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Overreaction Monday: That Team Out East

The war of words between the Iowa Hawkeyes football staff and that of Iowa State continued last week. This time Matt Campbell tried to render the University of Iowa nameless. That, I can overreact to.

Northern Iowa v Iowa State
Matt Campbell is not a fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images

The state of Iowa is known throughout the country as the Hawkeye state. Always has been (no really, it’s been the Hawkeye state since before it was even a state at all), and always will be. Not necessarily because the Hawkeye is the mascot of the state’s flagship university, but that is certainly an added bonus. I suppose if I was a fan of Iowa State University, that might bug me a little. Perhaps even more if I was a coach, one of those guys in Ames. And if I was one of those guys and I knew how inferior my program had been historically relative to that flagship school, who had the naming rights on the state, it might even make me kind of resent that school. So maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Matt Camp seems so salty about his situation.

I mean, really, I doubt he knew much about ol’ ¡El Assico! before he showed up in the state. But I doubt it took long for reality to set in. And reality ain’t pretty. The University of Iowa holds the series advantage over Iowa State 42-22. And as lopsided as that sounds, it doesn’t tell anywhere close to the whole story.

Iowa State is not ahead of Iowa in a single meaningful category.
Screenshot via

That’s...... not a great picture if you’re an ISU fan. So yeah, I’d probably have little love lost for Iowa if I were Matt Campbell. And given his track record to-date, that’s true for Campbell as well.

After coming to Ames and claiming 10 conference championships and 5 national titles (LOL), Campbell has wasted little time doing everything he can to not be Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa Hawkeyes. Whether that’s actually having a Twitter account (as opposed to just reading the Twitters at media day), offering just about every high school football (and futbol) player in the country a scholarship, using cheesy hashtags on everything he does (#RAISETHESTANDARD #CYCLONENATION #ASTORMISBREWING #JUSTSTOPWITHTHEHASHTAGS), or flat out disrespecting the University of Iowa and efforts to benefit the state. Matt Campbell just doesn’t like Iowa and he wants everyone to know it.

So I guess it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that in the most recent airing of Fast Times at Ames High, Campbell continued the absurd charade that things are actually going well for the Cyclones and stepping up his petty efforts to make this annual brotherly brawl into a family feud.

So. Much. To. Unpack. I think we have to start with “that team out east.” I mean, I assume he’s talking about Iowa. I’m trying to think of who else is on ISU’s schedule from the east this season. He lumped the “team out east” in with UNI and Texas, so I am guessing maybe it’s Iowa? I mean, that’s quite the range of opponents.

But maybe he’s talking about tOSU, since that’s the only school I can think of that actually says anything remotely close to that? Maybe all the propaganda about conference and national championships from his playing days back in Division III has him convinced he’s back in Ohio? Maybe he doesn’t realize he left Ohio, since this is his first trip outside the state? Maybe the folks at Deadspin were wrong about Campbell?

But beyond the petty attempt at a slight, there were a few other things that you have to appreciate. First, I really love how Campbell seems to be both whispering so nobody knows he’s the coach at ISU, but also shouting at the same time to really show off his enthusiasm if anyone from Ames asks. And you have to love that the Cyclones have been “straining” the last six months to get better. I mean, really, that’s the verb you came up with? I’ve been straining every day for the last six months as well. Usually just before I shower. But I grab a couple cups of coffee and the strain goes away. Is that what’s going to happen in Ames? Maybe Campbell has been visiting WRNL too much.

But most egregious in the whole thing was the complete contradiction that is his reference to “a national presence about our football program” ..... “as well as on our campus.” All while BEGGING students to buy tickets to the three biggest games of the year (which includes an FCS opponent, LOL) so they can “make this place the most intimidating environment in college football.”

You think some students yelling is going to make the stadium of a 3-9 team more intimidating than that of a team like Penn State or Ohio State, or Oklahoma or Texas in their own conference. Hell, I don’t care how many people you get going bonkers in Jack Trice, if your team is 3-9, it isn’t the most intimidating environment on your own campus.

Listen, I enjoyed hearing a little fire flow from Brian Ferentz regarding the recruiting tactics. I think Iowa fans should be rooting for guys like Campbell and Fleck getting under the skin of Kirk and Co. enough to get them to keep their foot on the pedal more than they otherwise might. Most of us have too many memories of vastly inferior Cyclone teams urinating in the proverbial Cheerios of Iowa seasons. As ridiculous as most of this is, perhaps it at least keep these non-conference tune up games from being thorns in the side of otherwise successful seasons in the future.

In the meantime, I’ll settle for the rest of the Hawkeye coaching staff getting in on giving it back from time to time.

If any of our readers happen to attend that school out west and somehow haven’t managed to receive a scholarship offer from Coach Campbell (at last check, Iowa State had offered more than any other school in the country - 388 to be exact), your time is now.

Don’t forget, there is a national presence, as well as on the campus, so they should get some real impact players out of these tryouts.

Why would a team who has offered nearly 400 high school students the opportunity to go to school at Iowa State for free if they will just play some football need to then ask anyone on the campus to do the same without the “free school” part? Well, the answer is two-fold:

1. Offering everyone with a pulse doesn’t necessarily mean they want to come play. And if they do, it doesn’t mean they are actually good. See Record, Last Year’s.

2. That last little bullet point is telling. “3.0 GPA encouraged.” Yeah, they’re looking to #raisethestandard alright.

If any BHGP readers are willing to participate in the tryouts wearing a GoPro or those fancy SnapChat glasses BTN slapped on Bo Bower last week, we’re certainly not opposed. We’ll even settle for sideline video!

Last week, the Iowa Basketball team released their full schedule for the upcoming season. Ya boy @BoilerHawk walked through the whole thing with much better insight than I can provide so I’m not going to rehash it. What I am going to do is my best to defend Fran McCaffery just a bit here.

The comments were pretty vocally against the entirety of the nonconference schedule and I’ll say that I get it. We all have visions of a pre-Big Ten slate that includes the in-state opponents, 1-2 warm ups and a tournament to go with a big name here and there. But that’s just not the reality we live in. With the Big Ten schedule moved up this year, things are all out of whack.

Schedule via @IowaHawkeyes

You see the three gimmes to start the season (after the two exhibitions, of course). I get it, we would all prefer those be against a little better competition, but I don’t think there’s much to gripe about here. You can yell all you want about them being 300+ RPI teams, but you have no idea. RPI doesn’t predict anything and you can’t forecast it. Sure, it’s safe to say none of those teams will be top 100, but you don’t know if they’ll be around 250 or 300 (I’m not going to dive into how stupid it is to lose to a team just past a break point of 200 or 250 or whatever might be a “bad loss”, but losing to a team just on the other side of the break point doesn’t register). You just don’t,

After those three home games, you see a stretch of tournament games. The team returns from the Cayman Islands and less than a week later they take the trip to Blacksburg for the Big Ten-ACC Challenge. They don’t get to choose the opponent so dump jump Fran for wishing VaTech was better.

And then BOOM, next game we are already into conference games. That really throws a wrench into scheduling. Normally, you’d have a couple weeks left to find some mid-level opponents in there. Not so this year. You get a pair of Big Ten games and then you’re into the Cy-Hawk game.

There’s a weird, month-long(ish) run of no conference games from December 4th through January 2nd where the remainder of the non-conference games are slated. The problem is you get into the second week of December (recall that ISU game falls on the 7th) and most other schools are starting to get into conference play as well. At that point, you’re looking at taking what you can get.

This year, that means taking teams that aren’t going to be great because they fit the schedule and should allow you to rack up wins. If you lose one, it might cost you the tournament, but you probably didn’t deserve it. Win them all and you’re looking at 23+ wins and hopefully building momentum into March.

So for now, put the pitchforks away (or don’t, it’s Overreaction Monday) and enjoy watching a really young group of talented Hawkeyes get better and win a bunch of games this year. If we see the same things next year, I’ll stop by the local hardware store and grab my own pitchfork. Fran has plenty of time to plan for the conference scheduling the next few years and youth isn’t a factor beyond this season.

I’m not going dive into all the great performances from former Hawkeyes in the NFL preseason this week, we’ll break that down in a full recap of the week. But what I will do drop one vid on you.

I don’t think Beathard is going to be the starter in San Francisco this season, but George Kittle is about to make some noise, folks. And I do think there’s a really good shot CJ gets a chance to run things toward the end of the year when the 49ers are out of the playoff race. Until then, DBs should steer clear of Kittle.

So, uh, this isn’t going to help Rutgers in their ongoing efforts to make friends in their new conference home.

Also, how has Michigan not released an updated roster in 8 months? Probably too busy jumping in pools to impress high school kids. Harbaugh, man.

Our most hated rival has decided that being able to drink is the only way they can tolerate any amount of their football games. Time to double down.

But seriously, can we just get some $10 Bud Light Lime-A-Rita’s in a section of Kinnick already?

And finally, if the eclipse today doesn’t blind you, the new St. Petersburg Bowl might.

There’s so much fun to be had here, I’m not sure where to start. I mean, what is Bad Boy Mowers? Is that Puff Daddy, I mean P. Diddy, I mean Sean Combs’ mower company? Why would he have a mower company? Who in the marketing department of a mower company was like, “we should re-brand as the bad boy of mowers!”? And who the hell thought a mower company should sponsor a bowl that, of all the bowls, is played on Tropicana Field where THERE IS NO GRASS TO MOW? And what do mowers have to do with the Gasparilla Pirate Festival?