Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Big Ten Divisions: moving the Ohio State-Michigan football game up into October is good for the Big Ten Conference

The Big Ten Conference will add a 12Th team in 2011. Further, the Big Ten will conduct a conference championship game beginning in 2011, with the addition of Nebraska, as the 12Th conference member.

With the decision to conduct a conference championship game, the Big Ten will break into two- six team divisions. The annual Ohio State-Michigan football game is likely in for a major change in the series. The game is traditionally played at the end of the regular season, but with the suggestion that Michigan and Ohio State should be in separate divisions. Look for the Ohio State-Michigan series to move up the schedule into the month of October, which should be good for the conference. Further, look for one out of division game being protected for each program. When a nine game conference schedule is implemented, than two games will likely be protected.

The likely final games of the season for each program in the new Big Ten:

  • Illinois vs. Northwestern

  • Indiana vs. Purdue

  • Iowa vs. Nebraska

  • Michigan vs. Michigan State

  • Minnesota vs. Wisconsin

  • Ohio State vs. Penn State

The conference championship game will follow the last week of regular season play. For Penn State, this move will be great for the Nittany Lions. The current series between Michigan State vs. Penn State hasn't grown into the type of end of season rivalry that the Nittany Lions have naturally wanted. But, Michigan State vs. Michigan is a natural in-state rivalry, while Ohio State vs. Penn State will work quite well for both programs. The other four conference match ups are all natural rivalry games.

How will the Big Ten divisions likely fall out? Here are some of the expectations being discussed within the Big Ten, assuming that you a.) preserve in-state rivalries; b.) split Ohio State and Michigan and Iowa and Wisconsin up; and c.) make sure the Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Nebraska are divided evenly across two divisions, Kerry Whisnant’s computer came up with just eight possible scenarios. And in terms of league victories, these were the three most “balanced” alignments:

  • Option 1 — Division A: Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Illinois, Northwestern, Ohio State (422 conference wins and one tie since 1993); Division B: Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin (421 wins and one tie).

  • Option 2 — Division A: Iowa, Nebraska, Indiana, Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State (422 and one tie); Division B: Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Northwestern, Illinois (421 and one tie).

  • Option 3 — Division A: Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Penn State (419 and one tie); Division B: Ohio State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Nebraska, Indiana, Minnesota (424 and one tie).

Traveling trophies woven into Big Ten football fabric - from Marc Morehouse - The Gazette

The current Big Ten Traveling Trophies:

  • Little Brown Jug (Michigan-Minnesota)
    First game: 1909; Series: Michigan 66-22-3

  • Illibuck (Illinois-Ohio State)
    First game: 1925; Series: Ohio State 58-23-2

  • Old Oaken Bucket (Purdue-Indiana)
    First game: 1925; Series: Purdue 56-26-3

  • Floyd of Rosedale (Iowa-Minnesota)
    First game: 1935; Series: Minnesota 39-34-2

  • Purdue Cannon (Purdue-Illinois)
    First game: 1943; Series: Purdue 30-26-2

  • Paul Bunyan’s Axe (Wisconsin-Minnesota)
    First game: 1948; Series: Wisconsin 36-23-3

  • Old Brass Spittoon (Indiana-Michigan State)
    First game: 1950); Series: Michigan State 40-12-1

  • Paul Bunyan’s Trophy (Michigan-Michigan State)
    First game: 1953; Series: Michigan 34-21-2

  • Governor’s Victory Bell (Minnesota-Penn State)
    First game: 1993; Series: Penn State 7-4

  • Land Grant Trophy (Michigan State-Penn State)
    First game: 1993; Series: Penn State 13-4

  • Heartland Trophy (Iowa-Wisconsin)
    First game: 2004; Series: Iowa 4-2

  • Land of Lincoln Trophy (Illinois-Northwestern)
    First game: 2009; Series: Northwestern 1-0

Defunct Trophies for Big Ten programs:

  • Slab of Bacon (Wisconsin-Minnesota)
    Dates: 1930-1943; Series: Minnesota led 11-3
    Why defunct? Minnesota Coach George Hauser refused to accept trophy following 1943 game out of respect for World War II. The trophy was lost in a Wisconsin storage room until it was found in 1994.

  • Sweet Sioux Tomahawk (Illinois-Northwestern)
    Dates: 1945-2008; Series: Illinois 33-29-2
    Why defunct? Trophy was deemed politically incorrect and retired after 2008 season.

Other Trophies between Big Ten schools and other programs outside the Big Ten:

  • Megaphone (Michigan State-Notre Dame)
    First game: 1949; Series: Notre Dame 31-25-1

  • Shillelagh (Purdue-Notre Dame)
    First game: 1958; Series: Notre Dame 34-19

  • Cy-Hawk (Iowa-Iowa State)
    First game: 1977; Series: Iowa 22-11

So, how should the divisions shape up to best protect conference rivalries and drive the Big Ten into the next era as the nation's premier collegiate athletic conference? The protected rival in Division A is paired with the team in Division B, in the order listed.

  • Division A: Ohio State, Penn State, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue and Wisconsin

  • Division B: Michigan, Nebraska, Northwestern, Michigan State, Iowa and Minnesota


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Top Games of Week 1 in College Football: September 2Nd to 6Th

What are the Top 20 Games of Week 1 of the 2010 College Football season?
(Times are Central Time - Rankings are cidsports Top 25)

  1. Monday, September 6Th: #3 Boise State vs. #6 Virginia Tech (Landover, MD) with a 7:00 p.m. kickoff on ESPN (HD) / ESPN 3D
  2. Thursday, September 2Nd: #22 Pittsburgh at #13 Utah with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on Versus (HD)
  3. Saturday, September 4Th: #12 LSU vs. North Carolina (Atlanta) with a 7:00 p.m. kickoff on ABC (HD)
  4. Saturday, September 4Th: Oregon State at #8 TCU with a 6:45 p.m. kickoff on ESPN (HD)
  5. Saturday, September 4Th: Connecticut at Michigan with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff on ABC / ESPN2 *7
  6. Saturday, September 4Th: SMU at #17 Texas Tech with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff on ESPN (HD)
  7. Saturday, September 4Th: Washington at #16 BYU with a 6:00 p.m. kickoff on CBSC (HD)
  8. Saturday, September 4Th: #23 Cincinnati at Fresno State with a 9:00 p.m. kickoff on ESPN2 (HD)
  9. Saturday, September 4Th: Purdue at Notre Dame with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff on NBC (HD)
  10. Saturday, September 4Th: UCLA at Kansas State with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff on ABC / ESPN2 *7 / ESPN-GP *2
  11. Saturday, September 4Th: Illinois vs. Missouri with a 11:30 a.m. kickoff on FSN (HD)
  12. Saturday, September 4Th: Colorado vs. Colorado State (Denver) with a 1:00 p.m. on MTN (HD)
  13. Monday, September 6Th: Maryland at #25 Navy (Baltimore) with a 3:00 p.m. kickoff on ESPN (HD)
  14. Thursday, September 2Nd: Southern Miss at South Carolina with a 6:30 p.m. kickoff on ESPN (HD)
  15. Friday, September 3Rd: Arizona at Toledo with a 7:00 p.m. kickoff on ESPN (HD)
  16. Thursday, September 2Nd: Minnesota at Middle Tennessee with a 6:30 p.m. kickoff on ESPNU (HD)
  17. Saturday, September 4TH: #10 Wisconsin at UNLV with a 10:00 p.m. kickoff on Versus (HD)
  18. Thursday, September 2Nd: Northern Illinois at Iowa State with a 6:30 p.m. kickoff on (CSNC / CSNBA / FSN affiliates) (HD)
  19. Saturday, September 4Th: Northwestern at Vanderbilt with a 6:30 p.m. on (CSCA / ESPN-GP) *2 / CSS (cable)
  20. Saturday, September 4Th: Washington State at Oklahoma State with a 6:00 p.m. on FSN (HD)

For a complete list of major College Football games


The 2011 BCS Championship Game would help resolve matters over the 1958 trophy awarded by the Football Writers Association of Amercia

Should Iowa be considered a National Champion in Football ever?

Look at the 1958 listings per HickokSports.com on the subject of College Football National Champions.

In 1958, the Football Writers Association of America awarded the University of Iowa with the Grantland Rice Trophy, as national champion. The trophy is still awarded each year by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), along with other various Football Writers Annual Awards and all-American teams. The 2009 team included LB Pat Angerer, from Iowa.

News on the Grantland Rice Trophy
"Thu., Aug. 26: USC's 2004 Grantland Rice Trophy, awarded to the Trojans for their national football title, will be revoked and the team barred from consideration for the award following the 2010 season. In addition, the FWAA declined to name a replacement for USC's vacated spot. USC will remain in the Grantland Rice Trophy 2010 preseason rankings, it has been determined."

The University of Iowa is 3-3 in major bowl games and 13-10-1 all-time in bowl games. The 2009 Iowa football team won the 2010 FedEx Orange Bowl 24-14 over the ACC Champion Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. It was Iowa's first major bowl win, since the 1959 Rose Bowl.

With Nebraska joining the Big Ten in 2011, there is some jawing going back and forth on various message boards regarding National Champions. For example, did Nebraska win a MNC in 1977? Does Iowa have the right to a lay claim for a MNC in football ever? How many?

If you want to water things down, wikipedia is likely the right source. If you want to answer the question on Iowa, than HickokSports.com is likely a fair source for University of Iowa fans. After all, the Grantland Rice Trophy is awarded each year, since 1954 and the news out of Southern Cal merits notation, regarding the 2004 trophy.

If the University of Iowa fan base really wants to close the book on the National Championship debate in football, the Hawkeyes would be wise to have a strong 2010 college football season and find a way to win the 2011 BCS Championship Game. Of course, getting there is another story, as the Hawkeyes open the 2010 season on Saturday in Kinnick Stadium and face a challenging FBS schedule and Big Ten conference race.

Will the University of Iowa be successful in 2010 earning their second Grantland Rice Trophy in school history? Alabama won their fifth trophy in winning the BCS Championship Game last season. The 2010 College Football season kicks off on Thursday, September 2, 2010.


Does Ohio State make it six straight titles in Big Ten Football: We agree with the The Gazette projection on the Buckeyes finish

The Gazette out of Cedar Rapids, our hometown newspaper, has made there projections for the 2010 Big Ten football race. Since 2005, Ohio State has either shared ('05, '08 with PSU) or won outright the Big Ten football title for five straight seasons. The Iowa Hawkeyes have two Big Ten titles under Kirk Ferentz, when Iowa went 8-0 in '02 sharing the title with Ohio State and when Iowa went 7-1 in '04 sharing the title with Michigan.

Iowa's last outright title was in 1985. Iowa celebrates twenty-five (1985 team) and fifty year (1960 team) anniversaries of Big Ten championship titles in 2010. It was twenty years ago (1990 team) this season, that Iowa last represented the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl, when Iowa won the tiebreaker on a four-way tie at 6-2 in the conference. Iowa is 2-3 lifetime in the Rose Bowl and The Gazette is projecting Iowa to represent the conference in The Granddaddy this season.

The Gazette projections for the 2010 football race:

Iowa 11-1 7-1
Wisconsin 11-1 7-1
Ohio State 10-2 6-2
Michigan State 9-3 5-3
Penn State 8-4 5-3
Michigan 7-5 4-4
Purdue 7-5 4-4
Illinois 6-6 3-5
Northwestern 6-6 2-6
Minnesota 3-9 1-7
Indiana 4-8 0-8

We received the printed version at our home. The online version was expanded and has a little different twist to it, such as bowl game projections. The printed version is formatted by team capsules.

The Gazette Bowl Projections

  • Rose — Iowa vs. Oregon State
  • Sugar — Wisconsin vs. Auburn
  • Capital One — Ohio State vs. Florida
  • Outback — Penn State vs. Georgia
  • Gator — Michigan State vs. South Carolina
  • Insight — Michigan vs. Missouri
  • Texas — Purdue vs. Texas Tech
  • Dallas Football Classic — Illinois vs. Oklahoma State
  • Little Caesar’s — Northwestern vs. Northern Illinois

Will the Big Ten fill every bowl slot in 2010? Many preseason magazines don't go that far, since the Big Ten has a history of beating up on itself throughout the season plus the OOC slate will play an important factor for many teams. The Big Ten does lead all conference in BCS bids. Not reaching the BCS Championship Game for the third straight season would be a disappointment, but a fair projection heading into 2010. Ohio State had excellent games vs. Iowa and vs. Oregon in the Rose Bowl, but is this an elite Buckeye team heading into 2010?

Our analysis of the Big Ten in 2010 ...

  • Illinois - Coach Ron Zook is on the hot seat and fall camp has lead to some concern about the Fighting Illini secondary, with injuries. Can the Illini get to 6-6 and 3-5 in the Big Ten or would it be 6-6 and 4-4 in the Big Ten? Redshirt freshman Nathan Scheelhaase steps in for four-year starting QB Juice Williams. As The Gazette points out: "The offensive line comes together and ... Scheelhaase can run the offense effectively" the Illini may have a chance for a bowl game. The Illini have six new assistant coaches, including both coordinators and three others on the offensive side of the ball. This very well could be Zook's final season in Champaign. Is the finale at Fresno State where Zook and the Illini get the sixth win to become bowl eligible or is it his final game as head coach? Key Game: Season opener vs. Missouri in St. Louis... Zook and the Illini have lost three straight and last year's game wasn't competitive.

  • Indiana - The Gazette suggests "Indiana needs a tough defense to improve in 2010" after the Hoosiers finished 4-8 and 1-7 in the Big Ten in '09. Coach Bill Lynch has been quick to suggest "we were really 12 plays away from having an outstanding season and playing in a pretty good bowl game." Despite the motivation it has provided this off season, does IU really have the talent to "finish" out of the Big Ten cellar in 2010? Key Game: Big Ten opener vs. Michigan could be the best chance to make our projections derail our projections for the Hoosiers in '10.

  • Iowa - The Gazette picked the right quote: "One thing for sure if you're going to try to win a Big Ten championship, you're going to have to find a way to compete with (Ohio State) and beat them. And not many people have had much luck doing that." - Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz. The last time Iowa won the Big Ten was in '04. Iowa beat Ohio State 33-7 that season. Senior QB Ricky Stanzi will hopefully be healthy for this year's Ohio State game. The Hawkeyes have a strong returning cast from their 11-2 Orange Bowl team in '09. But, 2009 is in the books and Iowa must improve on offense running the ball and they must find a way to improve on defense stopping the run, which they did vs. Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl. Key Game: vs. Michigan State at Kinnick ... Iowa has lost games like this one at home, see Northwestern in '08 and '09. Last year, the game with the Spartans was decided on the final play of the game and in 2OT in '07 at Kinnick.

  • Michigan - The Wolverines are entering the third season of the Rich Rodriguez era. Back to back losing seasons are rare in Ann Arbor. This is a program that was 5-7 last year overall and 5-3 at home. Taking care of business in Ann Arbor will be very important, if the Wolverines are going to make the step up and Rodriguez is going to continue to coach. Who will be #1 at quarterback for the Wolverines? The Wolverines need balance in the offense. Will the new 4-2-5 defense work vs. Big Ten opponents? Key Game: vs. Michigan State - back to back losing seasons are rare in Ann Arbor and so are back to back losses vs. the Spartans. Do we make it three straight years or not in Ann Arbor?

  • Michigan State - The Spartans enter the 4Th year under coach Mark Dantonio. They are 0-3 in bowl games under Dantonio. The "underachieve tag" may be growing again in East Lansing. The Spartans haven't won a Big Ten title, since 1990 and only Indiana and Minnesota have had longer droughts. The Spartans were 6-2 two years ago, with a 16-13 win over Iowa at home one of the key victories. The Spartans don't play Ohio State or Indiana. Will the Spartans have better luck playing more 3-4 than the Wolverines did last season in the Big Ten? Key Game: Big Ten opener vs. Wisconsin in East Lansing could spark one of these teams for the 2010 Big Ten race.

  • Minnesota - The Gazette is right: "Minnesota Coach Tim Brewster needs defensive help in 2010." However, it is schedule, rather than solid players that Brewster is speaking to as they head into 2010. "When you look at our home schedule this year, our fan base is absolutely jacked about the teams we have coming into TCF Bank Stadium. We want to make it hard on those team and I think we will." - Coach Brewster. The Gazette has the Golden Gophers likely falling in the OOC at Middle Tennessee, without starting QB now, and home vs. USC. QB Adam Weber is a likely four year starter. Like the Illini, the Gophers have new coaches, including new offensive coordinators. Key Game: Big Ten opener vs. Northwestern for Homecoming... a game the Gophers won on the road to open '09, which was a 6-7 season for the Gophers that ended with a 13-14 loss to Iowa State in the Insight Bowl .

  • Northwestern - The Gazette have an odd statement suggesting "Northwestern needs to find a quarterback this season." The Wildcats have Mike Kafka's back up returning in junior Dan Persa, who played in both games at Penn State and Iowa last year. The Wildcats went 1-1 in those games. The right statement is Persa needs to step up and replace Kafka and lead an offense that ironically The Gazette says they "will score enough points to reach a bowl." Odd, when they suggest a quarterback needs to be found. The key concern is the five new starters on defense for the Wildcats. The Wildcats were 5-3 last year in the Big Ten, with every win 7 points or less, but all three losses were double digits. Key Game: vs. Michigan State for Homecoming - Wildcats lost 14-24 in '09 at East Lansing.

  • Penn State - The Gazette says the following about the Nittany Lions: "Penn State will make a bowl, but its defense and quarterback play will determine the location." They will be home for the holidays, if "injuries decimate the team and if Newsome plays poorly." Is sophomore Kevin Newsome a lock for the 2010 season as The Gazette seems to be saying? Heading into 2010, Happy Valley appeared to have the most open quarterback position than any other program. The Nittany Lions have six newcomers on defense, as well as a new punter. Many suggest Top 25 rankings for Penn State are overstated, with the questions at quarterback and missing players from the 11-2, 6-2 in the Big Ten team in '09. Senior RB Evan Royster may be as good as Wisconsin's John Clay. Key Game: at Alabama in Week 2: it doesn't help towards in one's Big Ten standings, but a good showing could boost confidence for this young Penn State team.

  • Purdue - Coach Danny Hope enters year two coming off a 5-7, 4-4 in the Big Ten season in '09. Junior QB Robert Marve, a transfer from Miami-FL, will move into the starting lineup. The Gazette suggests a bowl, "if, Purdue could knock off a similar number of league opponents this year. The Boilermakers play five Big Ten teams that finished .500 or worse in league play, so if they beat teams posting similar or worse league records as last year, Purdue could finish in a nice bowl." We agree. Coach Hope is a good addition in West Lafayette and will look to improve "ball security" in 2010. This is a program that lost 36-38 in Week 2 at Oregon last season. They won at home vs. Ohio State 26-18 sparked by turnovers. Key Game: at Notre Dame in season opener is as good as any to start with, but @ Northwestern in Big Ten opener is likely as important, since the Boilermakers open 3 of their first 4 Big Ten games on the road.

  • Wisconsin - The Gazette suggests this "might be the best Wisconsin team ever." We will say that is a bold statement. The "new-look defensive line", with three new starters will have to clearly step up. The Badgers were 10-3 and 5-3 in the Big Ten in '09. Pass defense was suspect in '09 for the Badgers. They were extremely solid vs. run last year, but the Badgers lose their all-Big Ten DE and leading tackler and top FS for '10. Only six starters depart, but they are some good leaders for coach Bret Bielema, now in his 5Th season in Madison. We suggest defense wins championships. The Wisconsin offense should be good behind a very strong offensive line, but depth at TE is a concern in our book, with the top two TEs gone. Top notch returning TE Lance Kendricks is as good as any on paper in the Big Ten. But, the Badgers like to use multiple TEs in their offense. The Badgers don't play Penn State, but they open with four solid games in the Big Ten: @ MSU, vs. rival Minnesota (HC), vs. Ohio State and @ Iowa. The Badgers depth will be tested in the early part of the Big Ten. Key Game: vs. Ohio State, in a game that will go a long way to determining the 2010 Big Ten champion.

Our picks are leaning towards the following for 2010 Big Ten football season:

1. Iowa - Iowa has only pulled off 8-0 once. They didn't play Ohio State that year We will go with 7-1, like The Gazette. The game with Ohio State will determine, whether Iowa wins the Big Ten or not. A 6-2 four-way race, like 2010, may be more probable, than someone winning it all in 2010.

2. Ohio State - The Buckeyes have a five straight BCS bowl streak going as well. Will that end, along with the Big Ten title streak? The Miami-FL game in Week 2 could be very important.

2. Michigan State - The Spartans are a team to watch in '10.

4. Wisconsin - The Badgers last Big Ten title was in '99 under Barry Alvarez. We don't see Bielema winning a Big Ten title in '10.

5. Penn State - This may be too big of drop for the Nittany Lions, but we don't see a strong year in Happy Valley. Like '06 and '07, we see a drop off for coach Joe Paterno's boys. Will this also be Joe Pa's final season in Happy Valley? We shall see.

6. Michigan - Okay, are the Wolverines going to make it back? Back to back losing seasons and back to back losses to Michigan State haven't happened, since the 1960s. It's now or cut for the Wolverines and the current coaching staff ...

6. Purdue - Coach Danny Hope was a good hire in West Lafayette and they face an interesting schedule with a road opener in South Bend and three of the first four on the road in the Big Ten. Another team that could surprise in '10.

8. Northwestern - We respect the work of coach Pat Fitzgerald, but we do believe there will be some rebuilding in Evanston for the 2010 season.

8. Illinois - Here's to Ron Zook getting to '11 and an opportunity to most likely play Iowa again. Of course, with realignment with Nebraska, could Iowa see Illinois or Purdue off the schedule for another two seasons?

10. Minnesota - Coach Brewster loves to reinvent the Golden Gophers offense in each of his four seasons in Minneapolis and 2010 is no different.

11. Indiana - "The Pistol" offense will provide some highlights, but schedule favors many opponents in 2010. Hopefully, the Hoosiers remain undefeated in OOC play in '10.

The 2010 College Football season kicks off on Thursday. It looks like the Big Ten will have some good opportunities to make some positive noise, if they can pull off a couple upsets in the OOC. Further, maitaining wins over key opponents are always important too.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Iowa 2010 kicks off in one week from Kinnick Stadium, as the Hawkeyes host the Eastern Illinois Panthers to open season

The season approaches in one week for Iowa Hawkeye fans and college football. The 2010 college football season will officially kick off on Thursday, September 2Nd. Iowa will open on Saturday, September 4Th in the first of seven home games at Kinnick Stadium in 2010.

Prep Football in Eastern Iowa opened the season on Friday night, with Mississippi Valley Conference play. At Kingston Stadium, Washington defeated Prairie 41-21 to open play, in a game that was closer than the score may show. Alex Carr had an explosive game running the ball with over 240 yards rushing and 4 TD runs. Defense sparked the Warriors in the second half with a couple of interceptions, including a pick 6.

Hawkeyes Open at Home: Our #4 ranked Iowa (0-0) hosts Eastern Illinois (0-0) Saturday, Sept. 4 in Kinnick Stadium (70,585) to open the 2010 season. Game time is 11:01 a.m. The game is sold out. Eastern Illinois is a FCS program from the Ohio Valley Conference and were one of 16 FCS schools to make the 2009 playoffs. This is Iowa's first meeting ever between Eastern Illinois or a team from their conference.

The Big Ten Network (HD) will televise the contest to a national cable audience that includes over 75 million households throughout the United States and Canada. Tom Hart, Anthony Herron, a former Iowa DE during the Fry and Ferentz era, and Lisa Byington will call the action.

The 2010 season will kick off with FryFest activities on Friday in Iowa City and Coralville and with a Reunion Weekend for the 1960 and 1985 Big Ten Championship teams from Iowa.

Big Ten Football: Week 1 (Times are all Central Time)

  • Sep. 2: Towson @ Indiana at 6:30 pm on the Big Ten Network

  • Sep. 2: Marshall @ Ohio State at 6:30 pm on the Big Ten Network

  • Sep. 2: Minnesota @ Middle Tennessee at 6:30 pm on ESPNU

  • Sep. 4: Western Michigan @ Michigan State at 11:00 am on ESPN2

  • Sep. 4: Youngstown State @ Penn State at 11:00 am on the Big Ten Network

  • Sep. 4: Eastern Illinois @ Iowa at 11:00 am on the Big Ten Network

  • Sep. 4: Missouri vs. Illinois in St. Louis at 11:30 am on Fox Sports Net

  • Sep. 4: Connecticut @ Michigan at 2:30 pm on ABC/ESPN2

  • Sep. 4: Purdue @ Notre Dame at 2:30 pm on NBC

  • Sep. 4: Northwestern @ Vanderbilt at 6:30p on ESPN3.com

  • Sep. 4: Wisconsin @ UNLV at 10:00 pm on Versus

The University of Iowa returns a strong base from their 2009 squad that finished 6-2 in the Big Ten, one game behind Ohio State, and 11-2 overall. The Hawkeyes defeated ACC champion Georgia Tech 24-14 in the 2010 FedEx Orange Bowl. The Orange Bowl win raised Iowa to 13-10-1 in bowl games.

Kirk Ferentz, entering his 12Th season as head coach, has named Iowa's Leadership Group for the 2010 season. The group includes seven seniors, four juniors, two sophomores and two freshmen (redshirt). A member of the incoming freshman class will be this in the fall. As in past seasons, permanent team captains are named at the conclusion of each season. The Leadership Group for this season includes seniors Adrian Clayborn, Brett Greenwood, Karl Klug, Brett Morse, Ricky Stanzi, Jeff Tarpinian and Julian Vandervelde; juniors Broderick Binns, Marvin McNutt, Tyler Nielsen and Tyler Sash; sophomores Greg Castillo and James Vandenberg; and redshirt freshmen Shane DiBona and Brett Van Sloten.

Iowa returns 47 lettermen from 2009, including 21 on offense, 22 on defense and four specialists. The 47 lettermen are one less than the number from 2009. The Hawkeyes return six starters on offense, eight on defense and their kicker and punter. The lettermen breakdown includes 15 three-year lettermen, 13 two-year lettermen and 19 one-year lettermen. The total roster has 122 players, and includes 26 seniors, 22 juniors, 25 sophomores, 16 redshirt freshmen and 33 true freshmen. The first game depth chart includes 19 seniors, 18 juniors, 12 sophomores, five redshirt freshmen and two true freshmen. Just two Division I programs, Hawaii (31) and Louisville (27), have more returning seniors than Iowa, while Texas-El Paso also returns 26 seniors and Ohio State returns 25.

The Hawkeyes have won 44 of its last 53 games (.830) in Kinnick Stadium, dating back to the 2002 season. The nine Hawkeye losses came to Western Michigan (28-19 in 2007), Indiana (38-20 in 2007), Michigan (23-20 in overtime in 2005), Ohio State (38-17 in 2006), Northwestern (21-7 in 2006, 22-17 in 2008 and 17-10 in 2009), Wisconsin (24-21 in 2006) and Iowa State (36-31 in 2002). Iowa recorded a school-record 22-game home winning streak between 2002-05, which ended in the overtime loss to Michigan. Iowa's 44-9 (.830) home record from 2002 thru 2009 is the 11Th-best winning percentage in the nation and ranks second in the Big Ten to Ohio State. Iowa was 6-1 at home in 2009, with wins over Northern Iowa, Arizona, Arkansas State, Michigan, Indiana and Minnesota and a loss to Northwestern. Iowa is 12-2 at home the last two seasons.

Iowa returns 11 players who earned all-Big Ten honors a year ago. Among those returning, DE Adrian Clayborn and DB Tyler Sash were first team selections by both league coaches and media. WR Derrell Johnson-Koulianos and DB Brett Greenwood were second team selections. Those earning honorable recognition included DT Christian Ballard, DT Karl Klug, P Ryan Donahue, RB Adam Robinson, DE Broderick Binns, QB Ricky Stanzi and PK Daniel Murray. In addition, Clayborn was the MVP of Iowa's FedEx Orange Bowl win over Georgia Tech and was named national Defensive Performer of the Year by College Football Performance Awards. Clayborn and Sash are two of four returning defensive players who earned first team all-Big Ten honors a year ago.

Eight Hawkeye players have been named to 18 different preseason "Watch Lists" for individual national awards. Those players include junior DE Broderick Binns (Ted Hendricks), senior DE Adrian Clayborn (Walter Camp, Ted Hendricks, Chuck Bednarik, Rotary Lombardi, Bronko Nagurski), senior punter Ryan Donahue (Ray Guy), senior WR Johnson-Koulianos (Paul Hornung, Fred Biletnikoff), senior DT Karl Klug (Outland Trophy), senior PK Daniel Murray (Lou Groza), junior DB Tyler Sash (Jim Thorpe, Chuck Bednarik, Lott Trophy, Bronko Nagurski) and senior QB Ricky Stanzi (Maxwell, Davey O'Brien, Manning). Iowa is one of three programs (joining Oklahoma and Texas) to have five different individual players earn national Player of the Year honors at their position since 2002.

College Football is one week away from what could be one of the better Iowa football seasons in the program's history, if expectations can be achieved and surpassed. We have Iowa at #4 in the FBS, as we enter the 2010 season.


Friday, August 27, 2010

MVC Prep Football Kicks off on August 27Th in Eastern Iowa

Friday, Aug. 27

  • Cedar Rapids Jefferson at Linn-Mar

  • Cedar Rapids Kennedy at Cedar Rapids Xavier

  • Cedar Rapids Prairie at Cedar Rapids Washington (Kingston)

  • Dubuque Hempstead at Cedar Falls

  • Dubuque Wahlert at Waterloo West

  • Iowa City High at Dubuque Senior

  • Waterloo East at Iowa City West

The Warriors will kick off play at home in Kingston Stadium vs. south town rival Prairie on Friday night. The Warriors top player in 2010 will likely be Alex Carr, senior RB and DB, who is gaining some Division I interest in football as a CB and RS. Head coach Tony Lombardi is entering his fifth season leading the Warriors. The Warriors return seven offensive and six defensive starters for the 2010 season per MaxPreps.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Inside the AP Poll: Iowa rated from 3Rd to 15Th in the 2010 preseason AP College Football Poll

The 2010 College Football season is less than two weeks away and the University of Iowa is among 12 schools ranked by all 60 members of the AP College Football Poll.

How did our local Gazette columist Mike Hlas vote in the 2010 AP Preseason College Football Poll? Pretty safe voter, since there is no option to vote bad with Hlas this cycle.

Here's PollsSpeak.com Top 6 Extreme Pollsters in the AP Poll:

Voters - Extreme - Near Extreme - Total

Summary for Iowa -- Week 1 (PreSeason)
Best Ranking: 3 (2 voters)
Worst Ranking: 15 (2 voters)
Most Common Ranking (10 times): 8
Average: 9.22

Summary for Ohio State -- Week 1 (PreSeason)
Best Ranking: 1
Worst Ranking: 8
Most Common Ranking (39 times): 2
Average: 2.67

Summary for Wisconsin -- Week 1 (PreSeason)
Best Ranking: 6
Worst Ranking: 25
Most Common Ranking (12 times): 11
Average: 12.3

Summary for Penn State -- Week 1 (PreSeason)
Best Ranking: 8
Worst Ranking: unranked
Most Common Ranking (8 times): unranked
Average: N/A

Summary for Nebraska -- Week 1 (PreSeason)
Best Ranking: 3
Worst Ranking: 17
Most Common Ranking (8 times): 5
Average: 8.78

Notable Voters:

Five programs picked up at least one first place vote in the first AP Poll for the 2010 College Football season:

  • Alabama 54 #1 votes
  • Ohio State 3
  • Boise State 1
  • Texas 1
  • Oklahoma 1

Schools ranked by all 60 voters in the Top 25 Poll:

  • Alabama 1 to 4
  • Boise State 1 to 7
  • Florida 2 to 15
  • Iowa 3 to 15
  • Nebraska 3 to 17
  • Ohio State 1 to 8
  • Oklahoma 1 to 25
  • Oregon 5 to 23
  • TCU 2 to 11
  • Texas 1 to 12
  • Virginia Tech 3 to 19
  • Wisconsin 6 to 25


College Football's Top 25 is released this weekend: Ohio State, Iowa in Top 10

AP Top 25
Rank - (first place votes) - Team - '09 Record - Points - Rank in Coaches Poll - # cidsports Rank

  1. Alabama (54) (14-0) 1491 1 #1 - All three polls rank defending BCS champs #1

  2. Ohio State (3) (11-2) 1400 2 #2 - Buckeyes appear clear #2

  3. Boise State (1) (14-0) 1336 5 #3 - Coaches don't give Boise State as much respect entering '10

  4. Florida (13-1) 1237 3 #5 - Gators must replace QB Tim Tebow

  5. Texas (1) (13-1) 1223 5 #7 - Longhorns must replace QB Colt McCoy

  6. TCU (12-1) 1160 7 #8 - Horned Frogs must replace some keys on defense

  7. Oklahoma (1) (8-5) 1104 8 #18 - Big jump for Sooners; let's see them earn it back in '10

  8. Nebraska (10-4) 1033 9 #15 - Cornhuskers need more consistent QB play

  9. Iowa (11-2) 1007 10 #4 - Iowa returns 8 on defense, 6 on offense and both kickers

  10. Virginia Tech (10-3) 973 6 #6 - This is a program that beat the Cornhuskers in '08 and '09

  11. Oregon (10-3) 870 11 #9 - Ducks look to defend rare Pac Ten title won last year

  12. Wisconsin (10-3) 822 12 #10 - The Badgers haven't won Big Ten in more than decade

  13. Miami (FL) (9-4) 785 13 #11 - Will QB play be more consistent for strong '10 run?

  14. USC (9-4) 590 Probation #NR - How will probation impact the Trojans post-Carroll?

  15. Pittsburgh (10-3) 516 15 #22 - Coach Wannstedt needs a new QB to lead way

  16. Georgia Tech (11-3) 511 17 #19 - The Yellow Jackets rolled through ACC last year

  17. Arkansas (8-5) 496 19 #NR - Razorbacks didn't finish '09 in Top 25

  18. North Carolina (8-5) 397 18 #NR - Will agents and NCAA probe be distraction in '10?

  19. Penn State (11-2) 382 14 #20 - Joe Pa has some holes to fill for 2010

  20. Florida State (7-6) 379 20 #21 - New era begins in Tallahassee after down year

  21. LSU (9-4) 300 16 #12 - Coach Miles and Tigers have been under performing lately

  22. Auburn (8-5) 296 23 #NR - Tigers are coming off Outback win over Northwestern

  23. Georgia (8-5) 206 21 #14 - The Bulldogs have been under performing of late

  24. Oregon State (8-5) 198 22 #NR - Will Beavers catch Ducks in the Pac Ten hunt?

  25. West Virginia (9-4) 184 t24 #NR - Mountaineers under Stewart face NCAA probe

Others receiving votes: #23 Cincinnati 108, Stanford 81, t24/#13 Utah 80, South Carolina 71, #25 Houston 66, Connecticut 32, Notre Dame 31, Missouri 27, #16 Brigham Young 19, Arizona 15, Clemson 15, #17 Texas Tech 14, #24 Navy 12, Washington 8, Texas A&M 7, Mississippi 6, Oklahoma State 3, Middle Tennessee 2, Central Michigan 2, Temple 2, UCF 1, Boston College 1, Southern Methodist 1

OSU leads four Big Ten teams in AP poll‎ - ESPN (blog)
This poll looks about right to me. Penn State had too many question marks to be ranked 14th in the Coaches' Poll. Iowa should be in the 7-10 range, ...

Four Big Ten Football Teams Ranked in Preseason Associated Press Poll‎ - Big Ten Conference
AP poll puts Huskers at No. 8
‎ - Omaha World-Herald

The 2010 College Football season kicks off on Thursday, September 2Nd. It should be an exciting season of play from coast to coast.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

FBS Football: Conference reallignment continues with BYU and two members of the WAC

It began earlier this year with one WAC program announced it was moving to the MWC. Then, it was the two Big 12 teams leaving and one MWC leaving. Now, there is news out of the MWC and WAC again ...

  • Boise State was moving from the WAC to the MWC, after '10

  • Nebraska is moving from the Big 12 to the Big Ten, after '10

  • Colorado is moving from the Big 12 to the Pac Ten, after '10

  • Utah is moving from the MWC to the Pac Ten, after '10

Now, BYU is planning to become an independent in football and will move to the WAC for all other sports. The decision isn't official yet, regarding BYU, but the discussions are clearly on the table. While the MWC is going to likely lose both Utah and BYU, the WAC will lose not only Boise State, but Fresno State and Nevada appear headed now to the MWC, as 2010 is turning out to be a big year for conference realignment.

@Mark_Schlabach Fuzzy math....MWC sits at 10 for '11
(Utah, BYU gone; Boise, Fresno, Nevada coming in). Need two more for conf. title
game .. if BYU leaves
~ Twitter from Mark Schlabach of ESPN

BYU's quest for independence proves conference realignment isn't over - ‎NewsOK.com
BYU's happy feet are merely the latest example of why conference realignment has not checked in its equipment. It's only taken a timeout. ...

Latest: MWC invites Fresno and Nevada, and Fresno accepts while ... ‎- Salt Lake Tribune (blog)
Fresno State and Nevada-Reno to join its conference, an obvious shot across the bow at the WAC for taking BYU. ... In fact, it is changing by the minute.

Video: MWC-WAC dance resumes - KRQE.com
Sources: BYU to join WAC for all sports except football ‎ - The Herald Journal
Fresno St., Nevada plan to join Mountain West
Report: Fresno State has agreed to join the Mountain West Conference
‎ - Los Angeles Times (blog)
Nevada, Fresno State accept offers to leave WAC and join Mountain West
‎ - USA Today


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Enjoy Iowa Football, but remember to 'Think Before You Drink'

"Our fans are the nation's best--they are enthusiastic and respectful of others.
Many of our fans consume alcohol on game days, and they do so responsibly.
However, a small minority drink too much and cause problems for themselves and
others. To those folks, we say, `Please think before you drink. Don't put a
black eye on the black and gold
~ Gary Barta, U of Iowa AD

The initiative means that UI Police and other officers will be enforcing some new rules and stepping up enforcement of others:
  • Consumption of alcoholic beverages in UI parking lots and ramps will be allowed for only one hour after each game, and all tailgating activities must end two hours after the game. In addition, no after-game consumption of alcohol will be allowed for the Oct. 2 night game against Penn State.
  • After the game, police will be emphasizing impaired driving enforcement, which may include vehicle safety checkpoints, increased road patrols, and OWI enforcement teams.
  • The UI encourages all drivers to be safe and sober on their way home.
  • Iowa City's open container ordinance will be strictly enforced. That law prohibits people from carrying open beer, wine and "hard" lemonades on public sidewalks and roads.
    Police will have no tolerance for persons urinating in public.
UI unveils new football game day initiative - ‎UI The Daily Iowan
With the Iowa football season less than three ... event for everyone who comes and enjoys the Hawkeye football games."

The message boards have gone back and forth on the proposals. Will it impede on one's Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness that fans of the Black & Gold thrive for on Iowa GameDay? Most of the items on the list are common sense. For an 11:00 am start, not sure why rushing fans out, who want to continue to eat and be merry is necessary, but time will tell.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Iowa High School football will kickoff on Friday, August 27Th: Washington will host Prairie @ Kingston Stadium

Can the Cedar Rapids Washington Warriors continue success on the gridiron in 2010? The Warriors have reached the State Class 4A Playoffs the past three straight seasons reaching the quarterfinals or higher? Washington plays there home games at Kingston Stadium, as all Cedar Rapids Community Schools high schools do.

2010 Warrior Football Schedule

  • vs. CR Prairie, Friday, August 27Th at 7:15 pm

  • @ CR Jefferson, Friday, September 9Th at 7:15 pm

  • vs. CR Kennedy, Friday, September 10Th at 7:15 pm

  • @ Dubuque Walhert (Loras College), Friday, September 17Th at 7:15 pm

  • vs. Dubuque Senior, Friday, September 24Th at 7:15 pm

  • vs. Iowa City High, Thursday, September 30Th at 7:15 pm

  • @ Linn Mar, Friday, October 8Th at 7:15 pm

  • vs. Iowa City West (Senior Night), Friday, October 15Th at 7:15 pm

  • @ Waterloo West, Friday, October 22Nd at 7:15 pm

  • Substate - TBD on Wednesday, October 27Th

  • Playoffs - Monday, November 1st

  • Quarter Finals - Friday, November 5Th

  • Semifinals @ UNI - Friday, November 12Th

  • Championship @ UNI - Friday, November 19Th

CR Wash Hoping to Reload in 2010 - KCRG-TV
One obstacle will be replacing RB Andre Dawson who now plays at UNI. Stepping in to that role is speedster Alex Carr (pictured), one of the fastest players in the state...

Photos - KCRG-TV

A look at former Cedar Rapids Warrior WR Keenan Davis, now a sophomore at the University of Iowa ...

Hawkeye WR Keenan Davis More Mature, Confident ‎- KCRG-TV
IOWA CITY - To football and Iowa Hawkeye QB Ricky Stanzi has a lot of weapons to throw the ball to this year including ...

Iowa high school football: Season in full gear a week early‎ - DesMoinesRegister.com
Running wind sprints and hammering blocking sleds are familiar drills for Iowa high school football players. ...

Iowa high school football: Register rankings and class previews‎ - DesMoinesRegister.com


Saturday, August 14, 2010

How will Iowa circle the wagons in 2010?

How much does Brandon Wegher's personal matters have to do with college football? It was an interesting to read the Quad Cities article provided on the Wegher situation.
"Right now he just needs some time to sort some things out," Coach
Kirk Ferentz said. "It happens in life to all of us. He just needs a little
time right now. Hopefully, he'll choose to return to the team

"We forget sometimes that these are college students and they
have a lot going through their minds
," he added.

"We're a better football team with him," Ferentz said.
"Hopefully, he will come to the conclusion that he really enjoys this."

In August 2002, Iowa had a key performer from the previous season leave the program in the fall camp. He was actually dismissed from the Iowa program. Iowa went on to become an 8-0 Big Ten football team in 2002.

Certainly, the circumstances are completely different between the player in 2002 and the player missing in 2010. But, the leadership of Kirk Ferentz, since he arrived in 1999 in working with young college men, who also play football, has not changed much. Coach Ferentz continues to grow with experience, as he leads the Iowa Football program in '10.

As one preview publication put it this year, "If the Stars Align" - Hawkeye Football 2010, could college football see something special this season from the Iowa football program?


Three weeks 'til paydirt: Iowa Football '10

The Iowa Hawkeyes hosted its Kid's Day from Kinnick Stadium on Saturday. It appears some interesting news is coming our way from Iowa City. Iowa should be one of the nations better programs in '10.

  • Sophomore RB Brandon Wegher is not practicing. The door is open, but he may choose not to return for the '10 season, due to personal circumstances. One would hope that he would not walk away from an outstanding opportunity on the field.

  • Sophomore CB Greg Castillo is a player to watch in the secondary. He has one start and could emerge in '10 along side sophomore Micah Hyde. Look for junior CB Jordan Bernstine to backup at safety, but see a lot of his time as Iowa's top nickel back in '10.

  • Senior QB Ricky Stanzi is likely on the brink of a very special season. There is a lot of talent in the receiving corp and RB again could be a 1-2 punch with sophomores Jewel Hampton and Adam Robinson.

  • Senior DT Christian Ballard is the third senior in the defensive line for the Hawkeyes and may be ready for a break out season, with senior DE Adrian Clayborn and senior DT Karl Klug at his side. Many rank Iowa one of top 3 defensive lines in college football, if not the best.

  • Iowa has one of the most stable coaching staffs in the country, lead by head coach Kirk Ferentz, entering his 12Th season. Iowa's success in '10 will be fueled by all three phases of the game.

  • Iowa has some outstanding experience in special teams. This is an area where Iowa could make a huge step in the football ladder in '10.

Iowa football: Prater sits out practice; battle at kicker continues - ‎DesMoinesRegister.com
Iowa City, Ia. — Cornerback Shaun Prater did not participate in Saturday's scrimmage because of a “leg pull.” “He's been practicing pretty well, ...

See comments above, regarding Iowa's CB position. Junior Shaun Prater is Iowa's most experience CB, but two sophomores may lead the attack at times. Iowa also has a veteran CB in junior William Lowe, who has played a lot on special teams.

PHOTOS: Hawkeye football scrimmage & Wegher update ‎- Gazette Online
Iowa players give their autographs to fans during Iowa Kids Day at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010, in Iowa City. A good size crowd showed up to ...
Camp Central: Hawkeye fans flock to Kid's Day ‎ - University of Iowa Athletics
Wegher watch ‎ - Gazette Online (blog)


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Iowa State faces challanging schedule in 2010 in the Big 12 and Out of Conference

It will be a challenging schedule for the 2010 edition of Iowa State Cyclones' football. For 12 straight weeks, the Cyclones will face eight bowl teams, three other Big 12 opponents and an in-state match up with FCS power Northern Iowa. The Cy-Hawk game will be in Iowa City this fall. ISU has been held without a scoring a TD for 14 straight quarters vs. Hawkeyes. Three new Big 12 South opponents will come onto the schedule, with Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech.

The Cyclones welcomed new coach Paul Rhoads last year to Ames. The Cyclones finished 7-6, with a solid 14-13 win over Minnesota in the Insight Bowl in Arizona. But, year two will be a challenge, with 8 offensive, four defensive starters returning and their talented punter departed.

ISU hoping to follow Austen Arnaud's lead ‎- The Associated Press
Arnaud struggled with Iowa State's new spread offense, ... studied and watched how they've been some of the best passers college football has ever seen ...

The Cyclones return its top two QBs in senior Austen Arnaud and sophomore Jerome Tiller, senior RB Alexander Robinson (#33), the #2 and #3 WRs in senior Jake Williams and junior Darius Darks and four starters in the offensive line. Junior PK Gran Mahoney is back for another season, as well, for the Cyclones offense.

The retooling is on the defensive side of the ball for coach Rhoads and his coaching staff. All three linebacker positions will be have new faces, as well many in the defensive line. The defensive line and secondary will return half of the starters. A redshirt freshman punter is projected to replace talented punter Mike Brandtner. The top return specialists are back for the Cyclones for '10.

Here's the Cyclones 2010 schedule:

This will be the final season for Nebraska and Colorado in the Big 12. The loss of both programs will be felt by the Cyclones, especially the home and home with Nebraska, the closest conference program to Ames.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Iowa State Football Camp interupted by Mother Nature and Flooding

This is a time where college football players are in fall camp preparing for the upcoming 2010 College Football season. But, there is an interruption in Ames, with the Iowa State football team. For great coverage from KCRG-TV on the flooding impacting Ames: link

Iowa State is schedule to kickoff the 2010 College Football season on Thursday, September 2Nd, when the Cyclones host the Northern Illinois Huskies from Jack Trice Stadium, which is currently surrounded by water, due to the flooding in Ames.

Iowa State players' hearts go out to flooded community ‎ - USA Today
Damage to Hilton Coliseum could exceed $100000, though, according to Iowa State officials. Water was turned off throughout Ames, which forced the football ...
Floods won't stop Iowa State classes, first football game ‎ - DesMoinesRegister.com (blog)

Iowa St. players help sandbag facilities - ‎ESPN
Iowa State's football practice fields were already under water before Tuesday night's 90-minute downpour that has flooded Hilton Coliseum and the school's ...
Cyclones keep perspective amidst flooding - ESPN (blog)

Unlike the Flood of 2008 that hit the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area: one death has been reported in Central Iowa, due to recent flooding ...

Flooding kills 1 in Iowa; hundreds evacuated - ‎The Associated Press
The floor at Hilton Coliseum, Iowa State's basketball arena, was covered with ...
Jack Trice football stadium was still dry, surrounded by sandbags football ...


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Rating the Top Out of Conference Football Games for Big Ten schools for 2010

The Big Ten Conference has a lot of buzz heading into the 2010 season. The conference is coming off a strong 4-3 bowl season in '09. Four teams (Ohio State, Iowa, Penn State and Wisconsin) finished 2009 in the Top 16, with all four of those teams defeating Top 15 teams in respective bowl games.
Further, there is a lot of excitement heading into 2011, with Nebraska joining the conference as the 12Th member of the conference. There will not be any conference title games in 2010. There is talk in the future of reducing an OOC game for another conference game, but that is down the road.

For now, the 2010 College Football season looks like an exciting one with the Big Ten Conference. Here's our look at the Top 13 OOC games in the Big Ten for 2010 (cidsports preseason Top 25 ratings):

  1. #20 Penn State @ #1 Alabama on 9/11 - The Nittany Lions will travel to Tuscaloosa for a rare in-season Big Ten-SEC showdown vs. the defending national champs ...

  2. #11 Miami-FL @ #2 Ohio State on 9/11 - The Buckeyes will host in Week 2 a rematch of the 2002 season BCS championship game ...

  3. #4 Iowa @ Arizona on 9/18 - The Hawkeyes head down to Tucson in '10, after hosting the Wildcats last year and pulling out a 27-17 win at Kinnick ...

  4. Missouri vs. Illinois on 9/4 in St. Louis - The Fighting lllini are 0-5 in this series played in St. Louis in a game that could help lower the flame on coach Ron Zook's hot seat in '10 ...

  5. USC @ Minnesota on 9/18 - The Trojans are heading into '10 on probation, but this is a big game for coach Tim Brewster and the Gophers program, no less ...

  6. Arizona State @ #10 Wisconsin on 9/18 - Another Big Ten-Pac Ten match up, as the Badgers look to capture a win over the Sun Devils for the first time ...

  7. Michigan @ Notre Dame on 9/11 - Coach Rich Rodriquez is 1-1 in this series, as Brian Kelly takes over the reigns in South Bend for the Fighting Irish ...

  8. Notre Dame @ Michigan State on 9/18 - The Spartans have won 9 of 13 vs. the Fighting Irish, but the series lead favors the Irish 45-27-1 ...

  9. Purdue @ Notre Dame on 9/4 - The Boilermakers are 1-11 in South Bend over the years, with the lone win in '04 ...

  10. Iowa State @ Iowa on 9/11 - In the Cy-Hawk series, the Hawkeyes have held the Cyclones to zero TDs for 14 straight quarters ...

  11. Northwestern @ Vanderbilt on 9/4 - The Big Ten-SEC square off for not one, but two rare OOC match ups as the Wildcats open '10 at the Commodores ...

  12. Illinois @ Fresno State on 12/3 - Could this game in California mark the conclusion of the Ron Zook era at Illinois? Last year's game was a wild finish in a 52-53 loss for the Illini ...

  13. Minnesota @ Middle Tennessee on 9/2 - A BCS vs. non-BCS match up that many are suggesting may turn out poor for the BCS member, as the Golden Gophers open at this Sun Belt school in '10 ...

Ranking Big Ten teams OOC schedules for 2010 ...

  1. Illinois - vs. Missouri in St. Louis (9/4), Southern Illinois (9/11), Northern Illinois (9/18), bye and @ Fresno State (12/3)

  2. Minnesota - @ Middle Tennessee State (9/2), South Dakota (9/11), USC (9/18) and Northern Illinois (9/25)

  3. Penn State - Youngstown State (9/4), @ Alabama (9/11), Kent State (9/18) and Temple (9/25)

  4. Michigan - Connecticut (9/4), @ Notre Dame (9/11), Massachusetts (9/18) and Bowling Green (9/25)

  5. Iowa - Eastern Illinois (9/4), Iowa State (9/11), @ Arizona (9/18) and Ball State (9/25)

  6. Ohio State - Marshall (9/2), Miami-FL (9/11), Ohio U. (9/18) and Eastern Michigan (9/25)

  7. Northwestern - @ Vanderbilt (9/4), Illinois State (9/11), @ Rice (9/18) and Central Michigan (9/25)

  8. Wisconsin - @ UNLV (9/4), San Jose State (9/11), Arizona State (9/18) and Austin Peay (9/25)

  9. Purdue - @ Notre Dame (9/4), Western Illinois (9/11), Ball State (9/18), Toledo (9/25) and bye week ...

  10. Michigan State - Western Michigan (9/4), vs. Florida Atlantic in Detroit (9/11), Notre Dame (9/18) and Northern Colorado (9/25)

  11. Indiana - Towson (9/2), bye, @ Western Kentucky (9/18), Akron (9/25) and Arkansas State (10/16)

Overall, the conference has too many OOC games that would lead many fans to say: bring on a 9Th conference game, like the Pac Ten. By the way, the Pac Ten is is adding two teams in 2011, with Colorado and Utah, to get to 12 members, like the Big Ten. Traditionally, the Big Ten and Pac Ten meet in the Rose Bowl. Though, the BCS championship game has sometimes altered that tradition over the past decade.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Iowa's quest for another strong run begins with rebuilding Offensive Line for 2010

“I think we’ll be OK in September.” ~ Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz

Four key offensive linemen have departed the University of Iowa, after last year's 11-2 season and Orange Bowl win over Georgia Tech. Iowa returns sophomore OT Riley Reiff and senior OG Julian Vandeverde from the starting lineup, but C Rafael Eubanks, G Dace Richardson and Ts Bryan Bulaga and Kyle Calloway have departed. All four players received all-Big Ten honors of some kind for there play in 2009. Further, reserve Gs Dan Doering and Andy Kuempel have departed too.

It will be a new offensive line for the Hawkeyes, but head coach Kirk Ferentz and offensive line coach Reese Morgan are confident in the personnel Iowa has in 2010.

“We like to think as an offensive line that we’re always going to control the
tempo of the game, to a certain extent. Games are won or
lost in the trenches, and we believe that to the utmost extent at Iowa. For us
to have that sort of pressure put on us is something we welcome.”
~ Iowa senior
offensive guard Julian Vandervelde

Hawkeye football: Iowa feeling optimistic offensive line will hold up ‎- DesMoinesRegister.com
Iowa returns its core from last year's 11-2 team that won the Orange Bowl and took Ohio State to overtime with the Big Ten title on the line. ...
Hawkeyes shrugging off preseason hype ‎ - Daily Times Herald
Preseason top-10 ranking no surprise to Hawkeye fans ‎ - Examiner.com
Camp Central: 10 questions with Josh Koeppel ‎ - University of Iowa Athletics
Iowa football notes: Van Sloten pulls into depth chart ‎ - Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

The Iowa coaching staff received some good news for the 2011 season with a verbal recruit for another offensive linemen. According to Rivals.com, Iowa, the Hawkeyes have received 13 oral commitments for the Class of 2011 thus far. National signing day is February 2, 2011, when oral commitments can become final.

Jordan Walsh commits to Iowa - ‎ESPN
Jordan Walsh decided to finalize his recruitment Monday and chose Iowa. ... he is expected to be among the state's top offensive linemen this season. ...
Glenbard West's Walsh commits to Iowa - Chicago Tribune
Hawkeyes pick up Illinois O-lineman - Gazetteonline.com (blog)