From now until Aug. 30, AllCyclones.com will answer one question per day regarding Iowa State and the upcoming football season. Submit all questions via Twitter — just get at me (directions below).
This, from Ted Flint, is a surprise choice to begin with, but I wanted to get Mr. Flint his answer as soon as possible so he can make the necessary arrangements.
@Trey_Scott3 best home game for someone living out of state to come back for— Ted Flint (@TedFlintKansas) August 1, 2014
No. 1 Kansas State, Sept. 6: The opponent will be ranked and is plenty talented, but a blowout would be unexpected and it ought to be a nice day. The fact that it's an 11 a.m. kick won't matter this early in the season and Jack Trice should be charged for a game against the Wildcats and Bill Snyder, who Paul Rhoads has never beaten.
No. 2 Baylor, Sept. 27: Since 2011, RG3's Heisman-winning year, the Bears are 5-8 against conference opponents on the road. Nobody's saying the Cyclones are going to beat Baylor, but it could at least be competitive. The weather will be nice and the Bears might be sending quarterback Bryce Petty to New York City, so you, Ted Flint, can say you were a witness to that.
No. 3 North Dakota State, Aug. 30: Several compelling reasons to go to this game. You miss football, Ted. It's the first game of the Mark Mangino era. The Cyclones should win, but it'll be competitive. And the weather. I mean, it'll be hot, but it won't be 20 degrees.
No. 4 Texas Tech, Nov. 22: If you haven't seen Kliff Kingsbury in person, that's something to tell the grandkids about, and it might help to convince the significant other it's a trip work taking. Iowa State and Texas Tech played each other evenly in 2013 and the scoreboard will be busy. No, a Nov. 22 game isn't capturing the best and hurray!-worthy qualities of Ames, but the assurance of a good game against a conference foe makes it worth it.
No. 5 Oklahoma, Nov. 1: Are you a masochist? Okay, two good reasons to make this out-of-town trip: Slim chance at witnessing history/having a ticket for what would arguably be Iowa State's greatest win ever and saying you saw Trevor Knight, Eric Striker and the like.
Personally, the fandom's been knocked out of me since I started covering sports my sophomore year in school (don't pity me — my job kicks ass) so when I root it's more for individual players than teams, unless it's the Spurs. I'll pay good money for a baseball game if Clayton Kershaw's pitching, then root for a no-hitter even though I'm surrounded by Rockies fans at Coors Field. In the spring of 2013, I purchased a very, very expensive ticket to an Easter Sunday Heat-Spurs matinee, only to park the car and learn LeBron and Dwyane Wade weren't playing. The game was close, but their absences were such a bummer that it honestly ruined the experience for me, despite how I feel about the Spurs. Long story short, this is my logic for ranking the OU game over Toledo, even though you're almost guaranteed to walk away feeling disappointed.
No. 6 Toledo, Oct. 11: With the 2:30 p.m. kickoff, you're afforded plenty of time to tailgate, then can get home — or dinner, or the bars — in time for the night games. And Iowa State will win. And it's homecoming!
No. 7 West Virginia, Nov. 29: The Cyclones will be the favorites and that should affect your decision, but I probably don't have to tell you the average low in late-November is 22 and the average high is 40, so this isn't a game I'd pay to sit outside for.
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