If you attended a Cyclone game in Jack Trice Stadium in 2012, this message is for you.

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If you attended a football game at Jack Trice Stadium in 2012, this message is for you.

Thank you! Your participation in Cyclone football is making a difference.

While the Cyclones have earned three bowl games in four years and Coach Paul Rhoads has authored a significant victory each season, Iowa State fans are establishing a reputation, too.

Here are notable items to consider:

·       Our average home crowd of 55,274 this fall broke the school record;

·       More fans attended games in Jack Trice Stadium in 2012 than any prior year (33,118 more than in 1980);

·       A crowd of 56,800 vs. Kansas State set a stadium record;

·       The Cyclones sold 40,556 season tickets to break its old record by 7.1%;

·       Iowa State extended its string of home crowds of at least 50k to 13 games in a row;

·       Iowa State’s percent of capacity filled was 16th-best nationally and fourth in the Big 12.


Ten years ago, Iowa State sold 24,650 season tickets. This year’s total was 65% higher.

Ten years ago, the Cyclones averaged 43,961 fans at home. This year’s norm was 26% higher.

Cyclone football is trending upwards and we’re thankful you’ve committed to enjoying it in person at Jack Trice Stadium. See you in a bowl game, soon.

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/SteveMalchow

Hoiberg wants safe plays instead of trying to hit home runs.

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In the movie Bull Durham, there is a scene when the manager addresses his team.

“This is a simple game,” he said. “You throw the ball, you hit the ball and you catch the ball.”

Fred Hoiberg is spending time this week sharing a similar message.

“We need to be making safe basketball plays,” Hoiberg said Monday. “We’re trying to hit too many home runs.”

Hoiberg believes in floor spacing and ball movement. Getting the ball to go from side-to-side is the key to unlocking his half-court offense.

“You’ve got to trust the process that if option one isn’t there, you move onto option two or option three,” Hoiberg said. “When we do that, our numbers show we are much more effective.”

Rather than making risky passes his team needs to incorporate all of its assets and execute smartly.

“We’ve got too many weapons on the offensive end to take those kinds of chances,” Hoiberg said.

Keep it simple as the manager suggested in the movie. Lots of simple plays can add up to being more productive than the home run anyway.

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/SteveMalchow

A pre-season concern for Hoiberg has been a strength so far.

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The Iowa State men’s basketball team is trying to answer one of its head coach’s pre-season questions.

“It will always concern me how we compete on the glass,” Fred Hoiberg said at the team’s media day several weeks ago.

The Cyclones opened the season with four wins and had rebound margins of +20 or higher in three of the games. But, the competition got a lot stiffer last week against Cincinnati and UNLV.

When you think of the Bearcats and Running Rebels, you think of long athletes and ferocious rebounders. Cincinnati and UNLV currently rank 8th and 33rd nationally in rebound margin.

The Cyclones competed admirably on the boards last week and outrebounded both opponents.

“Our effort was outstanding,” Hoiberg said. “We were all over the glass.”

Through five games, Iowa State is securing 48.0 rebounds per game (second nationally to Cincinnati at 49.2).

“Our rebounding numbers are a surprise right now,” Hoiberg said. “I thought that might be a weakness of our team. But, we’ve gotten better in practice, especially since the exhibition game.”

What was a pre-season concern has been a strong asset thus far.

“If we can be that good of a rebounding team (all year), we’ll improve in other areas and that will make us a successful basketball team,” Hoiberg said.

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/SteveMalchow

90% of Big 12 schools in bowls… that’s the highest mark in college football history

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Sometimes, the numbers say it all.

Nine Big 12 schools will play in a bowl game this year. That’s 90% of the league’s membership, the highest mark in college football history.

No conference has ever produced a higher percentage of bowl-eligible teams than this year’s Big 12. The closest were the ACC in 2008, the SEC in 2009 and 2010 and the Big Ten in 2011. Each of those conferences had 10-of-12 (83%) schools participate in post-season play those seasons.

With one game remaining this fall for several schools, the Big 12’s percentage of bowl eligible teams is far and away the highest. The Pac-12 (67%), SEC (64%), MAC (58%), Big Ten (58%), WAC (57%), ACC (50%), Big East (50%), Mountain West (50%), Sun Belt (50%) and Conference USA (42%) all lag behind the Big 12’s record pace. UConn and Pitt from the Big East and the ACC’s Georgia Tech can become eligible with a win next week.

It’s interesting to note that nine Big 12 schools earned bowl eligibility in 2012 and the league played a round-robin conference schedule.

So much for the argument – which some conferences continue to make – about how beating up each other in league play is a detriment to earning bowl invites. Perhaps, it’s time for all of the leagues to play at least nine league games annually within their conference and let the bowl bids be determined by who wins the games.

A couple of weeks ago, Iowa State’s Paul Rhoads strongly stated there wasn’t a deeper conference in the nation than the Big 12 this year.

Are there any dissenters, now? Using bowl eligibility as a standard for total conference depth, there shouldn’t be.

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/SteveMalchow

Rhoads will salute the seniors, but he’s also challenging them to accomplish more.

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Senior Day is so much more special when there is something to play for.

The players, who will be honored Friday, are a special group. They are also a mixed bag according to Coach Paul Rhoads.

“There is a group we inherited and a group that we recruited,” Rhoads said. “So, you are looking at two different journeys.”

One thing they all represent, however, is a new era for Iowa State football.

“Those guys have defined the culture of the modern era of Cyclone football,” Rhoads said with emotion on Monday. “That’s pretty neat.”

But as much as Rhoads salutes them for great achievement in the past, he is also challenging them to further change perceptions for his program.

“Things we can still attain are: four Big 12 wins – haven’t done that; seven regular-season wins – haven’t done that, chance at an eighth overall win – haven’t done that; and top half finish in the Big 12 – haven’t done that,” Rhoads spelled out. “That’s great motivation for our kids.”

Before the game, Iowa State will salute the seniors. Hopefully, the celebration continues post-game as another step is taken towards some of those unfilled goals, too.

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/SteveMalchow

Richardson’s “gamer” performance certainly draws another look from Rhoads

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Some coaches struggle with “gamers”. Those are the guys who perform admirably on game-day despite not distinguishing themselves enough on the practice field. Coaches prefer players who earn playing time on the practice field.

“After you watch a performance like that,” Coach Paul Rhoads said, “the burning question is ‘why haven’t you put him in sooner?”

The him, of course, was rookie quarterback Sam Richardson.

“He, obviously, hasn’t given us that kind of performance in practice or we probably would have given him an opportunity” Rhoads explained.

As Rhoads assessed Richardson’s readiness all year, he’s been gauging his leadership qualities and composure as well as quarterbacking skills.

“He’s a very composed, poised and almost non-assertive young man,” Rhoads said, “with a very easy-going personality.”

Although that doesn’t sound like a charismatic, rah-rah leader, Rhoads also noted something else about Richardson’s personality. He called him “very easy to like”.

Rhoads said Monday he’ll watch practice this week to gauge the quarterbacks. Richardson’s resume is quite a bit stronger than a week ago now that he’s performed well in the spotlight once.

Whether that makes him a “gamer” or not doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that he “showed us a glimpse of what he’s capable of” Rhoads concluded.

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/SteveMalchow

Richardson passes “eye test” and, more importantly, helps Cyclone offense explode at Kansas.

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Sometimes, the “eye test” is a good indicator. Other times, it’s not.

Sam Richardson, the freshman quarterback at Iowa State, throws a nice ball. It’s normally on target and at a pace that allows receivers to catch it and keep running.

At least, that has been this writer’s impression after watching a few practices in the last year-and-a-half. He passed the “eye test” as a thrower. Richardson has also been described by some football people as the best natural thrower on the team.

But, Coach Paul Rhoads requires his QB to throw accurately and make good decisions under pressure and make plays running.

The questions surrounding Richardson have centered on decision making because he hadn’t performed in game mode yet. After Saturday’s bowl-clinching, offensive explosion at Kansas, Rhoads got to see his QB make decisions in critical situations.

“I knew he was capable,” Rhoads said. “But, you don’t know until they get out there with the lights on. Sam took the field very composed and poised and delivered physically.”

Rhoads thinks he runs well enough, too. He made a mature play at the goal line to score a TD on the ground against the Jayhawks’ stacked line.

With his most significant playing time to date, Cyclone fans have had the chance to see how Richardson performed in the “eye test”. I suspect you were impressed.

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/SteveMalchow

Freshman Malloy handles the pressure as Cyclones quietly gear up for a post-season run.

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There was pressure on the Iowa State volleyball team Wednesday night.

“We were all anxious knowing the match was on national TV and against a very good team that handled us the first time around,” Coach Christy Johnson-Lynch said after her team defeated Kansas State, 3-1.

After the win Johnson-Lynch saluted one of the key players in the victory, Andie Malloy.

“What I’m learning about her is that she is a gamer,” Johnson-Lynch said. “She works hard in practice and then never seems nervous in games. She has been put in a lot of high pressure situations lately and she seems like she has been there all her life.”

Handling added pressure, such as the K-State match, would normally fall to veterans. But, Malloy is a freshman from Texas.

Malloy recorded a team-best 18 kills against the Wildcats, her second consecutive game in which she set a personal-best for kills. Her game is emerging and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

“We are playing well and also improving,” Johnson-Lynch said. “It’s hard this time of year to improve and I feel like we are still getting better. Those are the types of teams that make long tourney runs.”

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/SteveMalchow

After workmanlike performances, Cyclones are “excited” for nationals with an eye on the big prize.

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The Iowa State women’s cross country team, ranked No. 2 nationally, competes in the NCAA Championship Saturday. They are trying to become the first Cyclone team to win a national title since the 1994 men’s cross country team.

Corey Ihmels, the current coach, was a runner on that championship squad 18 years ago.

As his team prepares for this weekend’s race, it doesn’t sound like Ihmels is planning any fire-breathing pre-race speeches because that doesn’t fit his team’s demeanor.

The Cyclones were heavily favored to win both their conference and regional meets and did so running workmanlike races. They “ran to the race” Ihmels said.

“But, we’re excited to get to nationals,” Ihmels said. “This week should be fun. I think (their motivation) is going to happen by itself. We haven’t run perfect yet and hope it happens on Saturday. “(Our team) is calm, cool and collected.”

A year ago, Iowa State crowed three All-Americans at the NCAA Championship but didn’t bring home a trophy. That is a bad memory for several members of his current team.

The Cyclones’ current national ranking indicates they are a title contender talent wise. It sounds as though Ihmels also likes the team mindset and that is more important.

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/SteveMalchow

After workmanlike performances, Cyclones are “excited” to get to nationals with an eye on the big prize.

Saina-regional1

The Iowa State women’s cross country team, ranked No. 2 nationally, competes in the NCAA Championship Saturday. They are trying to become the first Cyclone team to win a national title since the 1994 men’s cross country team.

Corey Ihmels, the current coach, was a runner on that championship squad 18 years ago.

As his team prepares for this weekend’s race, it doesn’t sound like Ihmels is planning any fire-breathing pre-race speeches because that doesn’t fit his team’s demeanor.

The Cyclones were heavily favored to win both their conference and regional meets and did so running workmanlike races. They “ran to the race” Ihmels said.

“But, we’re excited to get to nationals,” Ihmels said. “This week should be fun. I think (their motivation) is going to happen by itself. We haven’t run perfect yet and hope it happens on Saturday. “(Our team) is calm, cool and collected.”

A year ago, Iowa State crowed three All-Americans at the NCAA Championship but didn’t bring home a trophy. That is a bad memory for several members of his current team.

The Cyclones’ current national ranking indicates they are a title contender talent wise. It sounds as though Ihmels also likes the team mindset and that is more important.

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/SteveMalchow