Well, that was a buzz kill. I mean, things seemed to be going so well. In a whirlwind of a week, we saw the band was getting back together, the youngsters on the hoops squad were on a roll and the wrestlers were back on track. While a couple of those still hold true, the week certainly was anti-climactic.
For the first time in 6 months, we found ourselves with no football for the week. Like, for real, not a single second of football. It was weird and more than a little bit depressing. And despite the building anticipation around potential coaching hires, there has been virtually no news on that front since the KOK announcement. We have rumors here and there about potential candidates. There’s been plenty of speculation about the shrinking circle of trust around KF, indicating all additions may be from people close to the program.
I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, but I’m sure there will be more than a few people in Hawkeye Nation who will be frustrated. The KOK hire wasn’t the sexiest thing the staff could’ve done. But, we’re Iowa. We’re not sexy. We’re Kirk Ferentz. That’s football. So, all things considered, I’ll take KOK. And if the other open spots are filled with guys who have previously spent time in the program, I’ll take that too.
All I’m really looking for is more youth. More guys who are willing to pound the pavement on the recruiting trail. More guys who can bridge the program from the foundation that Ferentz has built, that has allowed us to experience the success we’ve seen over the last 18 years, to a future that doesn’t lose our identity yet is open to changes and growth.
That’s why I’m in the “BF isn’t a bad option for HC” camp. I think Iowa’s best path forward is one where the Hawkeyes run the football, play solid defense, focus on the fundamentals and doing things the right way. But one where fans in the stands can’t call out the play on 3rd and 2. One where opposing defenses can’t point to the gap the ball is headed when the QB makes a line check. One where a handful of 4-star kids choose Iowa annually, even while the foundation of 2-3-star kids developing in the program remains strong.
I think that’s the direction KF is taking us. I believe he is filling the cupboard with guys who will be here for some time and who buy in to his philosophy, but are willing to change things up a bit. I don’t expect those changes to be significant or numerous or immediate. But I’m hopeful that’s the direction we’re headed with the next couple hires. Now, if we could just get going on those. We’re slow on news here, people.
On the wrestling front, the Hawkeyes did what you would expect them to do. They trounced Indiana and then handled Nebraska within 48 hours. Nothing special. Nothing negative. And now the 4th ranked Hawkeyes head to the National Duals this weekend.
And then there’s basketball. Oh, basketball. Just when people were starting to whisper sweet nothings into your ear about a possible late run at an NCAA tourney bid (it was never going to happen, but there were very respectable people all over the interwebz openly discussing it, as well as an over-zealous BTN announcer on Saturday who apparently believes resumes don’t mean a thing and Iowa looks like a tourney team - OK), you go and drop a pair of road games.
I’m going to Tarantino this a bit because I’m afraid if I start with the Minnesota game, I may not have it in me to finish this thing. So let’s go to MSU on Saturday. Iowa showed some flashes. They looked good enough for the aforementioned BTN crew to gush about how both teams looked like they belonged in the tourney. I agree, Iowa is absolutely a different team now than they were two months ago. They are greatly improved and if they played an entire season they way they have the last three weeks, I believe they’d be in. As it stands, they’re 14-12 and have just one road win. The resume just isn’t there and barring a Big Ten Tournament Championship, there’s no path to the NCAA tourney. None.
OK, there’s one, but it ain’t happening. If Iowa runs the table to close out the regular season and adds a couple wins in the BTT, they would likely sneak in. But again, that ain’t happening. They’d have to get a lot more consistent and learn how to close out a close game and that’s just something I don’t think they can muster in the short time between now and the end of the year.
Had they not dropped a couple of the earlier games, or perhaps pulled out one of the two road games last week, the story might’ve been different. But, alas, there were zebras involved.
**Note: what follows is nothing but blatant, Iowa homer ranting. A level-headed person might point out that Iowa ultimately lost to Minnesota by 12, giving up 101 points and somehow being outlasted by a team that goes roughly 2 people deep on its bench. This is overreaction Monday and I will not be level-headed.**
What, in the literal f@^* were these people doing at the end of the Iowa-Minnesota game? I mean, you f@^*ing get paid money to run up and down a basketball court and blow your f@^*ing whistle when guys do things that are against the rules. Because it’s been shown you make mistakes, they’ve now allowed you to take a second and go look at slow motion video of your decisions to change them before looking like an idiot on national television. And yet, we get this:
A cleaner look at that horrible call - plainly called timeout multiple times and Minn defender out of bounds when refs called it jump ball pic.twitter.com/LGsJk7xwll— Heavens! (@HeavensHawkeye) February 9, 2017
I mean, I don’t know where the BTN places microphones for their coverage. Given the amount of money Iowa gets paid because of the network, I assume the network is enough money to have plenty of mics around the floor for the best fan experience possible. But, and I’m going way out on a limb here, I don’t think they likely have two of them within five feet of where Brady Ellingson was standing in the above clip.
Which is strange, because the BTN mic pretty clearly picks up on Brady (or one of his 2 other teammates screaming and motioning...) calling for a timeout repeatedly OVER THE NOISE FROM THE CROWD. And yet, the two referees within five feet of Brady, who were apparently told by Fran before the possession the Hawkeyes would take a timeout, who were (again, five f@^*ing feet away from the ball) looking in at Brady screaming and making the motion for TO, couldn’t hear him asking for timeout or see him doing anything other than get tangled in a jump ball.
Unreal. But I can almost get it. There is crowd noise. You’re under pressure. And there is replay. You can make the call and take a look. I mean, it’s not like the guy reaching in to cause the jump ball is standing out of bounds or anything, but it’s nice to know you can go and take a look at the play to make sure you’ve got everything right.
Wait, the Minnesota player WAS standing out of bounds when he jointly “possessed” the ball with the Iowa player? Well, thank God they have that replay. All they gotta do is take a quick peak, get it right, and get out of there, right? Oh FFS. They didn’t even take a look?
When you have to laugh at the refs joke so they don't screw you out of another game pic.twitter.com/2yiH0n3cuz— Barstool Iowa (@BarstoolUIowa) February 11, 2017
What in the literal f@^*? I mean, this is an Iowa team that was on the verge of being a bubble team, and you go out there and blatantly blow a call that is easily reviewable and you don’t even go to the monitor? I don’t know ho Fran didn’t both get tossed and fined. Anyone who wants to complain about the head man’s temper can sit the f@^* down and shut up at this point. I sure as hell wouldn’t have shown that kind of restraint. I mean, I don’t know that this team had it in them to make the stretch run and get in. Probably not. But you lose that one at Minnesota and the chances are even slimmer.
Ahh hell, whose idea was it to bring up this crap at the end? I said the week was a buzz kill, but I kind of forgot just how much urine there was in the Cheerios this morning. Misery loves company, but rather than leave you with the plethora of other clips of terrible calls, I‘ll do my best to reset the tone for your Monday morning.
Aren't you glad you have this guy on your squad in crunch time? https://t.co/Abh5fyHM7q— Iowa On BTN (@IowaOnBTN) February 9, 2017
Baer to freshman Tyler Cook for the flush pic.twitter.com/A0l3xdd1uT— Heavens! (@HeavensHawkeye) February 11, 2017
Happy Monday. Go Hawks. F@^* referees. Unless some of you guys are referees. You’re cool.