Cyclone Stunner and Hawkeye Heartbreak

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Let’s start with the good and work our way to the bad, shall we?

How about those Cyclones?! If you saw a this one coming, you deserve your own daytime cable show. After being outscored 120-27, by Utah and Oklahoma, the ‘Clones just flat out punk Texas right in their own stadium, 28-21. I absolutely love the way Paul Rhoads coached this one: onside kicks, 4th down conversions, flea-flickers. This is exactly why he’s the right man for Iowa State. Most of the time Iowa State loses, big, against the big boys — but he’s 1-0 against Nebraska, and 1-0 against Texas (BOTH on the road).

We knew the Cyclones were going to need to win a game (like Nebraska in 2009) to reach the 6-win plateau, and make a bowl game. This may be that game. ISU should reach 5 wins against a really bad Kansas team, at home, next weekend. Rhoads would be one win away from back-to-back bowl appearances with games @Colorado and vs Nebraska/Missouri. They’ve put themselves in position, once again.

AS FOR THE BAD…well….I could go on all night.

Iowa didn’t deserve to beat the Badgers. The Hawks were out-played, out-smarted, and out-coached. Once more, Ferentz is being blamed for his poor clock management, and I’m one of them. Time and time again, Ferentz has shown a lack of game awareness in tight ballgames, in the final minute, and once again it costs his team. Was it the reason Iowa lost? No —  but it was one of them.

I like to say “I told you so”, so here’s a quote from myself on this very blog from Tuesday:
“The kicking game will rear its ugly head at some point, this season.”
Little did I know, it would be this week. And it’s not just the kicking game, either. It’s hard for me to believe that a Ferentz coached team is THIS bad in all phases of special teams play.

And what about the defense? Wow — for a unit that was expected to be one of the best in the nation, they’ve sure let the Hawks down, this year. First, they let Arizona march all over them for a game-winning score, then Michigan nearly erases a 21-point 4th quarter deficit, and now Wisconsin runs it down their throat for 31, and another game-winning TD.

If Iowa wants to get back into the Big Ten race, they better figure it out, and figure it out quick. I expected a lot more from the Hawkeyes, this season. I still believe they have a better team than they had a year ago, but they aren’t exactly showing it on the field.

Who would’ve thought that the Hawkeyes would lose, at home, Iowa State would be the team returning home with a win? It certainly was a wild day in the world of college football, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

If you’re a Cyclone fan, enjoy the win — it’s a big one. If you’re a Hawkeye fan, sulk in your disappointment, and get back up for next week. The season is far from over.

Chris

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