-Nothing, and I mean nothing, heals what ails like winning.
The Iowa Hawkeyes did just what they needed, they beat the snot out of a bad Indiana team. Suddenly, most in Hawkeye Nation feel a lot better. After three winnable losses, Iowa fans needed to just see their Hawks throttle someone, and once Kellen Lewis exited for Indiana, it was on. With or without Lewis, Iowa wins easily, but without him, Indiana is the Big Ten's worst team by far. Maybe even with Lewis.
We'll know a lot more after Saturday. If Iowa is going to make this a season to remember, of any kind, the Hawks must beat Wisconsin at home. Wisconsin is 0-3 in the Big Ten. The Badgers blew it against the worst Michigan team in decades, lost a close game to Ohio State in Madison, and stayed at home for an ugly beat-down by title contender Penn State. Iowa wins, a good bowl game is still possible. Lose, and no bowl is still possible.
-I can't figure Iowa State. I'm one of those guys that buys into what Gene Chizik is doing, but I'm completely puzzled by the contradiction on the field.
Chizik oozes discipline and structure, yet the Cyclones keep making stupid mistakes and self-destructing. Yes, they're very young, but it's too late for that excuse mid-season.
Chizik also appears like an inspiring motivator, yet time and time again, Iowa State comes out flat. I just don't get it.
There is no excusing that embarrassing effort at Baylor. I know Phillip Bates quit (yes, quit). I know the coaches didn't see it coming. I know Bates was well-liked and the news hit some of his teammates hard. It's still Baylor! Bates didn't play a down, and he wouldn't have if he and his dad didn't take their ball and go home.
One thing is for sure. It's always been hard to win in Ames, and it always will be. Chizik deserves more patience and time, but somewhere Dan McCarney is smiling. He knows how hard it was just to get to a minor bowl game, and now suddenly that's doesn't look so bad.
-Most amazing stat I've heard in a while: Since November 2001, only two of the 65 BCS football teams have failed to beat a team inside the AP Top 20 (ranked 19th or higher): Duke and Nebraska. Nebraska! The Huskers are 0-19 against top 19 teams. That is amazing when you consider the resources and tradition in Lincoln. (Thanks to Ryan Lund for this nugget.)
-Lolo Jones is one of my all-time favorite athletes. Heck, she's one of my all-time favorite people. Lolo's energy is contagious. I had the privilege of hanging around Lolo at her surprise visit to Roosevelt High School's pep rally, as well as her homecoming at Jordan Creek Town Center. In both places, she made everyone she possibly could feel special, and she inspired all who listened to get back up when life knocks them down.
People came from all over Iowa to tell Lolo how proud they were of the way she handled heartbreak in Beijing. I don't think a gold medal would have won her as many fans as showing class did.
-Lolo on Friday, Special Olympics Iowa Gold Medal Gala on Saturday. That's a good weekend of putting sports in their proper perspective. The athletes at the Gala were so positive and inspiring, you couldn't help but want to be a better person. My wife was signing up to volunteer for Special Olympics the next day.
-I'm hearing raves by those who went to the Iowa Chops home opener. Better atmosphere, better music, better hockey. That's a great start. Plus, many people tell me the uniqueness of the Chops nickname is growing on them, and they no longer want to check me into the boards. At least not for that.
-Manny Ramirez is the best post-season hitter I've ever seen.
-I'm still not over the Cubs losing without putting up any fight at all. I'm better off than my friends Heather Burnside and Shawn Terrell. I think Heather's in denial, and Shawn was so down for days, his friends worried about him. We should all know better.
-In entertainment ramblings, the recent episode of Entourage with the guys at the Joshua Tree was the low point in the series. It was awful at times.
-I was disappointed in Chris Rock's new HBO special, Kill The Messenger. As you'd expect, some big laughs, but also relentless profanity and borderline misogynistic sexual crudity. I'm not someone offended by swearing or sex, and Rock has made me laugh many times with jokes involving a lot of both, but for me, this was one of his weaker efforts. Then again, how can anyone follow the classic, Bring the Pain.
-Watched ET with my son, Cade, last week. Like all classic movies, it can speak to you differently depending on what point in life you see it. I hadn't watched ET in many years, and I had never realized how much it's about the loneliness of divorce, for both kids and parents. (Spielberg is child of divorce.) Great movie, even now. Hard to believe it was made in 1982. I'll never forget my grandmother going to see it and hating it. Gram's been gone for years now, but we still joke about knowing the one person who hated ET.
-Jethro's is a sweet place to watch a college football game. Andy's wife had to drag him out of there Saturday because we were caught up in the Texas vs. Oklahoma game, and they were late for a fundraiser.
-By the way, Andy now knows who Montgomery Gentry is. We gave away concert tickets on SoundOff, and he said, "Who?". Hundreds of emails later, Andy may not know the songs, but he knows the fans.
-No craving hits me harder than Tasty Taco. When I have to have one, I can't be stopped.
I have to have one.