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You’ve got mail: elementary, my dear Hawkeyes

William Powell and John Barrymore in the Silent Film Sherlock Holmes 1922 Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

Very little’s happened between Tuesday and now. The abbreviated week threw me for a loop and I’m just about ready to poison my body all weekend long to catch up for all the partying it missed last year.

This week I’m putting your questions into two groups: Matt Campbell and everything else. Let’s get to it.

Is Matt Campbell holding out for the “right” position at the college of his choosing, or does he aim to become the Hayden Fry of ISU football?

Which will be the next NFL team that Matt Campbell turns down?

Would it be fair to characterize Matt Campbell as the ‘Professor Moriarty’ of Hawkeye football?

The MC-HF allusions are fun and easy to make, and even funner and easier to dismiss.

Five years into Fry, Iowa had itself a conference title and a Rose Bowl berth. Meanwhile, Matt Campbell’s crowing achievement thus far at ISU is... making the Big Twelve title game? Beating a 4-2 Oregon team (one that lost to Oregon State AND Cal, mind you) in the Fiesta Bowl? Ruining No. 3 Oklahoma’s perfect season in 2017?

If Campbell were to mostly stagnate the next year or two or three in Ames, I could see him becoming their Fry (and Ferentz, for that matter) for a few reasons. One being that I think the shoe eventually drops, and ISU probably wins the Big 12 and reaches the playoff or a BCS-adjacent bowl under Campbell.

But if not, and those high highs stay just out of reach, I see him staying. The pressure to win in Ames is relatively low. Cyclone boosters or whatever you wanna call ‘em will eat up eight and nine-win seasons just like another program we all know and love.

Furthermore, I kinda feel like Campbell has found a way to win in the Big 12. Would that formula work elsewhere? Why bother bringing 11 herbs and spices to Ann Arbor when you’d have to play Popeyes every single year? The folks in Ames LOVED your dry biscuits, why’d you ever leave them?!

But would Campbell take another job in-conference?

When Steve Sarkisian flames out in Austin three years from now, Campbell will have likely padded his resume and put on a show or two for those paying attention (among other things) in Texas.

And between then and now, he will have turned down the job for both NFL teams in New York.

I think the Moriarty comparison is imperfect, because in the end, Holmes dies by Moriarty’s hand. Furthermore, Moriarty is an impressive individual in the Sherlock Holmes canon. Oxford educated, a championship boxer and accomplished mathematician.

What I’m saying is, Campbell is much more like a masked villain to Iowa’s Scooby Doo.

Should U of Iowa hold a raffle – season and/or single game football/basketball tickets if an unvaccinated individual starts and completes their shots? Should ISU etc do the same? What other incentives would work in Iowa to tip a few from unvaccinated to vaccinated? State Fair, Adventureland, etc.
—malachi constant

I’m not going to wade into vaccine discourse here, but I will say I’m not super in love with the idea of incentivizing Covid vaccinations... because I kinda sorta think they should be mandatory for certain groups. One of those groups is college kids.

Students at Iowa are required to show they have two MMR vaccinations upon enrollment, so it’s not a crazy jump to make. Furthermore, hundreds of schools nationwide are requiring their students to prove vaccination in the fall of 2021, including all the Ivy League, Michigan, Rutgers, Maryland, Northwestern, and Indiana. So far, Grinnell is the only school in the state to require that of its students.

So to answer your question, I can think of no greater incentive to get a vaccine than to make it a requirement if you want to have the best four-six years of your life.

Do you think

1. Iowa can keep Heller long term with all the disadvantages Iowa and the conference face?

2. Barta will ever follow through on the Banks Field rebuild given the current cost cutting environment?

I don’t know enough about college baseball to comment on the Heller situation. The problem I have with complaining about the spot Iowa baseball finds itself in is... well, don’t lose four outta six to hapless Illinois and Northwestern. I don’t think he’s facing problems unique to Iowa, but problems unique to playing baseball in a conference that’s cold six months of the year.

I did see the Hawaii job is open for just the third time in 50 some years, however.

And I don’t know if Barta is going to have enough time to make good on any outstanding promises he’s made.

Which Iowa coach is most likely to keep a tiger as a pet?

I like this scenario because I’m now picturing the Brands Brothers in sort of a Siegfried and Roy situation and that’s putting a smile on my face.

Did you see any boobies at The 500?
—Petes Sake

No, but only because we didn’t go to the Coke lot.

So, what is the best grilled meat you have consumed?

If it was not at your own BBQ, where was it from?

If you want to talk about your own grill set-up, feel free to.

Finally, when grilling, what beer do you like to enjoy while doing so?

I can’t answer the first two questions, but I would like to take this time to talk about a new way I’m grilling.

In an effort to get the diner-style Maillard Reaction on home-cooked burgers, I placed a 12-inch cast iron skillet on my ripping grill and smashed the patties right on the hot skillet. This worked so well I started doing it when I was treating myself to nice steaks. Now, I’ve moved chicken thighs to this method (albeit at a lower heat).

This is perfection. I’m getting restaurant quality burgers, steaks and chicken from my own hand on a consistent basis. I understand having an actual outdoor griddle would be more ideal for some things, but having all the fat accumulate in the pan is actually preferred for my current dietary needs. I don’t have a super fancy grill or anything, and I’ll still cook lots of things on the grates, but this method is like adding another cooking element to my kitchen.

Right now, this is the beer I can’t get enough of.