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MAIL TIME: Iowa Football and a whole bunch of why did I do this to myself

This is gonna be a weird one.

Well, you sent in your questions, and now I have to answer them. There are some intriguing ones that are about actual things you guys might care about, and then there are some questions about Iowa sports. To spare the lives of those who don’t care about the insanity that is the readers of BHGP (seriously, y’all are weird but it’s all good), I’ll start with the Iowa sports and then get to the fun stuff after. Let’s jump into it, because there are a lot of questions. I answered these between 2am and 3am so I honestly am very unsure what to think of.

Two questions:
For the sake of writing about something positive, who do you think will be drafted from this year’s team into the NFL? I cannot remember which of the new BHGP writers it was, but one of you seemed to have a pretty keen eye for draft stock. To me, it looks like (if Jewell declares) we could have 3 or 4 draft picks. A bit strange when you consider we had ZERO last year with a team that went 12-0.

Well, as people pointed out in the comments for the last post, Blythe was drafted in the 7th round. But I think there’s a pretty good chance Iowa has a handful of picks this season. King, definitely, is going to go pretty early, probably by the second round. I know that sounds crazy to the casual observer, but he’ll probably transition to safety in the NFL as that’s where his skill set is best. Otherwise, I’d say CJB will go at some point in the draft, Kittle could go in the middle-to-late rounds. I think Jaleel Johnson has an outside chance of going late. As you said, if Jewell declares, he’s a solid pick, too.

Oddly enough, I don’t think anyone from the OL will be taken, and I’m sure no one would argue with me on that. But hey, I picked 5 guys to probably get taken. Maybe Coluzzi gets taken really late, too? Doubt that one.

Will Kirk Ferentz retire before the end of his contract?

Pretty straight forward no. Think he’s here forever. He’s even mentioned that he might coach past the end of his current contract.

Did you know that Fran has a better B1G win percentage than [REDACTED]? 54-54 vs. 61-67. Nuts, right?!

I’m not sure why, but I’m surprised to hear that Fran is just at .500! I thought he might be a bit better than that, but I guess I forget about those first couple of dismal seasons with Lickliter’s guys. I don’t think it’s that nuts. [REDACTED] is overrated tbh.

Fran seemed to be pretty excited about this year’s edition of Iowa Men’s Basketball. He stated that he feels this is his most athletic team and that as a team has more length than he has had at Iowa. Do you think this team can realistically compete for a BIG title run or are we just way too inexperienced? What do you think next year and the year after that looks like?
-Bloodpunch’s Barbasol

I don’t think they’ll compete for a B1G title this season, although a team with as much talent as this one could be a dark horse in the Big Ten Tournament. I think this team’s ceiling is 4th in the B1G this season.

In the coming years, obviously this team is going to only get better, as they’re so young. If Tyler Cook sticks around for four years, this team will have some freak athletes and will be very, very good. I think those teams can win some B1G titles if everyone is as good as advertised. Fran has REALLY talked this squad up.

Which would be sweeter for you: Making and winning a good bowl or getting to the Sweet 16 in tournament? Or, dark-horse – winning the B1G/NCAA’s in wrestling? (I didn’t add this because it’s actually happened relatively recently)

I guess your definition of a good bowl would be the deciding factor here. I’d like to see Iowa win a damn bowl (seriously, it’s been since that 2010 Insight Bowl). If we’re talking about a New Year’s Six bowl, I’m definitely picking the bowl. Even if we’re just talking something on the next tier, I’d probably take the bowl.

Now, if we were talking Iowa Basketball makes it to the Elite 8 or further, that’d be quite the discussion.

Let's say, for "fun" that the football season plays out the way it's looking like it will: 6-7 wins. Fairly crappy bowl, maybe a win. Let’s further say that GDGD decides to retire (forced or voluntary) at the end of the season. Who would you like to see as OC, who do you expect to see at OC (this is basically flat out asking if you expect Brian to be slotted there), and does it matter really as long as KF is coach?

Who would I like to see? Chip Kelly, probably. Will that sort of thing ever happen? Of course not. I think Brian Ferentz will probably end up being the next man up for the OC job, although if Iowa football were to struggle with the two of them in charge, then boy oh boy. They might have to remove him as OC and then how do you think Kirk would feel about that? It’d be so chaotic. You might see the two of them there forever, or you might see Kirk retire early. I’d love to see how that’d play out.

To answer the last question, does it matter who is the OC as long as Ferentz is around? Not really. While the OC at Iowa has always called the plays, Ferentz seems to have an iron grip on what they can and cannot do. You might see things change a bit depending on who is there (such as the occasional jet sweep or whatever it is a certain OC likes), but for the most part, you know Iowa lives and dies by the stretch run and tight ends.

How much of the goodwill built up last year by Kirk with fans is gone?

Seriously, have you even read our comments sections?

FB cut Eno loose so they can use one of their scholarships for the BB guys, right?

I think you’re onto something here. Fran has always been known as a master recruiter...

Are there any further indications as to if young McCaffery will play both basketball and baseball?

I don’t think anything has been decided yet. He’s still got a bit of time, as he’s just a junior, but I think there’s a decent chance he goes out and tries both. Only problem would be that a deep tourney run would intersect with the beginning of the baseball season.

What are your thoughts on softball coach Looper and the state of the softball program post-Blevins?

I used to do some internship stuff with BTN as an undergrad, and I actually got a chance to interview Looper a couple times. She’s a really nice person from what I could tell and was always really pleasant with me, so I remember her fondly.

Now, being a really nice person doesn’t always equate to results, and that’s normally what matters in collegiate sports (unless you’re Kirk Ferentz, then doing things the right way are paramount to results). In her first few seasons at Iowa, the team did pretty well, as I think they had a winning season her first three seasons? However, you’ll probably note that the athletes on the team were recruited by the previous regime. I’ve heard a lot of griping about her recruiting abilities, as she consistently misses out on all the top talent from the state of Iowa. She seems to be a good in-game coach, but I don’t think she recruits and develops her players to a point where they can be successful and win Big Ten Championships.

So in summary, nice person, not sure if the right coach for Iowa.

(The following questions from Chazz were meant for the entirety of the BHGP staff, but I did not read that part until I did this mailbag at the last minute, oops. Feel free to chime in with your answers in the comments, staffers!)

If Iowa fired Kirk Ferentz, who would you realistically like to see hired to be the next Hawkeye head football coach?

CHIP KELLY! LET’S OFFENSE. But actually, PJ Fleck would be dope.

Who are some of your favorite coaches, from any sport?

Joe Maddon is awesome. LOVE Tom Thibs and hate that the Bears got rid of him. I always liked Chip Kelly (in case you missed that) as a college coach.

Who are your favorite Hawkeye football players (in the history of the program) and Hawkeye mens’ basketball players (again in program history)?

My youth and recency bias is going to show here. Please don’t yell too much. These are just a few players off the top of my head and are in no way a definitive list of my favorites.

Bob Sanders was great. Honestly think that DJK was really fun to watch and that he got a bad rap (although, sure, maybe he did some stuff). As a dark horse, I always kinda liked Marcus Coker a lot more than everyone else did before he shipped himself off to Stony Brook.

Basketball, I liked Matt Gatens a lot. Ricky Davis. BJ Armstrong won championships with the Bulls in the 90s!!! Devyn Marble.

Your take on Gary Barta: is he the worst Iowa AD this century, or is he simply the worst human of this century?

It differs on the day. Sometimes he’s the worst Iowa AD this century, sometimes I remember that Purdue’s AD ran everything into the ground except for basketball. Sometimes I remember that Baylor happened. It’s all about perspective, until I see Iowa get beaten at home three straight games.

Finally, do any of you have any inside info, rumors, or other info about the impending events related to the Tracy Griesbaum firing? For instance, will there be no punishments/judgments against the Iowa athletic department? or some slap-on-the-wrist type stuff? or will the entire program, county, and state be ordered to discontinue operations, effective on January 1, 2017?

If the allegations against Barta are found to be true – remind me, when does the official investigation conclude? Isn’t it still ongoing? – he gone baby gone, right? Or, do you think he will be under pressure to retire or leave due to what the investigation reveals any time soon (not due to his poor negotiation skills)?

To answer both of these questions at once, and quickly: I honestly don’t know anything that you all don’t know.

Now here begins the weird stuff. Some sports, still, but uh... Not as informative, maybe?

You seem pretty adamant that you do not, in fact, run the New York Times. The blogger doth protests too much, methinks. Will you admit, here and now, that you actually do run the NYT?

I run the NYT of Iowa blogs, you know, and the analytics company we have a meeting with every Thursday, it’s my least favorite meeting, tells me that our page stats go down when I do stupid stuff like a mailbag. We go over a bunch of cases, sometimes 40, sometimes 100, and we look at other blogs to see what they’re up to these days and kind of just study them. So, you know, it’s definitely a meeting where steam is coming out of your ears when you’re walking out.

True or False: {[(Iowa 2015) (Iowa 2016)] + [(Nebraska 2015) (Nebraska 2016)]} / 2 = jNorthWestern 2016.

Got my calculator out, and what do you know? That math equation definitely equals zero!

Fuck, Marry, Kill: Kirk Ferentz, Fran McCaffrey, Tom Brands.…friendly reminder to be very careful in your choice for Brands.

Gotta marry Kirk Ferentz because the dude has a lot of money and what’s not to like about that? Oh no, I have to kill one of the other two and that sounds absolutely terrifying... I think Tom Brands would probably kill me before I killed him, so I guess fuck him and kill McCaffrey? That doesn’t seem right at all.

Why can't we have nice things? Is it because all the money goes to KF and new AV equipment (to be used to increase ad space)?

Can confirm, as someone who did some HawkVision stuff as a student, that is definitely not where it goes. I think it goes to

What's your favorite rollercoaster? Mine’s Iowa football.

I’m afraid of heights, which means that last season scared the living hell out of me. This season? Much more managable. Thank goodness I write for this blog now and not before!

Civilization VI: ya dig?

I’m going to upset some people here, but... I’ve never played it. Not a huge gamer anymore. It probably isn’t as good as Myst though.

new OC. Let us start Art briles on his rehab tour. being on Kirk’s staff has to be a resume enhancer for him and he can reopen the Texas pipeline for us :) What’s not to like about that?

What’s not to like? Maybe the Art Briles part of it?

I have Cubs tickets Friday and I have an airbnb two blocks from Wrigley for a Friday and Saturday nights. On a scale of 1 to tracking me through my IP to steal my life, how jealous are you?

If Catnuts disappears forever, just know that my alibi is solid. Also, BANNED.

And as I did on the first couple mailbags... Here’s a rapid fire from EnergizerHawk (although I could have probably made one for BoilerHawk for this edition, too).

Why is the sky blue?

Sometimes, when I watch Iowa sports, I get very blue. Maybe the sky has watched too much Iowa sports?

Why does Ferentz suck at math?

He’s a football guy. I don’t think football guys are paid to do much thinking, just footballing.

You go to a party. What activity do we find you doing? Flip cup? Giant Jenga? Video games?

I’m probably outside shotgunning a beer or playing beer pong. Card games are fun, too.

What are Iowa’s odds against the almighty Bye?

Let me check Bye’s schedule... -Sees that Bye has played Michigan, Clemson, fOSU, and Washington- BYE WEEK AIN’T PLAYED NOBODY, PAWWWWWWL.

You grab a bag of chips for a snack. Are they Doritos or Fritos?

Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

On a scale of 1-10 where 10 is the best, where does Halloween fall on the holiday scale?

It’s a solid 7 or 8. Drinking alcohol and dressing up in a costume is always a fun time. This year, I’m going to be Kirk Ferentz. I’ve been practicing my “That’s football.”