By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
Good day my fellow Cyclone Fanatics. Ready for a brand new CycloneFanatic.com mailbag? Let’s stat things off with a question from CyBobby.
CyBobby writes: Has there been any discussion of continuing the Nebraska series as a non-conference game?
Drop Iowa and keep Nebraska………sounds good too me. Hawk fans say the Nebraska series is soooo much more important than the Iowa State series…. I say give it back to them and play the Huskers and of course beat the Huskers as a non-conference opponent.
CW: The chances of this happening are slim to none in my opinion. Put yourself in Nebraska’s shoes. Why would you do this? It makes no sense on their part. Why schedule a home and home with a team that hates your guts? Iowa State would get a heck of a lot more out of that deal than Nebraska and that’s why this will never happen. Nebraska sells out every game, every season. They are much better off schedule a cupcake opponent. It won’t affect their gate so why not? When Nebraska comes to Ames, that date is a cash hog for Iowa State football. If and I emphasize that word heavily, Iowa State were to play Nebraska on an annual basis, it would not be a home and home scenario. Iowa State would end up in Lincoln a lot more than the Huskers would be in Ames. Having said that, I don’t see any way that this happens. Unless they meet in a bowl game, the days of Iowa State playing Nebraska are more than likely over in my opinion.
CYKXBUT writes: What’s new on the Godfrey front? Will he or won’t he be here?
CW: That information still isn’t known at this time. To my knowledge, Calvin is still up in Minnesota getting some stuff worked out. He is planning on being at Iowa State this fall, as the team plans on having him as well. This one could go either way right now in my opinion but all things point to him being a Cyclone. Another major hint that he’ll be here is the fact that Fred Hoiberg mentioned Calvin in this season preview that was released by the university earlier today.
What improvements will ISU focus on regarding special teams this year?
CW: I don’t consider myself a special teams guru by any means. I’ll give this a shot though. I actually think Iowa State will be strong in this category, with the only real question mark being at the punter position. Not that this means anything. But Phil Steele ranks Iowa State’s special teams unit as a whole, fourth in the Big 12. If the coaches figure out the punting situation, this unit should be fine.
MoreCowbell writes: Do you frequent the State Fair? If so, favorite food on a stick (or, alternatively, favorite fair food)? I’m partial to the Giant Turkey Drumsticks (has to be from the Turkey Federation booth) and the pork chop on a stick.
CW: I have only been to the actual State Fair once in my life. That was back in college. I was dating a girl who was passionate about going to the State Fair. She got all jacked up to see the different 4-H projects and what not. I walked through the endless buildings looking at various drawings, sculptures and objects made out of butter thinking about how hot it was outside and how bored I actually was. Still, it was a cool experience because I love the state of Iowa. I do go to the State Fair about every other year for the big late model race. But that’s not really, the fair. You know what I mean? I will take your word on the drumsticks. I might have to hit that up this year, just because MoreCowbell told me to.
MNCyGuy writes: Going off the comment I left on your column yesterday morning, what is the most heartwarming ending possible for next year’s MBB team, who by all accounts should be in for a rough season overall? I’m looking for something that will put Rudy to shame.
CW: Here’s one for you. Iowa State pulls off three upsets to qualify for the Big 12 Tournament championship game, where Diante Garrett hits a buzzer beater 3-pointer to knock of Kansas to win the game, sending the Clones to the NCAA Tournament. Is that good enough for you? I’m not sure if that that would put Rudy to shame but seeing Diante have that kind of success sure would make me smile. He’s a guy who has given everything to Iowa State for the past three seasons and frankly, hasn’t gotten a ton of respect around these parts. I’d love to see him prove all of his critics wrong during his senior campaign. That would make me smile.
CyForPresident writes: What’s going on with Austin Alburtis?
CW: I hear that he has quit the team but nobody from the university has said or sent out anything about this. Until that happens, I’d say anything is possible. I assume that we’ll find out next week as Big 12 media days will be going down.
ISUser writes: So being at press conferences and what not, you appear to be an accredited member of the Iowa press. My question is, what does it take to reach that point? Does Cyclone Fanatic have to have a certain number of subscribers or sponsors? Is it just shelling out a few bucks for the privilege? Do you have to have some personal credentials? Or is it something else?
CW: I don’t think that there are any set rules to this. It all depends on the organization and or program you are covering. I have been covering the Cyclones in some capacity since I was a sophomore in college, back in 2004. I started my career with the Iowa State Daily but have also worked with the old CycloneNation.com, CycloneReport.com, the Ames Tribune, 1430 KASI, 1460 KXNO, Mediacom, WHO Channel 13 and now Cyclone Fanatic. My point is that I have been around for a while. I have a degree in journalism and I guess, when you combine all of that, Iowa State considers our publication “legitimate,” which I appreciate. No, we don’t “shell out a few bucks” to do this. That isn’t how it works. Like every member of the media, I apply for the credentials; Iowa State and the Big 12 have happened to approve me for them. I don’t know what else to say.
D4nim4l writes: If you were stranded on a desert island and could take only one thing out of the following group, what would it be?
Busch Light, Your Wife, An MP3 player with T. Swift or Coach Rhoads.
Remember, only one!
CW: This could be the toughest question in mailbag history. Let me break all of these down.
Busch Light – The greatest of all beverages in my opinion. I could not go wrong by making this selection. The only problem I see is that the island will more than likely be really hot. Alcohol only dehydrates a person. That wouldn’t be good.
My Wife – This too would be a solid choice. However, do I really want to put my wife though being stranded on an island with me and only me? That would be like a living hell for her. I will leave my wife at home where she is safe.
MP3 player with T-Swift – If you would have written, an “MP3 Player with George Strait” then I would consider this. One thing backs me away from this answer. That is the fact that eventually, the MP3 player would run out of battery. So I’ll vote no here.
Coach Rhoads – I see a giant plus to this one. On an island, the ball coach and I would have nothing to do but talk and build things with our hands, like shelter etc. I assume that if I was stuck on an island with Paul Rhoads, I would learn a hell of a lot about the game of football.
Is there any way I can combine answer number one with answer number four? If so, I choose that. But you say only one…That’s really not fair. I’ll go with the Busch Light mainly because if I realize that if I am stuck on this island, there is a legitimate shot that I will never get of it? What happens if Rhoads is there and we don’t get saved before the season starts? Then I would be letting all of you Fanatics down. Coach Rhoads can stay in Ames. It looks like in this scenario, I will die a long, slow death stranded on an island, eating bugs and drinking Busch Light.
CloneState1028 writes: With Jarrod Uthoff no longer on the table, where do you expect ISU to turn to next for that scholarship? Do you still think it’ll go to a wing player like Jarrod, such as Ross Travis or do you expect it to be used elsewhere, possibly on a guard?
CW: I know that Brewster Academy point guard Naadir Tharpe is right on top of Iowa State’s wish list right now. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the coaches look more for a backcourt player as there is plenty of depth at the three in Melvin Ejim and Elgin Cook. The glaring weakness I see on the 2011 roster is shooting. I’d love to see some sort of a marksman be brought in with the 2011 class. Minnesota prep player Joe Coleman was recently offered by Iowa State. That is an option as well.
Cyphan writes: Tacos or Pizza? Football or basketball? Drag shows or drag races?
CW: Pizza. Football as a fan, basketball as a writer. Drag races. Duh.
CycoCyclone writes: What Cyclone Football game are you looking forward to most this season?
CW: Nebraska is the easy answer to this that most people will give you. It could be the last time these two schools ever meet in the regular season. I will give you one game other than that and it is Utah. That is a pretty cool home football game that should be really fun to watch. You don’t see teams like that in Trice very often so that’s the one I would choose. Frankly, it could be a make or break game for Iowa State’s bowl chances too.
UNIGuy4Cy writes: Why is Rhoads having a hard time with Defensive Lineman? A defensive minded coach should just be reeling these guys in.
CW: I guess I don’t really see this is a Paul Rhoads problem, but more of an Iowa State issue. Ever since I have covered Iowa State, recruiting defensive ends has never been easy. Sure, we’ve seen our fair share of Jason Berryman’s and Tyson Smith’s but not on a consistent basis.
CY9008 writes: A little change of pace– Do you think Christy’s crew will take down both Nebby and UT at least once, again this year?
CW: In all honesty, I don’t know enough about Big 12 volleyball to give you a legitimate answer here. All I know is how much confidence there seems to be surrounding this program right. The talent level is up in Ames and as last year’s team showed us, anything can happen.