Monday, November 28, 2011

ISU Bowl Possibilities

Disclaimer:  Any complaint or downfall of any of these bowls is obviously exponentially better than the flip-side (not being in a bowl).  You cannot overestimate how crucial this opportunity is for this team.  Here is a bit from Paul Rhoads at his weekly presser.

"Rhoads noticed a big difference between spring practice this year and the previous year because of the lack of bowl practices."

The extra month of practice along with another nationally televised game will help this program move even further along.  Depending on the opponent and the type of game that is played, who knows, maybe CPR will make another YouTube appearance.  WIN the bowl game and the Cyclones are sitting at least at .500 over Rhoads' first three years.  Did I mention the extra practice this extremely young team will get?

Possibilities (In order of best for ISU to at least we are in a bowl)  Note: The Insight Bowl is not in these projections.  Unless ISU beats KSU Saturday this really isn't a possibility.

 1.  Holiday Bowl (San Diego, CA)
     December 28th     
     8pm CST  
     Against: Pac-12

This would be probably the best bowl ISU has ever been in.  It is a destination that a whole slew of Cyclones would travel to.  It is also the ONLY bowl game on at the time.  Around the holidays a lot of people will be watching this game.  I know it is always one of my favorites to watch.  A lot of people get caught up in the payouts.  Payouts really don't matter when it comes to bowl games.  The conference will split the net-payouts.  This bowl would give the Cyclones and this program the most exposure.  A chance to beat a decent Pac-12 would be a great step for this program. 

Probability: 15%

2.   Texas Bowl (Houston, TX)
December 31st
12 pm CST
Against: Big Ten

 Yes this is just one step down in the pecking order.  It would be an excellent destination for the Cyclones.  The fact that the game is in Texas, a prime recruiting ground for ISU, is great.  Warmer weather, also great.  A decent Big Ten opponent, splendid.  A 12 pm time slot on New Year's Eve?  Not ideal.  Figure in that there is a full slate of bowl games on that day and this game could get lost in the shuffle.  It helps NYE is a Saturday.  However, from an exposure standpoint it is not as good of an opportunity for ISU.

Probability: < 5%  The Texas Bowl will not pass on a chance to get Baylor, Texas, or Texas Tech.
3.  Ticket City Bowl (Dallas, TX)
January 2nd
12 pm CST
Against: Big Ten

I know, I know this is not a Big XII bowl game.  However, is this better than the Pinstripe Bowl?  Absolutely.  Let me explain.  Yay! January bowl game!  The Ticket City Bowl doesn't quite have the name some others might but January 2nd this year is as good as January 1st most years.  There are zero, cero, nada, zilch, none, bowl games on New Year's Day.  It is of course a NFL Sunday.  That makes January 2nd the day in college football.  This bowl kicks it off.  Here are the other bowl games that day: Outback, Capital One, Gator, Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl.  Think people will be watching those?  Think people will see highlights of the Ticket City Bowl during that game?  Rhetorical questions.  Downfall?  Its on ESPNU.  Unless you fell for the Digital Plus package just to get NFL RedZone like I did you probably don't get ESPNU.  Additional bonus:  Getting to play in the Cotton Bowl.

Probability: 40 %  The "Experts" would disagree with this percentage.  However, the experts don't know anymore than I do.  I really find it hard to believe ISU gets passed up by all of the Big XII bowls.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl
December 30th
3:20 pm
Against: Big East

The only real benefit to this bowl is that it is a Big XII bowl.  The Cyclones would be better off against a Big Ten opponent.  They would be better off with fans in the stands.  They would be better off in an area they can recruit.  They would be better off not in this bowl.  This is the bowl I projected ISU would land in at the beginning of the year in my fearless predictions.  I really feel as though ISU might end up here unfortunately.  I really hope I am wrong.  Here is a little tidbit that makes me think if ISU falls to the Pinstripe Bowl they will take them.  There were ZERO bowl reps at Missouri's last home game against Texas Tech.  ZERO!!!! Something makes me think Missouri will get their usual treatment and won't get a Big XII Bowl.  Unfortunately for ISU if that is the case and they don't end up in a better situation the Cyclones could be headed to NYC.  Reminds me way to much of going to Boise.

Probability: 40%

Any Other Non-Big XII Bowl

There are numerous possibilities out there.  Military Bowl, Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, Beef O'Brady's Bowl and even the possibility of the Hawaii Bowl.  These would be better than the alternative, staying at home, yet not as good as some of the other possibilities.  However, I would place the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl above the Pinstripe.  ISU actually does recruit California.  NYC, not so much.

Probability: < 5%

My dream scenario:  Las Vegas Bowl

My realistic dream scenario: Holiday Bowl

My economically efficient scenario: Ticket City Bowl/ Texas Bowl

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