Hawk Talk Daily: Random Thoughts
Nov. 27, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa --Random thoughts on the night after a pair of Iowa basketball victories and the day of the final regular season football game of the 2010 season for the Iowa Hawkeyes...
Let me start with something I find absolutely amazing - and indicative of today's college football: About 11 months ago, the Texas Longhorns were playing Alabama in the championship game of the 2010 Bowl Championship Series. Today, the Longhorns' 2010 season is over. Done. No bowl game for the UT this year. Mack Brown's team lost five of its last six games - including the Thanksgiving night finale against Texas A&M in Austin - and will finish the season in last place in the Big 12's South Division. Texas lost five - 5! - home games this fall. Wow.
Lisa Bluder's Hawkeyes are 7-0 after a pair a wins the last two nights in Cancun. It's the Hawkeyes' second-best start under Bluder. Her 2004-05 team won its first 13 games.The Bunch plays at North Carolina on Dec. 2 in a Big Ten/ACC Challenge game before returning to Carver-Hawkeye Arena for a date with the Kansas State Wildcats a week from tomorrow at 2 p.m. It's Buck Night for the Hawkeyes, so do yourself and them a favor: Scour the couch for the spare change and get over to Carver and see what this team is all about. In marketing, we call it a "sampling opportunity." Who knows, you might like what you see and come back on Dec. 9 when the Hawkeyes entertain Iowa State.
The family had Thanksgiving dinner at Aunt Eileen's in Cedar Rapids where, before offering a prayer, she asked all of us in attendance to spend a minute thinking about all that we're thankful for. Family and friends were at the top of my list. I joked with my brother-in-law that he made my list in the 58th or 59th second....right behind my seven iron. I don't mind saying that my list also included the folks I work with on pretty much a daily basis. It's a good group as evidenced by how smoothly the move from the office space in the Arena that, 27 years later, many fans of the Hawkeyes are surprised to hear exists, to the press box at Kinnick on the Sunday, Monday and Tuesday after the last football game went. The "PWB" (Paul W. Brechler) is home our now until July when the revitalized Carver welcomes back the staff. Should be interesting...particularly when the winter and spring storms come rolling into town - we have a great view of the western sky.
Speaking of weather, today's forecast for Lincoln, Neb., is sunny and 50 degrees. Here's hoping for a repeat next year when the Hawkeyes and Cornhuskers play in the regular season finale in the yet-to-be-named division of the Big Ten Conference. Here's hoping the winner is also advancing to Indianapolis for the inaugural Big Ten football championship game. Alas, I'm getting ahead of myself. Today it's Minneapolis and the Gophers...so, here's hoping our kickoff coverage unit got a good night's rest. Kirk said Tuesday they'd need it.
My new perch at Kinnick is the space used by the visiting coaches. Fortunately, the staff of Buckeye assistant coaches cleaned up before they left. It offers a nice view of the north 35-yard line. Most of the time last week the turf at Kinnick was occupied by a fair number of crows that must be feasting on what remain in the grandstands after seven home games.
Iowa plays seven in Kinnick next year, too. Here's the lineup in order but without dates: Tennessee Tech, Pittsburgh, Louisiana-Monroe, Northwestern, Indiana, Michigan and Michigan State. It's early, but I kinda think there's more than a few "W's" available in Kinnick for the 2011 Hawkeyes.
Fran's squad scored 111 for the second time this season last night in the Arena. They needed an easy one because the competition will ramp up in the coming days and weeks with a date against Wake Forest in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and the three intrastate rivalry games as early December warm-ups for a 2012 league season that's going to begin with sophomore point guard Cully Payne on the bench recovering from surgery to repair a sport hernia. "One of the first things that I wanted to do after I got here was we had to address (the point guard) situation. We just could not not -- think about it, if we didn't go get a point guard and he (Payne) has a sports hernia, where does that leave us?" Fran said after his team evened its record at 3-3 last night. "And I'm happy to have Branden Stubbs, who I think is a quality player at that position. So, we got Marble there. We've got Stubbs there. We can play Stoermer there."
Random Thoughts is written by Rick Klatt, the UI Athletics Department's associate athletics director for external affairs, and first appears in the digital world as an exclusive feature of Hawk Talk Daily, the daily e-newsletter of the UI Athletics Department.