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LOVE IT or LEAVE IT: The Pilot Episode

Special Teams, Expansion, and Baylor Bears...Oh my!

This is a proposed new segment for the Pants. Each week, I will take a look at all things Hawkeyes and college sports in general to see what is awesome and what is not. In the words of the great Ricky AmeriStanzi, we will decide to LOVE IT or LEAVE IT.

LOVE IT: This week, it made the twitterverse crazy that Central Michigan graduate transfer Ron Coluzzi won both the punting and kickoff starting jobs in camp.

This is a good thing. Granted, we don’t know what we are getting with Coluzzi, but at the very least, he’s got a kicking leg that is a few years more mature than the other Hawkeye special teamers. Special teams is one of the great variables under the Ferentz regime, so I think it should be looked as a positive that we will have an experienced player at least handling the punting and kickoff duties.

LEAVE IT: Unfortunately, the downside is field goal duties are still up for grabs. Everything I just said about special teams remains true here. We have all seen how the great kickers of Ferentz—Kaeding, Schlicher, Murray, Koehn, etc.—-can greatly impact the outcome of the season. Let us not forget that the Ferentz game management style lends itself to nailbiters where field goals are at a premium for the Hawkeyes. The fact that none of the kickers have broken out during camp gives me a bit of a worry. It certainly gives the average fan a bit of breathing room when you are confident in your field goal kicker’s abilities after gems like this one.

LOVE IT: By now, we have all seen the “Iowa Edge” videos that the football team has been releasing every Saturday leading up to the season. See the latest one here...

Assistant Director of Video Operations Chris Ruth appears to be the creator of this series of awesomeness. I don’t know what Mr. Ruth makes for money. Whatever it is, give that man a raise. These are a sign of a marketing department that is starting to “get it.” Also, this is the same department that allowed red pom poms to be displayed for the Wisconsin game, so it looks like they’ve heard the message loud and clear.

NCAA Football: Big 12 Media Day
The Big 12 Overlord and fan of basketball coaches who use too much hairgel, Bob Bowlsby
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

LEAVE IT: ESPN recently identified the 20 candidates that the Big 12 is considering for expansion. Full disclosure, I love expansion talk. I could talk about it all day actually. Something about watching safely from the confines of the Jim Delany’s protective bearhug makes watching the B12 constantly scrambling for options quite humorous. Anyway, look at some of the powerhouses on the watch list. South Florida, Tulane, New Mexico, Arkansas State, Rice, UNLV. Let’s be real, none of the aforementioned teams will be invited. It seems like a lock that it will be some combination of BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, Memphis and UCONN. Regardless, can you imagine our beloved B1G seriously considering ANY of these teams? I can’t either. Delany is a polarizing figure, but his business acumen is outstanding. The B12 meanwhile, is wasting its time looking at promotional videos from what makes the San Diego State Aztecs a PERFECT FIT for the conference. LOL at you, Big 12.

LOVE IT: Sunday morning, the AP released their preseason poll for the upcoming season. The Hawkeyes come in at #17. Based on returning talent combined with last year’s Rose Bowl game against Stanford, I think it is a very fair assessment. The bigger story here is the rise of the B1G. 4 B1G teams were in the top 20, trailing only the eSpnEC’s 5. I love that the conference is starting to gain back some of the cred it lost when Michigan was down and OSU was in the middle of the whole autographgate thing. It will still need to show the nation something in the postseason.

LEAVE IT: Keith Murphy from Channel 13 posted the following linked video this week, which shows Baylor football player Ishmael Zamora beating his dog mercilessly with a belt (fair warning, it is a very uncomfortable video that you can probably only stand to watch once). What is the deal with Baylor? It all started back in the early 2000’s when a basketball player murdered a teammate and the coach tried to cover up details of it. Then we all know about the string of sexual assaults that have plagued the football program, which led to an overhaul of the athletic department and ouster of coach Art Briles (who unsurprisingly says he has done nothing wrong: hello lawsuit). The Big 12 or NCAA needs to do something with Baylor. Reduction of scholarships, postseason bans, something. This latest released video shows what everyone has already figured out: their quality of student-athlete is extremely low. Their athletic department’s never-ending saga will likely turn into a compelling 30-for-30 some day.

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Baylor Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

That’s the word and I’m sticking to it. What do you think?