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It's the seven words you can't say to Thayer Evans!

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Brian Fucking Ferentz. It's safe to say that the national media took notice of Iowa's turnaround Saturday.  Unsurprisingly, when New Kirk went national, it was his son doing the talking.  And swearing.  There's a lot of swearing:

"We weren't playing Iowa football," offensive line coach Brian Ferentz tells The Inside Read. "We weren't tough and physical. We weren't any of those things. We lost close games. We were sh---- on special teams, got the ball run up our a-- and we didn't run the ball. We just weren't us. There was a lot of disappointment and frustration. I'd go so far as to say embarrassment because that's not who we are."


"Who we've been around here is a tough, physical football team that does things the right way," Ferentz says, "That plays good on defense. That runs the football effectively on offense and stops the run on defense."

It's what should have been said instead of "That's football," a voicing of the frustration felt by the fan base while watching this team over the last four years and a clear sign that the staff saw what everyone outside the program was seeing.  If Kirk Ferentz says that after the Nebraska debacle, the offseason isn't nearly as brutal.

The more interesting portion is in the mission statement as given by Brian Ferentz:

"Who we've been around here is a tough, physical football team that does things the right way," Ferentz says, "That plays good on defense. That runs the football effectively on offense and stops the run on defense."

Notice what's not there: Zone running.  Two-deep zone defense.  The short passing game.  There are no particular tactics that have risen to dogmatic status in the program described by Brian Ferentz.  For the last five years, "we don't do that" had become reason in and of itself for Iowa to not try something new.  That rationale appears to be gone.  Iowa is going to run the ball; the tactics that make it an effective running team are secondary to the fact that they're going to run the ball.  It's how the staff can diversify the running game, run man coverage on defense and adopt new, more effective tactics on special teams.  The tactics aren't in the mission statement anymore.  That, more than anything, is what's driving Iowa's success in 2015.

The Hard Part is Protecting It. Iowa finally got back into the Top 25 last week, but there's plenty of room to move in both directions this week.  The ultimate question: Can a relatively young and inexperienced team stay focused and build on unexpected early success?

The disconnect might lie in claiming it's unexpected:

But to call this a surprise, the players say, isn't accurate — even after last year's disappointing 7-6 record.

"The coaches from the beginning said this is going to be a special year," senior defensive end Nate Meier said. "And everyone kind of bought into that. Now we are seeing 5-0, so yeah, it's a lot more pressure. We're here, and that's where we want to stay."

We've heard since July that this team believes it can do something extraordinary, despite all evidence and speculation to the contrary.  It's yet another return to the chance in culture around Iowa football, and it's hardly the last time we'll hear about it.  Everything remains on the table.  It's this team's duty to go get it.

Prince Albert, in a Can. Iowa's defensive line has a distinct I-80 Westbound bent, what with two linemen from Nebraska and a third from southwest Iowa.  And so, when presented with a golden bull after winning in Madison this weekend, Iowa's defensive line did what I-80's most frequent travelers do: It named it Albert.

Iowa defensive end Sam Brincks grew up in Carroll and called the trophy "Albert." In the southwest Iowa town of Audubon resides a giant statue of "Albert," which is proclaimed the world's largest bull. The players quickly settled on Albert and the nickname became semifamous when defensive end Drew Ott posted a picture of the trophy on Instagram.

"We just came up with it," Ott said. "It sounded fitting. And I guess there's a bull named Albert in Audubon. We didn't know it. We were just talking about it, and I think (Brincks) said it, and it all made sense.

"You've got Floyd the pig and I like saying Floyd, so Albert sounds nice."

As a former member of the Western Iowa Conference who held up "What's a Wheeler Anyway?" signs in the bleachers, I'd be happier if everyone knew about Albert the Bull.  But it's still infinitely better than the Heartland Trophy.  Adopt it, Wisconsin, on the off chance we ever give Albert back to you.

Dolphin-Safe Tuning. Marc Morehouse does one of those things we'd never want to do: Listening to the entire Kirk Ferentz call-in show.  Buried between the Jay Scheel Wildcat Formations and recruiting equivocations was this from Mas Casa:

Talking Kid Captain now. Something that, KF said, has been a Mary Ferentz project. It's been 10 years for the program. Do good things for the UI Children's Hospital if you can. My daughter was in UI NICU as a preemie. It was hugely stressful, but we knew she was in good hands.

It's your friendly reminder that it's nowhere near too late to make your donation to Iowa Touchdowns for Kids.  Every little bit helps someone who is far, far too young to be having the problems that he or she is having and a family in need.  Donate today, and if you already donated, donate again.  We built a hospital.  Let's make sure it has the stuff that the patients need.


As of Tuesday, Iowa had sold approximately 65,000 tickets for Saturday's game against Illinois.  There's an outside chance of a sellout, but more likely something around 67,500 by kickoff.

Illinois will be without running back Josh Ferguson this Saturday. He has been Illinois' feature back so far this year, running 71 times for 381 yards and three scores.  Illinois has plenty of halfbacks to fill in, but it's a loss nonetheless.

ESPN explains the Toolbox Game between the managers for Iowa and Wisconsin, a flag football game that routinely ends in serious injury.  Wisconsin won it again this year, but we all know it was purely out of pity.

If you had any doubt of how good Wisconsin linebacker Joe Schobert was on Saturday, B5Q is here to explain it to you. And it's just as impressive in still shots.

It took Ohio State fans five weeks to beg for Tom Herman to come back.  This is what happens when you replace your all-everything offensive coordinator with a guy from Nebraska.

Northwestern's obnoxious alumni are having fun. But at least Mike Greenberg has a nice dog.

Up-tempo offenses have led to more possessions.  More possessions have led to more changes of possession.  More changes of possession have led to more commercials.  More commercials have made games longer.  And a writer from Nevada has the worst idea ever to fix that: Be more like the NFL.