Great moments in Iowa vs. Penn State:
Iowa vs. Penn State 2004 (via HawkeyeFan123)
Ah, the greatness that was 6-4. The use of "Sabotage" (which instantly makes anything 1000% better) and the montage of bone-crushing hits and opportunistic interceptions definitely makes this game look a bit better than it really was. You can't even honestly say it was just a great defensive game - there was also some pretty putrid offense on display here. But, hey, it has an F-U safety -- how often do you see that?
Press conferencin'. Tuesday was press conference day, which means injury updates, reminiscing, and lots of coachspeak. You know, the usual.
- Injury-wise, Bulaga, Moeaki, and DJK are all still listed as "day-to-day," although KF doesn't sound too optimistic.
- On practicing for the crowd noise in Happy Valley:
We’ve got a little bit of everything going. Some stuff I’ve never heard and some stuff I have. We piped in some crowd noise last week. I think it was an Australian football game or soccer game from Denmark or something like that. It sounded like a foreign crowd.
On the plus side, at least now our players should be able to say "your mother is a cheap whore" in Danish. (Andy Hamilton also has a nice article about the noise issue.)
- And the Kirk Ferentz comedy routine:
The next year is when Coach Majors came in. I was a senior.
Quick story for you. And that was the last year of NCAA limit on scholarships. I think they brought in like 90 freshmen and another 30 JC guys. They went to camp next year with 170 guys. They had to practice in shifts because they had so many guys there.
I think I was the only eligible senior in western Pennsylvania not to be offered to go to University of Pittsburgh that year. Everybody else, including Tony Dorsett, I can’t believe they took him over me (laughter), so I was like the only senior to graduate that year that didn’t get an offer from Pitt.
- And, finally, on why the Big Ten seems to love making Iowa start Big Ten play on the road (8 of the last 10 years):
I asked a couple years ago. I don’t know why, but I just got bored and asked, and I was told the computer handles the scheduling. We must not have enough — what’s the NBA do with that lottery deal, enough balls in the machine or whatever. We’ll see if we can get a few more of those.
That, or the computer just really does hate us. It was probably programmed in Ann Arbor.
We'll see your injuries and raise you two all-conference linebackers. As we mentioned yesterday, Iowa isn't the only ones dealing with some injuries to key cogs in the system heading into Saturday's big game. Navorro Bowman and Sean Lee, two of PSU's starting linebackers and best defensive players, are banged up. Of the two, Bowman seems more likely to play, but frankly we'll still believe Lee isn't playing when he's sitting on the sideline.
We didn't make the shirt for nothing. The Altoona Mirror chimes in on the Pwned State phenomenon by dredging up memories of
PSU's disastrous failures Iowa's glorious victories over the Lions in football and basketball. To recap: losses to Iowa cost PSU a shot at a national title in football and an NCAA berth in hoops. Not that they're bitter about it or anything. Meanwhile, The Patriot News does the obligatory piece talking about just how bad Ferentz owns JoePa. The article practically oozes condescension (what, Iowa is 6-2 against PSU over the past decade?!) and revisionist history (it was pass interference - fucking get over it), but there is an interesting note about the Vegas action in the series:
But here’s what’s really striking: In those eight meetings, Ferentz’s teams have been favored in the Vegas line only twice — in 2001 (-9 in Iowa City) and 2003 (-10 in Iowa City). Iowa has covered six of the eight, excepting only 2001 (24-18 win) and 2007 (27-7 loss, +9 in State College).
Five of the games have been close — decided by a touchdown or less — and Iowa has won each of them. Because Penn State won the two blowouts (’99 and ’07), the average difference actually comes out in favor of PSU +1.5, which could not be more misleading.
Food for thought as you look at the line on this year's game (which was at -11 at one point and is now done to -9.5 at some places). -9.5 still seems a bit high given how close games in this series have been lately and the fact that Penn State's best win is over... Syracuse? Not to mention that they haven't covered a spread once this year, as I recall.
Down there, hypocrisy is spelled O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A. ESPN's Big Ten blogger, Adam Rittenberg, wrote an interesting and well-observed piece about the double standard that exists in the media treatment of Ohio State and Oklahoma's respective big game failings. Ohio State gets taken out behind the house and shredded, while Oklahoma and "Big Game" Bob Stoops gets a free pass more often than not, despite the fact that he's struggled even more than the Sweatervest when it comes to BCS games. His piece drew some indignant responses from Oklahoma fans, including this gem from Donovan in Tulsa:
Big 10 = weak; Big IX = strong
A Big 12 education at work, no doubt. Then again, as Orson points out, maybe it's all just a geography thing.
In other news...
- Fluff, in video form: Pat Angerer and Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week, Ryan Donahue.
- Scouts Inc has a nice preview ($) up at ESPN, though you need to be an Insider to access it. They like PSU in a close (but strangely high-scoring, 31-24) one. CFN likes PSU in a blowout.
- Rivals power ranks every position in college football; Iowa shows up at TE (#9, Moeaki), OL (#8, Bulaga, and #23, Calloway), LB (#16, Angerer), DB (#8, Sash, and #13, Spievey), Defensive Coach (#6, Norm), and Head Coach (#19, KF). Recognition is always nice, although Angerer might be a bit high and the omission of Clayborn seems pretty ridiculous. Donahue's omission is also annoying, but more understandable since their all-purpose "special teams" category lumps punters in with kickers and returners.