Have you ever heard of a 20 beer Sunday?
In general, I think we can agree that media days are more or less a fruitless exercise in PR. We already got out depth charts and the same reporters are writing the same stories they write every year, but the Chicago-specific pageantry always offers some dumb soundbites so we’ll just poke fun at those as I mainline coffee into my bloodstream.
I know it’s not Iowa-related but this is the first thing I want to get into, because it’s my blog and not yours:
I, for one, am all for excessive luxury. My only quarrel is that I don’t expect one to get much sleep in a noisy locker room.
You might watch that and wonder how Iowa can compare, but remember 1. that facilities aren’t the best measuring stick for that sort of thing and 2. Iowa’s football facility is nothing to sneeze at, either:
Now, onto journalists Tweeting photos of deep dish and damp sacks of Portillo’s:
The first fake news soundbite you probably heard was Kirk Ferentz saying he’ll tailgate at Kinnick whenever we decide to drag him outta the facility kicking and screaming.
Ferentz: “If I ever do retire, I will tailgate (at Kinnick Stadium).”— Mitch Sherman (@mitchsherman) July 19, 2019
File this under: no shit, Sherlock. Post him up next to the Hawkeye Hauler and charge $5 an autograph.
Remember last year when Pat Fitzgerald called RPOs “the purest form of communism”? While I’m sorry to remind you of that unfortunate soundbite, I’m still here to darken your browser with more pontificating from the man who’s never won a conference title:
Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald puts NCAA football's attendance problem and really society's eventual downfall in perspective:— Rick Tarsitano (@RickTarsitano) July 20, 2019
I know you might be watching this on one, but couldn't agree more with @PatFitzgerald23 pic.twitter.com/lQfiyVmpmM
This is a tired criticism of today’s society that anyone who’s watched an episode of Black Mirror can walk away with. If I was Patty Fitz, I’d be more worried about creating an environment that beats how Northwestern football is currently best consumed: streaming on a Reddit delay via pilfering my neighbor’s wifi.
These comments remind me when PJ Fleck was blaming Gen-Xers on his own coaching and recruiting shortcomings:
"We have a problem in our society. We don't have a problem in our program."— Harmon Chillebrew (@renboss23) May 23, 2019
Fleck blaming his trash program on millennials is so damn rich
People are so dumb.
The main point of conversation in Chicago seemed to be conference realignment, for some reason. Our friend BoilerHawk already distilled that conversation down for you, so I won’t dwell much on it here, but I’ll just say: kick out Rutgers and Maryland, and we no longer have a manufactured problem.
Now let’s talk Hawk shop:
Bill Connelly projects Iowa to win 8 games this year, which is normal. Because Iowa.
Noted program cheerleader Chad Leistikow actually holds Ferentz’ feet to the fire a bit when raising the ceiling for Iowa’s 2019 campaign all the way to Indianapolis. He’s not wrong when he notes next year will be a rebuilding one for Iowa, and the Hawkeyes will likely see attrition among underclassmen for the NFL once again this year. It’s put up or shut up time for Iowa.
He is wrong, however, when he calls last year’s nine-win campaign “pretty satisfying.”
Getting to that ceiling however, basically starts and ends with Iowa QB Nate Stanley. He said he wants to complete 65 percent of his passes this year, a far cry from his past clips of 56 and 59 percent, but if that were to happen, that would likely mean Iowa is tearing about its opponents. And that sounds just great. Not as great as the kicker in that story, though.
It’s worth noting Stanley is the only standout Iowa player Kirk brought to Chicago. Toren Young and Michael Ojemudia were the other guys who repped the program, leaving behind likely national standouts this year in AJ Epensa, Alaric Jackson and Ihmir Smith-Marsette, but well, we know Ferentz likes to not let his players do the talking.
Not sending AJE to Chicago, however, was a misstep imo.
What was NOT a misstep, however, was securing Oliver Martin. Jim Harbaugh had the chance to talk about Martin’s departure from his program to Iowa’s, and coach Khaki said he was surprised to see him go:
I was surprised that Oliver transferred. He really had a heck of a spring and was at the top of our depth chart coming out of spring ball and was doing very well in school. On his way to the Ross Business School. So that was a surprise.
Martin has retained the services of an attorney to help gain immediate eligibility this year. Now that all his paperwork has been submitted, we’re in wait-and-see mode. But even without Martin, Iowa’s current receiver tandem of Brandon Smith, ISM and Nico Ragaini/Tyrone Tracy should be enough to elevate the passing game.