LOVE IT: Eight...count them...eight (!) true freshmen cracked the two-deeps for the Miami of Ohio game. I truly think this is more a testament to an upgrade in talent rather than upperclassmen giving their positions away. Competition is healthy and while I don’t expect many, if any, of the true freshmen to be major contributors this season, any upperclassmen that may have been lapped by the newbies should have a fire lit under them by now. The biggest surprise to me was Manny Rugamba getting the I-still-don’t-know-what-it-means “/” with Josh Jackson. Seeing as Jackson was likely the heir apparent to Desmond King, I think it’s awesome to see him getting pushed.
LEAVE IT: Ok by now, we have all seen the Chris Doyle salary story. And if you’re like me, you’re tired of it. But this is one chance for us to give a collective GTFO to Desmond Howard and whoever the guy from Auburn who was knocking Doyle’s salary (wait...his name was “Booger?”...no really what was it...”Booger?”...lol). I don’t need to tell you all what Doyle means to the program and he is worth whatever Kirk is willing to pay him. Howard was way off in his criticism.
LOVE IT: Last week, ESPN published a list of the top 100 NFL players for 2016. Former destroyer of Cyclone freshmen, Marshal Yanda, came in at #38, sandwiched between a couple guys named Brees and Palmer.
Yanda was the highest ranking guard and highest ranking Raven. Yanda very well could be headed to the NFL Hall of Fame when his career is over. Congrats to the big man from Anamosa.
LEAVE IT: Ok NCAA, I get it. The NFL has made it a point to expand the game overseas by
forcing allowing teams to play in places like London. The NFL is a brand that is only interested in expanding its brand, not the game it sponsors. Last week, the college football gods blessed us by opening the season with Hawaii vs. California in...Australia. Despite our parent blog trying its darndest to build the game up, I just don’t dig it. If the Hawkeyes were for some reason forced by the powers that be (NCAA, B1G, or school administration) to play a non-conference game 10 timezones away, I’m pretty sure we’d lose our collective minds, especially if they gave up a home game for it. The NFL is one thing. NCAA games should stay stateside (unless of course you end up playing your bowl game in the football mecca of the Bahamas).
LOVE IT: One more shout out to Chris Ruth and the video producers for the Hawkeye football team. I know I touched on this last week, but that department has done a terrific job this offseason. They have a product to sell and have done a marvelous job of building the hype for it. I didn’t think they could outdo themselves after producing the final Edge episode for Nebraska. But then they delivered this awesome piece that will certainly derail any productivity you have achieved at work.
LEAVE IT: I won’t get into the whole should-we-or-shouldn’t-we-play Iowa State debate that ravages message boards every year. But I will say that I can’t help but be a little jealous that our neighbors in Madison get to start the year at a semi-neutral location against an SEC power in LSU. And then you have Kansas State and Stanford. Oklahoma and Ohio State. Alabama and USC. It feels like the Hawkeyes have finally recaptured some of the momentum they had lost for several years. With the new era of the all-important TV ratings and way-more-important College Football Playoff, I would love to see the Hawkeyes on primetime the first game of the season participating in one of these neutral site games against a non-ISU Power 5 team. Let’s get some real exposure while our brand is relatively hot.
LOVE IT: I hate today’s country music, but I LOVE the idea of 50,000 people packing Kinnick for a concert, no matter who it is. And the entire concept was born by Iowans, who are proud to be Iowans, and have started a nonprofit for Iowans to help Iowans. Awesome stuff all the way around.
It feels so good to stand on a stage like this! Blessed to entertain so many beautiful people! Thank you all!! pic.twitter.com/w3vjqtqv4W— Big & Rich (@bigandrich) August 28, 2016
BYE BYE (RIP John McLaughlin)