Monday, July 27, 2009

There is a hint of College Football in the air at the Big Ten's Media Day in Chicago

The Big Ten Conference kicked of the official pre-season of college football with Media Day in Chicago with the gathering of all the Big Ten's coaches. Each coach was given 15 minutes in front of the media for Q&A, along with Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delaney.

The Media suggests the Top 3 in the Big Ten for '09:
  1. Ohio State Buckeyes - looking for fifth straight share or outright Big Ten title
  2. Penn State Nittany Lions -defending co-champions
  3. Michigan State Spartans - finished 6-2 in '08

Quotes from 2009 Big Ten Football Media Day

Big Ten Dish: Paterno brings old-school humor to media day
CHICAGO—Penn State coach Joe Paterno brought a new hip and a renewed spirit to the annual Big Ten media days. He also delivered with some old-school funny. ...

Big Ten media day updates -Chicago Tribune
Big Ten coaches will gather at the Hyatt Regency Chicago on Monday. We'll have updates all day. Monday: Coaches' news conferences, beginning with ...

Big Ten teams pushing for 12th game in December - USA Today
Notes, quotes from Day 1 of media days - ESPN
Big Ten Media Day: Iowa flies low -
Who's tops in the Big Ten? - Chicago Sun-Times
BCS tweak provides greater access to Rose Bowl - The Associated Press
Day one team-by-team wrap-up - Bucky's 5th Quarter
Iowa football hopes to keep late-season momentum going - Chicago Tribune
All sounds good with Jewel Hampton - College Fantasy Football Insider


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Iowa's Kirk Ferentz heads to Chicago for Big Ten Media Day

The Big Ten Conference will hold Media Day Monday, July 27, 2009 in Chicago. Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz will be there along with ten other conference head coaches. Kirk Ferentz will be bringing three Iowa seniors to the Media Day festivities. Joining Kirk Ferentz this week in Chicago will be TE Tony Moeaki and a pair of Iowa LBs, A.J. Edds and Pat Angerer.

2009 Big Ten Football Media Days - Big Ten Network
2 PM: Kirk Ferentz, Iowa. 2:30 PM: Jim Delany, Big Ten ... Join Big Ten Network for complete live coverage of Monday's Media Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET ...

No shortage of questions for Big Ten media days -Chicago Tribune
If that's true, it follows that the Big Ten is living in the Bronze Age. The conference of Woody and Bo hit a peak on Nov. 18, 2006. That's when No. ...
Buckeyes look like Big Ten's best again - Toledo Blade

Big Ten Game Preview: Iowa - Jeff Svoboda
As a result, King was a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten choice by the coaches and made the media's first team, while Kroul was on the media's second team. ...

Hello from my favorite city (I don't actually live in) - - David Jones
CHICAGO -- Just arrived for the Big Ten football media days kicking off tomorrow (Monday) morning at 11 EDT with Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald and ending ... - Big Ten Media Day arrives -

Big Ten Network Will Bring Coaches, Delany to Fans Live during Big ... - Big Ten Network
The Hawkeyes will host in-state foe Northern Iowa in the season opener for ... The network's coverage of Big Ten Media Days concludes with Commissioner James E. ... The network operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, showcasing a wide ...


Monday, July 20, 2009

University of Iowa announces completion of football coach Kirk Ferentz contract extention

Kirk Ferentz under contract with Hawkeyes until 2015 - The Gazette
Kirk Ferentz and the University of Iowa agreed on a contract extension in February.

Iowa's Ferentz signs 7-year deal -ESPN - Adam Rittenberg
Iowa Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz has signed his contract with the school after verbally agreeing to a seven-year deal back in February. ...

Hawkeyes officially extend Ferentz -Seattle Post Intelligencer
Iowa's Ferentz signs 7-year deal -The Associated Press
Ferentz signs contract extension through 2015 -

Monday's sports briefs -Minneapolis Star Tribune
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz has signed a seven-year contract that will keep him with the Hawkeyes through the 2015 season. Ferentz and the university agreed to ...

Update on the latest in sports: North Dakota News - KXMC
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz (FEHR'-ehnts) has signed a seven-year contract that will keep him with the Hawkeyes through 2015. ...


Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Sporting News College Football '09 - Buy or Sell?

Yes, I am a junkie when it comes to College Football preview magaizines. From Phil Steele to Athlon Sports to Lindy's to The Sporting News ... you can usually find a copy in my home by the time of August arrives each year. I even picked up Yahoo Sports preview magazine this season.

The Sporting News Top 10 -

  1. Florida
  2. Texas
  3. Oklahoma
  4. USC
  5. Ole Miss
  6. Virginia Tech
  7. Oregon
  8. LSU
  9. Ohio State
  10. Oklahoma State ... you can find the Top 25 on page 8.

Is Ron Dayne's picture on page 7 a suggestion that the 2009 season lacks a quality running back, since the Top 3 "knocking on the door" running backs in total yards rushing are from Southern Miss, Kent State and Arkansas State? It's been 10 years, since Ron Dayne ran at Wisconsin. Then again, it's been 10 years, since the Badgers won a Big Ten title. Like Wisconsin; Michigan State, Minnesota and Indiana are the only other schools in the Big Ten without at share of a Big Ten title in this decade.

Seeing Ole Miss and Oklahoma State in the Top 10 is interesting. Ole Miss is coming off a nice 47-34 win over Texas Tech in last year's Cotton Bowl. Oklahoma State is projected a little like last year's Texas Tech in the Big 12, but Oregon had the upper hand in the Holiday Bowl 42-31 over the Cowboys.

The Sporting News likes four non-BCS teams in the Top 25 ...

  • Boise State, #14
  • Utah, #19
  • BYU, #22
  • TCU, #24 ...
  • Heck, three of those four teams come from the MWC, more teams than the Big Ten in the Top 25 (OSU, PSU).

Page 10-11 has a nice article on two-time Heisman winner Archie Griffin. Could Tim Tebow or Sean Bradford join the list in '09, or could Colt McCoy or someone else emerge? To add a little excitement in College Football, hopefully someone else emerges.

Iowa's OT Brian Bulaga is listed a First Team all-American on page 13.

Will a ACC team finish better than 6-2 in Conference Play? - TSN says no!

In the ACC (page 18), The Sporting News likes #6 Virginia Tech in the Coastal, while # 17 Florida State is the team in the Atlantic. Four teams are ranked in the Top 25: VT, FSU, with two more Coastal teams with #11 Georgia Tech and #23 North Carolina. The ascending and decending programs are both found in the Atlantic, with N.C. State picked #2, while Boston College is expected to slide into #6 (cellar) with Frank Spaziani "the Eagles' third head coach in four years." Clemson is another program on the decline per TSN. Picked fourth in the Atlantic, behind Wake Forest. It looks like more work is needed to move Miami-FL upward.

Should the Big East be replaced by the MWC as a BCS conference? No Top 25 teams for Big East per TSN ...

TSN likes Pittsburgh in the Big East (page 36) and suggests they will ascend in '09. Kind of odd to see them mentioned as ascending, but not in the Top 25, since the Panthers finished two spots outside the final 2008 AP Poll at #27. The top ascending program in the Big East per TSN is Syracuse, though they are picked dead last in the conference for '09. The top team descending is West Virginia, but still picked #2 in the Big East by TSN in '09. The absence of a QB is the main reason, with Pat White headed to the NFL. Other teams decending in the Big East are Rutgers, Cincinnati and Louisville. The Bearcats return an established QB, but only one starter for their new 3-4 defense under new defensive coordinator and former Iowa LB Bobby Diaco.

The TSN's headline for the Big Ten: Look for a tight race, but there won't be any national championship rings

The Sporting News (page 48) picks #9 Ohio State to win their fifth straight Big Ten title (share or outright) in '09. Can't argue with the selection. TSN likes #12 Penn State #2 in the Big Ten, though, they see the Nittany Lions descending a bit. Again, can't argue with their choice. They like Michigan State ascending in '09, despite the loss at starting QB and RB from '08. TSN Forecast: "Even though Michigan State and Iowa both lost feature backs, each will develop a strong running game that keeps them near the top of the conference."

TSN likes Minnesota #8 as the top ascending program in the Big Ten in '09, while Wisconsin is the top team decending. "Quarterback problems are the beginning of the worries in Madison, as the talent level appears to have dropped." Purdue joins PSU and UW as teams descending in '09. The Big Ten Conference will likely get another team in the Top 25 in '09, but overall the TSN is reading the conference right.

TSN headline: Big 12 should keep college football fans across the nation well entertained

The Big 12 South (page 66) has three Top 10 teams and a fourth, #20 Texas Tech, in the Top 25. At least for now, the Big 12 North holds up a little with #25 Kansas leading the charge. TSN sees both Kansas and #2 Nebraska in the North as teams ascending, but has the Jayhawks jumping up ahead of the Cornhuskers in the North pecking order in '09, which is interesting since the Cornhusker finished ahead of KU in '08. The likely tiebreaker is a home win for KU head to head with UNL in '09?

The top ascending and descending teams come from the Big 12 South, respectively. #5 Baylor is the top ascending team and TSN projects the Bears to play in their first bowl game as a Big 12 team. The only Big 12 team who has never played in a bowl as a member of the Big 12. Texas Tech is the top descending program in '09. TSN said it was a "close vote" with Missouri, who along with Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas A&M are all on a descending track too per TSN. It's little odd to think the #3 team in the country would be on a descending track, after finishing #5 in '08. One would guess there is a big difference between #2 and #3 in the country for '09?

TSN's take on C-USA: In a conference full of offnesive gems, defense still reigns supreme

Nice headline on page 84 for the C-USA preview by TSN, but let's be realistic... defense in the C-USA is the reason the conference is a non-BCS. Defense wins championships and the non-BCS conferences typically lack the defenses of the top programs and conferences in FBS, though the MWC is beginning to turn some heads.

TSN like ECU to repeat in the East and make the C-USA title game in '09. In the West, Houston jumps Tulsa as the top team per TSN in '09. The top ascending program in the C-USA is Southern Miss and is #2 in the East per TSN. The Golden Eagles may be the program to derail ECU, if there is one. The top desecending program in C-USA is Rice due to a "depleted roster" in '09. Rice is "rebuilding", while TSN has Tulane moving into the East cellar just behind the Owls. TSN doesn't have any Top 25 teams from C-USA this year, but will East Carolina sneak into the picture? Tulsa was considered the strongest program in '08.

TSN on the '09 Pac Ten: League race will be determined by a number of untested quarterbacks

Like the Oklahoma Sooners at #3 in the land, TSN see the #4 USC Trojans descending in '09 too. There must be a real difference between the Top 2: Florida and Texas, from the rest of the field in '09? Four Pac Ten programs made TSN's Top 25: USC, Oregon, followed by #16 Oregon State, #21 California. If Oregon is considered on even par at #7, maybe USC should be at #4.

The top ascending program in the Pac Ten (page 94) is UCLA, while #16 Oregon State is considered the top descending program in the Pac Ten for '09 by TSN, since it lost "too much on defense to compete for the title." One half of the Pac Ten is considered in a descending mode, with USC, Oregon State, Arizona State, Arizona and Washington State all mentioned. Washington moving out of the cellar will be welcome news to Husky fans.

TSN's SEC headline: Conference's BCS future is so bright, it's going to need a pair of shades

Like the Big 12, TSN has three SEC programs in the Top 10, with #1 Florida, #5 Ole Miss and #8 LSU. Unlike any other conference, with #13 Alabama and #15 Georgia... five teams in the Top 15, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to clearly know who the nation's top conference is in '09.

The top ascending program in the SEC (page 110) according to TSN is Tennessee, while the top descending program in the conference is South Carolina. If Georgia and South Carolina finish #2 and #3 behind Florida in the East as TSN projects, is the word "descending" the right term for either program? Both look like programs that descended more in '08, than '09. If Alabama allows Ole Miss and LSU to leap frog them in the SEC West standings as TSN suggests, wouldn't that by defintion be descending? Food for thought that The Sporting News should have considered. Bama finishing #3 in the West is descending, especially when you consider the conference.

TSN: If conference king Boise State stumbles, WAC title race will ignite

#14 Boise State is picked #1 in the WAC (page 129) by TSN. The ascending program per TSN is Louisiana Tech, who are picked #3 in the WAC, while San Jose State is projected as the top descending program, despite the stay even logo in the predictions at #6. TSN shouldn't degrade the San Jose State program for playing a solid OOC schedule in '09. The headline is very interesting, when the first fearless forecast is for Boise State to go undefeated. It appears TSN wants it cake and eat it too when discussing WAC football in '09.

TSN: Utes primed for another BCS run but will face challanges from BYU, TCU

The MWC is listed on page 137. What logic does TSN use in indexing? They start out alphabetically, with ACC, Big East, Big Ten, etc., but they don't continue after C-USA. Odd.

The MWC has three programs in the TSN Top 25. TSN really should rethink the ascending and descending logic, if they don't use descending for Utah, after USC and OU were listed as descending. Further, since TSN projects Boise State as the top non-BCS and look at TSN's Top 25 projection vs. last year's finish for Utah.

Top ascending MWC program per TSN is #6 UNLV, while #7 New Mexico is ranked as the top descending program ahead of San Diego State and Wyoming. All three descending schools have new coaches... not sure "descending" is appropriate TSN.

TSN: Coaching staffs finding MAC to be gian revolving door

The top ascending program per TSN for the MAC (page 145) is Buffalo, while the top descending program is Miami-OH. Okay, Miami-OH finished in the cellar in the East in '08, but is projected #5 among 7 teams in '09, but it's suggested they are descending for '09. While Buffalo may finish #1 again in the East, the ascending TSN seems to suggest happened last year, not in '09. "The team has a good chance to repeat that success this year." A little weak on the ascending scale. Does Western Michigan get it done in the West as TSN suggests? Wouldn't that be a better program to suggest for the top ascending program? Ball State and Akron are descending per TSN. Ball State is the right team for that mention, after going 8-0 in the West regular season last year.

TSN on the Sun Belt Conference: Belt not rolling over for BCS schools

No Final Top 25 votes within the conference last year. The Sun Belt is the only conference with no team receiving at least one vote.

TSN picks Troy to repeat in the Sun Belt (page 152) in '09 as conference champions. The top ascending program in the Sun Belt per TSN is Florida International, who are picked #7 in the conference. The Sun Belt is on the rise according to TSN on the path of "trying to become a solid mid-major." No program is really in a descending role per TSN, but Louisiana-Monroe is listed, since the Warhawks have "two new coordinators" and TSN suggests they could have a "new coach" in 2010. Of course, they didn't get a change to knock off Alabama in '08, after beating the Crimson Tide 21-14 in '07. ULM opens '09 at #2 Texas. An upset is not expected.

Three pages (pages 157-159) are dedicated to Independents: Notre Dame, Navy and Army.

The FCS Overview (page 160) and other college football divisons is what makes The Sporting News preview a good read each year.

Top 5 in FCS

  1. Appalachian State ***
  2. Villanova
  3. Northern Iowa
  4. Montana
  5. Southern Illinois

*** Defending FCS national champion

The Sporting News scores well with 240 FBS and FCS team previews, but it always seems to miss as the best of college football previews. I enjoy picking it up, but it leaves one questioning the magazine's logic from time to time.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Good News around Iowa Athletics as we enter the weekend

The Class of 2010 for Coach Todd Lickliter and the Iowa basketball program grew to four today with the verbal commitment of a Sioux City prep.

McCabe is a Hawkeye
McCabe committed to Iowa's basketball program Friday, the final piece in a four-player Class of 2010 that promises, on paper, to help move the program in ...
Another Heelan prep picks Hawks - Gazette Online
Zach McCabe Joins Hawkeye Nation -

Former Iowa defensive back Bradley Fletcher is scheduled to begin his NFL career this fall.

Rams sign CB Fletcher - Seattle Post Intelligencer
Fletcher, chosen 66th overall, played at the University of Iowa and had five interceptions while starting 21 of 46 career games. He started all 13 contests ...

Unlike entering 2008, Iowa has a clear #1 at quarterback for '09.

Consistency the next step for Iowa's Stanzi -ESPN
Kirk Ferentz calls them Ricky Stanzi's Kodak moments, and Stanzi had an album full of them last season for Iowa. Consistency and limiting mistakes will be ...


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Zach Johnson Even after First Round of British Open, while legend Tom Watson leads at minus 5

Zach Johnson at par after British Open first round - The Gazette
Cedar Rapids’ Zach Johnson finished the first round of the British Open with an...

The Open Championship 2009‎ - The Daily Inquirer
The Open Championship's leaderboard is currently dominated by the older champion led by golfing legend Tom Watson with -5 under par. ...

Thursday, July 16, 2009 concluded the First Round of The Open Championship from Turnberry.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Zach Johnson makes "big charge" at John Deere Classic, now off to British Open

The Gazetteonline article titled Zach Johnson makes big charge at John Deere Classic highlights the final 36 holes finished on July 12, 2009 at the TPC at Deere Run. Zach Johnson finished tied for 2Nd at this year's event.

The Open Championship will be held at Turnberry July 16-19, 2009.

The LPGA crowned its 2009 Women's US Open Champion this weekend.

For the PGA's take on Turnberry and for TV coverage for the 2009 Open Championship.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Iowa's Jewel Hampton plans to play in '09 despite concerns over knee

Like former Iowa TE and current Indianapolis Colts TE Dallas Clark's knee injury during the '06 season, sophomore RB Jewel Hampton (pictured #27) is expected to play in '09, despite a knee injury. Surgery isn't expected for Hampton, like Clark's knee injury in '06.

Iowa football: Running back Hampton to avoid surgery, play this fall -
The Iowa football team boasts a roster of promising running backs, but Gary Dolphin says a healthy Jewel Hampton makes it easier for the Hawkeyes to move ...
Iowa's Hampton to start in season opener -
Weekend Out: Jewel Hampton is just glad to know you care - Yahoo! Sports
Iowa's Jewel Hampton to avoid surgery - College Fantasy Football Insider

Football: Greene-less Iowa set for big season - UT The Daily Texan - Chris Tavarez
Before Iowa football kicks off its season on September 5, the college football world is thinking one thing: it doesn't have Shonn Greene. ...
2009 Iowa College Football Predictions -Locksmith Sports Picks
Iowa Hawkeyes 2009 College Football Odds - BCS Odds 2010
The Great Debate: The Iowa Hawkeyes - Maize n Brew
Bleacher Report


Thursday, July 9, 2009

38Th annual Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon scheduled for July 28Th in Chicago

Annual Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon to Feature 33 Conference Standouts - Big Ten Conference
Football: The Big Ten Conference announced today the 33 student-athletes scheduled to attend the 2009 Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon, held Tuesday, July 28, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. (full story)

The lineup for Big Ten media days is set - ESPN - Adam Rittenberg
You know football season isn't too far away when the Big Ten releases the list of players who will be attending media days, to be held July 27 and July 28 ...
Breaking down the Big Ten: wide receivers and tight ends -
McFadden, Schofield and Graham represent UW at Big Ten Kickoff ... - University of Wisconsin Badgers
Big Ten Rankings & Projections - College Fantasy Football Insider

Big Ten football roundup: Siciliano charged with Terrelle Pryor's ... - - Dustin Hockensmith
The spotlight will be on Siciliano and Pryor this fall when the Buckeyes look to challenge for a fifth straight Big Ten Conference title. ...
Sudden Impact Countdown—10 Buckeyes You Don't Know About Yet: Part V - Bleacher Report
Buckeyes shuffle staff, from QB to recruiting - The Plain Dealer -
2010 Recruiting Update - Eleven Warriors
ESPN - Columbus Dispatch

Fall Football Preview: Big Ten Odds and Futures Predictions - Doc's Sports Service - Justin Johnson
The Skinny: Northwestern has steadily improved the past few seasons and are actually a .500 football team in Big Ten play over the past six years (24-24). ...
Big Ten football roundup: ESPN calls Penn State-Ohio State the ...
Big Ten(11) Preview: JoePa Rules - Columbia Daily Tribune
Banter: Which school should the Big Ten include? - SIU - Daily Egyptian -

Big Ten lunch links -ESPN - Adam Rittenberg
The guys at College Football News debate whether Ohio State or Oklahoma is the biggest BCS bowl bust. Sorry this is coming in late, but Michigan ranks as ...


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What's up with Iowa Football this week?

Football camp for 2009 hasn't opened yet. We get to wait about a month longer for fall camp to begin for the 2009 Iowa Hawkeyes football team.

Kirk Ferentz will head to the annual Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon with three seniors. This year's event will be held Tuesday, July 28, 2009. It's the 38Th annual event for the conference.

  • LB Pat Angerer
  • LB A.J. Edds
  • TE Tony Moeaki
Annual Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon to Feature 33 Conference Standouts - Big Ten Conference
Football: The Big Ten Conference announced today the 33 student-athletes scheduled to attend the 2009 Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon, held Tuesday, July 28, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. (full story)

Single-game tickets went on sale July 6Th from the University. The University of Iowa is offering home single-game tickets now for the 2009 season.

We learned that reserve linebacker Jacoby Coleman is moving back to his Texas hometown to finish his college football career, at Lamar. A recent story ...

Personnel turnover continues for Iowa football -Big Ten Network
The hits keep on coming this off-season for the Iowa Hawkeyes, as three blows were dealt to the depth charts on Monday. ...

A couple injuries have been discussed this week. What is the bigger impact for 2009? One newspaper implies it's not the loss of running back Jewel Hampton.

O-line bigger concern for Hawkeyes than Hampton -

Iowa to add a couple non-conference games with another Sun Belt Conference team.

Football: UNT, Iowa agree to face off in 2015, 2017 - Denton Record Chronicle
The North Texas and Iowa football programs have always been linked, even though they have never met on the field, through legendary head coach Hayden Fry. ...

Iowa football: Hampton's high school coach confirms running back ... -
Steve Tutsie, former head coach at Warren Central High School, said he talked to Iowa's projected starting tailback after Hampton underwent an MRI on Monday ...

Iowa has added their 9Th verbal commitment to the Class of 2010 Commitment List this week.

Iowa Football: Hawkeyes get commitment
Scherff, a 6-foot-6, 300-pound senior-to-be at Denison-Schleswig, will play football for Iowa. "Two years ago as a sophomore, he started for us as a ...

Hawkeyes land lineman - Quad City Times

And, if you would like to catch a little news on the 1939 Iowa vs. Notre Dame football game, in color no less ...

It's Not Plagiarism If You Link To It Waxes Nostalgic
- Black Heart Gold Pants


Monday, July 6, 2009

Will Iowa be 100% to compete for a Big Ten title in 2009?

"I was able to confirm that Jewel Hampton suffered a knee injury Friday. I’m
assuming non-contact drills because the team won’t be in pads until Aug. 7 (or
thereabouts). I was told the MRI is happening today, so the severity is
unknown." -
Marc Morehouse
Hampton update - The Gazette's Marc Morehouse

Report: Jewel Hampton out for year? - College Fantasy Football Insider
July 04, 2009 - The Des Moines Register, citing message board chatter in the heartland, is reporting that Iowa running back (and expected starter) Jewel ...

Jewel Hampton injured? -

The Fourth of July weekend was unkind to the Iowa Hawkeyes football team, which might have suddenly lost two impact players. A torrent of message board ...

"We were hopeful that Julian's injury could be healed through normal rehab, but
it became apparent surgical repair was the best path to take. Julian may
miss some playing time, but we are optimistic he will return to full strength
very early in the season.''
- Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz

Update on transfer of reserve LB Jacoby Coleman: he is headed to Lamar, his hometown school.

Iowa will open fall practice in early August. The Gainesville Sun has Iowa at #17 in the country in its preseason rankings. It appears that the ranking was based on Iowa prior to Jewel Hampton's injury. Of course, "next man in" has often been a fan favorite comment among Iowa's fanbase. It appears it will be an early rallying cry for the Hawkeye nation this year.

Rising star: Shonn Greene’s replacement, sophomore Jewel Hampton, could be
on the verge of a breakout season. As a freshman behind Green, Hampton scored
seven touchdowns while averaging just over five yards per carry. If Hampton can
shoulder the load early, he could turn Iowa’s offense from a weakness into a


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday America!

Today in History - July 4 -The Associated Press
Today is Saturday, July 4, the 185Th day of 2009. There are 180 days left in the year. This is Independence Day. Today's Highlight in History: On July 4, ...

Fourth of July fun facts
- Southtown Star

What does Freedom mean Anyway? - Canada Free Press

Life - Liberty - Pursuit of Happiness America!


Friday, July 3, 2009

Gerry DiNardo: It's the schedule that costs Iowa, but really... Penn State in '09?

The one thing that separates the three of them is the schedule. Iowa
has the worst schedule. If all three are contenders, Iowa plays both Ohio State
and Penn State away. Penn State is the opposite. It has the best schedule, and
plays Ohio State and Iowa at home. Ohio State plays one at home, one away.

If I'm pressed to pick one, I'll take Penn State, based on having a
returning quarterback (Daryll Clark) and the Big Ten schedule. We still don't
know what (OSU quarterback) Terrell Pryor is going to be like, what the offense
is going to look like.

Iowa, if (quarterback Ricky) Stanzi is going to continue to grow, and I
think they can replace those two middle guys on defense (Mitch King and Matt
Kroul) and if not, with the other nine back, they'll be all right. They have to
replace (
Doak Walker winner) Shonn
Green, but with Jewel Hampton and Jeff Brinson, and with Stanzi in the
backfield, that combination can be productive." -
Gerry DiNardo of
Big Ten Network

It's hard to go against Ohio State, even if you like Penn State, since the Buckeyes have won a share or outright Big Ten title for four straight seasons. The Big Ten Conference returns the Top 4 quarterbacks from '08 in passing efficiency rating. The Top 4 come from Ohio State, Illinois, Penn State and Iowa. Ohio State sophomore Terrelle Pryor lead the Big Ten in passing efficiency in '08.

The bigger question one should ask DiNardo is: What about the O-Line and D-Line at the top schools? Further, defense wins championships more times than not in the Big Ten. While having a quality quarterback, with experience is vital, doesn't the Buckeyes fit that with Pryor coming into his sophomore season too?

Who's off the schedule in 2009 for Big Ten teams:

Penn State: Wisconsin and Purdue
Ohio State: Michigan State and Norhwestern
Illinois: Iowa and Wisconsin
Iowa: Illinois and Purdue
Michigan State: Indiana and Ohio State
Michigan: Minnesota and Northwestern
Northwestern: Michigan and Ohio State
Wisconsin: Illinois and Penn State
Minnesota: Indiana and Michigan
Indiana: Michigan State and Minnesota
Purdue: Penn State and Iowa

Certainly, Penn State is a team that has a nice schedule in 2009 with all four OOC games (Akron, Syracuse, Temple and Eastern Illinois) at home. But, is this really the best team in the Big Ten in '09? They must replace six starters on offense, 7 starters on defense and will break in a freshman placekicker on special teams for '09.

Hey Gerry, is Darryll Clark really the top quarterback in the Big Ten in '09?


How Far Can Iowa Go in 2009 in Football?

The Hawkeyes haven't competed for a Big Ten title since 2004, when the Hawkeyes finished 7-1 and co-champions with Michigan.

So, will the tide change in 2009 for the Hawkeyes? It's been five seasons, since a title run in Iowa City in Football.

Iowa's team to beat clearly starts with Ohio State. The Buckeyes have won a share or outright title in the Big Ten for four straight seasons. Iowa plays at Ohio State on November 14. Iowa's last win over the Buckeyes was in 2004, but the Hawkeyes haven't won in Columbus, since 1991. Both seasons, Iowa finished 7-1 in the Big Ten.

Ohio State has lost 2 of last 5 games heading into the finale with Michigan. The Fighting Illini beat the Buckeyes in Columbus 28-21 in '07, while Purdue beat Ohio State in '04 at home 24-17. Can Iowa make it 3 of 6 heading into Michigan-Ohio State rivalry game?

Iowa travels to Penn State, after knocking Penn State out of the BCS title game last year. The Hawkeyes won 24-23 in Iowa City last year and have won six of seven, since 2000 vs. PSU. The only loss was a 7-27 in '07 in Happy Valley. Can Iowa get back their Happy Valley magic again? Will the Nittany Lions get some payback for '08?

Coach Kirk Ferentz is heading into his 11th year as head coach at Iowa. But, like at Ohio State, the Hawkeyes have yet to win at Michigan State under Ferentz. The Hawkeyes last win in East Lansing was 1995. Last year, the game went down to a 4 and 1 and the Hawkeyes came up short, losing 13-16 in East Lansing. Coach Mark Dantonio has the Spartans on the rise in the Big Ten. Yet, are the Spartans ready to compete for a Big Ten title in Dantonio's third season. This match up is likely a key game for either team, if they wish to compete for a title in '09.

Iowa doesn't play Illinois in '09 or '10. The Hawkeyes have won 5 of the last six in this series, but the Fighting Illini ended the streak for the Hawkeyes in Champaign last year, with a late minute FG in 27-24 game. While the Hawkeyes lost the game, Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi did lead Iowa on a 15 point second half comeback to tie the game at 24-24. The special teams and defense came up short on holding the Illini on the final drive. Purdue is also off the schedule in the Big Ten for '09 and '10.

Iowa gets to welcome Michigan back on the schedule for Homecoming on October 10Th at Kinnick Stadium. The Hawkeyes haven't beat the Wolverines, since back to back wins in '02 and '03. Of course, the Wolverines have second year coach Rich Rodriguez and are coming off their poorest season (2-6 in the Big Ten and 3-9 overall), since 1967. Missed there first bowl since 1975. Three of the last four games in Iowa City have been decided by exactly 3 points.

Northwestern gave Iowa its last defeat at home, when the Wildcats upset the Hawkeyes 22-17 on Homecoming last year at Kinnick, fueled by five Hawkeye turnovers. The Wildcats-Hawkeyes series has turned into a rivalry, ever since Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald helped lead the Wildcats to the Rose Bowl in the mid-1990s. Is this Iowa's payback game in '09?

Iowa's fourth Big Ten road game is at Wisconsin, where the Hawkeyes have won two out of last three. But, the Badgers coach Bret Bielema's Badgers won the '07 game 17-13, as the #9 Badgers out last the unranked Hawkeyes, who seemed to lose more offensive players than their ability to score offensive TDs. This game could help place Bielema right on the hot seat, if the Hawkeyes can pull out a win and continue the momentum after last year's 38-16 win over the Badgers.

The Hawkeyes close out the home slate with Indiana and Minnesota. The Hoosiers won the last time at Kinnick in '07 in a blowout 38-20. Last year, the Hawkeyes put some pain in the Gophers final game in the Dome, 55-0. Iowa should win at Kinnick, but haven't gone 4-0 at Kinnick in the Big Ten, since their last Big Ten title run. If the Hawkeyes are going to compete in '09 for a Big Ten title, they better take care of business at home. Of course, in 1990, they went 4-0 on the road, while 2-2 at home to win a share of the Big Ten title. A 6-2 record isn't usually a good formula in the Big Ten for titles.

In the out of conference, Iowa hasn't gone undefeated, since 2003. The only undefeated non-conference schedule in the Kirk Ferentz era. The Hawkeyes will open the season with FCS power Northern Iowa, a trip to Cy-Hawk rival Iowa State, a homecoming of sorts for Arizona coach Mike Stoops. The Hawkeyes open the Big Ten on September 26Th in Happy Valley. They close out the OOC the following week at Kinnick vs. Arkansas State, from the Sun Belt Conference. Arkansas State gave Ferentz's friend and second year head coach Mike Sherman at Texas A&M a tough first game, with Red Wolves winning 18-14.

The Sun Belt pulled off a solid win in '07, when the ULM Warhawks beat Nick Saban's Alabama team 21-14. This was the same weekend that Western Michigan up ended Iowa's season '07. Can Iowa move up the ladder in '09, as the Alabama Crimson Tide did in the SEC in '08? Some comparisons have been made between Iowa and Alabama, heading into '09.

Of course, Iowa must develop this off season, build team unity again for '09 and fill the holes that five starters on offense and three starters on defense created with their departures. Iowa returns 49 or so lettermen in '09, including experience in the O-Line. Can QB Ricky Stanzi step up and lead the Hawkeyes in the Big Ten in '09? It should be fun season to catch the Hawkeyes and will they catch the right Tide in '09 in the Big Ten?

Happy Independence Day Holiday weekend everyone!


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Iowa Basketball: Second verbal in two days nets Hawkeyes a legacy

The site for Iowa sports is reporting July 2, 2009 that former Iowa basketball player, Roy Marble's son is planning to attend his alma mater. In the following story ... (Roy Marble pictured to Left)

Roy Marble Jr. headed to Iowa by Blair Sanderson -
Roy Marble Jr., the son of Iowa’s all-time leading scorer, is going to play for the
Hawkeyes in 2010. The 6-foot-5, 170-pound Michigan native, who averaged 22
points per game at Lathrup High School last season, made the call and gave his
verbal commitment to the Iowa coaching staff earlier today. Marble Jr. talks
about his decision and much more in this update.]
It is the second verbal in two days for the Hawkeyes. July has turned out to be an exciting month, thus far, for the Iowa Basketball program. Coach Todd Lickliter is heading into his third season as head coach for the Iowa Basketball program.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Iowa Recruiting is picking up in the Summer of 2009

Iowa Football has eight verbals, so far for the Class of 2010, which is well ahead of last year's pace as Iowa City and the Eastern Iowa were suffering through the challenges of the Flood of 2008.

Momentum appears to be with both the football and basketball programs right now, if you jump on and follow the action. Recently, WI prep Mike Hardy verballed to Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa Football program. Hardy's verbal was followed up by Matt Hoch, a DE prospect out of Harlan, Iowa. Hoch decided to remain in-state, after his brother, Dan, headed to Missouri in the Class of 2008.

The Iowa Basketball program gained some positive energy traveling to Italy and Greece. Now, the Iowa Basketball follows up the positive foreign trip with its second verbal for the Class of 2010. Iowa received a verbal commitment according to from Illinois prep and point guard Ben Brust.

As the old bumper sticker says: "It's Great to be a Hawkeye" and both coaching staffs are seeing high school players interested in coming to Iowa City in 2010.