Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hawkeye Upset, Cyclone Letdown, Bowl Game Blues

By Zach Borg

Happy New Year Everyone!  Live it up because a bunch of ancient Indians and astrology nuts say it will be our last.
So at the exact moment I returned to Des Moines from Tempe, the Hawkeyes pulled a stunning upset over #11 Wisconsin while the Cyclones nearly laid a titanic egg vs 1-11 Mississippi Valley State.  And it felt like it was in the 50's outside.  Am I in the Twilight Zone?

Long way yet to go in this season, but Fran McCaffery has a signature win and the Hawkeyes have something to build on.  This team easily could have been 2-0 in league play if they finish vs. Purdue.

The best thing about this team is that, even if they are getting drilled in games, they try to push the tempo and it is fun to watch.  Most importantly, despite all the early blowouts, it seems this Hawkeye team has improved game-by-game.  Watching Aaron White and Roy Devyn Marble play, plus the knowledge of a big recruiting class on its way, is tantalizing. 

I don't know that the same can be said for the Cyclones.  Yes they were missing their best weapon, Royce White.  But they were playing a 1-11 team.  And they let an 18 point lead slip away.  Letting big leads disappear was a problem WITH White.  Win is a win, but the margin for error now gets razor thin in the Big 12.

If you ever wonder why Iowa football gets such good bowl games even if they aren't necessarily deserving, I present last nights Insight Bowl.  More than 54-thousand set a new Insight Bowl record.  Most were Iowa fans, and they did it in a disappointing 7-5 year.

Perhaps most disturbing about this season is the way it ended.  In three of Iowa's final four games they fell behind by 20 or more points.  All three were losses.  The Hawkeyes were punched in the mouth early in the games and never really were able to fight back.  They came close against OU but it was too little, too late.

I thought Iowa's defense did play inspired for Norm Parker and players admitted as much after.  The defense did just about everything it could to win the game but turnovers and mistakes put them in bad position, or left them to be gassed, all day.  Best number-OU was up 7-0 after one quarter despite getting just 7 yards of offense.

I'll be curious to see how the staff handles James Vandenberg next year.  His two saving graces were Marvin McNutt and not having a good backup QB.  I have no doubt Vandenberg starts next year, but if he can't get more consistent, especially away from Kinnick Stadium, I wouldn't be shocked at all if he is benched a series or two in games.  Jake Ruddock was redshirted and is probably being groomed as a QB of the future, and on Saturday night JUCO QB Cody Sokol committed to Iowa as well.  Next year there will actually be some competition at quarterback for JVB. 

I obviously didn't watch the Pinstripe Bowl as closely, but I don't get the Steele Jantz/Jared Barnett/Paul Rhoads trifecta of terror yesterday.  Barnett had been shaky at times in other games, including the win over Oklahoma State, but they never pulled him. 

It didn't take long for a few emails saying Rhoads is being overpaid for having another losing season.  Somehow I'm guessing the Iowa fans who sent me the email don't feel a 7-6 record is worth paying Kirk Ferentz twice as much either.

Normally you want to use a bowl and the extra practice as a springboard.  It really won't be for both teams, if anything they make things more out of focus.  ISU has a QB controversy again, and Iowa badly needs some fresh ideas on the staff.
You know Twitter runs the world when seniors on both the ISU and Iowa teams rejoining Twitter just hours or minutes after playing their last game.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Cyclone Buzzkill, Silly Visor, Overrated Holiday,

Cyclone fans had no reason to expect a bowl this season. ISU was the underdog in ten games, but the Cyclones managed to win six, and head to the Pinstripe Bowl. Iowa State looked sharp at the end of the season, even while losing at K-State, and many of us thought the Clones would beat Rutgers. Wrong.

Iowa State looked lost offensively. Whatever plan departing offensive coordinator Tom Herman had in mind, it did not work. Jared Barnett ran well, but passed poorly. Paul Rhoads then tried the Hawkeye-slayer, Steele Jantz. He threw several passes Yao Ming couldn't reach. Many fans wondered if Barnett was hurt. He did bang up his knee, but both Rhoads and Barnett said he could still play, and the QB switch had nothing to do with injury. Hmm. Sounds like a competition story heading into spring practice.

When a loss is fresh, everyone overreacts. ISU had a good season, relative to expectations. The Pinstripe Bowl feels like a step back because the Clones played uninspired football, but big picture, it was still a good year.

Temperatures in the fifties in New York City in late December? That was a bonus. I've seen Dick Clark look like a Popsicle on New Year's Eve...
Not frozen. (Courtesy LA Times)
As I write this, the Insight Bowl is about to kick. It's up to the Hawks to bring a bowl win back to Iowa. I don't think they will, but I'd like to be wrong. It would bring a smile to see Bob Stoops, wearing one of those silly visors, standing there with a constipated look on his face as he tries to figure out how an Oklahoma team with superior talent lost to Iowa. However, by the time you read this, I think it's more likely the Sooners won by 17.
Big Game Bob? Not much lately.
One of the misconceptions of our profession is that bowl trips are paid vacations. I can tell you from experience it's often a logistical nightmare, and 12 to 16 hour days are the norm. That's not to suggest covering a bowl isn't fun---it usually is---and we're happy to do it. It's one of the favorite assignments. However, it's also work. I'm proud of Chris Hassel and Zach Borg (along with photojournalists Brandon McCauley and Trent Reicks). They did all they could to give us the feel for being there...
I've never seen Chris this happy.
New Year's Eve is an overrated holiday in my mind, and I usually don't like to be away from home on amateur night, but we had to make an exception for my friend, The Midnight Swinger. He'll get the year started on a fun note. I wish I could encourage you to join us, but I've learned the Swinging New Year at the Funny Bone is sold out (9:45 p.m. show). Tickets remain for the earlier show Saturday, as well as the Sunday show...
The Midnight Swinger
What in the world was some corporate suit thinking canceling the KGGO morning show after 12+ years of high ratings and loyal listeners? Easy answer: figured out how to make more money in the short run. What a bad decision. Good luck to Heather, Round Guy, and Lou (Heather and Lou are being moved to WOW 98.3 for a news talk show)...

I Love It, Revenge of the Hassel, CyHawk Trophy Tour

Loved  Zach Borg's story on Jim Zabel. It was great to see Z at the Hawkeye Huddle with friends Gary Dolphin and Ed Podolak. Jim is now 90. His body lets him down at times, but his mind remains sharp, able to recall details from Iowa games played sixty years ago. Z's story may not match what actually happened, but as Hawkeye fans will tell you, that was the case at the time too...
I love it!

I envy Chris Hassel having a catch on the Yankee Stadium field. Cyclone running back Jeff Woody brought gloves and a baseball. He asked Chris to play catch, and who would say no to that? Not Chris, even if his throwing motion is most often compared to Lamar throwing the javelin in Revenge of the Nerds...
Lamar, not Chris.
Pinstripe Bowl at 2:22 in the afternoon? Do the folks who run college football think most of us don't have to work on Friday? Then Insight Bowl at 9 p.m.? Well, I'm a night person. No problem there...

I just watched Baylor and Washington combine for 17 touchdowns in the Alamo Bowl. I'm not sure if that says more about the offenses, or the defenses. I think it's the D. It was entertaining. Bears win their first bowl in 19 years, 67-56...

Robert Griffin III has nothing left to prove. College degree, Heisman trophy, bowl win---can't wait to watch him in the NFL...

Did you watch Durant and the Thunder? Wow...

The original Cy-Hawk trophy---not the Pewter family---will be on tour Friday if you'd like to see it. Here's what the trophy's caretaker, Tyler Uetz writes:

The Greater Des  Moines Athletic Club will have the Cy-Hawk Trophy at a few different
places Friday.

11AM to 1PM: Urbandale Golf & Country Club Annual Open House. KXNO is
broadcasting from there during this time, too.
8PM to 10PM: The Front Row Bar, 6555 University Ave, Windsor Heights.

We will be making the trophy available for photos, story telling, etc.
Other appearances throughout the day will be posted on the Greater Des
Moines Athletic Club Facebook page ( ).

Our goal, now that the trophy is back in our possession, is to keep
the trophy out with the public. We are making it available for public
and private events.

Took my youngest boys to The Adventures of Tintin. They loved it. I thought it was good, not great. It never quite soars to the level of Spielberg's best, and the stop motion animation still freaks me out a little, but a solid B. If you see it, you'll find yourself thinking of Raiders of the Lost Ark repeatedly. It borrows heavily...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

ISU in NYC, Hawkeyes Improving, Run Forrest

The Cyclones will always remember playing in Yankee Stadium, and they'll never forget visiting the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero. There may be no warm weather or sandy beaches in New York City during December, but some memories are worth the chill...

The Hawkeyes basketball team could never quite get over the hump against Purdue. Hawk fans were ready to explode, but Iowa just never could combine a big stop with a big bucket. Iowa is improving, but the defense is terrible. How many easy baskets did Purdue score? Too many. And Iowa still only lost by three. That's encouraging...

Drake can beat anyone on its schedule---as long as the game is at the Knapp Center. Drake stays perfect at home by blowing out a good Indiana State team, 79-64. Rayvonte Rice is worth the price of admission, even if it's not dollar night...

Maybe it's the shortened season, but I'm hooked on the NBA right now. Watch the Thunder play one night, and see if you don't enjoy it...
No way not to like this guy. (Photo by NBAwallpaper)

The Wall Street Journal put together a panel of fashion experts and decided who has the best college football uniforms. Really. The panel voted Michigan #1. Can't argue...
Looking good. (photo by

Forrest Gump, Silence of the Lambs, and Bambi among the movies added to the National Film Registry. Gump has its critics, but I still love it. Lambs is one of the great thrillers of all time. Bambi is how many of learned as kids that anyone can die at any time. That still hurts...
I'm taking the kids to Adventures of Tintin Thursday. Thank you Jordan Creek Century Theaters for showing morning movies...

Duck Vader, World Peace, Crop Dusting

I already miss Christmas. It's just such a great time of year...
Andy is proud of Cade and Colin's sweater vests.

Oregon's Rose Bowl uniforms give you an idea what Darth Vader would wear. Duck Vader. Kids will love them too...
"Bielema, I am your father"

It sounds ridiculous hearing "World Peace" over and over during a Lakers game, but that is the legal name of the man formerly known as Ron Artest...

I'm glad to have the NBA back. A Christmas day start should become the new norm, but it won't happen. Too much money left on the table...

The Heat this season looks like the team people expected last season. Look out...

The Des Moines Register's Randy Peterson was asking the right questions when a mildly frustrated Kirk Ferentz eventually broke out the now infamous breaking wind anecdote. Deep down, Ferentz knows Peterson is just doing his job, and looking for the same answers as Hawkeye fans. It's not the questions that really frustrate Ferentz. It's the fact negative things have happened to make the questions necessary. Ferentz was attempting to deflect with sarcasm. I don't think it's a big deal, though I couldn't quite muster up a laugh...

I meant to see War Horse on my day off Monday. Somehow I ended up playing blackjack at Prairie Meadows instead...
Not at Prairie Meadows. Well, maybe a horse, but not this horse.

Bill Maher can be funny, but his tweet about Tim Tebow is way over the line. I won't repeat it here...

I can't wait to see Chris Hassel's report from the Ground Zero Memorial with the Cyclones Wednesday. I think it's going to hit everyone harder than they expect...
Has it already been more than 10 years?

Monday, December 26, 2011

More Hawkeye Drama, When Mascots Attack, Taco Bell Gets it Right

By Chris Hassel

It would seem as though Mika’il McCall's career, as an Iowa Hawkeye, is over. The suspended running back posted this on his Facebook page, Christmas night, “I’m not going to Iowa anymore. Looking for a new school.” Several hours after, the post was deleted. I would assume that even if McCall does have a change of heart, and says it was just something he said 'in the moment', Kirk Ferentz will still show him the door. This isn't the kind of thing Ferentz takes kindly to --- especially the way things have been going the last few weeks. 

McCall would be 5th RB to leave in last 2 seasons.
Rumor has it that a Hawkeye defensive back has been sent home from the Insight Bowl, for breaking some kind of team rule. According to reporters on the scene, Ferentz didn't comment on the situation, but he did lead on that something was amiss.  

Oklahoma, just like Iowa, is making its second straight trip to Phoenix. I doubt the Sooners are as excited about this years game, compared to last years. OU whooped up on UConn, in the Fiesta Bowl, last season. This season, they're playing in a mid-level bowl against a mid-level team.

In the meantime, ISU is having a jolly ol' time in NYC. Paul Rhoads is letting his team take in the sights and sounds of the 'Big Apple', leading up to Friday's Pinstripe Bowl. Of course, if ISU lays an egg, he may tighten things up on future bowl trips.  

Look what happened to the Independence Bowl trophy, before the game...Another reason why mascots can't be trusted. 

Capital One Bowl Week? Not only is it more than a week --- it's more than two weeks. Why not just call it Capital One Bowl Season, or something? A week isn't 19 days long. Black History Month doesn't last 2 1/2 months. The year 2011 doesn't carry into 2012. Fix it, please.

Kudos to the folks who put together the new Taco Bell Beefy Crunch Burrito commercial. I was convinced that the dude scraping change together for the .99 cent burrito didn't actually have .99 cents. Upon further review he does. Exactly .99 cents. Good job.

.99 cents will get you a burrito with Flamin' Hot Fritos inside.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Going Bowling, Da Bulls, Plays Of The Year

(Zach Borg)

I'll be taking a couple of days off before heading out to Tempe for the Insight Bowl on Thursday.  I was looking forward to wearing shorts in the desert, but turns out I could wear them now since it's in the 50's in Iowa.

Prior to Marcus Coker's suspension I thought Iowa would win this game.  With all the players OU is missing plus the disappointment of this season I thought Iowa would come in more focused and prepared to win.  Without Coker I just don't think they have the weapons, though I do think Jordan Canzeri might surprise us.

Kirk Ferentz still won't let us know what Coker did.  Unless the Hawkeyes win I doubt we'll find out this week.  I'm frankly wondering if we ever will find out what led to this.  Coker's not exactly media friendly, though in my opinion some of that comes from the fact he took a lot of heat for his early season fumbles.  Assuming Coker returns for 2012 I don't think he'll say much about whatever happened.

The Cyclones flew into New York and held their first practice at Hofstra University today.  I really think Rutgers could play perfectly into ISU's hands.  After two months of playing the dynamic and difficult offenses of the Big 12 the Cyclones will see a Rutgers team that's more akin to Iowa or UCONN.  The Scarlet Knights are also 115th in the nation in rushing offense, so if the Clone defense could make them one-dimensional.

Derrick Rose's bid for back-to-back MVP's got off to a good start.  Rose hit the game winning bucket, and Luol Deng came up big in the final minutes, as Chicago rallied from down 11 with four minutes left to win 88-87 in Laker land.  Great win for Chicago, bad loss for the Lakers.  The Clippers (yes, really) are on the rise, Kobe and Co. are old and really, Mike Brown is the head coach?  Woof.

Now that the NBA is back, it will be tough to care about it much until we get close to playoff time.  But promos like these almost make me want to.....

We rolled out the 2011 Plays Of The Year for Christmas Day here at WHO.  Lots of great stuff to choose from, and I apologize if your favorite moment didn't make the cut.  My personal favorite (granted I missed a bit since I started in mid-March) was the CyHawk football game.  In hindsight, it's not even the biggest win of the Cyclones season, or the worst loss of 2011 for Iowa.  But for the passion of the fans during and leading up to the game as we toured in RVTV, to a game itself that (finally) lived up to the rivalry billing, it remains probably the best game I've ever watched in person.

Enjoy the Hazzle Dazzle Christmas special (Because if Chris ticks off the FCC it might be our final SoundOFF ever)!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Orton, Peterson, "Tebow Time" Out, Soundbites Of The Year

(Zach Borg)

I should have been more excited when Kansas City tied the game against Oakland.  Then again, I'd seen this script too many times, and it usually ends with Sebastian Janikowski kicking a game winning field goal (he's done it four times against KC).  Of course the Chiefs tortured me with a blocked field goal but same difference.  Janikowski will get two parties when he retires-one in Oakland and Kansas City.

Kyle Orton reminded me of Tim Tebow.  He played terribly for about three quarters and caught fire with the game on the line.  I think KC's offense will be better next year when they get guys like Jamaal Charles and Tony Moeaki back.  Despite the first three quarters, I think Orton helped his case for starting in KC next year.  You have to remember that he's really only worked with these receivers and teammates for a month.

"Tebow Time" became a nightmare in Buffalo.  Tebow threw four interceptions, including back-to-back Pick Sixes in the fourth with Denver down 12.  Tebow's most fanatical followers can play the "All He Does Is Win" card.  But if he doesn't improve his play over four quarters, they won't be able to say that for long.

The Broncos still control their own destiny.  A win over Kansas City next week and their in, or an Oakland loss will seal it too.  Had the Chiefs won it could have set up the win-and-you're-in game we dreamed of.  While the game is meaningless on paper for Kansas City I don't expect the Chiefs to quit heading to Denver.  Not with Orton getting a chance to ruin Tebow's dream season.

The Vikings can't win for winning.  That they lost out on the number one draft pick in their 33-26 win at Washington is secondary.  You can't ever tell a player to lay down and lose to get a better draft pick, and tanking is bush league.  However, you do have to draw a line with your franchise player.  Adrian Peterson suffered a torn ACL and MCL on a horrific injury in the second half.  I appreciate his desire to play, but Peterson's been hurt all year, Toby Gerhart is a capable backup, and the Vikings came in 2-12.  SHUT PETERSON DOWN.  Hate to say this on Christmas Eve, but that's a fireable offense for first year coach Leslie Frazier.  It's great that Adrian wants to play for his fantasy owners who are in a championship, but have the stones to tell him it's time to sit.  I respect the desire to win, but you have to protect your franchise's greatest asset and best player.  Or was today's result worth losing Peterson for 2012 (or maybe beyond)? 

We're rolling out the "Best of 2011" stuff here at WHO sports.  Tonight we did best soundbites of the year, tomorrow plays of the year.  My personal favorite (and there were plenty to choose from) was post match CyHawk wrestling press conference.  Tom Brands and Kevin Jackson are hilarious.  And they are serious too.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Greatest day of the year?

(By Chris Hassel)
Merry Christmas ladies!
Could this be the greatest day of the year? People everywhere are in a great mood because Christmas is just around the corner, and most people got the day off. For normal working folks (unlike me, who is working today, and Monday), Sunday may be the best day for Christmas to fall on. Monday is the actual holiday since it falls on the weekend, so you get that off. And it seems like most people got Friday off, as well. The only bad thing about Christmas falling on a Sunday is the fact that New Year's also falls on a Sunday. Thanks to the NFL, there will be no college bowl games that day. New Year's just doesn't feel like New Year's without the Rose Bowl.

Merry Christmas fellas!
Kirk Ferentz was asked, again, to elaborate on Marcus Coker's suspension, and again he declined. If he didn't do anything that serious, it's really painting Coker in a bad light. When no one talks, the rumor-mill gets out of control. I know Ferentz is just trying to protect his player (and there could be legal issues, as well), but at some point you have to decide which will do more damage to a person's reputation. If all Coker did was miss a practice, or mouth off to a coach, this is definitely the wrong way to go about it as far as Ferentz is concerned. Then again...maybe it is serious. Who knows?

This year's Hawkeye season has been a lot like last year's. The Hawks once again had a disappointing 7-5 season. They once again ended up in the Insight Bowl. And they once again play a team in the top-15. The only difference is, this Oklahoma team is better than last year's Missouri team...and the 2011 Hawks aren't nearly as good as the 2010 Hawks. I expect Oklahoma to win by two scores.

I can't believe the Chiefs and Eagles are still in the playoff race at 6-8. When you really break down the scenarios, it's really not at all that far-fetched that one of these teams will make it. I think Philly has a really good chance to win the NFC East. That's crazy in a league where 10-6 doesn't always get you into the playoffs.

I'm not at all excited about the Bears/Packers game, Sunday night. I'm a Bears fan, that's why. They have no chance. None. Especially now that the Packers lost, last week. What could have been a special year in Chicago has turned into a nightmare. And to top it all off...they're not bad enough to get Andrew Luck.

Speaking of Andrew Luck. What are the Colts doing?! Are starting 0-13, they've won two in a row, and are damn close to blowing their future. Indy can still lock up the top draft pick with a loss at Jacksonville, but at this point, the Jaguars are playing worse than anyone. You can't tell someone to go out and throw a game for the benefit of the organization. For some players, this will be their final game with the Colts. For others, it could be their final game as an NFL player. As a Colts fan, I would want my team to play hard, but I'd also want them to lose.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hawks start ballin', Kaczenski starts bawlin'

(By Chris Hassel)

It's hard not to get excited about the future of Hawkeye basketball, when watching Aaron White and Devyn Marble. Let's just hope these guys decide not to transfer at the end of the year. I remember feeling the same about Jake Kelly.

The new Tigerhawk at mid-court is pretty cool. I was never a fan of the small black circle, with an even smaller Tigerhawk. If they can do it at Carver, why can't they do it at Kinnick? Makes no sense. The field always looks so bare.

The Carver floor looks much better than it used to.

Doug McCermott had another great game for Creighton, tonight. He scored 27 points, on 10-of-14 shooting, in Creighton's 87-79 win over Northwestern. Not only do I think Creighton has a shot to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament, I think McDermott could make a run at National Player of the Year. The guy puts on a clinic every time he plays --- and he's only a Sophomore!

Rick Kaczenski is throwing bombs on his way out of Iowa City. Just two days after leaving the Hawks, he announced he would be the D-Line coach at Nebraska. While being interviewed by a Nebraska radio station, he reportedly said: "It's obviously helps when you walk into high school and you have the N on your chest. It will be the 1st in my career when u r walking into high schools with a name brand on your chest. I'm excited about that." That quote is courtesy of's Rob Howe. I mentioned earlier in the week that I never like the guy. He was always a foul-mouthed hot-head on the sidelines...even before the game started. No other coach for Iowa/ISU, or any other team I've covered have stuck out like this guy. He has the sound of a dude that was upset that he wasn't going to be considered for the Defensive Coordinator position, at Iowa. Sour grapes.

Kaczenski even looks the part....

I'm a bit surprised that the Hawkeyes are already in Phoenix, getting ready for the Insight Bowl. I guess that's a good thing, right? I mean, at the very least, James Vandenberg has more time to get acclimated to being away from home. The Junior QB is 6-1 at home, and 1-4 on the road this season. It's harder to win on the road --- much harder...but he looks like a completely different player away from Kinnick Stadium.

Still no word on what Marcus Coker did to get suspended. That's probably good news. Media outlets all over the state, including Channel 13, continue to scour the court reports and make calls to police. No one seems to be investigating anything involving Coker. Hopefully it's something as simple as missing a practice. Ferentz is keeping tight-lipped. 

I almost got in a wreck the other day, thanks to one of the red-light cameras in Des Moines. I was creeping out into the intersection to turn left when the light turned yellow. The car that was coming the opposite way slammed on the breaks in the middle of the intersection because the person was obviously afraid of getting the ticket. I couldn't get around the person in time, so I had to throw it in reverse and scoot back to the line and wait for the light to change. Traffic cameras making things safer? Not a chance.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

In hindsight, Ames keeps getting better

(By Chris Hassel)

What a performance by former Ames standout, Jordan Burgason. The Lipscomb Senior tied a Hilton Coliseum record by hitting 9 three-pointers on his way to a game-high 30 points. Just take a look at who was on the 2007-08 Ames roster:

Harrison Barnes
Doug McDermott
Bubu Palo
Jordan Burgason

Two of those guys may end up 1st-team All American's, this season. Interestingly enough, McDermott may get more votes than Barnes. With each passing year, we find out that Ames was even better than we thought they were.

Drake fans got their $$$$$ worth, Wednesday. A ticket, hot dog, popcorn, and soda, for just $4. It was 'Dollar Night' at the Knapp Center. The blowout win over Central Arkansas was free. 

The I-Cubs have a new manager. I don't even feel the need to mention his name. He's the 30th manager in the 44-year history of the organization. It seems like,'s just one-and-done for these guys.

I'm getting really sick of this DJ Steve Porter BS. It was old 2 years ago. If you haven't heard what he does, take a listen...

What do you think are the sports stories of the year in Iowa? ISU beating #2 Oklahoma State, in football, has to be number 1. ISU beating Iowa in triple-overtime may just be number two. What a year for Paul Rhoads. 

We just received another release from the University of Iowa. This one involves one of the hottest coaching commodities in the nation --- Field Hockey Head Coach, Tracey Griesbaum.

“There continues to be public speculation and questions, as recently as the December 4th press conference, regarding my coaching future at Iowa or elsewhere,” said Griesbaum.  “To emphasize what I have said previously, I am very happy at Iowa.  We have a great staff and group of student athletes, and we receive outstanding support from President Sally Mason and Director of Athletics Gary Barta.  I fully intend to be at Iowa next year and well beyond 2012.”

Thank God.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Hellish Hour for Hawkeye Football

(By Chris Hassel)

It was a rough day for the Iowa football program. It's not often that you lose a player, and a coach, within about 60 minutes. We'll start with the player. Marcus Coker has been suspended for "disciplinary reasons", according to a U of I release. The school says he violated the 'Student-Athlete Code of Conduct'. Coker's name didn't turn up in any searches for online court records, but that doesn't necessarily rule it out. Normally, this time of year, one would assume it has to do with grades. Most highly doubt that's the case with Coker. He's an Astro Physics major, and hopes to one day work for NASA. That doesn't sound, to me, like a person that's going to be skipping much class.

Coker rushed for 1,384 yards, and 15 TD's, in 2011.
Just minutes after the Coker suspension was announced, the University released a statement from Kirk Ferentz saying that Hawkeye Defensive Line Coach Rick Kaczenski, is leaving. He had been on the staff for 5 years, and rumor has it that he's going to take a position at Nebraska. Ouch. I don't know Rick, at all, but I do know him as a foul-mouthed lunatic on the sidelines. He was always the most outspoken coach on the Iowa sideline, and threw more temper tantrums than Fran McCaffery. I don't know how he was off the field, but I certainly wouldn't want to play for that hooligan.

Rick Kaczenski may just be headed to Nebraska.
Back to Coker, for a minute. How ironic is it that Coker, who had his coming-out party at last year's Insight Bowl after Adam Robinson had been suspended, gets suspended himself the very next year for the same game? What is it with Hawkeye running backs? They used to have the injury-bug. Now they have a trouble-bug. Within the span of 15 months, Coker, Mika'il McCall, Adam Robinson, Brandon Wegher, and Jewel Hampton, have all been suspended and/or kicked off the team. All five running backs were either Freshman, or Sophomores. And who knows if any of them will be on Iowa's roster in 2012? We'll have to wait and see. Hopefully, Coker didn't get himself in any real trouble, and he will come back hungry for his Junior season. 

As for the game against Oklahoma --- who knows what to think!? The Sooners have problems of their own. Leading rusher Dominique Whaley is out, along with fellow running back Brandon Williams, who announced this week he was going to transfer. Maybe they should just cancel the bowl game. It's clear Oklahoma fans/media don't care much about the game. At Monday's press conference, head coach Bob Stoops wasn't asked one question about the Hawkeyes.

Bill Fennelly is a magic man. Despite fighting cancer, and having no voice, he sweeps away Drake, Iowa, and UNI, for the 9th time in his tenure. Prior to his arrival in Ames, in 1995, the Iowa State had done that a grand-total of ZERO times.

Dowling wide receiver, and Michigan commit, Amara Darboh played his final high school basketball game, Tuesday. The senior will undergo surgery on his shoulder, next week. He's expected to be ready by the time he heads to Ann Arbor, in the summer.

And Bobbi D. seems to finally be slowing down a bit. Since Zach Borg warned her that our legal team is closing in on its identity, we haven't heard a peep from her. I hope legal ramifications don't scare her away. The Internet needs Bobbi D. We need Bobbi D.