December has been hectic for Iowa State coach Dan McCarney and likes it that way. The Cyclones leave today for the December 28th Independence Bowl against Miami of Ohio and McCarney has spent the month juggling bowl preparations with recruiting, unlike last year when ISU stayed home after a 2-10 record. “It was all recruiting and then looking ahead…to the next season,” McCarney says. “Now it’s practices. It’s bowl preparation…It’s recruiting. You’re just trying to look for a spare couple of minutes…and I like this a lot better…Hopefully this taste will remain with these young guys and we’ll make sure last year never happens again.” What does he want for Chrstmas? “Victory in the bowl game,” McCarney says. “Ask my wife. I don’t need any new ties. I’ve got lots of those. I don’t need any new socks. I don’t need any of that stuff — just need a victory down in Shreveport and it’ll be a great Christmas.” Senior defensive back Ellis Hobbs played in the 2001 Independence Bowl which ended with a disputed field goal attempt by Tony Yelk in a loss to Alabama. He says it was kind of like the Missouri game, thinking the guy made the field goal and then the call is that the field goal wasn’t good. Hobbs says the 2001 Independence Bowl was a great opportunity for him, as he got to make a real contribution on the field as a young player. Hobbs says after a disa[pointing loss to Missouri in their regular season finale the Cyclones would like to end on a winning note. “Just to have that good feeling to go out and play with your teammates one more time,” Hobbs says. “We just want to go out here and embrace the moment.”