It's Not Plagiarism If You Link To It is BHGP's regular news roundup. Send all tips to any of the email addresses at the bottom of the page. Seriously: any and all tips are appreciated, although not all tips will necessarily get used in INP.
* Banked in. Brad Banks had a busy weekend. After briefly getting benched during the Iowa Barnstormers' mid-season tailspin (after starting out 2-1, they lost ten of their next eleven games), he returned to the starting line-up and led the 'stormers to a 55-53 win over Tulsa, throwing for 264 yards and six touchdowns on 23/37 passing, and tacking on a rushing touchdown for good measure. After the game he hustled to Iowa City for a youth football camp on Saturday. The camp was also attended by multiple former Iowa players, including Jermelle Lewis, C.J. Jones, and Abdul Hodge, and it's fun to catch up with them.
Banks also found the time to do an interview with The Good Point that touched on a number of issues; most interesting was the discussion of the transition from the CFL to arena football:
"When you go from the bigger field to the small field, it makes you feel like you could throw any ball," Banks said. "That alone gave me the confidence that I could play in the league. In the CFL, three guys could move before the snap. In the AFL, it's only one guy and it makes it a lot simpler. The hardest thing is to get the ball out a lot quicker."
The Barnstomers have no hope of making the playoffs (losing ten out of eleven games will do that), but Banks has had a pretty successful debut season in the AFL: he ranks sixth in total offense and cracked the top ten in passing yards and rushing yards.
* Director's Cup, bitches. Good news, everyone! Iowa had one of their best Director's Cup finishes ever in 2011. And in case you're thinking, "Hey, what is the Director's Cup?"
The Directors’ Cup awards points in up to 20 NCAA sports based on how teams finish in the postseason.
In short, it's a tool to measure the overall health and quality of an athletic department. It's not the be-all, end-all, but it is a useful way of getting a big picture look at how things are going. The bad news is that finish (43rd overall) still left them just ninth in the Big Ten, ahead of only just Northwestern and OMHR. jNW can take their women's lax national titles and SUCK IT.
* Most disappointing year? Blog-buddy Black and Gold Box Score expands on Patrick's experimentation with the Pythagorean
Theorem Expectation to determine which Iowa football team in the past thirty(ish) years were the most disappointing. The results probably won't shock you -- 2008 and 2010 make the top five, as well as 1984 and 1988 -- but he makes a compelling argument for 1997 being the most disappointing squad of the bunch:
1997 takes the cake, indeed. The numbers expected Iowa to win 4 more games than they did in 1997. More than any other season between 1979 and today. That's a third of the 1997 team's schedule.
The crazy thing about it is, that this was supposed to be one of Fry's great teams. This team was expected to be contend for the Rose Bowl. The expectations were sky high, and deservedly so. I mean, it was Tavian Banks' senior year, and he was finally going to carry the load at running back. It also happened to be Tim Dwight's senior season too. Not to mention, Iowa had a senior quarterback returning, in Matt Sherman. Sprinkle in some very good players on the other side of the ball in Jared DeVries, Kerry Cooks, Plez Atkins, etc. and the hype was believable.
The failure of that team is even more baffling when you break the season down, game by game, as BAGBS does at that link. That Iowa team absolutely dismembered bad teams, struggled to get over the hump against good teams, and had an EPIC FAIL kind of day against jNW (four missed field goals and a safety in a 1-point loss!). Anyway, it's a good -- if painful -- read.
* Praterwatch. At their best, profile pieces on an athlete give you some useful insight into his or her background and enable you to better understand -- and relate -- to them. At their worst, profile pieces on athletes are lazy puff pieces. This Omaha World-Herald article is more of the former than the latter:
Shaun himself took a long look at the NFL draft after his junior season, in which he captured consensus All-Big Ten honors. Seven pro teams evaluated his skills. They liked his speed and technique.
But they didn't see much man-to-man coverage ability.
Iowa rarely asks its corners to engage in the kind of physical, hand-to-shoulder pad combat that Pelini demands of his defensive backs. Prater was judged to be a third- or fourth-round pick because of it. Not good enough.
There's some other good details in there about Prater's recruitment (he says he briefly considered switching to Nebraska after Pelini offered), Rhabdogate, his relationship with his brother Shane, and his goals and expectations for 2011.
* Summer jobz. In-between 7-on-7 drills, lifting weights, watching film, and attending summer classes, Iowa players manage to squeeze in a few hours at summer jobs, too. Most of the jobs sound fairly bland-but-tolerable (hauling furniture, working for the UI Foundation), but one sounds excruciating:
It certainly beats a job that Reiff, a junior, had in his earlier years at Iowa.
"They hook you up with the university – and I had this job, too – they put you in this factory and you count T-shirts all day," Reiff said. "You can about imagine."
But did he get to put those little "Inspected by #9" stickers in the shirts?! INQUIRING MINDS NEED TO KNOW!
UNUSED BOTTLE ROCKETZ
* Scott Dochterman wants to know which Iowa opponent you loathe the most (with poll). I think you know how I voted in that poll.
* Russell Wilson might not make the Badgers OMG AWESOMEZ ($) this year? Perish the thought.
* Kurt Angle is ten pounds of crazy shoved into a five pound singlet: