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Wednesday Scrambler: It’s a Holiday Potluck

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There’s a lot to talk about, but also nothing to talk about

NCAA Football: North Dakota State at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

As is the case with today’s Scrambler, the second half of the Register’s Chad Leistikow’s interview with head coach Kirk Ferentz covered a hodgepodge of topics, from the future of Brian Ferentz’s career to politics to chipping ice off his driveway.

If you haven’t, catch up on Part One from early in the week. Ready? Let’s hop in.

It shouldn’t come as a shock Ferentz played things close to the vest and said words without revealing much in this interview. There were a handful of interesting tidbits, the most entertaining, er, unexpected of which was a quasi-comparison between the early-November triumphs of President-elect Donald Trump and Iowa over Michigan. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d type.

Well, the election probably paralleled our game that week. That’s my first thought. So I’ll relate it to football. I don’t think anybody gave the president-elect a chance, at least that’s what it felt like. I know nobody gave us a chance. It was kind of a historic week.

Here’s Ferentz’s direct answer to the question of his take on the political landscape:

My biggest [political] observation is — and I kind of live in a cave — it just seems with each day and each week and each month, we’re becoming more and more partisan, which I don’t think is very healthy. That concerns me.

Moving on.

The lead quote we see in Leistikow’s story comes in the form of Ferentz talking about chipping ice from his driveway in 2012 when the Hawkeyes failed to make a bowl game after a 4-8 campaign — is this the first time you’ve heard Kirk literally personify a cliché?

In real news, the quarterback competition to find CJ Beathard’s replacement will supposedly reset in January, with Nate Stanley and Tyler Wiegers being the two front runners. All signs point to Stanley being the guy, especially since his redshirt was burned this season, but things could always change, or something.

Kirk’s response to Brian’s chances of being his successor told us next to nothing, but he slipped in a shoutout to the Patriots coaching staff.

Ferentz referenced a high school friend visiting after the Michigan game, and later said he’s not upset with the fact he can’t reveal much about high school recruits.

The head Hawk is happy with The Joe Moore Award Committee’s film study habits, and Penn State was the worst loss of the year, if you weren’t aware.

Finally, check out the aggression of this sip from that poor Dasani bottle.


A thank you and Season’s Greetings goes out to the Hawkeye Wrestling team. While I’ll be busy turning myself into even more of a mashed potato Sunday, grapplers won’t be in the same boat. Not even the same sea. They have to maintain weight.

Envy? No. Appreciation for doing it so we can enjoy the sport? Absolutely.


This whole not shaking hands thing at the end of last night’s 84-73 hoops win over North Dakota was, uh, exciting to say the least. Our always level-headed Ben Ross assessed the situation in a rational manner linked above.

That post — along with another coming later on — are part of the recommended reads if you want more substance than you’re seeing from the headlines and Twitters.


Anyways, it’s the beginning of Bowl Season, which means peripheral football is upon us!

The pigskin slate was a real sight to be seen over the weekend — obscure bowl games, non-FBS games people actually may care about; the works. Friday, Mary Hardin-Baylor downed Wisconsin-Oshkosh in the Stagg Bowl, and our old friends North Dakota State fell to James Madison in the semifinal of the FCS Playoffs. But wait, there’s more!

Northwest Missouri State isn’t only a team featuring Northwestern running back Justin Jackson’s brother, Phil, but also the squad that won the Division II crown in a blizzard Saturday. To cap off the “lesser” footballs, a Bo Pelini-led Youngstown State advanced in the other semifinal. If you haven’t seen that amazing game-winning catch, here you are.

And to make Monday kind of fun, we had the Miami Beach Bowl between Tulsa and Central Michigan at 1:30!! How many working folk had that stream on monitor two? Anyone watch the Boca Raton Bowl Tuesday evening? Rest in peace to the over of 79!!

Truly electric stuff.


Continuing with the whole weight discussion… Ferentz still thinks Akrum Wadley is too light — yes, this is old-ish news, but it’s slow, cut us some slack. This is always a tricky discussion to have and is ultimately Wadley and Chris Doyle’s battle to handle — but, isn’t it a bit scary at the surface level?

Perhaps this is my simple brain simplifying things too much — wouldn’t more weight mean less explosion, at least in theory? We know Wadley’s the best playmaker in the program, will have an increased workload in 2017 due to LeShun Daniels, Jr.’s graduation, and will need to toughen up if and when the league comes calling, hence Ferentz’s concern.

Congrats to Daniels and all other graduates, by the way.

For argument’s sake, however, let’s say he he sacrifices that much of a step to gain somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-15 pounds. Assuming he’s physically able to do so, that would put Wadley around the 200 mark. How much, if any, will that hinder his quickness? Conversely, does it mean he’ll be one to lower the shoulder more often? Ultimately, is it worth it?

It’s definitely feasible for him to continue making overrated football players Heisman finalists — and hopefully NFL defenders — silly at that stature. Again, this could be looking too much into it and overcomplicating things, but still seems worth throwing out there for discussion.


Tough look for Rutgers and that close-to-New York City DMA Tuesday. If you want to stay, Scarlet Knights, we (the Big Ten) will continue to take your television revenue.

But for the love of [insert PC term here], please stop doing your best to bring the conference down with you.