Al Young deserved better.
Damien Sims, Tommy Busch, Klink, Humpal, Iwebema, Mattison, Godfrey, even Adam Fucking Shada. They all deserved better than this.
Tonight it appears highly likely Iowa's 2007 season is over. They have finished 6-6 (4-4), with losses against such juggernauts as Iowa State (3-9) and Western Michigan (4-7). One in ten Iowa football players was implicated in criminal activity of one kind or another. That's not a misprint. One in ten. The man in charge, who keeps telling us to stay the course and retains his assistant coaches despite a demonstrated lack of results, made 2100% more than the governor for presiding over this debacle.
This was a small but great group of seniors. Al Young, despite a seemingly never-ending string of injuries, will leave with the fourth-most rushing yards in the history of Iowa football. Mattison, Iwebema, Klinkenborg, and Humpal, who replaced Iowa legends in the defensive front 7, will leave on nearly the same plane as their predecessors. Tom Busch is my favorite player, running and blocking hard all season despite being criminally underutilized by KOK. But their senior efforts, gargantuan and heroic as they may have been, were squandered by this team.
We wasted the best front seven since 2004 on an offensive line which flat out refused to block anyone. We wasted the best running back tandem since Russell/Lewis on a quarterback who couldn't hit an open receiver and receivers who didn't catch the ball when he did. We wasted a tough, classy, downright professional group of seniors on a team filled with convicts and thugs and a coaching staff that was too fucking stubborn to even attempt to fix the all-too-obvious problems.
Obviously an Iowa fan
I try to avoid what SMQ calls "second-guessing the split-second decisions of college kids under extreme physical duress," but it's abundantly clear JC6 doesn't have what we need. His decision-making is too slow, and his passes too erratic, to keep the offense moving. He remains unable to throw a touch pass or hit a receiver coming across the middle, and KOK remains unwilling to call anything but touch passes and routes across the middle. It's not a question of youth or learning curve; he's had three years in this system and he's not an idiot. It's a question of capability. Jake is simply incapable of running this plodding offense. It's not his fault; not many people have what it takes to play quarterback for a BCS-conference football team. I would feel bad about this if I were the only one who has given up, but I don't because I'm not. The natives (especially the dumbasses sitting behind me today who couldn't figure out why we didn't go for 2 when down 7) are restless. The MSM is agitated. Even Dolphin and Podolak, who otherwise have red moustaches from all the kool-aid they've downed, were not-so-subtly throwing in the towel tonight (Dolphin went so far as to say, "I don't know what he's looking at" after JC missed DJK in the end zone). If there's nobody better, we've been duped by coaches and "insiders" for nearly two years, and we're fucked for the foreseeable future (now THAT is alliteration).
Defenders of this coaching staff have repeatedly said, "the coaches put players in position to win, and it's the players' fault for not performing." Assuming (I think incorrectly) that this system would actually lead to success, it's the job of the coaches to prepare these players both schematically and technically. If the players are unable to perform effectively in otherwise correct schemes, the players must be more technically sound, the players must be replaced by those who can perform, or the schemes must be adjusted to account for a lack of talent/knowledge. This is the job of a coach (and I'm looking directly at you, KOK).
I've been through worse years (I started college in 1999; I've seen the bottom of the barrel). But the combination of squandered talent, off-field embarrassment, and head-up-its-collective-ass coaching on display this season has left me sadder and angrier than either 1999 or 2000. Now we go on without a group of leaders who were obviously trying to hold the wagon together with both hands while the wheels spun off. We won't change the coaches. We won't change the blueprint. We won't change a damn thing. If Big Blue finds someone with imagination, and Tressel continues to be Tressel, we won't stand a chance.
But tonight, right now, on behalf of all Iowa fans, I'm sorry Mr. Young. You deserved so much better.
Note: This debacle came at the end of a very bad week for me, and I might be clinically insane right now. Nevertheless, something needs to be said, even if it is in rambling, incoherent form. And 00:44 in that video is one hilarious second.