Iowa coaches Kirk and Brian Ferentz, along with Phil Parker addressed the media yesterday to go over the looming football season I presume. I haven’t seen any transcripts, so we’re going to live vicariously through the Iowa football press corps.
First, let’s start with the bad news: Manny Rugamba is suspended for the Wyoming game. Not great! He violated the ever-ominous team rules, and here we are. Obviously losing your No. 1 corner in a game where you’ll be playing an NFL-caliber quarterback isn’t ideal, but I’m telling myself that this team has been planning for weeks to not have Rugamba in the opener, so there is that.
The other big news drop from the media availability is Kirk’s indecision in naming a starting quarterback for the Wyoming game in two weeks.
The fact that it’s taken this long to pick a quarterback could be troubling for Iowa fans, according to Scott Dochterman. I’m picking up what Doc is putting down, but if I know this football coach like I think I know him, he already has a starter picked, and is keeping that decision under wraps for his own reasons.
More troubling, perhaps, is the thought that Iowa really hasn’t figured out who it’s going to trot out at QB by Monday next week. The decision then could be based on a coin flip. We don’t want another Stanzi-JC6 or even Rudock-CJB debacle, do we?
We are reminded that now is not the time to panic, however.
ANYWAY, let’s start talking about some hype. Phil Parker said he thinks true freshman AJ Epenesa is already one of the four-best defensive linemen on the team.
“I think (Epenesa is) going to be one of the guys in the top four defensive linemen with Anthony Nelson, Matt Nelson, Parker Hesse and A.J., I think those guys are a good rotation,” Parker said. “I think we’ve got four or five guys there and three or four guys inside that can play.”
I realize that he definitely meant one of the four-best defensive ends, but I don’t care, I still want to believe. Matt Nelson and Hesse have been getting reps on the interior, so that should open up the door even more for AJE.
Parker also said this is the best defensive line he’s ever seen in spring camp, and he’s not usually one for flowery words.
AND even more hype for perhaps the most-hyped player on the team:
That’s some serious love for Jewell. Desmond King didn’t even get the preseason AA designation while coming off a season where he was an actual all-American. So I’m buying it.
And finally, a last bit of Kool-Aid to drink out of the Iowa football pitcher: the Hawkeyes beat out Notre Dame for a four-star DB on the recruiting trail. A win’s a win.
Now, here’s the #MadOnline part:
I don’t want to turn this links roundup into a bitchfest about the Iowa State game, but I mean it’s tough to not get your feathers all ruffled when you see a team in your division pull this kind of thing off:
Wisconsin and UCLA announce a home-and-home series. 2029 in the Rose Bowl. 2030 (!) in Madison.— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) August 22, 2017
First of all, those games are 12 and 13 years away, so who the hell knows what kind of condition the programs will be in by then. But still, it’s Pasadena and Madison in September. That’s what this sport is about.
It’s not about bragging rights in your office or even at the Thanksgiving table with your misguided cousins. College football is about pageantry and exploiting young men and teams traveling 1,967 miles for the sake of just playing each-other and servicing fans. Iowa doesn’t get its home-and-home with the exotic exchange student until its cousin finally packs up, moves out of the basement and transplants to Denver just like everyone else.
AND it’s not even the only cool game Wisconsin has on its upcoming schedule. The Badgers will play Army, Washington State, Virginia Tech and Hawaii in the coming years. Friggin a, here we are saying nice things about Wisconsin again.
The Big Ten is preparing to add a 20-game conference schedule for 2018-19 basketball season. If you like B1G basketball, this is a win.
New offensive line coach Tim Polasek is handing grades to each lineman after every practice.
ESPN made a fan happiness index for college football. Iowa is No. 58 out of 128 teams. It’s really dumb, don’t read too much into it.
ESPN has a young college football announcer named Robert Lee on its Staff. Lee was scheduled to call a game between William & Mary and Virginia on ESPN 2 on Sept. 2. He is no longer calling that game, because he shares a name with a Confederate general.
Company says that Lee (a young broadcaster who works for ESPN3) was more comfortable not doing this assignment.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) August 23, 2017