School: Iowa State University
Location: Ames, IA
School Type: Public, Land Grant
Student Population: 31,040 total, 25,553 undergrad
Stadium: Hilton Coliseum
Head Coach: Fred Hoiberg
Experience: 3rd year
The History: The Liberty Bowl has been sponsored by AutoZone since 2004, when the auto parts store took over sponsorship from the financial company, AXA. The game has been played in Memphis, Tenn. since 1965 and usually sees Conference USA’s champion against an SEC team. But, because the SEC didn’t have enough bowl eligible teams to fill its contracted spots (this is my subtle SEC shot), the Liberty Bowl invited Iowa State. It just so happens, these two teams met earlier in the season, way back in week one. Iowa State defeated Tulsa at home, 38-23.
Tulsa Scouting Report: If you look at the numbers, the Tulsa offense is extremely balanced. Its three backs, Trey Watts, Ja’Terian Douglas and Alex Singleton, combined for 2,581 yards on the season. Singleton also ran for 21 touchdowns on the year. Quarterback Cody Green, a Nebraska transfer, threw for 2.499 yards and 17 touchdowns on the year.
Iowa State Scouting Report: After winning its first three games of the season, the Cylcones went just 3-6 to finish the year. The Cyclones are without their leading rusher, Shontrelle Johnson who was lost for the season. Iowa State is also without its best linebacker, Jake Knott. The Cyclones are definitely battling the injury bug towards the end of this year.
tBBC “Expert Selections:
My Selection: Though Tulsa seems to have the better record, Gary is the only one who selected them. My sole reason for selecting Iowa State is it earned a victory against this Tulsa team way back in September. The Cyclones got the win in the first week of the season against the Golden Hurricane and they will get the win in the final week, 28-21.
This week’s soundtrack is colorful, but has a bit of a different taste to it: trust me, it makes total sense in the grand scheme of things. Enjoy… language warning.
There’s no denying it… one group of conference-mates had an incredibly difficult Saturday.
Positioned for excellence, and featured in a number of nationally significant matchups, the on the field results just did not help dissuade the critics who argue that they have lost their prestige, and are rightfully scorned by college fans across the country. Once seen as powerful contenders for titles, it seems as if the results on Saturday have shown that the game may have passed them by.
Yup, it was a terrible day for the Big 12 expats. Who did you think I was talking about?
Texas A&M, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska all dropped matches on Saturday, with two of these being significant “upsets” in terms of rankings and so forth. The Aggies, after a week full of bravado regarding their new allegiance to the “we can spell three letter words” conference, saw the early lead against Florida disappear in the waning moments of the game, and couldn’t count on Kyle Field to help carry the day. You’ve got to wonder if the different understanding of the word “cheerleader” might have had something to do with it. Ah well, you know they’ll just say that they won later… it’s the SEC way.
Missouri also opened SEC play by welcoming Georgia to play between the… uh… rocks in Columbia. The Bulldawgs emerged victorious, but you’re right in realizing that Mizzou is excited to be in a new home. There were too many Longhorns in the last one, and the B1G never returned their phone calls, so you can’t blame them for being OK with a loss in their prestigious opener. So excited about the new opportunities were they, that they broke out their new school clothes… or someone else’s old school clothes from when they were in the Arena League. As goofy as they looked, though, they didn’t win our “awkward haberdashery of the week award”… more later.
Ah, CoLOLorado… See, here’s how it works. You schedule a FCS opponent in the pre-season, you get them at home, you beat them and build up your alumni/student confidence in your program = profit. But, the Buffs are constricted by no man’s social norms, and instead chose to allow the mighty Hornets of Sacramento State to kick a field goal with time expiring and upset the Buffs in Boulder. I’m sure the fans will have to find some way to console their grief.
Which brings us to Nebraska. Read More
We continue the journey across the nation to get you ready for kickoff in less than two weeks. Today, Gary weighs in on the newest incarnation of the Big 12 conference.
With all the Conference re-aligning going on it has been tough to keep track of what team is going where. Many conferences are taking on small changes while many are undergoing complete makeovers. Today, we take a look at the Big 12 conference, which has changed drastically over the last couple of years.
2011 Record 10-3
Pre-Season Rank: NR
Head coach Art Briles has his work cut out for him after losing all three of his stars from last year’s offense. QB Robert Griffin III, WR Kendall Wright, and RB Terrance Ganaway all lead the Bears at their respective positions and have all left for the NFL. The Baylor offense still returns three talented wide receivers in Terrance Williams, Lanear Sampson, and Tevin Reese. All three had 1000+ yards last year. The question is can incoming QB Nick Florence get them the ball. Only time will tell if he can and that is why they will start this season outside of the Top 25 until that question is answered.
Iowa State Cyclones
2011 Record 6-7
Pre-Season Rank: NR
Last year was a very difficult season for the Cyclones as they struggled in every aspect of their game. The lone bright spot was the unexpected upset of the Oklahoma State Cowboys (their lone loss on the season). Head coach Paul Rhodes has very few things going for him in 2012 with a QB battle between Senior Steele Jantz and Sophomore Jared Barnett brewing which we all know is never a good thing this close to the season. Rhodes also lost his offensive coordinator Tom Herman to Ohio State. One things that is going for is the return of linebackers Jake Knott and A.J. Klein to lead their defense. Look for the Cyclones to struggle against a very strong conference and be towards the bottom of the standings again in 2012. Read More
Finally my turn to get into the action, with writing a bowl preview. Always fun to watch football games in baseball stadiums.
The Basics: Friday, December 30th from Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY at 3:30 PM EST. The game will be televised on ESPN pitting Iowa St (6-6) vs. Rutgers (8-4).
History: Last year saw the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl in Yankee stadium, which has tie ins to the Big East and Big 12. The Inaugural game last year saw Syracuse defeat KSU in a thriller.
Iowa St: The Cyclones are led by freshmen standout signal caller Jared Barnett. He put opponents on their heels both through the air and on the ground. Don’t let their record fool you as Barnett didn’t take over the job till October, when he led them to 3 straight victories. Obviously this team will be remembered for their huge upset win over then #2 Okie State and held them out of the National Championship game. While Barnett had a huge game against the Pokes, he was highly inaccurate thorughout the year only completing 50% of his passes, so he may struggle against a very good Rutgers defense.
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights will lean heavily on their defense in this one. Their tough D allowed only 18.75 points per game which was good for 12th in the country and 314 yds of total offense, which put them 14 nationally. Their D is led by Big East defense POY Khaseem Greene who was tops in the Big East in tackles with 127. Rutgers offense will also be led by a freshmen signal caller Gary Nova. He took over midway through the season and started the last 5 games leading the team in 1533 yds and 11 td passes. Nova will have a big time target to throw the ball to in WR Mohamed Sanu who set a Big East single season record with 109 catches. That landed him fifth in the nation. They will have to lean heavily on Nova and Sanu , as they had a very anemic running game averaging under a 100 yds/game. Iowa State’s putrid defense may allow for Rutgers to get on track on the ground tho. Rutgers will be playing in a bowl game for the 6th time in the last 7 years. Look for Rutgers to come out strong in this one as they will essentially be playing in their own back yard.
Fun Fact: In only the bowl games 2nd year this year there aren’t alot of facts about the bowl game, but Yankee stadium has been the host to some great moments in football history. Did you know that the what is considered” the greatest football game ever played” was played at Yankee statdium. The NFL championship game Dec 23, 1958 between the New York Giants and Baltimore Colts.
Who we got?
We should have listened to our great commentators…
First, they told us how strong of a program Iowa State is. Then, they gave us the heads up that ISU’s offensive coordinator was someone to keep an eye on.
Well, they were right, and Coach Meyer (still fun to type that!) agrees, today hiring Tom Herman to be the quarterbacks coach at Ohio State. UPDATE: Herman will also serve as the offensive coordinator, as per Ohio State.
Here’s a bit from the CBS story on this-
Herman is relatively young (36 years old); he graduated cum laude from California Lutheran in 1997 and has been an assistant coach ever since. He has been Iowa State’s offensive coordinator for three years, as he was brought in with Paul Rhoads before the 2009 season. Under Herman, the Iowa State offense has scored 20.5, 23.7, and 23.6 points per game in those three years. Previously, Herman was the offensive coordinator at Rice for two years, and he spent time as an assistant at two other schools in Texas for the six season prior to that. Herman also spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Texas after graduating from college.
This hire is a bit surprising, although Herman is an up and coming coach and will fit well into Coach Meyer’s plan for the development of the program. Here’s something from an indepth look at his career and offensive philosophy.
Herman’s big on preaching to his players about trying to win “the double positive,” he explains of his biggest stat barometer.
“If you win the turnover battle and the ‘explosive’ game, stats say you win the game 97 percent of the time. We preach that to our kids daily. I think I read a study a few years ago about it and it’s certainly held up in all of my years as a coordinator.
Just awesome… a lot different than the former
video editor quarterbacks coach. Now, we need to get him a good nickname… I’m guessing “PeeWee” ain’t gonna’ fly, what about the “Hermanator”?
At any rate- welcome to the Buckeye Family, Coach Herman!
UPDATE: Great video of his offensive philosophy-
After yesterday’s slate of games, the soundtrack for this episode should be pretty obvious. Onward!
Ain’t chaos beautiful? While the end result may be less than desirable, you’ve got to be amazed at the ways that each week is different, each week has the possibility for the unexpected and amazing. And this week was proof positive that the football gods have both a sense of humor AND a mischievous side.
We start on Friday, with a shout out and hat tip to our BFF’s from Ames who saw their mighty Cyclones upset the #2 ranked Cowboys of T. Boone Pickens U. It was a perfect “storm” of sorts- ISU’s freshman quarterback played the game of his life, while Gundy’s squad seemed incapable of being able to hang onto the ball and put points on the board. Somehow, a team that managed to shut out Texas Tech at home couldn’t cover a basic wheel route; a Cyclone TD and a senior citizen moment from Weeden ended any hopes that Oklahoma State had at playing for the national championship… at least, so it would seem (more later).
Congrats to Coach Paul Rhodes and his staff for getting his team prepared to square off against the ‘Pokes, and for having Iowa State bowl eligible once again.
So- we had early warnings that something was astir in this week’s slate of games, but “The Oracle” was able to solidify our beliefs that it was going to be an unforgettable experience. I’ll just link to Lee Corso’s commentary, since it’s not all that family friendly; let’s remember a) he had a stroke a while back and b) he spoke the truest college preview that’s ever been spoken. Read More
I’ll be honest… it’s been so great to relive the huge Buckeye win over Wisconsin, I’ve had to dig a bit to find motivation to even think about the other games from this week. However, my search for a soundtrack that would be appropriate for Halloween Weekend, I found this gem that helped me keep my focus…
The story this week was big upsets, both with teams falling from the ranks of the undefeated and teams rising to the occasion against expectations. So let’s start in that vein, and with a little “howdy do” to our newest BFFs from the Iowa State contingency, who turned the tables on a Texas Tech team coming off a huge upset on their own. And it wasn’t just a “win” against the #20 Red Raiders, but a 41-7 demolition of Tommy Tuberville’s squadron… must have been a bit presumptuous to start the “Mike Leach Who?” talk, huh? No wonder the folks in Lubbock were chippy.
But the Cyclone satisfaction didn’t stop there, as cross state rivals Iowa also fell in a surprising factor, to a Minnesota team that’s been disappointing both for their coach and for their conference. But, in a week where the new guy got a huge “Vote Of Confidence“, his Gophers responded with a one point victory in Iowa City to the perennial B1G Coach Of The Year. They get Floyd back in Minneapolis, which is always a good thing. Yup, just another week of pride for the folks at ISU… enjoy your moment. Read More