Iowa football single game tickets

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Single game tickets for the 2009 Iowa Football Season go on sale next week. So, if you are like me and can't afford season tickets/the multi-game packs, get ready on July 9 at 6 AM as tickets go on sale to the general public online. Here's the information from hawkeyesports.com:
  • Iowa Hawkeye Football Mini-Season Ticket Packages are on-sale now. Create a three-, four-, five-, or six-game mini-season ticket package.
  • Single game tickets for UNI, Arizona, Arkansas State, Indiana, Northwestern and Minnesota go on-sale starting July 6, 2009 at 6:00AM.
  • July 6 - Kinnick Society and Champion Hawk I-Club Members.
  • July 7 - Golden Hawk and Silver Hawk I-Club Members.
  • July 8 - All other I-Club Members and non-I Club season tickets holders.
  • July 9 - General Public.

The single game tickets increased in price $2 from last year, up to $52. The Arizona game and Michigan game are considered "premium" and will be $65 and $70 respectively. So check out the schedule and find the games you want to attend before next week and I'll see you at Kinnick (in less than 10 weeks!).

Links For Iowa - June 30, 2009

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Iowa Related

Freshman season tickets = awesome lunchbox
This is a couple weeks old but I just found it today. Incoming freshman to The University of Iowa who buy season tickets for football and men's basketball get an awesome Iowa lunchbox. They also get a bunch of other cool stuff all courtesy of the athletic department.


At least it's college football related

Recruiting and Reporting
This article has an interesting point about the internet recruiting services. These sites have reporters that spend a lot of time talking to recruits and the people running them are generally big fans of the university. The schools and coaches have many restrictions around the recruiting process, however these reporters can lobby for their team, slander against rivals, and pretty much post whatever that want on their websites. But the people (including me) want to know about recruits even though the whole process may be over-hyped.

Tennessee latest commit is 13 years old
Why Lane Kifkin, why? There are a million stories on this, because it is so ridiculous on so many levels.

Commit #8 for 2010 - Matt Hoch

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Today Matt Hoch became the eighth player to verbally commit to the Iowa Hawkeyes. He is the seventh defensive player and fourth defensive lineman joining Louis Trinca-Pasat, Anthony Ferguson, and Mike Hardy on the line. Hoch is a 3 star, as rated by Rivals and Scout, defensive end from Harlan, Iowa.

High School:
Matt Hoch goes to Harlan Community High School in Harlan, Iowa. The school has an unfortunate nickname of the Cyclones, but at least there isn't some bird head on the mascot. As a junior, Hoch helped his team reach the 3-A quarter finals, where they got a taste of the Hawkeye's incoming freshman Brandon Wegher as they were beat by Heelan.

Hoch had a good season himself with 96 tackles, 21 for loss, and 8 sacks (according to Scout, Rivals only shows 20 tackles for loss). He also had an interception and a fumble recovery all while missing 2 games and playing with a minor knee injury. His performance earned him a place on the Second Team Defense All-State for the second year in a row.

In high school, Matt Hoch is also an accomplished wrestler. He finished 9th place in the state tournament at 215 pounds. He also is on the track team and does shot put and discus.

Quick Glance:
DE Matt Hoch - Harlan, Iowa
Recruiting:
Rivals3*, #22 DE
Scout3*, #73 DE
Other SchoolsISU, Mizzou, K State, Stanford
Stats:
Size6'4", 240 lbs
40 Time4.9 sec
Bench300 lbs

Links For Iowa - June 29, 2009

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Iowa Related

Iowa finished #45 in Directors' Cup
The University of Iowa finished in 45th place in the Leerfield Sports Directors' Cup. The the Directors' Cup is kind of a who's the overall best at sports competition. Iowa finished with 474.30 points, 54 of which were earned by the football team last fall. In comparison, #1 Standford finished with 1455 point. Here's the run down of all the Big Ten teams…Iowa has some catching up to do, but the Big Ten had a very strong finish.
School RankTotal Points
Michigan51131.8
Ohio State101015.8
Minnesota14975.75
Penn State19813.1
Illinois20808.75
Michigan State27708.05
Purdue38569.63
Wisconsin41535.5
Northwestern44483
Iowa45474.3
Indiana55389.25


Hawkapalooza - September 3, 2009
The week before the 2009 Iowa Football Season kicks off is going to be busy. Fry Fest is already scheduled for Friday, September 4. Now add Hawkapalooza, a pep rally/concert to mix and we should get a pretty exciting build up to the UNI game.

At least it's college football related

CFN Iowa State Preview
CFN did a good job on Iowa's preview so I took the time to read Iowa State's preview. Pretty much just states that the offense should be good once it adapts to the new system (the offensive line is learning zone blocking) and the defense will be bad again but very aggressive.

Commit #7 for 2010 - Mike Hardy

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With only 10 weeks left until the 2009 Iowa Football season kicks off, the Hawkeyes land their seventh commitment for the 2010 class. Mike Hardy, from Appleton, Wisconsin, became the sixth defensive player to commit to Iowa yesterday. Though the name Hardy may bring back bad memories for Hawkeye fans, this Hardy will hopefully create new, good memories for us fans. He is ranked as a 3 star defensive end by both Scout and Rivals.

High School:
Hardy attends Kimberly High School "Home of the Papermakers" in Appleton, Wisconsin. As a junior, Hardy had 10 tackles for loss including 6 sacks. He also handled punting duties and had 15 punts with an average distance of 33.1 yards per kick (so I don't think he'll be punting for Iowa). Hardy was a large part of Kimberly's stellar defense. The team only gave up 77 points during the regular season. The incredible defensive play led them to a perfect 14-0 season winning the Division II championship in Wisconsin. In the championship game, Hardy contributed with a tackle, a pass breakup, and a 32 yard punt. Hardy was also selected First Team All-Conference unanimously.

In addition to Hardy's success on the football field he was also a state champion in discus and runner up in shot put. He also played center for the basketball team at Kimberly. The Papermakers went 13-5 last season and Hardy averaged 3.6 points per game.

Quick Glance:
DE Mike Hardy - Appleton, Wisconsin
Recruiting:
Rivals3*, #27 DE
Scout3*, #68 DE
Other SchoolsISU, Minn, Neb, Pur,Wisc, Ind
Stats:
Size6'5", 260 lbs
40 Time5.0 sec
Bench260 lbs

New Starters App

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I just wanted to inform everyone that I've added a new "gadget" to the sidebar. It's for the 2009 Iowa Football Starters. At this point I'm just guessing who is going to start week 1. I'm assuming that Calloway won't be playing with his moped incident and Vandervelde will miss the first game with his mystery injury. Anyway, just hover over the position on the field and the player information will display. It's still a work in progress...if you click on the position it just takes you to the top of the page (I'll try to find some place more useful) and I'd like to get the players pictures at some point. Other than that it should be working though.

Links For Iowa - June 26, 2009

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Iowa Related

Iowa Football Tidbits
James Morris wants to start a band with fellow 2010 commit Jim Poggi (Morris sings and Poggi plays guitar). Maybe they could be called The Jims (nope…there's already a band named The Jims, but based on their website I'd say Morris and Poggi probably don't want to associate with these guys). Well, even if they don't form a band, I hope these guys do develop a nice chemistry as I think the two of them well be playing along side eachother at linebacker a lot in the coming years.

Tim Dwight's Football Camp
Tim Dwight had his annual football camp this week. Ricky Stanzi and A.J. Edds joined Dwight and helped out the 8 to 18 year olds (hopefully future Hawkeyes) learn more about football.

TE Anthony Schiavone leaves Iowa
Anthony Schiavone spent just one semester at The University of Iowa before desciding to transfer else where. He graduated high school earlier to enroll in college during the spring and he even participated in spring practice. I'm not sure why he's leaving. Maybe he felt like he didn't have a shot at playing with all the tight ends on the roster or maybe he was just home sick (he's from Connecticut).

At least it's college football related

FIU loses its cheerleaders
It's a sad day in Miami. The Florida International Golden Panthers will play football this year with no cheerleaders on its sidelines. This comes after FIU already cut the marching band. So when FIU scores a rare touchdown (sorry for that cheap shot, but FIU is just not that good) there will be no peppy co-eds kicking and screaming and no band blasting out the fight song. That hardly seems like college football.

Off Topic

Google Wave
Okay, so this is a month old, but has anybody watched this video? It's only like an hour and a half. Google Wave looks pretty awesome. I've signed up to be alerted as soon as it is made public. Maybe it'll be something the Hawkeye community can use to spend even more time talking about Iowa Football.

Links For Iowa

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Iowa Football Related

Varsity Numbers: Defense Stats
Varsity Numbers gives us an interesting look at defensive statistics. They some how weigh in strength of schedule. Iowa comes in at 11th in the "Defensive '+' Rankings for 2008, but the article predicts a potential drop off due to Iowa's large disproportionality between the defense's effectiveness on passing downs compared to standard downs.
"The next team on the list, Iowa, has had a reputation for always having solid defenses under Kirk Ferentz, but until 2008 they had not finished in the Top 15 in Total Defense since 2004, so this surge back to near the top of the rankings will probably come with at least a slight fall in 2009."

Rivals: #71 Best Football Player
Pat Angerer was ranked the #71 best player in America by Rivals.
"Angerer is a throwback defender, from the days when folks watched football on a black-and-white TV. Watching his hard-hitting style, you get the sense Angerer would play without a helmet if he could."

At least it's college football related

Black Shoe Diaries - Penn State Game Times
Nittany Whiteout - Shorter Tailgates
Bleacher Report - Why no season tickets?
Yesterday the Big Ten released the TV schedule for the first 3 weeks of the 2009 season, including 2 more Iowa games. Penn State's first three games will all be on the BTN with 11:00 CST (it'll be 12:00 in Happy Valley if you can't do the math) start times. Apparently that's too early for some Penn State fans, but what do you expect with games against Akron, Syracuse, and Temple. The funniest quote is in the Bleacher Report post:
"The responsibility of waking up for noon kickoffs when you’ve been out all night before, and all you want is one more hour of sleep, is too much."
SERIOUSLY?

BSC says no to MWC
Surprise, surprise. The BSC rejected the Mountain West Conference's plan to have a college football playoffs.
"There was no overall support for the proposal, although some conferences were interested in considering certain elements of it in the future."

CFN Roundtable on Big Ten
The Big Ten's reputation has not been the best lately. While the question was "Why does the Big 10 stick?" I think theses Roundtablers for the most part offer good reasons why the Big Ten is better than is perceived. I liked this quote in particular and it think it's the very reason the Big Ten is perceived as a weak conference:
"the Big Ten will continue to face the toughest postseason match ups in the nation. And the nation will continue to frown on them."

Not even football related

USA Shocks Spain
The USA Men's Soccer Team beat the number 1 ranked team in the world, Spain, yesterday breaking Spain's 35 game unbeaten steak.

Arizona and UNI game time announced

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The Big Ten announced today the schedule for more football games this fall. The kick off time for two more Iowa home games were released. The first game of the year against Northern Iowa will start at 11:00 and will be aired on the Big Ten Network. The third game of the year against Arizona will start at 2:30 and will be a regional ABC broadcast showing on ESPN2 in some areas. A total of 7 game times have now been announced for the 2009 Iowa Football Schedule. The only remaining games not scheduled yet are vs. Arkansas State, vs. Indiana, vs. Northwester, at Ohio State, and vs. Minnesota. I would think every game besides the Ohio State game will be 11:00 starts.

Remembering Ed Thomas

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Ed Thomas was the head coach for Aplington-Parkersburg football for 34 years. He has plenty of ties to the Hawkeye Football program, the latest being Aaron Kampman. Kirk Ferentz knew Thomas well and released a statement today after learning about the coach's tragic death. I've spent all day reading stories about Ed Thomas and the impact he has had on so many lives around him. He was truly a great man and will be greatly missed. My condolences go to his family, his team, and the whole Parkersburg community.

Spotlight on: Dan Doering

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People probably know more about Dan Doering than my previous "Spotlight on" subject, Mike Daniels, but there is only 74 days left until Iowa Football kicks off against UNI and Doering is #74 and could easily be one of the starting offensive guards this fall (especially with Julian Vandervelde's uncomfirmed injury). So, I decided to dig a little deeper to find out more about the heralded 2005 recruit.

High School: Dan Doering attended Barrington High School in Barrington Illinois. As a Bronco, Doering earned award after award. In his senior year he was First Team All-American (by USA Today, Parade, and EA Sports), the Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year, and a member of the 2004 Illinois Super Team All-State (along with Jake Christensen, Tony Moeaki, and Dace Richardson). He also played in the U.S. Army-All American Bowl. His abilities earned him scholarship offers from big name schools like Oklahom, Notre Dame, and of course Iowa. He also earned 5 star ratings from both Scout and Rivals and was even named one of the nation's top 10 players by Rivals. So all these accolades led to great success in college, right?...right?

College: I'm not trying to give Doering a hard time or anything, but his play in college has not met the hype he received out of high school. Dan was drawn to Iowa in many ways. His sister attended Iowa and he is good friends with Jake Christensen who had a hand in getting many of the 2005 recruits to commit. Once at Iowa, Doering's freshman year of college he redshirted. Then as a redshirt freshman he was stuck behind the very solid Marshal Yanda, so Doering only played in clean up time in the blow out victory against Purdue. His sophomore year, 2007, was when Doering finally earned a starting spot, but not right away. Half way through the season he was still in backup duty and some complained he was not living up to his expectations. However, he became the starter at right guard by the 8th game of the year against Purdue and started the remaining games helping Iowa beat Michigan State, Northwestern, and Minnesota (I won't mention the last game of the year here). In 2008, he was expected to be a starter again, this time at left guard. However, a hand/wrist injury held him back. He missed the first 6 games of the year with the injury, but then played in 5 games as a backup. With all that said, I expect Doering to finally have a chance to prove his worth this season. Right now he looks like he will be the starter at right guard. With the supporting cast he has around him on the offensive line I expect him to have a good year that should propel him to the NFL.

Other Stuff: In addition to football, Dan Doering is a well rounded athlete. In high school he was a state qualifier in shot put and on the basketball team. He's also pretty good at golf and an avid hunter.

Who’s that with Hayden Panettiere?

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Paul Rust and Hayden Panettiere in their upcoming movie I Love You Beth Cooper.


It’s none other than Paul Rust! Okay…so you are probably wondering, who the heck is Paul Rust and what does he have to do with Iowa Football. I admit, this post is slightly (okay very) off topic, but I just felt compelled to post it and honestly there isn't much football news right now. I was watching TV last night and a commercial comes on for this new Hayden Panettiere movie, I Love You Beth Cooper. (Hey, Hayden Panettiere was in Remember the Titans, so that's kind of football related. Also, the picture on the right is from the movie is well) Well yeah, the movie looks pretty bad, but it’s based off a popular book by the same title and is about a nerdy dude who proclaims his love for the popular girl and so on and so on. What caught my eye about this movie was (no, not Hayden Panettiere) the nerdy dude…he looked so familiar. So I looked him up on IMDB and figured it out . It's Paul Rust, my crazy RA from my freshman year at Iowa in 2002 (so I associate him with the best football season I can remember).

Paul, an avid Herky the Hawk fan, attended the University of Iowa from 2000 to 2004. While attending Iowa he was a writer/performer for No Shame Theatre and a member of the rock opera band My Business Failed in Three Weeks. The underappreciated garage band I was in during highschool, Link's Final Conquest, once opened for MBF3W which probably ruined Paul's career as a musician. But he has gone on to bigger and better things and has probably long forgot about his RA days at Iowa.

So, good luck to Paul and maybe I'll catch your movie someday when it's on Starz! On Demand. And, my next post will be Iowa Football related, so don't worry.

Big Ten Network: Iowa Day 2

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This is just a reminder that the second Iowa Day on the Big Ten Network is on right now. Here is the full schedule of the Iowa TV. There are 3 football games on today that you should check out:
7:00 AM - Iowa vs. Michigan (1990)
12:00 PM - Iowa vs. LSU (2005, Capitol One Bowl)
9:00 PM - Iowa at Penn State (2002)

Commit #6 for 2010 - Austin Vier

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After attending Iowa's summer camp this week, Austin Vier from Huxley, Iowa verbally committed to the Hawkeyes. Vier becomes the second in-state commit (the first being James Morris, a linebacker from Solon) for the 2010 class. Vier is being recruited as an athlete and is projected to play either quarterback and tight end. At 6'7" he would be one of the tallest players on the team (only offensive lineman Matt Tobin would be taller at 6'8").

High School: In his junior year as a Ballard Bomber, Austin Vier was 57 of 118 (48.3%) on passes and passed for a total of 661 yards. He also threw for 6 touchdowns, but had 12 interceptions. Though those numbers aren't great, he did lead the team to a 3A Sub-state birth where they lost to Clear Lake. Vier is also on the basketball team (makes sense since he's 6'7") and averaged 10.7 points per game last year.

Statistics:
CompletionsAttemptsYardageAvg. YardageCompletion %TouchdownsInterceptionsYards Per Game
5711866111.648.3%61266.1

Kyle Calloway gets an OWI

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Early this morning Iowa OT Kyle Calloway got picked up for an OWI. Early reports are that he was riding a moped under the influence. While it may be hilarious to picture a 315 pound drunk man riding a moped, this isn't really a laughing matter (though I might have laughed on the inside a little). Calloway is probably facing a multiple game suspension if Kirk Ferentz handles it like Shaun Prater, who was arrested for an OWI early this year.

The Bad:
While Iowa's offensive line is extremely deep, there is not a lot of backup experience at the offensive tackle position. Calloway's backup is currently listed as Markus Zusevics, who has only played in 2 games in his career (Florida International and South Carolina). The other backup tackle is Riley Reiff, who is just a redshirt freshman. There is a slew of interior linemen with experience and some even have tackle experience. However if Julian Vandervelde is injured, then it may be less likely that someone would slide to the outside while Calloway is sitting on the bench.

The Not So Bad:

At least this happened in the summer and not during the Big Ten Season. The Big Ten is full of very good defensive ends this year and I would not want a very inexperienced tackle trying to protect Stanzi against a rush from Corey Wootton or Brandon Graham. Instead the backup tackles will likely gain valuable experience early in the year against the less intimidating defenses of UNI or Iowa State (not to knock UNI or Iowa State too much, but their defenses will probably not be the best defenses Iowa plays this year).

So we will just have to wait and see what Kirk Ferentz decides to do. I'd guess a 2 game suspension and that we will see Calloway return for the Arizona game.

The BTN Awards - Congrats Shonn Greene

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Okay, so the Big Ten Network Awards are about as meaningful as the Teen Choice Awards. I watched the show anyway though since the Hawkeyes were up for a handful of awards. Iowa Football was well represented with nominations for Best Finish (Penn State game), Men's Coach of the Year (Kirk Ferentz), Breakout Performance of the Year (Shonn Greene), Game of the Year (Penn State game), and Men's Team of the Year (the football team...if that wasn't obvious). Iowa's only winner was Shonn Greene. Congratulation Shonn! I'm sure this award ranks right up there with the Doak Walker Award. Anyway, here is a list of all the winners. It's hard to argue with any of the choices, but I thought the Iowa-Penn State game had a chance at the Best Finish and even Best Game (it was my favorite anyway). Here's the video of Shonn Greene accepting his award.

Put a shirt on Shonn!

Adrian Clayborn's trial pushed back

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The trial for Adrian Clayborn's charge of assualt to a taxi driver was set for Monday, June 22. It has now been delayed until next year, after the 2009 football season is over. It is looking more and more like Clayborn will be found not guilty. It was already speculated that Clayborn's inclusion on Iowa Football's leadership team was indication that the case against him was pretty flimsy. And Ferentz has stood by his player with that attitude innocent until proven guilty. So, I haven't really been worried about Clayborn not being able to play, but it is good news that he definitely won't be found guilty before the season is over. I expect Clayborn to have a great year and think he will wreak havoc on opposing offensive linemen.

A very early look wrap up

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It took me way longer than I wanted, but I finally finished previewing each team on Iowa's 2009 football schedule. Some teams you've probably heard all about already (Penn State's issues in the secondary, Ohio State's Terrell Pryor, etc...) but you probably don't know much about the Arkansas State Red Wolves or even Northern Iowa or Arizona. So here's links to all the "a very early look at" previews. I'll do more in depth looks at all these teams the week before we play them and try to post about any really big news before then.

Northern Iowa
Iowa State
Arizona
Penn State
Arkansas State
Michigan
Wisconsin
Michigan State
Indiana
Northwestern
Ohio State
Minnesota

Kinnick Stadium no longer in the hunt to host World Cup

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The USA Bid Committee put out the list of the final 37 possible host cities for the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup today. Iowa City and Kinnick Stadium had previous been on the list but are longer in the running. It would have been awesome to have the World Cup come to Iowa City, but only 12-18 stadiums make the final cut, so it was unlikely Kinnick would have been chosen. In 1994, when the United State last hosted the World Cup, the final stadiums chosen were the Rose Bowl, the Pontiac Silverdome, Stanford Stadium, Giants Stadium, the Citrus Bowl, Soldier Field, the Cotton Bowl, Foxboro Stadium, and RFK Stadium. While Kinnick is larger than most of these stadiums, Iowa City probably isn't large enough to handle the droves of fans that would come. It would also be pretty strange to see soccer being played on Kinnick's new FieldTurf, but probably really good advertising for the university.

O-line news - James Ferentz and Julian Vandervelde

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At a press conference on Tuesday Kirk Ferentz mentioned 2 things that could have major implications along the offensive line for the upcoming 2009 football season. First, the coach's son James Ferentz has been reinstated on the team and will play this fall. And second, left guard/right guard/center (who really knows) Julian Vandervelde is maybe, possibly, sort of injured and is maybe, possibly, sort of needing surgery. Ferentz dodged the question on Vandervelde for now, so we'll just have to wait and see. I'm hoping no news means good news, but it's hard to say. I mean, getting your wisdom teeth out is considered a surgery so it could be something very minor.

I hate to see anyone injured, especially during the summer, but if Vandervelde can't play this fall, at least there are some very serviceable guys behind him at guard. Dace Richardson, Dan Doering, Andy Kuempel are all very capable at guard and there are even some more guys that could step in. More intriguing is the possibility that James Ferentz could be the starting center. Right now Rafael Eubanks is listed as the starter at center, but certainly does not have that spotted locked down. Vandervelde was actually also being tried at center some in the spring and Josh Koeppel has been pushing for time as well. However, Ferentz has some definite advantages with his dad being a very good offensive line coach and he's said to be even better than his brother Brian, who went on to have a pretty good career. Before alcohol related arrest #2, I thought Ferentz would be the starter this year, but now after missing most of spring practice, I'm leaning towards 2nd string now.

So, if Vandevelde is out, then I'm seeing the offensive line looking like this now:
LT - Bryan Bulaga, LG - Dace Richardson, C - Rafael Eubanks, RG - Dan Doering, RT - Kyle Calloway

That is still a very good line and I still have hopes that Vandervelde can squeeze in there somewhere if he's healthy.

In a very related story, James' drinking buddies Zach Derby and Tyler Christensen were also reinstated.

Spolight on: Mike Daniels

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When looking at the current list of starters in the spring prospectus and there as one name that really stuck out at me as an unknown: Mike Daniels. I really didn't know anything about him other than the fact that I often mix him up with fellow defensive lineman Lebron Daniel. So I thought I'd take the time to find out who he is. Daniels will see the field a lot this fall, even if his does end up getting beat for the starting spot by Cody Hundertmark, who's coming back from a shoulder injury, or a newcomer like Steve Bigach, as the hole at defensive tackle left when Mitch King and Matt Kroul graduated will likely be filled by a rotation of players.

So, who is Mike Daniels…has he even played before? Yeah, good question. I don't remember hearing his name at all last year, but I found that he did contribute some as a redshirt freshman. He played in 7 games and recorded 6 tackles including 1 sack against Florida International. Daniels comes from the state of New Jersey. He attended Highland Regional High School in Blackwood (check out the school's website and its hilarious looking mascot Scotty the Tartan). While in high school he was name First Team All-Tri-County as a senior and played in the New York-New Jersey All State Classic scoring a touchdown. He was also a 3-time letterman on the wrestling team (Iowa's staff likes those wrestlers - they just offered another one). His football stats in high school were very impressive. He had a total of 222 tackles, 27 sacks (12 sacks in his senior year), and on offense ran for over 2000 yards and had 25 touchdowns. Here are some pictures of him playing in high school (look for #42).

Iowa was a little late in offering Daniels and he was planning on staying out east. He was looking at schools like Penn State, Rutgers, Temple, and Pittsburgh, but after seeing Daniels' highlight video Iowa was quick to offer. And from there, Daniels was quick to sign on. Daniels said when interview by the Courier-Post:
"When I heard from Iowa, it just threw me off the wall. I'm ready to go out there and fight for a spot, and help take them to a national championship. It's so exciting. Sometimes, when people ask me about it, I'm at a loss for words. I just can't wait to get there."

I think that's a great quote and I think it's pretty obvious Daniels is glad to be a Hawkeye. Hopefully all the players share that attitude and maybe we will win a national championship someday.

Daniels is a little undersized at defensive tackle, thouh Iowa has been using smaller guys there lately. He is listed at 6'1", 267 lbs, which is smaller than both defensive ends (Clayborn is listed at 282 and Ballard at 285), but still bigger than his fellow starter at tackle, Karl Klug who is only 258. Though he lacks some in weight, he's strong and quick. In high school he was a state qualifier in both shot put and discus and placed 4th and 7th respectively. (Maybe Daniels will be friend with incoming freshman Drew Clark.)

Daniels will have a good supporting cast around him on the defensive line with Klug, Ballard, and Clayborn, and he will have great linebackers behind him. I expect him to fit right in. He sounds like a great guy for Iowa and I'm excited to see him play this fall to see what he can do.

Shonn Greene officially signs with the Jets

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Today, the Jets signed former Hawkeye Shonn Greene to a four-year deal. The Doak Walker Award winner's contract includes a $905,000 signing bonus (not too shabby, though Peyton Manning's signing bonus a few years ago was a ridiculous $3.5 million!). Greene was drafted by the Jets as the first pick in the 3rd round of this year's NFL Draft and was New Jersey's 2nd overall pick. The first was USC's QB Mark Sanchez was drafted in the 1st round and has also signed a deal with the Jets.

Anyway, it's great to see Shonn Greene get signed on and a big congratulations to him. I hope he makes a positive impact on the Jets this year and in the future.

A very early look at Minnesota

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The Minnesota Golden Gophers are Iowa's last opponent of the year as usual. While the Hawkeyes look to repeat last year's 55-0 beatdown, the Gophers are doing their best to forget it even happened. (I just re-watched that game on the BTN over the weekend…what a great game. Here's a link to the highlights.) Minnesota will be returning almost its entire team, but has a lot of new faces on the coaching staff as both the offensive and defensive coordinators resigned after last year. On offense, Jedd Fisch will be installing a more balanced pro-style offense opposed to the pass-heavy spread from 2008. On defense, Kevin Cosgrove and Ronnie Lee are co-defensive coordinators and don't plan on changing much schematically. So it will be especially interesting to see how all of the returning players fit into the new offensive scheme.

Offense: Key Returning Players
Basically everyone is back as 10 starters return. QB Adam Weber was the team's leader in 2008 and threw for 2761 yards ad 15 touchdowns. His favorite receiver, All-Big Ten receiver Eric Decker also returns after his junior season included 84 catches for 1074 yards. The other 2 starting receivers are also back, Ben Kuznia and Brandon Green. At runningback, DeLeon Eskridge returns. Though Eskridge led the team with 678 rushing yards, he will need to do much better than his 3.7 yards per carry average if the Gophers are going to succeed with a more run-heavy offense. That or he will likely be replaced by Duane Bennett, who was the starter last year until a season-ending knee injury.

Offense: Key Losses
The one guy not returning on offense is TE Jack Simmons. Simmons was the Gophers second leading receiver with 36 receptions for 331 yards.

Defense: Key Returning Players
Like the offense, basically everyone is back on defense. The top two leading tacklers, LB Lee Campbell and FS Kyle Theret both return. Cornerbacks Traye Simmons and Marcus Sherels were both good last year combining for 25 pass breakups. On the line, DT Garrett Brown returns after having a strong junior year in 2008 with 34 tackles (7 for loss).

Defense: Key Losses
The Gopher defense only loses 3 starters (like Iowa) though all 3 will really be missed. Willie VanDeSteeg was a very good defensive end. In 2008 he racked up 10.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss which earned him All-Big Ten honors from the media. Also gone is LB Deon Hightower. Hightower was a 3 year stater (30 total starts) and was 4th on the team with 67 tackles last year. The final starter leaving is SS Tramaine Brock. Brock was 3rd on the team with 73 tackles and was expected to be a large contributor in 2009 but left school after having academic issues.

BTN Team Breakdown: http://www.bigten.org/auto_pdf/p_hotos/s_chools/big10/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/minn
ESPN Spring Wrap: http://myespn.go.com/blogs/bigten/0-3-361/Minnesota-spring-wrap.html

College Football Live - Videos

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College Football Live on ESPN highlighted the state of Iowa today. They talked about the best player, coach, game, and team for the state and no surprise it was all The University of Iowa. Best Player = Nile Kinnick, Best Coach = Hayden Fry, Best Game = 1985 Iowa vs. Michigan, Best Team = 1958 Iowa Hawkeyes (8-1-1, finished #2). No real arguments here from me. Here's the video:

Kirk Ferentz was also featured and had a few minutes to talk Iowa Football and about football throughout the state. He was is usual self, very positive, kind of funny, and as always a class act. Here's that video:


I didn't actually get to see the rest of the piece on Iowa, but I guess there was a compilation of some of the best players from the state. So if anyone out there (who doesn't work or something) got a chance to see it, let me know what you thought.

College Football Live - Iowa Day

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Today on College Football Live Iowa (as a state) will be featured. As a special guest, Iowa Football coach Kirk Ferentz will be making an appearance. Check it out today at 2:30 on ESPN or catch a replay at 4:00 on ESPN 2.

Another quick note...there are more pictures up on hawkeyesports.com. Check out the new pictures of the FieldTurf in Kinnick Stadium. At the end of the gallery there are also a couple pictures of the new freshmen who have come to Iowa City for summer workouts.

Iowa day on the Big Ten Network

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This is just a reminder that Iowa Day on the Big Ten Network is today! It's 24 hours of Iowa programming and includes some of the best moments in Iowa sport history. Here is the full Iowa Day Schedule. There are 3 football games on (too bad that if you work or sleep it'll be hard to catch these):

7:00 AM - Iowa vs. Purdue (2002)
9:00 PM - Iowa vs. Penn State (2008)
4:00 AM Thursday - Iowa vs. Michigan (1990)

A very early look at Ohio State

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The Ohio State Buckeyes are coming off back-to-back-to-back-to-back Big Ten Championship (co-champs in 2005 and 2008). In 2008 the Buckeyes finished 10-3, sharing the Big Ten Championship with Penn State. Ohio State will be looking to repeat the success of 2008 and hopes to do better with National Title hopes. However, this year the schedule may be slightly more difficult than 2008 with Penn State and Michigan on the road and wedge between those two Iowa on November 14th. However, USC will be at home this year of the Buckeyes and they miss Michigan State.

Offense: Key Returning Players
Ohio State only returns 5 starters on offense. We all know about Terrelle Pryor. As a true freshman has passed for over 1300 yards and ran for 631 more which culminated in 18 total touchdowns (12 passing, 6 rushing). He will be the key to the Buckeye offensive success this year. Also returning is TE Jake Ballard, a 2 year starter, and the offensive line has 3 starters returning with Jim Cordle, Bryant Browning, and Mike Brewster.

Offense: Key Losses
The Buckeyes lose their top rusher and top 2 receivers from 2008. Chris “Beenie” Wells (another who we all know) left for the NFL after rushing for nearly 1200 yards. Wide receivers Brian Robiskie and Brian Hartline are both gone after leading the team in receiving for 2 seasons. Both were drafted and leave Pryor with younger targets this fall.

Defense: Key Returning Players
Most of Ohio State's defense is coming back in 2009 with 7 starters returning. Safety Kurt Coleman is the leading returning tackler with 78. He also led the team interceptions last year. Join him as the other safety is Anderson Russell who happens to be the 2nd leading returning tackler. There is also good experience coming back on the defensive line. DE Thaddeus Gibson led the Buckeye with 5 sacks last year is back along side DT Doug Worthington and DE Cameron Heyward.

Defense: Key Losses
The main losses on Ohio State's defense come at the linebacker position. The top two tacklers on the two last year, James Laurinaitis and Marcus Freeman are both gone. The 2 of them combined for 214 tackles last year. James Laurinaitis is not a player you can replace. He won award after award and was a 3-time All American.

Spring Media Guide: http://www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=87743&SPID=10408&DB_OEM_ID=17300&ATCLID=1435686
ESPN Spring Wrap: http://myespn.go.com/blogs/bigten/0-3-359/Ohio-State-spring-wrap.html

Catching Up - Kinnick news, recruiting, and more

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It's been a few days since I've posted, so I thought I'd catch up on some of the recent events. In case you don't check out the official Iowa Football site at hawkeyesports.com you should check out the photos added on Monday. The photo gallery has some great shots of the new field in Kinnick Stadium. It looks like it is basically done. They've cut in all the hashes and the yard line numbers and its looks like sand has gone down. I'm not sure about those little rubbery bits though. Anyway, it looks great and I'll admit, much better than I was expecting. I was a proponent of natural grass, but it's hard to argue when the field looks so good.

I don't follow recruiting too closely, and until this year I've never really followed it at all. But with the newest addition to the 2010 class, DE Louis Trinca-Pasat, I'm getting pretty excited about how it is shaping up. Already 5 players have verbally committed, all on defense, all in the front 7. There have been 3 linebackers: Jim Poggi, James Morris (an Iowa boy), and Austin Gray. The final player rounding out the group is Poggi's teammate DT Anthony Ferguson. These are definitely positions we needed to recruit as this year's team is full of seniors and juniors on defense. Anyway, for more information check out Scout or Rivals...whichever you like better.

I said "and more" in the title, but I don't really have anything else. I'm just getting really excited for football. The NBA and NHL finals just don't do it for me. Anyway, only 88 more days for those of you counting!

A case for Adrian Clayborn

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Adam Rittenberg on ESPN.com finished off his rankings of the top 30 players in the Big Ten today. Arrelious Benn topped the list. I thought it was a pretty good list and pretty fair to the Hawkeyes. Four Hawkeyes made the list: #23 Ricky Stanzi, #20 Pat Angerer, #15 Amari Spievey, and #5 Bryan Bulaga. I was a little surprised the Stanzi made the list, though I do believe he will have a very good year. A bigger surprise to me is the omission of Adrian Clayborn, especially since 6 other defensive ends made the list. So there are at least 6 other DEs in the Big Ten better than Clayborn...I don't think so.

Sure Clayborn will not have the stats as some of the others. He's not going to have double digit sacks or anything. He only had 2 sacks last year, but was second on the team in tackles for loss with 8. He is however very versatile and will be able to shift inside and play tackle when needed as Iowa lost 2 four-year starters in King and Kroul at tackle. He will also be very good in run support, Iowa's defense number 1 priority. And perhaps most importantly, he will cause the opposing offense to double team him almost every down. I love the idea of having Clayborn shift inside and draw a double team on third down freeing Binns to go one-on-one on the outside. By the end of the year, I think you'll see Clayborn getting a lot more respect.

Iowa - Wisconsin game time announced

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The Big Ten announced today the game time for the Iowa - Wisconsin game. The game is Wisconsin's homecoming and will be played at 11:00 AM on October 17th. The TV information has not been released for this game yet, but like any other game will likely be on the Big Ten Network, ESPN, or ABC. This is the second announced game time this week, the Iowa - Iowa State game will also have an 11 o'clock start. In addition to these 2 early starts, the start time for the games @Penn State, vs. Michigan, and @Michigan State have already been announced and will be played at night. Here is Iowa's 2009 schedule with all the announced game times.

Statistics for returnees in the Big Ten

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You’ve probably seen the number of returning starters for all of the Big Ten teams (Iowa returns 6 on offense and 8 on defense by the way) but there are other players returning that have seen playing time and have racked up statistics. So instead of just looking at who is coming back…I decided to take a look at the statistics coming back (if that even makes sense).

Here’s what I did…I looked at Total Offense, All-Purpose Yards, Total Points, and Total Tackles for each Big Ten team in 2008, then found the percentage of each of those statistics that were made by players coming back in 2009. I did see that Phil Steele beat me to the punch (though I started doing this 2 weeks ago and I just took me a long time so I’m not copying him) on the number of tackles and yards. My number are a little different than him, but I don’t know exactly what his sources were. I used each teams’ official athletics site and looked at the statistics and the roster. I’m also not sure exactly what he was looking at for yards. I did both Total Offense and All-Purpose Yards. Total Offense give credit to the QB for passing yards, while All-Purpose Yards give credit to the receiver. So, a team like Penn State, that returns its starting QB but loses most of its receivers looks great in returning Total Offense, but pretty bad in returning All-Purpose Yards.

Total Offense:
Total Offense is mainly impacted by the starting quarterback and the starting running back. Teams that lost both (Michigan State, Northwestern, and Purdue) obviously look pretty back in this department, while teams that return both (Illinois, Minnesota, and Penn State) look great. Iowa is in the middle of the pack as losing Shonn Greene hurt, but Stanzi and Hampton do bring back a large chunk of Total Offense.

Team% Returning
Illinois100%
Minnesota99%
Penn State86%
Michigan63%
Wisconsin58%
Ohio State56%
Iowa52%
Indiana46%
Northwestern18%
Michigan State13%
Purdue5%


All-Purpose Yards:
All-Purpose Yards mostly reflects the receivers and the running back, but also has an interesting component for the returners (both on special teams and after a turnover). Illinois and Minnesota both have a slew of receivers returning, while Purdue loses just about everyone. Iowa is pretty low in this category with Greene having the most All-Purpose Yards on the team. The loss of Brodell and Myers also had a large impact.

Team% Returning
Minnesota93%
Illinois91%
Wisconsin75%
Michigan73%
Penn State58%
Michigan State53%
Ohio State51%
Indiana50%
Iowa48%
Northwestern37%
Purdue26%


Total Points:
Total Points is kind of interesting and really emphasizes a good placekicker. Like All-Purpose yards, QBs don’t matter much here unless they ran it in for a touchdown. Illinois and Minnesota are near the top again with their running backs and receivers returning, while Northwestern and Purdue are again near the bottom having to rebuild their offense. Iowa is in the middle with the loss of Greene and his 20 TDs, but Hampton had 7 TDs of his own and both Mossbrucker and Murray are back.

Team% Returning
Illinois93%
Wisconsin75%
Minnesota71%
Penn State 69%
Michigan59%
Michigan State55%
Iowa54%
Indiana44%
Ohio State40%
Purdue36%
Northwestern21%


Total Tackles:
Total tackles includes special team tackles and tackles after a turnover (did you know Shonn Greene had 1 tackle in additional to all his rushing yards?), but mostly it’s the linebackers that matter most in this category. The Big Ten is more balanced here with all the teams coming in between 52% - 72% (while Total Offense’s range was 5% - 100%). At the bottom are Illinois, who has the most to replace most of its front 7 and its best cornerback, and Penn State, who must replace its entire secondary. Iowa leads the way with 5 of the 6 leading tacklers on the team returning and Michigan State (who also returns 8 starters on defense) is in second.

Team% Returning
Iowa77%
Michigan State75%
Minnesota74%
Indiana70%
Northwestern68%
Purdue68%
Wisconsin60%
Ohio State59%
Michigan57%
Penn State56%
Illinois52%



Notes:
Looking at the offensive stats, it’s pretty obvious Illinois and Minnesota return a lot. Illinois offense could be scary (maybe good that Iowa doesn’t have to play them) as they were already the 3rd highest scoring team in the Big Ten and 2nd in total yards. Minnesota is not quite so scary having one of the worst offenses in the Big Ten. On the defensive side, Iowa is sitting pretty. Not only do they return the most in term of tackles and tied for the most in starters, the team last year was already the best defense in the Big Ten. Ohio State and Penn State who had the 2nd and 3rd best scoring defenses respectively in 2008 do not return nearly as much as Iowa. And Michigan State, who does return a lot defensively did not have one of the better defenses last year.

Iowa - Iowa State game time announced

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The annual Hawkeye-Cyclone rivalry game will be played at 11:00 AM on September 12 and will be televised on Fox Sports Net. This is the 4th game time announced for Iowa's 2009 schedule. The other 3, Michigan, @PSU, and @MSU will all be played in prime time. If I had to guess...most of the remaining games will be 11:00 kickoffs like the ISU game with the possibility of Arizona, Wisconsin, and OSU being in the afternoon (2:30 kickoffs).
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