Hawk Talk Daily: Random Thoughts
Dec. 19, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa --Random thoughts on the day before the Hawkeyes board the big bird for Tempe...
If you haven't noticed, the likelihood that Iowa-Missouri will be a very good football game hasn't gone unnoticed. Many of the too many "lists" out there have the 2010 Insight Bowl well into the upper third of this year's post-season lineup. As game day draws near, I'm getting more and more curious about (a) what Missouri's season says about this year's Big 12 Conference and (b) how high Iowa can rebound from an uncharacteristic season finale.
It sure was good to see Norm Parker take the podium Friday for his visit with the media.
Eleven games - including a nice win at Drake Saturday night - into the Fran McCaffery era at Iowa and what do we know? Well, at the top of my list is the head coach: He's clearly a fighter and I think his team likes that and fans of the Hawkeyes like that. It seems obvious, too, that the student-athletes like playing for this staff. No surprise there...the experience that group collectively brings to the table is pretty darn impressive.
Bobbleheads...who would have known they'd create such a stir/buzz. It's been an interesting project - kudos to staffer Jamie Klein for doing all the hard work. I'm anxious to see how fans of Fran and Lisa respond Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, to the "Bobblehead Nights" for our two head coaches. One of the goals, of course, was to get a few more youngsters in the Arena...but I'm certain the collectibles will be just as popular among the Hawkeyes' older fans, too. To be really honest, I'm looking forward to starting my collection.
Eleven games in and what do we know...No. 2: The freshmen can play. Of course, Fran will - and has - tell you they had no choice...they were needed now so they were going to be tossed into the fray now. But, oh, how they've responded. Sure, they've made some mistakes - all freshmen do - but the brightness of the future of those guys requires a welder's shield.
It's kind of weird-slash-different-slash-exciting to come to work each day and gaze down on the FieldTurf of Kinnick before settling into the chair behind the table that serves as my new and temporary workspace. It's even more different to gaze down and see nothing but a 130 or so yard of white stuff. One month down....perhaps another eight or so to go...
Eleven games in and what do we know...No. 3: Matt Gatens is going to be just fine. Apparently the plan is for Matt Gatens to be bandage-free for the Big Ten opener Dec. 29 against Illinois. He appeared awfully darn close to his old self against the Bulldogs after a sizzling first 10 minutes against Iowa State. This progression should bode well for the good guys in black-and-gold during what promises to be a challenging Big Ten slate.
So just what do you think that coach of the New York Jets was thinking? Did he really think no one would notice? What was it that Forest Gump said? "Stupid is as stupid does."
Eleven games in and what do we know...No. 4: Andrew Brommer can play, too. Hawk fans saw glimpses here and there, now and then previously. Now, we're seeing them more often. And, again, Fran told us so this summer and fall, so it really shouldn't come as a surprise.
Missouri's quarterback kind of reminds me of Ben Roethlisberger when he was playing for Miami of Ohio: Big. Strong. Solid. Talented. If I recall correctly, the Hawkeyes fared pretty well against Big Ben.
Speaking of quarterbacks, I have a hunch ours will be on top of his game the night of Dec. 28. In fact, I have a hunch a whole bunch of Hawkeyes are eager to be on top of their game on the night of Dec. 28.
It's likely this is the last "Random" before Christmas...although I may have some thoughts during the trip to Temp. Nonetheless, just in case these are, enjoy the holidays and, wherever your travels take you, travel safe.
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.