I'm going to throw down a short and sweet prediction for Iowa at Northwestern. I'm packing up and hitting the road for Chicago tomorrow. Between getting a marriage license and a bridal shower is a Hawkeye football game. I can't promise a lot of Live Bloggin but I can guarantee some drunk Tweetin'.
Here we go.
The weather forecast is calling for a chance of showers. That may make for a soggy day for us fans but it may also create problems for Persa and Northwestern's short, efficient passing game. If by chance there is a sloppy field the advantage would go to Iowa and runningback Adam Robinson.
I've watched the Cats several times on the season. It's the same thing every year. You wonder how they find a way to beat anybody, but yet they are 6-3 and have beaten Iowa the last two seasons. You have to wonder if Shonn Greene and Ricky Stanzi hadn't left those games in Kinnick due to injury what the final score would have been.
Shoulda. Coulda. Woulda.
The Cat's and coach Fitzgerald aren't shy about proclaiming their disdain for the Black and Gold. The media covering Iowa City is promising the Hawks are very much aware and maybe have a little hate brewing too.
I think the Hawks will benefit from Robinson's return and open up the game early with the downfield passing game. If Northwestern starts sloppy Iowa will jump out to an early lead and then pound the rock with Robinson and Coker.
RT @bvak: Fran: His style has worked everywhere he's been. No reason to believe it won't work at Iowa.
Jim Zabel has a new book out, get it here. He also joined for about a 10 minute segment.
RT @bvak: Zabel: Favorite Hawk is Alex Karras. Loves "Blazing Saddles."
Ferentz (KF): Sounds like a real good start to the year for McCaffery
Caller: Why is the spread difficult to defend?
KF: They are all a little bit different. Indiana had terrific WR's. They lost their RB and the QB was limited (running) but they spread you with good WR's and a QB can throw makes them tough to defend. Northwestern will be different because Persa is a very good and dangerous runner. Starts with what kind of players you have and they both have dangerous players.
Dolph: At NW, seems like the QB comfort level is sky high
KF: They've had good success. Ugly game in 1999 but the next year they transitioned into the spread. It's been a good evolution since that time. Whoever they've had at QB has been successful. Persa played well against us (last year).
Dolph: Persa is completing 75% of his passes.
Mystery caller: it's Barry Alvarez (applause)
Dolph: Barry goes into the College Football Hall of Fame in a couple of weeks, well deserved.
Barry Alvarez (BA): Certainly appreciate it. I had a great start with Hayden. What a staff, I think five of us went on to be head coaches.
Dolph: Thanks for picking up Kirk at the airport.
BA: We were both young and related right away. I had a reliant K car, he met with Hayden and impressed them, the rest is history.
Ferentz: Barry was the first guy in Iowa I had ever met. BA told me that the season was already sold out and I said, I want the job, you don't have to sell me.
BA: I'm extremely humbled and it is very meaningful to be inducted into the HOF.
BA: We (he and his family) will always be fond of Iowa City.
Dolph: No gimmies for Wisconsin (runs down MSU and OSU games left), a lot of football left.
Caller: (last year) Holding calls on the center, obvious PA not called. Is that official still in the Big Ten?
KF: I think that crew is still around. We communicate with the league and sometimes send things in. The conference reviews things and I think they are pretty fair. Calls have a tendency to balance out over the long run.
Dolph: ARob, Tarp, Hunter coming back?
KF: We are happy to have them back, Tarp is close to 100%. Tough situation for Nielsen. Koepple did a great job Saturday stepping in for Gettis.
RT @HawkeyeInsider: KF: Adam Robinson looks good in practice this week.
Caller: Large senior class but yet there are 9 freshman in the two deeps? Why?
KF: Injuries are a factor, every year is different. Attrition rates play into it. This is the second largest senior class and they all play roles.
Caller: Who pays for the lights?
Dolph: That would come out of the University budget, the Network involved would share those costs.
Caller: Is Shaun Prater hurt, why is he not on punt returns?
KF: uh, he's been out there. He'll be there Saturday too unless he misses the bus.
Dolph: Think you have him confused with someone else.
Dolph: "Modest" Mike Meyer won the Special Teams POW award.
KF: He's had two big FG's this year. Great young man.
Dolph: What happened on that last drive, 3 plays 88 yards.
KF: Yards were close to 450 but only 18 points. Usually means you have turnovers or a lot of penalties. Red Zone performance was atrocious. It almost cost us. Hopefully can remedy that this week and turn it around.
Tommy from the Des Moines: Dolph comment of the Auburn QB. Question for KF, what was the reason for not running Coker in the Red Zone?
KF: Another thing about the Red Zone, we were starting at the nine yard line it seemed. We hope to do a little bit better this week.
Dolph: I don't know a lot about the Cam Newton situation. I know what you know, what has been on ESPN.
Caller: Congrats on win #100! How's Norm doing?
KF: He got home Friday and was in the office Sunday. He's not heavily involved in the gameplan but plans to travel to NW. He's on the road back, we want him back for years so we are taking it slow. Its been a long tough road and he's getting his strength back.
RT @thebstiles: Starters listed (at the moment): Payne, May, McCabe, Basabe, Cole.
RT @HawkeyeInsider: Gatens says he's questionable for Sunday's opener. Cast removed today. Will try practicing on Friday
RT @HawkeyeInsider: '11 Ohio F Aaron White will wait until Friday at 1:30 ET to sign LOI w/ #Iowa. Holding off so more family, friends can see it.
RT @HawkeyeNation: four of NW's six wins have come by a total of 11 points. They have not beaten 1 quality team and none with a winning record this year.
RT @HawkeyeNation: QB Dan Persa is NW leading rusher at 52/gm. Mike Trumpy is nxt at 39/m. Persa also 10th in the nation passer effic & 12th total offense.
Oh course today is media day for Fran McCaffery and also early signing day for hoops. I'll have more tonight on both, along with Kirk Ferentz call-in show notes. For now, here are Hawkeye sports related links.
Good news for the Hawkeye offense, Rob Howe, of Hawkeye Insider, reports that Adam Robinson has proclaimed, via Facebook, "I'm back." That's good news for the Ricky Stanzi. Morse seemed to be his check down receiver at Indiana but it looked as if Stanzi may not have had the confidence to go to Morse as quickly as he would ARob.
Last night I posted my bowl predictions, or at least the best case/worst case for the Hawks. Stewart Mandel, of Sports Illustrated, has the Hawks in the Capital One Bowl facing Alabama. Interesting that he still has Boise State in the BCS. I think there is a strong chance that Boise doesn't make the BCS, here is a blog that sums up what I think. Note, Mandel left Stanford out of the mix. I do wonder how attractive Stanford is versus Boise to a Easternish game (Sugar or Orange). If Virgina Tech were to lose the ACC Championship game that would certainly put the Orange Bowl into play for Boise. Florida State versus the Broncos?
ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg has his weekly breakdown of the Big Ten championship race. Win the rest on your schedule Hawks and hope for some help.
The Polls are out and the Hawkeyes have moved to #13 in the BCS standings. Iowa sits as the second highest ranked two loss team. One spot behind Alabama. With the newest rankings come new bowl predictions. Here is a list of links related to both.
Okay, so here is kinda what we discussed last night on the Twitter about the BCS and Iowa's possible bowl opponents.
The best possible scenario for Iowa would be to win out (duh). They would get a boost from beating Ohio State but would still need a loss from either Michigan State or Wisconsin to earn a BCS berth. If PSU can beat MSU or Michigan surprise Wisconsin Iowa could end the final BCS rankings as high as #8 or #9. I don't think Wisconsin will lose but I do think Penn State has a chance against MSU at home to end the regular season.
Oklahoma State still has Oklahoma and most likely Nebraska left. Alabama and Auburn face off in the Iron Bowl and Auburn will most likely have the SEC championship game. If Iowa can knock off Ohio State and not lose to NW or Minny they should be sitting nicely for the second BCS at-large (again, needing a MSU/Wis loss). I think Stanford wins their last three games and the winner of the Big 12 title game knocks the other from the BCS picture.
I see the breakdown like this: 2 SEC teams (LSU, Auburn), 2 PAC 10 teams (Oregon, Stanford), 2 Big Ten teams (Wisconsin, Iowa*), 1 Non-AQ (TCU), 1 Big East (Pitt), 1 ACC (VTech), 1 Big 12 (Oklahoma St).
*That's the homer talking, head says Ohio State
Who would they then play? I think LSU in the Sugar bowl would be likely. Wisconsin would win the berth to the Rose Bowl by virtue of a victory over Iowa and face TCU in the Rose Bowl.
With those guesses we could see these games:
Auburn/Oregon NC game
Wisconsin/TCU Rose Bowl
Oklahoma St/Pitt Fiesta
What if Iowa loses to Ohio State or even losses to both Northwestern and Ohio State? I think you can pencil Iowa in for either the Capital One or the Outback at this point. For possible opponents you have Alabama, Florida, Arkansas, or South Carolina. If Iowa finishes 8-4 and falls to the Gator Bowl you still get the lowest of those four SEC teams.
I suppose an absolute worst case would include a loss to Minnesota. If that happens let's forget about a Bowl game altogether.
Of those SEC teams they all should make for great games. I'd prefer an Iowa/Bama because I think they match-up the best. Florida has studied Oregon and added an increased tempo to their offense. I would hate to face that after four weeks to prepare for a Bowl game. Arkansas has a high scoring offnese, South Carolina is all kinds of blah but the rematch with Spurrier would make an interesting story. Let's hope for LSU in Nawlins?
So the Hoops team took the floor tonight and put up 6 million points. Okay, maybe 111 against the sisters of the poor but hey, 111 points! Twitter was abuzz with words like "fast break" and "steal." I may have even read "athletic" a time or two. Although the young Hawks may not be a Final Four team it's going to be fun to watch this season.
Here are some of the highlights from Twitter followed by links about today's game:
RT @johnbohnenkamp: Iowa's men's players will have to be in coat and tie when arriving for game day.
RT @thebstiles: Iowa starters: Basabe, Payne, McCabe, May, Cole in place of Cartwright.
RT @HawkeyeInsider: Cartwright and Brommer for McCabe and Cole. First subs for Iowa.
RT @johnbohnenkamp: Zach McCabe can play. Knocks down a 3, draws a charge at the other end.
RT @johnbohnenkamp: Basabe clearly an upgrade at the '4' over the departed Aaron Fuller.
RT @thebstiles: This game doesn't count obviously, but FWIW, the last time Iowa scored 100+ in a game? Dec. 20, 2006. Alford era.
RT @BTNBrentsBlog: Iowa has 101 points in exhibition game. It scored 76 in last year's exhibition. It's clear the Hawkeyes will be easier to watch this year.
Wheeew! There were a lot of injured Hawkeyes missing from the lineup Saturday but Lady Luck was 100% healthy (ba da dump). My favorite part of the dropped pass was Belcher instantly turning to the back judge and giving him the TD signal (arms in the air). Only problem Belcher, you weren't holding the football.
We saw true freshman Marcus Coker rush the ball for 129 yards. We also saw Ricky Stanzi and the WR corps make the Indiana defense look like Swiss cheese in the fourth quarter for the second year in a row. Stanzi ended the game 290 yards, one pick, and one TD. You can get the full recap and stats from ESPN.com here.
The Hawkeye offense struggled in the redzone and again saw a missed field goal attempt that could have cost them the game. The good news is that Ferentz said during pregame that he expects Adam Robinson to be back at practice on Tuesday. Coker ran the ball well but the Hawkeye playbook looked a little bit limited, perhaps due to Coker being in the game. The Hawks will need ARob and his 11 TD's next week against the NW Wildcats.
Let us also hope that Adam Gettis or Nolan MacMillan can get healthy this week too. The Hawks have injuries on both sides of the ball. Josh Koeppel looked decent at times yesterday but Gettis is the better option for the Hawks.
The latest Coaches' Poll was released just as I went to publish this. The Hawkeyes move up to #13. I'll have a post later in the day with all the rankings and break down some possibilities for the Hawks and their bowl destination. I'll also have some links and thoughts on today's Hawkeye basketball game, on bigtennetwork.com, at 3:30 pm cst.