Late-night football ahoy. As expected, the Iowa-Arizona game in Tucson this September has been confirmed for a night start, Arizona-time, which means a really late start if you live in God's time zone (aka, Central Standard Time) -- 9:30pm. We recommend a hearty day of boozing, followed by a brief meth binge to really get your focus back for the game. Or, y'know, maybe just a few coffees or something. The new-ish news about the game is that it will indeed be on ESPN, which is comforting, since it spares us having to track down the game on FSN Bolivia or Versus or whatever other godforsaken channel the Pac 10 uses for their home games. (H/T to recoveringfratguy's post in the FanShots, too.)
But will he help us pillage Atlanta? Weeks after taking the Iowa head coaching gig, Fran McCaffery has finally filled the last spot on his coaching staff. So who gets to stare longingly at soft-serve ice cream cones while pretending to watch Andrew Brommer
deliver forearm shivers play defense? Say hello to Sherman Dillard. If that name evokes a "who dat" reaction, check out Dochterman's thorough overview of the man's CV. Suffice to say, the man is highly experienced, having been a college head or assistant coach for over 25 years, including stints at high-major programs like Cal and Maryland. The fact that he's been out of coaching since 2004 would seem like a red flag if not for the fact that he's been Global Camp Director for Nike since then, helping to run all of Nike's basketball camps and academies. Given the ever-increasing importance of having good ties with the AAU ranks (no matter how foul things can get there), hiring someone who should have ample connections to that world seems like a pretty damn astute hire.
It's not the rematch we wanted, but we'll take it anyway. His chance at avenging the most painful loss of his collegiate career dashed by Darrion Caldwell's gimpy shoulder, the new plan was for Brent Metcalf, destroyer of worlds and taker of souls, to take on Cornell's Kyle Dake on the U.S.S. Intrepid tomorrow evening in a charity event. It wasn't a terrible match-up -- Dake proved to be something of a prodigy last year, winning the 141-lb. national title as a true freshman and setting himself up as potentially one of the best college wrestlers of the next three years. Even the apparent size advantage Metcalf would seemingly possess was mitigated by the fact that Dake was a goddamn huge 141-lb. guy last season; one needed only to look at how massive he appeared to be at the NCAA Tournament to see that.
Alas, Dake also had to pull out of his match with Metcalf, opening the door for yet another challenger, one who turns out to be a very familiar face for Metcalf... Bubba Jenkins, formerly of Penn State and most notable for getting treated like a practice dummy by Metcalf in multiple encounters earlier in their career. Jenkins sat out the 2009-2010 season and wound up leaving Penn State (he'll be at Arizona State next year), meaning we never got one final Metcalf-Jenkins match for old time's sake... until now, at least. Welcome back, Bubba.
Well, if you have to go out, that's a helluva way to go out. The Daily Iowan named Jay Borschel their Male Athlete of the Year and it's hard to argue too much with that -- he did go 37-0, won Big Ten and NCAA Titles and ended his career with two of the most thrilling wins in recent memory (his amazing come-from-behind semifinal win over Virginia's Christopher Henrich and his stunning domination of Cornell's Mack Lewnes in the finals). Wait, what -- ended his career? Yep, Borschel is hanging up the headgear:
But even with a stellar finish to his collegiate career, Borschel said he had no desire to continue wrestling. He said he never was interested in Olympic-style wrestling. The Marion native couldn’t see himself wrestling for gold medals.
"I guess I just never really had that drive or any aspirations to keep going after college," he said. "To me it was just to go to college, and wrestle, and get a good degree out of it, and then move on.
While we'll miss JayBo's funky style and fabulous facial follicles and would have greatly enjoyed rooting for him to try and get some Olympic glory, there's nothing wrong with knowing when enough's enough -- especially when you can go out on top. And a national title and an undefeated season is about as good as it gets at the top.
So long, and thanks for all the national titles. Assistant wrestling coach Doug Schwab (who's been a wrestler or coach at Iowa for all but three years since 1996) accepted the UNI head coaching gig, meaning Brands will be on the hunt for a new assistant coach. Schwab was a member of the 2008 US Olympic team and had been training for the 2012 games, but accepting the UNI head coaching spot likely puts an end to those aspirations; unless he can clone himself, it's hard to see how he'd find the time to train well enough to make the team and satisfy all of his head coaching requirements. Metcalf and former Iowa wrestlers Mark Perry (a two-time national champion in the early years of Brands' tenure) and Steve Mocco (who transferred to Oklahoma State and won a title there) have come up in the initial scuttlebutt as potential replacements, but the viability of those names is, as usual with interwebs speculation, highly suspect.
HITZ THAT HAVE QUICKZ:
- Per our friends at BSD, Iowa's headed to Wake Forest for this year's iteration of the Big Ten-ACC Challenge. It's a rematch of the crushingly awful 06-07 game in the Challenge, which Wake won, 56-47. Incidentally, the game may have a little added juice for Fran, since he played at Wake for a year (1977-1978).
- Norway loves football so much they demand to watch it from a first-person perspective. Hello, helmet-cam.