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Random Thoughts is written by Rick Klatt, the UI Athletics Department's associate athletics director for external affairs, and first appears as an exclusive feature of Hawk Talk Daily, the daily e-newsletter of the UI Athletics Department. If you are not a recipient of Hawk Talk Daily - "HTD" for short - click HERE to review a recent edition and subscribe if you like what you see.

HTD Random Thoughts, March 17, 2014
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Take it from a guy who was here 10 years ago for the first Herky on Parade: You are going to be blown away by the work of the artists on this year's celebration of our beloved Herky, the recovery of our communities from the great flood, and 125 completed seasons of Iowa football, the 75th anniversary of the Ironmen, and the 25th anniversary of the UI Athletics Hall of Fame. Monday, May 5. Mark it down. It's the day of the big unveil. more

HTD Random Thoughts, January 26, 2014
IOWA CITY, Iowa - What can you say about the play of Mike Gesell? When your point guard scores 11 points on a nice variety of shots including a pair of drives to the rim, chalks up six assists, and turns it over just once, the head coach is smiling. more

HTD Random Thoughts, January 19, 2014
IOWA CITY, Iowa - There's not much I can add to the outpouring of love and affection and appreciation for Norm Parker. A special guy for lots of good reasons and many of those had nothing to do with how good he was as a football coach. This story about Norm made the rounds shortly after his retirement: HERE. It seems appropriate to share it again. more

HTD Random Thoughts, January 13, 2014
IOWA CITY, Iowa - If you haven't checked out this month's edition of Hawk Talk Monthly, here's a link: HERE. The photograph of some of our football guys on the rollercoaster down in Tampa, Fla., makes my knees weak. more

HTD Random Thoughts, January 6, 2014
IOWA CITY, Iowa - It's only fifth day of January and Iowa's two basketball teams have really big games on their schedules today. That's not to say every game isn't a big game for Lisa and Fran's squads when the opponent is a Big Ten Conference opponent, but today's contests are important and for different reasons. more

HTD Random Thoughts, December 16, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Count me among those who will miss "Legends" and "Leaders": HERE. While I'm a huge fan of the new West Division of the Big Ten Conference -- because we get to play all of our border rivals annually -- don't you have to admit that "East" and "West" is a little boring? Accurate? Yes. Interesting? No. more

HTD Random Thoughts, December 2, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa - I "tweeted" this Friday to followers of the UI Athletics Department's official Twitter page HERE: Three trophy game victories...all on road. That speaks loudest about how far this team has come in a year. At Iowa State, at Minnesota, and at Nebraska. Maybe outside the Midwest, these games don't resonate, but they do for the participants, and coming home with hardware isn't easy. . more

HTD Random Thoughts, November 18, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa - My opinion of bye weeks hasn't changed. I missed watching the Hawkeyes yesterday. I enjoyed watching a handful of other games including those 2:30 p.m. Big Ten games -- had to scout the Wolverines and Cornhuskers -- but it was a college football Saturday, and the good guys in black and gold weren't on the field, so it was unfulfilling. more

HTD Random Thoughts, November 11, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Speaking of the Hawkeye Radio Network's postgame show, Ed must have rattled off six or seven or eight defensive linemen who will be back on the field for the Hawkeyes next year including their "Player of the Game," defensive end Mike Hardy, a Wisconsin native who, like the rest of the defense, did a nice job of bottling up the Badgers for the game's first 50 minutes. My sense is that if you throw out the long runs Wisconsin got when the game was decided, you have another salty defensive effort led by senior linebacker James Morris, who paced Iowa with 12 total tackles, two tackles for loss, and a sack. more

HTD Random Thoughts, November 4, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Speaking of the Hawkeye Radio Network's postgame show, Ed must have rattled off six or seven or eight defensive linemen who will be back on the field for the Hawkeyes next year including their "Player of the Game," defensive end Mike Hardy, a Wisconsin native who, like the rest of the defense, did a nice job of bottling up the Badgers for the game's first 50 minutes. My sense is that if you throw out the long runs Wisconsin got when the game was decided, you have another salty defensive effort led by senior linebacker James Morris, who paced Iowa with 12 total tackles, two tackles for loss, and a sack. more

HTD Random Thoughts, October 27, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa - For the record, I live my college football life with blinders on 90 percent of the time: I concern myself with one team -- our Iowa Hawkeyes -- and one conference -- the grandest of them all, the Big Ten. The latter shifts a little when the calendar flips to November because, at that time of the year, it's important to start surveying the national landscape a little more closely. more

HTD Random Thoughts, October 13, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Bye weeks...you either love 'em or hate 'em. If your team is on a roll, you probably hate 'em. Why slow the mo'? If your team is a little banged up, they're probably not a bad thing. I also know it's an incredibly long season, quite a grind that begins in early August and extends, preferably, into the new year. However, as a fan, I don't like them on bit. I like the routine. It's Saturday. So it's a game day. Bring it on. more

HTD Random Thoughts, September 30, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Yeah, that's not a typo. It was a "pig win" for Kirk's team yesterday in Minneapolis. It was also a big win...but you don't get to type "world record" and "Iowa Hawkeyes" in the same sentence too often, so before I begin droning on about the Hawkeyes' determined effort to keep Floyd in Iowa City for another year, I need to invite you to read about the successes of Marc Long's men's and women's swimmers yesterday in Ann Arbor, Mich. more

HTD Random Thoughts, September 14, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa - You know, this "It's this team's Super Bowl or the biggest game on the schedule for that team or this team has bigger fish to fry" thing when it comes to Iowa vs. Iowa State has also grown a little weary. Step back a second. Don't you think it's an important game for both teams every year? Both teams want a win, neither wants a loss. From where I sit, the rest is all hot air...which, of course, is part of any and every "Rivalry Week." Now, here's the hiccup. If you were to give me this option each year: Lose to Iowa State, but be packing for Pasadena in December. As tough as that might be for many of us, I would say "Where do I sign?" I think the truth is, I'm like the most fans: I want both. more

HTD Random Thoughts, September 7, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa - What are my takeaways from yesterday? Count me as an even bigger fan of Jake Rudock. Sure, many will point to the Pick-6 and begin to shout. I prefer to point to the perfect strike to George Kittle for 47, and how definitively he steadied the ship after the give-away. I also like the way he carries himself after positive plays -- flips the ball to the referee after a touchdown with that look of confidence -- and after not-so-good plays. He's got that "I've been here before" swagger that successful field generals have. I also love how deep and talented our running back position is (click HERE for more on this) and how solid we are defensively against the run. I also like the improvements that have been made to our public address system and the modifications that were made to the look of the south scoreboard. more

HTD Random Thoughts, May 13, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Iowa vs. Notre Dame in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Yeah. I like the sound of that, a lot. Perhaps the two teams will have so much fun that the head coaches will talk about a home-and-home-and-home-and-home-and-home-and-home? I think you get the point. This is one of those that, on the surface and from afar - and, trust me, I am far, far away from the decision-making when it comes to our schedule in men's basketball - that seems like a no-brainer. Let's see what happens. In the interim, let's make sure Carver is rockin' when the Irish pay it a visit. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Apr. 28, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Prior to yesterday's scrimmage, 250 youngsters participated in the first Kamp Kinnick youth instructional camp. I think a good time was had by all including the 40 or so former Hawkeyes like Billy Happel, Tim Dwight and Chuck Long who served as camp counselors. A tip of the fedora to those guys for their special efforts in a day that included a "Tunnel Walk" for the youngsters. Cool...very cool. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Mar. 31, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa -Box scores provide a lot of data. I think our head coach in men's basketball likes the fact that the box score for last Wednesday's game reveals that our second half field goal percentage was better than that of our first half, that our second half percentage from behind the arc was better than that of our first half, that we won the battle of the boards in both halves and increased the margin of victory on the glass in the second half, and that we did all of this in front of a boisterous crowd of 11,000-plus. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Mar. 24, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa - I don't know the exact numbers, but if - as they say...agree with it or not - the real test of a men's basketball conference's "strength" is how they perform in the post-season, the nation's No. 1 conference statistically, the Mountain West, doesn't get a passing grade. Meanwhile, my Big Ten Conference is competing nicely, thank you. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Mar. 11, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa - You guys know me....I'm Big Ten to the core. So, how about that game yesterday in Ann Arbor? Pretty exciting basketball...and it was just one of many great events played on the hardwood inside Big Ten basketball arenas including, of course, the wooden planks of Mediacom Court inside our very own Carver-Hawkeye Arena during the just-completed regular season. more



HTD Random Thoughts, Feb. 25, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Speaking of Lisa Bluder, I enjoyed this from her weekly visit with the media on Friday: Asked about the rough stretch earlier this month her team went through, Iowa's veteran head coach responded, "You know, we have short memories. What I remember now is that win over Purdue and I'm feeling pretty darn good about it." Yes, indeed, she and the Hawkeyes should. A 20-point win on a nationally ranked opponent's home court is pretty darn sweet. You can read a little more about what she said HERE. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Feb. 4, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa - For the record, I kind of prefer the weather of last Sunday and Monday to that which swept across our neck of the woods midweek and lingers here today. Brrrrrr....but it is Iowa and it is the third day of February so what should we realistically expect? more

HTD Random Thoughts, Jan. 14, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa - I was reminded again this week that "fan" is short for "fanatic" when I visited one of the black-and-gold themed message boards shortly after the Hawkeyes' tough-to-swallow loss to Michigan State Thursday night on Mediacom Court. C'mon, folks. Do some of you really think Fran's squad won't win another game this season? I have to believe membership in that club is pretty small if not minute. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Dec. 17, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa - So, what can I say about Devyn Marble that you didn't read online last night or won't read about in today's newspapers? Well, I'd start by suggesting he appeared to be fully dialed in from the opening tip. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Dec. 4, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Speaking of red: Red and white versus red and white in Indianapolis and in Atlanta in the only conference championship games that really matter as far as this college football fan is concerned. And, of course, red and white versus red and white in, what else, the (red) Rose Bowl. Go Big Ten...it is, after all, that time of the college football season where your allegiance needs to expand to embrace your conference brethren. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Nov. 12, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa - I think it's Dove soap that is currently marketing its men's products under the theme, "Comfortable in your own skin." So I ask, is there anyone more comfortable in their skin these days that Zach McCabe of the Iowa men's basketball team? "Coach, want me to bang down low? Sure." "Coach, want me to pop a few three's from the perimeter? OK. I'm in." "Need a few rebounds? Yeah. I can do that." Here's a link to the box score from Friday's night's season opener for Fran McCaffery's. Take a look at the line for the 6-foot-7 junior from Sioux City. It's impressive. Zach is definitely comfortable in his own skin these days...and that's a good thing for the good guys. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Oct. 29, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa - I don't understand the obsession by some media and fans about night games in November. Yes, there are beautiful days in the month of November. No doubt. I remember the Saturday two years ago when the Hawkeyes were playing the Gophers on what was some pretty frozen tundra in Minneapolis in the season finale. That same day, the thermometer pushed into the 50s in Iowa City. Having said that, most evenings in the Heartland in the 11th month on the calendar aren't just chilly, they are downright cold and that's reason enough to leave sleeping dog alone. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Oct. 1, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa - I'm no Major League Baseball umpire and nor do I want to be, but if you see the replay from above the third base line, I do think it kind of a stretch to call the pop-up hit by the Atlanta Braves Friday night in the eighth inning of their winner-take-all game with the St. Louis Cardinals an automatic out by invoking the infield fly rule. I know shortstops are trained to go get the ball, but if he is supposed to makes that catch, he should be getting a chunk of that leftfielder's paycheck, too. Of course, those who know me will quickly offer that that's just "Rick's inner Chicago Cub talking..." and, maybe, just maybe, there's an ever so thin sliver of truth to that. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Sept. 30, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa - By the way, welcome home Floyd. It's really, really good to have you back. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Sept. 24, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Congratulations to both Dish Network and the Big Ten Network for coming to terms on an agreement. The real winners here are the millions of Dish Network customers who have come to enjoy what BTN provides on a daily basis: Unmatched, in-depth, state-of-the-art coverage of the Big Ten Conference's 12 universities and intercollegiate athletics programs. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Sept. 17, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa - "We got a win. That was important, most important, and then also I thought our guys really played hard. And I'll back it up; they had a good week in practice, and I thought we had a productive week, got some things done. You know, showed improvement." -- Kirk post-game. I've talked before about what I think is our head coach's natural ability to be straight-forward. You know, kind of like Sergeant Friday on the old television show, Dragnet. "Just the facts, ma'am." more

HTD Random Thoughts, Sept. 11, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Kirk predicted another great game in the series at his weekly press conference and the 70,000-plus inside historic Kinnick Stadium and the thousands of others milling about outside historic Kinnick Stadium and the thousands watching historic Kinnick Stadium compliments of BTN got exactly that. They also got an absolutely beautiful day to celebrate the state's largest single one-day event and to cheer their team while working on their late-summer sun tan. more

HTD Random Thoughts, August 27, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa - So, what does it really mean if the two-deeps have a few underclassmen listed? That was the question that seemed to be on everyone's mind last Friday when Kirk released the chart for next Saturday's season opener against Northern Illinois in the Windy City. For me, it's always the same: The coaching staff puts the best we have at each position each Saturday. They have confidence in them, I have confidence in them. Doesn't matter to me if they're a senior or a rookie. You can review the two-deeps and more. more



HTD Random Thoughts, July 23, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa - I was disappointed to hear - officially - earlier this week that the Pac-12 was pulling the plug on the idea of all 12 Big Ten football teams playing games against the 12 Pac-12 schools in the not-too-distant future. These would have been great events for the paying customer and, most likely, games the student-athletes would have been a little more excited about. Maybe they'll revisit the decision. They should. more

HTD Random Thoughts, May 21, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Last week I suggested that those at the table reworking college football were about to double their trouble when going from two to four teams. Well, it wasn't that much of a stretch to suggest this...but I kind of chuckled when I read this ESPN report that came out last week when the Big Ten Conference's directors of athletics were huddling in Chicago. more

HTD Random Thoughts, April 16, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa -Two Hawkeyes on the offensive side of the ball caught my attention while seated high in the south grandstand yesterday: No. 32, Damon Bullock, a running back, and No. 80, tight end Henry Krieger-Coble. Bullock looked pretty comfortable toting the rock and KC appeared to be a popular target of the quarterbacks. It also looks like there's some competition at placekicker and, as the coaching staff would undoubtedly add, competition is a good thing. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Mar. 19, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Spring has sprung unexpectedly here in the Heartland - and elsewhere - after a winter that had no punch. Does it mean anything more than just an early start on yard work and our golf games? I haven't a clue or a guess or a prediction. I'm simply going to enjoy it because, as my friends and family know, I kind of enjoy yard work. Weird, I know, but true. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Feb. 20, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa - We chuckled in the office on Friday afternoon how our visitors from the conference would leave with a wonderfully incorrect appreciation for the weather here in Iowa City. Yep. It was the third week of February and there was nary a cloud in the sky or a hint of a more real Iowa winter piled in the corners of campus parking lots. Four straight days in the 40s was our gift to our visitors. So where did all of our snow go? more

HTD Random Thoughts, Jan. 29, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa - OK. Here's a brain teaser for you: Which men's basketball team has made more visits to Final Four, the Purdue Boilermakers or the Iowa Hawkeyes? Ding, ding, ding....time's up. It's the Iowa Hawkeyes by score of 3-2. Surprised? I was, very much so when I stumbled upon this trivia while clicking through espn.com the other night attempting to take a guess at where on the Big Ten ladder could Fran's squad end the regular season. I'm still kind of dumbfounded...on both the brain teaser and where the Hawkeyes will land at season's end. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Jan. 17, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa - So, with one-third of its 2012 league season in the books, Fran's team stands an even 3 wins, 3 losses against its Big Ten peers. I'm not so sure too many fans of the Hawkeyes saw that coming in early December. If you're curious, Iowa's 12th game of the Big Ten season is Feb. 9 at Northwestern. Let's see where the numbers stand on Feb. 10 when two-thirds of the league season is history. Until then, let's live by Coaches Commandment No. 1: One game at a time. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Dec. 18, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Have any of you ever watched the show, "The Cake Boss"? If not, I suggest you check it out. At a minimum, you'll find it amusing. Me? I enjoy it immensely. So much so, meeting Buddy and visiting his bakery in Hoboken are now officially on my bucket list. My next order of business? I have to start a bucket list... more

HTD Random Thoughts, Nov. 20, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Even though it was significantly colder than predicted and grayer than predicted and actually rained on us a couple of times, yesterday's few hours wandering around Lafayette, West Lafayette and the Purdue campus reminded me again of a very simple reality: There really is nothing better than a football game-day in the hometown of a Big Ten institution. An interesting mix of excitement and tension fills the air. That and the great aroma of brats on the grill. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Nov. 6, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa --Yes, folks, kinda lost in all the excitement of yesterday's victory over Michigan, the third in a row, by the way, over the Wolverines for the good guys in black and gold, was the fact that Iowa got win No. 6 and is now eligible for a bowl game for the 11th consecutive season. Think about that a second...11 straight seasons. Eleven. Pretty impressive stuff. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Oct. 10, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- From the "Well, you might as well set the bar high" file: The inaugural "ANF Day at Kinnick" was a nice success. What do we do next year? That's for another day. Until then, here's a link to a video produced by our partners on the project, the Iowa Farm Bureau - on the day: HERE. And, if you haven't had a chance - and even if you have had the chance - there's a handful of additional video and audio available for you to enjoy inside Hawkeye All-Access, the multi-media area of hawkeyesports.com. You can get there by clicking HERE. And, if you're curious about the "Then" and "Now" of America Needs Farmers, here's a helpful link: more



HTD Random Thoughts, Sept. 26, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Kudos to those who participated in the "Green Out" of Kinnick Stadium last Saturday. You did a good thing...a really good thing. And, speaking of coloring Kinnick, here's the first of many reminders to fans attending Iowa's game against Northwestern on Oct. 15 - the inaugural ANF Day at historic Kinnick Stadium presented by the Iowa Farm Bureau: If your seat at the game is in an even numbered section of Kinnick, you wear gold. If you're sitting in an odd numbered section of our grand football facility, you wear black. We had great participation in last year's first Black and Gold Spirit Game. This year we're shooting for 100 percent participation. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Sept. 26, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Kudos to those who participated in the "Green Out" of Kinnick Stadium last Saturday. You did a good thing...a really good thing. And, speaking of coloring Kinnick, here's the first of many reminders to fans attending Iowa's game against Northwestern on Oct. 15 - the inaugural ANF Day at historic Kinnick Stadium presented by the Iowa Farm Bureau: If your seat at the game is in an even numbered section of Kinnick, you wear gold. If you're sitting in an odd numbered section of our grand football facility, you wear black. We had great participation in last year's first Black and Gold Spirit Game. This year we're shooting for 100 percent participation. more HTD Random Thoughts, Sept. 11, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Can you think of a time when Iowa was taller than it is today at the receiver positions? McNutt is 6-foot-4. David is 6-foot-3. And then there is tight end C. J. Fiedorowicz, who snared his first reception as a Hawkeye yesterday in Ames. Frankly, I thought that pass was thrown a wee little bit too high but, then again, C.J. stands 6-feet, 7-inches tall and has a really good pair of mitts. Wow. That's a target! more

HTD Random Thoughts, Sept. 4, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Rain, rain, go away No. 1... Pretty strange - well, maybe, the better word is "different" - don't you think? Kudos to the fans inside Kinnick yesterday that took it in stride. Even more kudos to those who came back. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Aug. 21, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- This is a sure sign that the end of summer is fast approaching: My favorite baseball team fired someone. Yes, the Cubs sent their long-time general manager packing on Thursday. "It's a business," Jim Hendry said before adding the obvious, "We didn't win enough." Yeah, that's probably true. The Cubs didn't - although they did have some very good years Hendry on the administrative roster. The irony of it all is that his departure - not the decision, as we know - comes during a period of success for the 2011 version of Major League Baseball's "Loveable Losers." Oh well, as they say and say and say again, there's always next year. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Aug. 8, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- As always, Hayden had a few stories to tell but, make no mistake, his admiration for those whose workdays typically begin at sunrise and usually don't end until sunset or, during harvest time, well after sunset, is real and heartfelt. He truly believes in what ANF stood for 26 years ago and today. more

HTD Random Thoughts, July 3, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- And, if you in the audience and were listening closely last Tuesday night in Davenport, you learned something - again - from Kirk. Our head coach was talking about the coming season and he noted the addition of Nebraska as one of several "new preparations" for his staff. New preparations? more

HTD Random Thoughts, June 27, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A tip of the fedora to everyone involved in the inaugural Ladies Football Academy. It was a home run by every measure: The participants had a ball, the coaches and instructors had a ball, and the event generated $150,000 for the Iowa Children's Hospital. Can it get any better than that? more

HTD Random Thoughts, June 5, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The UI and a ballroom filled with more than 850 friends, fans, peers and family celebrated Dan Gable last night at the Coralville Marriott. The once-in-a-lifetime salute to a real American icon concluded with the announcement that a statue of Dan will greet visitors to Carver-Hawkeye Arena beginning next April. more

HTD Random Thoughts, May 29, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa and Nebraska will kick at 11 a.m. next November. Some have grumbled that this event didn't rise to the level of a 2:30 p.m. kick but I kinda like it where it is. The Hawks can wake up, grab some breakfast, get taped and play football. No need to kill time in the hotel. more

HTD Random Thoughts, May 22, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa versus Northwestern in prime time. Yeah. That's a pretty good pick...and I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that the home of the Hawkeyes will be rockin'. It's going to be a pretty good football game. Recent history says so. more

HTD Random Thoughts, May 16, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Here's one last frame of reference that I personally like because of the guy involved: The last time Iowa won the Big Ten outdoor meet, the Hawkeyes' very, very, very likeable head coach, Larry Wieczorek, was running distance events for the UI and, for the record, running them very well. To know Larry is to like Larry. Remind me one day to tell you a funny story about Mr. and Mrs. Wieczorek and a Klatt family garage sale. It's one Larry and I laugh about often. more

HTD Random Thoughts, May 8, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Which is more true: Fans of the Hawkeyes are too pessimistic about the fortunes of the 2011 Iowa football team or too optimistic about the same for the 2011-12 Iowa men's basketball team? Interesting question, I think. I'm a half-filled water glass kind of guy, so I'm thinking big for both. With Kirk's squad, we seem to be where we thrive: An underappreciated football team perhaps flying below the radar. With Fran's, there's just too much "Mo'" from the end of last season to think that next season can't be something really, really fun. more



HTD Random Thoughts, May 1, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- I know I speak for a lot of eastern Iowans when I say that, often, the destruction caused by flooding and tornadoes is difficult to grasp from pictures on television but not so much so for those who have lived it. Thoughts and prayers from the Hawkeyes to the folks in the south who had their worlds turned upside down last week. more

HTD Random Thoughts, April 20, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- So, I'd just like to know who among us played the dirty joke on Mother Nature? I mean, c'mon, now. Seriously. One of us did something that didn't sit right with her. A week in the low 50s and an Easter Sunday that might have a hard time getting past 55 degrees? This is the third week of April and while I'm not eager to jump straight into summer, I thought I had put away the winter coat two weeks ago. more

HTD Random Thoughts, April 3, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa --Oh, yeah. The other game? Connecticut defeated Kentucky. No Cinderella's in that one. Just two powerhouse programs that, unfortunately for fans of college basketball, have the attention of the NCAA for reasons not related to the fun and frivolity of their visit to Houston and this year's Final Four. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Mar. 21, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- I studied this year's bracket a little more closely than in recent years. I did so because I wanted to see how many wins Fran's squad will need to be in the mix to be "Mad" a year from now. Penn State, Illinois and Michigan State all received invites to the Dance with 19 victories. So, the question is...is it possible that 19 is the new 20 for a team that plays and has some success in a major conference? more

HTD Random Thoughts, Mar. 6, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- So, who do you think had the bigger smile when the clock struck zero Saturday: Mrs. McCaffery, Mrs. Cole or Jarryd himself? My observation is below. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Feb. 27, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Kachine Alexander era at Carver-Hawkeye Arena has come and gone, much like the Lisa Becker and Michelle Edwards, and Toni Foster eras that came before her. Those fans of the Hawkeyes who watched "Kash" play in person will never forget the energy she brought to the floor. Those who bumped into her in the hallways of Carver or, perhaps, on a sidewalk on campus, will likely never forget her engaging smile. Let's hope hers and Kelsey Cermak's final season as Hawkeyes extends deep into March. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Feb. 21, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- It's likely that the Big Ten will announce later today that Iowa's final home game of the 2011 men's basketball season against Purdue will be played on Saturday, Mar. 5. Here's what I think about that: Clearly, Saturdays are a great day to play college basketball games. Saturday, Mar. 4, should be a great day for college basketball on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena for one very big reason...in my humble opinion: It's the last home appearance of senior Jarryd Cole. If you haven't noticed, the Kansas City native "brings it" every game and has done so since stepping on the UI campus four years ago. Fran's squad will miss Jarryd's fire and emotion and talent next year. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Feb. 13, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Now, to follow up on the previous paragraph: Don't be left with the impression that the wheels have come off of Bluder's Bunch. From where I sit, the Hawkeyes appear on a path that leads, currently, to a 4 or 5 seed in this year's NCAA Tournament. They could maybe climb to a 3 with a strong finish in what remains of the regular season paired with a deep run in Indianapolis. And, frankly, there's too much talent on the floor and among the coaching staff not think both are very real possibilities. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Feb. 6, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Yes, Hawkeye basketball fans that was a 10-point second half deficit on the road -- a 10-point second half deficit on the road -- Fran's squad erased en route to its 64-63 victory yesterday over Indiana inside a loud and proud Assembly Hall. Wow. What a game. Wow. What a win. Wow. That's back-to-back Big Ten victories by a team that keeps getting better and better and better. The Badgers visit Carver on Wednesday. I invite you to climb aboard the bus now by purchasing a game ticket or two. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Jan. 31, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- For a moment Thursday night I thought we were all going to live a "Yogi moment": Déjà vu all over again. Iowa and Michigan State were squaring off in women's hoops inside Carver with the outcome still in doubt, single-digit ticks on the clock and Spartans with possession. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Jan. 23, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- One of the biggest days of the year is fast approaching: Feb. 2 - "Signing Day." It's a day that offers fans of the Iowa football program a glimpse into future. Kirk typically suggests it's probably best to evaluate this year's class three or four years from now and he's right, of course. However, that's not how the world works these days. We're an instant gratification society more times than not, so there will be much instant analysis and declarations of success or failure, as a group and individually which, when you think a little about it, is more than just a little unfair to the student-athletes. Suggest they'll conquer the world and, if they don't, they're labeled as failures. Suggest they aren't up to snuff, and you're short-changing both their determination and the coaching staff's abilities to develop talent. Me, I'll follow Kirk's advice. It's usually pretty solid. more



HTD Random Thoughts, Jan. 16, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A tip of the fedora to fans of the football Hawkeyes. Iowa was one of just 18 football programs across the country to sell out all of their home games in 2010. That list included only three Big Ten teams: Iowa, Michigan and Ohio State. Heck of a deal. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Jan. 9, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Big Ten Conference says 78 former student-athletes will participate in the NFL's post-season. That number includes eight former Hawkeyes - the third highest total among league teams. Among that group is defensive lineman Colin Cole, who made a big stop for the Seattle yesterday when New Orleans - the defending Super Bowl champions - were attempting to make it interesting with a two-point conversion that would have trimmed the Seahawks' lead to three. more

HTD Random Thoughts, New Year's Day, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Speaking of Wednesday night, kudos to fans of the Hawkeyes for finding their way to Carver. Sure, there were more Illini fans in the building than any of us would like, but this, too, shall pass, and, in the meantime, we can all take solace in the fact that they paid full price. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Dec. 26, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Did you know that the first 10 years of the 2000s is the most successful decade in the history of Iowa football by total number of victories? It's true. Iowa will enter the 2010 Insight Bowl with an 80-45 record, three wins better than what was achieved by Hayden Fry's Hawkeyes in the 1980s. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Dec. 19, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- 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. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Dec. 6, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- I find this very interesting and strategic: The Big Ten's new bowl schedule clearly puts a major - and appropriate -- emphasis on the Rose Bowl presented by Vizio as evidenced by the fact that four different games involving league teams played earlier on New Year's Day deliver their television audiences to the doorstep of ESPN's inaugural broadcast of the "Granddaddy of them all." Should be interesting to see the ratings, both for the Rose and its "lead-ins." more

HTD Random Thoughts, Nov. 27, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- 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. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Nov. 20, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Here's another "stat that jumped off the page": The Big Ten Conference publishes weekly statistics in the sport of football. The list includes 30 categories ranging from scoring offense to kickoff coverage. Iowa and Ohio State rank are 1-2 or 2-1 in eight of those categories. Seems to me that speaks to what many expect to see today: Two pretty evenly matched football teams on the FieldTurf in Kinnick. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Nov. 16, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a silver-lining guy. My silver lining for Saturday was the play of placekicker Michael Meyer. The field goal he made in that driving rain during the second quarter was special considering the circumstances. He was also incredibly effective on kickoffs. It's beginning to look like he's grabbed the starting position as a true freshman and may not let it go for a long, long time. And a walk-on from Iowa to boot. Heck of a deal. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Nov. 12, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Fran was upstaged by his wife, Margaret, last week. Last night, it was Jim Zabel's turn. The legendary WHO Radio sports director and "Voice of the Hawkeyes" shared a few laughs with Dolph while plugging his new book, "I Love It! I Love it! I Love It!" I was crying with laughter. Jim tells a good story. No, let me take that back. Jim tells a great story and I agree 1,000 percent with Kirk when he said, upon arrival at the home of Bruce Titus and the gang, that Jim is a walking-talking history book for the Iowa Hawkeyes. more



HTD Random Thoughts, Nov. 9, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- "Basket by Marble!" exclaimed Mark Kamps, public address announcer for Iowa's men's games early in the exhibition Sunday. Two thoughts: First, that name conjured up lots of good memories - and victories. Second, I was reminded just how long I've been knocking around the hallways of CHA. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Nov. 6, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Here's the stat for today's visit to Bloomington - home of one of the prettiest campuses in the country...second to the UI, of course - that jumped off the page: While Iowa holds a commanding edge in the series all-time and in games played at Indiana, the teams have split their last 10 games. "All you have to do is look back to last year. They had us on the ropes," Kirk said of last year's victory in Kinnick on Halloween Day. "Back in '07, they beat us thoroughly (and) they got the ball rolling in '06." more

HTD Random Thoughts, Nov. 2, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- You gotta like the future for one James Morris. That was a big-time stop on the Hawkeyes' first three-and-out that he followed up with an afternoon filled with some pretty salty middle linebacker play in his first start as Hawk. "The team responded to him. They really like what he does in practice. He works hard and he's respected," Kirk said of true freshman from nearby Solon. By the way, he's No. 1 on the two-deeps for Saturday. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Oct. 29, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- You might have seen this reported elsewhere - and hawkeyesports.com will offer a closer look this weekend - but the UI football program is cranking out graduates at the same time its cranking out record-setting success on the playing field. According to information released this week by the NCAA, the "Graduation Success Rate" - GSR - for Kirk's program hit a high-water mark of 79 percent for the last reporting period, a whopping 10 points better than the national average. That's good stuff, folks. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Oct. 26, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- I don't know about you, but I'm ready for the political campaign television commercials to go away. I think I'm probably pretty representative of most voters at this moment in the campaign: These things are like "white noise"...you see 'em, but you don't hear 'em. They're meaningless or perhaps a lot like Schroeder in the old Peanuts cartoons: Wah! Woo!...Wah! Wah! Woo! more

HTD Random Thoughts, Oct. 22, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Just a reminder that the fifth annual Blackout Saturday event is scheduled for next Saturday at Kinnick when the Hawkeyes entertain the high-flying Spartans of Michigan State. I'll know the numbers next week, but if memory serves the Iowa-Michigan State series is another very close one...and there's plenty of reason to believe that this year's game will be a lot like many of the previous including last year's: A knock-down, last-guy-standing wins kind of contest. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Oct. 18, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa was a perfect five-for-five in the red zone Saturday in Ann Arbor. The Hawkeyes are now 23 for 26 for the season. That's a pretty efficient and productive offense. Now, here's a little detail that puts a smile of the face of the offensive coordinator: Of those 23 scores, 20 have been for touchdowns...10 by the run, 10 by the pass. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Oct. 14, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa --My question of Hawk fans: Are you ready to help these programs have success? If so, get your season tickets and help make it happen. Can't afford a season ticket? Then go ahead and cherry-pick a game or two or four - may I suggest the two games against our friends from Iowa State in early December, for starters? - but get to Carver and be the difference-makers. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Oct. 11, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Speaking of Saturday, if I talked to one, I talked to a 100 fans of the Hawkeyes in the past week who were struggling with having a "Saturday off." Like the coaches and team members, fans, too, also get into a routine this time of year and bye week's also kinda throw off their "internal college football clocks." Heck of a deal. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Oct. 4, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The family of former UI cheerleader Mary Lee Nagle Duda did a really nice thing - and surprising one, at that - to Mary Lee herself Saturday night when they introduced her and a gift of $1.5 million to the UI Foundation to establish the Mary Lee Hawkeye Spirit Fund to assist the UI in maintaining its tradition of encouraging student, alumni, and public support of the school's athletic programs. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Oct. 1, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Last week's game day marked another record for passengers on the Hawkeye Express. Seems like the idea of letting the Hawkeyes do the driving is steadily catching on. Ridership is traditionally lower on the Saturdays when the UI plays a true night game, so I wouldn't be expecting any big announcements next week. However, I do think we'll see ridership numbers that are pretty solid for the last three home games of 2010 and, perhaps, even a record-setter. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Sept. 22, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- This week there was even more evidence of the progress going on around those of us who still call Carver-Hawkeye Arena home and "live" on the second floor. The southern-most hallway now is a path for big, strong guys with wheel-barrow's full of broken bricks and stuff being taken out of the practice space used by Tom Brands' national champions. As you know, the wrestling room - like Iowa's strength and training space - will expand significantly as a result of the multi-million revitalization of the home of many Hawkeyes. more



HTD Random Thoughts, Sept. 20, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Interesting day in the Big Ten Saturday. A really gutsy overtime win by the Michigan State Spartans, a hold-on-to-your-hat win by the other Michigan team, and a head-scratching victory by Wisconsin. All things considered equal, it looks like we're a few weeks away from what promises to be another very interesting season in the nation's grandest conference. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Sept. 17, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Exchanged e-mails with former Hawkeye Matt Whitaker yesterday. You know, once a football player, always a football player. Like all of us, he's excited about the 2010 Hawkeyes...but, even through the keyboard, you could see that he had that game face on that only those who played the game can wear. It screams at you, "One game at a time..." more

HTD Random Thoughts, Sept. 13, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- If my math is correct, it's Iowa 70, Iowa State 10 in the last two meetings. You have to go back to 1985 and 1986, when Iowa put up 57 and 43 to ISU's 10, to find a more dominating pair of Hawkeye victories in a series that now stands at 39-19 in favor of the good guys all-time. Of course, those wins came during a remarkable 15-year run for the guys in black and gold thanks to Hadyen Fry and his staffs, staffs that included, by the way, a young guy named Kirk Ferentz. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Sept. 10, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Have you ever heard the phrase - or something closely akin - "Putting 10 pounds of flour in a 5-pound sack"? Well, that's what happens when 40,000 fans of college football try to enter Kinnick in the last 20 minutes before kickoff. Ain't gonna happen, folks. Just too many bodies and not enough spaces. So - again - consider leaving your pre-game festivities just under an hour before kickoff and enter the gate nearest your section of the stadium. It's the best bet if you want to enjoy "Back in Black" to its fullest. more

HTD Random Thoughts, Sept. 6, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Did I say it was a glorious day at Kinnick Saturday? John Campbell, Cedar Rapids' KCRG-TV9's talented and down-to-earth sports director, and I were visiting in our normal location at kickoff (field level, northeast corner) and couldn't recall a prettier season opener weather-wise - barely a wisp of a cloud and temperatures that struggled to climb past 70. Heck of a deal. more

HTD Random Thoughts, FRY-day, Sept. 3, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Speaking of BTN, my how things change. Three short years ago the idea of 24-7-365 Big Ten Conference television programming was snickered at by many. This summer, a day didn't pass when someone was lauding BTN or suggesting that another conference follow suit. Heck of a deal. more