Thursday, January 29, 2009

Drainage problem at Kinnick Stadium may lead to U of Iowa installing Synthetic Surface

Prescription Athletic Turf (natural grass) vs. a Synthetic Surface for historic Kinnick Stadium for the University of Iowa. Iowa installed the PAT in 1989, but with drainage problems, a move to Synthetic Surface is being eyed by the athletic department.

What direction with the University of Iowa go, in this tough economic climate? Could natural grass be leaving Kinnick for the second time in the stadium's history?


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Super Bowl XLIII - Pittsburgh (AFC) vs. Arizona (NFC)

We countdown to Super Bowl 43 . With Iowa's native son, Kurt Warner, starting QB for the Arizona Cardinals facing the Pittsburgh Steelers, it should make for some interesting story lines for this year's Super Bowl.

Super Bowl history.... from last year's 17-14 New York Giants win to Super Bowl I and the Green Bay Packers!

Computer simulation projects a Steelers win 20-14 - USA Today
Another close game would be outstanding for the Super Bowl and it's viewers. We can't just live on commercials can we on February 1?

Is Hall of Fame in Warner’s future? - Vancouver Sun,
Kurt Warner clearly appears to be on his way into the Hall of Fame... but, you never want to count your chickens until they hatch.

NFL: Super Bowl security to be tight in Tampa - The Associated Press

Super Bowl Ben thanks his wife - Melbourne Herald Sun


Sunday, January 25, 2009

January 25, 2009 - One Week from Super Bowl XLIII

Leaving church this morning, I visited briefly with a women, who like me was heading out to her car... I commented about the weather and said hello, her initial response was...

"What are we going to do with no football?"

So, I asked her who she was rooting for for the Super Bowl? She said, "I am University of Northern Iowa graduate." We didn't' have to say anymore about that one.

I have always enjoyed the Pittsburgh Steelers back during the 1970s and early 1980s under coach Chuck Noll. But, as a Cedar Rapidian and Iowan, I have to go with the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII (that's 43, if you don't know your Roman numerals). After all, Arizona starting QB Kurt Warner is a native of Iowa, a Cedar Rapids Regis graduate (now a middle school) and one-year starter for the University of Northern Iowa Panthers (now home of my oldest).div>

What are we going to do with no football?

I'll leave that for another day, since we have college football signing day approaching in early February. And, we still have the game of the year in professional football next Sunday. Let's welcome in Super Bowl XLIII week tomorrow.

Today, I'll relax with some classical music and the arts tonight.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January 20, 2009 - Three Big Ten teams "crack early '09 Top 25" in Football

Today's Stewart Mandel's INSIDE COLLEGE FOOTBALL column is titled "An early crack at an '09 top 25" has three Big Ten teams listed. However, at this point, no Big Ten teams are in the Top 10 for 2009 in College Football per Mandel.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

January 8, 2009 - BCS National Championship Game

The Florida Gators (12-1) meet the Oklahoma Sooners (12-1) in the 2008 season's finale... the 2009 BCS National Championship Game. The SEC looks to make it three straight in the BCS title game. The Big 12's top team or at least the team selected by rule stand the Gators way.

Florida won every game, with the exception of a game vs. Mississippi at home. Texas beat OU in the Red River Shootout, so something will give tonight.

Both coaches, Florida's Urban Meyer (2006 season) and Oklahoma's Bob Stoops (2000 season) have one BCS title apiece. Who gets number 2 tonight?

Cidsports' prediction for the BCS National Championship Game:

Florida Gators 31

Oklahoma Sooners 28


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Football coaching changes: One fired for looking; one likely hired

Finally, a university gets tough with a football coach looking elsewhere...

nytimes Boston College Fires Coach After Jets Interview

So much, for all the worry about Kirk Ferentz of Iowa heading to the Cleveland Browns...

usnews AP source: Browns to hire Eric Mangini as coach


January 7, 2009 - The Day After

The Northern Iowa Panthers ended an 11 game losing streak in Omaha and a eight game losing steak to the Creighton Jays last night, after the 69-66 win at the Qwest Center Omaha.

Congratulations to the Panthers in getting the monkey off their back.

Hopefully, the Jays will get the return game in Cedar Falls on February 8, 2009, when the two teams meet again.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tulsa beats Ball State in the GMAC Bowl

The final bowl game was held tonight prior to the BCS Championship Game set for Thursday, January 8, 2009.

2009 GMAC Bowl results:

Tulsa defeated Ball State 45-13 Box Score Recap.

Ball State finishes on a two game losing streak as the C-USA team defeats the MAC opponent. Tough bowl season for the MAC and Big Ten conferences from the Midwest.


January 6, 2009 - Possible Iowa FB assistant candidate for job at Alabama

Noticed tonight from The Gazette's Marc Morehouse: Iowa RC and LB coach Eric Johnson

marcmorehouse Iowa assistant getting a look by 'Bama?

Could Iowa be looking to replace another assistance coach after the 2008 season? After the 2007 season, veteran running back coach Carl Jackson retired from the Iowa football staff. After the 2006 season, defensive line coach Ron Aiken moved onto the NFL Arizona Cardinals.


Monday, January 5, 2009

January 5, 2009: Fiesta Bowl and News of note

2009 Fiesta Bowl: Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2) vs. Texas Longhorns (11-1)
We see Ohio State is a +8 point underdog in this third and final Big Ten vs. Big 12 match up in a 2008-09 bowl games.

Experience would clearly be with Mack Brown's Longhorns at quarterback, with junior Colt McCoy, vs. Jim Tressel's Buckeyes at quarterback, freshman Terrelle Pryor. In the NFL, it clearly was the Arizona Cardinals beating the Atlanta Falcons, due to great part by the difference in experience at the quarterback position.

Ohio State's defense vs. Texas' offense... how much of a factor will defense play in this game? In the Rose Bowl, Penn State couldn't shutdown USC, until it was far too late. Does Ohio State have the offense to keep up with Texas?

Ohio State has won three of four Fiesta Bowls they have played in and only loss was to Penn State in the 1980/81 season. Still, Texas is the team to beat, but historically Ohio State plays the Big 12 far better than SEC bowl opponents. Frankly, Ohio State has never beat a SEC team in a bowl game. Will Texas be Ohio State's first loss to a current Big 12 opponent in a bowl game?

Cidsports' prediction for 2009 Fiesta Bowl

Ohio State 35

Texas 28

The Big Ten isn't going to finish 1-6 in bowl games this year are they? Is Iowa's 31-10 win over South Carolina the only win the Big Ten will have in the 2008-09 bowl season?

In other news, ESPN reports:

Packers fire 6 coaches, including D coordinator -


Sunday, January 4, 2009

January 4, 2009: Kirk Warner and Darren Sproles in the NFL playoffs

Yesterday in the NFL, it was nice to see former Cedar Rapids Regis prep and University of Northern Iowa QB Kirk Warner back in the NFL playoffs for the first time, since 2002.
Warner and his Arizona Cardinals' teammates pulled out the NFC Wild-Card game over the Atlanta Falcons 30-24 yesterday in Phoenix.

In the nightcap, the San Diego Chargers knocked off the visiting Indianapolis Colts and Payton Manning 23-17 in overtime.

Darren Sproles, born in Waterloo, Iowa; stepped in for an injured LaDainian Tomilinson, scored the winning touchdown in OT to move the Chargers to the next round of the NFL playoffs. Sproles was hot most of the night, though he had a few turnovers.

Amazing game, when you think about the Chargers 4-8 start this season to finish 8-8 in the regular season, then host the Colts, who were 12-4 on the regular season.

It was nice seeing the former Iowa guys on Saturday in the Colts-Chargers game. The Colts' TE Dallas Clark and S Bob Sanders, #21 in the Sproles picture above, and OG Mike Goff and PK Nate Kaeding for the Chargers.
Next up today, the AFC Wild-Card: Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins at 12 p.m central time on CBS, while in the night cap, in the NFL Wild-Card: Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings at 3:30 p.m. central time on FOX.

If today's games are anything like yesterday's games, the NFL playoffs should be off to a very good start. The playoffs should really heat up as they move to the Round of 8.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

January 3, 2009: College Football's Final Four

It certainly doesn't have the same flair as the NCAA Final 4 for college basketball, but we are down the the final four of college football games today of the 2008-09 bowl season. Over the next six days, four more games will be played, starting today with the International Bowl from Toronto, Canada.

2009 International Bowl: Connecticut (7-5) vs. Buffalo (8-5):

The fifth place Big East team, the UConn Huskies, will square off with the champions of the MAC title game, the Buffalo Bulls. UConn is playing in back-to-back bowl games in the school's history. Of course, they joined the FBS in 2002. Buffalo coach Turner Gill, in his 3Rd season as a head coach, is leading the Bulls to their first bowl game ever. UConn is 1-1 in bowl games and won the 2004 Motor City Bowl over a MAC opponent, Toledo 39-10.

Cidsports' prediciton for the 2009 International Bowl:
Connecticut 25
Buffalo 17
If you are going to have a post-January bowl game between a 7-5 and 8-5 team, I guess it is appropriate that the game is played outside the United States?
  • January 5, 2009: Texas (11-1) vs. Ohio State (10-2) in the Fiesta Bowl
  • January 6, 2009: Tulsa (10-3) vs. Ball State (12-1) in the GMAC Bowl
  • January 8, 2009: Oklahoma (12-1) vs. Florida (12-1) in the BCS Championship Game

Friday, January 2, 2009

January 2, 2009: Cotton, Liberty and Sugar Bowl games are on for today

It was a great start to the New Year yesterday enjoying the Outback and Rose Bowl games, along with parts of the Capital One, Gator and Orange Bowl games. Congratulations to Iowa and USC in very strong performances. Nebraska pulled on their second bowl win under coach Bo Pelini, the first was in 2003 as a interim coach. Georgia and Virginia Tech were both winners.

Today, we have the Cotton, Liberty and Sugar Bowl games up. The majority of bowl games are in the books, but three major BCS games are yet to be played, including the BCS Championship game.

The 2009 Cotton Bowl: Texas Tech (11-1) vs. Mississippi (8-4) in this Big 12 vs. SEC match up on FOX. The Texas Tech Red Raiders finished in a three-way tied for first in the Big 12 South, while the Mississippi Rebels second in the SEC West.

In the last five bowl games, Texas Tech's Mike Leach is 4-1. The lone loss, the Red Raiders lost 10-13 in the 2006 Cotton Bowl to Alabama, in the Big 12 vs. SEC match up. The Rebels are playing in their first bowl game, since the 2004 Cotton Bowl. By the way, the Rebels won 31-28, in the SEC vs. Big 12 match up, to Oklahoma State

Cidsports' prediction for the 2009 Cotton Bowl:

Texas Tech 27
Mississippi 33
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My prediction for the Liberty Bowl:
Kentucky 20
East Carolina 24
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My prediction for the Sugar Bowl:
Utah 24
Alabama 35
It was a great start to the 2009 year with the January 1 bowl games. The NHL enjoyed a little ice time at Wrigley Field and the College Basketball season is beginning to heat up as most conferences are beginning conference play. For example, the Creighton Bluejays are off to a 2-0 start with wins over Wichita State and Indiana State to open the 2008-09 Missouri Valley Conference basketball season.
Enjoy your first weekend of the New Year! T.G.I.F. to all!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Big Difference between Top Ten in FBS and the Top Five

Penn State and Ohio State... clearly not in the Top 5 for 2008. Will one or both finish in the Top 10? We will have to look at the body of work of all the bowl teams, after January 8Th to determine.

The Rose Bowl today clearly shows that USC is a Top Five team this year. If we had a +1 system, they would be in the conversation for the BCS Championship game under a +1 system. But, we don't have that in the current system.

We are Penn State... much better performance in the second half of the Rose Bowl! It is good to see the pride of the Nittany Lions appear.

Cheers and Happy New Year everyone! The current college football season ends in one week. For most programs, our thoughts are beginning for 2009. For a select few and a few small games outside the BCS, there is still some excitement to look forward to.


Is there a Top Ten team in FBS from the Big Ten?

Right now, we would rank Iowa above Penn State as a member of the Top 15 college football teams for the 2008 season. Penn State is a Top 15 team, but neither team is worthy of the Top Ten.

Throw out the season as a whole... Who are the Top 15 teams right now in College Football? Iowa beat Penn State in 2008 by the score of 24-23. Iowa did lose four games. They lost all four games by a total of 12 points. They clearly would match up with any of those teams right now. They started the season 3-3, but have rolled off six wins in seven games and are clearly playing better than Penn State right now.

Who are the Top Teams in College Football right now? Does the Big Ten close 2008 with a Top Ten team in the FBS?

USC is clearly a Top 5 team. Heck, head to head, they may be able to beat just about anyone with their combination of offense and defense. USC's only loss was at Oregon State, while Florida lost to Mississippi at home, no less.

The Big Ten clearly has one remaining candidate for the Top Ten this season. Ohio State will play Texas in the Fiesta Bowl on January 5Th.

Clearly, the BCS would benefit from changing to a +1 format, with traditional bowl ties and a final BCS Championship game to crown the best team. USC deserves the same opportunity as Texas to play Florida in the BCS Championship game.

Oklahoma will face Florida in the BCS Championship game on January 8Th, but USC may be making some believers for the final AP Poll, which doesn't consider only one game to determine their national champion.


Iowa takes the Outback To(night)day over South Carolina 31-10 to welcome New Year

As Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said, Iowa brought "great focus" to Tampa and executed vs. South Carolina in the 2009 Outback Bowl.

Mission accomplished! Iowa 31 South Carolina 10 in Tampa!

Iowa moves to 9-4 on the season, while South Carolina finishes 7-6, dropping coach Steve Spurrier to under .500 in bowl games and USC drops to below .500 in games played, after the 2009 Outback Bowl.

Iowa RB Shonn Greene won the Outback Bowl player of the game award with 121 yards and 3 touchdowns. He finishes the season with 13 100+ yards rushing for the season. The only player to rush for at least 100 yards in each ball game this season.

Post game, Iowa's band was playing "Hey Jude" in Tampa.

Kirk Ferentz finishes his tenth season at Iowa with a strong performance, losing four game by a total of 12 points during the season. A Ferentz coached Iowa team wins their second Outback Bowl in three games, completes their fifth January 1 bowl game in ten seasons with a strong 31-10 statement in Tampa.

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier has a lot of work to do in Columbia, SC to get the Gamecocks ready a SEC title run. It may never come.

It's great to be a Hawkeye!



Happy New Year 2009 everyone: Bring on the 2009 Outback Bowl and four others: Capital One, Gator, Rose & Orange

Bring in the New Year with a little College Football in 2009!

First up, the 2009 Outback Bowl: Iowa (8-4) vs. South Carolina (7-5) kicks off the New Year on ESPN. The Outback Bowl is a classic Big Ten vs. SEC match up.

The Iowa Hawkeyes, finished tied for fourth in the Big Ten in '08, while the South Carolina Gamecocks finished third in the SEC East. Iowa's coach Kirk Ferentz is 3-3 at Iowa in bowl games as head coach, 1-1 in the Outback Bowl. The Ole Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier for the Gamecocks, is 1-1 in bowl games, after returning to college football from the NFL experiment in '05. The Gamecocks are 4-9 lifetime in bowl games.

Neither team played in a bowl game during the 2007 season. Each team was bowl eligible at 6-6. We agree that the intangibles favor Iowa, since they are coming off a strong finish in '08.

Cidsports' prediction for the 2009 Outback Bowl:

Iowa 30
South Carolina 17

3 Keys to the Outback Bowl Game:
  1. Iowa junior RB Shonn Greene, Doak Walker award winner, vs. a South Carolina defense that gives up 129 yards per game
  2. Quarterback play: both teams have young quarterbacks: turnovers are always big in bowl games. Who plays a stronger game? Iowa's Ricky Stanzi, a sophomore, or South Carolina's Stephen Garcia, a redshirt freshman?
  3. Special teams - momentum and field position can always come up big in this phase of the game.

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While the 2009 Outback Bowl is in play, three more bowl games will kick off:

The 2009 Capital One Bowl: Georgia (9-3) vs. Michigan State (9-3) in another classic Big Ten vs. SEC match up on ABC. The Georgia Bulldogs finished second in the SEC East, while the Michigan State Spartans finished third in the Big Ten.

The running game plays a big role for both clubs. Bowl success is on the side of the Bulldogs. Both teams lost three games and both team lost to the top teams in their respective conferences.

Cidsports' Prediction in the 2009 Capital One Bowl:

Georgia 30

Michigan State 18

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The 2009 Gator Bowl: Clemson (7-5) vs. Nebraska (8-4) in a ACC vs. Big 12 match up on CBS. The Clemson Tigers finished tied for third in the ACC Atlantic Division and changed coaches in the middle of the season. The Nebraska Cornhuskers finished tied for first in the Big 12 North.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney won the coaching job permanently after leading the Tigers to four wins in the final five games, including three in a row. Nebraska coach Bo Pelini is in his first season, but his second bowl game, since Pelini served as interim coach for the Cornhuskers in the 2003 Alamo Bowl win for Nebraska.

Cidsports' Prediction for the 2009 Gator Bowl:

Clemson 27

Nebraska 21

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The Granddaddy of all Bowl games

The 2009 Rose Bowl: Penn State (11-1) vs. Southern California (11-1) in the traditional match up of the Rose Bowl, the Big Ten champion vs. the Pac 10 Champion, on ABC. The first BCS bowl game of the 2008-09 bowl season. Note to the BCS: implement a +1 system and allow the classic Rose Bowl every year.

The Penn State Nittany Lions and coach Joe Paterno suffered only one defeat in 2008. A 23-24 loss at Iowa on a final second field goal by the Hawkeyes. Like Penn State, the USC Trojans and coach Pete Carroll suffered only loss during the regular season in the Pac 10 conference opener. Again, on the road in the conference, for the Trojans it was a 21-27 loss at Oregon State. Ironically, the Beavers had lost to Penn State in Happy Valley earlier 14-45.

Defense does wins championship, so for the Rose Bowl title in 2009: defense should be the spotlight. Joe Paterno at 82 vs. Pete Carroll in eighth year at USC, the dean of consistency with seven straight BCS bowl games.

Cidsports' prediction for the 2009 Rose Bowl:

Penn State 19

USC 17

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The January 1, 2009 bowl line up concludes today with the 2009 Orange Bowl: Cincinnati (11-2) vs. Virginia Tech (9-4) in a BCS match up of the Big East champion vs. the ACC Champion, on FOX.

Cidsports' prediction for the 2009 Orange Bowl:

Cincinnati 26

Virginia Tech 24