Monday, November 07, 2005

As Long As Colorado Doesn't Suit Up Ralphie the Buffalo, Iowa State Should Win Saturday, And Then Fans Can Maybe Forget About Shreveport

Dan McCarney stressed today that "99 percent of my time this week will be preparing for Colorado."

Hell, getting ready for Ralphie -- or at least the very good Colorado football team that Ralphie the buffalo represents -- is tough enough.

That means the other 1 percent of McCarney's time will be spent giving attention to the ever-changing bowl scenario in which his Iowa State football team is involved.

The Cyclones, who became bowl-eligible last week with a 45-17 victory over Kansas State, can improve their postseason situation by beating Colorado in a game that starts at 6 p.m. Saturday in Jack Trice Stadium at Ames.

Colorado has records of 7-2 overall and 5-1 in the Big 12 Conference. The Buffaloes lead the North Division, and Iowa State [6-3 and 3-3] is tied with Missouri for second place.

Colorado coach Gary Barnett has done some strange things in the past, but he isn't expected to suit up Ralphie, the team's mascot. In fact, I'm pretty sure Ralphie [pictured above on the left] isn't making the road trip, so that's probably why Iowa State is only a 3-point underdog.

Put Ralphie in pads and in the lineup and the Buffaloes would be favored by about 100 points.

Now that Iowa State knows it's going to a bowl, it would kind of nice if it could be something other than the Independence Bowl at Shreveport, La. The Cyclones made that trip in 2001 and 2004, and they really have no interest in taking home any sort of traveling trophy that might be available from a game that used to be called the Weed Eater Bowl.

San Antonio or San Diego sound a lot better to me in December or, actually, any other time.

McCarney wants you to know that he and Jamie Pollard, Iowa State's new athletic director, will be "making sure we're on the same page on some things" this week.

"We know there's a lot of posturing and positioning behind the scenes [in the bowl picture]," McCarney explained. "The good thing is we know we're going somewhere. Let's do what we can to finish the season in style."

I expect Iowa State to finish the regular season with records of 8-3 overall and 5-3 in the Big 12. The Cyclones finish with a Nov. 26 game at Kansas.


Cyclone fans -- or at least one or two Cyclone fans who masquerade as reporters -- have been bitching that Iowa State isn't picked for TV games often enough.

Well, the Clones will be on FOX this week. The bad news is that the game has been moved to 6 p.m.

It's a gamble scheduling any football game at night in November in this state. Now we'll find out what kind of crowd shows up at Jack Trice Stadium, and if the complaining was worthwhile.


Hey, Hawkeye fans, start checking those routes to Detroit.

And make sure the locks are working on your car doors.

Like I wrote earlier, I have absolutely nothing against the Motor City Bowl.


I was going to say something nice about Carolyn Washburn [pictured above on the right], the new editor of the Register.

But, before the ink was dry on Carolyn's first column in the Sunday paper, a couple of people e-mailed me to say they didn't think much of what she wrote.

Me? I think she's got Paul Anger beat all to hell so far.


Don't say I didn't tell you:

Iowa State 28, Colorado 21
Wisconsin 24, Iowa 17