Get Well, Coach Lick. Todd Lickliter was released from University Hospitals yesterday, and discussed his condition with Gary Dolphin during last night's pregame show:
Lickliter, 54, suffered a tear in his carotid artery and the stent was inserted Saturday. The carotid artery supplies the head and neck with oxygenated blood and any disruption in the artery causes headaches and could lead to a stroke, according to medical Web sites....
"I was having headaches when we were in Kansas City (for a tournament)," Lickliter said in an interview on Iowa’s pre-game radio show. "It turned out to be the beginning of a tear in (the) carotid artery. I’m thankful for the thoroughness of the medical staff, very thankful for that. They ran all the scans, they made sure of the diagnosis, then made a decision on what to do. It was not an easy decision; it was very stressful."
We had heard rumors of migraine headaches and undisclosed medical procedures, but I don't think anyone knew it was anything approaching this level of seriousness. Not being medical professionals, we're not going to speculate on the cause of this or its long-term effects; we're just happy to hear that Coach Lick is out of the hospital and improving. He is expected to return to the bench for Friday night's game with Iowa State.
About Last Night. Northern Iowa effectively won the state championship last night with a 67-50 beatdown of the Hawkeyes before a raucous near-sellout crowd. Panther guard/Impossible Wheel of Fortune answer Kwadzo Ahelegbe led the way with 20 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists. The game was never really in doubt after Iowa went into its patented "let's not score for a really long stretch of time" offense, allowing UNI to go on a 22-1 run over a nine-minute stretch of the first half that gave the Panthers a 24-7 lead. Iowa briefly pulled within six early in the second half, but the damage had been done. Northern Iowa converted 15 Iowa turnovers(!) into 31points(!!), as opposed to Iowa's 3 points off 5 Panther turnovers. Iowa got to the foul line a paltry eight times, and made just three of those free throws. And that says nothing for the fact that UNI sold their place out in a blizzard and Iowa City's local networks would rather show fat people in spandex. What I'm saying is this was an unmitigated disaster.
At least Andrew Brommer remains on pace for the most fouls per minute of any player in team history, committing four infractions in 12 minutes. That is nine fouls in his last 22 minutes of game action, which is more carnage than Saw VI. This has already become the season's best storyline.
Brewster, You Got That Crazy Look in Your Eye! Things are getting downright weird in the Great White North, where Ol' WIN FIGHT TRY himself, Tim Brewster, is wrapping up his third season on a five-year contract with Minnesota. He's angling for an extension, but Minnesota AD Joel Maturi -- whose apparent hatred for his head football coach becomes more obvious with each passing day -- has said there will be no discussion of a contract extension until after Minnesota's bowl game.
It wouldn't be such a problem, except recruits are jumping off this sinking ship in droves. Earlier this week, 4-star running back Josh Huff and 3-star cornerback Antoine Lewis both decommitted from Minnesota, citing Brewster's status as one of their reasons. Lewis, who is now committed to Purdue, made comments that were particularly damning of WIN FIGHT TRY BEST GOPHER ROSE BOWL GOPHER:
"I have respect for every program, every individual who (recruited me)," Lewis said Sunday night. "It wasn’t necessarily about switching commitments. It was about making the right decision for me.
"Purdue was a very family-like environment and the coaches seemed very genuine and the players acted the same way around the coaches and away from the coaches. … I knew what I was going to do before I left."
The wholesale decommitment of the heart of Brewster's 2010 class would usually be enough, but Joel Maturi has apparently been hearing rumors about Kansas potentially hiring Brewster to replace Mark Mangino. To his credit, Maturi --who is one of the country's sharpest AD's when he's not searching for a football coach -- clearly sees what this really is: an attempt by Brewster and his people to extort a contract extension out of Minnesota with the threat of his departure. In fact, there is only one scenario in which this rumor is true, that being an Alford-esque golden parachute out of a situation that has obviously become toxic for all parties. Fortunately for all of us who enjoy college football soap operas, Maturi isn't afraid to call a bluff. Also, just to remind you, he clearly hates Brewster:
"There are rumors that he's going to Kansas, so I don't know," Maturi said Tuesday. "What can I say? So I can't guarantee it, no. I can't guarantee the decisions of other people...."
"I'm smart enough to know that (Brewster's) not going to tell me, nor is the athletic director (Lew Perkins) at Kansas going to tell me until it's a done deal," Maturi said, adding that Kansas had not contacted him. "I chatted with (Brewster) about it very, very briefly. I told him I'm getting tired of all of these Kansas calls. That's kind of been my conversations with him. I know how the game is played. I know how it is. I'm respectful of that. I'm not going to believe the rumors until they're fact. I'm not going to knee-jerk react one way or the other because of it."
Barring a quick termination for concocting a fake rumor in an attempt to get a pay raise, we still have two more years of this. I know, I can't wait either.
- It's award season: Michigan DE Brandon Graham and Penn State QB Darryl Clark split the Silver Football, given to Big Ten Player of the Year. It's the first time the vote was tied in the 86-year history of the award. Wisconsin RB John Clay took third.
- ESPN.com released their all-conference selections: Bulaga and Richardson on the offense; Clayborn, Angerer, and Sash on defense. The only semi-egregious omission is Amari Spievey, who was omitted in favor of Northwestern's Sherrick McManis in what looks like a "we need a Northwestern guy" decision. Otherwise, I can't complain.
- Ndomukong Suh, who could well win the Heisman, beats out Pat Angerer for the Bronco Nagurski Award, given to the country's best defensive player.
- Adam Rittenberg interviews Big Ten commissioner and BCS defender emeritus Jim Delaney. His reaction to those complaining about the TCU-Boise Fiesta Bowl matchup? Essentially, go fuck yourselves.