It's Not Plagiarism If You Link To It is BHGP's regular news roundup. Send all tips to any of the email addresses at the bottom of the page. We promise to only publicly mock the really dumb ones.
* Take that, Kurt Warner. We're having 2002 deja vu all over the place: as you may have heard, Wrestlemania was last night and the biggest stars of the night were The Rock, Steve Austin, Triple H, and the Undertaker; there's a team from Indiana in the national champtionship game (Indiana then, Butler now); and, oh yeah, Brad Banks is ripping shit up on a football field. Fresh off their first win of the season a week ago, Banks and the Barnstormers returned to action on Friday, with Banks accounting for eleven touchdowns in Iowa's 79-69 win over the San Jose SaberCats. He threw for ten touchdowns, a feat not even former Barnstormers luminary Kurt Warner accomplished in his arena days. Seeing Banks do well never fails to give us a case of the warm fuzzies -- but that doesn't mean he's just like Butler, Pat Harty.
* MASS DAHMICIDE. The Iowa baseball team hasn't exactly gotten off to the best start this year -- after higher-than-normal preseason expectations, they went just 9-13 in non-conference action and started Big Ten play with a pair of lopsided losses (7-2 and 7-1) to Michigan State. So they really needed a win on Sunday, and win they did, exploding for a 19-7 blowout victory over Sparty:
Iowa’s offense produced its highest scoring total in Big Ten play since a 22-3 win against Wisconsin in 1989. The 19 runs were the most for the Hawkeyes since the 2010 season opener. Iowa’s 17 hits were also a season high.
Iowa blew the game open in the seventh when the Hawkeyes sent 14 hitters to the plate and 10 scored after five hits and a pair of Michigan State errors.
What spurred their success? Well, head coach Jack Dahm shook up the batting order pretty extensively -- that probably didn't hurt any, considering the previous line-up scored 12 runs in the four prior games combined. Up next is a one-off home game with mighty Coe (4/6), followed by a weekend road trip to Champaign, since beisbol is one sport that the Big Ten will still allow us to play against the Illini.
* Olympics, here we come. That's a bit of hyperbole, but the Iowa track and field teams are performing at a level rarely (or never) seen, which is certainly worthy of commendation. The men's track team finished in a tie for eighth place (with Stanford) at the 2011 Indoor National Championships; that finish was the best in program history. Eight Iowa athletes earned first-team All-America honors at the event: Justin Austin (200 meter dash), Troy Doris (triple jump), Ethan Holmes (4x400 meter relay), Bethany Praska (800 meter run), Patrick Richards (4x400 meter relay), Erik Sowinski (800 meter run, 4x400 meter relay), and Jeff Thode (mile run).
Meanwhile, the track and field team also did well at the LSU Invite, taking third on both the men's and women's sides. Three men claimed individual championships -- Sowinski (800 meter run), Ethan Holmes (400 meter hurdles), and Matt Byers (javelin). Carisa Leacock (long jump) also claimed an individual championship on the women's side of things. Frankly, we're most excited about the presence of MAJESTY TUTSON. She finished fourth-best in the hammer throw, but undoubtedly has one of the finest named in the nation.
* Odds and ends. It's not specifically Iowa-related, but a few recent football scheduling developments should make it clear (if it wasn't already) that the times, they are a-changin'. Notre Dame announced that their home game with USC this year (October 21) will be played under the lights (and Touchdown Jesus' steady gaze, of course) -- the first night game in South Bend since 1990. That news follows on the heels of Michigan planning their first-ever home game under the lights this fall -- which also involves Notre Dame, coincidentally. (Both teams will also be wearing throwback uniforms for that game; based on how little they've changed their uniforms over the years, I can only assume that means they'll be wearing leather helmets and long sleeves.) Primetime football isn't going anywhere; if anything, we're likely to see more and more of it going forward. There aren't currently any night football games planned for Kinnick this fall, but the Big Ten usually finalizes the night-game portion of the schedule in April, so don't be surprised if we find out about one before too long.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin announced that their home opener this fall (against UNLV) would be on September 1, a Thursday night. Until recently, the Big Ten eschewed playing games on any day other than Saturdays, but we've seen that changing in recent years. Ohio State and Minnesota both opened their season on Thursday night last year and, as we know now, Iowa will be ending the season on Black Friday next year. That's still a pretty far cry from the regular Thursday night timeslot owned by the ACC and Big East, but it's yet another sign of changing times. Television is a demanding mistress with a voracious appetite for live programming -- and as Horace noted this morning, it foots a big portion of the bills for schools.
Finally, football returned to ESPN yesterday afternoon, albeit in bastardized spring game form, as Texas showed off their new coordinators,new television network logo, and Case McCoy's ugly mug. It doesn't mean anything for Iowa, of course, although it only furthered my frustration with Ferentz's unwillingness to have a proper "spring game" at Iowa. What Texas did yesterday was nothing more than a gussied-up scrimmage, but it was also a two-hour commercial for the school and the football team -- which is pretty invaluable exposure. Iowa probably doesn't have the pull to get a spring game on ESPN, but they could certainly get one on BTN, which would still be a big plus. The one-hour practice special the BTN aired last year was nice (and hopefully something they'll do again this year), but it still falls short compared to a "spring game." Iowa football under Ferentz is all about the steak and not the sizzle -- but sometimes a little sizzle doesn't hurt.
* Standout Iowa women's hoopyballer Kachine Alexander added another award to her already-impressive haul this weekend, earning honorable mention All-America honors from the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.
* Lovers of quality television, rejoice! FX announced that Justified and Archer were renewed for a third season and, after much drama, AMC announced a deal for two (and maybe three) more season of Mad Men. Huzzah!
* Danger Mouse + Jack White? Yes, please.
* And for the first time in my life, I wish I lived in Des Moines, because Queens of the Stone Age are playing at Val Air Ballroom tonight. Dammit.