After the Bomb. Much like a nuclear blast, the PAKIBOMB swallowed up all the oxygen around it (that collective gasp at about 12:37 CST yesterday was the sound of all air leaving the Hayden Fry Football Complex), but there are some things to remember before you commit ritualistic suicide. First, as Morehouse points out, Hampton hasn't practiced since August 13. This might be news to us, but the offense has been working under an assumed APAKILYPSE for almost three weeks, and should be prepared. Second, this is not 2004, and the cupboard is not yet bare. There is the distinct possibility that another halfback gets a couple of games under his belt and takes the top spot; for an example, look at last year, when Paki was on the two-deep after August camp, but was quickly deposed by Jewel Hampton, a true freshman. See what I'm getting at, Brandon Wegher? In any case, On Iowa rolls out video of our current two-deep: Paki O'Meara (with a haircut, of all things) and Adam Robinson (who talks in the third person like Rickey Henderson, but only because Morehouse words the question in that manner).
In non-halfback news, Broderick Binns and Christian Ballard discuss the defensive line, Rafael Eubanks talks about the "old folks home" that is the offensive line two-deep, and Hlas provides the full press conference transcript.
But What of the Friendly Confines of Ryan Field? Buried in a Chicago Tribune article on the possibility of the Big Ten playing a bowl game at Yankee Stadium against a Big East opponent (which would be a far better option than the Pizza! Pizza! Bowl) is this tidbit:
[Northwestern athletic director Jim] Phillips' top priority remains creating a regular-season game at Wrigley Field in either November 2010 (vs. Iowa or Illinois) or November 2011 (vs. Michigan or Rice). Phillips believes the field is large enough to host a football game safely but questions remain about finances, alcohol sales, the opponent and practical matters such as locker rooms.
First, why wait for November? It's Wrigley Field, so Phillips can schedule a game for October without threat of conflict with the Cubs' schedule. But to be honest, for as cool as this sounds, it actually could be a horrible venue for watching a game. From what I've read, a full-size football field would only fit straight up the middle, from home plate to center field. That means seats down the lines -- even those in the front rows -- will be far removed from the action. It could be a nice gimmick for Northwestern to sell some tickets (and look at the games they're considering; they know who will be buying seats, and it's not Northwestern fans), but I doubt it would approach Soldier Field as a venue for football.
Excuse me? Look, I like The Daily Gopher. It's well-written and informative, and I can usually get through a couple of posts before seeing red. But this? I have no choice but to give a verbal DDT to this paragraph on the upcoming Iowa-Minnesota game:
First, Shonn Greene was an above average running back who was playing college ball at the age of 23 years old. Why was he a Heisman candidate? Iowa had, and still has, an outstanding offensive line to run behind. Iowa also had the second best recruiting class in the entire Big Ten in 2005, and many of these players are now 5th year seniors. While the Gophers did play flat against Iowa, the 55-0 loss was no fluke. Iowa followed up that game by trouncing South Carolina. Iowa has a good coach in Kirk Ferentz who isn't afraid to run up the score....
Um, Buck Bravo? Meet me at camera two.
First, Kirk Ferentz is actually quite hesitant to run up the score. In ten years as Iowa's head coach, the Hawkeyes have outscored an opponent by 50 points only four times: 2001 Kent State (51-0), 2002 Northwestern (62-10), 2005 Ball State (56-0), and 2008 Minnesota (55-0). That is hardly a track record of running up the score. Ferentz, in fact, takes great pains to refrain from embarassing opponents. Last season's blowout of Minnesota took place with Iowa's backups playing most of the second half. I guess if having backups that are better than your starters is running up the score, then consider us guilty.
Second, are you really arguing Shonn Greene shouldn't have been a Heisman candidate because he was 23? I know you're confused by the size of your offensive linemen, but this isn't middle school football. There are no age limits. Chris Wienke won the Heisman Trophy at age 28. Was he disqualified, too? You want to know why Shonn Greene was a Heisman candidate? It's because he put up 1850 yards and 20 touchdowns in a 13-game season, won Big Ten Player of the Year, and bitch slapped the prepubescent girls you have on defense.
Oh, and that class of 2005 flopped. Do yourself a favor and read something.
- Iowa golf took a four-shot lead into the final round of the Golfweek Invitational, but could not fend off a late charge from Florida State and finished second, eight shots behind the Seminoles.
- Mark Hasty writes that the Big Ten in general -- and Ohio State in particular -- can learn from the late-80's, early-90's incarnation of Nebraska, dominant in a conference considered past its prime and unable to win bowl games against faster opponents. The solution? Faster players. Der.
- Doc Saturday asks the question: Three days from kickoff, is Michigan falling apart?