Thursday, November 22, 2012

Black Friday Could Be Golden For ISU

I remember getting up the day after Thanksgiving waiting for my family to get done shopping.  There was always football on television.  Much like football on New Year's Day, there is just something about playing on Black Friday.  With a limited number of games and a national television audience on ABC ISU has a chance to get some major exposure and continue the momentum.  Needless to say I am pumped about attending my first Black Friday football game.  Here is why it could be a big step for ISU.

First, a chance at seven regular season wins and four conference wins for the first time in a long time would be a significant step under Paul Rhoads.  Finishing in the middle of the pack and being 4-5 in the conference would show progress.  Is it where they want to be? No, but Rhoads has said he wants to peak and plateau never taking a step back.  A win over a team ranked in the Top 10 at one point would be icing on the cake.

Second, involves the bowl possibilities that come with that seventh win.  Many think a win over West Virginia means the Holiday Bowl.  I would have to believe that would be the best bowl in ISU history and it may even involve our uniform sister's USC.  The Holiday Bowl even with it being lowered in the pecking order still holds a very respectable name within college football. 

Third involves the little brothers in Iowa City.  When Nebraska moved to the B1G and agreed to play Iowa on Black Friday many Iowa fans took it upon themselves to call it a rivalry and put this game on the level of the old Texas-Texas A&M on Thanksgiving night.  After getting beat like a drum last year and looking worse this year will the B1G really want to keep Iowa as Nebraska's opponent?  Iowa State is always looking for more fans statewide.  Having Iowa drubbed right before a victory in the 2:30 time slot would surely help.

With playing West Virginia comes the opportunity for points on the board.  West Virginia will score.  If ISU keeps up with them in an entertaining game it will keep the momentum within the fan base going strong.  It would also mean Sam Richardson, most likely, having another repeat performance of last weekend and providing hope at the QB position for years to come.

Finally, and maybe most importantly it would send the second straight group of seniors out with a win.  This group of seniors in particular have spent four years under Rhoads making three bowl games in the process.  Many were committed to a different coach and kept their commitment to ISU.  In my opinion they couldn't have made a better choice.  When you see these athletes play its clear there is a mutual respect between the coaching staff and the players.  One of my favorite Cyclones of all time will be on the field for the last time even though he won't be suited up.  Jake Knott is exactly what Rhoads wants you to picture when you think Iowa State football.  I'm sure he would give anything to play tomorrow, but a win by his team would help dull the pain. 

So tomorrow when the entire the nation is done shopping, the ladies are sleeping and the guys are eating leftovers in front of the television hopefully we will see Iowa State taking that next step forward.  Its my hope this game becomes a tradition, with more to play for in the future.  Its my hope after Friday we have a few more Cyclones whether it be fans or recruits.  For a fan base that's used to feeling like leftovers, its time we experience our team feast on a golden opportunity.

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