Iowa State: McCarney Confident in KC

Iowa State hit the big stage today in KC and was led by head coach Dan McCarney. McCarney talked about everything from his team's brutal schedule to his All-Big 12 players. Find out the scoop right here at CN with this Big 12 media day update.

Dan McCarney walked into today's Big 12 media day like he's done it a few times. Wait, he has for 12 straight years and McCarney isn't afraid to tell you about it. He's proud of the job he's done, and more importantly McCarney is proud of Iowa State.


"I'm really honored to be back for my 12th year at Iowa State. There weren't a lot of people who probably thought 12 years ago that I'd still be here. I've seen a lot of transition, coaches, players, administrators," McCarney told the media on Wednesday in his opening remarks.


The theme of the week has been confidence from all of the Big 12 coaches. McCarney joined that club on Wednesday when he wasn't only confident about 2006, but anxious to kickoff as well.


"Like all coaches this time of year, we're optimistic and we're excited. We're looking forward to the season. It's an exciting time at Iowa State. We set the all-time season ticket record a year ago and already broke that," McCarney said.


McCarney is entering his 12th year at Iowa State and he's turned a program that was once a national laughing stock into a perennial Big 12 North contender. His offense returns 10 of 11 starters but his defense is replacing eight, but for the first time at Iowa State, it looks to be a reloading year instead of rebuilding on the defensive side of the football.


"If you're going to have a good defense you have to have the talent to play in this league. I think we've got good Big 12 talented kids, but what we do lack in experience and we will in a lot of positions, those things do matter if you have talent," McCarney said.


If you add up all of the positive things about the upcoming season for Iowa State, junior QB Bret Meyer just might be number one on that list. In his two years starting at Iowa State, Meyer has thrown for 4,802 yards with 29 touchdowns. Not to mention, he's this year's unanimous pick for 1st team All-Big 12 QB.


"Bret has all those intangibles that you're looking for. He's got to have an amr. He's got to have mental toughness. He's got to have physical toughness, and he's got good feet, and he can be elusive in the pocket. But he has tremendous leadership ability, and we are all looking for those players and especially QB's that will elevate the play of those around him, and Bret Meyer is a great example of that," McCarney said.


McCarney also talked about how Meyer can't be expected to do it all by himself.


"You better have a pretty good supporting cast because if he's got the leadership and the intangibles but he's getting whacked from the side of his head half the time, it's going to be hard to be successful," McCarney said.


Joining Meyer as 1st team All-Big 12 selections are Todd Blythe, DeAndre Jackson and Brent Curvey.


Iowa State is the unanimous pick to finish 2nd in the different looking Big 12 North this season. Of course fans would like to see their Clones as the preseason favorite; replacing eight starters on defense is the primary concern for the media in KC which likely put the Clones behind the Nebraska Cornhuskers.


"I don't think there is any question it's going to be a better conference this year, because there are lots and lots of players coming back. And yet, with Dan (Hawkins) and Ron (Prince) coming in, with the other four coaches that returned in our conference, I think it makes for a great race and we're hoping to be a part of it and hopefully late in the season a lot of you are still writing about Iowa State," McCarney said.


Iowa State's schedule kicks off on August 31st when the Toledo Rockets will roll into Ames on a Thursday night. McCarney commented on scary schedule that his team faces in 06.


"It's well documented the caliber of the schedule we'll play this year. Nine bowl teams, six bowl champions. The defending national champion Texas. Northing Iowa will play for the national championship, and half of our 12 teams that we played will be new preparations for us this year which obviously takes an awful lot of work when you've not played that team the year before," McCarney said.


Expect much more coverage from Iowa State's media day on CN in the next few days.

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