We've got quite the slate of questions today. Let's get to it.
@Adam_Jacobi Devin Gardner's turnover/ball security issues: Fixable, or systemic to the point that it must be accepted as part of who he is?— Craig Barker (@cdbarker) September 26, 2013
Fixable. Absolutely fixable. For proof, look at the last two great quarterbacks Iowa has had: Drew Tate and Ricky Stanzi.
In 2004, Tate's first year starting, he threw for 2,786 yards at 62.1% with 20 TDs and 14 picks. Year two: 2,828 yards (practically the same), 62.2% (practically the same), 22 TDs (practically the same) and 7 picks (chopped in frickin' half). He also took less than half the sacks the next year, and he was pretty much a way better quarterback. Then 2006 came and a lingering ribcage injury (and a pretty lousy attitude, by most accounts) derailed that season, but the proof was there.
Stanzi's improvement was more pronounced across the board, as you'll see:
Still, crucial to that improvement was a drop in his interceptions as his rapport with his wideouts continued to improve. It helped that he was throwing to one of Iowa's best receiving corps ever, of course, but he had a damn good corps in 2008 too and he was so apt to throw the other team back into the game that his disastrous receptions started to get called "Rick-Sixes." That went away in 2010 and it got him drafted.
These improvements happen with continuing development and instruction from the quarterbacks coach, and Devin Gardner is in the process of getting that instruction from Al Borges. And being that Gardner came in incredibly raw, then spent part of his career at wideout, then switched back abruptly and is still only eight starts into his career, you can't write off his struggles this season as a permanent aspect of his play. He might not improve, but it is way too early to assume so.
@heshsson @Adam_Jacobi @BHGP First Rutgers-Indiana game has to feature a dual-halftime act of Bob Jovi & Melloncamp, yes?— Rob in WI (@WisconsinRob) September 26, 2013
We're including this one because of the typo, which is completely unfair but that's what gave me an idea so here we go.
When I hear the name "Bob Jovi," I'm imagining some balding, normal 40-something who wears khakis to work and has this completely normal, boring life and then all of a sudden Bon Jovi comes along and he's like, "whoa, heck, I'm almost a rock star!"
Nobody on earth believes this, of course, not for a second, not even Bob, but since Bob's got a dorky 40-year-old guy's sense of humor, he starts putting the word "Bob" into a bunch of Bon Jovi song titles, and this is what happens:
"You Give Bob A Bad Name"
"Bob of Roses"
"Thank You For Loving Bob"
"It's Bob's Life"
"Wanted: Dead or Alive"
(Bob's face is on the poster in the last one.)
@Adam_Jacobi @BHGP OSU/Wisky...who ya got and why?— Chris Kelley (@ckelley7399) September 26, 2013
Ohio State by a touchdown, which is to say if Wisconsin wins it will not surprise me. I worry about Ohio State's discipline at linebacker—not discipline in a "just punched a security guard at 3:30 in the morning" kind of way, but a "caught flat-footed by Melvin Gordon" kind of way. The matchup of physicality between Wisconsin's OL and OSU's DL will be fascinating.
I just have way more confidence in Braxton Miller moving the ball on Wisconsin than I do in Joel Stave doing the same to Wisconsin. Miller is a significantly better runner and passer, and Stave has looked Matt Saracen-esque (in not a good way) in his career. So Buckeyes by a TD when it's all said and done.
(Checks Vegas just for good measure)
Wow, Adam, really went out on a limb on that one.
@Adam_Jacobi @BHGP How do you expect Steve Alford to fare at UCLA? *licks envelope, drops in mailbag*— Dexter Fishmore (@dexterfishmore) September 26, 2013
Well, Satan, thank you for asking.
He'll probably have a moderate amount of success on account of the fact that he's at UCLA and most coaches would be able to routinely reach the NCAA tournament at UCLA. The institutional advantages there are remarkable.
He will also probably develop an adversarial relationship with the press relatively quickly, which I'm sure will work out just great in Los Angeles seeing as how he had such a rough go of it in frickin' Iowa City.
Hope you're a fan of blatantly self-serving piety, because you'll get that in spades. People dig that in southern California, right?
And it'll probably end poorly, because it always seems to end poorly with him. He's not a Bruin at heart, never was, never will be and he hasn't shown the ability to cultivate meaningful, lasting relationships out of his professional ambitions yet.
But hey, he'll probably make a few tourneys, so good luck with that.
@Adam_Jacobi @BHGP Have you ever tried Gopher stew? http://t.co/Lnbvs82JDs— Tony Hager (@hagertony) September 26, 2013
Let's check out that recipe, huh.
A LAND TURTLE?!
WHOA WHOA WHOA
WHAT IN THE
THIS... I... WHAT
A. LAND. TURTLE.
I give up. Y'all are on your own. Peace.