Wow, wasn’t that refreshing? We had a whole weekend of not worrying about Iowa doing something stupid, botching a game or just flat out disappointing us. I’m not going to lie, I embraced it. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Hawkeyes and spending a Saturday in Kinnick Stadium is always fantastic. But I thoroughly enjoyed spending my Saturday watching football as just a fan of the sport, no gut-wrenching losses to endure and no mind-boggling decisions to ponder the rest of the day. No, Iowa had an undefeated week, and I, for a few hours, didn’t mind at all that it was only because they weren’t playing.
Without the Hawkeyes, there was still plenty to watch this weekend, and we can surely overreact to that, right?
1. Nobody is Any Good
I mean, I guess there are a couple good teams, but what we saw Saturday was just how much parity there is in college football. Alabama was on a break and everybody else looks almost interchangeable at this point. We saw #3 Clemson eek out a win at #12 FSU; #4 Washington needed a special teams play late in the game to hang on at #17 Utah; #5 Louisville had to find the endzone with 13 seconds left to pull out the win at Virginia; Ohio State had to hold on down the stretch against Northwestern. Oh, and then there were the ranked teams dropping like flies. #22 Navy lost at USF, #10 West Virginia lost at Oklahoma State, #8 Baylor lost at Texas, #13 Boise State lost at Wyoming, #18 Tennessee lost at South Carolina and of course, #7 Nebraska lost at #11 Wisconsin. Honestly, I’m exhausted from typing that. But damn was it fun to watch. And I expect the rest of the season to be the same way. Alabama looks damn good and there are a few others that have show flashes, but by and large the rest of the teams look really similar.
AP Top 25 Takeaways: Big trouble for Big 12; Clemsoning redefined; UW statement; Jackson's Heisman to lose.https://t.co/nQ9evqTA9K— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) October 30, 2016
2. Nebraska of 2016 is Not Iowa of 2015
Heading into last week, there were comparisons between Iowa in 2015 and Nebraska in 2016. And vice versa. To be fair, Iowa’s losses this year haven’t come quite the way Nebraska’s did last year. And Saturday we saw that Nebraska wouldn’t be able to get through 2016 unscathed the way Iowa did last year. I’ll be honest, the Cornhuskers held on better than I expected them to against that Wisconsin defense. Tommy Armpunt did his thing, slinging 2 picks, and I think that truly limits Nebraska’s ability to sustain success. But given how lousy Iowa has managed to look a good portion of this year, I still expect them to bathe in my tears on Black Friday.
3. The East is Overrated
I’ll admit it, the Big Ten East is very good. It’s filled with a who’s who among blue blood programs. Michigan and Ohio State couldn’t have more talent on their roster if they were allowed to recruit like the SEC. But the more I watch Ohio State, the more I’m convinced they are a team made up of mortal beings. Michigan remains unbeaten and while I wouldn’t say they really struggled with MSU, they certainly didn’t win in convincing fashion. I think they probably destroy Iowa in a couple weeks, but that’s more about Iowa than Michigan. At the end of the day, I think the best of the West can go toe-to-toe with the best of the East. And I think Wisconsin has a shot at revenge against Michigan or OSU in Indianapolis.
4. Offers Everywhere!
We all remember the fuss that occurred a week ago on the recruiting trail. Most of us woke up Monday morning either pretty upset at the Iowa staff or pretty upset about a decision from a 17 year old kid. With the vacancy created by the departure from the class of 2017’s Eno Benjamin, Iowa’s staff wasted no time hitting the trail to find a replacement. Last week they were handing out offers like candy on Halloween. One of them went to a class of 2017 RB who is already committed elsewhere. Antwuan Branch is a 3-star RB from Clarksville, TN who is currently committed to Purdue. He now has an Iowa offer. Iowa also called upon Todd Sibley, a 3-star RB from Akron, OH. Sibley committed to Ohio State last year, then was told he didn’t have a scholarship offer, but a grayshirt offer. He decided to look elsewhere and landed with Pitt back in June. Apparently, nobody has been in contact with him since he is committed, except Iowa this week. He doesn’t yet have an offer, but told HawkeyeNation he is slightly interested and may take a visit. Interesting.
5. Adam Woodbury is a Top 20 Pick
No really, Adam Woodbury was a top 20 pick over the weekend in the NBA’s D-League draft. The Maine Red Claws selected the former Iowa big man. Maine is affiliated with the Boston Celtics. One has to imagine that Woody will be quite deadly on the court if he is allowed to use a claw in place of his poking finger. All joking aside, wishing Adam well. I don’t think I’m alone in saying I fully expected Woody’s height to offer him a career in basketball, but that some of his physical limitations might send him abroad rather than to the D-League. Congrats Mr. Woodbury, you’re a top 20 pick.
The Red Claws select Adam Woodbury #20 overall pic.twitter.com/FS4P0dbBao— Maine Red Claws (@maineredclaws) October 30, 2016
6. Nebraska Fans Really Are The Worst
I’ll admit, I like to follow recruiting. It’s a seedy world and while I don’t hang on every word, scrolling through the Twitterverse and reading what high school kids have to say makes me feel very creepy at times. When I take the time to spit out 3000 words on a recruit, I feel even more creepy. Luckily, there’s always Nebraska there to make me feel better about myself. Just when I thought I was going to get a visit from Chris Hansen and the rest of the Hawkeye faithful were going to need a sanity check, this Nebraska fan does this:
The tweets were luckily screenshotted by our old pal @Hawkize. This guy finally deleted **some** of the tweets of him after driving thousands of miles to cheer for an uncommitted high school player and ask him for pictures.
7. Hey, Look! Baseball!
I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I’m rooting for the Cubs in the World Series. I’m a Cardinals fans and I just can’t bring myself to do it, even with your nice uniforms, your great, historic stadium and your (sometimes) lovable fans. But I do enjoy me some playoff baseball and I’m rooting for just one more Cub win. I’m not going to drink up the tears if they lose or rub anyone’s nose in it. I’m fully aware of where the Cardinals are at this very moment, and where they will likely be this time next year. I just love having options on Sunday night when there only one NFL option. Or Tuesday night when there is literally nothing worth watching on live TV. So, for the only time in my life, #FlyTheW.