What was there to say after putting a whooping like that on Iowa State? Kirk Ferentz addressed the media in what seemed to be a more jovial mood than usual, probably due largely to the rhetorical question I posed above.
Kirk’s self-deprecation aside, we got some pretty decent tidbits from his presser this week, as far as things of that nature go. We’ll start with the most important nugget: injury news.
Medically I think we have a good chance to get Parker Hesse back. I'd kind of compare him to where Jay Scheel was a week ago. James Daniels hasn't been ruled out. We'll see what he can do. He's moving around pretty good right now. We'll play that day by day. But we certainly can't count on him.
He says James Daniels hasn’t been ruled out, but this week’s depth chart says otherwise. If history—and this week’s competition—is any indicator, I highly doubt we see Daniels on the field this week.
As far as Parker Hesse goes, I’m all for getting him back, but the Nelson & Nelson lineup at the defensive ends has been pretty good so far, and I hope to see those guys keep it up with a third guy in the rotation.
We all knew North Dakota State was a really, really good football team, but for whatever reason, this quote from Kirk really help me understand just how dynastic this team has been recently:
I think probably the most impressive thing to me is if you look at those championship seasons, it involves five playoff games per season - excuse me, four. So you multiply that times five, long story short, 20 games where you have to win or go home. They've been successful 20 out of 20 of those. That's an amazing run. That's almost really hard to fathom in some ways.
It carries over to this year. They've already had two overtime wins. If you look at their team right now, they don't have a guy in their program that hasn't been part of a championship. They have great belief in what they do, and for good reason.
And despite Iowa’s scheduling of a team that could likely compete in the MAC, Kirk was still asked about the thought process of putting them on the slate, rather than say an SEC or PAC-12 team to help bolster Iowa’s KENPOM or whatever metric is used to determine strength of schedule:
The reality is that North Dakota State not only can play really well against FBS teams, they have played well. Just look at them on film. They're a first-class team. I'd say the same thing about Illinois State, at least the team we played last year and prepared for. We're getting ready for them that year, we're looking at the championship game where they played North Dakota State in that game. You're looking at teams that are really good football teams.
I'm just guessing there's good reason for the decisions we made as a conference. I certainly support that.
Kirk got into how Jim Delany has voiced his displeasure of seeing FCS teams on Big Ten schedules, and to that I say phooey.
I’m not as interested in this trip down memory lane from Kirk as I am in this little nugget: (emphasis mine)
Q. You mentioned that Moeaki, Fiedorowicz, guys that look the part at tight end. George probably had to make himself. How does George fit in that overall?
Time will tell. Time will tell. Three scouts at practice today. Pretty much tell them the same thing every year: We'll know a lot more in November. That's really the truth of it. Unless you got a first rounder like we were just talking about, Jonathan Ogden, didn't take long to scout him. Sit there for about three minutes and you leave.
Most of our guys we'll know the whole story in November. We'll really know how their careers went. You talk about a tight end, go back to last year with Henry Krieger-Coble. You know how much better he was in November as opposed to the November prior to. That's the goal for every player.
I can’t remember him ever even mentioning scouts at practice, let alone going into any sort of detail about it. It’s no secret that Iowa is a tight end factory to the NFL, so I’m probably just making a bigger deal about it than it really is.
Kinda disappointed nobody asked Kirk about VandeBerg’s engagement after the Iowa State game tbh.