Coming back too Arizona they have a surprisingly similar O to ISU. A very heavy and somewhat immobile O-line (I wathced them and they are very "thick" ) with small quick backs and a short passing game that isn't very effective down the field. Too their credit they are much quicker on D, but also fairly light, and as was said still pretty green.
The key for us as always is, will we be ready? So far so good.
A couple quick things before I pack it in for another week. I sweated this ISU game, but it played out how I "thought" it could, and as was said above Zona has a similar offense. To me the spread is already passé. You can not toss 3 & 5 yard dumps down the field all day long versus teams like Iowa. Teams that can run, hit and cover. The key is having Kellen Lewis, Antwan Randle El, Troy smith, Vince Young as your QB.
Guys who are electric athletes who are also very efficient passing QB.s Denard Robinson will not prove too be that when he plays a decent defense. Don't get me wrong he is fun to watch and he'll win them some games, but he is too short to throw those sidearm passes very effectively vs the Iowa's & OSU's of the world. They'll eventually need more than him. I watched the highlights' of that ND game. Holy out of position batman. Not too mention they are still quite limited athletically on that side of the ball.
Yes that leadership thing is paramount. At my place of business as well. It is easy to say now, but I honestly thought we got off track clear back in 2005! Ironically enough that's when I first began to be anti-message board. I'm typically pretty Pro-KF and encourage all to be far-sighted & fair about their evaluations & critiques. With that said I was very disgusted by those UM & NW losses that year. That was a disappointing season in my mind. That leaped frogged (only worse) to 2006 and 2007 was the result off those attitude, off-field/chemistry related defections. This team does seem to be a lot stronger as a whole and the entirety of the program really.
Here is too a good season. I'll check in a little as the season goes.
C-ya and Go Hawks!
Something else of note. Gerry Dinardo said on BTN, everyone plays better when nothing is expected of them and he is dead on. Its the nature of the beast. To consistently be the best you have to learn to play with expectations. Honestly Iowa should have been higher thought of coming in last year, but 2006 & 2007 still lingered in peoples minds. Honestly as I've mentioned before if Texas, OU, USC etc, returned most all of their D, along with experienced depth. All their wide outs and Rbers and a QB who is 18-4 they'd all be unanimous number 1's!! So in all actuality we are likely still under ranked. Besides the fact that many a team has failed to live up to expectation and many have. Stop and look at Kansas, Syracuse, Arizona, (Iowa and Mizzou to a lesser degree). If you followed college b-ball like I used to you'll note those teams had a reputation for flaming out early in the tournament in any given year. Buuuttt they also had the capability of turning it on and winning it all. Sometimes it just is what it is. Luck of the draw, the bouncing ball and making the most of your opportunities have more to do with our successes than anything. Life is very similar.
I've been looking for reasons why this season is different. One thing I've realized about human nature is we all have history that we reflect back on to gauge our future and honestly one is independent of the other. History is of course important, if for no other season than to do things different or better. But past mistakes don't guarantee future failures or vice versa.
Already in Kirk's tenure we have reversed a lot of trends. We have won games while losing in the fist half and lost games we were winning. At one time we never lost while leading in the 4th quarter and then that went away. Last year however we proved we can go into the 4th quarter losing and still win. At times we couldn't win a close game and at times we couldn't lose.
The one constant has been even in our difficult seasons we have mostly been in the game always. If you look back over the last 10 years there have been very, very few 10 point plus losses. With an experienced, deep, talented roster I like our chances in close games.
One other thing, man does it seem like a lot of top shelf teams have had some social unrest and major injuries already this year. Is it just me or is it more outlandish than normal? Maybe its just more reported I don't know?!
One thing I keep thinking about is how lucky Iowa is that they don't play Illinois or Purdue this year. I don't necessarily think they'll be great, but they do have some athletes and they are exactly the kind of teams that have snuck up and beat very good Iowa teams in the past especially PU, I think they'll upset some people. Illinois for what its worth sounds like they are having a tough camp injury wise.
I'm really intrigued by ISU, I honestly think they'll take a big step back this year, starting with Northern Illinois. I'm glad we don't have to play the Huskies.
I’ve sworn of message board reading for the season. Current company excluded of course…LOL. But I have to assume if it’s not a break Gettis will be able to play. An ankle sprain on an O-linemen isn’t quite as devastating as it would be on say a skill player or a Lber/DE. Heavy tape and I’d think he could still play at a pretty decent level. As far as that goes, continuity is my biggest concern there as I think we have a couple other guys who can play OG at a high level. The meshing is the key.
Prater I have to think is cautionary, but all the same I think we have as many as 5-DB’s that are as good as most CB’s we have had in the past. I even think B J Lowery could play if needed, he reminds me of Hyde a ton.
One last thing I've been thinking (can u tell I'm over thinking this season...LOL) I really don't care if Iowa wins the NC. Don't get me wrong it would be excellent, and I think good for college football. But it is my hope and belief that Iowa is at the point where they really shouldn't win less than 9 games hardly ever. And I think 10-plus is a realistic goal every year. From my vantage point, their amount of NFL alumni, staff continuity and recruiting evaluation suggests that should be the norm. Keep in mind Miami and FSU weren't what they are now until the early 80's and late 80's for FSU. Bobby Bowden in particular still struggled mightily to win a NC until what 1999?!
My worry isn't that we miss our NC shot, but that we drop the ball and lose 4 or 5 games. This is a 10 plus win team and program really. As USC can attest, past that you really need to get pretty lucky to when all of them. I just want Iowa to be in that club that pretty much always wins 9 or 10 and people remember. I think we are close, but it takes more than just talent, it takes an attitude, and some fear on the part of other teams.
Here is something else that is only now occurring to me. Way too much has been made of Stanzi’s INT’s. The problem is 4 were pick-6’s and that “is” bad for sure. But he threw 5 INT’s vs IU alone, in a game we won?!?! In the other 10 games he threw 10. Not great but certainly not heinous. They certainly weren’t game changers, obviously. The point being there were a lot of good QB’s who threw 13, 14 or 15 INT’s. Now it’s worth being said, many threw the ball more than we do, but still.
In all honesty, with what Iowa is returning you’d have thought we could have been ranked higher. Now I’m not saying they should have been, but seriously, If our name was USC or OU and we returned exactly what we do, where do we get ranked?