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Forty-two to three: the morning after

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What happens when you have two left feet

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 04 Big Ten Championship Game - Michigan v Iowa Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Bad morning.

I’m not here to give you sunshine and rainbows. I’m not here to breakdown xs and os and missed passes and what-ifs. I’m not here to tell you what Kirk Ferentz said after the game last night.

I’m not here to talk about the quarterback situation. I’m not here to talk about Jim Harbaugh’s play calling in the fourth quarter. I’m not here to talk about punting on 4th and 5 while down 25. I’m here to give you facts, assumptions, and 34 truths.

I’m here to tell you that for the second time in six years, Iowa had a chance at its first outright Big Ten title since I was in single digits. I’m here to tell you that it gave that chance up about eight minutes into a 60 minute game.

I’m here to tell Iowa is the only team that’s failed to score a touchdown on Michigan this year. Rutgers did it. Northwestern did it. Western Michigan did it twice. Nebraska did it four times.

I’m here to talk about how I’m utterly and completely incapable of feeling joy let alone confidence when I see Iowa’s offense take the field. I’m here to talk about the aforementioned zero touchdowns despite getting within 15 yards of the Michigan end zone three times, and getting three points to show for it.

I’m not here to talk about how many times Iowa running backs ran into an eight-man box last night, because that number is infinite. I can’t tell you what makes Ferentz think running the ball on second-and-20 and third-and-15 is a good idea because the word for that is in a forgotten language.

I can probably hazard a guess what message it sends to his players, though. We still have words for that.

I can’t tell you why Iowa’s offense looks nothing short of brilliant and creative and hopeful on its opening drive of the game only to forget how to tie its own shoelaces for the remaining 52 minutes.

These are all things we’ve become nose blind to. These are the mistakes that winning covers up. Iowa was rewarded for being Iowa with a trip to the Big Ten Championship, and then was promptly punished for being Iowa.

I’m not here to tell you what’s next. Because we already know.

I’m here to tell you that I think I’m done referring to Kirk or Brian separately, by themselves.

They are a single quagmire that exists in the hellscape between ineptitude and excellence. What one does directly effects the other and to separate the two is unfair and perhaps even a little dishonest. I know one of those two feet leads in this foxtrot, but they are attached. At this point, if you cut one of ‘em off you gotta take the other.

I said I’m not here to tell you what’s next, but I do want to talk about it. The reality of the situation is we also occupy the aforementioned hellscape. We’re toes on the feet. We can wiggle and get stubbed and we’ve got a front row seat to the ballet and that sensation you get from standing up after sitting on the toilet way too long.

This season was likely Jim Harbaugh’s very last chance at Michigan, and it paid off big time for him and the school. Next season is likely Scott Frost’s and maybe even Paul Chryst’s last chance. PJ Fleck is going to get more chances, and he probably deserves them.

There’s nothing that tells us that the feet are running out of chances.

I don’t want to talk about how Iowa is in better position than Texas and basically every school in Florida and California.

I want to talk about how I hope Phil Parker and Levar Woods and the rest of the position coaches aren’t so scarred by what’s happening they do what I would do, and bolt for the next opportunity.

I want to talk about how after the winningest coach in the bluest and bloodiest program in the entire country skedaddled in the dead of night for an easy out, Notre Dame rolled the dice and elevated a guy from within—a 35-year-old who’s never been a head coach before.

I know I said I wasn’t going to give you a silver lining, but I would like to end on one. Nearly 75,000 people have watched the below video on Twitter. Another 75,000 saw it in person, and millions did on TV.

All those people have feet, but Iowa’s got two ‘em.