Let's get right to it. No horse questions. Horses shouldn't play football.
@Adam_Jacobi If Iowa could get 1 more year of eligibility for a former player, who'd help this team the most? Bob? Adrian? Jonathan? Marvin?— Chris Flynn (@cflynn2) September 12, 2013
@Adam_Jacobi Now, the real question: If there were one player you could bring back from last season for Iowa, who would it be, and why?— David Dellsperger (@dirtydave0221) September 12, 2013
This is a good one. Good tweets, you guys! Real good tweets!
I'm answering Mr. Flynn's tweet though, because last season was horrible. Let's assume we mean these guys in the shape they're in today otherwise the answer's like "Duh Tim Dwight and Chuck Long and Super Steroid Nile Kinnick" and that's not fun.
At any rate, Iowa's clear positions of weakness are (deep breath) quarterback, guard, wide receiver, defensive end, free safety, maybe cornerback and maybe strong safety. That's all. At QB, Ricky Stanzi's out there and poking around for things to do, but to be perfectly honest I don't want to degrade him or his legacy by putting him in Greg Davis' offense. We saw what that did to James Vandenberg.
As for guards, Marshal Yanda would be an absolute obliterator and he's the obvious first choice for the entire team. Seriously. In terms of overall upgrade, yes, Yanda.
At WR, I like Marvin McNutt but I don't know how successful he'd be in this offense. On the other hand, if you want to start talking about DJK... like, I know he'd be shot the moment he stepped foot into Iowa City (and then shot again by Kirk Ferentz if he somehow got to Kinnick Stadium), and I know the team enjoys pretending he never existed, but DJK would fit in quite nicely. I'm just sayin'.
On defense, we will tolerate no ill words said about Adrian Clayborn whatsoever and he'd be a mammoth upgrade over Dominic Alvis, but what I'd really like to see is a that rush end type that typified Iowa's stronger years in the first half of the Kirk Ferentz era. Matt Roth's playing days are done, nobody's heard from Howard Hodges in a while, but like... what's Ken Iwebema up to these days? Can we get him another year of eligibility? Is that doable? Feel like he's got another good year of terrorizing opposing QBs in the tank.
@Adam_Jacobi Do you think Michigan State would be better served by cutting off the limbs of their QBs to make a QB Voltron?— Sam Dakota (@thesamdakota) September 12, 2013
Look, in theory this is a good idea and all, but you can't just hack up humans and stitch them together and make them into a superhuman. It doesn't work that way.
(looks mournfully off into distance)
I would know.
@Adam_Jacobi Which program will use a star from a CBS procedural this week? I feel like Minnesota could use the Mentalist’s help— NDEddieMac (@NDEddieMac) September 12, 2013
Ah yes, this after Mark Harmon, son of former Michigan legend Tom Harmon and star of whatever the hell CBS show he's on, singlehandedly willed the Wolverines to victory over Notre Dame last week by
rushing for 165 yards and three touchdowns showing up and talking to the team before the game. WHATEVER IT TAKES.
It's one thing for Michigan to beat this year's iteration of Notre Dame, of course; it's quite another for Notre Dame's opponent this week: lowly Purdue. The Boilermakers got hamblasted by Cincinnati (who was summarily hamblasted by frickin' Illinois) then squeaked by Indiana State, 20-14—yes, the same Indiana State that was a massive hamblast victim to Indiana in Week 1, 73-35.
"Hamblasted" works better if you don't try to figure out what it means, btw. It's just fun to say. Roll with it.
So we think Purdue should bring in its own CBS hero this week. Not from a procedural, though; you're not going to Cold Case your way past Notre Dame, Purdue. No, Darrell Hazell needs to amp up his players by bringing in Two And A Half Men's very own Charlie Sheen, who will extol the virtues of winning to such a degree that the Boilermakers will run out there and win 58-0. A right hamblasting, that would be.
We'll just ignore the postgame drug tests when everyone involved tests positive for cocaine, methamphetamines, tiger diuretics, spooky juice, and something known ominously as "it."
@Adam_Jacobi Which running back are you most excited about this year? Asking for a friend.— AIRBHG (@theAIRBHG) September 12, 2013
NOPE NO WAY NICE TRY.
@Adam_Jacobi what would it take for Minnesota to establish a Wisconsin like period of excellence over the rest of the B1G?— Brian Johnson (@bdj79) September 12, 2013
Um, joining the MAC and renaming it the Big Ten?
Taylor Martinez can ball. If he had the same defense that Eric Crouch and Tommie Frazier had backing them up, Nebraska would be dominating the Big Ten and he'd be mentioned in the same breath as Johnny Manziel and othr great dual-threat QBs. Yeah, his motion's funky, but Vince Young threw like Uncle Rico, and he still won a national championship.
Look at Taylor Martinez's career numbers. LOOK AT THEM. Now consider that he's still got 10+ games left in his senior season and his offense is loh-oh-oooaded. He's not going to break career records or anything, but he's basically the personification of people's high expectations for Denard Robinson.
Taylor Martinez > Denard Robinson. I SAID IT.
Last one, from an old friend.
@Adam_Jacobi Bill Cubit, great hire in offseason or greatest hire? In the B1G that is.— Michael Felder (@InTheBleachers) September 12, 2013
That hire might be a career-saver for Tim Beckman. No exaggeration. Illinois still isn't very good—lots of holes on both sides of the ball that the rest of the B1G will likely exploit—but the offense isn't the nuclear disaster zone it was last year. Some of that had to do with the lousy situation at quarterback, with Nathan Scheelhaase hobbled and unable to consistently beat out some absolute schmucks behind him in the depth chart. But Illinois just plain didn't look like it knew what it was doing (its highest point total against FBS competition? 24 points in the opener against WMU when Scheelhaase's ankles were still healthy).
The Illini aren't going to drop 45 on everyone, but that doesn't look like the worst offense in the Big Ten by a damn stretch anymore, and that's going to be enormously beneficial as the season progresses. You score 13 a game, you're in for a rough year. You score 20+, you're still probably not going bowling, but... you're competitive, you have something to build on.
To formally answer the question, though, the Big Ten's best coordinator hire in recent years was Greg Mattison at Michigan. Hands down. Turned Michigan's defense from an absolute laughingstock into a rejuvenated power in one offseason. Cubit can stick around, though.