Van De Velde: Iowa State Atop Houston Bowl's List

Although Iowa State became bowl eligible with a victory over Kansas State last weekend, a number of different bowl scenarios have clouded its postseason picture. Athletic director Bruce Van De Velde gave fans a better idea of where ISU could be headed in a question-and-answer session with

CN: What does the bowl picture look like at this point, as far as all of the different scenarios that Iowa State fits in?

Van De Velde: I think it's wonderful to be considered. Right now we have five bowl scouts coming to the game on Saturday. The Alamo, Independence, Houston, Fort Worth, and Champs Sports Bowls will all be in attendance on Saturday.

Right now we're having weekly bowl conference calls with the Big 12 Conference. There are a number of scenarios that could play out. The one that we all would like to see is for Iowa State to win Saturday, advance to the Big 12 championship game, upset Oklahoma, and play in the Fiesta Bowl. That would be our goal.

Short of that, the Alamo Bowl, Independence Bowl, and Houston Bowl still have us on their list. I don't think we'll fall much below the Houston Bowl. There are other opportunities there, like the Champs Sports Bowl and Fort Worth Bowl, but I don't think we'll be around when it comes time for them to pick. I would say that the four bowls that seem the likeliest are the Fiesta Bowl, Alamo Bowl, Independence Bowl, and the Houston Bowl.

CN: How have the Cyclones been received by representatives from the Alamo, Independence, and Houston Bowls?

Van De Velde: I think we're the Houston Bowl's top choice. The Independence Bowl has us high on their list. I received a call yesterday from the Alamo Bowl. Depending on what happens in front of us with the BCS teams, if there is some way that Texas fits into the BCS mix, and we had Oklahoma and Texas in the BCS, assuming we're not in the Fiesta Bowl we could end up in the Alamo Bowl. Houston is a real likelihood.

CN: Why do you feel the Cyclones are not a bigger option with the Alamo Bowl at this point? Is it a traveling issue?

Van De Velde: I don't think it's any of those, because our fans have shown that they'll buy the ticket allotment. Every bowl we've been to three of the last four years, we've sold our ticket allotment. They know that our fans travel well. I think it's more the number of wins. There are teams in the South that have nine or 10 wins, and some will have eight. But the best thing for us to do is control our own destiny, win out, and win Saturday, win the championship game, and get to the Fiesta Bowl.

CN: ISU is currently being mentioned by Independence Bowl representatives, but it just played in Shreveport three years ago. How much will that come into play when selections are being made?

Van De Velde: I don't know how that would factor in, or even if it would be a factor. I know that we had a real good experience down there, and I think they feel the same way. We sold our ticket allotment and played a great game against a very good Alabama team. I think that we're high on their list, and we're Houston's top pick. But I can't speculate at this point what they're thinking.

CN: What discussions have you had with the Houston Bowl?

Van De Velde: I think it's been very positive. I think the big thing about Houston is it's an area we recruit, so that would be a big factor for us. The weather is nice. Houston is a great city. The facility is the best that I've seen. It has hosted a conference championship game. They have hosted a Super Bowl. Reliant Stadium is a state-of-the-art beautiful facility. Our fans and team would love to play in it and attend a game there. The facility is second to none.

They have been great to talk to and know we have a lot of alum in Texas that our people would travel. The game is December 30th, which means finals will be over and Christmas would be over. People could spend Christmas at home and still have plenty of time to support the Cyclones in Houston. I think it would be a great match, and I think they feel the same way.

CN: As far as the possible matchup in Houston, which different teams could it be?

Van De Velde: It would be an SEC team, but if they can't fill the spot with an eligible team then it could be a Big 10 team like Northwestern or Minnesota.

CN: If Arkansas beats LSU this weekend, do the Razorbacks then become the team of choice for the Houston Bowl?

Van De Velde: That's one of the SEC teams they've talked about. Up until yesterday they had talked about South Carolina.

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