Does something feel different to you, reader?
Yes, it’s Monday, and I’m sore after a long weekend of planting grass in my yard, but that’s not what feels different. There’s been a chill in the air the last few mornings here in Iowa City, and it’s actually starting to feel like fall, but that’s not it either.
Oh, I know what it is...
IT’S GAME WEEK!
There’s just one problem: the Hawkeyes don’t have a quarterback.
Well, that’s not exactly true, there are quarterbacks on the roster, but Kirk Ferentz hasn’t named a starter yet.
Our own Ben Ross responded to this last week in his Lunch Links post, saying he thinks it’s a mental ploy by Kirk saying the opposite. Sure, Ben’s thought has some merit. I mean, look over in Ann Arbor, where Michigan is being FOIA’d for its roster in response to Jim Harbaugh trying to be sneaky. I certainly think it’s possible that Captain Kirk could be doing his own version of this song-and-dance to keep everyone, not to mention the Wyoming coaching staff, guessing.
But, we’re all here for an Overreaction, and I think after many weeks of JPinIC’s optimism for this year’s football squad growing and growing, it’s time to take some steps backwards and FREAK OUT.
Should we just cancel the season now?
I’m on record predicting that Iowa will go 7-5 this year. Well, that was before I knew there was no QB, despite seeing nothing but...well...mediocrity from both Nathan Stanley and Tyler Wiegers. And that worries me.
I’m a firm believer in the adage that if you have two QBs, you have none. The concept disrupts QB-WR rhythm and hurts confidence, creating a fear of God in the QB anytime he throws a pick, or overthrows his wide open receiver. The backup is always everyone’s favorite player, and sometimes for good reason -cough- C.J. Beathard.
But Matt, you’re probably thinking to yourself. We all know Nate Stanley is going to win the job at the end of the day, and Kirk will stick with him all season. Don’t you remember 2012?
Do we know for sure that Stanley is going to be the guy? And do we know he’ll be the guy for an entire game, let alone an entire season? Let’s check out this quote from Dochterman’s article.
“We’ll have a starter named by Monday at the latest.”
The record skipped. Foreheads furled. The clicks of character deletion from iPhone Twitter accounts was audible from many of the reporters.
“I’m not sure when that decision will get made,” Ferentz said. “The competition remains very close.”
The competition remains VERY close!? What’s going to change your mind in a week? Wait, you’re not sure when the decision will be made? But you just said Monday at the latest!
Maybe later today Kirk will hold a presser where he has two helmets on the podium — one with and one sans a visor — and he’ll choose the QB based on who threw less interceptions in practice that morning.
We all know Iowa’s history with juggling QBs throughout a season. He has some really good points in particular about the Rudock-Beathard battle, and how this competition doesn’t seem so divisive. My guess is as good as yours, but I’m expecting to see Stanley named as starter, based on what we’ve seen from both since spring. Oh, and it looks like our friend Marc Morehouse agrees!
From everything I've heard, it's Stanley. Off to go draft an awful fantasy football team. Have a good Sunday.— Marc Morehouse (@marcmorehouse) August 27, 2017
Maybe on Saturday Stanley will take the reigns of the offense, score touchdowns on his first three drives, and dominate Wyoming. QB battle over!
But what if he doesn’t? How many drives that end in field goals, or incomplete passes on third down, will it take for pessimists on Twitter like me to see the backup? Then again, if it’s such a close competition, and the designated starter isn’t playing well, will we even WANT to see the backup?
I, like many of you, read last week’s addition of the hit series Zap-Ruth-er Films and didn’t love what I saw in either QB! I don’t care, as some people pointed out, that it’s a hype video for the defense. If Iowa is going to win games, it will need strong QB play to get points on the board. If neither QB is up to that task, then we have no QB. And that has the makings of a long season. I hope in 2-3 weeks I come back to this post and laugh. Feel free to @ me if I’m wrong with all of your positivity.
Regardless, at least Kirk Ferentz isn’t making his decision based on Retweets. Then I’d really be concerned. What kind of school would do that? Oh...
If I get a 1,000 retweets I get to play Quarterback for 1 Series. #Cyclone1stDown #CyclONEnation #Sept2 pic.twitter.com/TDhYFRNYOb— Brian Peavy (@PeavyFBaby) August 26, 2017
Hey, he reached his goal! The Cyclones have a QB for at least three plays! That IS more than Iowa can say....
Ok, let’d quit overreacting and instead adequately react to some news about former Hawkeye and current Dallas Cowboy linebacker Anthony Hitchens, who went down in last night’s preseason game with a knee injury:
It's a tibial plateau fracture, likely IR to return. ... considering the #Cowboys believed it was season-ending last night, good news. https://t.co/IZKAB68tcX— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 27, 2017
It sucks to miss eight weeks, but compared to an entire season and a ton of rehab, I’m sure Hitch is pleased with this news. I’m sure the Cowboys are, too. But it’s still disappointing; Hitch was a big part of the Cowboy’s success last season, and was having a nice preseason. Let’s hope for the best in his recovery!
Before we all get back to our desk jobs, let’s check in on Iowa Baseball. Last we heard from them at the World University Games, Cole McDonald threw a no-no against the Czech Republic in their first game of the Medal Round.
Then then proceeded to get six runs in the ninth inning for a comeback 6-4 victory against Korea in the Super Round, which gave them a 2 seed in the semifinal for a rematch against...the Czech Republic, which happened late last night.
Team USA won, 8-4 and will now play for the Gold Medal. Rick Heller’s Team USA Hawkeyes are now 3-0 against the Czech Republic in the tournament.
#USATeam Wins! #Hawkeyes will play for GOLD tomorrow night! #USAHawks pic.twitter.com/orCNV2v1VI— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) August 28, 2017
Let’s watch some highlights!
Watching victorious rally highlights. Always a good way to start the morning. USA Team on to the finals! https://t.co/x2wg2p6mwN— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) August 28, 2017
This is a pretty cool tidbit as well:
Iowa becomes the first American representative to the gold medal game and will be the first U.S. team to win a medal in Universiade history! https://t.co/vteiBOAlkz— USA Team (@USATeam_) August 28, 2017
So, is Heller extended by the end of the week? This has to be one of the greatest years in Iowa Baseball history, right?
Well, that’s all folks. We’ll see what happens today (and Saturday) on the QB front, but put me on the record saying that I think Stanley, if nothing else, has the arm to get points on the board for the Hawkeyes this fall.
Who ya got?