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Hello Jerry Mailbag: Midwest Heavy, Back in Time and Offense/Defense

Mailbag Fri-yay!

Iowa State v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

Before I jump right into it this week, just a friendly reminder that we are giving away stuff all over the place on The Pants right now. SpoCo Radio is giving away an Echo Dot for the person that gives us his best movie quote to describe the Iowa Basketball season review on iTunes (just screen shot the review and tweet them at the three of us), an Amazon giftcard if you leave a review that picks fun at The People’s Champ and we have a really cool blue print poster you can find here.

Now, as Reel Big Fish’s Sell Out plays in the back ground, on to the bag:

Q: Have you ever noticed how “Midwest heavy” the Big Ten is? Lots of state schools from agricultural states. Is it weird that more people don’t pick up on that? Also, HR says it’s “against the rules” to “drink at work.” - IndyHawk

Wait, is that true? I don’t know if I believe you? Verifying real quick...

So, as it turns out (according to Wikipedia who is sourcing the Census Bureau as their fact checker), the Midwestern states consist of 12-states in the north central United States: Illinois (check), Indiana (double check), Iowa (heart of the midwest), Kansas (Possible partner once the Big-12 goes kaput?), Michigan (double check), Minnesota (check), Missouri (SEC! SEC! SEC!), Nebraska (they’re Champions, not Midwesterners damnit), North Dakota (nope), Ohio (check), South Dakota (nope) and Wisconsin (check).

That means that of the Big Ten’s 14 members, 10 of them are in the Midwest. Looks like the conference is, in fact, Midwest Heavy. You know what else is Midwest Heavy. Me.

What HR doesn’t know doesn’t hurt them, IMO.

Q: If you could time travel back in time and attend any 3 Hawkeye football games that you wish, which would they be? - Chuck Longs Mom

Here is my running list that has changed a few times since I saw you through this question out there, CLM:

  1. Some might view this as a cop out, but send me back to any of Nile Kinnick’s games during the stretch in which he played 402 consecutive minutes against Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Purdue, Notre Dame, Minnesota and Northwestern before a separated shoulder in the season-finale against the Wildcats forced him to the sideline (THOSE PESKY EFFING WILDCATS). I don’t really care what game it is honestly, I just would like to see Iowa’s only Heisman Trophy winner one single time. Could you imagine watching the Cornbelt Comet while wearing like a grey trench coat, slacks, a button down shirt and tie, and a black fedora as you waved a rolled up newspaper around while puffing on a cigar? Legen-dary.
  2. Minnesota 2002 because in my heart of hearts I’m a meathead and being a part of a faction that walked the field goal posts right the hell out of the Metrodome is an all-timer.
  3. 2005 Capital One Bowl game. This was the pivitol game that swung me in Iowa’s direction full time. The Hawkeyes had always been on my radar because my best friend’s family were a house divided between Iowa and Iowa State. Because my family didn’t have any rooting interest in anyone besides Northwestern (my grandmother went there), I started to lean Iowa’s way. Drew Tate pushed me over the edge this very day. I was already somewhat partial towards the Hawkeyes because my biffer was a big time Cyclone guy (I wrote about that here), but watching Drew Tate do this in front of him? Well, I didn’t need any more nudging:
Q: Would you rather have Iowa hoops be top 20 on offense and bad on D and Hawkeyes football be top 20 on D and bad on offense or vice versa? - frontinhawkeyes

Isn’t this the life we’re already living? A great football D and a pretty solid Fran McCaffery style offense? Honestly, I think I would want it vice versa... at least for a season or two. Give me a taste of a Top-20 Kirk Ferentz offense. Maybe I’m super stupid (ok, I am super stupid), but having a Top-20 offense, at least in my opinion, would have given Iowa a better chance at winning all of the games we lost this season than their elite D (we saw this play out). There is no other team in the Big Ten that has a Top-20 offense this season outside of Ohio State. And guess what champ, we wouldn’t of had to play them until the Big Ten Championship. The next closest offense that Iowa played this year is Minnesota who comes in at No. 44 in total offense right now. The next one after that is Penn State at No. 52. I’m sorry, but if Iowa was able to score points and had a defense that was on par with where their offense is, we’re winning 10 games at least and we’re still talking about Big Ten West titles.

Fran on the other hand could really use some staunchy D right about now. They are giving up nearly 74-points per game. That’s an absurd amount of points for Big Ten basketball.

Q: Illinois is coming off the bye how many trick plays does Lovie dial up? -chitownhawkeye

If by trick plays you mean waiting for the perfect moment to Peanut Punch the ball out of one of our players arms, I’ll say three times.

Q: I met Kirk once. Asked him what his favorite kind of gum was. Answer: it’s sugar free Bubble Yum (he doesn’t want the flavor to get in the way). Big that doesn’t screen Kirk I don’t know what does. What do you think Brian’s favorite type of gum is? What’s yours? - zgerst

I think Brian is a Five Gum kind of guy only because of how intense their commercials used to be:

Jesus, relax Five Gum.

My favorite gum will always be Big League Chew and it’s not even close.

Against the Spread Picks (my winner in bold):

Illinois @ Iowa -15.5 - This is a TRAP! I’m telling you all.

Penn State @ Ohio State -18.5 - this is the most important game of the season for Penn State and for Franklin who my co-host on SpoCo Radio is sure is leaving to go to USC. They are going to keep this close.

Minnesota -13.5 @ Northwestern - I picked Northwestern on the pod the other day, but I was all out of sorts. At least I can admit when I was wrong.

Michigan State -20.5 @ Rutgers - never, ever bet on Rutgers

Michigan -9.5 @ Indiana - Indiana is more than good enough to keep this to a touchdown as they search for their 8th win on the season

Nebraska -5 @ Maryland - Just stay away and don’t watch this game.

Purdue @ Wisconsin -24.5 - Purdue is so ready for this no good season to be over. Ride the Badgers.

Happy Friday!