October 26, 2014





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Your daily dose of black and gold...

The University of Iowa women's soccer team is rolling its way to another postseason Big Ten Tournament and, perhaps, an invitation to the NCAA's party for the second straight year. (Photo: Brian Ray)

DiIanni's squad continues to roll, a November to Remember?, and
a little more about this and that and another thing...

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Random thoughts on the Sunday of another bye week...


Rolling, rolling, rolling...That's what Dave DiIanni's Iowa women's soccer team is up to these days.   The Hawkeyes won their third straight Friday night, defeating Ohio State at Ohio State to climb further up the Big Ten ladder. You can read about it HERE. A huge challenge awaits the Hawkeyes today: Big Ten leader and nationally ranked Penn State in Happy Valley. Iowa closes its regular season next week at Nebraska then it's postseason play with a Big Ten Tournament invitation a lock and a second-straight invitation to the NCAA's postseason party within reach.


We're heading into one of my favorite weeks of the home football season, "ANF Day at Kinnick" week, six days that culminates with the public introduction of this year's Wall of Honor ANF-er who, as you probably know, is former Hawkeye, All-American, and Super Bowl participant, Bruce Nelson.  Here's one thing I didn't know about the guy who will follow in the footsteps for Casey Weigmann and Jared DeVries until Friday morning when I was doing some prep work:  Bruce walked on to the Iowa football program.  Think about that:   A walk-on turned All-American turned NFL Draft choice turned Super Bowl participant.


If you need a reminder about what ANF -- America Needs Farmers -- is all about, click HERE.


One final note on ANF Day at Kinnick. Our friends at the Iowa Farm Bureau always do a great job of securing participation of some big-name former Hawkeyes for the pregame autograph session inside the ANF tent located inside Krause Family Plaza. This year is no different. The schedule isn't yet set -- we'll release that on Monday -- but here's the list of participants: Gary Dolphin, Ed Podolak, Bruce Nelson, Dallas Clark (tentative), Allen Reisner, and Pat Angerer. That's a fun and talented group of special guys already and there's always one or two last-minute additions. 

Wasn't yesterday a thing of beauty weather-wise in the Heartland?  I'm sure the combines were busy.  I know the many of us "city folk" were busy doing our equivalent: raking leaves.


Some football fans like to grumble about their head coaches including, alas, some our football fans about our head coach.  I take this for what it is:  Fans are fans.  They, like the rest of the residents of this great country of ours, are entitled to their opinion. However, I also suggest that you should be careful about what you wish for.  There are many examples of a disgruntled fan base getting what it asked for only to be regretting the decision a year or two or four later.  One could argue that we needn't look any further than Ann Arbor, Michigan, home of one of college football's and the Big Ten's bluebloods. My hunch is there's a whole bunch of Maize and Blue fan(atics) who, this morning in particular, long for the days of boring old Lloyd Carr:  All boring old Lloyd Carr did has head coach of the UM for 13 years was win 122 games, five Big Ten titles and a national championship. And, from afar -- and confirmed by those who knew him -- quite the gentleman. Yes. Be very careful what you wish for...


Night time is, in fact, the right time:  I, like many of you, I'm sure, enjoyed two pretty good college football games last night.  LSU looked like vintage Big Ten football in its victory over Ole Miss....three yards and a cloud of dust and big-time defense, and how can you not giggle when you listen to Les Miles postgame. His description of Death Valley as "magnificent" made me chuckle.  Of course, did I hear he was something like 45-4 in night games at home?  That is magnificent.  As a Big Ten-er, I enjoyed the overtime game between Ohio State and Penn State a little more, however.  Penn State's showed some grit while the Buckeye quarterback showed some sneakerie (is that a word?) in overtime.  Either way, the games under the lights are always kind of fun. Can't wait for the next time we get to do that at Kinnick.


I'm not sure about the rest that is written HERE, but I do agree wholeheartedly with this: "...because the West (Division of the Big Ten) is still winnable and the month of November could still be awesome month of football."


Why do I believe this? Well, there are lots of reasons, but, for me, it probably boils down to three: 1 - The 2014 Iowa Hawkeyes are today, in no way shape or form, as bad as most fans, friends, alums, peers, and media currently peg them. Sure, they aren't the 1972 Miami Dolphins (unbeaten), but they aren't the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (winless) either. 2 - If history is any guide -- and it is -- under Kirk Ferentz (and,  perhaps, as importantly this time of the season, Chris Doyle), Iowa is, many more times than not, a pretty salty football team in the last weeks of the regular season. I guess "In Kirk I Trust." 3 - I like the schedule. Sure, the loss by Minnesota at Illinois yesterday is kind of a head-scratcher (until you see the turnover chart) and the Hawkeyes play both of those teams on their home fields, but three of Iowa's final five are in friendly confines and that's a good thing for the good guys in black and gold.  Here's a look at current Big Ten standings: HERE.


There's no place like home and there's no day like Senior Day. Just ask Lisa Cellucci's nationally ranked Iowa field hockey team: HERE.


The No. 1 ranked football team in the land played at unranked Kentucky yesterday. The final score was 45-31 with more than 1,000 yards of total offense: HERE. I know this was a match-up of two teams from the "powerful Southeastern Conference," but I have to ask -- and I don't know if anyone really cares any more about this part of the game -- but I'm curious nonetheless: Do they play defense in that league? It seems pretty clear the Big 12's Texas Tech must have attempted to play a little "D," but failed miserably yesterday: HERE.


The weather prediction for next Saturday at Kinnick is awfully nice, almost picture-perfect college football weather: HERE. We have some tickets left if you'd like to enjoy the game - order online HERE --- and Miss Iowa's performance, which you can read about HERE.


And, by the way, if you are heading to Kinnick next Saturday, please plan to be in your seats a little earlier than normal.  We'll be staging our second "card stunt" and your participation is appreciated and, in fact, necessary.  I think you're going to like what you see, a lot.


Speaking of tickets, have your purchased your season tickets for the season ahead for Tom Brands' Hawkeyes? You can get them online HERE.


And, lastly, tickets for this year's Hy-Vee Big Four Classic at Des Moines' Wells Fargo Arena go on sale to the general public on Friday. You can learn more about that HERE.


Have a great week...and see you at Kinnick for ANF Game Day on Saturday!


Go Hawks!





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