Friday, November 25, 2011

Iowa @ Nebraksa as the Heroes Game kicks off on ABC on Black Friday

Omaha was special location to celebrate Thanksgiving for a gathering of twenty friends and family. It was a mix of Cornhuskers, with Hawkeye fans. Several will be at today's game rooting for Big Red.

Which team will show up? An equal question for each fan base heading into the 11 a.m. showdown in Lincoln on ABC Sports. Both teams will not represent the Legends in the first Big Ten title game. A record of 4-3 wasn't worthy of a division title in 2011. The winner today will finish with a 5-3 Big Ten record.

Keys to Iowa-Nebraska game in Lincoln:

1. Which quarterback does a better job of game management, Vandenberg or Martinez?
2. Which defense gets off the field better on third down?
3. Which offense establishes the run better?
4. Who opens up the game and has more big plays?
5. Nebraska is a 9.5 home favorite, so Iowa needs to play a clean game, from a turnover, penalties and miscue prospective.
6. Special teams and the game of field position will be key.
7. Ultimately, this game will come down to physical line play and who consistently wins the battle in the line of scrimmage.

Iowa needs to score points and finish drives. Typically, Nebraska scores 42 points in Lincoln over Iowa, as 1982 and 2000. Last three wins in series, Nebraska has scored 42. Iowa has been dominated, but won in 1981 in Iowa City.

This series us now a conference game. Which team will show up in Lincoln for either side?

Iowa rolls 34-17 as Hawkeyes win all the phases of game. Cornhusker fans look to tar and feather coach Bo Pelini and his staff, after Year 1 in Big Ten.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Are We Ready for some Football: The Heroes Game debuts on Black Friday

For the University of Iowa and its fans, a football game the day after Thanksgiving has been on the mind of a lot of people. Football in the regular season, after Thanksgiving is rather new for most Big Ten programs.

However, for Iowa's opponent on Black Friday, playing football has been a tradition dating back to the days of the old Big 8 Conference and the Nebraska-OU series. After the Big 12 Conference was created, the game was Colorado-Nebraska, in the annual game, after Thanksgiving.

Next: Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers, in a new Big Ten rivalry game.

Both teams enter the game 4-3 in the Legends division. Depending on how Michigan (5-3 in the Legends) does hosting Ohio State (3-4 in Leaders) on Saturday, the game is likely for third place in the division. A win by Ohio State on Ann Arbor would throw the winner of the Iowa-Nebraska into a tw0-way tie for second place in the first Legends division race.

Michigan State (6-1 in the Legends) will represent the division in the first Big Ten title game in Indianapolis on Saturday, December 3Rd. The winner of the Penn State (6-1 the in Leaders) at Wisconsin (5-2 in the Leaders) will determine, who plays Michigan State in the title game. Michigan State plays Northwestern (3-4 in Leaders).

Nebraska holds a 26-12-3 advantage in the series that began with a 22-0 Iowa victory in 1891. The teams have not met since 2000 and the Huskers have won the last three meetings. Nebraska prevailed 42-13 in Lincoln in 2000 and won 42-7 in Iowa City in 1999 in the most recent meetings. The 1999 contest in Kinnick Stadium marked Coach Kirk Ferentz' first game as Iowa's head coach.

Iowa's most recent win in the series was a 10-7 victory at Iowa City in 1981. That game marked the first game in which Kirk Ferentz served as an Iowa assistant, being named Iowa's offensive line coach prior to the season.

Nebraska holds a 14-2-1 advantage in games played in Lincoln. Iowa has not won in Lincoln since a 33-13 win in 1933, having lost on its last four visits to Memorial Stadium. The first 10 games in the series were played in either Omaha (eight games) or Council Bluffs (two games). The series was even at 4-4-2 in those 10 meetings.

Nebraska won last meeting in series

Nebraska outscored Iowa 21-0 in the second half in pulling away to a 42-13 win over the Hawkeyes in Lincoln on Sept. 23, 2000, when the teams last met. Iowa drove 76 yards for a touchdown on its opening possession for a 7-0 lead, but the Huskers tied the game midway through the period and the teams were tied 7-7 after one quarter. Nebraska took a 14-7 lead in the second period before Iowa cut the deficit to a single point on Nate Kaeding field goals of 40 and 39 yards. Nebraska scored on a 43-yard pass on the final play of the first half for a 21-13 halftime advantage.

The Huskers dominated the second half. Iowa had just one possession in the final two quarters of more than six plays. Still, Nebraska led by a 28-13 margin before collecting two touchdowns in the final 1:27 of the fourth quarter. The big difference in the contest was rushing yardage, as Nebraska held a 331-47 advantage. In total offense, the Huskers held a 490-299 advantage. RB Ladell Betts led Iowa's rushing attack with 75 yards on 20 carries, while QB Scott Mullen completed 19-40 passes for 252 yards and a touchdown, with two interceptions. LB Mike Dolezal led Iowa's defense with 17 tackles. LB Roger Meyer had two tackles for loss and DL Jerry Montgomery recovered a fumble.

Iowa is 7-4 heading into the 2011 game in Lincoln. Nebraska is 8-3. In 2000, Iowa finished 3-9, while Nebraska finished 10-2. This year's game will be like no other in the Iowa-Nebraska series, since the Cornhuskers have now joined the Big Ten Conference.

College Basketball Top 25: Creighton #25 in ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, after wins at UAB, vs. Iowa

The 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Rankings in ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll Week 3 (Nov. 21) has the Creighton Bluejays (4-0) at #25, after picking up wins at UAB (70-60) and vs. Iowa (82-59) in Des Moines. Creighton moved up seven spots from 32Nd in last week's release.

It's the first time that Creighton has been ranked in the coaches poll since being tabbed 24Th on March 12, 2007. The last team from the MVC to be ranked by the coaches was Northern Iowa, which was 13Th in the final USA Today Coaches poll at the conclusion of the 2009-10 campaign.

Creighton will enjoy Thanksgiving on Thursday, then host Campbell (3-0), who will play at Iowa (3-1) on Wednesday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, before heading to Omaha. Creighton's game with Campbell on Friday will tip off at 7:05 pm at CenturyLink Center Omaha.

Creighton didn't make the Top 25 in the AP Poll, finishing #28, right behind Michigan State (2-2). Creighton has not been ranked in the top 25 by the Associated Press since being 20Th on Nov. 13, 2006. Creighton was last as high as 28Th in the AP poll on March 12, 2007, when it was 26Th. The Jays had been tied for 33rd in last week's AP poll.

The Missouri Valley Conference honors Doug McDermott as Player of the Week

After double-digit wins at UAB and versus Iowa on a neutral floor, the Creighton men's basketball team on Monday garnered its share of recognition from the league office and national pollsters.

Sophomore forward Doug McDermott was named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week after averaging 26.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. He shot 63.6 percent from the field (21-33), including 5-of-7 from downtown (71.4 percent) and also sank 5-of-6 free throws (83.3 percent).

McDermott began his week with 27 points and seven rebounds in a 70-60 road win at defending Conference USA champion UAB, snapping the Blazers 38-game non-conference regular-season home winning streak. He made 11-of-18 field goals, 3-of-4 shots from downtown, and both free throws while going against a UAB front line that included Preseason C-USA Player of the Year Cameron Moore.

On Sunday, McDermott returned to his home state and put on another impressive all-around display in an 82-59 demolition of Iowa. The sophomore had 18 of his game-high 25 points in the first half to help CU to a 45-29 intermission lead, and finished with 25 points and nine rebounds in 28 minutes. He sank 10-of-15 field goal attempts, including 2-of-3 from deep, and also made 3-of-4 foul shots.

McDermott also became the first Bluejay since 2003 with three straight games of 20 points or more, something last accomplished by two-time MVC Player of the Year Kyle Korver.

This is the first MVC Player of the Week accolade in McDermott's career, though he did set a league record last winter with seven MVC Newcomer of the Week awards.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Our look at the Top 25 in College Football, after Week 12

We are heading into Thanksgiving week and many conferences will finish play in Week 13, ahead of conference title games in Week 14.

Week 12 brought a lot of upsets, especially in the Big 12, where both Oklahoma Big 12 schools, OU and Okie State, fell on back to back days. North Carolina State knocked down Clemson in the BCS pecking order in ACC play, during Week 12. USC spoiled Oregon's BCS hopes.

Here's our look at the Top 25 after Week 12

  1. LSU Tigers (11-0, 7-0 SEC West)

  2. Alabama Crimson Tide (10-1, 6-1 SEC West)

  3. Arkansas Razorbacks (10-1, 6-1 SEC West)

  4. Stanford Cardinal (10-1, 8-1 Pac 12 North)

  5. Virginia Tech Hokies (10-1, 6-1 ACC Coastal)

  6. Boise State Broncos (9-1, 4-1 MWC)

  7. Oklahoma State Cowboys (10-1, 7-1 Big 12)

  8. Oregon Ducks (9-2, 7-1 Pac 12 North)

  9. Houston Cougars (11-0, 7-0 C-USA West)

  10. Oklahoma Sooners (8-2, 5-2 Big 12)

  11. Kansas State Wildcats (9-2, 6-2 Big 12)

  12. Georgia Bulldogs (9-2, 7-1 SEC East)

  13. Michigan State Spartans (9-2, 6-1 B1G Legends)

  14. South Carolina Gamecocks (9-2, 6-2 SEC East)

  15. Penn State Nittany Lions (9-2, 6-1 B1G Leaders)

  16. Wisconsin Badgers (9-2, 5-2 B1G Leaders)

  17. USC Trojans (9-2, 6-2 Pac 12 South)

  18. Clemson Tigers (9-2, 6-2 ACC Atlantic)

  19. Michigan Wolverines (9-2, 5-2 B1G Legends)

  20. TCU Horned Frogs (9-2, 6-0 MWC)

  21. Baylor Bears (7-3, 4-3 Big 12)

  22. Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-3, 4-3 B1G Legends)

  23. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-3)

  24. Auburn Tigers (7-4, 4-3 SEC West)

  25. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (8-3, 7-0 C-USA West)

    Looking at the conference races, after Week 12 -
    ACC - Clemson wins the Atlantic at 6-2, one game ahead of Wake Forest and Florida State. In the Coastal, the division title will be on the line in Week 13, with Virginia Tech (6-1) @ Virginia (5-2) for the right to play Clemson in the ACC title game.

    Big 12 - With the loss of Colorado and Nebraska ahead of the 2011 season, there is no title game anymore in the Big 12. Oklahoma State (7-1) remains in the lead, despite the 2OT loss at Iowa State on Friday night, since Oklahoma (5-2) fell at Baylor. Kansas State (6-2) sneaks into the #2 spot now, with OU's loss.

    Big East - There is no title game in the Big East, so two weeks remain in the regular season. Louisville and Rutgers lead at 4-2, but three other teams have only two losses at 3-2: Cincinnati, West Virginia and Pittsburgh. Pretty much par for the case in the lowest rated BCS conference.

    Big Ten - Michigan State (6-1) clinched the Legends division spot in the first Big Ten title game, with a 55-3 win over IU. The Leaders division spot will be determined in Week 13, when Penn State (6-1) travels to Madison for the final regular season game at Wisconsin (5-2).

    C-USA - Southern Miss (5-2) leads East Carolina (4-3) in the East, while the West is a little more interesting heading into Week 13 with both Houston and Tulsa at 7-0. Week 13 will determine how the C-USA title game breaks down.

    Independents - Only two programs will be bowl eligible this year with BYU and Notre Dame, who are both currently 8-3, with one game left. Neither are worthy of a BCS bowl in 2011.

    MAC - Ohio U (5-2) leads the East, one game ahead of Temple and Kent State. While in the West, Northern Illinois and Toledo are both tied at 6-1 heading into Week 13. This week will sort out who meets in the MAC title game.

    MWC - In the final season, before heading to the Big 12, TCU at 6-0 has clinched the tie breaker for the title with wins over both Boise State and Wyoming, who are both at 4-1 heading into Week 13. There is no MWC title game, but TCU controls whether they win the conference outright or not.

    Pac 12 - Stanford has closed out the North division with a 8-1 record, ahead of Oregon, who is 7-1, with one game left in the conference. The Cardinal will play their final regular season game outside the conference, when they host Notre Dame at home in Week 13. Who Stanford will play in the first Pac 12 title game will be determined in Week 13, when USC (6-2) hosts UCLA (5-3) for the South division spot.

    SEC - Georgia (7-1) collected their ninth straight win of the season in Week 12, clinching the East division spot in the title game, one game ahead of South Carolina. LSU (7-0) controls their own destiny as they continue a one game lead heading into the final week of SEC play in the West. Alabama and Arkansas are both 6-1, with games at Auburn and at LSU, respectively.

    Sun Belt - No title game in this conference, with Arkansas State at 7-0 with one game left, leading Western Kentucky, who is 6-1, with an opportunity to clinch a share of the conference title, if Arkansas State falls and WKU wins out.

    WAC - The conference is dwindling soon, with no title game, either. Louisiana Tech (5-1) is ahead of Nevada (4-1) and Utah State (3-2), with the final weeks coming in WAC play.

    We want to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable week of Thanksgiving. peace

    Heroes Game - Iowa Hawkeyes (7-4, 4-3 B1G Legends) @ Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-3, 4-3 B1G Legends) on Black Friday of Week 13.

    Creighton advances to 4-0 on young season, after solid 82-59 win over Iowa in Des Moines

    From Creighton University Sports Information
    Box Score
    DES MOINES, Iowa -- Creighton's first match-up with Iowa since 2001 was a lopsided affair, as the Jays drained 9-of-19 three-pointers to post a 82-59 win over the Hawkeyes before 12,746 fans at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.

    Creighton is now 4-0 on the season, while Iowa dropped to 3-1. The game was the third for both teams in the Dale Howard Classic, as both teams will host unbeaten Campbell in the coming days.

    Doug McDermott scored 13 of Creighton's first 18 points and the Jays used a 10-0 run to build up a 22-10 lead with 8:09 left in the first half. CU's lead reached 31-18 on a three-pointer by Grant Gibbs. The Jays kept up their hot shooting, moving ahead 45-26 after consecutive treys by CU's Avery Dingman and Josh Jones. Dingman (pictured to right) made three trifectas, while McDermott had 18 points, as the Jays headed to halftime with a 45-29 lead.

    Creighton went inside early and often to start the second half, a major reason they outscored the Hawkeyes 40-16 in the paint for the night. Gregory Echenique scored the first five points, while McDermott and Antoine Young also scored in the paint to bring CU's lead to 56-36 with 14:48 to go. That started a 14-0 run that saw CU lead by as much as 66-36.

    Creighton led by as much as 33 points (74-41 with 6:16 left) before settling for the final margin.

    McDermott led CU with 25 points and nine rebounds, while Echenique added 15 points and nine rebounds and Dingman had a career-best 14 points on 4-of-4 shooting from long-range. Creighton shot 55.2 percent in the game, including 9-of-19 from deep (47.4 percent), while outrebounding the Hawkeyes 43-27 and dishing twice as many assists as Iowa (20-10).

    Iowa was paced by 14 points from Josh Oglesby and 13 points from Matt Gatens.

    Creighton returns to action on Friday when it closes out play in the Dale Howard Classic with a 7:05 pm game against unbeaten Campbell (3-0).

    NOTES: This was the 25th all-time meeting between Creighton and Iowa, but first since the 2001 NCAA Tournament ... Doug McDermott became Creighton's first player with three straight games of 20 points or more since Kyle Korver in 2003 ... Greg McDermott is now 6-4 against Iowa ... Greg McDermott is now 52-4 in his Division head coaching career when scoring 80 or more points, and is 19-1 when his Creighton teams score 70 or more points ... Each of Creighton's last seven teams to start 4-0 or better have reached the postseason ... Creighton's first 12 points came from Iowa natives Doug McDermott and Grant Gibbs ... Creighton has won each of its first four games by double-digits ... Creighton outscored Iowa 18-3 in second-chance points ... Avery Dingman's career-high 14 points came in just 11 minutes ... Gregory Echenique's 15 points were a season-high ... Creighton is now 4-1 in the regular-season since 1998 against Big Ten competition, including a 3-0 mark against Iowa.

    Saturday, November 19, 2011

    It's time to take my black & gold hat off for Iowa vs. Creighton

    From 1974 to 1982, my loyalty was often to the Iowa Hawkeyes, in college basketball. But, in 1982, I enrolled at Creighton University, so on Sunday, November 20Th at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, its Creighton University (3-0) vs. the Iowa Hawkeyes (3-0).

    It doesn't happen very often. The last time it happened was over ten years ago, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, with Iowa advancing that day with a 69-56 win. Iowa played the previous two seasons in a home and home vs. Creighton, with the Jays winning both of those games by two and nine points. An earlier game was played in the 1990 non-conference in the old Amana-Hawkeye Classic championship game in Iowa City, losing by six.

    Now, it's time for Game 5, since my years at Creighton. It's another neutral court.

    Iowa has played three home games. Creighton won on the road at UAB on Wednesday night, 70-60, in the Blazers season opener. It was the first loss at home in the non-conference for UAB, since the 2005 season.

    Creighton played at Wells Fargo Arena last season. The Bluejays lost at the buzzer to Iowa State.
    This will be the first of three non-conference games vs. Big Ten opponents for the Bluejays this season. First up is Iowa on a neutral court. Creighton will play @ Nebraska and vs. Northwestern at CenturyLink Arena, as well.

    Creighton is lead by sophomore Doug McDermott at 20.3 ppg, while Iowa is lead by three year captain, senior Matt Gatens at 16.3 ppg.

    Creighton is lead by junior Gregory Echenique at 6.7 rpg, while Iowa is currently lead by a true freshman off the bench in Aaron White at 6.0 rpg.

    Creighton is lead by a former Linn-Mar prep, in Gonzaga transfer, junior Grant Gibbs, who is averaging 4.7 apg. Iowa is lead by senior co-captain Bryce Cartwright at 6.3 apg. Cartwright was very solid in assists last season in the Big Ten.

    Head coaches:
    Both programs are headed by second year coaches. Creighton hired former UNI and ISU coach Greg McDermott, an Iowa native, took replace sixteen year coach Dana Altman, who is now at Oregon. Altman and McDermott squared off to close out the 2011 postseason last year. Former Siena Coach Fran McCaffery took over Todd Lickliter at Iowa last season. McDermott is 5-4 lifetime as a head coach vs. Iowa. This is the first time he has faced McCaffery head to head.

    It should be an interesting game. Both teams are playing better than last season, with a deeper roster for each. It will be Iowa's first real test. Creighton passed its first test at UAB on Saturday night, but Iowa is even bigger, since it is a neighboring state and both teams are looking to keep a win streak going.

    Some of the players have faced each other before. Iowa's Gatens and Creighton's Gibbs both played against one another in high school in Iowa.

    A Creighton win over Iowa would be a great start in Year 2 for coach Greg McDermott. The same can be said for Coach Fran McCaffery. Go Jays! On Iowa!

    Iowa picks up first road win of season with 31-21 win @ Purdue

    The Iowa Hawkeyes (7-4, 4-3 B1G Legends) finally took care of business on the road, after losing the first three of the season, with a 31-21 win at Purdue (5-6, 3-4 B1G Leaders). Purdue falls to 0-3 on Senior Day under coach Danny Hope. Iowa gets road redemption as the Hawkeyes win at Purdue on a windy day.
    "It's good to get the win and being on the road makes it that much better. We knew it was going to be a tough challenge. Credit goes to our
    players, they fought and battled hard. It wasn't a pretty game, but they really
    worked hard."
    - Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz

    The Hawkeyes have won five of the last six and 17 of the last 23 meetings vs. Purdue. Iowa assures themselves of a winning season, with the win at Purdue.
    After losses at Iowa State in 3 OT, at Penn State, at Minnesota; Iowa gets it together with solid road win at Purdue. The Hawkeyes were lead by solid quarterback play from junior James Vandenberg, solid running from sophomore Marcus Coker and solid play by four Iowa receivers, lead by senior Marvin McNutt. On defense, the defensive line put together their best game of the season, lead by seniors Mike Daniels and Broderick Binns.
    "It's great to get that monkey off our back. This was a great team win all
    ." - quarterback James Vandenberg

    Iowa will enjoy this game, but will have to turnaround and get ready for the final Big Ten road game of the season on Black Friday, when the Hawkeyes face Nebraska (8-3, 4-3 B1G Legends) in Lincoln for the first Heroes Game, starting the Iowa-Nebraska rivalry in the Big Ten.


    Michigan State (9-2, 6-1 B1G Legends) clinched the Big Ten Legends Division with a 55-3 home win on Senior Day over Indiana (1-10, 0-7 B1G Leaders). The Spartans, who beat Iowa last weekend on Iowa's Senior Day, will play the winner of next Saturday's Penn State-Wisconsin game on December 3Rd in the Big Ten's first championship game in Indianapolis. The Spartans will close out the regular season next Saturday at Northwestern (6-5, 2-4 B1G Legends).

    Is it time for Iowa to pull off a road win in the 2011 season?

    Iowa is 0-3 on the road for the 2011 season. Iowa has two more chances at Purdue this week, then at Nebraska on Black Friday.

    Until last weekend, Iowa (6-4, 3-3 B1G Legends) was undefeated at home, but Michigan State dropped Iowa to 6-1 for the season. Iowa's opponent, Purdue (5-5, 3-3 B1G Leaders) this week is 5-1 this season at home, at Ross-Ade Stadium.

    Iowa hasn't played in West Lafayette, since the 2007 season and last won there in 2005. The Boilermakers and Hawkeyes haven't faced one another, since 2008, when Iowa beat Purdue 22-17 in the second to last game of the season.

    Will three be a charm for Purdue? It will be Senior Day for the Boilermakers. Under Coach Danny Hope, the Boilermakers are 0-2 on Senior Day.

    The weather is likely going to be windy at Ross-Ade Stadium on Saturday, as the two teams play on the Big Ten Network (Direct TV 611-1 in HD) with a 11 a.m. start. Last week, in Iowa's 37-21 loss vs. Michigan State, the Hawkeyes' junior QB James Vandenberg struggled against the wind.

    Purdue is coming off a big 26-23 OT win at Ross-Ade Stadium over Ohio State last week. Last week for Iowa, the Hawkeyes were coming off a big 24-16 win over Michigan, as they faced Michigan State for the second straight home game.

    Will Purdue's fate be similar to Iowa or will they string another victory at home and obtain bowl eligibility? http://Iowa - Black & Gold rivals, in this Big Ten intra-division protected game! Iowa has been 16-5-1, since 1983, while prior to the 1981 win by Iowa, Purdue had a 19 game winning streak over the Hawkeyes.

    Both teams have a lot to play for on Saturday. Iowa can secure a winning season for 22011. While, Purdue can secure bowl eligibility and their first win on Senior Day under coach Danny Hope.

    So, is there any Hope for Iowa in West Lafayette on Saturday?
    • Iowa QB Vandenberg needs to do a better job of game management

    • Iowa defense needs to play stronger and avoid "big plays" which hurt Iowa vs. MSU and in other Iowa losses on the road

    • Execution is huge, as well proper technique

    • Iowa must establish the running game - which they did at Minnesota in their disappointing 22-21 road loss. Who will be the #2 RB for Iowa this week?

    • Iowa must finish, unlike @ Minnesota: put points on the board in the red zone on offense

    • Iowa defense needs to play strong on red zone

    • Ironically, Iowa is a good red zone defense, in conference play

    • Special teams: both teams are pretty even, so who win the challenges in this phase?

    • Which coaching staff has there club in better position to win?

    The Iowa coaching staff for the most part has had Iowa in position to make plays this season. But, in Iowa four losses, players have not stepped up, when the opportunity has been there for the Hawkeyes.

    Iowa appears to be in a strong position, if they can get to 28 points @ Purdue.

    Purdue needs to hold Iowa to 24 points or less. In regulation, Iowa has been held to 24, 3, 21 and 24 points in the four losses Iowa has had this season.


    In 2005, it was Iowa 34, Purdue 17, in Iowa's last victory in West Lafayette, so this time around. Iowa's last road win was @ Michigan in 2010, when the Hawkeyes won 38-28.

    In this game, look for Iowa, if they can get off to a good start and control momentum, the line of scrimmage and field position... IOWA 28, Purdue 17, very similar to Iowa's first B1G road win in 2007. That game was at Northwestern, when Iowa entered the game 0-3 on the road in the Big Ten.

    24-24 Special at Iowa State again: Cyclones knock off #2 this time in 2OT

    Coach Paul Rhoads has become a dragon slayer over three years for the Iowa State Cyclones. On Friday Night in Ames, with a national ESPN audience, the Cyclones (6-4, 3-4 Big 12) knocked off #2 Oklahoma State Cowboys (10-1, 8-1 Big 12) 37-31 in 2 OT.

    Most observers would say it was the biggest victory likely in Iowa State football history. ISU beats a 27 point favorite, after rebounding from a 24-7 third quarter deficit in front of a national television audience to force overtime. On Senior Night, at Jack Trice Stadium, the Cyclones pull off a huge win that throws a huge monkey wrench into the BCS title game pecking order.

    For the second time in the 2011 season, ISU takes a game 24-24 into overtime in Ames. In the first OT game, earlier this season vs. Iowa, the Cyclones beat the Hawkeyes 44-41 in 3 OT. Last night, vs. #2 Oklahoma State, the Cyclones forced an interception in Okie State's possession in the second OT. With the ball, the Cyclones took three carries from the 25 yard line right down the Cowboys throat for a 37-31 victory.

    David wins! Like the name of the movie Any Given Sunday, there is a reason the games are played on the field. Turnovers can often be a big equalizer.

    #2 Oklahoma State made mistakes in Ames. In an emotional charged game, for different reasons for each team, Iowa State prevails. Oklahoma State threw three interceptions, which helped Iowa State get the upset. Sadly, earlier in the day, the Oklahoma State community faced a heavy heart, with the tragic loss of two women's basketball coaches, when the plane they were flying on in a recruiting trip crashed.

    In the past three seasons under Paul Rhoads at Iowa State, the Cyclones have pulled off some special games.

    • In 2009, in Lincoln, Iowa State 9, Nebraska 7

    • In 2010, in Austin, Iowa State 28, #22 Texas 21

    • In 2011, in Ames, Iowa State 44, Iowa 41 in 3 OT

    • In 2011, in Ames, Iowa State 37, #2 Oklahoma State 31 in 2 OT

    For the second time in three seasons, Iowa State is bowl eligible, after winning the season home finale of the season. Unlike 2009, the Cyclones have two games, rather than one left in Big 12 play.

    Iowa State will wrap up the regular season with two final road games in Big 12 play. Next Saturday, the Cyclones will head to Norman for a game @ Oklahoma (8-1, 5-1 Big 12), then at Kansas State (8-2, 5-2 Big 12) on December 3Rd.

    Fan bases should always remember... any given day! ISU is a program that hasn't won a share of football title in 99 and 100 years, respectively. There is always something special to play for on any given day!

    Sunday, November 13, 2011

    Iowa is a .500 Big Ten football team with two games left

    Against the top two division teams in the Big Ten, Penn State (8-2, 5-1 B1G Leaders) and Michigan State (8-2, 5-1 B1G Legends), Iowa (6-4, 3-3 B1G Legends) wasn't equal, losing 13-3 at Penn State to open the Big Ten conference season, then losing 37-21 on Senior Day this past Saturday at Kinnick Stadium against Michigan State.

    The Hawkeyes are coming off three straight seasons, winning each of their bowl games. In 2009, Iowa played with the Big Ten title on the line at Ohio State, but lost 24-27 in OT. Iowa QB James Vandenberg lead Iowa in that competitive game in Columbus, in relief of starter Ricky Stanzi, who was out due to injury. Stanzi was a key piece in leading Iowa to three bowl wins.

    But, in Iowa's four losses in 2011, Vandenberg has often struggled at QB. Iowa's other two losses were on the road, with a 44-41 3OT loss at Iowa State, then a 22-21 loss at Minnesota. Turnovers have been a common denominator in Iowa's four losses this season. In Iowa's latest loss on Senior Day, vs. Michigan State, Iowa was a minus three in turnover margin.

    Typically, Quarterbacks lose more games at the Big Ten level, than win them. Balance, with strong offense, defense and special teams are all typically needed. Wisconsin has a good team this year, but special teams have lead to breakdowns and losses. Iowa's special teams breakdowns last year, caused similar results.

    Game management is important at the Quarterback position, but all phases need to step up. Since Iowa's 7-1 Big Ten season in 2004, Iowa's special teams have been hit and miss. Iowa has had some good performers, but consistency and execution has caused issues. Both coaching mistakes and player execution problems have been noticed in Iowa City, lately.

    In the game Saturday vs. Michigan State, Iowa was victim of another special team breakdown, when the Spartans executed a fake field goal. A good Michigan State defense didn't make it easy for Iowa, but at times, Iowa simply looks out of sync.

    Yeah, I don't know. I guess you'd have to say we weren't ready. We
    didn't look ready. We left the door open way too many times in all three phases.
    It wasn't just any one segment. Little details. Just little things, all the
    basics that either help you win or make it tougher to win
    , Iowa
    coach Kirk Ferentz commenting what was the key to MSU game

    Iowa will lose 18 seniors, after this season. So, where are the Hawkeyes headed, as they close out the final two games on the road in the Big Ten? Iowa is bowl eligible for the eleventh straight season, but a trip to Detroit is not what the Iowa fans had in mind heading into 2011.

    Iowa will face difficult challenges on the road with games at Purdue (5-5, 3-3 B1G Leaders) this week, then a major showdown at Nebraska (8-2, 4-2 B1G Legends) on Black Friday. The games at Purdue and Nebraska will have major bowl implications for all three teams. Both games will have an 11 a.m. kickoff. The Purdue game will be on the Big Ten Network and ABC Sports will air the Nebraska game on Black Friday.

    The Hawkeyes were at a crossroads, at 2-2, after the loss at Minnesota. Iowa rebounded with a solid 24-16 win over Michigan (8-2, 4-2 Legends), which was clearly Iowa's best game in 2011. But, unlike returning to the home field of Kinnick Stadium facing Michigan, Iowa will face two major road games, where Iowa is 0-3 for 2011. Next up: @ Purdue on Saturday.

    Saturday, November 12, 2011

    Senior Day for Iowa: 18 seniors face Michigan State at Kinnick Stadium with 11 a.m. kickoff on ESPN2

    The Iowa Hawkeyes (6-3, 3-2 B1G Legends) will kickoff Senior Day with Michigan State (7-2, 4-1 B1G Legends), with first place in the Legends Division on the line. The game is televised on ESPN2 at 11 a.m. Central Time. ESPNs preview.

    Iowa has beat Michigan State each time at Kinnick Stadium, since 1989. However, there have been some close games in the series, including a double OT game in 2007, when Iowa beat Michigan State 34-27. Last year, Iowa beat Michigan State 37-6, which was the Spartans lone loss in the Big Ten and the regular season. The Hawkeyes have beat the Spartans seven straight times at Kinnick Stadium by a 15 point margin, but like the 2007 game, this year's game should be a close one. The Spartans are favored by three points.

    However, the road has been tough for many teams in 2011. Iowa is 6-0 at Kinnick this year, but 0-3 on the road. Michigan State has lost twice on the road this season with a non-conference game at Notre Dame, then at Nebraska in Big Ten play.

    The quarterbacks will be a key position to watch in the Iowa-MSU match up. Senior #8 Kirk Cousins leads the Spartans offensive attack. Last year in Iowa City, Cousins had his worse game, according to Phil Steele, with three interceptions, with two that lead to 13 first half points for the Hawkeyes. Iowa is lead at quarterback by a first year starter, in junior #16 James Vandenberg.

    Offensively, Iowa has three of the top performers statistically in the Big Ten, with Vandenberg at QB, sophomore RB #34 Marcus Coker and senior WR #7 Marvin McNutt. Michigan State has one of the Big Ten's best defensive squads. In Iowa's road loss at Penn State, defensive strength from the Nittany Lions kept the Iowa offense off track all game, in a 13-3 loss. Will another top defense cause Iowa problems? With the game at Kinnick Stadium, Iowa's offense should play better? If they are going to defeat Michigan State, they will have to or it could be a long day for the Hawkeyes.

    On defense, Michigan State is lead by super sophomores, like DE #2 William Gholston, LB #28 Denicos Allen and CB #31 Darqueze Dennard, all first year starters. Junior DT #99 Jerel Worthy is outstanding, along with two other returning starters in a strong Spartan defensive line. Junior CB #5 Johnny Adams is another good player for the Spartans to keep an eye on.

    Success at Kinnick Stadium will start with the play of the offensive and defensive lines. The Iowa-MSU game should be a very physical game. The victory will most likely go to the team that establishes the better line play, whether that be on offense or on defense. Special teams will also be an important aspect of the game.

    Senior Day at Kinnick, with a look at the Big Ten statistical breakdown: Iowa vs. MSU:

    5. Iowa 5 17 5 17 0 0 0 134 26.8
    8. Michigan State 5 14 3 12 1 0 1 109 21.8

    MSU is weakest scoring offense of Iowa, UNL and Purdue

    t3. Michigan State 5 13 3 13 0 0 0 100 20.0
    6. Iowa 5 13 6 10 0 0 0 106 21.2

    Strongest scoring defense of teams left for Iowa

    TOTAL OFFENSE G Rush Pass Plays Yards Avg/P TD Avg/G
    6. Iowa 5 842 994 294 1836 6.2 16 367.2
    9. Michigan State 5 600 1042 308 1642 5.3 12 328.4

    Iowa beat #2 Northwestern and #3 Michigan and #8 IU at Kinnick in B1G

    TOTAL DEFENSE G Rush Pass Plays Yards Avg/P TD Avg/G
    3. Michigan State 5 647 909 338 1556 4.6 13 311.2
    8. Iowa 5 906 1092 367 1998 5.4 13 399.6

    Illinois ranks best in this stat, with PSU #2 and MSU #3. Michigan is #4.

    RUSHING OFFENSE G Att Yards Avg. TD Yards/G
    8. Iowa 5 177 842 4.8 8 168.4
    12. Michigan State 5 160 600 3.8 4 120.0

    How well will MSU run the ball at Kinnick? Could be biggest factor in game?

    RUSHING DEFENSE G Att Yards Avg. TD Yards/G
    3. Michigan State 5 214 647 3.0 5 129.4
    8. Iowa 5 211 906 4.3 5 181.2

    PSU ranks #1 and Michigan ranks #2. Iowa appears to be improving in run offense. Will Iowa show another back vs. MSU? Or, will it continue to be all Marcus Coker attacking MSU's run defense?

    PASS OFFENSE G Comp Att Int Pct. Yards Avg. TD Avg/G
    5. Michigan State 5 89 148 3 60.1 1042 7.0 8 208.4
    6. Iowa 5 73 117 3 62.4 994 8.5 8 198.8

    Iowa beat the #1 Northwestern and #3 Michigan at home. Didn't play UW or Illinois.

    PASS DEFENSE G Comp Att Int Pct. Yards Avg. TD Avg/G
    4. Michigan State 5 64 124 7 51.6 909 7.3 8 181.8
    11. Iowa 5 97 156 3 62.2 1092 7.0 8 218.4

    #11 and #12 Iowa and Northwestern, respectively pulled off big wins this past weekend.

    PASS EFFICIENCY Offense G Comp Att Int Pct. Yards TD Effic.
    3. Iowa 5 73 117 3 62.4 994 8 151.2
    6. Michigan State 5 89 148 3 60.1 1042 8 133.1

    Big game for James Vandenberg vs. MSU.

    PASS DEFENSE EFFIC. G Comp Att Int Pct. Yards TD Effic.
    6. Michigan State 5 64 124 7 51.6 909 8 123.2
    9. Iowa 5 97 156 3 62.2 1092 8 134.1

    Purdue and Nebraska rank better in this category.

    5. Iowa 5 17 392 0 23.1
    7. Michigan State 5 19 417 0 21.9

    Field position is always important and Iowa's coverage units have been improving, since ISU game.

    PUNT RETURN AVG G No. Yards TD Avg.
    3. Michigan State 5 11 109 1 9.9
    8. Iowa 5 4 19 0 4.8

    Micah Hyde is getting more comfortable and made some big catches on windy day at Kinnick vs. Michigan. Iowa needs to make sure this isn't an area where MSU shines.

    2. Michigan State 5 7 70 1 10.0
    8. Iowa 5 3 103 1 34.3

    PSU leads the B1G. Iowa's offense needs to avoid mistakes. Turnovers helped Iowa this past weekend.

    PUNTING G No. Yards Avg/P Ret. Avg. TB Net/P
    4. Iowa 5 14 535 38.2 16 1.1 1 35.6
    9. Michigan State 5 28 1073 38.3 74 2.6 2 34.2

    Field position game is always important for Iowa.

    KICKOFF COVERAGE G No. Yards Avg. Return TB Net Avg.
    3. Michigan State 5 21 1356 64.6 279 6 45.6
    6. Iowa 5 27 1655 61.3 455 0 44.4

    MSU has 6 TBs to Iowa's 0 in B1G play this year.

    FIELD GOALS G Made-Att Pct.
    8. Iowa 5 5-7 .714
    11. Michigan State 5 3-5 .600

    In close games, Alabama witnessed how important FGs can be in last night's game vs. LSU.

    PAT KICKING G Made-Att Pct.
    t1. Iowa 5 17-17 1.000
    Michigan State 5 12-12 1.000

    Iowa has been scoring more TDs, basically one more per game than MSU in the B1G.

    SACKS BY G No. Yards
    1. Michigan State 5 21 151
    12. Iowa 5 6 56

    Night and day differences when it comes to sacks and pressuring the QB.

    t5. Michigan State 5 10 61
    8. Iowa 5 14 107

    Which O-Line protects better on Saturday?

    FIRST DOWNS G Rush Pass Pen Total Avg/G
    8. Iowa 5 46 40 5 91 18.2
    10. Michigan State 5 28 47 5 80 16.0

    Big plays on offense are always important in games.

    OPPONENT 1ST DOWNS G Rush Pass Pen Total Avg/G
    7. Michigan State 5 36 45 14 95 19.0
    9. Iowa 5 51 54 6 111 22.2

    Iowa gives up first downs, but can they hold down the big plays?

    3RD-DOWN CONVERSIONS G Conv. Att. Pct.
    6. Iowa 5 22 54 40.7
    10. Michigan State 5 25 71 35.2

    First and second down will be important on Saturday.

    OPP 3RD-DN CONVERT G Conv. Att. Pct.
    3. Michigan State 5 24 69 34.8
    10. Iowa 5 38 77 49.4

    Michigan is #2 in this category, next up Michigan State.

    4TH-DOWN CONVERSIONS G Conv. Att. Pct.
    9. Iowa 5 4 9 44.4
    10. Michigan State 5 3 7 42.9

    Both coaches are likely conservative on 4th down.

    OPP 4TH-DN CONVERT G Conv. Att. Pct.
    t3. Michigan State 5 3 7 42.9
    10. Iowa 5 6 8 75.0

    Hopefully for Iowa, it will not come done to 4Th down conversions?

    PENALTIES G No. Yards Avg/G
    1. Iowa 5 22 153 30.6
    10. Michigan State 5 33 308 61.6

    MSU isn't dirty and physical are they?

    2. Michigan State 5 37 293 58.6
    5. Iowa 5 29 255 51.0

    Who will play more sound on Saturday? Michigan leads B1G in this stat.

    t7. Michigan State 5 144:37 28:55
    11. Iowa 5 136:54 27:22

    Opponent offenses are keeping the ball longer vs. each.

    Gained Lost
    TURNOVER MARGIN G Fumb Int Total Fumb Int Total Margin Per/G
    t4. Iowa 5 3 3 6 2 3 5 +1 0.20
    t9. Michigan State 5 0 7 7 5 3 8 -1 -0.20

    Huge stat typically, in a game where Iowa has won at Kinnick every game, even OT games, since 1989.

    Red Zone Touchdowns Field Goals Lost possession
    RED ZONE OFFENSE G Scores-Chances Pct. TDs Rush-Pass Made-Att Fumb Int. Downs Other
    5. Iowa 5 15-18 83.3 11 8-3 4-6 1 0 0 0
    11. Michigan State 5 8-11 72.7 7 2-5 1-1 0 1 2 0

    Only Nebraksa is better (#5) in red zone offense in the Legends.

    Red Zone Touchdowns Field Goals Lost possession
    RED ZONE DEFENSE G Scores-Chances Pct. TDs Rush-Pass Made-Att Fumb Int. Downs Other
    2. Iowa 5 17-24 70.8 12 5-7 5-5 0 3 3 1
    8. Michigan State 5 11-13 84.6 8 4-4 3-4 0 0 1 0

    Iowa leads defenses in the Legends in this category now.

    ON-SIDE KICKS BY G On-side Pct.
    t2.Michigan State 5 0-0 0.0
    Iowa 5 0-0 0.0

    1. Michigan State 5 0-1 0.0
    12. Iowa 5 1-3 33.3

    Hopefully, Iowa will not need a onside kick to win.

    RUSHING Cl G Att. Yards Avg. TD Long Avg/G
    1. Coker, Marcus-IOWA SO 5 124 721 5.8 8 50 144.2
    9. Bell, Le'Veon-MSU SO 5 64 311 4.9 2 35 62.2

    A healthy Marcus Coker has emerged in conference play.

    PASSING AVG/GAME Cl G Comp-Att-Int Pct. Yards TD Long Avg/G
    4. Cousins, Kirk-MSU SR 5 89 - 148 - 3 60.1 1042 8 69 208.4
    5. Vandenberg, J.-IOWA JR 5 73 - 117 - 3 62.4 994 8 80 198.8

    Which QB will have more success on Saturday?

    PASS EFFICIENCY Cl G Comp-Att-Int Pct. Yards TD Long Effic.
    3. Vandenberg, J.-IOWA JR 5 73 - 117 - 3 62.4 994 8 80 151.2
    7. Cousins, Kirk-MSU SR 5 89 - 148 - 3 60.1 1042 8 69 133.1

    Iowa just faced the #6 QB in this category with D. Robinson.

    RECEPTIONS/GAME Cl G Rec. Yards TD Long Avg/C Avg/G Rec/G
    3. McNutt, Marvin-IOWA SR 5 32 546 5 80 17.1 109.2 6.4
    4. Martin, Keshawn-MSU SR 5 25 252 3 25 10.1 50.4 5.0
    t7. Cunningham, B.-MSU SR 5 22 399 2 69 18.1 79.8 4.4

    When Iowa wins, Vandenberg and the offense usually find a way to get the ball to McNutt.

    RECEIVE YDS/GAME Cl G Rec. Yards TD Long Rec/G Avg/C Avg/G
    2. McNutt, Marvin-IOWA SR 5 32 546 5 80 6.4 17.1 109.2
    4. Cunningham, B.-MSU SR 5 22 399 2 69 4.4 18.1 79.8
    8. Davis, Keenan-IOWA JR 4 13 229 1 47 3.2 17.6 57.2

    The return of Keenan Davis was big in win over Michigan.

    TOTAL OFFENSE Cl G Rush Pass Plays Total Yds/G
    8. Vandenberg, J.-IOWA JR 5 28 994 151 1022 204.4
    9. Cousins, Kirk-MSU SR 5 -45 1042 164 997 199.4

    t2. Coker, Marcus-IOWA SO 5 8 0 0 0 48 9.6
    10. Meyer, Mike-IOWA SO 5 0 5 17 0 32 6.4

    Iowa needs both these players producing, if they are going to surpass MSU.

    SCORING (TDs) Cl G TD Rush Pass Ret. PAT Pts Pts/G
    t2. Coker, Marcus-IOWA SO 5 8 8 0 0 0 48 9.6
    t4. McNutt, Marvin-IOWA SR 5 5 0 5 0 0 30 6.0

    Iowa has a one-two punch on offense, as long as Vandenberg has offense in sync.

    SCORING (KICK) Cl G PATs FGs Pts Pts/G
    7. Meyer, Mike-IOWA SO 5 17-17 5-7 32 6.4
    10. Conroy, Dan-MSU JR 5 12-12 3-5 21 4.2

    As Alabama found out vs. LSU and Iowa vs. Minnesota, you have to execute and put points on the board.

    PUNT RETURN AVG Cl G No. Yards TD Long Avg.
    2. Martin, Keshawn-MSU SR 5 10 73 0 15 7.3

    Iowa has dipped in this category. How many games has Martin played vs. Iowa in his career?

    KICK RETURN AVG Cl G No. Yards TD Long Avg.
    4. Bernstine, J.-IOWA SR 5 12 300 0 62 25.0
    7. Hill, Nick-MSU FR 5 16 364 0 62 22.8

    Each has a 62 yard return... which KOR team will play better on Saturday?

    ALL PURPOSE Cl G Rush Rcv PR KR Yards Yards/G
    3. Coker, Marcus-IOWA SO 5 721 38 0 0 759 151.8
    9. McNutt, Marvin-IOWA SR 5 26 546 0 14 586 117.2

    Does Iowa get on sync agaisnt defensive minded MSU team?

    PUNTING Cl G No. Yards Long Avg.
    6. Sadler, Mike-MSU FR 5 28 1073 51 38.3
    7. Guthrie, Eric-IOWA SR 5 14 535 49 38.2

    Coverage units need to step up in this game.

    FIELD GOALS Cl G Made Att. Pct. Made/G
    6. Meyer, Mike-IOWA SO 5 5 7 71.4 1.00
    t9. Conroy, Dan-MSU JR 5 3 5 60.0 0.60

    Will this game come down to the little things, such as a FG?

    FIELD GOAL PCT Cl G Made Att. Long Pct.
    6. Meyer, Mike-IOWA SO 5 5 7 47 71.4
    9. Conroy, Dan-MSU JR 5 3 5 50 60.0

    Iowa and MSU both typically are sound in special teams.

    PAT KICKING PCT Cl G Made Att. Pct.
    t1. Meyer, Mike-IOWA SO 5 17 17 100.0
    Conroy, Dan-MSU JR 5 12 12 100.0

    In the Iowa-Michigan game, we witnessed how important an XP can be.

    TACKLES (All positions) Cl G Pos. Solo Ast. Total Avg/G Sacks
    5. Morris, James-IOWA SO 4 LB 21 23 44 11.0 0.0
    8. Gholston, W.-MSU SO 4 DE 15 22 37 9.2 3.0
    10. Nielsen, Tyler-IOWA SR 4 LB 16 18 34 8.5 1.0
    t11. Bernstine, J.-IOWA SR 5 DB 18 24 42 8.4 0.0
    Kirksey, C.-IOWA SO 5 LB 23 19 42 8.4 0.0
    t17. Lewis, Isaiah-MSU SO 5 17 21 38 7.6 0.0
    Miller, Tanner-IOWA SO 5 DB 28 10 38 7.6 0.0
    t23. Bullough, Max-MSU SO 5 LB 11 23 34 6.8 1.5
    t36. Robinson, T.-MSU SR 5 19 12 31 6.2 0.0

    Sophomores lead MSU in defense.

    SACKS Cl G Pos. Solo Ast. Yards Total Avg/G
    t2. Allen, Denicos-MSU SO 5 LB 4 2 38 5.0 1.00
    11. Gholston, W.-MSU SO 4 DE 2 2 20 3.0 0.75
    t14. Binns, B.-IOWA SR 5 DL 2 1 21 2.5 0.50
    t17. Adams, Johnny-MSU JR 5 CB 2 0 18 2.0 0.40
    Rush, Marcus-MSU FR 5 DE 2 0 17 2.0 0.40

    MSU will get pressure from a variety of players over the defense. Iowa needs Binns to play solid again and other players to step up in game vs. MSU.

    TACKLES FOR LOSS Cl G Pos. Solo Ast. Yards Total Avg/G
    7. Gholston, W.-MSU SO 4 DE 6 3 29 7.5 1.88
    t10. Allen, Denicos-MSU SO 5 LB 4 4 40 6.0 1.20
    Binns, B.-IOWA SR 5 DL 5 2 32 6.0 1.20
    19. Rush, Marcus-MSU FR 5 DE 4 1 21 4.5 0.90

    TFL will help defenses get off the field and force offenses to get behind the sticks. What will we see Saturday?

    PASSES DEFENDED Cl G BrUp Int. Total Avg/G
    t1. Hyde, Micah-IOWA JR 5 4 1 5 1.00
    Robinson, T.-MSU SR 5 2 3 5 1.00
    t8. Binns, B.-IOWA SR 5 4 0 4 0.80
    t16. Lowery, B.J.-IOWA SO 4 3 0 3 0.75

    Iowa needs some breaks in pass defense to continue.

    INTERCEPTIONS Cl G No. Yards TD Long Avg/G
    1. Robinson, T.-MSU SR 5 3 6 0 6 0.60
    t3. Lewis, Isaiah-MSU SO 5 2 39 1 39 0.40

    MSU has two ball hawks in pass defense. Iowa needs to step up and likely force some, if they plan to upset MSU.

    t7. Nielsen, Tyler-IOWA SR 4 1 0.25
    Gholston, W.-MSU SO 4 1 0.25

    Forcing turnovers... big for Iowa and MSU on occassion!

    t3. Nielsen, Tyler-IOWA SR 4 1 0.25
    t7. Bigach, Steve-IOWA JR 5 1 0.20

    Defense often wins championships. The Legends division race will be on the line at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday. Who steps up?

    Iowa has won 16 of last 21 finales at home. Iowa has had MSU's number at Kinnick, since 1989. Kirk Cousins had worse game of his career at Iowa LY in 37-6 loss. Cousins threw three INTs leading to 13 Iowa points.

    MSU has a new OC this year and 3 of 5 new starters in offensive line, so those two areas likely are part of MSU's dip in offense in 2011. Iowa's defense has dipped due to loss of talent to NFL and graduation.

    Iowa 27, MSU 22 when looking at B1G games
    How much will Kinnick be worth for Iowa? 5 points?
    MSU opponents 20, Iowa opponents 21 games

    Numbers are good for Iowa, but MSU has played better opponents? We shall see, our game prediction is Iowa 27, Michigan State 22.

    Friday, November 11, 2011

    Wins for Iowa and Creighton to open season; while #1 North Carolina beats Michigan State on Carrier Deck

    Final basketball scores to open 2011-12 season ...

    Iowa Hawkeyes 96 - Chicago State Cougars 53 ESPN Box
    Creighton Bluejays 93 - North Carolina A&T Aggies 66 ESPN Box
    #1 North Carolina Tar Heels 67 - Michigan State Spartans 55 ESPN Box

    A great basketball site to follow College Basketball statistically is Ken Pomeroy's site.

    Veteran Day games on 11/11/11.

    Iowa, Creighton open 2011-12 season on Friday night, while Quicken Loans Carrier Classic tips off in San Diego

    The University of Iowa tips off the 2011-12 college basketball season with a home game vs. Chicago State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Over in Omaha, Creighton University opens the 2011-12 season hosting North Carolina A&T at newly named CenturyLink Center. It should be an exciting year for both the Hawkeyes and Bluejays, under second year coaches Fran McCaffery and Greg McDermott, respectively.

    Over on ESPN, the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic opens with #1 North Carolina playing Michigan State. President Barack Obama and the First Lady will be on hand as College Basketball opens the 2011-12 season with a game on the U.S.S. Carl Vinson on Veterans Day 2011.

    On Saturday, the Iowa Hawkeyes (6-3, 3-1 B1G Legends) will take the football field at Kinnick Stadium for Senior Day vs. Michigan State (7-2, 4-1 B1G Legends) for first place in the Legends Division. Iowa hasn't lost to MSU at Kinnick Stadium, since the 1989 season. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 11 a.m. Central Time.

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    Sad Day in College Football with the firing of Joe Paterno at Penn State University

    We learned tonight that the 46 year career of Joe Paterno as head football coach at Penn State University has ended with his termination by the Board of Trustees. It is a sad day in College Football, with news of Joe Paterno's dismissal. However, it is hard to disagree that the Paterno should leave immediately.

    Earlier in the day, Joe Paterno informed Penn State that he would retire at the end of the 2011 season, but the Board of Trustees decided tonight, after a meeting at the Penn State University campus that Joe Paterno has been fired. The President of Penn State University has also been fired tonight by the Board of Directors.

    The Nittany Lions have three games left in the Big Ten season, with Senior Day on Saturday vs. Nebraska, then two road games, @ Ohio State and @ Wisconsin. In light of the tragic story involving a former Penn State defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, and the potential cover up by the administration at Penn State University over the past nine years, it isn't surprising to see Joe Paterno's career at Penn State end tonight.

    Current defensive coordinator Tom Bradley will serve as interim coach for the rest of the season. One would expect the entire staff will be dismissed at the end of the season. With this ugly story of sexual abuse by a former PSU coach and the possible cover up, Penn State University begins the purging of the principals that were present during this emerging story in State College.

    Joe Paterno is not guilty of any criminal violations, but the ethics and moral responsibility appears to have a gap. In his own words, Joe Paterno wished he would have done more. The University is moving on. It is a sad day indeed in College Football and State College.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with those negatively impacted by this abuse scandal and the series of events surrounding this development.

    Personally, I began watching College Football around 1973, which was one of the five undefeated seasons for Joe Paterno. My College Football history has always involved Joe Paterno coaching in it. Today, like with Woody Hayes at Ohio State, we witness an end of a historic career with a firing, rather than a retirement. It was the right business decision and like many who follow College Football, I agree with it.

    Tuesday, November 8, 2011

    Top 25 after Week 10

    It's wasn't a high scoring affair, but #1 vs. #2 closes out a big first weekend in November in College Football!
    CIDSports Top 25 after Week 10

    1. LSU (9-0, 6-0 SEC West)

    2. Stanford (9-0, 7-0 Pac 12 North)

    3. Oklahoma State (9-0, 6-0 Big 12)

    4. Bosie State (8-0, 3-0 MWC)

    5. Alabama (8-1, 5-1 SEC West)

    6. Oregon (8-1, 6-0 Pac 12 North)

    7. Arkansas (8-1, 4-1 SEC West)

    8. Oklahoma (8-1, 5-1 Big 12)

    9. Virginia Tech (8-1, 5-1 ACC Coastal)

    10. Clemson (8-1, 5-1 ACC Atlantic)

    11. Penn State (8-1, 5-0 B1G Leaders)

    12. Houston (10-0, 6-0 C-USA West)

    13. Kansas State (7-2, 4-2, Big 12)

    14. South Carolina (7-2, 5-2 SEC East)

    15. Georgia (7-2, 5-1 SEC East)

    16. Texas (6-2, 3-2 Big 12)

    17. Michigan State (7-2, 4-1 B1G Legends)

    18. Auburn (6-3, 4-2 SEC West)

    19. Wisconsin (7-2, 3-2 B1G Leaders)

    20. USC (7-2, 4-2 Pac 12 South)

    21. Cincinnati (8-1, 3-0 Big East)

    22. Georgia Tech (7-2, 4-2 ACC Coastal)

    23. Nebraska (7-2, 3-2 B1G Legends)

    24. Michigan (7-2, 3-2 B1G Legends)

    25. Southern Miss (8-1, 4-1 C-USA East)

    MAC - top teams, but unranked: Ohio U (6-3, 3-2 MAC East); Northern Illinois (7-2, 4-1 MAC West)

    Independents - top team, but unranked: Brigham Young (6-3)

    Sun Belt - top team, but unranked: Arkansas State (7-2, 5-0 Sun Belt)

    WAC - top team, but unranked: Nevada (5-3, 3-0 WAC)

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    Iowa 24, Michigan 16 to stay alive for the B1G Legends Divisions Title

    Iowa beats Michigan for the first time, three years in a row. A first in the series, after previous two year steaks in 1984 and 1985 under J. Hayden Fry, 2002 and 2003 under Kirk Ferentz, along with the past two years in 2009 and 2010.

    Iowa (6-3, 3-2 B1G Legends) gets ready for the Division leader, Michigan State (7-2, 4-1 B1G Legends) at Kinnick Stadium, with a 11 am kickoff on ESPN2.

    It will be Senior Day at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday. Senior members of the Iowa football program will be introduced Saturday during pregame ceremonies. The Iowa seniors include RB Jason White, DB Jordan Bernstine, P Eric Guthrie, WR Marvin McNutt, Jr., DB Kyle Steinbrecher, DB Shaun Prater, TE Brad Herman, LB Tyler Nielsen, LB Terrance Pryor, OL Markus Zusevics, DL Lebron Daniel, OL Woody Orne, OL Adam Gettis, DL Tom Nardo, WR Joe Audlehelm, DL Broderick Binns, DL Mike Daniels and DL Joe Forgy.

    Additional senior members of the program include senior student managers Ben Dolan, Andrew Flynn, Blaine Mateer and Todd Dunford; senior athletic training students Sara Smith, Jon Piche and Joe McDermott; and senior student videographers Michael Witt, Derek Ambrose, Grant Ridpath and Dan Bettenhausen.

    Sunday, November 6, 2011

    November has arrived and the games get bigger in the B1G

    No, the Big Ten isn't playing as strong as the SEC right now. But, as the first weekend of November closes, two big upsets open up the division race in the Legends, while off the field issues hit hard in Happy Valley.

    Who will win the Legends Division?

    Two games threw a wrench into a couple of teams sites on winning the first Legends division title. First, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, the Iowa Hawkeyes upset Michigan 24-16 to remain in the division hunt. Both teams are now 3-2 in the division. Then, down in Lincoln, Northwestern went on the road, using three quarterbacks, knocked off Nebraska 28-25 to throw the Huskers to 3-2 and into a three way tie for second in the division with Iowa and Michigan.

    Michigan State is leading the division with a 4-1 record, after holding off the upset minded Golden Gophers in a 31-24 win over Minnesota in East Lansing. This Saturday, the Spartans will travel to Iowa City with first place on the line. Minnesota will be home for the holidays, due to their the seventh loss of the season, but they can certainly make some noise as a spoiler in final three games of the Big Ten season.

    Legends Division Standings

    Michigan State 4-1, 7-2

    Nebraska 3-2, 7-2

    Iowa 3-2, 6-3

    Michigan 3-2, 7-2

    Northwestern 2-4, 4-5

    Minnesota 1-4, 2-7

    Game of the Week: Michigan State @ Iowa

    Rivalry of the Week: Nebraska @ Penn State

    Oldest Rivalry of the Week: Wisconsin @ Minnesota

    Leaders Division Standings

    Penn State 5-0, 8-1

    Ohio State 3-2, 6-3

    Wisconsin 3-2, 7-2

    Illinois 2-3, 6-3

    Purdue 2-3, 4-5

    Indiana 0-6, 1-9

    Penn State is coming off a bye week. The lone loss for the season came in Happy Valley in Week 2, when Alabama took the Nittany Lions down, in non-conference play. Plenty of off the field distractions for the Nittany Lions heading into the big game with Nebraska? Will the Nittany Lions have the bye week blues? Will the off the field issues hurt Penn State? Nebraska will look to rebound, after a disappointing loss at home.

    With help from Minnesota and Purdue, the Nittany Lions could wrap up the division with a win over Nebraska, along with upsets in Minneapolis and West Lafayette, if Wisconsin and Ohio State both go down, respectively. Minnesota is playing better the last two weeks, while Purdue has not, after back to back road losses at Michigan and at Wisconsin. The most recent was a 62-17 loss to the Badgers. If Purdue wants to go to their first bowl game under coach Danny Hope, in his third season, they can't afford many more losses. The Boilermakers return home for the first of two home games, with Ohio State coming to town, followed by Iowa.

    Wisconsin heads to Minnesota this week for the first of two road games, before closing out the season at home with division leading Penn State. Illinois enjoyed a bye week to open November, but will host Michigan on Saturday, in the first of two home games.

    Northwestern return to Evanston on a two game winning streak and seeking a couple more wins to get bowl eligible. The Wildcats play their final non-conference game of the season, with Rice (3-6, 2-4 C-USA) coming to town, then back to back home games in Big Ten play, with Minnesota and Michigan State.

    Indiana gave Ohio State one strong half of play in Columbus, with a 13-13 halftime score. But, freshman QB Braxton Miller pulled Ohio State ahead for a 34-20 win. IU will enjoy a bye week, which will hopefully help the continued development of freshman QB Tre Robinson. The Miller-Robinson game was the first time, since 1988, when true freshman quarterback squared off in Big Ten play.

    Thoughts heading into the Week:

    • How will Iowa prepare coming off a win over Michigan, third straight for the first time in the series?

    • Is this Joe Paterno's final season at PSU?

    • Last week, Iowa fans were a little frustrated with Kirk Ferentz and his team's play at Minnesota, so how will Nebraska fans feel with Bo Pelini in staff, after game with PSU?

    • Is Kirk Cousins ready to avenge last years debacle in Iowa City, where he threw three INTs and Iowa cruised to a 37-6 win?

    • How good will the 2011-12 College Basketball season be, as teams complete exhibition play?

    Saturday, November 5, 2011

    Iowa Hawkeyes open at home at Kinnick with Michigan, as back half of the B1G race begins

    It has been a difficult road for Iowa Hawkeyes (5-3, 2-2 B1G Legends) in 2011. The Hawkeyes are 0-3, with losses at Iowa State (45-42, 3 OT), at Penn State (13-3) and last week with a disappointing 22-21 loss at Minnesota.

    Home has been a better place for the Hawkeyes in 2011. Heading into the final two games for 2011, Iowa is 5-0 at Kinnick Stadium, thus far. Of course, the next two weeks will be the biggest challenges at Kinnick in 2011, with the two schools from the State of Michigan.

    First up, Iowa hosts Michigan (7-1, 3-1 B1G Legends), who features the most explosive QB in the B1G, with junior Denard Robinson. Robinson and his teammates have lost two straight to Iowa. A win today by Iowa would be a first in the Iowa-Michigan series, with Iowa winning three in a row.

    Iowa has four games left in the B1G in November and control their own destiny, despite the 0-3 road record and two losses in the B1G, since they face the Legends division teams tied presently for first place the rest of the way. The final crossover game, with a Leaders team will be very important too, as well.

    • vs. Michigan (7-1, 3-1 Legends)

    • vs. Michigan State (6-2, 3-1 Legends)

    • @ Purdue (4-4, 2-2 Leaders)

    • @ Nebraska (7-1, 3-1 Legends)
    Michigan may be the most difficult of the next four games for Iowa, due to Iowa's defense and how it will match up against Robinson at QB for the Wolverines. All four games will be difficult, based on the inconsistency of the Iowa offense, defense and special teams.

    Playing at Kinnick Stadium should be a factor for Iowa?

    After three games on the road in 2011, if this Iowa-Michigan game was on the road, Michigan would be a heavy favorite. But, as most teams have found in the Big Ten on the road, any given Saturday. All three tri-leaders in the Legends Division have a loss and all three came on the road.

    Iowa features on offense three of the top play makers in the conference, with junior QB James Vandenberg, sophomore RB Marcus Coker and senior WR Marvin McNutt. Iowa will likely have to score plenty of points on Saturday, if they are successful to pull off their third win in a row over Michigan. It would be a huge upset for some Iowa fans, but some media talking heads do have Michigan on upset alert heading to Kinnick. Michigan is 1-1 this season on the road.

    Iowa better bring A Game in all four phases of the game. Yes, four phases, since coaching and the intangibles may be as huge in getting Iowa back on track, after the disappointing 22-21 loss last week. Iowa's offense, defense and special teams will have to play strong, balance, balance for Iowa, in this big home game.

    Prediction: IOWA 37, Michigan 35

    DEFEND Kinnick Stadium

    57Th meeting in the Iowa-Michigan series