Sep 8, 2018; Iowa City, IA, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz and Iowa State Cyclones head coach Matt Campbell talk before kickoff at Kinnick Stadium. The Hawkeyes beat the Cyclones 13 to 3. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
Let’s dive right in.
1 – It takes two to tango.
Any Iowa fan that tells you the Hawkeye football program is the ONLY reason ESPN’s College Game Day is coming to Ames is delusional.
Does Game Day go to Alabama when Vanderbilt is in town?
What about Clemson and Wake Forest?
Iowa State, its fan base and football program is just as deserving of this honor as anybody else.
This is a compelling rivalry matchup that will make for quality television. That’s why Game Day will be at Iowa State on Saturday.
Iowa fans like that cannot have it both ways. You can’t complain about having nothing to gain by playing Iowa State and then when the Cyclones are nationally relevant, take that away from them too.
Nope. Doesn’t work like that.
2 – Try to enjoy this.
I know there is an aspect of Iowa State’s fan base that wishes Game Day would come to Ames for a game other than against the University of Iowa. Just enjoy this experience. Do not let the vocal minority of Iowa or Iowa State fans (for that matter) ruin what will be an incredible week and weekend.
It is a rivalry. It is ok to dislike the other side. That’s what makes it a rivalry. But I’ll be damned if a cowardly, anonymous Hawkeye Twitter troll is going to ruin this experience for me.
3 – What’s crazy about this is the speed of everything…
I did a national radio interview this morning when this really hit me. Five years ago, Iowa State lost its season opener to North Dakota State and it really did seem like everything had hit rock bottom. Even heading into the Oklahoma game, which Iowa State won (as a 30 point underdog) in 2017, this didn’t seem possible.
I’m not shocked that Iowa State is nationally this relevant. I am just surprised as to how quickly it happened.
4 – I am most happy for Iowa State’s fans.
You guys deserve this more than anyone. So loyal. So passionate.
5 – Now I want to focus on the game.
Because if Iowa State loses this one, nobody is going to be happy regardless of how great the whole Game Day deal goes. Am I right?
6 – Iowa has looked great through two weeks.
I have watched both of Iowa’s first two games multiple times and am having a hard time finding negatives to take from it. Really, the only thing a guy can take away from the Hawkeyes is who they have played, which they can’t really control.
I think that Miami (Ohio) was a better opponent than Big Ten foe Rutgers, for what it’s worth.
7 – What scares me for the Cyclones…
Iowa State’s pass protection was very poor against Northern Iowa in the opener. The good news is that this is generally fixable and the bye week will likely have helped in this scenario. The bad news is that Iowa State will likely need significant help from the tight ends to protect Brock Purdy from the likes of A.J. Epenesa and Iowa’s stout defensive line.
8 – What would scare me if I was a Hawkeye…
Iowa hasn’t seen anything like the defense it will see on Saturday in Jack Trice Stadium.
Senior quarterback Nate Stanley looks more comfortable early this year than he did last but he isn’t exactly mobile … Iowa State is used to playing against more dual-threat quarterbacks in the Big 12 and I have a feeling Jon Heacock will have all sorts of confusion pressures packages cooked up for the Hawkeyes on Saturday.
9 – Take the UNDER…
It is difficult to imagine this not being a low scoring game.
10 – A heavy heart…
Just wanted to give a shout out to my Uncle Dick, who will watch this year’s Cy-Hawk game from heaven. He was a pain in the ass Iowa fan but one of my very best friends. We lost him in June and a few weeks ago, he missed his first Iowa home football game in something like 30 years. We had a lot of fun with this rivalry and my hope is that you and your pain in the ass uncles do too.
Enjoy this week!