Good night, funny men: First of all, if you listened to the podcast below (it's #20! With Marc Morehouse! Go listen listen listen), you'll have noticed that we were concerned with whether David Cato would come back. Marco Mas Casa wasn't sure, which is never a good sign. And sure enough, in the turnaround time between the podcast recording and right now, our question's been answered: off they go. From Rittenberg:
Both players will attempt to land at schools closer to their homes. Cato appeared in 12 games for the Hawkeyes in 2009, recording six tackles, including one for loss. He was one of just seven true freshmen to play in 2008 and recorded 13 tackles, a forced fumble and a pass breakup. Cato had been backing up All-Big Ten safety Tyler Sash, who has two more years of eligibility left.
Brown redshirted this fall and would have been in a very crowded mix at running back in 2010.
As Morehouse's article with the nine tailbacks (okay, eight plus Paki) indicated, there was a massive amount of humanity in front of Brown if he wanted to play running back, plus there was an in-retrospect-damning note about Brown needing to get his physique in order. So, quick recap: 7th or so in the depth chart and he doesn't seem physically ready for playing time? Yeah, that's begging for a transfer.
With Cato, though, it's a bit of a bummer. There were rumors that he was planning on leaving the team during the season, but every day that went by after the Orange Bowl without Cato's transfer got us one inch closer to the optimum result: Cato comes back.
Alas, no, and you can't really blame him; he's in the same class as Tyler Sash, and there's just no way Cato moves ahead of him. Plus at 5'11", 205, there aren't many other places Cato could play on the field. Of course, this sets up our Nightmare Scenario where Sash goes out in week 2 with a high ankle sprain and we find ourselves thinking, "BOY, SURE WOULD BE NICE IF CATO WERE HERE." And then Iowa State runs at Sash's new backup, who'll be like Kent McCausland in one of those ripoff unlicensed Iowa jerseys and a cardboard box for a helmet and argh argh argh. Please change your mind, Mr. Cato. Too late? Fine, then happy trails, and please don't put a hex on Tyler Sash as you leave.
Because we're pedantic, we have to point out that Devan Bawinkel has, in fact, attempted a two-point shot this season. Against Minnesota, he went in for a layup, but was fouled and missed the shot (5:57 left, first half). He then missed both of the free throws. Obviously, that means the shot doesn't count in the stat sheet, but to say that he "hasn't attempted a two-point shot" is technically incorrect. Sorry.
That aside, one more quick observation: more of this type of stuff, please, Big Ten. Humanize the vacuum that is a typical athlete's relationship with the press. We know that the BTN is the media arm of the conference rather than an objective, independent observer of such, and that's okay; it's why Iowa rakes in almost twice as much TV money per year as the Texas Longhorns. These tradeoffs are all part of the game.
"Pittsburgh, baby! Pittsburgh!" ...eh, doesn't really work as well as with "Vegas": Bryan Bulaga has made it onto Mel Kiper's big board at #20 ($$$, but the news on Bulaga is above the pay fold). That doesn't sound mind-blowingly awesome, but he just so happens to be the highest-rated player in the Big Ten right now.
But whereas Kiper's "Big Board" is just a somewhat arbitrary ranking of players--there's really no functional difference between a cornerback at 27 and a defensive end at 30, let's be honest--the real fun stuff comes in the mock drafts, where things like "team needs" actually come into play. And in Kiper's mock--well, crap, you already read the header on this item, so you know where he's going. Fine. We have got to stop giving away spoilers like that:
18. Pittsburgh Steelers Record: 9-7
Bryan Bulaga*, OT, Iowa
It's a solid pick for Pittsburgh, if that's the way they go (and if that's how long Bulaga lasts in the draft); the Steelers somehow worked through their OL woes when they won a Super Bowl in 2008, but they were still readily evident this season (their 3rd/4th and short rushing game, for example, is abysmal). One of Roethlisberger's flaws is his penchant for spending 5 or 6 seconds in the pocket before throwing the ball; having a decent left tackle would help stave off the disaster that invites--like, say, giving up nine sacks to the Browns.
Plus we kinda like the Steelers. They were the template on which Hayden Fry designed Iowa's uniforms 30 years ago, they take care of their head coaches instead of freaking out and firing one any time they miss the playoffs, and there really isn't a whole lot of difference between Iowa and the western 2/3 of Pennsylvania. Oh sure, they have Appalachia, but we have western Iowa. They're practically the same thing in terms of everything but topography. Kindred spirits, really.
We're Number Close To One! We're Number Close To One!: Rittenberg gives Iowa the #2 spot for Big Ten Team of the Decade (behind
Purdue Ohio State, of course), and Kirk Ferentz the #3 coach (Jim Tressel, Lloyd Carr). But not only did he not give America the #1 country of the world forever, he never even made that list to begin with. Ricky Stanzi and J Leman see your antics and disapprove strongly, sir. Please fix at once.
Close Shave, America; no really, it was a close shave; this man put thousands of lives on the line: EDSBS grabs hold of that ridiculous Close Shave Barbasol ad that's been running on the BTN. He spends less time dwelling on the pancakes than we would have--who eats pancakes by candlelight, people? Truckers with terrible wives, that's who.
Winning is good?! Interesting theory (does twirling finger to head thing): The Iowa women's basketball team is, startlingly, actually faring worse than the men in the BXI; they're 1-6 in conference play coming into tonight's game against Illinois. The Register drops a bomb on us--winning would help matters. Seriously, that's the crux here:
Iowa sophomore Kelly Krei has a simple solution to the Iowa women's basketball team's troubles going into tonight's game at Illinois.
"A win," Krei said. "We're going to go to Illinois and play our hardest and hopefully things will work out."
Okay then. Stark contrast to Lickliter's controversial "lose every game and let's see how the fans like THAT." Such a bastard, that man.
The weak are setting their sights on each other. This can only end hilariously: Right as I point out Indiana as Iowa's only hope for a BXI road win, Crimson Quarry says this about tonight's game at Penn State:
IU, Iowa, and PSU should just break away and form their own D-League for the rest of the Big Ten. Yes, Michigan and Northwestern, you can come too.