Football News and News-Like Substances. A metric fuckton of football developments on an unusually busy Monday:
- Tony Moeaki was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week (not to be confused with Big Ten "Offensive" Player of the Week, won for the 2,364th consecutive week by Michigan State fullback Blackface Hitler), after his six catch, 105 yard, two touchdown performance Saturday night. Moeaki is the first Iowa player to win Offensive Player of the Week since Shonn Greene took it home for Purdue. When reached for comment, Moeaki said, "I'm surprised and humbled to be named OH GOD MY LEG WHAT HAPPENED TO MY LEG"
- From the Caring is Creepy file, Iowa picked up two additional defensive line commits over the weekend. Donovan Johnson (3* Rivals, 1* Scout, 76/100 ESPN), a 6'2", 245 lb. defensive end from Arlington, TX, chose Iowa over Nebraska, Purdue, ISU, Kansas State, and TCU. He also rocked some awesome threads in his pre-Nash Bridges phase. Carl Davis (3* Rivals, 3* Scout, 75/100 ESPN) is already pushing 3 bills and will be a run-stuffing defensive tackle.
- Riley Reiff is now your starting left guard, replacing Julian Vandervelde. Reiff spent some time at guard during August camp, but was sent back to second-string tackle for more seasoning. He was more than capable as Bulaga's replacement through most of September, though, and definitely deserves a chance, especially given Vandervelde's pathetic borderline criminal lackluster performances over the last two weeks. No other new developments in this week's depth chart, aside from the typical shuffle of backup linemen.
- Bowl Championship Series rankings don't come out until after next week, but BCS Guru (usually a pretty good estimate of where we would be) ranks Iowa 10th. As we all know, the human polls are slightly dismissive of the Hawks' chances, but the computers love us; Iowa ranks first, third, fourth, seventh, and eighth in the five BCS computers currently publishing rankings. Iowa's poll average is third, behind only Florida and Alabama.
"Phoning It In" Doesn't Even Begin to Describe It. We've laid off Pat Harty lately, preferring to let his inartful laziness speak for itself. We didn't even mention it when Pharty called an Illinois high school coach, mistook said Illinois coach's use of the term "U of I" as short for Iowa rather than Illinois, thought for a moment that the coach was telling him the Iowa coaching staff told a 4-star tight end recruit that he should cancel his visit to Iowa City and honor his verbal commitment to Ron Zook, then took not one, but two separate posts to his completely inaccessible blog to futilely attempt to rectify the mistake.
But nothing Harty has written in his illustrious career even begins to approach his latest Pulitzer-worthy column, a painfully beautiful piece of journalism that calls to mind such classics as Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, Nellie Bly's work on insane asylums, or the leprechaun in Mobile, Alabama. Tell us, oh great one, what a day is like for a prestigious Press-Citizen sportswriter:
10:51 a.m. -- ESPN updates the status of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow for the 98th time since Tebow suffered a concussion against Kentucky two weeks earlier.
12:37 p.m. -- ESPN updates the status of Tebow for the 99th time without still confirming anything [Ed. note -- Thanks to Pat, we have no idea how it feels to read something 99 times without ever seeing any actual reporting] ...
5:17 p.m. -- My car is stuck on Melrose Avenue behind a car driven by an elderly man who is trying to go straight despite being in the right-turn only lane.
5:23 -- The man driving the car in front of me is still trying to go straight despite still being in the right-turn only lane.
5:26 -- The man is rewarded for his persistence by finally making it through the intersection....
7:31 p.m. -- Fans cheer even louder when Stanzi connects with a wide open Moeaki for a 34-yard touchdown pass with 9 minutes, 20 seconds left in the first quarter.
7:32 p.m. -- Former Iowa sports information director George Wine points out that the first quarter is not even half over and Stanzi already has thrown two touchdown passes, albeit one to Michigan....
9:41 p.m. -- I tell the person sitting next to me that Lowe's fumble recovery could prove to be the turning point in the game. The person looks at me as if to say tell me something I don't know Captain Obvious....
10:30 p.m. -- Fans rush the field as the game ends with Iowa having defeated Michigan for just fifth time in Iowa City.
10:45 p.m. -- I breath a sigh of relief after filing my column barely making deadline.
The Press-Citizen's website commenters, always interested in finding out that the top sportswriter for the biggest newspaper in Iowa City sits around his house watching ESPN all day rather than doing any actual reporting, arrives at the stadium an hour before kickoff for the biggest home game of the season, is befuddled by Melrose Avenue traffic, gets all his information from George Wine and the SID instead of asking any questions, and makes borderline retarded statements to those around him, are appreciative of Pharty's effort:
What powerful prose. You made me feel like I was sitting right next to you. This may be the journalistic highpoint of your career. I'm thinking Pulitzer for sure! Having used up most of your creative writing on this one, I suggest you give that same pressbox seat to someone else for the next home game.
If the PC is looking to reduce costs they should start with Pat Harty's salary.
Wow...real in depth coverage of the big game.
When whackjob Press-Citizen commenters have turned against you, there is nothing left to lose. Pat Harty, ladies and gentlemen: Not exactly a bastion of journalistic integrity.
- Iowa baseball goes 1-1 in its fall games, beating DMACC (that's Des Moines Area Community College to the uninitiated) and losing to...cough...Iowa Central. In other news, Iowa Baseball is not very good at the present time. Which distinguishes it from all other times in no way whatsoever.
- Returning Big Ten heavyweight wrestling champion and NCAA fourth-place finisher Dan Erekson will miss 2-3 months with a torn pectoral muscle. That will likely keep him out for the pivotal Iowa-ISU dual, but should get him back in time for Big Ten season.
- Bret Bielema discusses the Iowa defensive line and linebackers. The takeaway? He likes Pat Angerer and has clearly not read our linemen's biographies recently. In other news, backup Wisconsin halfback Zach Brown is questionable for next week after sustaining a concussion in Columbus Saturday.
- Speaking of concussions, The New Yorker's Malcolm Gladwell pens a disturbing article on the effect of repeated concussions on athletes, comparing retired football stars to Michael Vick's pit bulls with horrific effect. It's longish, but it's completely worth the time.