCU game featured a two-hour rain delay. This was the third-longest delay on record in Iowa State history. The others: 2018 vs. South Dakota State (officially at 144 minutes) and the second-of the-day-delay against Iowa this year (126 minutes). So, if you are scoring at home, the three longest weather delays in Iowa State history have happened in the last 10 home games. This also meant a 1 p.m. kick time, which was the first 1 p.m. kick at Jack Trice since Kansas in 2010. (shout out to @cjandringa on Twitter for these). And, without fail, rain/storms are expected in Morgantown on Saturday.
— If it feels like Iowa State has been competitive in every game in the last three years, it is because Iowa State has indeed been competitive in every game. According to the Cyclone Football notes, Iowa State, Oklahoma and Washington State are the only three Power 5 schools to not lose a game by more than 14 points since the start of the 2017 season. Iowa State’s last loss by 14 plus was against…West Virginia in the season finale in 2016.
— Speaking of 2016, that was the last time Iowa State lost a game in October. Iowa State dropped a game on October 29, 2016, to K-State 31-26. It was Jacob Park’s first career start as a Cyclone quarterback that day. The Presidential election occurred 10 days later.
— Under Matt Campbell, Iowa State has won six conference road games. To put that in perspective, Iowa State did not win a single conference road game from 1991-1999. Interestingly enough, 1991-99 were also the years Home Improvement was on the air. In 1999, Tim Allen turned down $50 million and Patricia Richardson $25 million to film the 9th season of Home Improvement. With inflation, Allen’s amount would be $76 million in today’s dollars.
— West Virginia’s Milan Puskar Stadium may look strangely familiar to Cyclone fans. In fact, Jack Trice Stadium was the model for Milan Puskar Stadium and built by the same architect, a firm called Finch-Heery at the time. Jack Trice opened in 1975 and Milan Puskar in 1980. That architectural firm also led the way for notable projects such as the Georgia Dome and later (when rebranded CBRE Heery) the Stead Family Children Hospital in Iowa City.
— Iowa State has defeated West Virginia one time in Morgantown. In 2013, Iowa State trailed the Mountaineers 31-7 in the second half. The Cyclones, behind Grant Rohach, rallied to win 52-44 in 3OT. At 24 points, it is believed to be the largest comeback in Cyclone history.
— Who could forget the first meeting between the clubs in 2012, when 71-year old Iowa State defensive coordinator Wally Burnham got shoved by West Virginia QB Geno Smith when crossing to their respective locker rooms at halftime. Three years later, when Geno Smith got sucker-punched in a locker room incident with the Jets, Burnham was asked for a comment. His response, “Didn’t surprise me.”
— Paul Rhoads’ last game as Iowa State coach came at West Virginia in 2015. Before meeting the team in Morgantown that November day, Jamie Pollard made a pit stop in Detroit to meet with then Toledo head coach, Matt Campbell.
— Iowa State is a 10-point favorite by most accounts in the game this weekend at West Virginia. Iowa State hasn’t been this large of favorite in a conference road game (other than Kansas-they are exempt from this exercise) since a road trip to Baylor in September 2000. Interestingly enough, ABC’s TGIF ended its original programming run with the start of the Fall season in…..September 2000.
The More You Know.