About Last Night... You don't need to pinch yourself: the Arkansas State game really happened. There will be plenty more on Iowa's 24-21 win over ASU in The Takeaway, but for now Morehouse has it right:
Maybe it was complacency. Maybe it was the specter of Michigan. Or maybe, just maybe, it really was Arkansas State.
Probably all of the above.
The close finish buried Saturday's other story: The ascendance of Marvin McNutt, who hauled in 4 passes for 121 yards and a pair of scores, handled the last-minute onside kick, and repeatedly terrorized the Arkansas State secondary throughout the afternoon. Apparently, Marvin spent the week complaining about the fact that Adrian Clayborn had more touchdowns than he did. He then spent Saturday righting that wrong, and became the legitimate deep threat Iowa so desperately needed in the process.
In any case, Iowa is preparing for Michigan at 5-0 for the first time since 1995. So there's that.
Image is Everything. As if we needed more proof that the voters simply aren't paying attention, Iowa moved up three spots in the USA Today and Harris polls, and one spot in the AP poll, despite the near-catastrophe Saturday. Thanks should go to ESPN, which reduced a 3-point nailbiter into three Stanzi touchdown passes and a scoreline on SportsCenter and College Gameday Final. ESPN's repeated airing of the field goal blocks against Northern Iowa (even going so far as to make it the #1 play of the day on that evening's SportsCenter) made those plays, rightly or wrongly, the indelible image of Iowa football for a month. We'll assume this is their way of helping out.
- Saturday's game has been declared a blackout -- THAT'S RACIST -- which has to have UI Public Safety up in arms; nothing is more conducive to creating a safe and orderly environment for 70,000 drunk people on a Saturday night than telling them to wear black. Also, Iowa-Michigan is now the only ABC night game (Florida-LSU is set for prime time, but on CBS), and will be broadcast nationwide. We're working on getting the Michigan shirts changed to black, but it's not looking good at the moment.
- Bids for the long-planned Carver-Hawkeye Arena renovations are due this week, with groundbreaking set for the end of the month. Included in the plan are practice facilities for both basketball programs, volleyball, and wrestling, a new strength & conditioning room, and new offices for 20 of Iowa's 24 coaching staffs. The estimated cost of $20 million is being paid from donations and debt.
- Things are bad in Champbana. How bad? Zooker is looking to shake things up, and nobody's job is safe. Yes, not even their four-year starting "quarterback" Juice Williams. Honestly, if it weren't for the fact that it's Zook, I'd ask what took so long.