Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cyclone Country

With the opening week behind us, we allow ourselves the God-given ability to adjust our expectations up or down depending on how our team fared.

Let’s begin Week 2 with a recap.

Week 1 record 

While scoring a perfect 5-0 straight up, my ATS record was 3-2. Not bad for week one.

Season Stats:
5-0 SU, 3-2 ATS

Week 2:
Miami @ K-State -6.5
Last year, no one expected much from K-State until they went to the land of hurricanes and Snydered the hell out of Miami. They went on to win 10 games, eventually losing to Arkansas in the AT&T Cotton Bowl. Miami went 6-6 in a much weaker ACC and was left out of postseason play. This is 2012 and K-State isn’t sneaking up on anyone while they look to impact the championship race somehow in a new look Big 12. Miami still plays in the ACC and lacks the same collection of thugs and hooligans that made them so powerful in the 80’s and 90’s. The programs are working in different directions, and I don’t believe this will be much of a matchup.

K-State wins and covers 38-14

Nebraska @ UCLA  +4.5
Normally, I would care little about this matchup. However, I care little about any game this weekend that isn’t played in the great state of Iowa and we are told we must provide you with five games a week, so. This matchup intrigues me only because I want to see the Cornshuckers lose and lose to a team it shouldn’t lose to. UCLA would fill that role, if they could pull off the upset. Nebraska, 10 years into its rebuilding efforts, carries the advantage of experience, however, and I don’t see the still developing Bruins making my day. Not this weekend at least.

Nebraska wins on the road, UCLA covers 24-21

Georgia @ Missouri +3.5
I want to hate Georgia. They reside in the SEC, a conference that gets more respect than my beloved Big XII, but I struggle to find anything about this program I hate. They produced Matthew Stafford, a respectable Quarterback for the rising Detroit Lions and they have a loveable bulldog as a mascot. As an avid Georgia supporter, Paula Deen has shared so many tailgating recipes that are loaded with diabetes and butter I’m all but certain I will not live to see 60. What’s not to like? Missouri, on the other hand, can kiss my ass. Kansas City has great BBQ, and Northwest Missouri State has a great Division II football program, but that is all I can say nice about this state. I was initially upset that they were leaving the Big XII, until I was constantly reminded how obnoxious their fans were via my Facebook feed. For that alone, I felt they were better suited for the Big Ten, but even the leaders of that conference felt their fans were not classy enough to warrant an invitation so to the SEC they went.

Georgia rolls out the welcome wagon, right over the Tiger’s toes. 28-24

Iowa State @ Iowa -4
This is absolutely, without question, my game of the week. Its Iowa vs Iowa State. It’s the Cyclones refusing to concede that Iowa is still a “Hawkeye” state. Sure, it takes more than Iowa State winning 8 of the last 14 games (including 5 in a row from 1998 to 2002) to get the majority of the state to switch their colors, but the times are a changing. Iowa fans generally pretend this is just another pre-season game against an unworthy opponent, chalking up any loss as a “bad day” for the superior team while continuing to ignore the growth of the younger brother 137.6 miles to their left.

Did I mention the Times are a changing? Iowa seems to be a program on the decline, with players and fans taking on the stoic demeanor of their gridiron guru. An endless string of transfers and bad luck has left them decimated at the running back position and their defensive and offensive lines do not hold the same menacing qualities as they did just three years ago.

Conversely, Iowa State is a program on the rise, with an inspirational leader and newly finished athletic facilities. Jamie Pollard, who had many fans calling for his head shortly after the Chizik/McDermott era ended very badly, realized that to be successful in Ames you need roots and energy. We are an agricultural institution after all and Pollard nailed it when he hired a hometown hero who is infamously proud to be our coach.

I guess I should get to the game at some point, so here.

Iowa showed us very little last week kicking their way to victory against a lesser yet not-to-be overlooked opponent in Northern Illinois. I instantly received multiple texts of pre-emptive conciliatory congratulations from more than a few fellow Iowans who cheer on the enemy. Meanwhile, Iowa State had an impressive showing against a formidable foe in Tulsa. Steele Jantz was solid in his second season, and Shontrelle Johnson provided a glimpse of the running threat we need. However, the game is in Iowa City and I guarantee there will be spirit and fire on both sidelines.

The Cyclones are opening underdogs for the second week in a row. Iowa State wins for the second week in a row, because I will not accept a different outcome 28-14

Florida @ Texas AM -2.5
This is the collective game of the week for a couple of different reasons. One, it is the second indoctrination of a former Big XII team into the SEC, and two, a certain billboard someone in Aggie Nation decided would be a good idea to place in the heart of Gator Country. This is the equivalent of moving into an affluent southern neighborhood and distributing “Obama 2012” pamphlets to all your neighbors. You’re bound to make more than a few enemies.

In their defense, the school’s spokespeople claim no responsibility for the billboard, but the damage is done. Am I sad the AM interlopers are gone from the Big XII? Not really.

Florida wins 35-17


Anonymous said...

Thank you Justin for giving us a definition of the word Homer.

B1G will cover this game as well...and do it objectively.

Vegas CyClown said...

I doubt B1G will be objective. And if he is, shame on him. My position was never to be objective, and I admitted just last week that I am a Cyclone Homer. Without question and without remorse.