A Cold Mountain

So Saturday was a pretty horrible game. Iowa State got completely smoked by a Division 1-AA opponent on its home field. Please don’t give me the line that if we hadn’t committed all of the turnovers or missed the field goal and the extra point we could have won the game or the score would have been closer. All of those things are part of the game and it doesn’t change the truth. That truth is that we flat out got smoked. We flat out got smoked by a Division 1-AA school. We got smoked on our own field. This is the equivalent of getting beat up by your little sister. No make that this is the equivalent of getting beat up by your little sister while all of your friends are watching it happen. Plus all her friends are watching it happen. Plus your mortal enemy is watching it happen and he gets to fight you next week.

The scariest part to me is that some Cyclone fans are starting to panic. They are starting to panic because it is already 2 games into the season and the realist is looking at our schedule and it is dawning on them that we are very likely looking at an 0-12 season.

That is a hard pill to swallow. Even Jim Walden never had a season where he lost every single game.

It is my sincerest hope that some of the what I like to call “New Age Cyclone Fans” that ran Dan McCarney out of town last year noticed what happened in Auburn last Saturday night. While UNI was making us punch ourselves in the face while saying “Quit hitting yourself”, McCarney was helping his new team beat nationally ranked Auburn. You can try to minimize his contribution to that victory if you want, but it is only a matter of time before you have to admit that he can coach. He did things at Iowa State that were considered practically impossible. Yet after falling 1 field goal short two years in a row of winning the Big XII North and then having a bad year, he was run out of Ames like he was Frank Solich.

I’m not saying that I don’t think Chizik won’t get it turned around. I just want it noted by some Iowa State fans at some point that Dan McCarney could coach and was not treated fairly. Essentially he was run out of town based on inflated expectations that wouldn’t have existed if he hadn’t made the Cyclone program into a program that had expectations.

I don’t expect this to happen. I hear the same people that ran McCarney out calling the call in shows and they are angry. They don’t get why we are this bad. They don’t get why a team with a first year head coach with no previous head coaching experience could be this bad. Why a team with virtually no talent on the offensive line could struggle. Why a team with no defensive line depth can’t get pressure on the quarterback or stop the run.

They have their scapegoats already. They already are demonizing Meyer. They think if we just threw the ball to Blythe more everything would work out. These people remind me of a quote I often think of when I see somebody that has created a bad environment, but don’t understand why bad things keep happening. This quote is from Cold Mountain and it is a reference to the South and the Civil War, but I think it applies to this Iowa State football season and the “New Age Cyclone Fans” that keep calling radio shows and clogging up message boards completely confused by why we are so bad this year:

“They call this war a cloud over the land. But they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say ‘Shit, it’s raining!'”

If Dan McCarney wasn’t the high class person that he is, I would swear that he is sitting in his Tampa home laughing his ass off.

Don’t get me wrong, because I didn’t agree with the decision to fire McCarney doesn’t mean I didn’t agree with the decision to hire Chizik. After the betrayal had been completed, somebody had to pick up the sword. We had to hire somebody. I think Chizik is an excellent coach, but when you hire somebody without any head coaching experience, you need to realize that there is going to be growing pains. We are essentially paying him to learn on the job. The first few seasons might be pretty brutal. Eventually I have no doubt that he will get us back to being as good as we were under McCarney. Perhaps even a little further than that. Cyclone fans just need to be patient and lower their expectations. They just have to realize the criteria for success this season is not going to be wins and losses. The criteria is going to be whether or not we improve as the season continues. I just hope that we can keep filling the stadium.

The pictures from the game have been posted. I also posted a couple seemingly random bee pictures and a couple of pictures from the Pufferbilly Days 5K. I was going to combine the ISU-UNI pictures with Pufferbilly Days pictures, but in the end there weren’t many Pufferbilly Days pictures because I slept through the parade and I didn’t stay out on Saturday night because I had church in the morning and my Aunt Linda was going to be there and I hadn’t seen her for awhile. So I guess it is kind of random.

Iowa State Cyclones versus Northern Iowa Panthers