The Class of '83. We've previously talked about the 1983 Iowa coaching staff, arguably the greatest collection of college coaching talent ever. Earlier this year, that staff -- including current head coaches Bob Stoops, Kirk Ferentz and Bill Snyder and recent head coach Dan McCarney, among others -- recorded its 1000th collective head coaching win, and now includes the coaches of two of the nation's top seven teams (and, as soon as Frank Beamer's retirement goes final, the two longest-tenured coaches in FBS football).
ESPN's Brian Bennett took notice, and put together this phenomenal oral history of the 1983 staff yesterday. The best part? This Kirk Ferentz quote regarding Bill Brashier:
I always told anyone who would listen that Bill Brashier was as good a coach I've worked around at any level. To me, he's in the same class as Bill Belichick and Nick Saban.
In the initial edition, the quote was published without attribution. It was the least-anonymous anonymous quote ever.
NO NO NO NO NO. Iowa's 10-0 for the first time ever, which means the national press has taken noNO NO NO NO STAY AWAY FROM US SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. (It's actually a solid article about Kirk Ferentz's embrace of change, Desmond King's improvement, and Iowa's focus on the little things this season, but holy hell is SI the kiss of death).
For those focused on the disrespect narrative in general, there's Dennis Dodd at CBS Sports. For those more particularly focused on dumb things like Colin Cowherd, there's the incomparable Michael Weinreb in Rolling Stone.
The problem with this, and with much of Cowherd's diatribe, is blatantly obvious. The problem is that a "proven track record" and the "best coach" shouldn't mean much of anything within the microcosm of 2015. The problem is that one reason college football is now resorting to a playoff committee rather than the polls is to alleviate the historical bias that has long plagued the system. Remember in 1994, when Nebraska was gifted a national title over Penn State because Tom Osborne hadn't won a championship yet (and then he won one anyway the next season)?
Yes, Iowa football is being discussed in Rolling Stone, which is both the least and most Iowa football thing ever. Like, if Iowa football is going to make it into a music magazine, it has the one that gives every U2 record a five-star rating without even listening. Iowa football is never making Pitchfork. NME is not sending a correspondent to Kinnick Stadium. There's a football team in Austin, Texas, after all.
The Explainer. For those wondering why Iowa is ahead of the entire state of Oklahoma, they need only listen to the Committee chairman every week.
CFB committee chairman Jeff Long was asked during the ESPN rankings show if Iowa was ahead of Oklahoma State and Oklahoma because the committee thought it was better or more deserving.
"I think better," Long said. "Again, we look at their resume. They've got the two wins on the road (Wisconsin and Northwestern), that has impacted us. And then they're balanced, offense and defense. They seem to be strong on both sides of the ball. Again, as we said last week, they're not a flashy team, but they're consistent on both sides of the ball."
This coincides with the Playoff Committee's previous praise of Clemson's balance and its selection of Alabama and Notre Dame in the top four. It's also a big part of the disrespect shown the no-defense Big 12. TCU, probably the most-disrespected team in the current Top 25, gave up 45 to Kansas State and 49 to Oklahoma State, and they look like the '85 Chicago Bears next to Baylor (31 points to Lamar?) Iowa football might be ugly, but it plays to a committee of old football guys who like old football.
The 'L' Word. We've heard it since August, but never quite this clear: The leadership on this team was non-existent last season.
Guys who would have been leaders last season and have left this team have been pretty good at their next destinations. Carl Davis might be the best rookie on the Ravens' roster. Brandon Scherff has become a reliable starter on the Washington interior line. Jake Rudock just threw for 440 yards and six touchdowns against Indiana. But for whatever reason, the guys on this current team felt something was lacking from the departed. It's worked out best for everyone.
You're Never Never Never Never There. Two weeks after committing to Iowa, four-star defensive back K.J. Sails backed out and reopened his recruitment. The decision came two days after an unofficial visit to South Carolina, which had not really been on his radar until the visit was announced. And then there's this:
@HawkeyeHunz @HS_BHGP Not surprised. I tweeted this two days ago: pic.twitter.com/oynUt0P4zH— ThePositiveHawkeye (@hawkeyekirk) November 17, 2015
Sails had been widely considered a Wisconsin lean before committing to Iowa, and promptly retweeted about three Badger-related tweets immediately after decommitting, but there's nobody on that staff with any ties to South Carolina or the SEC in general. He's a Tampa guy, but USF's Willie Taggart isn't going anywhere. The one potential game-changing head coach at South Carolina would be Mark Dantonio (who is an alum), but Michigan State wasn't recruiting him. So yeah, I have no idea.
As for a replacement, AllHawkeyes.com expects Georgia-based defensive back Jordan Eastling to commit soon. Eastling is a two-star prospect with an offer sheet including Illinois, Indiana and a bunch of non-Power 5 programs.
The Iowa-Nebraska game will kick off at 2:30 p.m. God's time zone. We're a far cry from the threat that Nebraska-Wisconsin would move to Black Friday we heard two years ago.
Tevaun Smith on Greg Davis: "This year he has the tools he needs, and he has people he wants." The shade being thrown at the 2014 team in general, and one Wolverine in particular, is seriously amazing.
Get ready for chaos in Iowa City this weekend:
So much for ESPN hating Iowa. On Saturday I'll be reporting live on SC from Kinnick Stadium.— Chris Hassel (@hasselESPN) November 17, 2015
There are five months left until the NFL Draft, and the "Desmond King is leaving early" posts have already begun. Before this season, King told reporters he had no intent of leaving early, but the NFL is a shiny, shiny object.
Wisconsin lost 6'10 forward Andy Van Vliet for the season after the Belgian import was ruled ineligible. Bo Ryan said the rule that tripped up Van Vliet "doesn't make any sense." Kinda like a rule that allows a coach to prohibit a transferring player from going to the school of his choice?
A drunk Oklahoma fan leaves the stadium in Waco, walks back to his hotel, and falls asleep in his room. Only, instead of finding his hotel room, he'd found a courtroom. What a bunch of amateurs.