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What's At Stake Tomorrow?

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Tomorrow, at 11:30 AM on Versus (a channel we're 2-0 on, by the way), begins a pivotal stretch for the Iowa State Cyclones and any possible chance at the post season. By all accounts, this team could very easily be 4-0 right now. Both the Iowa game and the UNLV game were very winnable, but, the offense could not get it going. So what does this mean for tomorrow?

The Big 12 opener against Kansas is the beginning of a second season, so to speak. Winning tomorrow would effectively cancel out one of the last two games (that we should have won with one we shouldn't have). And, even though Kansas is ranked 16th, tomorrow has the ingredients of an upset.

For starters, Jack Trice Stadium is starting to become a home field advantage, with Iowa State winning their last four straight at the Jack, as well as six of their last eight (with the only losses to Texas and Oklahoma, with wins over Missouri and Colorado). It's hard to deny the fact that Cyclone fans, including the student section, has truly stepped up in the past and has created a stadium experience that is moving up in BCS football.

To that end, Iowa State has not been playing its best football. It's frustrating at this point - if we were playing up to our capabilities and had a 2-2 record to show for it, it'd be one thing, but this team is MUCH more talented than last year. Most of the mistakes are due to youth (personal fouls, for example), as well as the pressure of the first two road games for a very young team. An Iowa State team running on all cylinders can beat any team on its schedule this year.

So why are publications such as FoxSports and CFN singling out tomorrow morning's matchup as an upset special? Kansas has racked up 90 points on ISU the last two years, and, despite having a bye last week, probably expects to roll once again. However, to anyone who has watched this team, and has not simply followed through newspaper and internet reports, it's readily apparent that this year's team is showing some ability (and swagger) not shown in year's past.  And I guarantee you the ISU coaching staff plans to win tomorrow. 

And really now, why the hell not? I mean, if we're not going to upset Kansas in basketball anymore, we might as well just win tomorrow....