Even just by reading the press conference transcripts from recent weeks between Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa media, one could feel the contempt in the air. I was at every single one of those pressers for the 2012 season, and let me tell you, it was not fun.
Parsing through this transcript, it’s easy to tell that Ferentz and Iowa’s band of merry reporters were in more jovial moods and higher spirits. These sort of things are better for everyone involved (bloggers included) when there’s something positive to talk about.
On that happy note, let’s start you off with some injury news for this upcoming week:
Medically we had three of our seniors out last week. Unfortunately Greg Mabin, they've determined yesterday has a little fracture in his lower leg, so he's going to miss the rest of the regular season. He'll be out.
Cole Croston will be out, too. George Kittle has not been ruled out, but hasn't done much this week, so I'm not overly optimistic on that front. Miles (Taylor) came out of the game, Ike Boettger came out of the game.
They are okay -- they're not okay, but they're able to go if they can go. We'll take that day-by-day. But we can't count on them to be ready to go.
Best of luck to Croston, Mabin and Taylor on their recovery, but I’d be lying if I said I’m not happy to see what their replacements (Levi Paulsen on the line, Manny Rugamba for Mabin and Anthony Gair for Taylor) can do with some more playing time. I think you all agree with me there.
To preface this exchange, I recommend reading this short, fun story about the mayhem that ensued in Iowa City after the field storming: (tl;dr over a dozen helmets and some other things went missing when 70,000 surly fans took the field after Iowa’s win)
Q: Is there an official count on missing helmets?
I think I got that word Sunday sometime. There was some concern there. But it sounds like they all got back in the nest yesterday morning, I think the last one got returned.
Brock (Baumert) drives me back here after all the media stuff, Saturday night. And he said the managers were really helping, the student managers were helping after the game, because anything that wasn't nailed down was being accosted. So I guess those guys they deserve gold stars for the week ...
Did you lose your headphones?
No. I took mine off, but he said they were going after everything, including headphones. He did mention headphones. It's not much good on there, so I don't know.
Someone better be keeping an extra eye on some eBay accounts around the state these next few weeks ...
Oh, Kirk doesn’t agree with that rouging the center call? Who woulda thunk.
Q: Maybe you can ballpark an answer here, how many times have you seen the penalty of roughing the center?
Never. And I was really anxious to see it on film. And I've seen it now. I'll call someone in the next 48 hours, just tell us how to coach it, that's all, because there are two plays, if you look at it, one or two before that that look the same to me. There are some things in our rule book right now that are really hard on our officials to officiate. And I think anytime you create a situation of cloudiness you just open it up for, you know, some debatable calls. I'm not saying it's a bad call, I I'm just saying it's really cloudy.
I empathize for the officials, because we have outstanding officials and we had a great crew the other night. They work hard. But some of the things we're asking them to do is unrealistic.
This is the first time Ferentz has really dug in on Friday night games. I’m of the belief Iowa doesn’t have too much to worry about since it’s already locked in to one Friday game every year, and asking it to play two is a bit much.
With the exception of Black Friday games, however, I believe playing games on Friday nights is dumb and bad for so many reasons that I don’t think I need to voice them all in here.
Q: There was a lot of discussion last week about Friday football. The game is played day after the holiday. You've got travel plans. What are your thoughts about, first of all, playing on Black Friday, and then second of all not knowing what time you are playing?
Yeah, I think there's two separate discussions, there. The Friday after Thanksgiving, versus whether we're in conflict with high school programs, different subjects. I'm not anti-Friday football, necessarily, but you hate to compete with high schools, because both games are such great games, you want them both to get their due attention.
The Black Friday thing, personally I like it, in that you've got the chance for a national audience, like the other night. What great exposure that was for the whole university. I haven't seen the telecast, but I can't imagine a lot of negative came out. I imagine it was a positive exposure for our whole university. It's really good. It's powerful and the atmosphere was really good and so that's a positive.
So that opportunity to be one of the few teams playing on Fridays, although I imagine that number is growing, and will continue, based on the times we're in.
The kickoff stuff, that's where we live, they tell us when they tell us. And we make those adjustments. In a perfect you would set the best time for the fans. 1:00 kickoffs used to be the best for college football and those things are unheard of anymore.
It is pretty outrageous that Iowa doesn’t know what time it’s even playing on Black Friday, though. I imagine it’ll be at 11 (I’ll be watching that game at The Loop for our readers in Minneapolis) but these are college students and I find it funny that these TV networks aren’t even trying to hide the fact they are jerking teams around for the sake of making some extra holiday bucks.
Q: Akrum Wadley said after the game you hugged him, and it was a big deal to him?
Yeah, somebody just told me that yesterday, that he had said that. I'll hug him more, if it makes him play good, I'm all for it. He thinks I'm mad at all of the time because of his weight. But he's a great young guy. A year ago, 13 months ago, we couldn't trust him with the football, and now we more than trust him with it. I'm not ready to put him in the Ronnie Harmon category, but with any player you have, you try to accentuate what they do. And if a guy can do something you're going to try to use that.
That's the main thing we're on him about is his body weight so he can play more and have more durability out there. You worry about that. So we try to do it with all of our players, and we're going to need everybody that can do anything on Saturday. I'm sure it's going to be a tough game, no question if my mind.
Also, I’m not sure if Kirk is being facetious with the Ronnie Harmon name drop there, but I had a coworker talk my ear off about the 1986 Rose Bowl just last week, so I feel it’s safe to say it’s still too soon to bring him up.
Until next time.