Another week, another wild swing on the ol’ oscillation machine. We’ve gone from “we hung with LSU, maybe we can rematch against them in the College Football Playoffs” to “welp we almost lost to Kansas, so let’s just settle for an Alamo Bowl and be happy” to “HOLY SHIT WE LOST TO TCU EVEN THOUGH WE BOUGHT THEIR DEL CONTE -- FIRE EVERYONE” to “We beat a RANKED K-State (Kansas State Champions), why not us for the Big-12 Championship?” And I think that’s about where the entire fan-base currently sits as Texas takes to the road for a 1900-mile round trip road trip for one of the Longhorns’ two trips out of God’s state.
What could possibly go wrong? A Big-12 team with a number next to their name travelling to Jack Trice in Nopevember. “Well at least it’s after Brocktober,” they say. “At least the game starts at 2:30,” they say. Well ISU beat Oklahoma State in November and effectively ended the BCS era and post-daylight savings time change, the sun sets in Ames at 4:53 pm.
It promises to be a spectacle, at least visually, worthy of immortalization in the latest monthly subscription shackles vis-a-vis Disney+. UT in their white stormtrooper uniforms clashing with ISU in their all black Imperial visage will translate well into the post-Empire Imperial remnants storyline folded into the new Mandalorian series. You knew Disney was loaded with cash, and not just ‘F You money’. ‘Buy your competition outright money’, sure. ‘Re-write copyright law money?’ Absolutely. But you didn’t know they had ‘on-the-field-football-tie-in money’. It could be a misstep in corporate strategy though, as it clearly tips their hand when it comes to the planned acquisition of the college sports. No, not the NCAA, the literal sports themselves.
Like the shoulder given to me by Heather Cooper in eighth grade, it’s cold up in Ames this week. Frigid. Ice Queen, you might say. However, Herman insists it will have minimal impact on preparation and gameplay. Matt Campbell says otherwise.
I track a lot of useless statistics involving the Cyclones, but maybe my favorite is how Iowa State performs increasingly better under Matt Campbell as the weather gets colder. pic.twitter.com/4sozoILd2n— Alex Gookin (@_AlexGookin) November 12, 2019
If there’s anything Texas has developed over the last decade it’s been resistance to freezing environments. Heck, it was only a handful of years ago the Horns were completely frozen out of the NFL draft!
History aside, Saturday is the next in a line of season defining games this year. Iowa State, losers to 4 ranked teams by a combined 11 points (roughly the same amount by which we lost to TCU), are themselves grasping for a season redemption arc. After needing 3 OTs to beat FCS University of Northern Iowa and the assiest, 6-hour El Assico on College Gameday (on the heels of the UT/LSU classic), having their venmo beer hero get immortalized on a can of Busch Lite/outed for questionable old tweets/get his own can and bobblehead, they have settled into being a pretty dangerous team down the stretch. As we know from years of playing the Aggies, there’s nothing that erases rational assessment and bad taste of a season’s shortcomings like a win against UT. Then again, that mindset gave us 76–37–5, so bring it on.
You know it, I know it, the croots know it, the boosters damn well know it. The battle that truly matters takes place not on the field between the hashes, but in the sky between the glasses. In Sky Boxes across the country, one hundred and twenty-five brave men try to encourage other men and women of note to part with their hard-earned cash in exchange for privilege, favor, an ego-boosting experience of seeing your name on the side of something (and presumably a few free nights’ stay in some casitas).
After decades of DeLost Dodds, a jet-pack ride’s duration of Steve Patterson, and a perfectly acceptable interim tenure of Mike Perrin, Texas has their guy, now and forever. The esteemed Chris Del Conte seems to have done as much for the school in recent years as Vince Young, but it was a little known, long-serving AD in Ames who took home the 2018/19 AD of the Year Award (Del Conte won it in 2015, but that was for his TCU work). Ladies and gents, Jamie Pollard.
And while fully donor-funded basketball arenas and baseball complexes are nice, and insofar as completely revamping the culture around historically Top-5 baseball and football programs is cool, and while revolutionizing transparency and social media presence while being genuinely universally beloved are goals — that damn trophy is what CDC really covets.
And it isn’t lost on incredible nerd Jamie Pollard, who ribs in the Iowa-est of ways imaginable:
For those that are concerned it may be too warm this weekend for our southern friends, we did double check to make sure the air conditioner is working in our visiting team lockeroom. @_delconte— Jamie Pollard (@IASTATEAD) November 12, 2019
Fair play for the locker room joke. This is also not the first time Iowa Nerd has taken shots at the cool kid down in Austin:
In all seriousness, he seems wonderful in that he trolls but is genuinely too nice to have any bite too it...At least when his real name is attached to it. Remember — it has now been 9 years since Pollard changed the ISU logo and penned a guest piece for this website (<CLICK THIS ONE AT LEAST) under the nom de plume ‘Fake Ken Tremendous.’
Better Know a Roster
For this section, just make the assumption that all members of this list look like ‘Iowa as hell’ unless instructed otherwise. For visual reference:
Skylar Loving-Black (TE, Fr.) - “Skylar Loving-Black” is absolutely the name of a porno.
Answer Gaye (DB, R-Fr.) - Question: did you picture a heterosexual or homosexual film when reading the previous entry? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Re-al Mitchell (QB, R-Fr.) - I HAVE VERY IMPORTANT NEWS, DEAR READERS. ISU’s QB2 (behind last year’s QB3), is from that QB1 show and HIS MOTHER IS BLAZE FROM AMERICAN GLADIATORS!!!
From her bio:
She was known to be very aggressive in the arena and was often sidelined in Powerball for tackling the Contenders above the neck. Her best event was Conquer.
In addition, Icelandic born Blaze was accepted into law school and practiced criminal law. Controversially, she married Rodney Mitchell in 1991 who was part of a rival medieval themed athletic television show ‘Knights and Warriors’. He was known as ‘Knightmare - The Duke Of Doom’ and had reportedly met Blaze working as a trainer to the Gladiator contenders.
Benjamin Dunkleberger (DB, R-Fr.) - This is the most midwestern thing I’ve ever seen...
Kym-Mani King (DB, Fr.) - Kym runs a highly successful chain of spots in California that “Put the Man back in Manicure!”
Easton Dean (TE, Fr.) - I tried this bat out and it just felt like I was swinging a tube of sausage. ZERO pop.
Joe Scates (WR, R-Fr.) - Well he is from Dayton, Ohio. Should go ahead and play hockey then!
Coal Flansburg (LB, Fr.) - Iowa isn’t even a Top 20 Coal producing state in the union, though they do consume quite a bit. Also, Mitch McConnell and the Kentucky boys are currently 5th at only 5%!! The more you know!
Breece Hall (RB, Fr.) - I heard the R.A. in Breece Hall won’t narc on you if you sneak him a beer or two on the low...
Ryan Reighard (LB, R-Fr.) - Ryan looks like he was Reigh-ed hard and put up wet.
Daric Whipple (WR, R-Jr.) - The poet Randy Travis once wrote: My love is deeper than the holler, stronger than the river, higher than the pine trees going tall up on the hill. My love is purer than the snowflakes that fall in late December, and honest as a robin on a springtime window sill, and longer than the song of a Whipple-will.
O’Rien Vance (LB, R-So.) - There is an Irish Bob Vance, Vance Irish Refrigeration / O’Rien’s belt joke in here...
Peyton Paddock (PK, R-Sr.) - Peyton Paddock Placekicker is an (explosive) plosive pipedream.
Chandler Pulvermacher (LB, R-Fr.) - This sounds like a great German villain name from the 80s.
Trey Fancher (LS, Fr.) - The ranch condiment mashup craze may’ve gone too far when combining fish sauce. Fanch doesn’t stand a chanch.
Connor Guess (DS, R-Fr.) - Kid is from “Van Meter, Iowa,” which screams of Midwestern “we used to build things here” anguish energy.
Landen Akers (WR, R-Jr.) - Texas/Iowa shared flex — I measure my: “Landen Akers”
Brian Papazian (P, R-So.) He looks like he introduces himself like “Papazian, like the chair. So yeah, you can sit on me.”
Gage Gunnerson (TE, R-So.) - I give up.
Connor Assalley (PK, R-Jr.) - Banner Society’s own Alex Kirschner released Kicker Name Power Rankings and neither Dicker the Kicker nor Connor Ass-alley made the list. It may be time to take our talents elsewhere.
The 2019 kicker name power rankings have a clear top two:— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) November 1, 2019
1. Chance Poore
2. Casey Legg
everyone else is playing for fourth all-time after those two and Chris Blewitt
Better Know a Brock
Brock Purdy (QB, So.) - Iowa State has historically been most dangerous when they employ Little Giants methodologies: Annexation of Puerto Rico? That’s the way they play defense to stop Air Raid teams. “Standing Around, Butz:” “They’ve got the guards in the backfield! The center’s on the right! And the quarterback isn’t even there!” That’s making QB Joel Lanning an All-American Linebacker and 6’7 QB Easton Dean a TE.
And now, their most audacious? Letting their third-string QB save the season last year. That’s where “Rad Tad” is secretly the team’s third best player. If the Longhorns are anything like the Urbania Cowboys, this could be trouble.
But Brock may not even be the best Brock QB of all time:
- Brock Huard - 1995 Gatorade High School Player of the Year, one of the biggest croots of the decade, 7-year NFL career
- Brock Berlin - 1999 Gatorade High School Player of the Year, one of the biggest croots of all time.
- Brock Purdy - composite 3-star
- Brock Osweiler - last. If you add any more to this list, they still start at third ahead of this guy.
Ok, maybe that’s a bit niche. Where does he rank in things named Brock:
- Brock from Pokemon
- The Brockermeyers
- Brock Lesnar
- Brock Hekking’s name and mullet
- Shiner Brock
- Brockyn Hager
- West Wing reporter Greg Brock
- Aforementioned Gatorade Players of Year
Now That’s What I Call Moozik, Vol. 10
- “Cyclone (feat. T-Pain)” - Baby Bash: Not often do mascots get their own theme song, but here we are. Here’s to sensibly timed stunts and blitzes in which the spin move is rebranded to the “Cyclone”.
- “Chasing Cars” - Snow Patrol: To misquote Rob Thomas, it’s going to be a cold one. If we get a dusting in Ames then the Storm Trooper unis up against the murdered out Iowa State squad is going to be electric television.
- “Duality” - Slipknot: The pride of Iowa. “Duality” is a personal favorite, but also an apt description of the nature of this season with offensive gains and defensive woes. But last week’s second half was as stout as Todd’s squad has looked this season. Feel like that’s got to continue.
- “Stuck In The Middle With You” - Stealers Wheel: Getting stuck in the middle of Iowa sounds like a nightmare. But it’s what happens to anyone who graduates from ISU and never leaves Ames.
- “It’s Not Over” - Daughtry: Somehow, some way, we haven’t pissed away a shot at a Big 12 title. Chris is right. It’s not over.
Intern Eli: The Storm Troopers finally get revenge for the stolen Death Star plans and mercilessly roll through the Cyclone scum. Sam unveils an unprecedented orange lightsaber upon celebrating his 5th TD. Texas 42, ISU 24.
VY Pump Fake: Snowfall begins right at kickoff, quickly blanketing the field. Longhorns use the stormtrooper white camouflage to full effect. Texas wins on a fumble six as Malcom Roach surfaces out of nowhere like Schwarzenegger from the mud in Predator.
Kyle Carpenter: It’s the Yancy McKnight Bowl, y’all. And Texas is 1-1 in Bowls I have made up for this publication (The Chisolm Trail Bowl, the Chris Del Conte Bowl). In this one though? ISU doesn’t stand a Jantz.
You should absolutely read about Iowa State’s 1970s world beater wrestler who was 6’5 and 400 pounds.
- The ISU coaches tried to get him on the football team, but they couldn’t find a big enough helmet.
- He lost two very controversial gold medals at the 1972 Munich olympics