Category: Iowa State Cyclones

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby arrives to speak to reporters after the first day of the conference's meeting Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, in Irving, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
AP Photo/LM Otero

Big 12 presidents take vow of public uniformity

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There may be plenty of heated debates and conversations behind closed doors, but when it comes to showing the public their stance, the leaders of the Big 12 have agreed to stand together for the greater good of the Big 12. On Friday, Big 12 presidents and chancellors agreed to defer all comments to commissioner Bob Bowlsby.

The show of uniformity in refraining from comment appears to put Oklahoma president David Boren on notice. Boren had made headlines with his public remarks regarding the stability of the Big 12 by suggesting the conference was psychologically disadvantaged in the power conference landscape, speaking out in favor of expansion and lamenting the missed opportunity to add Louisville to the conference. Boren’s comments have either been echoed by fellow Big 12 leaders or disputed by others. Boren speaking out gave credence to the idea the Big 12 really is not standing on solid ground as a conference, because if Oklahoma is not happy with the state of the Big 12, then there are issues that will continue to be problematic. For the Big 12 to be stable, it likely needs Oklahoma and Texas to be happy. Now, no matter what Boren really thinks, he is essentially muzzled on the big topics for the Big 12.

After two days of meetings, the Big 12 essentially comes out of their meetings silent and without any drastic changes in the works. Expansion was discussed during the recent meetings, but no specific candidates were discussed during the board of directors meeting. Bowlsby did suggest there may not be an ideal number for the conference, which is currently operating with 10 members.

So for now, as has been the case for the last few years, there is no movement on the expansion front for the Big 12, which may be disheartening to fans of BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, UCF and any other number of programs dreaming and wishing for an invite to the power conference.

Big 12 ADs meet but make no progress on championship game, expansion or TV network

Commissioner Bob Bowlsby addresses attendees to Big 12 Conference Football Media Days Monday, July 20, 2015, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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The Big 12 may one day bring its conference championship back to the conference schedule, but any hope of reviving the game in 2016 appears to be fading quickly. A meeting of Big 12 athletic directors on Thursday in Irving, Texas yielded no movement toward implementing a conference championship for the upcoming college football season.

Bob Bowlsby, commissioner of the Big 12, confirmed ADs from the conference were presented with information regarding the impact a conference championship game has on sending a Big 12 champion to the College Football Playoff. The Big 12 was represented this past season by Oklahoma, an outright conference champion in regular season play, but the conference was left out of the four-team playoff field in the 2014 season despite co-champions Baylor and TCU having identical 11-1 records. Big Ten champion Ohio State wiggled past the Big 12 co-champs for the fourth and final spot in the inaugural playoff. No votes regarding the conference championship game were held by Big 12 ADs, which was expected to be the case.

The Big 12 ADs also discussed other topics that seem to follow the Big 12 wherever it goes; expansion and a Big 12 network. Like the championship game, no votes were held regarding expansion or a conference-branded sports network similar to networks operated by the Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12. But they most certainly were discussed. Bowlsby suggested the discussions were “high-level discussions.”

On Friday the presidents and chancellors from the 10 Big 12 members will meet in Irving, during which time they will be expected to review these same topics and more.

The topic of expansion in the Big 12 has continued since the departures of Nebraska (Big Ten, Colorado (Pac-12), Texas A&M and Missouri (SEC) were followed by the additions of West Virginia and TCU. Stuck on 10 members, the Big 12 lost the ability to host a conference championship game under the NCAA rules regarding championship games (conferences must have 12 teams or more to hold a conference title game). The NCAA recently allowed conferences the ability to run a conference championship game without 12 members, but the once believed to be easy choice for the Big 12 has seemed to lose support and momentum from within, and now the conference appears to have a diving line on the subject. On the one hand, a conference championship game hypothetically gives the Big 12 champion one last good, quality matchup to make a final playoff push, which may have benefitted Baylor or TCU in 2014. On the other, Oklahoma just proved it is possible to make the playoff without a championship game. A Big 12 championship game would provide more potential revenue for the conference, which is a nice luxury to have, but it carries a risk of potentially knocking a playoff entrant out of the discussion with a loss on the final weekend. The Big 12 has seen its championship game ruin national title dreams before, so it knows the pros and cons of the debate.

The complications of a Big 12 network also open the door for a stalemate, as it would likely come only if Texas abandoned The Longhorn Network. The Longhorn Network has been a polarizing issue in the Big 12 since its launch, and that is not about to change. Texas has every right to continue to stand by the network if it chooses, which means the rest of the Big 12 is going to have to convince Texas a conference-branded network would be more beneficiaal and valuable to Texas than its own network. For Texas, the ideal situation would be to have both its Longhorn Network and get a cut of a Big 12 network pie. It sounds so simple in theory, but nothing in the Big 12 is ever going to be simple.

Why start now, right?

Iowa bill wants Stanford band to apologize, or else!

The Stanford University Cardinal Marching Band performs in the 127th Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)
AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker
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Have you ever seen a piece of legislature being discussed in a local, state or federal government and thought to yourself “Don’t they have more important things to worry about?” In the same week Iowa is celebrated for its political involvement on the presidential campaign trail, we must ask that very question today. That is because a piece of state legislature is now threatening to prohibit Iowa, Iowa State and Northern Iowa from associating in any way with Stanford University unless the Pac-12 school’s marching band issues a formal apology to the state of Iowa.

The bill was introduced to the Iowa Capitol by Senator Mark Chelgren (R) as a result of the show of poor sportsmanship from the Stanford marching band’s halftime performance at the Rose Bowl, which poked fun at the state of Iowa and its farming culture.

“I think it’s unfortunate because here in Iowa we try to teach sportsmanship,” Chelgren said, according to Des Moines Register. “We try to teach courtesy, and when someone behaves in a way that is contrary to that, we need to point it out.”

The bill would still allow for sports competitions between Stanford and the three state universities to be held and any contracts between the schools already signed off on will be honored. Basically, this is political grandstanding at the expense of the Stanford marching band, which may just be a waste of time because there is no way the Stanford band is going to apologize for their Rose Bowl performance.

This now being a political issue, one Iowa Democrat says the bill only ends up hurting Iowa universities.

“I think what they did was offensive, but I don’t think you could blame the institution of Stanford University for it,” Sen. Robert Dvorsky (D) said. “I understand that some people were offended. Here is the problem: It is not an official Stanford marching band. They are just a student organization. It is not like the Hawkeye Marching Band and people should be aware of that. It is just some sort of loosely organized student organization.”

The answer to the earlier question is yes, there are more important things to be worried about in the Iowa government than hurt feelings over a halftime show at a bowl game.

Ex-Georgia QB Jacob Park transferring to Iowa State

Jacob Park
Associated Press
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After a year away, Jacob Park is back at the FBS level.

Prior to an official visit to Iowa State this past weekend, Park decided to commit to continue his career with the Cyclones.  Following the visit, the quarterback went public and confirmed his plans to 247Sports.com.

“I don’t even know if exciting can describe it,” Park told the recruiting website. “I feel blessed to have another opportunity. I know a lot of people don’t get one shot at it. I’m getting two. I’m going to make the best of it.”

Park did not play football in 2015, instead focusing on academics at Trident Technical College in Charleston, SC. Thus, he will be eligible to compete for ISU’s starting quarterback job in 2016; in fact, this upcoming season will be the first of three years of eligibility remaining for Park.

In mid-June of 2015, it was confirmed that Park would be transferring from Georgia.  Two weeks later, he visited Alabama, although nothing ever came of that interest.  247Sports also reports that park had conversations with Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech before opting for ISU.

A four-star member of UGA’s 2014 recruiting class, Park was rated as the No. 12 pro-style quarterback in the country; the No. 4 player at any position in the state of South Carolina; and the No. 229 player overall according to Rivals.com.  Park worked mainly with the scout team during his only season with the Bulldogs.

Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell is a Madden king

AMES, IA - DECEMBER 1: The Iowa State Cyclones new head football coach Matt Campbell address the crowd during a timeout in the first half of play of the Iowa State Cyclones mens basketball game against the North Dakota State Bison at Hilton Coliseum on December 1, 2015 in Ames, Iowa. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Matt Campbell;
Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images
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Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell is on the lookout for recruits to help build a solid foundation for years to come with the Cyclones. What better way to connect with kids than by playing some video games with them, specifically Madden NFL. It just so happens Campbell is a self-proclaimed Madden king, and he is not afraid to rub it in to his victims.

The 36-year old coach apparently has some game and some Madden skills, so any recruit looking to impress the head coach at Iowa State may want to brush up on their own Madden abilities. Of course, college coaches have to resort to playing Madden with recruits because they certainly will not be getting their hands on a copy of NCAA Football any time too soon.

It was just recently Auburn let their high school recruits visiting the cmapus play some Madden NFL on the video scoreboard in Jordan Hare Stadium. It is clear coaches want to use Madden to get in tune with their recruits. It also begs the question, just how many coaches are playing Madden in their spare time? Can we set up a tournament?