Kirk Ferentz, Motivational Speaker. Over the last nine years, we have read countless articles on Kirk Ferentz's motivations, and that of his team. We have read theories of how Ferentz focuses on the conference's big dogs more than Iowa's traditional rivals, how he uses the non-conference season like the NFL preseason and gears his squad toward the Big Ten campaign, how they feed off the disrespect from all of those non-offers from bigger schools. Most of it is dime-store psychology.
There is little doubt, though, that Iowa has lost the motivational battle in recent years against Minnesota. While Minnesota's focus on Iowa has sharpened since even before Jerry Kill arrived -- the 2010 game featured an interim coach on the Gopher sidelines and the least-motivated Iowa team we had ever seen -- it has only increased in recent years.
We now know how they're doing it: By copying Iowa.
Mitch Leidner wanted to play quarterback at Iowa.
On consecutive weekends, Leidner attended Iowa camps in 2011. He wanted to show he was capable of playing quarterback for the Hawkeyes. Both times, the Minnesota junior said, he was rebuffed.
...Iowa never offered. Minnesota eventually did, and Leidner bludgeoned the Hawkeyes last year with four touchdown passes in a 51-14 rout.
Dochterman also talks to Briean Boddy-Calhoun, who is mad because Iowa fans called him "Booty" a couple of years ago. I don't know what's more embarrassing, that we couldn't come up with anything better than that or that it was enough to piss him off for three years.
Doc's story just highlights how stupid motivation can be. But Iowa needs to find some of that, dumb or not, if they're going to refill the now-empty trophy case in 2015.
Daft Punk Is Playing the Big House, the Big House.
The Irony of "Kirk Ferentz Emoji-Related Post" is Palpable. Fresh off Matt Hinton's Ferentz hot seat post from last week, Grantland returns with the entire college football hot seat. Ferentz registers a 7 on a scale of 10, with Al Golden, Mike MacIntyre, Tim Beckman and Mike London all sitting on hotter seats (Paul Rhoads wasn't listed either because Grantland only wanted to discuss major programs or because there wasn't a '16-fire-emoji' spot on the scale). Mike Hlas takes another angle: How did the 17th season go for Frank Beamer and Bill Snyder?
Aside from the MacIntyre attack, which ignores where Colorado was as a football program (glorified intramurals) and administration (desperately trying to find a coach they wouldn't have to fire after 2-3 seasons again) when he was hired, I can't disagree. London and Golden probably could have walked the plank last year, and Beckman's PR makes Ferentz look like Donny Deutsch.
We'll talk a lot more about this as the season approaches, but even though expectations are low, 2015 could be the most interesting season in the last fifteen years for one simple reason: It's the first time since 2001 where failure could have actual consequences.
With one more day to go until fall camp opens, it's officially the end of fluff-piece season. Today it's Jordan Canzeri, back for one more run. Of course, there's the problem of Leshun Daniels, who is currently listed as the starting halfback, but it's been health more than competition that's always held back Canzeri.
The puff posts aren't limited to football (or to posts, for that matter): Watch incoming freshman power forward Ahmad Wagner talk about how he played soccer as a kid.
Emmanuel Rugamba, the Chicago receiver who announced his commitment to Iowa over the weekend, told Morehouse that he's going to focus on playing defensive back at Iowa. The depth chart at cornerback is a bit top-heavy, and Rugamba says he plans on playing as a fifth defensive back in 2016 in anticipation of a starting cornerback spot after Desmond King leaves. You've got to give him an A for ambition.
Former Iowa wrestler Ross Lembeck pled guilty to a pair of reduced charges in connection with a string of car burglaries around Cedar Rapids. Needless to say, he won't be back at Iowa.
Former Iowa point guard and West Des Moines Valley head coach Jeff Horner has been named an assistant coach at North Dakota. The promotion comes just one year after Horner had joined UND as director of basketball operations. Horner played for [REDACTED], but his relationship with Iowa's current staff was good after Peter Jok's recruitment. Now with some collegiate coaching experience, he could be prime for any open spot on McCaffery's bench.
SING IT WITH ME! FORMER IOWA running back Brandon Wegher, six years removed from his sole season with the Hawkeyes and coming off a two-year stint at Morningside College in Sioux City where he set the school record for rushing yards, is in the Carolina Panthers' training camp as a 24-year-old rookie. I don't give a damn about the circumstances of his exit from Iowa City. I want him to make it.