How did Paul Rhoads decide to start Jared Barnett against TCU? Lost in his search for an answer to his QB problems, Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads turned to Bob Bowlsby's old robot friend Conference ALignment 9000 for help.
When we last left CAL9000, Bob Bowlsby was getting ready to take an ax to it after it took to singing the unbelievably annoying "Bells of Iowa State" on loop. Days after their crushing defeat to the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Paul Rhoads makes an impassioned plea to save a robot soul.
Paul Rhoads: BOB! Leave CAL9000 alone! I know you're probably just projecting your anger from being the AD of a school with the worst mascot ever, but CAL9000 has feelings. It's not a tree, for God's sake.
Bob Bowlsby: Fine Rhoads, you want to save him, then you have to take him home.
Rhoads: CAL9000, do you think you can help me out with picking a quarterback?
CAL9000: Well, I'm a machine, so I can't really watch the games, but I CAN analyze stats and your choices in the past to help you decide.
Rhoads: DEAL! Bowlsby, you think you can get someone to help me get him back to Ames?
Bowlsby: Uh, no, but call (Kansas AD) Sheahon Zenger. That guy managed to get Weis into his office. CAL's pretty big, but he's not Charlie Weis big.
Jamie Pollard: THIS IS AWESOME! I can make a billboard about this! Maybe even a commemorative t-shirt!
*****1 day later******
Rhoads: So CAL9000, I'm going to rename you SAM, short for Seneca Awareness Machine... because as most people know, Cyclone fans really just want to find another Seneca Wallace.
Pollard: DID SOMEBODY SAY SENECA?
SAM: You can call me whatever you want to, boss. Just don't flip out on me like you did on those officials in the game against Texas A&M last year. What can I do for you?
Rhoads: Don't worry, I don't think I'm going to have an on-field freakout for awhile. Didn't I tell you I needed help with this Jantz/Barnett/Richardson thing?
SAM: What, you're not even considering Brett Bueker? His leadership and sunshiney-ness transcends everything.
Rhoads: I don't know if you've noticed, but we're missing extra points at a higher rate than a high school team. You think I can afford to take Bueker off holding for kicks?
SAM: What about Jerome Tiller? He beat Nebraska in Lincoln, PAWWWWWLLLLL.
Rhoads: Yeah, the guy who was ineligible last year for forgetting to go to class is who I trust to learn what Messingham's calling a playbook right now.
SAM: My sarcasm detector seems to be at unprecedented levels right now. But seriously, you should also keep that Josh Lenz guy in mind. He has a career QB rating of 766.0, and my advanced stat predictor mod predicts he'll have a 556.0 QB rating on Saturday if you let him pass.
Rhoads: Stop fucking around. I don't have time for this. Should I go with Jantz, Barnett, or Richardson?
SAM: I'm just trying to help you out. Let's eliminate Sam Richardson. You're already playing the other Sam Richardson on defense, and since half the Iowa State fans are so drunk at games they think Austen Arnaud is still the QB, we can't confuse them even more... at least this year.
Rhoads: That's stupid. I would have just gone with the fact he's a freshman, but whatever. Jantz or Barnett?
SAM: I'm analyzing your past, Paul. Do you remember the time in college you had that girlfriend who was a solid 7.5 and all your friends liked?
Rhoads: Yeah.... what happened to her again?
SAM: You dumped her for a girl who was ridiculously hot. Except she was batshit crazy, lit all your stuff on fire and tried to frame you for arson when you told her you wanted to have a "guys' night out".
Rhoads: Hmmm... that wasn't the brightest idea. She was more hot and cold than Tom Herman's offensive schemes. What the hell's your point though?
SAM: Four of Jared Barnett's six starts last year were against top-20 teams and he pulled off a 2-2 record against those teams. Both he and Jantz started 5 Big 12 games. Steele Jantz was 0-5, while being outscored 194-87. Meanwhile, Jared Barnett was 3-2, with a 120-104 scoring margin. You just don't like him because he's noodle-armed while Steele Jantz is bombing 60 yard throws over receivers' heads while on his knees in practice.
Rhoads: But SAM, he just looks so good in practice... AND WHAT ABOUT IOWA LAST YEAR?
SAM: I think that's my point, Paul. You're doing that stupid thing where you go for crazy and unstable again.
Rhoads: I hate when you outsmart me, machine.