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Black Heart Gold Pals: OrangeAndBlueHue.com

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One of the few perks of writing for Fanhouse is the league of bloggers under the same umbrella that we can now harass interact with to share ideas, questions, and that really weird porno you can't send through the mail. Among them is Ryan Ferguson, a.k.a. Gatorpilot at OrangeAndBlueHue.com. Do we wish we had a layout as sharp as OBH's? Yes, yes we do.

As you've probably guessed, he's a Florida fan, and the last time our teams met, the experience was less than pleasant for fans of both Iowa and decent officiating. In fact, our Iowa discussion kicked off with that very point:

Ryan Ferguson: You were one of those people screaming about a bullshit offsides call during the onside kick at the end of the 2005 season Outback Bowl.
RF: Am I right?
Oops Pow Surprise: 1) That call was mindblowingly bullshit and one of several comically poor calls on the day; 2) BHGP technically didn't exist until this season.
RF: I hated winning on that call.
RF: Sucked.
OPS: Think about losing on that call.
RF: But you have to admit, Iowa was going down anyway. When it comes down to an onsides kick at the end of the game, you've essentially lost. Agree?
OPS: Well, sure. But it stinks so much to see an opportunity like that taken away without merit.
RF: Agree!
RF: Just one season removed from instant replay.
RF: Although that wouldn't have been reviewable anyway.
RF: My dad and I still get in arguments over that call.
OPS: Those aren't reviewable?!
RF: Ummm.. didn't think so? Could be wrong.
OPS: My god, there was perfect evidence that Greenway was onside. I vividly remember seeing the stills from the replay.
OPS: (oh, and then they found an instance of a Gator 2 yards offsides on one of their kicks.)
RF: As soon as I say that "it sucked winning on a bad call" he starts swearing and ranting and raving about how you can't tell from the camera's perspective.
RF: He defends the call, I don't.
OPS: It's an indefensible call.
RF: Well, I can tell you most of Gator Nation wasn't a fan of it. You recover an onsides kick against our crappy hands team of that season, you deserve to continue playing.
RF: That '05 Gator team gave up several onsides kicks as I recall. Baffling.
RF: Whatever happened to Drew Tate? I liked that kid. Tough hombre.
OPS: Shitty senior season, locker room cancer. Exiled to Canada.
RF: Yeah, as I recall he didn't do so well his final year.
OPS: He was fucking bananas in the two seasons prior. But he had a bad ab pull that limited him all season. He could play through it, but it just never healed and never let him throw well past 15 yards.
RF: How did Iowa fans feel when Ferentz was under consideration for the Michigan job?
OPS: Uh, "skeptical."
RF: Is he on the hot-seat at all?
OPS: Sort of. Nobody's really saying it yet except for the shitty fans, but if Iowa goes 6-6 again, there's going to be a lot more pissed off people around here.
OPS: Iowa's a fishbowl. We don't have any pro teams and ISU's fucking miserable, so we treat the UI like most teams treat pro franchises. We run off coaches for the fuck of it.
RF: I see.
OPS: Lute Olson, George Raveling, Tom Davis, Steve Alford, all fine bb coaches. All of whom found fine work later. All of whom were run straight out of Iowa City in one form or another.
RF: Well, there's a lot going for the program. If not Ferentz, then someone else will exploit it. Great fan support, good facilities, nice game attendance.
RF: Is my association with Ferentz's staff's playcalling as being a bit "stodgy" off-base?
OPS: I don't know. People like to blame playcalling when the offense scores like 15 ppg, but that offensive line has been so weak that there's nothing that can come out of the OC's mouth that'll help them.
OPS: And the receivers all got injured or arrested, so there were guys who were completely unprepared for D-I ball that were starting.
RF: Right. I recall that Iowa had placed well in the Fulmer Cup at one point.
OPS: Iowa led the BXI in scoring in 02 and 04 under the same staff. I don't think they forgot how to coach.
RF: Right, good point.
OPS: It may be that defenses have learned some tendencies and Iowa hasn't adjusted. In fact, that wouldn't surprise me. But again, they know how to put points on the board.
RF: Predict Iowa's season record in '08.
OPS: Well, the schedule is hilarious.
OPS: Like, Maine might not be the easiest non-conference opponent.
OPS: No decent BCS team should do any worse than 8-4 against that schedule.
RF: Right.
OPS: But Iowa's so thin on offense that I'm going to say 7-5 (4-4), and some folks are going to be pissed off around here (Iowa City).
RF: You ought to be 5-0 going into the Michigan State game.
OPS: No shit.
RF: Get through that, then you beat Indiana -- probably -- and face Wisky at 7-0.
OPS: Indiana doesn't have Hardy or their QB back. They're toast.
RF: Wisky, Penn State, Illinois and Purdue are probably all 50-50
RF: Minnesota should be a W but not guaranteed.
RF: 3 losses is possible.
RF: Maybe even 2.
OPS: Right, and 3 of those games are at home, where Iowa won something like 20 straight games.
RF: So... you're excited then!
OPS: Yeah. And then again, you could see Iowa lose at Pitt, MSU, to Wisconsin, at Illinois, and to PSU. That's a totally plausible 7-5.
RF: @ Ill might be etough. Penn State is always tough. And the Badgers will be very tough this year in my view.
RF: Losing to the Wanntsache would suck.
OPS: Iowa is not very good. There's no running game. And while they justsohappenedto parlay a situation like that into a CapOne bowl victory in 04, I don't see it happening again.
RF: MSU... who knows. Grab bag.
OPS: Yeah. Bottom line is that it's a BXI road game, so I can't be optimistic.
RF: Iowa faces a tough opponent in a BCS bowl. Are you optimistic? Y/N
OPS: NO.
Ryan: They gave Texas a pretty good game in the bowl game this past season though, no?
OPS: Sure, and they should have been up 21-3 before a boneheaded penalty nullified a TD and they threw a pick on the next snap. They really should have beaten Texas, who slept through the first half. But toe to toe, Iowa is probably the 40th-50th best team in the NCAA.
RF: Aw, really?
OPS: Dude. The offensive line was inept last season, so the fact that they're all back is not reassuring. The current #1 tailback is a sophomore walkon named Paki.
OPS: And a QB platoon is on the horizon. There's nothing great about the offense.
RF: So 9 wins, Hawkeye nation celebrates. 8 wins, it breathes a sigh of relief. 7 wins, they nervously accept their fate and bide their time 'til '09. 6 wins and it's out with the pitchforks, astride one of which must ride Ferentz's salt-and-pepper head.
OPS: Bingo.
OPS: In fact, I wish I'd come up with that.

Then we started talking about his wanger (well, he did, anyway) and other things that can't possibly interest an Iowa fan, so we'll leave it here. Many thanks to Mr. Ferguson, and we strongly recommend OrangeAndBlueHue.com as a blogging rarity: substantive but not dull, clean but not sparse, Florida but not obnoxious. Mahalo, airplane guy.