Saturday, June 28, 2008

Picked up Phil Steele's 2008 College Football Preview today

Phil Steele's College Football Preview has certainly earned the reputation as the #1 preseason magazine over the past decade. While out at HyVee this afternoon with my wife, I finally found the magazine to purchase.

Growing up, I always enjoyed picking up a College Football Preview on vacation with my parents in the Ozarks. Back in my youth, it was often Street & Smith's, Athlon's and Game Plan's. Phil Steele has only been around for 14 years. Heck, I've married longer than that. I have been enjoying College Football, since 1974.

Phil Steele is going with 2006 season champion, Florida, as its #1 team in the nation, followed by Ohio State. So, will Phil Steele be right? Will the 2008 BCS Championship be a rematch of the 2006 season?

It is an interesting choice. Florida's weakness last year was their secondary, which appears to be the case, again. There are a number of quality SEC teams. Clearly the SEC has the #1 conference, especially at the top. From top to bottom, the Big Ten is often the best conference to follow. But, no question, the SEC is always strong at the top, nationally. Will they make it 3 in row, after Florida and LSU the past two seasons?

Phil Steele's Top 10
1. Florida Gators
2. Ohio State Buckeyes
3. Oklahoma Sooners
4. USC Trojans
5. Clemson Tigers - interesting team to watch in '08
6. West Virginia Mountaineers
7. Missouri Tigers
8. South Florida Bulls
9. Georgia Bulldogs
10. Penn State Nittany Lions - could this be Joe Pa's final ride?

If Ohio State does make it to the 2008 BCS Championship... here's to the Buckeyes honoring the 40th anniversary of 1968 mythical national championship with another title. At this point, I'll take three's a charm with OSU, if they get there.

In the Big Ten Conference, Phil Steele has it: 1. Ohio State, 2. Penn State, 3. Wisconsin, 4. (3-way tie) Iowa, Michigan and Illinois, 7. (3-way tie) Michigan State, Northwestern and Purdue, 10. Minnesota and 11. Indiana.

It will be interesting 2008 season. Phil Steele's claim: "The Most Accurate Preseason Magazine the Last 9 Years."


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

So, Street & Smith's sports yearbooks are today's Sporting News sports yearbooks

I picked up the 2008 Sporting News College Football Yearbook at Barnes & Noble tonight. I didn't realize that America's oldest sports annuals, Street & Smith's, bought the Sporting News late last year.

For years I have bought both Street & Smith's and the Sporting News. Well, today, I just discovered the "new" yearbooks will be a "blend of the best" of Street & Smith's and Sporting News yearbooks.

Street & Smith, who now owns the Sporting News, will adopt the Sporting News flag for the annuals.

For what it's worth, what ever happened to Don Heinrich's college annuals? I guess I better look for the best annual, Phil Steele... I didn't find it tonight at Barnes & Noble in Cedar Rapids.

I always bought both Street & Smith's and the Sporting News, I am not sure it will be a great blend. I liked Street & Smith for non-FBS (old Division I-A) information, but there were some interesting aspects of the Sporting News, that appear to be absent the blended magazine.

R.I.P. Street & Smith's... your format will live on in the "new" Sporting News annuals. What new or newer sports annual will fill the void now?


Sunday, June 22, 2008

NCAA Football Rules Committee Action For 2008

1. Player Safety: Including elimination of the 5 yard incidental facemask penalty.

2. Timing

3. Instant Replay

4. Game Admistration


Picked up Lindy's 2008 Big Ten Football Preview at HyVee this weekend...

Well, Iowa vs. the Lindy's Top 119...

#119. FIU (8th in Sun Belt)... "Ended last year with win over North Texas, erasing 23-game skid." Next Up: @ KU, then @ Iowa.

Would Maine give FIU a game? Maine isn't in Division I (FBS), so they are not rated. FCS team - Maine will open at Iowa on Aug. 30th and are the Hawkeyes 12th opponent fo the 2008 football season.

#82. Northwestern (11th in Big Ten)... "Wildcats try to rally behind senior QB C.J. Bacher." Is Northwestern the 11th team in the Big Ten? 16 returning starters, 7 on both offense and defense. Usually, teams like IU and NW play well when they are lead by senior leadership.
NW is rated ahead of #83 Baylor, #90 San Diego State (HC Chuck Long), #92 Syracuse, #106 Northern Illinois and #107 Western Michigan.

BTW - #101 is UL-Monroe, who beat #20 Alabama last November.

#80 Iowa State (11th in Big 12, last in North)... "Late-season wins over KSU, CU were encouraging."

#75 Minnesota (10th in Big Ten)... "Top 20 recruiting class sign of better things to come." Gophers lost to NW Mildcats in OT. I guess Lindy's sees Gophers revenging last year's loss.

#65 Indiana (9th in Big Ten)... "Still a tough climb despite last season's magic ride to a bowl." Ahead of #66 Stanford (AD Bob Bowlsby's home)...

#47 Purdue (8th in Big Ten)... "Last go-round for coach Joe Tiller could feature more no-huddle." The Boilers are ahead of such teams as #51 Nebraska, #54 Arkansas, #57 Louisville, #59 Notre Dame, #60 Arizona (HC Mike Stoops), and #61 Kansas State.

Iowa came in at #45 (7th in Big Ten)... "Hawkeyes are just one game over .500 in the past three years." So, does MSU really pass Iowa in '08 and does Iowa stay stuck in .500'ville?

#36 Michigan State (6th in Big Ten)... "All seven losses last season came by a touchdown or less." Purdue had a similar stat in 2004 and didn't finish #3 in the Nation as Phil Steele suggested. MSU is rated by Lindy's ahead of #40 Colorado and #41 Oklahoma State.

We don't play Michigan, but they come in at #31 (5th in Big Ten)... "A bumpy stat for the major transition for coach Rich Rodriquez." But, ahead of #32 Cal, #33 Rutgers, and #35 BC.

#26 Penn State (4th in Big Ten)... "Games at Wisconsin, Ohio State could preclude a serious run." Iowa of course could be a spoiler for PSU too. Ahead of #27 South Carolina, #29 Virginia Tech and #30 Texas A&M (who they beat in Alamo Bowl).

#23 Pittsburgh (3rd in Big East)... "Ok, Dave, Show Us What You've Got!"... clearly Lindy's doesn't give Iowa much props, since they state... "No excuses. No excuses for anything less than a 4-0 start." I guess Iowa may have an opportunity to play a spoiler against two teams from the State of PA in '08. Lindy's has Pitt ahead of #24 Tennessee and #25 FSU.

#18 Illinois (3rd in Big Ten)... "Corner turned, Juice and Friends Pour it on." Maybe the road game in Champaign will be a real tough outing for Iowa... I am not sure the Illini will "pour it on" every opponent absent TB Rashard Mendenhall. Lindy's sees the Illini ahead of #19 South Florida, #20 Alabama, #21 Oregon and #22 Fresno State.

#11 Wisconsin (2nd in the Big Ten)... " 'Old School' Style Still Leads to New Year's." There is a lot of love for Coach Bret Bielema and his team, but this will be the year that more Bielema players will have to step forward entering year 3, post Alvarez. QB is "unsettled" and there are some other questions... what does Iowa do at Kinnick vs. Badgers? #11 UW is rated by Lindy's ahead of #12 BYU, #13 Auburn, #14 Arizona State, #15 Kansas, #16 Texas Tech and #17 Wake Forest.

We don't play #3 Ohio State (pegged #1 in Big Ten)... "Big Ten Bullies Want (yet) Another Title Shot.", who Lindy's have behind #1 and #2 Georgia and USC... but, ahead of #4 Oklahoma, #5 Missouri and the past two defending champs, #6 Florida and #7 LSU. #8 Texas, #9 WVU and #10 Clemson round out the Top 10 for Lindy's.

The 2008 Season should be another great year for College Football!


Saturday, June 21, 2008

First Full Day of Summer: Bring on the Dog Days...

Here in Iowa, we can use the Dog Days of Summer, after a Spring filled with bad weather and epic flooding...


Sunday, June 8, 2008

Take for Higher Ground: Flood of 2008 to Surpass Flood of 1993

Eastern Iowans are reliving the Flood of 1993 today. The Flooding of 2008 is expected to surpass 1993 in both Linn and Johnson Counties, in Iowa.

It's been a tough Spring, so far, with the F5 tornadoes in the State during Memorial Day weekend and now with flooding in various parts of the State, including Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.

Linn County officials are meeting today to prepare for more flooding.
Sandbags are being filled and residents are fearing more destruction from higher waters from the Flood of 2008.

The National Weather Service flood forecast has been upped today. For Linn County, the expected crest surpasses the Flood of 1993 and is on course to crest at the current record crests of 20 feet in 1851 and 1929.


Iowa tidbit: Ohio State and Michigan off schedule again

Again, both Ohio State and Michigan will be absent the Iowa football schedule, since there are only 8 Big Ten games in football each season. Iowa will see both OSU and Michigan back on the schedule for 2009 and 2010, but Illinois and Purdue will drop off.


Kirk Ferentz opens his 10th season at Iowa in '08

Tenth season as Head Coach, that is.

Kirk Ferentz first arrived in Iowa City in 1981. J. Hayden Fry, entering his third season as Iowa's head football coach, hired the young Ferentz, to be Iowa's offensive line coach.

Iowa hit paydirt in the 1981 Big Ten season, winning Coach Fry's Big Ten title and Iowa's first of three Rose Bowl trips under Coach Fry.

From 1981 to 1989, Ferentz helped groom Iowa's offensive line into one of the best in the Big Ten. From 1981 to 1988, Iowa went to 8 straight bowl games, including two Rose Bowls. But, after the 1989 season, a season where Iowa finished 5-6, Ferentz accepted his first college head coaching job.

Ironically, as Ferentz enters his tenth season as Iowa's head football coach, he will be facing his former school, he left Iowa for in 1989: the Maine Bears. The Hawkeyes open the 2008 football season on August 30th vs. those same Maine Bears.

Kirk Ferentz has had a roller-coaster ride at Iowa over the past 9 seasons. Ferentz, his staff, team and Hawkeye fans are all hoping that the roller-coaster is aiming for a climb again, after hitting a valley the past 3 seasons.

  • 1999-2001 Ferentz and Iowa went 1-10, 3-9 and 7-5 winning the Alamo Bowl in '01
  • 2002-2004 Iowa's best three year's ever: 11-2, 10-3 and 10-2; 2-1 in New Year bowls
  • 2005-2007 Ferentz and Iowa went 7-5, 6-7 and 6-6; finishing 0-2 in bowl games

Like the eight year run in the 1980's for Iowa; and like the five year run from 2001 to 2005, Iowa's offensive and defensive line play were major keys for the University of Iowa's success both nationally and in the Big Ten. If Kirk Ferentz and his staff are going to make the journey up from the valley again... the play of both the offensive and defensive lines will be huge keys.

Further, solid quarterback play and special teams have been an important part of the Ferentz formula. Coach Ferentz will open the 2008 season against his former school that he coached at. UConn is his alma mater as a student-athlete.

  • August 30th, Maine @ Iowa
  • September 6th, Florida International U @ Iowa
  • September 13th, Iowa State @ Iowa for the Cy-Hawk Trophy
  • September 20th, Iowa @ Pittsburgh for the 2008 road opener
  • September 27th, Northwestern @ Iowa for Big Ten Conference opener & Homecoming
  • October 4th, Iowa @ Michigan State (Kirk Ferentz has never won as HC @ East Lansing)
  • October 11th, Iowa @ Indiana
  • October 18th, Wisconsin @ Iowa for the Heartland Trophy
  • October 25th, Bye week for the Iowa football program
  • November 1st, Iowa @ Illinois
  • November 8th, Penn State @ Iowa
  • November 15th, Purdue @ Iowa for Senior Day
  • November 22nd, Iowa @ Purdue for the Battle of the Floyd of Rosedale Trophy

2008-09 Bowl Season for College Football

My cidsports 2008 projection... for Iowa is a 5-3 or better mark in the Big Ten and 8 wins or better could be possible... certainly Iowa needs the O-Line, D-Line, special teams and quarterback play to all fall into place for improvement. There have been some clear deficiencies the past three seasons in Iowa City. Coach Ferentz and his coaching staff have there work cut out for them.

Comments entering Kirk Ferentz's 9th season


CNN Breaking News: Sunday Morning

CNN is reporting...

-- The AAA's national gas price average has reached $4 a gallon for the first time in history.


The Finals, Game 2: Los Angeles Lakers @ Boston Celtics

Well, the Boston Celtics look to jump out to a two game lead, if they can win Game 2 of The Finals of the NBA tonight at the Boston Garden? The game will be on ABC tonight, 8 pm Central. Will forward Paul Pierce be able to start, despite the injury he incurred in Game 1?

What answers do the Los Angles Lakers have for the Boston Celtics solid defense, especially in the 4th period of Game 1?

The NBA Finals will switch to Los Angeles after Game 2, in the 2 + 3 + 2 home/road/home format that provides the Celtics 4 home, 3 away, if the series goes to 7 games, in the best-of-7 NBA Finals.

The Boston Celtics lead the series 1-0, after winning in Boston, Thursday Night, in game 1, by the score of 98-88. The Celtics are 8-2 lifetime in Championships head to head over the Lakers. Though, the Lakers have won two straight, after starting off 0-8 vs. the Celtics, lifetime.


A Sports Reporter for a Generation and More...

A man you made a major impact in his industry, the field of sports and an American generation who watched from their TV sets has passed at age 86 on Saturday.

  • The 1972 Olympics
  • ABC's Wide World of Sports
  • College Football

Sportscaster Jim McKay was one of the very best. A man who I'll always remember for his humanity and his voice...

Rest in peace... the world was better for knowing you!


Saturday, June 7, 2008

History Revisted: the Gateway renamed Missouri Valley Football Conference

The Missouri Valley Conference has a storied history as a college football conference in the past. But, that was well over 30 years ago.

Since 1976, the Valley, the Missouri Valley Conference, has grown into an excellent mid-major sports conference in all-sports, with the exception there being no football. The Gateway Football Conference name has been used since 1992 as a football only conference for the Division I-AA schools (today's FCS Division). It's name changed in 1992, but the Gateway has been around since the fall of 1985. Like Missouri Valley Conference, in other Division I sports, the Gateway has become one of the better football conferences in the FCS Division.

Beginning this fall, you will see the word "Missouri Valley" associated with College Football again . It will not be The Valley, as we once knew it, but the Gateway Football Conference is changing it's name to the Missouri Valley Football Conference this fall. The 10-member Missouri Valley Conference has approved the use of the "Missouri Valley" name for the nine-members of the Gateway Football Conference. The Gateway will be the Missouri Valley Football Conference in FCS Football this fall.

Both conferences will remain separate entities per the story out of St. Louis. St. Louis, Missouri will remain home for both conferences, with separate administrations.

Of the current Missouri Valley Conference members, five of the ten members play football in the Gateway: Northern Iowa, Illinois State, Missouri State, Indiana State and Southern Illinois. The other four schools that will make up the Missouri Valley Football Conference are Western Illinois, Youngstown State, North Dakota State and South Dakota State. The two Dakota schools are new the the conference this fall.

The Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) had a rich tradition in football from 1907 to 1985. The charter members of the conference, known then as Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MVIAA) in 1907, were Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Washington U and Iowa. Iowa was a joint member, since they were also members of the older Western Conference, now the Big Ten.

In 1907, Iowa and Nebraska won the co-championship in the first season of MVC football. Over the years, programs would play in the Missouri Valley Conference, and then move on to other conferences. Six teams moved to make up what would later become the Big Eight Conference.

  • Iowa didn't remain in both conferences for long, two years, departing after the 1908 season...
  • But, Drake and Iowa State joined in 1908 making it six full members for the MVC.
  • Iowa played MVC teams in 1909 and 1910 though.
  • The Conference grew from 6 teams to 9 over the next 15 years: Kansas State (1913), Grinnell (1919), Oklahoma (1920) and Oklahoma A&M (1925)…
  • Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa State, Kansas State and Oklahoma vacated to form the Big 6 for 1928 season or the MVC split led it continuing as the Big 6, depending how you want to look at it...
  • The remaining MVC members from the 1928 split were Washington U, Drake, Grinnell and Oklahoma A&M and the Missouri Valley Conference moved on with others joining and leaving over the years... starting with Creighton joining for the 1928 season.
  • As the 5 members of Missouri Valley and Big 6 go there separate ways... October 29, 2009
  • Butler joins in 1932, but leaves after the 1933 season without winning a game. 5+6+5
  • Tulsa and Washburn make the MVC a 7 team conference when they both join in 1935.
  • St. Louis U expands the MVC to 8 teams in 1937.
  • The MVC drops to 7 teams in 1939 with Grinnell's departure. Then 6, after the 1940 season, with Washburn's departure.
  • The War years... Creighton and Washington U eliminated football due to the war after the 1942 season. After the War, Washington U later brought football back as a non-scholarship sport. Creighton (CU) eliminated the sport. (CBS Sports put the spotlight on Creighton during their 1983 undefeated college football season on one of there Saturday football shows).

Tulsa joined the Missouri Valley Conference in 1935 and remained until the conference closed the book on football in 1985. Tulsa from 1935 to 1985 won more conference games (141) and won 25 shared or outright Valley titles, more than any other team. Tulsa became the first Division I team in NCAA history to go to five straight New Year's Day bowl games (1942-1946).

  • Coming out of WWII, the MVC is made up of Drake, Oklahoma A&M, Tulsa, St. Louis U and in 1945, Wichita, today's Wichita State, is added to the football mix.
  • As St. Louis U drops football after 1949 season, Bradley and Detroit arrive in 1949, so entering the 1950s... it's a 6 member conference with Drake, Oklahoma A&M, Tulsa, Wichita, Bradley and Detroit, but that will soon change...
  • Houston arrives in 1951, but both Bradley (they will drop football after 1970) and Drake departs to become an Independent leaving only 5 teams...
  • 1953 - The Beginning of the Modern Era of College Football as per the book: "50 Years of College Football" by Bob Boyles & Paul Guido...
  • In 1953, the Missouri Valley is made up 5 teams: co-champs Oklahoma A&M and Detroit, plus Wichita, Houston and Tulsa.
  • After 1956 season, Detroit becomes an Independent and Oklahoma A&M changed it's name to Oklahoma State and become the 8th team in the Big 7, where they became eligible for the Big 8 title in 1960.
  • In 1957, Houston wins 2nd title in a row over North Texas State, Tulsa, Cincinnati, Wichita and Drake. Cincinnati and Drake were previously Independents.
  • In 1958, North Texas State wins title, while Drake is ineligible for the title, so they leave the MVC after the season to become an Independent through the 1970 season.
  • In 1959, Houston shares it's last title with New Mexico State... with Tulsa, Wichita and Cincinnati rounding out the 5 team MVC race. Houston becomes Independent for 1960.
  • In 1960 and 1961, Wichita sweeps the other 3 teams to win back to back MVC titles.
  • In 1962, Tulsa sweeps the other 3 teams and wins the MVC.
  • In 1963, former Independent Louisville joins the MVC as the 5th member... Cincinnati and Wichita split the title in a 5 team race.
  • In 1964, Cincinnati wins the MVC, but Tulsa finishes with votes in the Final AP Top 10 Poll is invited to Bluebonnet Bowl. Tulsa beats SEC's Mississippi 14-7 on Dec. 19th. Former MVC member, Detroit gave up football after 3-7 mark as Independent.
  • In 1965, The Year of Freedom of Substitution... the end of single platoon football. Tulsa sweeps MVC to win back to back title, again finishes with votes in the Final AP Top 10 Poll. Invited again to Bluebonnet Bowl, but SEC's Tennessee beats Tulsa 27-6 in "driving" rain.
  • In 1966, New Mexico State and Tulsa both share MVC title.
  • In 1968, Memphis State joins the MVC as 6th member.
  • To begin the 1970's, the MVC moved back to 5 teams, with the loss of Cincinnati to became an Independent. Louisville swept their first MVC title.
  • In 1970, former charter member Iowa was having major off the field struggles... leading to the firing of head coach Ray Nagel and the resignation of athletic director Forest Evashevski, once the highly popular coach, who lead Iowa to two Rose Bowl wins in 1957 and 1959. Nagel was reinstated as head coach for the 1970 season.
  • 1970 was truly tragic... airplane crashes taking lives of players, coaches and those associated with the Wichita State and Marshall football programs.

The Missouri Valley Conference began to move away from being a football conference back in early to mid-1970's. Memphis State leaving after 1972, then both Louisville and North Texas State left after the 1974 season. All three teams today compete at the FBS level, but left in the 1970s to become Independents. The MVC did get some new members, Drake returned in 1971, West Texas State joined in 1971, New Mexico State joined 1972, and both Indiana State and Southern Illinois joined in 1977.

  • In 1971, Memphis State won the 7 member MVC title going 4-1, just ahead of Louisville, Tulsa and North Texas State, who finished all 3-2. Drake, West Texas State and Wichita State all finish below .500 in the Big Ten.
  • In 1972, a three-way tie at 4-1 awarded Louisville, Drake and West Texas State the MVC title. Memphis State and Tulsa finished 3-2, followed by Wichita State, New Mexico State and North Texas State, all below .500.
  • In 1973, Tulsa and North Texas State share the 7 member MVC title with a 5-1 mark.
  • In 1974, Tulsa sweeps the rest of the conference to win another title.
  • In 1975, Tulsa sweeps the newly 5 member MVC.
  • In 1976, Tulsa and New Mexico State tie for first place, in what was the conference's last real mention with the other Division I conferences... Tulsa was invited to the inaugural Independence Bowl, losing to McNeese State.

By 1976, the focus of the MVC was changing. The Valley was becoming the new reference for the MVC. The Valley offered football for only 10 more seasons. Illinois State was the final member to join in 1981. After the 1982 season, New Mexico State was last of today's former FBS members to have played and leave the MVC over the years. After the 1983 season, Drake finally called it quits again for MVC football, becoming an Independent. Today, Drake competes as a non-scholarship program, in the Pioneer Football League, a FCS conference, that includes brief and former MVC member, Butler.

From 1907 to 1985, twenty-nine (29) schools played football in the Missouri Valley Conference. The twenty-two (20) teams who won MVC titles or co-championships over the 78 year history were: Tulsa, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma A&M, Drake, Washington U (MO), Creighton, Detroit, Houston, Wichita State, North Texas State, Cincinnati, Memphis State, Louisville, West Texas State and New Mexico State. Eight (9) schools that fielded teams over the years in The Valley, but never won a title in football were: Indiana State, Southern Illinois, Kansas State, St. Louis, Illinois State, Grinnell, Washburn, Butler and Bradley.

  • In 1985, the Gateway Football Conference was created. Future Missouri Valley Conference members, Northern Iowa and Missouri State were among the charter members of the Gateway. Illinois State, Southern Illinois and Indiana State all left the
  • In 1986, West Texas State moved on... Today, they are Division II, West Texas A&M competing in the Lone State Conference.
  • Tulsa moved on after finishing as the MVC's all-time leader in football... Today, Tulsa is a member of Conference USA, along with former MVC members Memphis and Houston.

The Missouri Valley Conference has a rich history. Again, though in name only, college football will ring again in the "Missouri Valley", with the newly named: Missouri Valley Football Conference. It will be interesting to see if this leads to any expansion or shift in the Missouri Valley Conference for other sports?


Thursday, June 5, 2008

2008: The Best Championship Match Up in NBA History Revisited

2008 NBA Finals

Game 1

From Boston

It is great to see the the Best Championship Match Up in NBA history return to the Court for The Finals of 2008. I haven't followed the NBA too closely the last several years, but with the Lakers vs. Celtics on tap... I'll be viewing in on this one.

ABC and the NBA have a match made in heaven. The 11th meeting in The Finals of Boston vs. Los Angeles. The Celtics won the first 8, while the Lakers have taken the last 2.

Bill Russell and Magic Johnson in the audience. Highlights of prior court match ups interlinked between the game. It will be a nice venue for the past to meet the present. The past clearly has many of the best of the best. The current have the NBA's best player, along with the NBA's best defender. Coach Phil Jackson's Lakers vs. Coach Doc Rivers... awesome!

As a life long Lakers fan, I can still find some appreciation for what Boston has been able to accomplish, in this great rivalry, it's great to see the match up return. Now, let's make it three straight Lakers!

8:00 pm Central Time: the Boston Celtics vs. the Los Angeles Lakers...


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Is the Iowa-ISU Rivarly in Football Living up to Expectations?

Well, ISU's AD Jamie Pollard and Iowa's AD Gary Barta put things to bed and extended the Cy-Hawk Football Series through 2017 this week.

Well, they need to make one more major change. Please, move the game to late November. Make it the last game of the season for the University of Iowa.

The Iowa-Iowa State rivalry in football is better the Colorado-Colorado State, but is it the best in-state non-conference rivalry game in the Nation? Shouldn't it be better?

The Big Ten has an odd number of teams, so the rotation of Iowa - Wisconsin - Minnesota will always leave one odd team out each season. Last year, Iowa was the team. This year, it's Wisconsin, who will close with Division I-AA (FCS Division) Cal-Poly, while Iowa faces Minnesota. The rest of the Big Ten: PSU-MSU, Michigan-OSU, IU-Purdue, and Northwestern-Illinois. Wouldn't it be a win-win for all in the Big Ten?

Who is Iowa State's regular rival to close the Big 12? Does ISU, in football, clearly have a natural rival better than the University of Iowa. Iowa does have Minnesota... and, Wisconsin has certainly developed as one. I would not count Iowa's top game annually as being the in-state rivalry. It shouldn't be.

On the flip side, who is ISU's natural rivalry in the Big 12? Nebraska-Colorado, K-State-KU, KU-Missouri, but does ISU really have a similar rivalry? Nebraska fans would mention OU before ISU, imo. This is despite the fact they don't play OU regularly, each season, since the Big 12 was formed.

Iowa vs. Iowa State would be a natural rivalry, like the ACC's Georgia Tech and the SEC's Georgia. For a rivalry that has lacked a spark at times in football... at minimum, it could become the Midwest's version of what is found in the South in Georgia.

On Iowa! Go State! Let's see it happen in the State of Iowa!

BTW - Iowa vs. Nebraska and Iowa State vs. Minnesota would appear to be outstanding future non-conference rivalries too. For now, it's Floyd (the Pig), the Bull, and Cy-Hawk!


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bike Race interupted by Driver: One Dead

Bike Race near US-Mexico border leads to one death and 10 injured, after car hits riders.

Enlarge the picture and you can clearly see the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed. Sadly one rider died and the driver was apparently drunk and asleep when the accident occurred.


Election Note: June 3rd Primary in the State of Iowa

Interesting tidbit from the Linn County, Iowa Auditor. In 3-Way Supervisor races, the winner of either the Democrat or Republican Primary must receive at least 35 percent of the primary vote to win.

The State of Iowa conducted its statewide primary today, June 3rd, for U.S. Senate, U.S. House (Iowa has 5 Districts), state house, some state senate races, and county government races.

Linn County is switching from a 3 member supervisor team to a five member supervisor team, now elected by districts. All 3 incumbents are up for election and it will be interesting to see how each does after the change in supervisor makeup in last year's special election.

For Live Results from Linn County, Iowa.

Further, on a national note tonight, after the Democrat presidential primaries in South Dakota and Montana, it appears that both major political parties know their presumptive candidates for their party's nomination for president now.


Cy-Hawk Football Rivalry Extended Through 2017

The Football series was renewed in 1977, after being off the schedule, since 1934. Iowa hosted the 1977 game and beat the intrastate rival, 12-10, at sold out historic Kinnick Stadium.

Games will continue to be alternated between ISU's Jack Trice Stadium and Iowa's Kinnick Stadium.
This year's game is scheduled for Saturday, September 14th at Kinnick Stadium, in Iowa City, Iowa. Kickoff Time has yet to be announced.

It's interesting to note that for the next 5 years, the guest will continue to receive 20% of the gate. ISU benefits more from the arrangement, since ISU's Jack Trice is less than 80% the capacity of Iowa's Kinnick. ISU will continue to benefit from the next 3 trips to Kinnick, including this season, with the 20% split.


Monday, June 2, 2008

Athlon Sports Annual: College Football National Edition

Well, with the canceled church softball game tonight... I decided
to take one of my children to the store to pick up some assessors for bike riding. We included a pit stop at Barnes & Noble for a CD and of course, a sports magazine. This time I purchased the National Edition of Athlon Sports College Football 2008.

Athlon Sports Top Ten in 2008 consists of: 1. Florida, 2. Ohio State, 3. Oklahoma, 4. USC, 5. Georgia, 6. Missouri, 7. West Virginia, 8. Auburn, 9. LSU and 10. Clemson.

In contrast, my Top 25 launched on 5/31 has: 1. Georgia, 2. USC, 3. Ohio State, 4. Texas (as OU fans have reminded me... too high), 5. Ohio State, 6. LSU, 7. West Virginia, 8. Oklahoma, 9. Virginia Tech, and 10. BYU.

Looking over my own Top 25 and Athlon Sports... I think one or both of us have a couple of teams too high (certainly, a couple of Tiger teams):

  • 6. Missouri (I have them #17, better spot, but still maybe high) - Clearly a breakout year in '07 for the Tigers, but most years under Coach Gary Pinkel (42-37, 7 years), this is a program that underachieves. Five starters have departed on Offense and the Defense in '07 only ranked 59th nationally. They do have a favorable schedule.
  • 9. LSU (my #6, ouch) - Some reason, the defending champ should be ranked #1, until someone on the field beats them, but Coach Les Miles has lost a lot of leadership from the 2007 BCS Title winners. 6 Offensive, 7 defensive starters and their DC have departed. Why did I move them back into the Top 10? They will likely finish #16 in 2008.

Some highlights from this year's National Edition: Iowa's Mitch King 6'3" 264 Sr. defensive tackle is listed as 2nd team all-American (page 25). Like many magazines, the Coaching Carousel is highlighted with pages 26-30 giving insight on the 18 new Division I-A football coaches; from Rich Rodriquez to Michigan, Bo Pelini to Nebraska and former Green Bay Packer head coach Mike Sherman to Texas A&M.

All 119 Teams are ranked from 1-110 (page 32): Iowa 38th and Iowa State 81st. First and second teams for each conference, in addition to conference position ratings. Followed by a page of information for all 119 Division I-A teams from Florida to Florida International.

Throw in the soon to be the 120th Division I-A team: the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, who will be playing a Division I-A schedule (only 2 teams not among the 119). Of course, looking at the Division I-A schedules (FBS), as the NCAA wants it called now, so do some full members (play 2 outside the 119), see pages 181-183:

  • Clemson plays The Citadel and South Carolina State (covers just about all in SC)
  • Florida State opens with Western Carolina and Chattanooga
  • Georgia Tech has Jacksonville State and Gardner-Webb
  • Virginia Tech hosts Furman and Western Kentucky (they are not a full FBS yet)
  • Indiana opens with Western Kentucky and Murray State
  • Texas Tech faces Eastern Washington and Massachusetts
  • Ball State tackles Northeastern and Western Kentucky (not listed as 120th yet)
  • Kentucky invites Norfolk State, Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky as OOC home opponents (they travel to in-state rival Louisville to open season)
  • Troy welcomes Alcorn State and Western Kentucky (soon to be a full FBS member)
  • Western Kentucky visits Eastern Kentucky and hosts Murray State

Athlon Sports throws in some Sideline Spirit (pages 184-188) for good measure. Recruiting news (pages 190-192) and of course this year's top rising high school seniors (page 195), which includes our own Top 20 WR Keenan Davis 6'3" 195 from Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Washington High School).

Like the Big Ten edition of Athon Sports for 2008, the same College Football Fantasy information (pages 196-198)

In closing on the back page (page 200), What the ?... We all remember last year's shocking upset on opening weekend... Appalachian State 34, Michigan 32. The page highlights ten other shocking scores involving UCLA (twice), Louisville, Oklahoma, USC, Nebraska Miami-FL, Kansas State, Alabama and finally special mention, Navy 48, Notre Dame 44 (OT).

By the way, August 30, 2008: defending Division I-A champ (FBS) LSU hosts defending Division I-AA (FCS) champ Appalachian State to open the season. Will we be in for another What the ?


Rained Out: More Storms for the Week Here in Iowa

Well another rainy day in Cedar Rapids wipes out the Independent Church League for Monday. Thankfully, the weather is only rain, but enough to wipe out tonight's softball game.

Rain and a wiped out softball game for another week doesn't compare with the F5 Tornado that destroyed 1/3 of Parkersburg, Iowa the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend. At Rotary today in Cedar Rapids, it was mentioned that 14 of the 16 members of the Rotary Club of Parkersburg had their homes destroyed. Over 220 residences were distroyed in the community. The high school, town grocery story and entire community has been impacted by the destruction of property. Our thoughts and prayers certainly go out to the community that will certainly be the state's largest construction site for some time.

Other areas of the state have been affected by rain, tornadoes, straight line winds and flooding. The forecast for Cedar Rapids is for rain most of the week. Hopefully, the areas that least need it our State will be spared from more rain and disruptions. Several areas clearly need time and good weather to clean up from the Memorial Weekend storms and flooding.


Sunday, June 1, 2008

Parity Knocks... Picking non-BCS teams in the Top 25

Is BYU ready to be the next non-BCS team to finish in the Final Top 10 Poll for a season?

I wrote on May 31st, my preseason Top 25 College Football Poll for 2008. I included Brigham Young (11-2 in '07) at #10 for the preseason entering '08. BYU has finished in the final AP Poll the past two seasons at #14 and #16, respectively, in 2007 and 2006.

In additional to BYU as non-BCS teams in the Top 25, I have Fresno State (9-4, NR) at #22, Utah (9-4, NR) at #23 and Tulsa (10-4, NR) at #25.

In additional to BYU's #14 finish in '07, Hawaii finished #19 in the final AP Poll. Boise State missed after earning #30 in points in the AP Poll.

Between 2003 and 2006, a non-BCS team has finished in the Top 10, three out of four seasons. In 2003, Miami-Ohio (13-1) finished 10th, while Utah (12-0) finished 4th in 2004 and Boise State (13-0) in 2006.

In 2006, in addition of Boise State at #5 and BYU at #16, TCU finished #22 and Hawaii just missed earning #26 in total points in the AP's final poll.

In 2005, the non-BCS teams were shut out, though Toledo (#26), Tulsa (#27), Nevada (#29) and Navy (#30) were just on the outside of the AP final poll.

In 2004, Boise State at #12, Fresno State #22 and Navy #24 joined #4 Utah for four non-BCS teams finishing in the AP final Top 25 Poll.

In 2003, Boise State at #16, Utah #21, Bowling Green #23 and TCU #25 joined #10 Miami-Ohio for five non-BCS teams in the AP final Top 25 Poll.

We will have to see the 2008 Season played out to see, if four is on the mark for this season? However, we certainly have seen more parity throughout the current decade in college football. In part, the current 85 scholarship limit has lead to a lot more parity around the NCAA. Heck, even Division I-AA, Appalachian State, received votes in last year's AP Top 25 Poll. Of course, a lot of that was likely fueled by a huge win over Michigan to kick off last year's first week of the season and Appalachian State winning another I-AA National Championship.