CF Mailbag: 1-6

Cyclone Fanatic

Cyclone Fanatic

Happy Wednesday Fanatics! A big night is on the horizon. In case you’ve been in hibernation for the past three days, Iowa State plays fifth-ranked Duke this evening on ESPN2. I’m psyched. Win or loss, this is a giant night for the program. Let’s get things rolling here at CF with a mailbag.

Mizouse87 writes: On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the greatest) how would you rank your vacation/trip to Arizona. Please factor in all aspects of the trip (drive/flight, hotel accommodations, activities, enjoyment, game etc...) Perhaps even include some of the more enjoyable things you did while down there as well as something that might not have been so good.

CW: I would rank my trip to Arizona as a 9, based largely off of the Cyclone victory. The flight was awesome. Charter is the way to go. If you have it, the extra money is worth it. My favorite thing about bowl trips is hanging out with Cyclone fans in a spot that is not Ames, Iowa. It was so cool to go to that western town and see thousands of good people sporting the cardinal and gold. My favorite thing is running into old friends in interesting spots. It’s amazing how many old friends I just happened to bump into while in Arizona. I had all sorts of Fanatics stop me to introduce themselves as well. I love that! It’s so great to hear that people are enjoying the site.

My favorite place I visited while on the trip was some brewery that a bunch of media guys and I went to on Tuesday night. I don’t remember the name of it. It was in Chandler. It was kind of like Old Main in Ames. The beer was amazing. I love me some good home made brew. Plus, it's great being able to hang out with my colleagues in the media. I love the good people who work in this market. They are truly some of the best in the game and great people too.

Let’s see…our hotel was phenomenal. It was the Sheraton Wild Horse out by Rawhide. That’s also where the team was. This place was WAY too nice for me. I’m used to Days Inn and stuff like that. I usually bring my own bedding to the disgusting hotels I normally stay in. The room that I had was worth more than the crappy apartment currently live in. Great time though. I’m grateful that I got to go enjoy the Cyclone victory.

GeronimusClone writes: Iowa State's schedule in football next year looks rough:

Northern Illinois 7-6 at Iowa 10-2 Utah 10-3 UNI 7-4 Texas Tech 9-4 KSU at KC 6-6 at Oklahoma 8-5 at Texas 13-0 Kansas 5-7 Nebraska 9-3 at Colorado 3-8 Missouri 8-5

Do we make a better bowl game next year?

CW: That’s hard to answer because the bowl games are all mixed up next season. Here is what the bowl slate looks like for the Big 12 starting next season, in order of their selections.

Fiesta and/or BCS Title Game Cotton Alamo Insight Holiday Texas New York Yankees

The chances of Iowa State getting back to the Insight Bowl are slim to none. You see what I mean? It all changes due to the order in which the bowls pick. I’ve been saying it for the last two weeks that Iowa State will play Rutgers in the 2010 New York Yankee Bowl. The Big Apple on New Years baby! Gotta love the sound of that.

Clones_jer writes: Do you see the basketball team becoming more cohesive in conference play? Where does beating this particular Houston team put us in the grand scheme of things? (Should we be concerned / relieved / excited / betting the house on Duke going down)

CW: First of all, yes, I think they’ll be more cohesive during conference play. They better be. They have to be if they want to contend. I honestly think that there may have been a few chemistry issues during that three game losing streak earlier this season. Things have improved but I still think that the guys haven’t even come close to playing up to their full potential.

About Houston? I think it was a solid win. I would have liked it to be more comfortable but Houston is a very talented team. Before the game, I never once thought that Iowa State would win by double-digits. I can’t put into words how relieved I was that Iowa State got out of that one alive. My Twitter feed read: “Thank God” when the game ended.

DO NOT bet the house on Duke going down tonight.

4429 mcc writes: I think free throws will keep this years basketball team from dancing. Can you really blame a coach for a teams poor free throw shooting? 80% shooter here.

CW: You’re an 80 percent shooter huh? That’s pretty sweet. In front of 13,000 fans? Just asking.

I don’t agree with the statement that free throws will keep Iowa State out of the Dance. If Iowa State doesn’t play in the NCAA Tournament, it will be because of something larger than that. People put free throws under such a microscope because that’s all you are watching when they take place. Fans tend to forget about the hundreds of plays that happen in between. Having said that, your point is well taken. The team is obviously not strong in this category. And no, you absoutley cannot blame missed free throws on a coach. Solid observation there.

SuperCy writes: Do people actually believe Matt Perault that there is a potential QB controversy? Are they smart enough to see that it was something to fill up time and get callers for a radio show?

CW: Here’s my brief take on this. I do plan on writing a specific blog about this in the near future. Matt referred to what Tom Herman told him after the game about the QB job being open next season. My take is, of course Herman is going to say that. What is Jerome Tiller supposed to think if he hears that Austen has the job locked up? In the college football world that we currently live in, no coach, player or administrator can afford to lose for too long. They all have reputations on the line. Coach Rhoads and Coach Herman will start the best quarterback on Iowa State’s roster next fall. End of story. Of course the job is open. It was open this year. Austen Arnaud is the best quarterback on Iowa State’s roster right now and that will also be the case during the 2010 season. There’s not a doubt in my mind that barring injury, number four will be the starting quarterback against Northern Illinois to kick things off.

CycloneYoda writes: I am leaving for Chicago tomorrow and Anguilla on Friday. Is the weather going to allow all of this? I trust you more than I do the weather chick.

CW: Thank you for putting all of this in my hands. Here’s a tip for wherever you are going. Bring a jacket. I swear that it’s freaking cold everywhere in the world right now.

RoseClone writes: What is the latest on Jamie Vanderbeken and his injuries? Somone posted on here that he slipped on the ice too and hurt himself again?????

CW: McDermott talked about this during Sunday’s post game. JVB is injured again from ice. He’s listed as day-to-day but from the sound of Mac’s voice, it is not encouraging. I’ll be shocked if JVB is 100 percent at any point this season.

Chuckd4735 writes: Any word on Gilstrap’s eligibility potential next year?

CW: We won’t know anything for sure until after the season. Six months ago it sounded like bad news was looming. Now, it’d say it’s 40-60. The 40 that he’ll get another year.

Cyclone_Grav writes: I lived in a third world country for 16 months before coming home for the holidays and seeing my first cyclone game of any sort since the 2008 Kent state game. Today I'm leaving to return there for another nine months. What's the longest you've gone without watching any cyclones athletic event?

CW: That’s a tough one…it was before I went to college. I know that. The longest I’ve gone is just during the off-season. Sorry I can’t give you a more creative answer here. I’m stumped.

Brother bob writes: Hey Chris. What roll do you think Jerome Tiller will be playing next year? Do you think the coaching staff utilize his gifts and make him an athlete and get him on the field for more playing time or just keep him at the QB position? I myself like the athletic gifts he brings to the team and that could be very exciting to have both AA and JT on the field together...your thoughts?

CW: Great points Brother Bob. I’ve been saying this for a couple of weeks now. I’d love to see Tiller be used like Gene’s staff used Phillip Bates for the short amount of time he was in Ames. Tiller is an incredible athlete. It’s not like Iowa State has a group of receivers that set the world on fire in 2009. I say, get Tiller on the field. Use his abilities to your advantage. Make sure that he knows the basics at quarterback and then, have a little fun with it. I don’t know Jerome personally but I can guarantee you that the kid wants playing time. This is his best route as long as AA is in Ames.

Ms3r4ISU writes: Will we eventually have all our wrestlers healthy and competing in the same match? Thoughts on the NCAA tourney?

CW: I’d love to give an insightful answer here but I’m not exactly what you’d call a wrestling guru. Keep an eye on a nationals preview from Ben Crawford that will be on the site Friday. As always, Ben will do a great job.

Jsmith86 writes: Will we make the Fiesta Bowl next year?

CW: Will you walk on to the basketball team and start over Craig Brackins for the majority of Big 12 play?

Clones21 writes: KFC or Popeyes?

CW: I have never had Popeyes in my life. Does that make me a bad human being? I guess I have to go KFC.

Knownothing writes: Is this the first time in a long time that cyclone fans are actually excited for football season to start next year?

CW: No. Cyclone fans are always excited for football season aren’t they?

Also now that you work for KXNO do you feel like challenging Jon Miller in some type of bar Olympics?

CW: I don’t technically work for KXNO. It’s more like a fill-in/freelance type of thing. But yes, I will challenge or accept any sort of Olympic challenge with Jon Miller at any time, any day. That is in writing.

Hiwatis writes: Any insight on why Buck is not seeing significant playing time??? Thought he had improved a lot over the summer but still doesn't seem to see the court except in garbage time.

CW: Great question. It has to have something to do with how he’s practicing. It’s rare to see him commit any sort of an error when he actually plays, which is hardly ever. Or, Chris Colvin just flat out beat him and there isn't enough playing time to go around. It’s hard to keep a guy with as much potential as Colvin off of the court. But I’m with you and stumped on the Buckley question. I guess that’s a good problem to have.

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