Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Anyone Notice the Stats of the VMI Men's Basketball Team?

(photo courtesy of

I stumbled upon some of their stats...crazy ass stats... out of 325 D-I teams (as of Dec 17, 2006)

#1 in the nation in scoring: 102 per game
#1 in the nation 3 pt made: 15 per game
#1 in the nation in steals: 16 per game (four guys in the Top 100 in the nation)
#2 in the nation in assists: 21 per game


#231 in the nation 3 pt %: 32%
#325 in the nation def. scoring: 95 per game
#325 in the nation def. FG %: 53%
#310 in the nation reb. margin: - 8 per game
#307 in the nation fouls: 23 per game

That's some insane stuff there... I'll have to see if any of their games are on ESPN Fullcourt.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Thoughts After the Drake - Iowa Game

- Iowa's help defense is as bad as I can remember. It was a staple last year, this year it's a crutch. Which is sad because Looby should be excelling in help D.

- The Hawkeye bigs are a larger liability that I had first anticipated.

- Iowa only had three people attempt FTs. Three. Three guys made it to the line. They attempted less than they made. That's normally the opposite for an Alford team; not this year.

- Drake is a hell of a lot better than I thought they were. This is the best Drake team that I can recall in the past few decades. Very athletic and basketball smart, although Nick Grant is a bit cocky for his abilities... a bit of Shannon Brown in him, but for the wrong reasons.

- I didn't realize the rebounding discrepancy until the stat showed up. That was horrible.

- Keita's elbow was cheap.

- Haluska had a good first 14 minutes of the game, then Davis went to the box and one. Game over. Haluska started to force and was very impatient, made a lot of dumb plays the rest of the game. He is not a slasher/ dribble penetrator. He's a shooter, plain and simple. Haluska's D was atrocious, as well.

- Is there a person on the Iowa team that might think about stopping dribble penetration? Just a thought. We might want to hit that up sometime and work on it.

- Our bigs are worst than I thought (oh wait, I mentioned that already).

- Not as bad of a game as I thought it was going to be after I had read comments on some of the message boards. Drake was fired up, crowd was awesome. Drake went balls out, Iowa did occasionally (but not nearly enough). No loose ball hustles, lazy passes, and flat-footedness on the d end by the Hawks.

- Freeman lead the team in assists... with 3... 3 friggin assists. Where's Horner when you need him?

- Gorney took 1 shot all night. Looby took 1 shot all night. Tate didn't take a shot. Angle took 2 shots all night. 4 shots from 4 of our bigs. Doesn't take a statistician to realize that's not going to win many games.

- Iowa is very good at handling the press, but they are horrible at finishing after breaking the press. That is frustrating.

- Iowa STILL cannot get back on D in transition. I don't understand this one. Not hard to do, ESPECIALLY if you aren't crashing the boards.

- Drake shot very well. They had the touch even with a defender in their faces.

- I'll say it again, I was dead wrong on JR Angle. He is a bright spot on the team for sure. I love his D, and I think he needs to get more involved on the O end.

- We really could use a healthy Mike Henderson.

- Tyler Smith should be busting out soon. He looks like he wants to take over, but just doesn't do it. We will not win many games if we have to rely on Haluska game in and game out. Iowa can win without Adam's game, they just need to play that way. Iowa has done it earlier in the year when Haluska played poorly; they need that anytime Haluska has a bad game. They have the guys to do, they just need to do it. I'll put that one on the coach. Alford needs to let Haluska know that when he is off, to let the rest of the team pick it up, otherwise he just forces it and it's a no win situation.

- Gorney: Time to put up. Get tough. Punch somebody. Spit in someone's face. Do something mean. Take a lesson from Cyrus and get aggressive. Anything. Show me anything. Please.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Iowa Basketball: Predicting the Rest of the Season


5 games left on the non-conf slate to finish out 2006. 4 of 5 at home.

Iowa St
at Drake
Georgia St
Tex South

Hawks should be able to ride a 5 game win streak into the BT schedule.

9-5 (0-0)


16 games, 8 home, 8 away. tOSU, Michigan, NW, Purdue - only play once. No @ NW this year.

Mich St - W
at Illinois - L
Minnesota - W
at Indiana - L
at Ohio St - L
Penn State - W
Wisconsin - L
at Michigan - W
Indiana - W
at Minnesota - W
at Wisconsin - L
N'western - W
at Mich St - L
Purdue - W
at Penn State - W
Illinois - L

I see the games home vs. MSU, at Indiana, home vs. Illinois, and at Michigan as going either way though.

18-12 (9-7 Conf.) plus Big Ten Tourney (1-1 maybe 2-1)


19-13 on the year.

Problem is I don't see enough quality wins in a down conference to get Iowa to the dance right now. I still think Iowa is a bubble team, but I don't know if they'll have enough. My preseason prediction of Iowa getting into the dance isn't looking good (esp. after throwing away a tremendous chance at a quality win at home vs. UNI).

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Iowa - Alamo Bowl; Minnesota - Toilet Bowl

As I stated previously in my blog, Iowa would get a better bowl than Minnesota this year. It has just been reported that Iowa has accepted an invite to the Alamo Bowl; Gophers get the last bowl offered to the Big Ten, the bowl - USA Today Article


1. Ohio State - National Championship - $14-$17 million
2. Michigan - National Championship/Rose Bowl - $14.998 million
3. Wisconsin - Capital One Bowl - $5.312 million
4. Penn State - Outback Bowl - $2.85 million
5. Iowa - Alamo Bowl - $1.65 million
6. Purdue - Champs Sports Bowl - $862,000
7. Minnesota - Bowl - $750,000

Alamo Bowl - Not too bad for the 9th place team in the Big Ten, and loser of 5 out of the last 6 games.

Congrats on the Toilet Bowl, Gophers. Maybe next season some of your fans will show up to the games and then you might be able to get more $$$ from bowl games. The University of Iowa will receive over twice the amount of money the U of M will, all thanks to its fan because clearly the Iowa Football team itself isn't worthy of it. Sure, the Big Ten has revenue sharing, but it's nice to see Iowa bring a bigger check home than Minnesota, esp. after what I have witnessed from Minnesota fans.

Iowa is lucky they have been selected to play in this bowl, they sure don't deserve it. Look, I am not happy about seeing Iowa in the Alamo Bowl. I'm not trying to rub anything into the University of Minnesota. I am just trying to show what kind of effect a passionate fanbase can have the outcome of a season. This was the perfect example. Should Iowa be going to the Alamo Bowl? Absolutely not; but they are. And there is a reason for that.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Minnesota Gopher Fans: Absolutely Pathetic at Best

Living in Gopher country the past few years, I have witnessed their apathy first hand. Six games into the football season, they could care less about their team. Early January, they stop watching Gopher basketball. They have one of the elite wrestling programs in the entire nation, yet you wouldn’t know it by the support their squad receives. The University itself even gave an extension to their football coach who thrives in mediocrity. Glen Mason was even quoted earlier in the year claiming that he was still in the process of rebuilding the Gopher program, 10 years after taking command of the football team.

The Gopher vs. Hawkeye game on Saturday (11/18/06) just about made me throw up from the point of view of college football fan. Here is a team in Minnesota who is finally playing good football, getting wins on the road, and has a chance to become bowl-eligible with a win over their arch-rival and slumping Hawkeyes from the University of Iowa. You'd think that the rivalry in itself would promote a good turnout for the supporters of the Maroon and Gold, but not so.

Start of the game, there are THOUSANDS of empty seats in the lower level where Gopher "patrons" normally sit. The SE corner seats of the upper deck of the dome didn't even get sold! A Gopher/Hawkeye game and the dome can't even sell it out!

The game is underway and it's time for a pivotal stop for the Gophers, "GET LOUD", pleads the scoreboard as loud music pumps into the dome. The roar (or lack there of) wasn't felt by a single person playing or watching the game. Pathetic. The Iowa faithful, cheering for the most disappointing Iowa team in this millennium was at least twice as loud and once again took over the dome... ON A DOWN YEAR FOR THEIR PROGRAM. What a sad state of affairs this Gopher fan base has become!

As the game progressed and Iowa became the eventual loser, you'd think the sheer joy of Gopher fans FINALLY getting Floyd back, FINALLY having a "One Up" on the Hawk fans would have been enough for them to cheer about. Not so. As the game clock expired and the elated Gopher football team (congrats to them on a terrifically played game, by the way) rushed the disappointed Iowa sidelines to claim their reward, I saw the fire and excitement in the Minnesota players and coaches. It radiated; they were on Cloud Nine. They had done it; they have finally beaten the Hawkeyes. Time to celebrate with all the fa... oh wait... where are they? Where are the fans? Oh, that's right. The majority of the little Gopher fans that had shown up to the game had made their way to the exits before the 4th quarter was even over.

As the Gopher football team paraded their newly acquired trophy around the Metrodome, the apathy continued to spew from the Gopher fan base. The 100th game in this timeless rivalry had been won by the Minnesota Golden Gophers and no one was around to help celebrate. I sat in my seat amazed, not because I had just witnessed one of the poorest Iowa football seasons in recent memory come to a close, but the fact that a Minnesota team that had put so much energy and heart into a win wasn’t able to share their joy with their fans.

Because of those events, even in losing, I was proud to be a Hawk Fan. Hawkeyes will stick by their team through thick and thin, and it has been extremely anorexic this year. Iowa and Minnesota were disappointing last year, yet after Iowa retained Floyd for the fifth straight year the field was full of Iowa fans showing their support. I have witnessed a few non-apathetic Gopher fans, though. Some have taken the lead and started up “Fire Glen Mason” websites and blogs (, while I personally witnessed one gentleman selling “Fire Mason” t-shirts for $10 following the Gopher victory over Iowa.

Iowa finished the season 6-6 (2-6), losing 5 out of their last six games, and finished 9th in the Big Ten. Minnesota finished the season 6-6 (3-5), winning 4 out of their last 5 (as well as 3 in a row), and finished 6th in the Big Ten. The Big Ten has 7 bowl eligible teams, and you can bet that Iowa will receive a better bowl bid than Minnesota. Why? All you need to do is look at the stands following the last game of the season.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

IOWA vs. THE CITADEL: Post Game Report

Photo courtesy of

Pretty impressive game all things considered for the Hawks.

Freeman played an an excellent game at the point. Alford is getting exactly what he wants out of that position. Very nice passing all night long, needs to work on the oops a bit more.

Haluska stroked it well, but he HAS to find his intermediate and close range games or he will not succeed this year.

Pleasantly surprised with our bigs - they didn't have much competition down low tonight, but I think Looby can be an EH type of defender. He is very good on weakside defense. Gorney will be serviceable, his feet are much quicker this year. Seth needs to learn how to finish down low. No more layups or 2 ft jumper, stuff the rock down! Also Gorney was too jumpy on the D end. Tate has a sweet 10 ft jay, and he is aggressive down low. Tate's D is very fundamentally strong. Very happy with what I saw out of the 4 and 5 spots tonight.

Johnson looks like he has a lot of athleticism, but is a bit out of control on the defensive side of the ball. Good looking jumper.

Disappointed with Smith, but he had some butterflies. Too many reaches and dumb fouls. He has athleticism, that's for sure, though. Good things will come from him.

Iowa had trouble finishing tonight, they missed a few lobs, missed a few bunnies, and just did not finish tremendously well.

Wessels will be a much needed addition to the rotation. He will be absolutely serviceable. Good with the rock, and plays smart on both ends.

We won't see much of Angle this year.

Looks like Crawford will likely burn his redshirt this year, as I figured Iowa would have to do.

This team will benefit greatly with the addition of Henderson back into the lineup.

Good game overall for the first game. The team looked smooth on the offensive side of the ball, and played terrific D. Iowa's season will depend a lot on how well they play D. I like what I saw on that end of the court tonight.

I am not overly-excited after what I saw tonight, but I am surely not disappointing in the product on the floor... I can say that much for sure.

I want more finishes though! We have the athletes, let's make some athletic plays!

We shall see how the Hawks do on this huge road trip to start the season, though.


Monday, November 13, 2006



1. Wisconsin
2. Ohio State
3. Indiana
4. Illinois
5. Iowa
6. Michigan
7. Michigan State
8. Purdue
9. Penn State
10. Minnesota
11. NW


Wisconsin - Clear cut favorite in my opinion. They have the talent, experience, and coaching. Pretty good combo there. Remember when I said Tucker was over-rated… NCAA TOURNEY

Ohio State - Losing Sullinger will hurt, but the recruiting class will help. Plus you have Ron Lewis, my darkhorse for Big Ten POY. Matta has a good thing going on... NCAA TOURNEY


Indiana – DJ White is back, Sampson can coach. The Hoosiers are sitting pretty decent... NCAA TOURNEY

Illinois – Talent is still around the program. Not that I think Illinois will be that good, it’s that the Big Ten will be that bad this year... NCAA TOURNEY

Iowa – One of the biggest question marks of the Big Ten for me. They could finish 9th, but I think they’ll be close to 3rd than 9th... NCAA TOURNEY

Michigan – If Amaker wasn’t coaching, I’d have the Wolverines up higher. Good core set of players, but can they compete for a full season? I haven’t witnessed it yet... NIT

Michigan State – Morgan looks like he could be a stud. I just don’t see many other studs on the team. Izzo is the one thing keeping this team this high in my rankings... NIT

Purdue – I am clearly underestimating Purdue, Painter is probably better than most people think. I just can’t put them any higher than 8th... NIT


Penn State – A lot of people like this PSU team; I am not one of them... NIT

Minnesota – Monson and Mason are in the same boat, getting paid to lead sinking ships.

Northwestern – They suck and will always suck.

IOWA BASKETBALL Starts Tonight: Season Preview

Photo courtesy of the Des Moines Register

My outlook/expectations are little higher than the Hawkeye fan-base, and a lot higher than those of the national pundits.

Iowa's biggest question mark is no secret. The bigs are inexperienced and underwhelming. They have big shoes to fill... literally. Whatever we get from the 5 spot (and 4 spot when we play 3 guards) will be an added bonus. Gorney, Looby, Tate, and Crawford will all need to step up (esp. Gorney) and find ways to help out the team.
Although some think Crawford will redshirt, I believe he will not do so this year. Iowa needs bodies and he will need to help out, even if he only contributions are his five fouls. It would have been nice to have Palmer eligible this year, he would be able to help immediately.

I REALLY, REALLY like our guards this year. I believe Iowa has one of the top backcourts in the Big Ten, as well as in the nation (I'm sure others will disagree). Henderson, Haluska, Freeman, Johnson, and Smith are all solid. Wessels needs to be this year's Brownlee; come in and let the other guy's get a blow, take care of the ball, play smart. Once we get rolling on the season, I think we will see the staff use more and more four guard sets. With the versatility Tyler Smith brings to the court, Iowa can afford to play four guards. Look for Johnson to be another Chauncey Leslie.

Losing Mike early will allow Wessels to get some more face time against a few mediocre opponents. Let's hope Henderson's injury heals quickly and he doesn't have any lingering effects from it.

The Hawks will need to avoid foul trouble this year, as they aren't extremely deep. 8, maybe 9 man rotation.

As far as team leaders go, it would be obvious to single out Haluska and Henderson. While perhaps you will see this out of the two, don't lose sight of Tony Freeman. I think he will be the one to make the biggest strides this year and end up being the motor behind the Hawks. Haluska is a fine player, but he is much better in the supplemental role. He is not the kind of player that the Hawks can jump on his back, perhaps he can turn into that type of player, but I am not banking on it. Mike needs to be steady and dominate the other PG on the defensive end, something Tony will do well, too.

Overall, though, this year's team is probably one of the most unpredictable squads of recent memory. No real proven commodities, sans Haluska and Henderson, but major upside (and athleticism) in regards to a lot of our players. The season will really depend on how quickly the team can gel and find their identity.

I like the coaching staff as well. While I am not a cheerleader for Alford, I am certainly not a detractor. I guess that makes me one of the biggest supporters of SA, as most Hawk fan do not approve of him as the coach at Iowa at all. I think he is taking the program in the right direction and the past three seasons has shown increase productivity from the basketball team. The change in the assistants can only help out the Iowa program. Time will tell on that move, though.

As far as a prediction on the season: I see Iowa finishing somewhere between 3rd-6th in the Big Ten, getting about 20 wins, and making it to their third consecutive NCAA Tournament. Haluska should make the 2nd team BT, Smith might pick up a few freshman awards, Henderson has a shot at picking up the defensive POY in the BT although those awards normally go to a big man and he should also find he way onto an all-BT team. But as always, I am sure there will be a few surprises (bad and good) that happen this year. Be ready for a LOT of ups and downs. There will be times this team looks like a junior high squad and their will be times it looks like and all-world squad. Hop on the rollercoaster, though because it's going to be a fun, fun ride... let's hope we have hair left on our heads after the season is over.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Don't take your grandparents for granted...

Wednesday night my Grandpa died. I miss him.

Why is it we never realize what we have until it's gone? This isn't a new concept. We hear people say it all the time. Don't take people, places, times, etc... for granted. But for some reason we all do. I was able to tell him goodbye, hold his hand, and give him a kiss on the forehead... I would have much rather talked to him about the crops, weather, hell even something I normally don't care about; I'd do anything just to be able to talk to him again, and have him talk to me. It can't happen, though, and this saddens me. I miss him. Sure, a part of him will always stay with me for the rest of my life (thanks for the receding hairline Grandpa), but it's not the same. People older than you are supposed to be invincible. They'll never leave you. They'll always be there. But now my grandpa won't be, and I can't get over that feeling. I want him to be there for Christmas to hand me my money card; I want him to lead us in prayer before Thanksgiving dinner; I want him to yell at the grandkids and great-grandkids to stop jumping on the beds in basement. I just want him around. Maybe I should have been around more...

Here's Grandpa Hemann's Obit: GRANDPA HEMANN

Friday, October 20, 2006

Perhaps This Blog Needs to be Shutdown...

I completely jinx programs with posts on my blog.

* College Football - Iowa takes on #1 Ohio State - 2006
(I discussed that I thought Iowa would take down tOSU if they played again... and then Iowa got beat by Indiana)

* Iowa's Albert Young - One of the PREMIER Backs in the Nation
(Albert has been hurt all year and has been ineffective)

* Cubs Move to Single Digits Back in the Wild Card
(Cubs went on to flop hardcore)

Once again, I apologize for jinxing these teams.

I almost wrote about the Bears and their inevitable run the Super Bowl, but then I realized what the hell was going on so I didn't... but I thought about... and that's what happened on Monday Night vs. the Cardinals.

So I guess at this point, I should write that Michigan is going to kill Iowa, so the Hawks have a shot this weekend up in the Big House...

Monday, October 02, 2006

College Football - Iowa takes on #1 Ohio State - 2006

Comments after watching the game live at Kinnick:

1. Iowa had more yards per carry than tOSU, yet rushed the ball 30, yes 30 FEWER TIMES than the Bucks. I realize Tressel tried to run clock in the 3rd and 4th Qs, but only 20 rushing attempts by Iowa is far too few.

2. Why is it that that for some reason Parker believes our LBs can cover tOSU's receivers? Klinkenborg on Gonzo, not smart. Did we not learn anything from last year in the shoe when Anthony destroyed Greenway? IF Chad couldn't defend Gonzo, do you really think Klink or Humpal could? Also, why did we have (on select plays) our LBs covering Ginn??? Doesn't make sense to me.

3. Give the ball to Sims. He has opened my eyes more and more as this season progresses. He is certainly much improved from last year. Give him the ball.

4. Iowa shot itself in the foot too many times. 3 picks, and 1 fumble were 4 turnovers too many. Those TOs turned into tOSU points. If Iowa holds onto the ball, it's a completely different ballgame. Iowa would have been able to get through Tate's first two picks, but the fumble killed them. Down two scores and driving the field with plenty of time, Iowa had their chances.

5. Tate. Love his heart, but he just did not play very well last night.

6. Fenstermaker continues to be one of the best punters in the Big Ten, if not the nation.

7. Chris Wells is scary good.

8. We missed Paschal in the secondary.

9. Hawk fans showed their support to the end... I know my throat and body are pretty sore. What an environment in Kinnick last night... too bad the team wasn't able to play to their potential. Good things will be coming Iowa's way the rest of the season, though. This team will respond with big things this year!

10. I wish there was a BT Championship game to give Iowa the chance of maybe meeting up with tOSU again this year.

11. For one day, Iowa was the center of the college football universe. What an incredible feeling!

I wanted to see what I missed from what I saw at the game vs. what was shown on TV. First let me say that my initial comments about the game were spot on. I am not concerned with anyone calling me a homer, an idiot, etc... about what I think.

Watching the game again, I am 100% sure that if those two teams suited up again, Iowa would win the ballgame. Go ahead and tell me that I don't know what I am talking about, I don't care.

If Iowa could have eliminated the little mistakes, they had that ballgame (regardless of the final score). Iowa's defense was really containing the Buckeye offense for the most part. The short fields were where tOSU took advantage. Too many dropped balls by Iowa, and too many mental mistakes cost the ballgame.

Iowa is not that much below tOSU in terms of how good they are this year. tOSU is very beatable, and I don't see them going undefeated this year. Please don't take that as a knock on the Bucks, as they are very, very talented. But after watching the game again, Iowa had its chances to knock off the #1 team in the nation, and several times during the game it looked like they would take over the momentum for good, but then Iowa would shoot themselves in the foot.

Iowa fans - for those of you waiting for Iowa to start playing better (myself included), your wait is over. The game is the turning point for the program. There is no such thing as a moral victory, but I know looking at the video of the game, there are a TON of positives to come away from it. The reason Iowa lost the game was because of silly mistakes and executing. Iowa has the ability to run the table the rest of the year, and I am very confident that they can do just that. It all starts with Mr. Tate. Iowa goes as he does. If he is not ready to accept the challenge, Iowa will be in trouble. But if Drew is ready to step and become that guy, then the sky is the limits for this year's team.


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Wal-Mart has Officially Lost its Damn Mind!

Check out this story: HERE

Instead of stocking mostly the same products, Wal-Mart (Charts) is custom-fitting its merchandise assortment to reflect each of six demographic groups - African-Americans, the affluent, empty-nesters, Hispanics, suburbanites and rural residents, the newspaper said.

I can just wait for the lawsuits to flow in...

I'm sorry, you are black, we prefer you to go to the "Black Wal-Mart". Oh sorry sir, you are farmer, you can't go to the "Suburbanite Wal-Mart", you have to go to the "Hick Wal-Mart."

For Christ sake, this is how segregation and racism flourishes.... it's not a big deal until someone makes it an issue... how retarded is Wal-Mart?


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Iowa's Albert Young - One of the PREMIER Backs in the Nation

Ok, I've held it back long enough. I am pretty sick and tired of Albert Young not getting much love from the rest of the nation. I hear about Peterson from OU, Lynch from Cal, et al that are all Heisman candidates. No love for Iowa's running back. I look at Iowa's O-Line and just smile seeing the talent and the experience they will have up front. Young is now 100% (something he wasn't last year). Call me a homer, but I really do think Young is one of the premier backs in the nation. Just because Young doesn't score a ton, doesn't take away from what he did last year. He is a complete player who blocks well and also has fantastic hands.

Look at the stats. The one that stands out is the hype for Irons, but clearly Young was the better back last year even at 80%.

Adrian Peterson - 220 rushes, 1108 yards, 5.0 yds/carry, 14 TD; 9 rec, 50 yards, 5.6 yds/rec, 0 TD Michael Bush - 205 rushes, 1143 yards, 5.6 yds/carry, 23 TD; 21 rec, 253 yards, 12.0 yds/rec, 1 TD Jamaal Charles - 119 rushes, 878 yards, 7.4 yds/carry, 11 TD; 14 rec, 157 yards, 11.2 yds/rec, 2 TD Kenny Irons - 256 rushes, 1293 yards, 5.1 yds/carry, 13 TD; 14 rec, 164 yards, 11.7 yds/rec, 0 TD Marshawn Lynch - 196 rushes, 1246 yards, 6.4 yds/carry, 10 TD; 15 rec, 125 yards, 8.3 yds/rec, 0 TD Steve Slaton - 205 rushes, 1128 yards, 5.5 yds/carry, 17 TD; 12 rec, 95 yards, 7.9 yds/rec, 2 TD Albert Young - 249 rushes, 1334 yards, 5.4 yds/carry, 8 TD; 24 rec, 244 yards, 10.2 yds/rec, 0 TD

Antonio Pittman is another back that I don't think gets enough respect, and that, too, irritates me.

I can't wait for the season to start, and I am looking forward to a huge year for Young. I realize the Hawkeye's offense isn't condusive for Young to go out and get 2,000 yards this season, but I do think he is good enough to be mentioned as a Top 5 back in the nation.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Cubs Move to Single Digits Back in the Wild Card


17 games under .500 at 47-64 and playing the best ball of the year, the Chicago Cubs move to within 9.5 games of the Wild Card lead thanks to St. Louis taking out the Reds in spectacular form tonight.

37-14 for the wild card
44-7 for NL central title

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Chicago Cubs are 18 Games Under .500 and Still in the Playoff Hunt

Here's the record the Cubs need the rest of the way:

38-14 for the NL Wild Card
45-7 for NL Central Title

Oh yeah, I am crazy....

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Look at the 2006 NL Cy Young Race...

Here's my breakdown...

As of July 26th, 2006:


1. Carlos Zambrano - 9.06 K/9 (3rd in NL), .197 AVG (best in MLB), 147 Ks (Best in NL), 1.23 WHIP (10th in NL), 3.27 ERA (6th in NL), .352 SLG (2nd in NL), 11 wins (2nd in MLB despite playing for a team 22 games under .500) For walking as many people as Carlos does, his WHIP is amazing.

2. Pedro Martinez - 9.83 K/9 (2nd in NL), .202 AVG (2nd in NL), 111 Ks (10th in NL), 1.00 WHIP (Best in NL), 3.45 ERA (9th in NL), .343 SLG (Best in NL), 7 wins (Not getting run support isn't Pedro's fault).

3. Chris Carpenter - 7.64 K/9 (9th in NL), .232 AVG (7th in NL), 114 Ks (9th in NL), 1.12 WHIP (3rd in NL), 2.68 ERA (2nd in NL), .364 SLG (4th in NL), 10 wins

4. Brandon Webb - 6.82 K/9 (18th in NL), .255 AVG (13th in NL), 117 Ks (5th in NL), 1.11 WHIP (2nd in NL), 2.51 ERA (Best in NL), .362 (3rd in NL), 11 wins (2nd in MLB)

5. Aaron Harang - 8.48 K/9 (4th in NL), .264 AVG (20th in NL), 135 Ks (2nd in NL), 1.26 WHIP (12th in NL), 3.52 ERA (11th in NL), .410 SLG (15th in NL), 11 wins (2nd in MLB), 4 CG (1st in MLB), 2 SHO (1st in MLB)


Jason Schmidt - 7.48 K/9 (14th in NL), .227 AVG (6th in NL), 115 Ks (7th in NL), 1.19 WHIP (8th in NL), 3.12 ERA (4th in NL), .367 SLG (5th in NL), 7 wins

Brad Penny - 6.68 K/9 (19th in NL), .258 AVG (15th in NL), 89 Ks (25th in NL), 1.26 WHIP (12th in NL), 3.23 ERA (5th in NL), .381 SLG (9th in NL), 10 wins

Bronson Arroyo - 6.89 K/9 (17th in NL), .247 AVG (10th in NL), 111 Ks (10th in NL), 1.17 WHIP (5th in NL), 2.92 ERA (3rd in NL), .393 SLG (11th in NL), 9 wins


Roy Oswalt - 5.98 K/9 (25th in NL), .282 AVG (32nd in NL), 91Ks (21st in NL), 1.26 WHIP (12th in NL), 3.35 ERA (7th in NL), .436 SLG (27th in NL), 7 wins

John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, and Chris Young also deserve to be mentioned.


No way on Jason Marquis... not with an ERA of over 5.60, only reason he has 12 wins is because of run support during his outings. 4.1 K/9 is below avg. That ERA is laughable, plus he is only averaging 5.5 innings per start. On top of that he has given up the most HRs of any NL pitcher.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

When Do You Live Today for Today?

Too many times in life we get rundown by the daily grind. We go about our normal routines, as if programmed by some automated service. Daily routines; we all have them. Most of us can set our watches by our daily activities. Wake up. Grab breakfast (whether that is coffee, a donut, a cigarette, or whatever the preferred meal of the morn is). Go to work. Grab lunch. Go back to work. Leave work. Get home. Eat dinner. Go to sleep. Rinse, repeat (5 times). All the while, waiting in anticipation for the two days of the week that we have a chance to get away from the aforementioned routine; the proverbial weekend. Alas, this time away from our “normal routine” usually breeds a second process called the “weekend routine”. Mow the law. Clean up the house. Do the laundry. Continue to work on the ever-lengthening honey-do list.

So when do you have time to do the things you wanted to do as a kid? When do you get to spend all day lying on your back, trying to figure out what each passing cloud resembles? When do you get to bask in the fruits of your labor? When does tomorrow become today? When does soon become now? Too often we concentrate on the future that we forget about the present. Why is this? Are we a society of procrastinators or are we just focused on being prepared? There is a fine line between the two.

We are always wanting more; wanting something new, something fresh. We want the newest gadget, the latest edition, the current release. Is this an inherit insecurity or a wanted need to be on top of the game? Regardless, it is absolutely essential to at least attempt to live in the now, otherwise tomorrow will undoubtedly become yesterday without you even knowing.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Accolades for the 05/06 Hawkeye Basketball Team

(18 going back to last year)

JEFF HORNER - Iowa's All-time 3 Point Leader; Iowa's All-Time Assist Leader; 2006 Big Ten Assist Leader; 3rd Team All-BT; Big Ten Tournament MOP; All-American Honorable Mention

GREG BRUNNER - Iowa's All-time Rebound Leader; 2006 Big Ten Rebound Leader; First Team All-BT; Academic All-American

ADAM HALUSKA - Academic All-American, 3rd Team All-BT

EREK HANSEN - 2006 Big Ten Blocks Leader; BT Defensive POY

DOUG THOMAS - BT 6th Man of the Year

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Looking back at Alford's First Seven Years as the Head Basketball Coach at Iowa; Iowa City - the Fishbowl; Looking Ahead to Next Year

So the Iowa fan base overeacted after a couple "journalists" (and I use that term lightly) reported that Steve Alford wanted to go to Missouri... hours later, they reneged and backtracked on their previous reports. Seems these guys (Katz and Doyel to name a few) want to be the first to break the news, so they start inventing news. The majority of the Hawkeye fan base turned on Alford and started spewing out misinformation and allegations that had no basis behind them. So now the fans want Alford to come out and give an apology statement or a reassertion statement now that the Missouri and Indiana jobs have been filled. Why should he? What did Steve Alford do to warrant this type of action? Just because an A.D. from another school asks for permission to talk to another school's head coach does NOT mean that the aforementioned coach is even remotely interested in what that A.D. has to offer. Once again, the Hawkeye fan base wanted to a reason to hate Alford... they were looking for any excuse to turn on him, as if the second most wins in school history wasn't enough to maybe calm the waters a bit. Iowa City is a fishbowl. That's why Lute Olson left. That's why George Raveling left.

So Steve Alford is here to stay (well, at least for a little while longer). It's time to take a peak at what he has done at the U of I. Most fans want to sling mud at his conference record and his NCAA Tourney success (or lack thereof).

Here's what I see...

The first four years of Alford tenure were poor at best. He had no idea how to coach at the upper D-1 level coming from a mid-major school. I think he has done very well these last 3 years... problem is his first four years were so bad, it has tainted his career at UI thus far. Alford was -14 in BT games his first four years, which put him in a huge hole. His 5-11 season was the killer. But Alford has won almost 2/3 of the games he has coached the past three years.

Alford first four seasons: 73-58 overall (25-39 conf)
Alford last three seasons: 62-34 overall (27-21 conf)

I see the past three years as a substantial increase in production from the Iowa staff, others will argue it was the maturation process of this year's seniors. I believe its a bit of both, but one thing you cannot deny is that Alford is getting better as a coach.

If you break up Alford's tenure into sections, there is a lot of proof that he has performed well in spite of everything that has happened to the program.

SECTION ONE: First four years playing with Davis' recruits and not knowing how to coach at the upper D-1 level. SECTION TWO: Last three years playing with his own recruits and actually knowing what he was doing, and having Neal come into the picture the last two years.

Do you want to argue that it's only been two good years in a row? The 2003-04 season is simple to defend as one of Alford best coaching jobs of his career. Do you want to argue that 2004 was a bad year - take a closer look: Jared Reiner had a season-ending injury that hurt the Hawkeyes tremendously, as Brunner had to switch to the 5 spot. Reiner had a chance to be All-Conf. that year. Nick DeWitz and Sean Sonderleiter both left mid-season, which killed the continuity (and already short bench) of the team. Mike Henderson was ineligible for the second semester. Depending on Kurt Spurgeon and Jack Brownlee isn't something I wish upon any basketball program. I give them all the credit in the world, as they stepped up big, but let's be reasonable here. Iowa played with SEVEN scholarship players that year. SEVEN. That was a pretty nice coaching job by Alford to be able to put up a winning Big Ten record that year.

I really believe the Iowa coaching staff has put together three very good seasons in a row... and they are only getting better. Next year WILL BE the kicker!

Alford is not Lute, but let's not do to him what we did to Mr. Olson. Now I completely understand why he left Iowa for Arizona.... there is no way to win over this fan base, as they will find something to whine about. Iowa City is most definitely a fishbowl. Olson could only take a few years, Raveling stayed a few. Davis toughed it out... but holy cow, there really is no denying the fishbowl that is Iowa City and Hawkeye basketball. Iowa just came away with one of their most productive seasons (sans the final game of the year), yet fans want to speculate where this coach goes and how much they want him to leave. Iowa doesn't have any other sports to watch in the state, so everyone focuses on the U of I's major sports - basketball and football. Both sports are highly criticised by the Iowa fan base. Ferentz received a lot of heat his first few years at Iowa, as did Alford. Iowa Hawkeye sports are, in fact, a big ol' fishbowl. Not that the University thinks its on the same level as Duke basketball or Notre Dame football, but because its fans cling to the team's success because they have nothing else (and of course their love for the team, as well).

So looking ahead to NEXT SEASON. There is NO WAY you bail out Alford next season by labeling it as a "rebuilding year." Unless Haluska and Henderson get suspended or injured, there isn't an excuse for not winning next season. I see Iowa as a Top 5 team in the Big Ten, getting close to 20 wins, and making another NCAA Tourney. If Alford does not successfully bring the Hawks to their third consecutive NCAA Tourney, then I am done with him.

Next year is NOT a rebuilding year, it's a reloading year.

Indiana FInds a Coach; How Does Sampson Stack Up Against His Newly Adopted Big Ten Bretheren?

So it looks like Alford is going to be staying put at Iowa, which is fine by me. How do the coaches in the Big Ten stack up against each other? Here's my list:

------------------------ TIER ONE ------------------------
1. Tom Izzo - 11 years under his belt - 254-109 (.700)
2. Bo Ryan - 21 years under his belt - 495-152 (.765)
3. Kelvin Sampson - 22 years under his belt - 455-257 (.639)
4. Thad Matta - 6 years under his belt - 148-49 (.751)
5. Bruce Weber - 8 years under his belt - 192-70 (.733)
6. Steve Alford - 14 years under his belt - 291-169 (.632)

------------------------ TIER TWO ------------------------
7. Dan Monson - 9 years under his belt - 168-118 (.587)
8. Matt Painter - 2 years under his belt - 34-24 (.586)
9. Tommy Amaker - 9 years under his belt - 154-125 (.552)
10. Bill Carmody - 10 years under his belt - 173-120 (.590)
11. Ed Dechellis - 10 years under his belt - 135-149 (.475)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Revisting Iowa as a POTENTIAL 2 Seed in the NCAA Tourney

Iowa would only have 8 losses, because remember I am saying this is contigent on Iowa beating tOSU today, so Iowa would finish 25-8.
UNI wasn't a bad loss, nor was the ISU loss.
The committee will look at those games as toss-ups with the absence of Horner... the same way they made Iowa validate their earlier wins last year when they lost PP. Losing players/losing games has an impact in the eyes of the committee. The only bad losses Iowa has is Minn and NW and they were both on the road.

Remember, Michigan State got a 1 seed in 2000 with SEVEN losses.
Four other teams have received #1 seeds with SIX losses.

It's all about the resume, quality wins, RPI, SOS, etc... # losses isn't the deciding factor.

IF Iowa wins vs. tOSU today, here's what I have:


Ohio State



Iowa would be the last 2 seed or the first 3 seed with a win today.

Friday, March 10, 2006

My Look at the Bubble Teams for '06

UPDATE: I ended up getting 63 out of 65 teams correct. Air Force and Utah State got in over Cincinnati and Michigan.

Last year I named 65/65 tournament correctly, let's see if I can repeat the same feat this year...

TEAMS THAT I THINK ARE LOCKS/AUTOBIDS (parenthesis contain total number of bids for the conference; the first number is the locks and the second number is the total bids the conference will get)

Am East(1/1) - Albany
ACC(4/4) - Duke, North Carolina, Boston College, NCST
A. Sun(1/1) - Belmont
A-10(2/2) - GW, Xavier
Big East(7/8) - Villanova, UCONN, Pittsburgh, W. Virginia, Georgetown, Marquette, Syracuse
Big Sky(1/1) - Montana
Big South(1/1) - Winthrop
Big Ten(6/7) - tOSU, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan State
Big 12(4/4) - Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M
Big West(1/1) - Pacific
CAA(1/2) - UNC-W
CUSA(1/2) - Memphis
Horizon(1/1) - UWM
Ivy(1/1) - Penn
MAAC(1/1) - Iona
MAC(1/1) - Kent State
MCC(1/1) - ORU
MEAC(1/1) - Hampton
MVC(3/5) - Wichita, S. Illinois, UNI
Mountain West(1/1) - SDSU
NEC(1/1) - Monmouth
OVC(1/1) - Murray St
Patriot(1/1) - Bucknell
Pac-10(3/4) - UCLA, Washington, Arizona
SEC(6/6) - LSU, Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama
Southern(1/1) - Davidson
Southland(1/1) - Champ
SWAC(1/1) - Southern
Sun Belt(1/1) - S. Alabama
WCC(1/1) - Gonzaga
WAC(1/1) - Nevada


So here's who I have on the Bubble... 7 spots are up for grabs
My choices are in BOLD and are also noted with an asterisk (*).
  • Hofstra
  • George Mason *
  • Maryland
  • Michigan *
  • Cincinnati *
  • UAB *
  • Houston
  • Missouri State *
  • Creighton
  • Bradley *
  • Air Force
  • California *
  • Utah State
  • W. Kentucky
  • BYU
  • Colorado
  • Seton Hall
  • Florida State
EDIT1 - After getting rocked by BC, Maryland is now out and George Mason is in.
EDIT2 - Added the rest of the conference champions.
EDIT3 - After much prodding, I will pull Michigan out of the lock status, and move them to the Bubble, but in my opinion, they are in.

Is there anyway Iowa can get the 2 seed if they win the BTT?

I am NOT trying to get ahead of myself, honestly... just some hypothetical stuff here.

Is there anyway Iowa can get the 2 seed if they win the BTT?

Teams ahead of Iowa, in my opinion, at this moment
1. Villanova
2. Duke
4. Memphis
5. Ohio State
6. Texas
7. Illinois
8. Gonzaga
9. UNC
10. LSU
11. Pitt
12. Tennessee
13. Iowa
14. UCLA
15. Boston College
16. Washington

Obviously, according to my rankings, Iowa would need to get to the 8 spot or higher to snag a 2 seed.

Are there just too many teams ahead of Iowa for them to get the seed?
I think with a win tomorrow, Iowa would slip into the 3 spot and Illinois would fall out of the 2 because they would have lost either tonight or tomorrow. I think Iowa has the 4 seed locked up as of right now.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Alford to Indiana? Iowa Fans Apathetic?

Born and raised in Iowa, I have been a Hawkeye fan since I knew sports existed. I eat, sleep, and breathe Hawkeye sports.

Luke Winn's perception of Iowa fans' attitude towards Alford is not as accurate as he might think (His article can be found HERE.) While there are fans who would welcome the thought of Alford leaving Iowa, there are other fans that would rather see him stick around. Usually the disgruntled fans are the most vocal, thus he received more e-mails from con-Alford fans.

While I have never been a huge Alford fan, I do think that he needs to stay at Iowa. We have been paying Alford for his on-the-job training the past seven years. He has become a better coach throughout his tenure at Iowa, and to release him now would mean Iowa threw the last seven years' worth of salary down the drain.

Alford has had his fill of unfortunate events happen to him, some preventable – some unforeseen. I believe Alford is developing into a top notch D-1 coach. It is regrettable that it took him 5 or 6 years to get to that point, but he is finally getting there. For the Hawkeyes to roll over and let him leave would mean the last seven years were a waste. I, for one, didn’t go through the pain and strife of those previous seasons to come up empty-handed. We put up with Alford’s learning curve, and now should be able to reap the benefits. Allowing Alford to leave would be a slap in the face.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Iowa vs. Minnesota & Iowa vs. MSU Games

The Minnesota game was a game that should have gone to the Hawks, instead they now have 4 Big Ten losses, making Saturday's game vs. Illinois in C-U crucial.

Haluska was non-existent on the offensive end.

Brunner was lazy on the defensive end when Iowa went into the 1-2-2 zone.

The Gophers threw up some junk shots that somehow found the bottom of the bucket. I dare Stamper to try that banked baseline shot again or Grier to try those shots on the decline of his vertical jump - just ugly. Tollackson threw up junk in the first half that somehow went in and Boone's 30 ft heave found a way to go down too... sometimes it's like that

Iowa lost the game because of the last 2 minutes of the first half and because of the 2 sets of 1 and 1 free throws at the end of the game where they came up empty-handed. The end of both halves were awful for Iowa.

That said, Iowa did not play as horrible as some on here have said. Brunner played terrific on the offensive end of the ball and needed to be fed more often. He would have taken over the game if Iowa could have gotten the ball to him.

No Hawkeye really had a "bad game." Some untimely fouls hurt Iowa and I stand firm on my statement that referees do NOT give Hansen a fair shot down low. They have the whistles ready even before the play is close. Brunner also had a couple questionable fouls called against him, esp. the block on Grier which was unmistakenably clean.

Seriously - Mike Henderson - DO MORE ON THE OFFENSIVE END!!! The guy has a knack of scoring points, but just doesn't shoot enough or take it to the hole enough.

Horner's 5 TOs were tough to swallow, but he played tough. He had a very good first half and had some pretty passes all game long. Both him and Haluska need to get their feet set and hips square to the bucket when they shoot treys. If they did that more often, they'd be shooting 70% from long range.

#5 had some quality minutes as did Gorney.

Iowa's 1-2-2 zone is deadly when they hustle... it is VERY effective when they don't get lazy in the set.

Iowa stole one at home from Minnesota.
Minnesota stole one at home from Iowa.

Although down most of the game, Iowa should have won this one.

Iowa needs to win out if they have any shot of winning the Big Ten title outright.

NEXT GAME: @ Illinois this Saturday

It was an up and down week, as earlier in the week Iowa took out MSU.


The above picture came after a series of pictures after DT's dunk. Alford turned to Thomas who was doing it. I, for one, love the gesture by Alford. It gets him back to his bumping chest days of yore. I love it!
Brown is an arrogant punk who made that pose after they were up by 25+ will just minutes left in the game up in EL. It was not necessary and showed no class. They ran up the score when it was clearly over. If anything, Alford was the classier man at the end of the game, he told the guys no shot and took the shot clock violation. MSU would have probably called a timeout to give Brown an iso play or something.
Alford has a ton of passion for the game, and I will defend his "pose" to the end. It happened during a time where MSU was still very in the game, and he was responding to his player.

Eat it Shannon Brown!

Jeff Horner literally strapped the team on his back midway through the second half w/ some help from Hansen.

Great team effort tonight on both ends...

I was very impressed w/ Jeff once during the MSU game!!

Awesome win for the Hawks!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Look at Iowa Basketball Attendance

Just a look at Iowa Basketball Attendance...

By my calculations (through the MSU game)

Average Attendance this Year: 11640
Average Non-Conf Attendance: 10250
Average Conference Attendance: 14060



Sunday, February 12, 2006

Hawkeyes Remain on Top of the Big Ten

Iowa is now sitting at 19-6 (8-3) and winning the Big Ten Conference (the best conference in the land by RPI standards). The Hawkeyes haven't been in this position this late in the year since before I was born. Needless to say, it is an exciting time for Iowa Basketball. With a big win at Indiana on Saturday, Iowa has now positioned itself to make a decent run for the Big Ten title, and, dare I say, a decent run in the NCAA Tournament. Riding the Big Three (Horner, Brunner, and Haluska), Iowa has been able to knock off 7 ranked teams so far this year, with another chance coming Tuesday night against Michigan State. Labeled as one of the biggest games to occur at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, the game against MSU will either give Iowa a leg up in the Big Ten race or bring them back down into the cluster of other teams chasing them. Iowa has won 15 consecutive games at Carver-Hawkeye and look to put the 30 point drubbing they took up in East Lansing behind them by taking care of business at home.

Jeff Horner has already broken Iowa's all-time 3 point scoring record, formerly held by Chris Kingsbury, and going into the Michigan State game is only 6 assists from breaking Andre Woolridge's school record for most assists in a career of 575. Jeff, who is already the only Hawkeye to ever record 1000 points, 400 rebounds, and 400 assists in a career, has a shot at finishing his career with 1500/500/500. Jeff is currently leading the Big Ten is assists at 6.1/game and has an impressive 2.21 A/TO ratio on the year. Crippled by a knee injury early in the year that made him lose time for the first time in his career, Horner struggled wearing a cumbersome brace for several games. Since the brace removal, Jeff has regained his form and looks better than ever, ready for the final push in this, his final season as a Hawkeye. Always a warrior, Jeff averages an incredible 36 minutes per contest.

Greg Brunner recently became the all-time leading rebounder at Iowa, surpassing Kevin Kunnert's long time standing record of 914. Although it would take several post-season games, Brunner actually has a shot at getting a thousand boards in his career at Iowa. The ever-resiliant power forward shows time and time again why he will go down as one of all-time Hawkeye great, along with Jeff Horner. Greg is currently the only Big Ten player to average a double-double this season.

Capable of scoring in heaps, Adam Haluska rounds out the Big Three that makes up the heart and soul of this Hawkeye Squad. A deadly shooter from the outside and a clutch free throw shooter. As a four sport standout at Carroll High School, Adam took four individual titles in the state track meet (long jump, 100 meters, 200 meters, and 400 meters) in his senior year alone, which is only a glimpse of this guy's athletic abilities.

The Big Three are an unprecedented trio, and their achievements are detailed in this Des Moines Register article. "When the numbers are added up, Greg Brunner, Jeff Horner and Adam Haluska attain novelty status. Each of them has scored more than 1,000 points during their college basketball careers, giving No. 18 Iowa an unprecedented trio. Never before has an in-state program featured three homegrown players who surpassed that major-college milestone, while playing on the same team at the same time. Brunner (1,369 points), Horner (1,351) and Haluska (1,111) have found their niche in Hawkeye trivia, but statistics represent only a fraction of their potential legacy."

Iowa has gotten big time play so far by its Big Three, but don't overlook the importance of what junior Mike Henderson brings to the table. A shutdown defender and player who can penetrate the lanes effectively, Henderson is often overlooked by the opposition. Mike is also the Hawkeyes' leading three point shooter at 46% on the year. Mike has been the constant all year long for the Hawkeyes, and is one of the most underappreciated guards in the Big Ten.

Erek Hansen continues to be a force to be reckoned with inside the paint. With the addage of extra bulk, Hansen has been able to stand his ground under the bucket and leads the Big Ten in blocked shots for the second year in a row. Prone to fouls when he is tired, Coach Alford does a fantastic job of subbing in for him when he is fatigued. Hansen has had his fair share of huge blocks so far this year, and his turn-around baseline jumper has been a pleasant surprise this year.

The Hawkeyes are not blessed with a very deep bench, but the minutes they get from their subs are key. Doug Thomas is far and away the Hawkeyes' 6th man of the year, without a doubt. A scrappy player with an incredible leaping ability, Thomas brings instant energy off the bench. A guy who can finish on the offensive end and dominate the opposition's best post player, Doug will be vital to Iowa's success this year.

Tony Freeman has showed signs of brillance and befuddlement at the same time, true to most froshs in today's college game. A very good outside game and pest on defense, it looks like Iowa will rely on Tony quite a bit in the coming years and will look for his help the rest of this year as well.

If you are a Hawkeye fan and are not excited about this year, someone had better call a doctor to check your pulse. This is Iowa's window of opportunity to make a run for not only the Big Ten crown, but also a run deep into The Dance.

Iowa's RPI is 8, according to and
Iowa's RPI is 6, according to
Sagarin has Iowa at 16.
At the beginning of the week, Iowa was ranked in the Top 20 (18/AP, 19/Coaches)
Iowa is tied for the best defense in the land with Texas