Monday Musings

In his weekly word to CycloneNation.com's readers, editor-in-chief Steve Deace attempts to galvanize the cardinal-and-gold faithful into welcoming home their nationally ranked football team with a raucous sellout crowd on Saturday.

This week's column is intended as a call to arms for the Cyclone Nation.

Saturday's untelevised home game with Missouri is a benchmark for fans of the cardinal-and-gold. The Cyclones are limping home following two straight physical whippings at #2 Oklahoma and #7 Texas, perhaps the toughest two game road-trip any college football team has faced this season.

The euphoria of two weeks ago, with a school-best #9 national ranking and a realistic chance at the Heisman Trophy, has evaporated.

However, the Iowa State football program needs…nay deserves a jam-packed Jack Trice Stadium greeting it at 1 p.m. on Saturday. If you don't have tickets yet for the game and would like to purchase them, here's a link where you can order them online:

- Purchase Missouri at Iowa State tickets

Why are we selling this so hard here at Cyclone Nation? Several reasons:

  1. There is a notion out there put forth by we in the media, and fans of a certain school in the eastern portion of the great state of Iowa, that Iowa State fans are a bunch of front-runners. They say ISU fans are always looking for excuses not to show up in droves to games whether it's the harvest, the weather, the game is on television, or that it's not in Kansas City.
  2. It's November, which means the bowl scouts are watching. Would you like to go to San Antonio and/or San Diego instead of Shreveport again or Houston? The difference between Iowa State and a Texas A&M or Nebraska getting the nod could be your enthusiasm and fan support.
  3. Speaking of bowls, Iowa State has never qualified for three straight bowl appearances before in school history. But it will this season if the Cyclones win on Saturday for victory #7.
  4. This is your second-to-last chance to see Seneca Wallace play at home. If you've never seen him in person, you'll regret missing out. Trust me.
  5. With this being the final conference home game of the season, several pivotal recruits are likely to be in attendance. They will be watching you the fan's reaction to disappointment very closely.
  6. The money from your tickets and concessions may help keep Dan McCarney and some his assistants here in Ames with competitive salaries.

Speaking of that last item, we here at Cyclone Nation are proud to be partnering up with the Gridiron Club, which is a group of devoted Iowa State fans whose lone goal is to raise money for the football program. You can read more about the group in the November issue of Cyclone Nation Magazine, and the Gridiron Club will be hosting a massive tailgate party in the S-Lot of the stadium this weekend. We'll have more information on that later this week here on the website.

I know you're licking your wounds at work, in your neighborhoods, the health club, and even church hearing from your pro-Hawkeye friends about their run for the roses. I know you're disappointed after two straight losses on the road to top 10 foes. In one of those games the Cyclones were dominated thoroughly, and in the other they let opportunity slip through their fingers several times.

Nonetheless, if you have been a Cyclone fan for any period of time you are witnessing something special. These losses are the birth pangs of a budding college football power. Iowa State is so close to being where you've waited a lifetime for the program to go, it's just a recruiting class or two away.

This is a period of unprecedented growth in Cyclone football. An indoor multi-purpose facility is on its way, as is perhaps Mac's best recruiting class to date. Wallace's eligibility may be about to expire, but 40 of the team's top 48 players return next fall. Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas State, and Colorado will all come to Ames in 2003.

Folks, this isn't the culmination. It's just the appetizer. Sure, Wallace's Heisman Trophy candidacy and Iowa State's chances at the Big 12 North Division title may be on life support. And yes, the odds may be against the Cyclones winning either at Kansas State or Colorado, given the way those two conference powers can run the ball.

But that doesn't mean it's time to jump off the bandwagon. In fact, if you don't save your seat now you miss out later when more decide to take that leap of faith.

See you on Saturday afternoon.

Weekly Top 25

If I had a vote in the AP Poll, here's what my ballot would've looked like this week:

1. Oklahoma (7-0)

Last week: 1

This week: #14 Colorado

2. Notre Dame (8-0)

Last week: 5

This week: Boston College

3. Miami, Fla. (7-0)

Last week: 2

This week: at Rutgers

4. Georgia (8-0)

Last week: 3

This week: Florida

5. Virginia Tech (8-0)

Last week: 4

This week: Pittsburgh

6. Ohio State (9-0)

Last week: 6

This week: #23 Minnesota

7. Texas (7-1)

Last week: 7

This week: at Nebraska

8. Iowa (8-1)

Last week: 11

This week: Wisconsin

9. Washington State (7-1)

Last week: 9

This week: #15 Arizona State

10. N.C. State (9-0)

Last week: 10

This week: Georgia Tech

11. USC (6-2)

Last week: 15

This week: idle

12. Kansas State (6-2)

Last week: 19

This week: at Kansas

13. Alabama (6-2)

Last week: 21

This week: at Vanderbilt

14. Colorado (6-2)

Last week: 23

This week: at #1 Oklahoma

15. Arizona State (7-2)

Last week: NR

This week: at #9 Washington State

16. Michigan (6-2)

Last week: 8

This week: Michigan State

17. LSU (6-2)

Last week: 12

This week: idle

18. Colorado State (7-2)

Last week: 22

This week: at Air Force

19. Oregon (6-2)

Last week: 14

This week: Stanford

20. Florida State (5-3)

Last week: 13

This week: at Wake Forest

21. Penn State (5-3)

Last week: 16

This week: Illinois

22. Iowa State (6-3)

Last week: 17

This week: Missouri

23. Minnesota (7-1)

Last week: 25

This week: at #6 Ohio State

24. Bowling Green (7-0)

Last week: NR

This week: at Kent State

25. Maryland (6-2)

Last week: NR

This week: at North Carolina

Out: #18 Tennessee, #20 Air Force, #24 Virginia

Honorable Mention: #26 Florida (5-3); #27 Pittsburgh (6-2); #28 Marshall (6-1); #29 TCU (6-1); #30 Air Force (6-2)

My Heisman Ballot

  1. Ken Dorsey (QB-Miami, Fla.)…He keeps winning and in this indistinguishable field of candidates that's good enough for me.
  2. Willis McGahee (RB-Miami, Fla.)…Will he and teammate Dorsey cost each other the award by splitting the vote?
  3. Byron Leftwich (QB-Marshall)…Held to a higher standard than the other candidates because of concerns about the caliber of competition.
  4. Jason Gesser (QB-Washington State)…Could be the second Cougar quarterback in five years invited to the Downtown Athletic Club.
  5. Chris Brown (RB-Colorado)…Nation's leading rusher is getting stronger as the season goes on. With a big performance against Oklahoma this week he becomes one of the favorites.

Updated Bowl Projections

New Orleans Bowl (Dec. 17: Sun Belt Champ vs. Conference USA #5)

New Mexico State vs. UAB

GMAC Bowl (Dec. 18: Conference USA #2 vs. MAC #2)

Southern Mississippi vs. Bowling Green

Tangerine Bowl (Dec. 23: ACC #4 vs. Big 12)

Georgia Tech vs. Texas A&M

Las Vegas Bowl (Dec. 25: Mountain West #2 vs. Pac-10 #5)

Air Force vs. UCLA

Hawaii Bowl (Dec. 25: Conference USA #4 vs. WAC #3)

Tulane vs. Hawaii

Motor City Bowl (Dec. 26: MAC #1 vs. Big Ten #7)

Purdue vs. Marshall

Insight.com Bowl (Dec. 26: Big East #3/Notre Dame vs. Pac-10 #4)

West Virginia vs. Arizona State

Houston Bowl (Dec. 27: Conference USA #3 vs. Big 12 #6)

Nebraska vs. Louisville

Independence Bowl (Dec. 27: Big 12 #5 vs. SEC #7)

Kansas State vs. Mississippi

Holiday Bowl (Dec. 27: Pac-10 #2 vs. Big 12 #3)\

USC vs. Colorado

Alamo Bowl (Dec. 28: Big Ten #4 vs. Big 12 #4)

Penn State vs. Iowa State

Continental Tire Bowl (Dec. 28: Big East vs. ACC)

Wake Forest vs. Boston College

*Seattle Bowl (Dec. 30: Mountain West #4 vs. ACC)

Virginia vs. Oregon State

Music City Bowl (Dec. 30: Big Ten #6 vs. SEC #6)

Wisconsin vs. Auburn

Humanitarian Bowl (Dec. 31: WAC #2 vs. Big 12)

Texas Tech vs. Boise State

Sun Bowl (Dec. 31: Big Ten #5 vs. Pac-10 #3)

Minnesota vs. Oregon

Silicon Valley Classic (Dec. 31: WAC #1 vs. Pac-10)

Fresno State vs. Washington

Liberty Bowl (Dec. 31: Conference USA #1 vs. Mountain West #1)

TCU vs. Colorado State

Peach Bowl (Dec. 31: ACC #3 vs. SEC #5)

Maryland vs. South Carolina

*San Francisco Bowl (Dec. 31: Mountain West vs. Big East)

Arkansas vs. Clemson

Outback Bowl (Jan. 1: Big Ten #3 vs. SEC)

Michigan vs. Tennessee

Cotton Bowl (Jan. 1: Big 12 #2 vs. SEC)

Texas vs. Florida

Gator Bowl (Jan. 1: Big East #2/Notre Dame vs. ACC #2)

Pittsburgh vs. Florida State

Capitol One Bowl (Jan. 1: Big Ten #2 vs. SEC #2)

LSU vs. Ohio State

Rose Bowl (Jan. 1: Big Ten #1 vs. Pac-10 #1)

Iowa vs. Washington State

Sugar Bowl (Jan. 1: SEC #1 vs. BCS At-large)

Virginia Tech vs. Georgia

Orange Bowl (Jan. 2: ACC/Big East #1 vs. BCS At-large)

Miami, Fla. vs. N.C. State

Fiesta Bowl (Jan. 3: BCS #1 vs. BCS #2)

Oklahoma vs. Notre Dame

Please note that California, Kentucky, and Alabama are not eligible for the postseason because of NCAA sanctions.

*We project the Big East and Mountain West conferences will be unable to fill all of their available bowl slots.

(Steve Deace can be heard each Monday-Friday from 4-7 p.m. on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines, the flagship for the Cyclone Radio Network)


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