Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday September 28, 2012 - The View From Section EE

Last week was homecoming for Brianna. She has been looking forward to it for quite a while now. She had mentioned weeks ago about some "Raider football player" that helps in her class. She said she knew he was a player because he wore his jersey in her class. So I had taken that day off, so I told her we could go to the game. Turns out she realizes that kids tend to run free at the games and that is all she did for a half of a football game. I don't think she even stood there enough to look for her class room helper.

We did sign her up to be a little cheerleader. She had a camp after school to learn her cheers. She seemed to catch on pretty fast and told me a couple of them that night. As the week moved on, she kept acting like she didn't want to go to the pep rally or the game to perform the cheers. Maybe she has lost some of her outgoing personality and is becoming more shy. So we arrive at the pep rally and as soon as she was signed in and got her t-shirt on, she was in the middle of the group and showing signs of the original Brianna. Once it was time to line up and perform, she was right out there.

She lined up next to Morgan, on our side of the gym. Everything was chaos, until the cheerleaders lined the kids up in their proper age groups and placed them throughout the gym. Turns out Brianna is in the front row, but on the opposite side of the gym. So no good pictures, but she looked like she had a great time. Then the next day was the football game. As soon as we got there, she was gone with her friends getting ready to line up. This time, we moved to the side of the field that she stood on at the pep rally. The girls come walking onto the field and just our luck, Bri is on the opposite side from us. So once again, she looks like she is having a good time, but we were unable to get a good picture of her.


Well, I am 2-0 on the season in picking wins. Two weeks ago, I was pretty close to picking this score right! Too bad I didn't take that luck to the Casey's in Bondurant this week and pick up a Powerball. The Western Illinois game was what Cyclone fans needed, an easy win where we aren't sweating it out until the end. Unfortunately, the ISU offense turned the ball over too much and still left a lot to be desired. That makes tomorrows game that much more intriguing.

ISU has beaten Texas Tech the last two years. Last year, Texas Tech was coming off a huge win at Oklahoma and they laid an egg, the rest of the year. So far they have played a very weak schedule and their offensive and defensive numbers do not tell us what this team will be like.

The ISU defense has not given up a touchdown since the 4th quarter of the Tulsa game, nearly 4 weeks ago. I feel the ISU defense is very underrated and they will continue to surprise a lot of people and that will begin with a stingy performance against an offense that some are saying can put up a lot of points in a hurry. The problem is they haven't played anyone of this caliber, so I think Tech is held to 10 points and they score their only touchdown close to halftime.

The ISU offense will most likely turn the ball over too much, again, but I think the defense shuts Tech down for the win. The key on offense is ISU needs to run the ball, and run the ball well. They ran all over Tech last year in Lubbock, and I do not see why they cant do that again. This game could be a shootout like it was two years ago in Ames, but I see too many offensive mistakes for ISU to score a ton of points and the ISU defense will prevent Tech from going crazy.



Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday September 14, 2012 - The View From Section EE

So the only thing correct from last weeks prediction is an Iowa State win. 9-6 is not what I expected at all. Both offenses looked really bad at times. ISU started out fast to begin the game, then Iowa made the appropriate adjustments and ISU did not. ISU was fortunate enough to hold on to win.

A couple plays of the game I noticed, that were not the biggest highlights of the game. The first play was Iowa opting to kick the field goat at 4th and goal from the 3 yard line early in the 4th Quarter. This is similar to Iowa kicking the field goal on 4th and 1 last year in overtime. The ISU offense was ugly the second half, and the field goal still had Iowa behind by a field goal. If Iowa goes for it and is stopped, ISU has close to 100 yards to go and there would have been a good chance of them either turning it over or getting pushed back and Iowa forcing a safety. Kicking the field goal is the safe bet, but at home in a rivalry game, why not go for it.

The second play was the Steele Jantz interception near the goal line late in the game. The key was not the Interception, but to me, the game saving tackle by Jantz around mid-field. Iowa was set to run the Interception back to win the game, but Jantz in a sense, nearly lost the game and saved the game all in once play. If he doesn't drag the Iowa defender down, he would have scored and we have a different outcome.

Last Saturday we watched the game at a Hall in Tama as we attended a benefit to help our good friend Brooke.It was a very good turn out and I am glad any little bit can help with all they have been through. Now my little story about helping with the benefit.

In early August, Brooke's sister and friend started up a benefit for Brooke. They threw out the idea of a silent auction, so I figured I would see what I can do to help. I sent out emails to Iowa State, Northern Iowa, and Iowa's Athletic Directors to see what they can do to help with the silent auction. Within five minutes of sending the email to Jamie Pollard with ISU, he responded saying they would love to help and he will forward my email on to the appropriate person. Within a week, we had an ISU's football coach, Paul Rhoads, sign a football for us.

Immediately after I sent the email to Troy Dannen, the Athletic Director at UNI, I received an automated response that he was on vacation. No big deal, we were early and can wait until he got back. On the date the email said he would return, I got a response from him, at 8:12 in the morning. Not long after, I had an extra Sports Illustrated from UNI's NCAA Tournament Basketball run a few years ago signed by their coach, Ben Jacobson.

Now the kicker. I emailed Gary Barta, Iowa's Athletic Director. I even mentioned that Tim and Brooke are Iowa season ticket holders for football. I never heard back from him. I completely understand that the AD's are not the ones who are responsible for this, but the other two AD's simply guided me into the right direction. I am not trying to slam Iowa in any way, since I am obviously not a fan, but I thought it was odd I did not even get a response.

Prediction time:

This week marks our first game of the year. We are in a new parking lot this year, so we are very curious to get to Ames early to see how it is. Its a little further of a walk, but a little bit of walking will not hurt at all. We are also taking a load of kids too. This could be interesting since its a night game, but some grumpy kids fighting at night cant be all that bad!

Saturday should be a game ISU fans have been waiting for, a blow out win. Its been a couple years since ISU has had many games where they have won easily. In 2009 they started the year with a couple 20 point wins, but this one against Western Illinois should be a 40 point win. Since Vegas doesn't set any betting lines on games between the FBS/FCS subdivisions of college football, the off shore places do, and they have labeled this as an ISU favorite of 38.5 points. Its strange even seeing ISU as a favorite, let alone a 38.5 point favorite. For some reason, I see WIU covering this one. I think ISU wins, but I guessing a missed extra point or missed field goal keeps the winning margin under 38.5 points. Since the defense kept Iowa out of the end zone, I fully expect them to keep WIU out as well. I guess we will wait and see tomorrow!



Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thursday September 6, 2012 - The View From Section EE

After a few reminders and knocking off a lot of dust, I have found this blog again. Definitely late, but I guess that's what happens when the past eight months have flown by. Here is a little recap of this year:

-I moved to Ankeny and started work in Des Moines. Kristy and the girls stayed in Omaha with fingers crossed the house sells.

-March rolls around and Kristy found a job in Des Moines. So we officially move to Iowa and become small town residents again. House still on the market.

-In May, Bri ends her first year as a Kindergartner. She really enjoyed her first year of school and did a very good job!

-Middle of May: We are ready for Bri to go back to school. I'm really starting to be a full supporter of year round school. Omaha house still for sale.

-Bri played her first season to Tee Ball. She seemed to have a good time, even after she took a ball to the head on the first play of the year. Turns out, there is no safe place on a softball field for Tee Ball. She was no where close to where the ball was intended to be thrown when she got hit. Its still comical seeing 16 girls thrown onto a field. As confusing as it sounds, they have it set up really well and by the end they all looked much better.

-Emily turned 2 in June. Its been a crazy fast two years. I see a major disadvantage of having a big sister that talks as much as she does! Emma has not stopped talking. Every single day!

-At the end of June we had the annual Okoboji trip. Turned out to be a great time as usual. I think we have finally figured out that the all day pass at Arnold's Park Amusement Park is worth every penny. House is still on the market.

-As I am sitting here trying to recall the summer, its all a blur it went so fast. Seems like once the heat hit in July, all we did was stay cool by staying inside or out at the pool.

-Bri had her first taste of Great Plains Pizza in Ames. That the only pizza she wants to go to now. The honey drizzled on the crust was the deal for her!

-House is still on the market. (The common theme today.)

-A couple weeks ago, Bri started the first grade! All summer long she wanted to go to Adventureland. Well, as poor as our schedules are, we failed to make it to Adventureland. About the first week of August, she did not care about Adventureland, all she wanted to do was go to school! That is fine with us.

-Emily took up potty training. Funny thing is, she kind of started on her own. It helps having an older sister, because she tries to copy her all the time. So we have officially been saving cash on diapers for the past month.

-Last weekend we all celebrated and participated in Shawn and Alyssa's wedding. Turned out to be a great day. Just a little overcast in the after noon, but no rain, and no blazing heat! The girls were great. Bri was excited to walk down the aisle with Landon. She insisted they practice any chance they had. Bri stood up front with the rest of the girls the whole time and Emily, was Emily. Emma was suppose to walk after Kristy and I and after the runner was pulled down the aisle. She insisted walking with us while talking the whole time. At least we did not have to pick up any pedals. Those stayed in her basket!

-And finally, the house is STILL on the market. I may be 31, but I am officially getting gray hair just because of this house!

Here area  few pictures from the year:
Emily on her 2nd birthday!

Brianna running hard in Tee Ball.

Bri and I before the Daddy-Daughter Dance.

Family Picture at The Harvester during Shawn and Alyssa's Reception. 

Emily next to the Cy-Hawk Trophy at the Cyclone Tailgate Tour in Marshalltown. She was so afraid of Cy. 

Bri and I at Great Plains. She's a huge fan!

Prediction time.

I am getting a late start on this portion this year. Well, I had a late start all together anyway. I believe Iowa State has 12 more games left, that includes going to a bowl game. I feel they are good enough to go make it to one. All summer long, we sat around and looked at their schedule and wondered how tough it will be. The Big 12 added West Virginia and Texas Christian and lost Missouri and Texas A&M. I feel that its pretty much a wash. Missouri and Texas A&M have not been that productive in the grand scheme of the Big 12. I do think WVU and TCU will be good programs, as they already are. But I feel they will suffer some growing pains in their first year in the league. They are talented, but they have not had to endure a conference schedule the Big 12 produces year in and year out. I am still on the optimistic side, even before their solid performance last week against Tulsa. I still see seven wins (Tulsa, Iowa, Western Illinois, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Baylor, and Kansas). I think they have a chance against Oklahoma and West Virginia at home. The TCU, Oklahoma State, and Texas road games will be tough, but the games are played on the field and we get to play the guessing game well before the year starts.

This week: @ Iowa.

Its been ten years since Seneca Wallace took an Iowa State team into Kinnick Stadium and won. Turns out, that ISU win was the only loss in the regular season for those Hawkeyes. Last week the Iowa offense had a difficult time against Northern Illinois. Iowa is breaking in a new Offensive Coordinator and I feel they will have so me growing pains throughout the year. ISU looked good at times on both sides of the ball against Tulsa. Steele Jantz completed 71.5% of his passes, something he did not do well at all last year. I think this game will be a good one, but I am going to say ISU pulls this road win off. I think the offense takes care of the ball early and jumps out to a 10-0 or 14-3 lead. Iowa will climb back in late, but ISU holds on to win.