Friday, October 31, 2008

Iowa Hawkeyes @ Illinois Fighting Illini on November 1, 2008

The Hawkeyes (5-3, 2-2) travel to Champaign to face the Fighting Illini (4-4, 2-3) kickoff at 2:30 pm on ABC in the Midwest and on ESPN elsewhere.

This is a huge game for both programs. Iowa's coach Kirk Ferentz has had the upper hand on both the Illini (5 straight) and vs. Illini coach Ron Zook (4 straight, including '04 Outback Bowl, when Zook coached the Florida Gators).

It's the Fighting Illini spread offense attack vs. crafty Iowa DC Norm Parker's 4-3 defense. The Iowa offense has improved greatly from last year's morbid unit. Iowa's RB Shonn Greene has been a huge surprise, while new QB Ricky Stanzi continues to show improvement with each game.

It should be a great game in Champaign... The Illini have been held to 13 or less points in each of the five games Iowa has won recently. Last year, Iowa held the Illini to two field goals, in a 10-6 Iowa win.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Here's one way to get a Cyclone into a bowl...

The Iowa State Cyclones will not be going to a bowl this year, but their fans can enjoy the bowl at home, with a little Cyclone Crunch...


Starting Illini Running Back leaves team, prior to game with Iowa

Ron Zook is an interesting coach. The coach has announced that starting TB Daniel Dufrene has taken a leave this year. His line about being "worried" and "he'll be fine" appears to be one of many classic lines that the football coach has had over the years.


State of Iowa State Football Playoffs: Sub-State Round in book

University of Iowa in-state commits played in the Iowa State Football Playoffs: Sub-State Round on Wednesday:

Brandon Wegher (Game Recap)

Keenan Davis (Game Recap)

Jordan Cotton (Game Recap)

Drew Clark (Game Recap)

Class of 2010 commit James Morris (Game Recap)

I attended the Cedar Rapids Washington game vs. Muscatine last night. The Warriors won the game 62-14. Though, the game was 20-14, prior to a Earnest Crank type touchdown (ie: former Iowa RB vs. Northwestern at Kinnick back in the 1990's) off a Muscatine failed on-side kick attempt, where Washington Warriors special teams player, Jerome Strong, took the failed on-side kick all the way for a touchdown to make the game 27-14 Washington.

Washington junior running back Andre Dawson and reserve RB sophomore Alex Carr went wild running the ball vs. the Muskies in the Warriors 62-14 win. Carr had a 70+ yard run called back for encroachment late in the game to reduce the blowout.

The Warriors (9-1) will face Dubuque Hempstead (6-4) on Monday night in the Class 4A first round. Ironically, the game will be in Dubuque.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The NBA tips off 2008-09 season!

Major League Baseball is struggling to close the 2008 season late in October, the NBA has tipped off the '08-'09 season, with both the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers scoring one in the win column to start the season.

The beginning of the 82-game season is just another sign that winter is on its way in the USA.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Iowa's Defensive Coordinator Norm Parker and the 4-3 defense

Iowa (5-3, 2-2 Big Ten) at Illinois (4-3, 2-3 Big Ten) square off in Champaign in football on Saturday at 2:30 pm on ABC. A look from the Orange and Blue on Iowa's DC Norm Parker, a former Illinois assistant.

Iowa is going for their sixth straight victory over the Fighting Illini on Saturday. Iowa's defense under Norm Parker have held the Illini to no more than 13 points in the past five game (all Iowa wins).

Iowa won last year's game over Illinois 10-6 in Iowa City.


Why is Baseball in America past its time...

Listening to Colin Cowherd today speak about Major League Baseball ... I have to ask, why is this guy the Commissioner?

How many other sports fans has he turned away from Major League Baseball in his tenure?
It's nearly November 4th, Election Day, and the World Series is in the same discussion?

Look at the weather the last week of October in America!

It's 10 pm Eastern... the game starts in 15 minutes?

And of course, lets create or set the rules on the fly and not tell anyone.

Soccer is a better sport than baseball today, in my opinion. It's not a great sport, but there is very little creditability in Major League Baseball today.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Week 9: Texas, Penn State and Alabama remain all undefeated... atop the Top 25

We head into November next weekend with some big games ahead, after Week 9 concludes with two of the Top 3 teams going to the wire, but winning to remain undefeated! Week 9's Top 25:
  1. Texas Longhorns (8-0, 4-0 Big 12) - The Longhorns take down former #10 Oklahoma State (7-1, 3-1 Big 12) 28-24 in Austin in a close battle between Top 10 teams. Next up: at #8 Texas Tech (8-0, 4-0 Big 12) for another Top 10 battle against the other remaining undefeated Big 12 team in Lubbock...

  2. Penn State Nittany Lions (9-0, 5-0 Big Ten) - The special season for Joe Pa is still alive, as the Nittany Lions pick up their first Big Ten win in Columbus and the first win in 30 years in Columbus under Joe Pa 13-6 over Ohio State (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten) to jump into the top place in the Big Ten by themselves. Next up: Bye week to prepare for final 3... at Iowa (5-3, 2-2 Big Ten) on November 8th.

  3. Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0, 5-0 SEC) - Coach Nick Saban keeps his second campaign at Bama undefeated with a solid 29-9 win at Tennessee (3-5, 1-4 SEC). Next up: vs. Arkansas State (4-3, 2-1 Sun Belt) for an OOC tilt in November for the Tide.

  4. Southern Cal Trojans (6-1, 4-1 Pac 10) - The Trojans grind out a key Pac 10 road game at Arizona (5-3, 3-2 Pac 10) 17-10 to remain among the leaders in the Pac 10 race. Next up: vs. Washington (0-7, 0-4 Pac 10) at home in the Coliseum.

  5. Florida Gators (6-1, 4-1 SEC) - The Gators take down soundly Kentucky (5-3, 1-3 SEC) 63-5 in SEC play. Next up: vs. #6 Georgia (7-1, 4-1 SEC) in the world's largest cocktail party in Jacksonville.

  6. Georgia Bulldogs (7-1, 4-1 SEC) - The Bulldogs take down former # 8 LSU (5-2, 3-2 SEC) on the road 52-38 to remain at the top of the SEC East with others. Next up: vs. #5 Florida (6-1, 4-1 SEC) in Jacksonville for the top spot in the Division.

  7. Oklahoma Sooners (7-1, 3-1 Big 12) - The Sooners win an important road game at Kansas State (4-4, 1-3 Big 12) 58-35, but need help in the South. Next up: vs. Nebraska (5-3, 2-2 Big 12) for an old classic Big 8 match up in Norman.

  8. Texas Tech Red Raiders (8-0, 4-0) - The Red Raiders took down former #20 Kansas (5-3, 2-2 Big 12) on their home turf 63-21 to remain undefeated. Next up: vs. #1 Texas (8-0, 4-0 Big 12) in the largest game in Lubbock ever... JW would be proud, rip!

  9. Oklahoma State Cowboys (7-1, 3-1 Big 12) - The Cowboys are clearly playing like a Top 10 team, but lose 24-28 in a close game at #1 Texas (8-0, 4-0 Big 12) to fall off the lead in the South. Next up: vs. Iowa State (2-6, 0-4 Big 12) against a team going through growing pains under second year coach Gene Chizik.

  10. Missouri Tigers (6-2, 2-2 Big 12) - Are the Tigers really worthy of a Top 10 position, a 58-0 home shutout of Colorado (4-4, 1-3 Big 12) says yes for now. Next up: at Baylor (3-5, 1-3 Big 12) for another road date with a South opponent.

  11. Utah Utes (8-0, 4-0 MWC) - The Utes enjoyed a bye week to close out the month of October to stay atop the top non-BCS teams for now. Next up: at New Mexico (4-5, 2-3 MWC) for dangerous road test in the Mountain West!

  12. Boise State Broncos (7-0, 3-0 WAC) - The Broncos won 33-16 in Friday night WAC game at San Jose State (5-3, 3-1 WAC) to remain undefeated overall and to take the sole lead in the WAC.

  13. TCU Horned Frogs (8-1, 5-0 MWC) - The Horned Frogs keep the lead in the MWC with 54-7 home win vs. Wyoming (2-6, 0-5 MWC). Next up: at UNLV (3-5, 0-4 MWC) in an important road test, before the showdown at Utah the following week.

  14. LSU Tigers (5-2, 3-2 SEC) - The Tigers fall again in the SEC... this time 38-52 to #6 Georgia (6-1, 3-1 SEC) at home. Next up: vs. Tulane (2-5, 1-3 C-USA) ... an easy opponent for the Tigers to lick their wounds with.

  15. Ohio State Buckeyes (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten) - The Buckeyes continue to grow with true freshman QB Terrelle Pryor, but his costly fumble derails the Buckeyes 6-13 vs. #2 Penn State (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten) in Columbus. Next up: Bye week to open November.

  16. Florida State Seminoles (6-1, 3-1 ACC) - The Seminoles pick up a good home win over Virginia Tech (5-3, 2-3 ACC) 30-20 to stay tied for the lead Atlantic Division of the ACC. Next up: at Georgia Tech (6-2, 3-2 ACC) in an ACC road test against a Coastal Division opponent.

  17. Tulsa Golden Hurricane*** (7-0, 4-0 C-USA) - Tulsa hosts Central Florida (2-4, 1-1 C-USA) in a Sunday game of Week 8. Next up: at Arkansas (3-5, 1-4 SEC) in a key OOC test to open November.

  18. Brigham Young Cougars (7-1, 3-1 MWC) - The Cougars bounce back at home with a 42-35 win over UNLV (3-5, 0-4 MWC). Next up: at Colorado State (4-4, 2-2 MWC) in an important road test in the Mountain West.
  19. Ball State Cardinals (8-0, 4-0 MAC) - The Cardinals resume their winning ways coming off bye week with a 38-16 home win over Eastern Michigan (2-7, 1-4 MAC) in conference play. Next up: vs. Northern Illinois (5-3, 4-1 MAC) on Wednesday night in MAC West play.
  20. Michigan State Spartans - (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten) - The Spartans regrouped after disappointment vs. Ohio State in Week 8... with a solid 35-21 road win over in-state rival Michigan (2-6, 1-3 Big Ten) for the Paul Bunyan Trophy. Next up: vs. Wisconsin (4-4, 1-4 Big Ten) in a key conference battle.

  21. Oregon Ducks (6-2, 4-1 Pac 10) - The Ducks pick up a solid 54-20 road win at Arizona State (2-5, 1-3 Pac 10). Next up: at California (5-2, 3-1 Pac 10) for another important Pac 10 road game.

  22. North Carolina Tar Heels (6-2, 2-2 ACC) - The Tar Heels jump back into the Top 25 and back in the win column with a 45-25 home win over Boston College (5-2, 2-2 ACC)... one game back in the ACC Coastal Division. Next up: vs. Georgia Tech (6-2, 3-2) in a key division game in the ACC.

  23. Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-1, 3-1 Big Ten) - Coach Tim Brewster has the Golden Gophers on track in his second year as coach, benefiting from a favorable schedule. The Golden Gophers 17-6 road win at Purdue (2-6, 0-4) springs them into the Top 25 this week. Next up: vs. Northwestern (6-2, 2-2 Big Ten), who may be without their starting QB for the game with the Gophers.

  24. Maryland Terrapins (6-2, 3-1 ACC) - The Terps picked up a 27-24 home win vs. North Carolina State (2-6, 0-4 ACC) to stay even with the Seminoles in the Atlantic Division. Next up: at Virginia Tech (5-3, 2-2 ACC) in a inter-division ACC game.

  25. West Virginia Mountaineers (5-2, 2-0 Big East) - The Mountaineers picked up their fourth straight win with 34-17 home win over Auburn (4-4, 2-3 SEC). Next up: at UConn (6-2, 2-1 Big East) for a key road test and to defend the Mountaineers lead in the Big East race.

*** Week 9 Poll was determined prior to Tulsa's Sunday, October 26, 2008 game.

Teams Out of the Top 25 after Week 9 - South Florida Bulls (6-2, 1-2 Big East), Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-2, 3-2 ACC), Kansas Jayhawks (5-3, 2-2 Big 12), Northwestern Wildcats (6-2, 2-2 Big Ten), Pittsburgh Panthers (5-2, 2-1 Big East).

Team to Watch - Iowa Hawkeyes (5-3, 2-2 Big Ten) - Bye week during Week 9, the Hawkeyes lost three straight, before winning two straight to enter the bye week. All three losses came from a total of 9 points. Now, first year starting QB sophomore Ricky Stanzi has taken over for QB Jake Christensen and appears to be finding his way, with the support of junior RB Shonn Greene, the only RB in the FBS to run for at least 100 yards in each game this season. Next up: at Illinois (4-4, 2-3 Big Ten), which will test a solid Hawkeye defense.

Game of the Week - #1 Texas @ #8 Texas Tech in Lubbock...


Iowa High School Playoffs kickoff at 7 PM Wednesday in all Classes

Here are the Substate pairings for Wednesday, October 29, 2008:

All games are at 7 p.m., with one exception.


Des Moines Lincoln (4-5) at W.D.M. Valley (9-0), C.B. Jefferson (6-3) at Ottumwa (6-3), Des Moines East (5-4) at Johnston (7-2), C.B. Lincoln (5-4) at W.D.M. Dowling (7-2), Fort Dodge (4-5) at Southeast Polk (7-2), Indianola (5-4) at Ames (6-3), Mason City (5-4) at Waukee (6-3), Sioux City North (4-5) at Ankeny (8-1), Davenport Assumption (4-5) at Iowa City High (9-0), Cedar Rapids Kennedy (6-3) at Cedar Rapids Xavier (6-3), Cedar Rapids Jefferson (4-5) at Cedar Falls (8-1), Dubuque Wahlert (4-5) at North Scott (8-1), Muscatine (4-5) at Cedar Rapids Washington (8-1), Dubuque Hempstead (5-4) at Burlington (7-2), Pleasant Valley (6-3) at Cedar Rapids Prairie (6-3), and Clinton (4-5) at Bettendorf (9-0).


ADM (5-4) at Sioux City Heelan (9-0), Sergeant Bluff-Luton (6-3) at Lewis Central (8-1), MOC-Floyd Valley (4-5) at Harlan (8-1), Atlantic (5-4) at Spencer (6-3), Ballard-Huxley (5-4) at Clear Lake (9-0), Charles City (7-2) at Boone (7-2), Algona (5-4) at Carroll (9-0), Dallas Center-Grimes (7-2) at Webster City (6-3), Benton Community (5-4) at Decorah (9-0), West Delaware (6-3) at Marion (8-1), New Hampton (5-4) at DeWitt Central (9-0), Union (7-2) at Crestwood (5-4), Norwalk (5-4) at Mount Pleasant (9-0), Clear Creek Amana (6-3) at Centerville 8-1), Oskaloosa (4-5) at Pella (9-0) and Grinnell (6-3) at Williamsburg (8-1).


Pocahontas (5-4) at Central Lyon (9-0), Boyden-Hull (5-4) at Eagle Grove (5-4), Western Christian (4-5) at Milford (7-2), Cherokee (5-4) at Unity Christian (8-1), Carroll Kuemper (5-4) at West Marshall (8-1), Bondurant-Farrar (6-3) at Missouri Valley (7-2), PCM (5-4) at IKM (9-0), OA/BCIG (7-2) at CMB (8-1), Dyersville Beckman (5-4) at Roland-Story (9-0), Gilbert (6-3) at Western Dubuque (8-1), Osage (5-4) at North Fayette (7-2), Sumner-Frederickburg (8-1) at Dike-New Hartford (6-3), Sigourney-Keota (6-3) at Solon (9-0), Wilton (7-2) at West Burlington (8-1), Tipton (5-4) at Mid-Prairie (8-1) and Davis County (6-3) at Iowa City Regina (8-1).


Underwood (4-5) at West Lyon (8-1), Hinton (6-3) at Griswold (8-1), Lawton-Bronson (5-4) at C.B. St. Albert (8-1), Logan-Magnolia (6-3) at HartleyMelvin-Sanborn (8-1), Ogden (3-6) at Pella Christian (81)***, Pleasantville (5-4) at WoodwardGranger (8-1), Nodaway Valley (4-5) at Prairie Valley (8-1), Manson-Northwest Webster (4-5) at Mount Ayr (8-1), South Winneshiek (6-3) at Emmetsburg (9-0), Garner-Hayfield (6-3) at GladbrookReinbeck (6-3), Saint Ansgar (4-5) at AplingtonParkersburg (9-0), Nashua-Plainfield (6-3) at Fort Dodge St. Edmond (8-1), Pekin (5-4) at Maquoketa Valley (7-2), North-Linn (6-3) at Belle Plaine (8-1), Alburnett (4-5) at West Branch (8-1) and Iowa Valley (5-4) at Northeast (7-2).


Newell-Fonda (5-4) at AkronWestfield (8-1), Alta (7-2) at Algona Garrigan (7-2), Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn (3-6) at Southern Calhoun (8-1), Clay Central (6-3) at LeMars Gehlen (7-2), Corning (4-5) at Madrid (8-1), Earlham (7-2) at Boyer Valley (7-2), Van Meter (5-4) at AHST (9-0), Bedford (5-4) at Colo-NESCO (6-3), Lisbon (5-4) at Northwood-Kensett (8-1), Rockford (7-2) at Elkader Central (7-2), Riceville (5-4) at East Buchanan (9-0), Wapsie Valley (6-3) at Mason City Newman (7-2), BGM (5-4) at New London (6-3), Lone Tree (6-3) at HLV (7-2), Highland (3-6) at North Tama (9-0) and North Mahaska (6-3) at WACO (5-4).


Graettinger-Terril (6-3) at RemsenUnion (7-2), Woodbine (6-3) at ArmstrongRingstead (8-1), Remsen St. Mary’s (5-4) at North Sentral (9-0), Laurens-Marathon (7-2) at Ar-WeVa (8-1), Sidney (3-6) at CAM (9-0), Coon Rapids-Bayard (7-2) at East Mills (7-2), Glidden-Ralston (5-4) at Stanton (9-0). Villisca (4-5) at Adair-Casey (7-2), West Central (7-2) at CWL (7-1), Ventura (6-3) at Preston (6-3), Northeast Hamilton (5-5) at Central City (8-1), Dunkerton (6-3) at Janesville (8-1), Ankeny Christian (5-4) at Tri-County (8-1), Harmony (4-5) at Lenox (8-1), Twin Cedars (5-4) at Lamoni (7-2) and East Union (8-1) at Melcher-Dallas (7-2)

*** Game is at 7:30 p.m. at Central College.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Joe Pa and PSU win at Columbus over OSU 13-6

It's Joe Pa's first win at Columbus, since Penn State joined the Big Ten and Joe's first win in 30 years in Columbus overall. One key turnover was a major difference... when Terrelle Pryor's fumble lead to Penn State's only TD drive in the fourth quarter in Columbus.

Pat Devlin lead the Nittany Lions on that touchdown drive, after starting quarterback Daryll Clark was hit in the head and had to leave the game.

It was clearly an old fashion Big Ten slugfest. Penn State's offensive line stepped up enough in the second half, after both teams were tied 3-3 at halftime.

Penn State (9-0, 5-0 Big Ten) return home to Happy Valley for a bye week. They will travel to Iowa City to face the Iowa Hawkeyes (5-3, 2-2 Big Ten) on November 8, 2008.

Joe Paterno's final season, projected by many, could become very special, if the Nittany Lions can finish off the final Big Ten slate of at Iowa, vs. Indiana and vs. Michigan State to finish the '08 regular season.


Iowa High Football Playoffs are set for 2008

Substate kicks off Wednesday, October 29, 2008... playoff dates.

Cedar Rapids Washington (8-1) will host Muscatine (4-5), while fellow area schools match ups are: battle of 42nd Street, with CR Xavier (6-3) hosting CR Kennedy (6-3); CR Jefferson (4-5) at Cedar Falls (8-1); and Pleasant Valley (6-3) at CR Prairie (6-3). Class 4A Final 32 in the 2008 Playoffs...

2008 Playoff Brackets:
Class 3A
Class 2A
Class 1A
Class A
Eight Player


Friday, October 24, 2008

UI planning expansion of Football facilities...

It's great to hear Iowa will seek a $10 million update for the football practice facilities. Though, it will be nice to see the basketball practice facilities at the University of Iowa get completed, as well.
“Football is the major source of revenue for the Department of Athletics, and
the success of the program is critical to the overall financial health of
the Department. Therefore, the university wishes to have improved football
facilities that are comparable to its peer institutions,” the regent agenda

The costs of Division I athletics continue to move upward, including recruiting costs. It's important that the University of Iowa keeps up with its fellow Big Ten schools? Yes!


Ken O'Keefe actually speaks to the Media during the Bye week

Iowa's offensive coordinator has taken the good, the bad and the ugly this season with the media and the fan base for Iowa's 5-3 (2-2 Big Ten) start.

First of all, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz doesn't typically allow his coaching staff to speak to the media during the season. It's not in their job description.

But, many in the media wanted to speak to O'Keefe during Iowa's three game losing streak earlier this season. Some in the media were down right impatient with Kirk Ferentz.

Well the media got their time with O'Keefe today. Here's what some have to say.

Hawks offense on a roll Chicago Tribune- It was a familiar spot for Iowa offensive coordinator Ken O'Keefe. The Hawkeyes were struggling to score, and many fans were blaming ...
Hawkeye offensive guru speaks UI The Daily Iowan - the Hawkeyes are on their bye week, Iowa offensive coordinator Ken O'Keefe met with the media Friday afternoon. By Scott Miller - The Daily Iowan It ...
Rivals reports today -
"Offensive coordinator Ken O'Keefe met with the media today during Iowa's bye
week to talk about the Hawkeye offense. O'Keefe discusses if Shonn Greene is the
best running back the coaching staff has had during their time at Iowa, how he
compares to others over the years, the rate at which the offense has progressed
this season, and much more."
The University of Iowa has a bye week this weekend. They will travel to Champaign, Illinois on Saturday, November 1 to face the Illinois Fighting Illini (4-3, 2-2 Big Ten) to resume Big Ten play the final four weeks of the 2008 regular season.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

San Diego State's head coach Chuck Long's future?

According to the San Diego State Aztecs athletic director, head coach Chuck Long's job appears safe through the '09 season. The article in the San Diego newspaper says:

"It may be perceived as a roll of the dice, but San Diego State Athletic
Director Jeff Schemmel is convinced he's making a safe bet."

The former Iowa quarterback and assistant football coach has taken plenty of knocks during the '08 season. Hopefully, like other programs that have been patient, that Chuck Long will start to make head way with his own recruits soon.

Chuck Long will be entering his 4th season as head coach in '09.


With another marriage approaching: Is Lute Olson stepping down at U of A?

Lute Olson may be stepping down as head coach of the University of Arizona basketball team, per reports today. Mike Dunlap, associate head coach, would likely succeed Olson for this season.

Lute Olson left the University of Iowa in the early 1980s to become the head coach at the University of Arizona. A bitter divorce prior to the 2007-08 season kept Olson from the sidelines.

Now, it appears Olson may be absent for good.


Is Texas Tech bending the scholarship rules in Football?

Contest winner becomes placekicker for Red Raiders?

So coach Mike Leach, you have players you allow to receive free rent for a month? The young man isn't a player yet or is he? It appears what was a contest for free rent has become a try out with a reward for the Red Raider football team.

First, is he eligible, due to transfer rules? Check!

Second, what happens to the free rent?

Is he a scholarship player Coach?


Local Sports: Last Weekend of Regular Season for High School Football

The last weekend of the Iowa High School football season will occur this weekend. The Class 4A has been expanded from 16 to 32 teams this year. It should be an exciting playoff season in Iowa in '08.

Go Warriors!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Where's Wisconson?

It appears Waldo's job may be in jeopardy today?

Florida International is clearly better than fellow Sun Belt member, North Texas, but the Bottom 10 appears to be littered with the worse of the Pac 10 and with another Big Ten team close to joining.



Sunday, October 19, 2008

Week 8: First BCS Poll will be out and who appears right for the Top 25

Week 8 is in the books...

In Iowa City, the Iowa Hawkeyes (5-3, 2-2 Big Ten) hosted Wisconsin (3-4, 0-4 Big Ten) on a beautiful day for football. The Hawkeyes took down the Badgers 38-16 to win the Heartland Trophy back.

The first BCS Poll will be out on Monday. Here's my Week 8 College Football Top 25:
  1. Texas Longhorns (7-0, 3-0 Big 12) - What can a national program + a quality/experienced QB + solid line play on both sides of the ball =? Very simple, a #1 rating and QB Colt McCoy has the Longhorns playing well... Longhorns defeat then #13 Missouri (5-2, 1-2 Big 12) 56-31 in Austin. Next up: vs. Oklahoma State (7-0, 3-0 Big 12), for the third straight big game for the Longhorns!
  2. Penn State Nittany Lions (8-0, 4-0 Big Ten) - The Nittany Lions end a nine-game skid to Michigan (2-5, 1-2 Big Ten), coming from behind in the third quarter to win 46-17 at Happy Valley. Next up: at #9 Ohio State (7-1, 4-0 Big Ten), which has been a tough place in the past for Joe Pa.
  3. Alabama Crimson Tide (7-0, 4-0 SEC) - The Crimson Tide hold off a Mississippi (3-4, 1-3 SEC) come back to win 24-20 at home. Next up: at Tennessee (3-4, 1-3 SEC) next!
  4. Southern Cal Trojans (5-1, 3-1 Pac 10) - The Trojans road trip to Washington State (1-7, 0-5 Pac 10) ends in a 69-0 rout against one of the weakest BCS teams right now. Next up: at Arizona (5-2, 3-1 Pac 10) vs. another quad-leader in the Pac 10 (Oregon/Oregon State, other 2).
  5. Florida Gators (5-1, 3-1 SEC) - Good time for a bye week! Next up: vs. Kentucky (5-2, 1-2 SEC) on Homecoming for the Gators!
  6. Georgia Bulldogs (6-1, 3-1 SEC) - Bulldogs win another important home SEC game in back to back weeks vs. former #17 Vanderbilt (5-2, 3-2 SEC) 24-14. Next up: at #7 LSU (5-1, 3-1 SEC).
  7. Oklahoma Sooners (6-1, 2-1 Big 12) - The Sooners take out former #19 Kansas (5-2, 2-1) 45-31 on Homecoming to get back on the winning track, after losing Red River Rivalry the week before! Next up: at Kansas State (4-3, 1-2 Big 12) for the second of three straight vs. Big 12 North opponents.
  8. LSU Tigers (5-1, 3-1 SEC) - The Tigers win 24-17 at South Carolina (5-3, 2-3 SEC) in another SEC road test and to get back on the winning track after tough loss at Florida the week before. Next up: vs. #6 Georgia (6-1, 3-1 SEC) for a huge SEC home test!
  9. Ohio State Buckeyes (7-1, 4-0 Big Ten) - The Buckeyes win big 45-7 at former #21 Michigan State (6-2, 3-1 Big Ten) to get ready for next week's Big Ten showdown. Next up: vs. #2 Penn State (8-0, 4-0 Big Ten) for the lead in the Big Ten conference race!
  10. Oklahoma State Cowboys (7-0, 3-0 Big 12) - Cowboys win their Homecoming game 34-7 over Baylor (3-4, 1-2 Big 12) and earn a birth into this week's Top 10. Next up: vs. #1 Texas (7-0, 3-0 Big 12) in showdown between 2 out of 3 tri-leaders in Big 12 South!
  11. Utah Utes (8-0, 4-0 MWC) - The Utes 49-16 home win over Colorado State (3-4, 1-2 MWC) keeps the Utes on the right path in the MWC and in line for honors as the top non-BCS team for '08. Next up: Bye week before road date with UNM in November.
  12. Texas Tech Red Raiders (7-0, 3-0 Big 12) - The Red Raiders keep knocking out wins with a 43-25 victory at Texas A&M (2-5, 0-3 Big 12). Next up: at Kansas (5-2, 2-1) verse a likely hungry Jayhawks team.
  13. Boise State Broncos (6-0, 2-0 WAC) - The Broncos win 27-7 in Friday night WAC game over Hawaii (3-4, 2-2 WAC) to move up to Lucky 13 spot. Next up: at San Jose State (5-2, 3-0 WAC) for a showdown for lead in the WAC race.
  14. TCU Horned Frogs (7-1, 4-0 MWC) - The Horned Frogs knock off then #6 Brigham Young (6-1, 2-1 MWC) 32-7 in a Thursday night home game to move up in the Top 25. Next up: vs. Wyoming (2-5, 0-4 MWC) in another MWC game.
  15. Missouri Tigers (5-2, 1-2 Big 12) - Coach Gary Pinkel will have to regroup again after #1 Texas (7-0, 3-0 Big 12) defeats the Tigers 31-56 in Austin. Next up:
  16. South Florida Bulls (6-1, 1-1 Big East) - The Bulls win in the Big East 45-13 over Syracuse (1-6, 0-3 Big East) at home. Next up: at Louisville (4-2, 0-1 Big East) in important road test.
  17. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (7-0, 4-0 C-USA) - Tulsa continues its undefeated season with a 77-35 home win over UTEP (3-4, 3-1 C-USA). Next up: vs. Central Florida (2-4, 1-1 C-USA) in a Sunday game in Week 8.
  18. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-1, 3-1 ACC) - Georgia Tech's 21-17 win at Clemson (3-4, 1-3 ACC) helps keep the Jackets in the lead in the ACC Coastal Division. Next up: vs. Virginia (4-3, 2-1 ACC) in a key Coastal Division match up.
  19. Brigham Young Cougars (6-1, 2-1 MWC) - The Cougars drop their first game of the season in a big conference road game at former #25 TCU (7-1, 4-0 MWC). Next up: vs. UNLV (3-4, 0-3 MWC) in an important rebound game for the Cougars, after first loss of season.
  20. Kansas Jayhawks (5-2, 2-1 Big 12) - The Jayhawks lost 31-45 at then #8 Oklahoma (6-1, 2-1 Big 12) in tough road loss. Next up: vs. #12 Texas Tech (7-0, 3-0 Big 12) in an important Big 12 North/South match up.
  21. Florida State Seminoles (5-1, 2-1 ACC) - The Seminoles pick up a good ACC road win at North Carolina State (2-5, 0-3 ACC) to stay in a four way tie a top the Atlantic Division (w/ BC, MD, Wake). Next up: vs. Virginia Tech (5-2, 2-1 ACC) in another key ACC match up.
  22. Michigan State Spartans - (6-2, 3-1 Big Ten) - The Spartans will have to regroup after 7-45 defeat at home to then #10 Ohio State (7-1, 4-0 Big Ten), where coach Mark Dantonio was a former DC. Next up: at Michigan (2-5, 1-2 Big Ten) in a huge intra-state conference battle.
  23. Ball State Cardinals (7-0, 3-0 MAC) - Timely bye Week in Week 8 for the Cardinals, who are one of two teams undefeated in MAC play (w/ CMU 4-0). Next up: vs. Eastern Michigan (2-6, 1-3 MAC) in conference play.
  24. Northwestern Wildcats (6-1, 2-1 Big Ten) - The Wildcats pound Purdue (2-5, 0-3 Big Ten) 48-26 to get back on winning track, after lost to MSU the week before. Next up: at Indiana (2-5, 0-4 Big Ten) back on the road in the Big Ten.
  25. Pittsburgh Panthers (5-1, 2-0 Big East) - The Panthers win 42-21 in an OOC road game at Navy (4-3). Next up: vs. Rutgers (2-5, 1-2 Big East), returning to conference play.

Team Out of the Top 25 after Week 8 - Virginia Tech Hokies (5-2 2-1 ACC), Vanderbilt Commodores (5-2, 3-2 SEC), Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-2, 2-1 ACC), North Carolina Tar Heels (5-2, 1-2 ACC).

Teams to Watch: Arizona Wildcats (5-2, 3-1 Pac Ten) - who have key home game vs. #4 USC, while the Minnesota Golden Gophers (6-1, 2-1 Big Ten) - who have their 2nd key Big Ten road game this week in back to back games, after a bye week in between.

Game of the Week - Several to choose from...


Iowa wins Heartland Trophy 38-16 over Wisconsin

The Iowa Hawkeyes (5-3, 2-2 Big Ten) take care of business for the second straight week, ending two game skids each to IU and now to Wisconsin (3-4, 0-4 Big Ten), in back to back weeks. The Hawkeyes got off to a strong start, scoring on it's first possession and taking a 14-3 lead into halftime.

The game got tight for a moment at 14-9, after the Badgers tacked on two field goals in the third quarter. But, for the Badgers, it was too much RB Shonn Greene on offense by the Hawkeyes. The Hawkeye RB ran for 4 touchdowns on 217 yards rushing.

Coach Bret Bielema for Wisconsin has his work cut out for him. His '08 team has lost four straight game, but overall, it's a team that lacks depth, separation on offense and overall poor execution.

The Hawkeyes have found a way to clean up their miscues and turnovers... have fun and win some ball games, after losing three straight by a total of nine points at Pitt, vs. Northwestern and at Michigan State. While Iowa was defeated in all three of those games... overall, I'll take Iowa in a re-match against any of the three.

Iowa has a bye week up next, while Wisconsin will host Illinois (4-3, 2-2 Big Ten) in Madison. The Hawkeyes have four Big Ten games left and could finish strong in '08, if they can take care of business in November with games at Illinis, vs. Penn State, vs. Purdue and at Minnesota following the bye week.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

What are we going to eat: Hawkeyes plan on Badger meat

The Battle of the Heartland Trophy today at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa.

Iowa Hawkeyes (4-3, 1-2 Big Ten)
Wisconsin Badgers (3-3, 0-3 Big Ten)

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz vs. former Iowa player/assisitant and now Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema, with Bielema going for third straight over his alma mater.

Last year, Iowa competed well at Wisconsin, but the more consistent offense and strong Badger team won 17-13 in the four quarters of play. Wisconsin's QB Tyler Donovan, who lead the Badgers to 2-0 the past two years vs. Iowa has graduated.

Iowa's offesne in '07 was the weakest in the Big Ten. The return of RB Shonn Greene and the elevation of QB Ricky Stanzi to starter has improved Iowa vastly over the '07 edition. Wisconsin's offense has been inconsistent in '08.

Finding a QB has been important for both programs in '08. It appears Iowa has found one in Ricky Stanzi. Wisconsin has been inconsistent with Allan Evridge under center, so will it be Everidge or will Dustin Sherer make his first start. Tyler Donovan's first start was at Iowa, two years ago, leading the Badgers to a 24-21 win over Iowa to close out Iowa's Big Ten season at Kinnick.

Run defense has been good for Iowa this season. Special teams overall have improved.
The Badgers can't be taken lightly, especially with the Heartland Trophy on the line. But, with questions at QB, a young coach (third season, but a season where more of his talent must shine), and some inexperience at key positions, like at kicker and punter, on the road... conventional wisdom favors the home team.
Field position, run defense, miscues and turnovers will be huge in this game. In many ways, other than the game being in Iowa City, the game may be more of a toss up. Does a disappointing off the field distraction hurt Iowa? Off the field distractions hurt Iowa vs. Western Michigan in '07, so does Iowa keep it's focus?

Iowa Hawkeyes 20
Wisconsin Badgers 13


Iowa State hosts Nebraska in Ames for a Big 12 Showdown

The head coaches have limited experience in this series, since Iowa State coach Gene Chizik is entering his 2nd season and Nebraska coach Bo Pellini is in his first year as head coach, after serving as DC in '03.

Iowa State has beat Nebraska two out of the last three in Ames:

2002: ISU won 36-14
2004: ISU won 34-27
2006: UNL won 28-14
2008: To be determined today

Nebraska enters the game 3-3 (0-2 Big 12), while Iowa State is 2-4 (0-2 Big 12). Last year, ISU was 1-5 at this point in the season, so a little progress has been seen in Chizik's second season.

This is a very important game for both programs, especially ISU, working to gain some more positive momentum under Chizik. Nebraska is on a three game losing streak, while Iowa State is on a four game skid.

Nebraska played well at Top 25 Texas Tech last week, but lost in OT with an anti-climatic turnover on offense. Iowa State was blown out at Baylor.

Iowa State 30
Nebraska 28


Friday, October 17, 2008

Discipline at the Unversity of Illinois of a football player

Illinois' Eddie McGee, a sophomore, won't be suspended for incident at African-American Homecoming Dance.

Should one consider it odd that there is a Homecoming Dance in the name of a particular race at the University of Illinois? Is the reference taken out of context?


The penalty for underage drinking, while on the Iowa Football team is 6 weeks

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz has suspended another player from Iowa Hawkeye football team. This time it will be even more personal, since it is his son, freshman James Ferentz.

Six weeks is the rest of the regular season for the young freshman. PAULA or underage drinking is a severe punishment at the University of Iowa, for members of the football team that is.

A reserve player, sophomore Dezman Moses, is currently serving a six week suspension for an alcohol offense.

The punishment at the University of Iowa is clearly ironic, when you consider the movement by over 100 college institutions for lower the age. Is lowering the drinking age the right move? Groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving are against a change. But, they may want to simply remove all drinking?


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The impact of firing a College Football coach midseason

Clemson University pulls the plug on Tommy Bowden this week. The mid-season impact on the team, coaching staff and some in the fan base will be hard felt.

The SEC is an interesting animal and speculation will begin on who is next. The Hot Seat may be getting hotter at Auburn and Tennessee now that Clemson got Tommy Bowden to step down in mid-season.

As the writer points out, change isn't always better. Nebraska dearly saw that with the hiring of Bill Callahan post-Frank Solich.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I want to talk to Ken O'Keefe now Coach

Apparently when The Gazette's Jim Ecker wants to talk to one of Iowa's assistant coaches... it should be on Ecker's schedule and not coach Kirk Ferentz's schedule. Today, Ecker wrote a column piece referenced as "Hawkeye fans would love to hear from O'Keefe."

Ironically, Iowa City Press-Citizen sports columnist Pat Harty reflected on Ecker's piece in an article referenced as "Get facts straight before attacking coach." One point Harty points out is Ferentz has indicated already that during the bye week, which is after this week's Wisconsin game, Iowa's coordinators would be made available for interviews.

I guess Ecker wants his "15 minutes of fame" with coach Ken O'Keefe now. And, for Ecker, he means right now.

Coach Ferentz is available for questions with the media. As head coach, at today's media conference he stated the following...

"I'll give you an explanation on how I do things. First and foremost, when I
hire a coach, the number one thing I'm looking for are good people; secondly,
guys that are good teachers; thirdly, and it kind of goes along with teaching, I
think we want people that really do a nice job with young people and care about
young people and really are coaching for those reasons, looking out for the best
interest of their players.

And not at all on my criteria list is media savvy. I just don't even rank
that. But that being said, Norm and Ken would do a far better job at these
Tuesdays with the media outings than I would. I promise you'd enjoy those guys a
lot more. And I think that's probably true of most of our staff."

Ecker's reputation with the Iowa program is questionable at best. His recent piece on the State of the Iowa State program appears premature, after ISU's hard loss at Baylor on Saturday night. Now, it appears Ecker is premature on the Iowa media access of the coaching staff. It sounds like Ecker should look at his spam... often there are plenty of cures for premature problems found in a person's spam. Now, we need to find a way to filter Ecker and his articles.


Iowa State to play Service Academies in the future...

Iowa State will host Nebraska this weekend in a Big 12 football game, but in the future, the OOC schedule will include Army, Air Force and Navy.


Heatland Trophy Game: Iowa vs. Wisconsin this Saturday

It should be an interesting chess match between Iowa's coach Kirk Ferentz and Wisconsin's coach Bret Bielema. Iowa enters the game in the 7th place with a 1-2 record in the Big Ten. Wisconsin is tied for the cellar at 0-3.

Actually, the coaching staff will be involved in an interesting chess match.

Both fan bases have had their frustration at times with their respective coaching staffs. Both teams have experienced issues at quarterback this season.

In many ways, this game is a battle of youth vs. experience in the coaching staffs.

Iowa's defensive coordinator is Norm Parker, a wise veteran, who has experienced success at two conference schools. While, Bret Bielema cut ties with his defensive coordinator from '07 and promoted a younger man for the job this season. Some of the challenges on the defensive side for Wisconsin could be attributed to youth in the coaching staff.

On the field, both Iowa and Wisconsin are young at various positions.

Iowa has lost two straight to Wisconsin. Last year's game was a a close battle, but Wisconsin really controlled the game.

It will be interesting to see how the first quarter goes for each team. Iowa just ended a three game losing streak with an important road win at Indiana, 45-9, this past weekend. On the flip side, Wisconsin is on a three game losing streak highlighted this past weekend by a 7-48 loss at home to my #2 team in the nation, Penn State.

This is a huge game for Iowa, since a bye week will follow this weekend's game with Wisconsin. The Badgers likely want to get the losing ways out of their system too.


Monday, October 13, 2008

This Week in the Big Ten Conference

Big Ten standings

Team Conf. All
1. Penn State 3-0 7-0
1. Michigan State 3-0 6-1
1. Ohio State 3-0 6-1
4. Minnesota 2-1 6-1
5. Northwestern 1-1 5-1
5. Michigan 1-1 2-4
7. Iowa 1-2 4-3
7. Illinois 1-2 3-3
9. Purdue 0-2 2-4
10. Wisconsin 0-3 3-4
10. Indiana 0-3 2-4

Week 7 Results
Iowa 45, Indiana 9
Minnesota 27, Illinois 20
Toledo 13, Michigan 10
Ohio State 16, Purdue 3
Michigan State 37, Northwestern 20
Penn State 48, Wisconsin 7

Week 8 Games
Wisconsin at Iowa, 11 a.m.
Purdue at Northwestern, 11 a.m.
Ohio State at Michigan State, 2:30 p.m.
Michigan at Penn State, 3:30 p.m.
Indiana at Illinois, 7 p.m.
Minnesota is idle


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Iowa beats Indiana 45-9... Next up: Wisconsin at Kinnick

A little photo from the physical game that Iowa at Indiana was on Saturday. This picture from the Indianapolis Star shows how physical the game Iowa RB Shonn Greene faces at times.
By the way, there was no penalty on the play.

Week 7 in the books: Who's #1 after many solid teams have 1 loss now?

More and more teams have passed or have hit the half way point of the 2008 College Football season right now. We have some very good one loss teams in '08. Another week of upsets of Top 10 teams during Week 7, with #1 LSU, #2 Oklahoma, and #6 Missouri losing games, against Top 20 opponents or better, no less.

So, who really is #1 in College Football?

Teams like Ohio State, Georgia, Southern Cal, Oklahoma, Florida, Missouri, West Virginia, Clemson and Louisiana State were all supposed to be Top 10 teams. Some clearly are, but all nine of these teams have lost already in '08.

No ACC teams are undefeated overall. Wake Forest (2-0), in the Atlantic Division, and Virginia Tech (2-0), in the Coastal Division, are the only two undefeated teams in the ACC.

The Big 12 has three undefeated teams, all from the Big 12 South: Texas (6-0), Texas Tech (6-0) and Oklahoma State (6-0)... they are all 2-0 to lead the South. Kansas (2-0) in the Big 12 North leads the soft side.

No Big East teams are undefeated overall. Pittsburgh and West Virginia lead the Big East at 2-0, with UConn and Cincinnati, both 1-0, and also in control of their Big East future.

The Big Ten has one undefeated team overall, with Penn State at 7-0. The Big Ten race is a three-way tie at 3-0 with Penn State, Michigan State and Ohio State.

Conference USA has one undefeated team overall at 6-0, Tulsa. Marshall (2-0) leads the East Division, while Tulsa and UTEP are both 3-0 to lead the West Division, while Houston is 2-0 and still in control of their future as well.

No major independents are undefeated.

Only one MAC team is undefeated overall at 7-0, Ball State. Though, Western Michigan leads to West Division at 4-0, with Ball State and Central Michigan at 3-0, but still in very good position. The East Division is lead by Bowling Green at 1-1... everyone else has at least 2 conference losses in the division.

The Mountain West has two undefeated teams overall, with Utah at 7-0 and BYU 6-0 overall on the season. Utah and TCU are 3-0 to lead conference play in MWC, while BYU is 2-0.

The Pacific 10 doesn't have an overall team undefeated. California leads the conference at 2-0, but two other teams are 3-1, so the race is very early to consider Cal a front runner, in a conference where each team plays a true round robin, 9 game conference slate.

The SEC has only one team undefeated overall... surprise, surprise, since it's Alabama. Coach Nick Saban's Alabama team is 6-0 right now. In conference play, Alabama is 3-0 to lead the West Division, while Florida and Vanderbilt lead to East Division at 3-1, with Georgia at 2-1.

The Sun Belt doesn't have any undefeated teams overall. Troy and Arkansas State are 2-0 to lead the Sun Belt early in conference play.

The WAC has one team undefeated overall at 5-0, Boise State. In conference play, San Jose leads the WAC at 2-0, while Boise State and New Mexico State are 1-0 early in WAC play.

This Week's Top 25 (Week 7):
  1. Texas Longhorns (6-0, 2-0 Big 12) - Earn the #1 ranking after a solid 45-35 win in the Red River Rivalry Game over former #2 Oklahoma (5-1, 1-1 Big 12). Next up: vs. #13 Missouri (5-1, 1-1 Big 12) - it doesn't get easier for the Longhorn defense... with the Tigers coming to Austin.
  2. Penn State Nittany Lions (7-0, 3-0 Big Ten) - The Nittany Lions picked up an important road win at Wisconsin (3-3, 0-3 Big Ten) 48-7. Next up: vs. Michigan (2-4, 1-1 Big Ten) for Homecoming at a very Happy Valley!
  3. Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0, 3-0 SEC) - Perfect timing for a bye week in Week 7 with 3 of the Top 6 going down? Next up: vs. Mississippi (3-3, 1-2) in SEC West play.
  4. Southern Cal Trojans (4-1, 2-1 Pac 10) - Yes, they have one loss, but how many teams are truly better than the Trojans? Week 7 win 28-0 at home vs. Arizona State (2-4, 1-2 Pac Ten). Next up: at Washington State (1-6, 0-4 Pac 10) - look for a better trip to the Pacific Northwest in this game.
  5. Florida Gators (5-1, 3-1 SEC) - The Gators punish the defending BCS champs former #1 LSU Tigers (4-1, 2-1 SEC) 51-21 in the Swamp. Next up: Bye Week to prep for Homecoming game vs. Kentucky.
  6. Brigham Young Cougars (6-0, 2-0 MWC) - The Cougars win their Homecoming game in the MWC game vs. New Mexico (3-4, 1-2 MWC) 21-3 to continue their undefeated ways! Next up: at #25 TCU (6-1, 3-0 MWC) on Thursday night in a key MWC game.
  7. Georgia Bulldogs (5-1, 2-1 SEC) - Bulldogs win important home SEC game over Tennessee (2-4, 0-3 SEC) 26-14. Next up: vs. # 17 Vanderbilt (5-1, 3-1 SEC) in what may become a very dangerous match up for a Homecoming game.
  8. Oklahoma Sooners (5-1, 1-1 Big 12) - Coach Bob Stoops has to rebound after the Sooners fall 35-45 in the Red River Rivalry for the first time, since '06, to former #4 Texas (6-0, 2-0 Big 12). Next up: vs. #19 Kansas (5-1, 2-0) for home test on Homecoming.
  9. LSU Tigers (4-1, 2-1 SEC) - The Tigers failed a major test at former #12 Florida (5-1, 3-1 SEC) 21-51. Next up: at South Carolina (5-2, 2-2 SEC) in another SEC road test.
  10. Ohio State Buckeyes (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten) - The Buckeyes win a 16-3 business like type game vs. Purdue (2-4, 0-2 Big Ten) at home. Next up: at Michigan State (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten) in major road test for defending Big Ten champions.
  11. Utah Utes (7-0, 3-0 MWC) - The Utes win at Wyoming (2-5, 0-4 MWC) 40-7 to remain undefeated for the season. Next up: vs. Colorado State (3-3, 1-1 MWC).
  12. Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-0, 2-0 Big 12) - Cowboys finish out tough Big 12 road test with win over former #6 Missouri (5-1, 1-1 Big 12) 28-23 in Columbia. Next up: vs. Baylor (3-3, 1-1 Big 12) for Homecoming game.
  13. Missouri Tigers (5-1, 1-1 Big 12) - Coach Gary Pinkel will have to regroup the troops quickly after losing Big 12 home opener 23-28 to former #17 Oklahoma State (6-0, 2-0 Big 12). Next up: at #1 Texas (6-0, 2-0 Big 12) in Austin.
  14. Virginia Tech Hokies (5-1, 2-0 ACC) - Bye week for the Hokies in Week 7 to prepare for key back to back road tests at Boston College (4-1, 1-1 ACC) and then, at Florida State (4-1, 1-1 ACC), in the next 2 weeks in ACC play.
  15. Texas Tech Red Raiders (6-0, 2-0 Big 12) - Overcame test in OT game with Nebraska (3-3, 0-2 Big 12) with a 37-31 win at home in the Big 12 home opener. Next up: at Texas A&M (2-4, 0-2 Big 12).
  16. Boise State Broncos (5-0, 1-0 WAC) - The Broncos win 24-7 in OOC road test at Southern Miss (2-4, 0-2 C-USA). Next up: vs. Hawaii (3-3, 2-1 WAC) in key Friday night WAC game.
  17. Vanderbilt Commodores (5-1, 3-1 SEC) - Commodores are knocked off at Mississippi State (2-4, 1-2 SEC) 14-17 with another big test on the road next. Next up: at #7 Georgia (5-1, 2-1 SEC).
  18. South Florida Bulls (5-1, 0-1 Big East) - Bye week for the Bulls to regroup after disappointing loss to Pitt (4-1, 2-0 Big East) at home in Week 6. Next up: vs. Syracuse (1-5, 0-2 Big East), after b2b losses for Orange to both co-leaders of Big East.
  19. Kansas Jayhawks (5-1, 2-0 Big 12) - The Jayhawks win Big 12 home opener 30-14 over Colorado (3-3, 0-2 Big 12) to take lead in Big 12 North race. Next up: at #8 Oklahoma (5-1, 1-1 Big 12) in key road test.
  20. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-1, 2-0 ACC) - Won 12-7 vs. Clemson (3-3, 1-2 ACC) in an important ACC game. Next up: at Maryland (4-2, 1-1 ACC).
  21. Michigan State Spartans (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten) - The Spartans are off to great start under second year coach Mark Dantonio in the Big Ten with a solid 37-20 road win at Northwestern (5-1, 1-1 Big Ten). Next up: vs. #10 Ohio State (6-1, 3-0) at East Lansing.
  22. North Carolina Tar Heels (5-1, 1-1 ACC) - Tar Heels pick up solid OOC home win vs. Notre Dame (4-2) 29-24. Next up: at Virginia (3-3, 1-1 ACC) to return to conference play this week.
  23. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (6-0, 3-0 C-USA) - The Golden Hurricane pick up 37-31 road win in C-USA at SMU (1-6, 0-4 C-USA) to remain unbeaten in '08. Next up: vs. UTEP (3-3, 3-0 C-USA) in key C-USA Division battle for division lead.
  24. Ball State Cardinals (7-0, 3-0 MAC) - Ball State won OOC game at Western Kentucky (2-5) 24-7 to remain undefeated in '08. Next up: Bye Week in Week 8 to prepare for Eastern Michigan (2-5, 1-2 MAC) in Week 9.
  25. TCU Horned Frogs (6-1, 3-0 MWC) - Yes, a 13-7 road win at Colorado State (3-3, 1-1 MWC) isn't very sexy, but the Horned Frogs are 3-0 and in a position to cause some major damage in the non-BCS strong MWC. The lone loss was at #8 OU. Next up: vs. #6 BYU (6-0, 2-0 MWC) on Thursday night in a huge MWC game.

Team Out of the Top 25 after Week 7 - Auburn Tigers (4-3, 2-3 SEC).

Teams to Watch: Two teams coming off bye weeks are Pittsburgh (4-1, 2-0 Big East) and California (4-1, 2-0 Pac 10)... another win this week may put one or both into the Top 25, but they don't deserve a Top 25 ranking coming off a bye week.

Game to Watch: The Iowa Hawkeyes (4-3, 1-2 Big Ten) hosts Wisconsin Badgers (3-3, 0-3 Big Ten) in battle of the Heartland Trophy at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday. Both teams are off to very slow starts in '08 and need this key Big Ten match up to salvage season.


Texas gets it done over Oklahoma in Red River Rivalry

Mission Accomplished!

I guess Texas has a pretty good team in '08. How far they go is yet to be determined, but teams that have solid quarterback play, a strong offensive and defensive line are teams that always deserve some respect, even from OU fans.

Texas Tech gets it done too. But, who have they really played to date? Nebraska isn't a strong program and to coach Bo Pelini's credit... the Cornhuskers were close to finishing a key road test.

Oklahoma State beats Missouri in Columbia. I certainly haven't given Okie State the props they deserve with a great start in '08.

The Big 12 Conference will likely see some teams beat up on one another from here on out.


Iowa rebounds in Bloomington with 45-9 win; ends 3 game slide

The Iowa Hawkeyes (4-3, 1-2 Big Ten) win all three phases of the game (offense, defense, special teams) in putting together 45-9 win over Indiana (2-4, 0-3 Big Ten) in Bloomington, Indiana. After three straight losses, totaling nine points, Iowa eliminates all turnovers and took control in the second half, after a 17-9 first half performance.

First year starting quarterback, sophomore Ricky Stanzi, turned in his finest performance, especially in the second half. Iowa's running game, lead by a strong Hawkeye offensive line, saw a less than 100% Shonn Greene continue his 100 yard performances (7 for 7 this season), while true freshman Jewell Hampton compiled his first 100 yard performance as a Hawkeye in his home-state game.

Indiana was dominated in all three phases of the game. Iowa took advantage of inferior line play by the Hoosiers. What was a difference in IU's upset of Iowa in '07 at Kinnick Stadium, was missing this year. IU couldn't keep Iowa out of the backfield on offense and couldn't find a push on defense.

Iowa still has work to do, as they will see their schedule get tougher next week and in the final 4 games of the Big Ten season, after a bye week. Wide receiver Andy Brodell and tight end Brandon Myers have been Stanzi's go-to players. But, Iowa needs to see the passing game continue to mature and grow, others in the passing game need to step up.

Momentum favored Iowa in the second half, with IU quarterback Kellen Lewis's ankle injury. The real difference in the game was the line play on both sides of the field. The Hoosiers decline in '08 is clearly due to poor line play, which is one of the major differences between success by Iowa during the Fry and Ferentz eras.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Iowa's Kirk Ferentz heads to Bloomington in 150th game as Iowa's head coach

Can Iowa overcome the costly miscues, penalties and turnovers that have helped fuel Iowa's three game losing streak? Iowa (3-3, 0-2) heads to Bloomington, Indiana to face IU (2-3, 0-2) in Big Ten play today.

Iowa finds a way to break through the wall and break the rock at IU.

Iowa 24
IU 13

On another beautiful autumn day in the Heartland of the USA!


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

6 Weeks into the 2008 College Football Season

Here's may updated Top 25 College Football teams:

  1. LSU Tigers (4-0, 2-0 SEC) - Defending BCS champs come off bye week to face #12 Florida this weekend!

  2. Oklahoma Sooners (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) - Red River Rivalry between #4 Texas (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) this weekend, after 49-17 win at Baylor (2-3, 0-1 Big 12) to open Big 12 play.

  3. Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0, 3-0 SEC) - A 17-14 win over Kentucky (4-1, 0-1 SEC) may have some concerned. Next up: Bye week for Week 6.

  4. Texas Longhorns (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) - Longhorns take momentum of 38-14 win at Colorado (3-2, 0-1 Big 12) to open Big 12 play into this weekend's Red River Rivalry with #2 OU (5-0, 1-0 Big 12).

  5. Penn State Nittany Lions (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten) - Nittany Lions 20-6 win at Purdue (2-3, 0-1 Big Ten) takes care of first Big Ten road test, with second test up next at former Top 25 Wisconsin (3-2, 0-2 Big Ten). PSU was supposed to be my Top 5 team, after Week 5... I'll correct it now!

  6. Missouri Tigers (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) - Coach Pinkel leads Tigers to 52-17 win at Nebraska (3-2, 0-1 Big 12) to open Big 12 play. Next up: vs. # 17 Oklahoma State (5-0, 1-0 Big 12). Top 5 offense, but by season's end... is it really a Top 5 defense...

  7. USC Trojans (3-1, 1-1 Pac 10) - Trojans take down former #21 Oregon (4-2, 2-1 Pac 10), but still, what happened at Oregon State? Next up: Arizona State (2-3, 1-1 Pac 10).
  8. Brigham Young Cougars (5-0, 1-0 MWC) - Cougars win at Utah State (1-4, 1-0 WAC) 34-14 in the other in-state battle. Next up: vs. New Mexico (3-3, 1-1 MWC).
  9. Georgia Bulldogs (4-1, 1-1 SEC) - Bye week allows Bulldogs to lick some wounds and get ready for date with Tennessee (2-3, 0-2 SEC).
  10. Ohio State Buckeyes (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten) - The Buckeyes take care of business 20-17 vs. rival and former #16 Wisconsin (3-2, 0-2 Big Ten) in Madison, no less. Next up: vs. Purdue (2-3, 0-1 Big Ten).
  11. Utah Utes (6-0, 2-0 MWC) - The Utes pull off 31-28 win over Oregon State (2-3, 1-1 Pac 10), who were coming off upset win at home vs. USC. Next up: at Wyoming (2-4, 0-3 MWC).
  12. Florida Gators (4-1, 2-1 SEC) -Gators rebound with 38-7 road SEC win over Arkansas (2-3, 0-2 SEC). Next up: vs. #1 LSU (4-0, 2-0 SEC).
  13. Texas Tech Red Raiders (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) - Open Big 12 play with sound 58-28 road win at Kansas State (3-2, 0-1 Big 12). Next up: vs. Nebraska (3-2, 0-1 Big 12).
  14. Virginia Tech Hokies (5-1, 2-0 ACC) - Win OOC game vs. Western Kentucky (2-4) 27-13. Next Up: Week 6 Bye Week.
  15. Vanderbilt Commodores (5-0, 3-0 SEC) - Big SEC home win 14-13 over former # 11 Auburn Tigers (4-2, 2-2 SEC). Next up: at Mississippi State (1-4, 0-2 SEC).
  16. Boise State Broncos (4-0, 1-0 WAC) - Open WAC with solid 38-3 win vs. Louisiana Tech (2-2, 0-1 WAC). Next up: at Southern Mississippi (2-3, 0-2 C-USA).
  17. Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) - The Cowboys open Big 12 play with 56-28 home win over Texas A&M (2-3, 0-1 Big 12). Next up: at #6 Missouri (5-0, 1-0 Big 12).
  18. South Florida Bulls (5-1, 0-1 Big East) - USF will have to regroup after 21-26 loss in the Big East opener to Pittsburgh (4-1, 2-0 Big East) at home. Next up: Bye week to regroup Week 6.
  19. Auburn Tigers (4-2, 2-2 SEC) - Tough road loss 13-14 at then # 18 Vanderbilt (5-0, 3-0 SEC). Next up: vs. Arkansas (2-3, 0-2 SEC).
  20. Kansas Jayhawks (4-1, 1-0 Big 12) - Jayhawks avoid a road upset at Iowa State (2-3, 0-1 Big 12), with 35-33 win coming from behind a 0-20 halftime deficit. Next up: vs. Colorado (3-2, 0-1 Big 12).
  21. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-1, 1-0 ACC) - Demon Deacons lick their wounds from disappointing OOC loss to Navy (4-2) during bye week. Next up: Clemson (3-2, 1-1 ACC).
  22. Michigan State Spartans (4-1, 2-0 Big Ten) - Spartans pull off important home win over Iowa (3-3, 0-2 Big Ten) 16-13. Next up: at Northwestern (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten).
  23. North Carolina Tar Heels (4-1, 1-1 ACC) - UNC knocked off former #24 Connecticut (5-1, 1-0 Big East) 38-12 at home. Next up: vs. Notre Dame (4-1).
  24. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (5-0, 2-0 C-USA) - The Golden Hurricane nail Rice (3-3, 2-1 C-USA) 63-28 in important C-USA game. Next up: at SMU (1-5, 0-3 C-USA).
  25. Ball State Cardinals (6-0, 3-0 MAC) - The Cardinals blank Toledo (1-4, 1-1 MAC) on the road to earn a Top 25 birth. Next up: Eastern Michigan (2-4, 1-2 MAC).

Teams Out of the Top 25 after Week 6 - Wisconsin Badgers (3-2, 0-2 Big Ten), Fresno State Bulldogs (3-2), Oregon Ducks (4-2, 2-0 Pac Ten), Connecticut Huskies (5-1, 1-0 Big East).

Team to Watch: Northwestern (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) - Best start since 1962, coming off bye week, after opening Big Ten schedule with solid road win at Iowa 22-17.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Iowa: 3-3 (0-2) after 13-16 loss in East Lansing

The Iowa Hawkeyes have lost three straight, by an average 3 points, after a 1 point loss at Pitt, 5 point loss vs. Northwestern, and now, a 3 point loss at Michigan State. Is Iowa the best 3-3 team in the land, as some Iowa fans would like to suggest?

Turnovers are killing Iowa.

The defense has stopped the run. The offense has helped block for Shonn Greene, who has ran for 100-yards in each of Iowa's six games, so far, this season. But, turnovers and miscues have placed Iowa tied for last in the Big Ten standings, after two weeks of conference play.

Big Ten standings

School Conf. All Games
1. Penn State 2-0 6-0
1. Michigan State 2-0 5-1
1. Ohio State 2-0 5-1
4. Northwestern 1-0 5-0
4. Minnesota 1-1 5-1
4. Illinois 1-1 3-2
4. Michigan 1-1 2-3
8. Purdue 0-1 2-3
9 Wisconsin 0-2 3-2
9. Iowa 0-2 3-3
9. Indiana 0-2 2-3

Saturday's Results

Michigan State 16, Iowa 13
Penn State 20, Purdue 7
Minnesota 16, Indiana 7
Illinois 45, Michigan 20
Ohio State 20, Wisconsin 17
Northwestern was idle.

Next Saturday's Games
Iowa at Indiana, 11 a.m.
Minnesota at Illinois, 11 a.m.
Toledo at Michigan, 11 a.m.
Purdue at Ohio State, 2:30 p.m.
Michigan State at Northwestern, 2:30 p.m.
Penn State at Wisconsin, 7 p.m.

Iowa appears capable of making some noise, before the season is over. But, will they turn the ship soon enough?

The coaching staff has put Iowa in a position to be competitive every game, thus far. But, the Hawkeyes need to find a way to complete games. Further, turnovers and shooting one's foot over the 60 minute games doesn't aid the effort.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Iowa looks to rebound this week in East Lansing vs. MSU

The Iowa Hawkeyes haven't won in East Lansing, since their 21-7 win to open the 1995 Big Ten season, under coach J Hayden Fry. Iowa RB Sedrick Shaw had a great game running the ball on the Spartan defense.

Today, Iowa has lost back to back games at Pitt and vs. Northwestern to move to 3-2 on the season, 0-1 in the Big Ten. Michigan State is 4-1 and 1-0 in the Big Ten. Iowa is lead by RB Shonn Greene, while Michigan State is lead by RB Javon Ringer.

Can Iowa get the ball rolling and pull on their first victory in East Lansing in 13 years. Is 13 the lucky number for Iowa today? Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz has never won in East Lansing as a head coach. It is one of two Big Ten venues that the Hawkeyes have been shutout in, in respect to victories.

Which defense will step up to the challenge first? Special teams appear to favor Michigan State. Iowa, under coach Ferentz, depends on solid special teams to fuel the Hawkeyes, especially on the road. A shoot out would appear to favor the Spartans, while a close game may give the Hawkeyes an opportunity, though the Hawkeyes have come up short the past two games, losing each game this year, due to offensive shortcomings.Iowa is capable of pulling off the upset. MSU may breakout today, with Iowa as a victim.

Iowa 16
MSU 17

Iowa comes up short... for the third straight week in 2008, ouch!