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Des Moines, Iowa
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It's the sport of kings, better than diamond rings - football

Geoff Wood

The last week has been pretty eventful football-wise for my teams:

Cyclones - A tough 3 point loss to #14 Texas Christian in the Houston Bowl. The Cyclones were in the unenviable spot of taking on a good team upset at their lack of respect (10-1 and snubbed by the BCS) after losing not only the game but the division title in overtime during their last conference game. Paul Clark over at CycloneReport.com summed up their season well:

"The agonizing nature of Iowa State's five losses was also something new for folks in Cyclone Country to deal with. No other ISU team in history has lost so many games by so few points. We knew back in August that how the Cyclones' fared in close games would be the defining factor for the '05 season. Frankly, I expected more than five of ISU's games to be decided by a touchdown or less and Iowa State's ability to win some games by the margins it did this year was a huge positive. But in those five games decided by a TD or less, ISU was 1-4. There's your season. There's the difference between slipping through the gaping open window of opportunity and crashing headlong into the glass."

Vikings - They finished out the season on a high note drubbing the Division leading Bears 34-10. The final score is obviously skewed since they rested most of their starters after the first quarter. Of course, when they took those starters out the Bears were only leading 3-0. If anything it was something positive to end the season and provide hope for next season. Then, within an hour of the end of the game the Vikes fired their coach Mike Tice. It wasn't unexpected and is probably for the best. The circus that's been the Vikings this year definitely could use a different ringmaster. I'm pretty jazzed about the talent they've assembled in the post-Moss (especially the five deep receiver corps, the secondary, and the defensive line) and I'd love to see what a different coach can do with that roster.

Breaking News - According to VikingUpdate.com they've settled on Brad Childress (the Eagles OC) to replace Tice. That's intriguing.

Big Twelve - The favorite conference to pick on by the ESPN and sportswriter bullies finished the 'ought-five' season rather well. They tied the ACC for the most schools in bowls (eight) and also tied them for the most wins (five). They were only favored in two of their eight bowl games but the five wins included upsets of two ranked teams (#20 Michigan and #6 Oregon) by unranked teams. The three losses were all relatively close and to ranked teams: #23 Clemson (by 9), #14 TCU (by 3), and #13 Alabama (by 3). They also went 3-0 (ISU over Iowa, Texas over Ohio State, Nebraska over Michigan) against the conference those same talking heads like to trumpet, the Big 10. Oh yeah, they also won the national title last night. Not a bad way to end the season, not that it will matter to ESPN & Co. next fall.