Our long, national nightmare is almost over. Collegiate football of an FBS nature is back as of Thursday, but the good stuff officially starts going down on Saturday. Iowa State will kick off against UNI at 6:00 CST, and don't check your local listings, because you won't find it on that boring old television of yours. No, the UNI game is only going to be available to Clone Zone subscribers. The game will be broadcast through the new scoreboard in HD, and a one-month subscription will run you $8.95, and includes apps for your Android or iPhone.
While there are games that I would pay $8.95 to watch in Web Streaming HD, Northern Iowa probably isn't one of them. Still, I can't fault the University for embracing new technologies in an attempt to keep up with the big spenders in the conference. There could be serious potential there for the one or two games that don't air every year. If it's too steep for your blood, most radio stations run live audio feeds of their broadcasts on their websites, so just find your central Iowa station of choice and tune in. Iowa Lottery is giving away a badass tailgate trailer that will be touring the three state universities. Iowa State will be making $105,000 off the deal, which is totally more than Iowa or UNI get out of the deal. Hopefully this money was used to make the White Iowa State Helmets happen.
AROUND (what's left of) THE BIG XII:
SB Nation - Spencer Hall has the Big XII Anti-Preview up on the main SB Nation site. It includes chart based humor and a prediction for an Iowa State upset of Texas A&M, which seems to be the trendy upset pick for this season.
Kansas State - Bill Snyder uses the depth chart section of the team's game notes to troll the media.
Baylor - Robert Griffin III has Cookie Monster socks. And he will throw for eleventy billion yards this year.
Texas A&M - The Aggies are gone, man. That's all you need to know. Still, it could cost the Aggies up to $28 million to be withheld by the conference for the next two years.
Texas - Garrett Gilbert gets the nod as starting QB again this year. Somewhere, deep in the bowels of the Jacobson Building, Wally Burnham is grinning like a madman.
Oklahoma - OU is still really damn good. Bob Stoops earns another pre-season poll national title, and the Sooners get the ESPN treatment with their own team-centric website. Don't be surprised to see the Sooner Network not far behind.
Oklahoma State - Head Coach Mike Gundy straight up fired a contractor for wearing an Oklahoma shirt to his house. Done and Ready Home Improvements knows his pain. Justin Blackmon get sports science'd.
Kansas - Kansas is the only team consistently picked to finish worse than us in the Big XII this year. We should find some small comfort in that.
Texas Tech - Nothing much happening in Lubbock apart from the regular 2-deep charts being released, so here's a video from last year of Jeremy Reeves running back an onside kick to put away the Texas Tech game.
Missouri - The Tigers are a dark horse candidate for the SEC's expansion to 14 teams. As long as they don't bolt, I think the Big XII can survive at least a few more years. They are also rocking the a really bright shade of pink(el) to fight breast cancer, which is always a worthy cause.