Wine Online: Before Gable, There Was a Hawk Named Kurdelmeier
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- With the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials coming to Carver-Hawkeye Arena Saturday and Sunday, let's pause a moment to salute the man whose vision 40 years ago puts the national spotlight on the University of Iowa this weekend. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Most everyone agrees that Fran McCaffery has the Hawkeyes pointed in the right direction, but some doubt an Iowa coach can build a program that consistently is in the Big Ten's first division, has 20-win seasons and plays in the NCAA Tournament. Those doubters either have a bad memory or are still in their teens. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- If Las Vegas odds makers are right, the Big Ten will take a black eye in upcoming bowl games. The conference has 10 teams in the post season, and only three are favored to win. Iowa is not one of them. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- When Fran McCaffery was ejected from Iowa's basketball game at UNI the other night, he joined select company. Ralph Miller and Lute Olson, two of the best coaches Iowa ever had, also got tossed out of games while coaching the Hawkeyes. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Two years ago I had occasion to visit with Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops and suggested his Sooners and the Hawkeyes get together for a couple of football games. He said he would not be comfortable playing his alma mater and good friend Kirk Ferentz, and made it clear that wasn't likely to happen. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Hawkeyes finished 7-5, about where pre-season predictions had them. The record would have been 9-3 had they protected fourth quarter and overtime leads at Iowa State, and not had a fourth-quarter meltdown at Minnesota. On the other hand, it would have been 6-6 if not for a school-record 28-point rally that beat Pittsburgh.more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- My phone rang Saturday midway through Iowa's football game at Purdue. A friend who has closely followed the Hawkeyes for 70 years said it was the strangest half of football he had ever seen. I couldn't disagree. There were some highly unusual twists and turns in those 30 minutes. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- There is good reason to be optimistic about an Iowa basketball team that has just opened its season. The Hawkeyes return seven players, including four starters, who played a major role a year ago. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Any post-mortem of Iowa's stirring 24-16 victory over Michigan last Saturday has to start with a defensive unit that has not received a lot of accolades lately. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa wasn't supposed to be very good in 1981, Hayden Fry's third year as head coach. That's probably because the Hawkeyes hadn't been very good since 1960, and had experienced 19 consecutive seasons without a winning record. As my good friend Jim Zabel puts it, "There were one or two bad decades in there."more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- As the clock was winding down on Iowa's 45-24 homecoming triumph over Indiana, Pat Harty, sports columnist for the Iowa City Press Citizen, asked me if Marvin McNutt might be the Hawkeyes' best all-time wide receiver. It was a good and timely question. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- When Iowa's football game with Northwestern ended Saturday night, I grabbed a rule book and turned to page 1, rule 1(a). And there it was, in black and white: "The winner of the game shall be the team that scores the most points." more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- It is very hard to win a football game without scoring a touchdown. It's not impossible, however.more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- His teams have relied more on execution than trickery; more on fundamentals than pizazz. If that's plain vanilla, let's have another serving. In the past 10 years Kirk's teams have won 80 games, the most wins in any decade in Iowa history. Throw in a couple of Big Ten championships and a 6-3 record in bowl games and you've got a resume a lot of coaches would love to have. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Here are some facts, figures, observations and opinions about Iowa's football team after the first four games of the 2011 football season. The Hawkeyes concluded the non-conference portion of their schedule with a 3-1 record. Had they protected three late-game leads at Iowa State, it would be 4-0. On the other hand, it would be 2-2 if not for a stirring school-record 21-point comeback that beat Pittsburgh. more
Wine Online: Sweet Smell of Success
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa's football game with Pittsburgh was nearly 44 minutes old before the Hawkeyes managed to cross the goal line, but once they got a whiff of the end zone, they couldn't get enough of the aroma. They appeared to be addicted and wanted more. And they got it - again, again and again. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The first question that came to mind following the football game at Ames Saturday was this: When is the last time the Hawkeyes scored 41 points and lost? more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- When lightning bolts started popping in the third quarter the game was stopped, the stadium was evacuated, and the game was delayed nearly for an hour and a half by foul weather. When it ended at 3:28 p.m. in a near-empty Kinnick Stadium, the weather was a bigger story than the game (which, incidentally, Iowa won 34-7). more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Some pre-season publications predict Iowa to sweep a four-game non-conference schedule, but that seems like a bit of a stretch. It's true that three games are at Kinnick Stadium, but they are all against teams expected to contend for conference championships. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The college athletic conference we know at the Big Ten was founded 115 years ago by seven Midwest universities. Today, with the recent addition of Nebraska, the membership total is 12. Here is what happened between then and now: Professors from seven universities met at the Palmer House in downtown Chicago on Feb. 8, 1896, to officially establish the "Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives." It was an appropriate name, because faculty firmly controlled the league for decades. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Some Hawkeye football fans were recently punching the bag, talking about quarterbacks. They wondered when Iowa last had a No. 1 quarterback who was a native Iowan, and how many Iowans have become good Iowa quarterbacks. The questions were triggered by the Hawkeye depth chart, which shows James Vandenberg as the top QB. The junior from Keokuk has a firm grip on the No. 1 spot. Coach Kirk Ferentz said so during spring practice, and he repeated it again when fall drills opened in early August. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The recent death of Whitey Piro made me recall an interesting piece of Hawkeye lore. Whitey came to Iowa in 1952 as part of Forest Evashevski's first football staff and helped coach the Hawkeyes to Big Ten and Rose Bowl championships in 1956 and 1958. He is also remembered for his scouting report on Minnesota in 1953. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Only three Hawkeye football coaches have taken teams to bowl games. Forest Evashevski did it twice in the 1950s, Hayden Fry 14 times in the 1980s and 1990s. The Insight Bowl Dec. 28 will be Kirk Ferentz's ninth trip this decade. Together, they have 13 bowl triumphs. Here are my favorite wins, two for each coach. more
Wine Online: A Numbers Game and Another Hall for Fry
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Hey, Hawkeye fans, here's a question for you. Who was the greatest Iowa football or men's basketball player to wear No. 5 on his jersey? Was it Drew Tate, Sedrick Shaw or Andre Woolridge? Who was the best to wear No. 15? Was it Don Nelson, Willie Fleming or Duke Slater? How about No. 44? Dallas Clark, Glenn Vidnovic, Greg Bruner or Kevin Kunnert? more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- This is a big week for Iowa basketball. New Coach Fran McCaffery will get his first taste of in-state competition when his Hawkeyes host Northern Iowa Tuesday and Iowa State Friday. Both games will be televised by the Big Ten Network. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Get a grip on yourselves, Hawkeye fans. Take a deep breath, it's only the end of the regular football season, not the end of the world. It might have been the end of the world if your Hawkeyes had lost five times by huge margins in games in which they were badly overmatched. That's when you have serious problems. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- When Iowa's football team ends its regular season at Minnesota Saturday, the game will be played (drum roll, please) outdoors. Fans under 40 years old probably can't remember the two teams playing anywhere but the Metrodome, which opened in in downtown Minneapolis in 1982 and became home to the Gophers' football team, as well as to the Twins and Vikings, the Twin Cities' two professional teams. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- So much for the pre-game hype for Ohio State's visit to Kinnick Stadium Saturday. Iowa's loss at Northwestern let the air out of that balloon. Only the visiting team will be playing for the Big Ten championship. The home team will be playing for pride, a January bowl game, and a victory for its seniors -- playing at Kinnick for the last time -- to remember. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Damarlo Belcher is an athletic 6-5 wide receiver on the Indiana football team. A junior, he has already caught 151 passes, 11 for touchdowns, in less than three seasons. This year he leads the Big Ten with 65 receptions. In the closing seconds of Iowa's game at Indiana Saturday, Belcher attempted to make a leaping catch while falling backwards in the end zone. He failed to do so, and Iowa escaped Bloomington with an 18-13 victory. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Now the race to the Big Ten championship involves four teams, and Iowa is one of them. The others are MSU, Wisconsin and Ohio State, each with one loss in league play. It's going to be an interesting November. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa has now lost two games -- one by seven points and another by one point -- and special teams breakdowns were big factors in the outcome of each contest. More close games are surely ahead, and if the Hawkeyes keep making mistakes on special teams, they'll likely lose some. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Who was your Player of the Game in Iowa's stirring 38-28 victory at Michigan? Was it Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, with his three touchdown receptions? Check the list of visiting players who have scored three times in the Big House. You won't use all the fingers on one hand. To add an exclamation point to his performance, DJK became the Iowa's all-time leading pass receiver, based on yards gained. more
Wine Online: A Bye Week Bonus
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Has it really been 10 years? Has that much time passed since the Hawkeyes, ranked No. 1 in college football, hosted Michigan, ranked No. 2? The records say that game was played on October 19, 1985, at Kinnick Stadium before a capacity crowd of 66,350. Hard to believe, but that was a decade ago. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- This was nothing like Iowa's overtime wins at Happy Valley in 2000 and 2002. It didn`t come down to a game-winning field goal the final seconds, as the Hawkeye victory at Kinnick did two years ago. This was just a good, solid, decisive triumph to open Big Ten play. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Four non-conference games are history, and Iowa's football team now faces a Big Ten schedule that looks like the toughest slate of league games the Hawkeyes have played in years. It starts with Penn State at Kinnick Stadium Saturday night. Then comes Michigan, Wisconsin and Michigan State. All four of those October opponents are ranked in the Top 25 and considered to be contenders for the Big Ten championship. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- When playing a good football team late at night and 1,500 miles from home, making one mistake can be costly. Making three can be fatal. Iowa learned that lesson Saturday night in Tucson. A blocked punt, an 85-yard return of an intercepted pass, and a 100-yard kickoff return gave Arizona three touchdowns before the game was 16 minutes old. It's a credit to the Hawkeyes that they did not wilt under this turn of events and 90-degree heat. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Maybe you've noticed a certain sameness in Iowa's two football victories this season. The Hawkeyes win the coin toss and receive the kickoff. Then they march smartly down the field and score a touchdown. Then they score again, and again, and again. Meanwhile their defense is unyielding, and the outcome is decided by halftime. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Plenty of good news came out of Iowa's football opener against Eastern Illinois. The best news was that Ricky Stanzi did not sustain a serious injury when he slipped awkwardly on the turf. It was a scary moment as the senior quarterback limped to the sideline. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- There's something unusual about Iowa's 2010 football season: All games appear to be winnable. Oh, I'm not predicting a 12-0 record for this team. That's unrealistic. I'm just saying that -- barring critical injuries or other unexpected setbacks -- the Hawkeyes appear to have a reasonable chance to beat every opponent on their schedule. more
Wine Online: Fran Similar to Ralph
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- When Ralph Miller became Iowa's basketball coach in 1964 the program was going south. The Hawkeyes had finished near the bottom of the Big Ten the previous two seasons, attendance was embarrassingly low and apathy had set in. Sound familiar? Miller was part coach, part salesman and part showman, and he was very good at all three. Before he ever coached a game at Iowa, he issued a promise and a warning to Hawkeye supporters. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Some things to chew on during a football off-season in which the Hawkeyes are basking in the aftermath of a dominating Orange Bowl performance: Iowa had an impressive 7-2 record against teams that played in bowl games. Wins were against Wisconsin, Arizona, Minnesota, Iowa State, Penn State, Michigan State and Georgia Tech. Losses were to Ohio State and Northwestern. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Orange Bowl matches Georgia Tech's explosive offense against Iowa's stingy defense. In fact, it's a perfect match. NCAA stats show Tech as the 11th best offense among 120 BCS teams, while Iowa's defense ranks 11th. Tech has scored 35.3 points a game. Iowa has given up less than half of that (15.5). One team will try to impose its will on the other, and both will have had a month to formulate their game plans.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- When Hayden Fry took over an ailing Iowa football program in 1979, he had a lot of things to change, including the image. One way to do that was to change the uniform. The best football team on the planet at the time was the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were winning Super Bowl championships in the NFL, and their colors happened to be black and gold, the same as Iowa's.
Wine Online: That's a Lot of Hardware
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- How much do traveling trophies motivate college football teams? Does the Old Oaken Bucket make Purdue and Indiana play harder? Is the Little Brown Jug an inspiration when Michigan plays Minnesota? Iowa plays for three traveling trophies: The Cy-Hawk Trophy for Iowa State, the Heartland Trophy for Wisconsin and Floyd of Rosedale for Minnesota. And while it is impossible to say how much incentive -- if any -- these trophies provide, recent results indicate they give inspiration to the Hawkeyes.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- It's a little-known fact that Floyd of Rosedale, the long-time traveling trophy that goes to the winner of Iowa's football game with Minnesota at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, is a product of racism. The target of that racism was Ozzie Simmons, a star running back for the Hawkeyes in the mid-1930s when Hitler was spreading bigotry in Europe and the Ku Klux Klan was active in America. Not many African Americans were competing in college sports. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa's football team went to Ohio State Saturday and did what few thought possible. The Hawkeyes played the Buckeyes straight up and after 60 minutes there was still no decision. Each team had scored 24 points, and Iowa had done it with a freshman quarterback starting his first game, and a freshman running back who had missed the last two games with an ankle sprain. After four quarters of play, these two freshmen -- James Vandenberg and Adam Robinson -- had all their team's rushing yardage and Vandenberg had thrown for two touchdowns. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa fans who were eager to see their favorite football team get off to a fast start and an early lead got their wish Saturday. On a gorgeous day at Kinnick Stadium, the Hawkeyes scored in the first minute of play on a 74-yard touchdown pass from Ricky Stanzi to Marvin McNutt. On their next possession they moved downfield and Daniel Murray booted a 39-yard field goal. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Fifty years ago the most popular and recognizable person in our state was -- by far -- the University of Iowa football coach. Forest Evashevski, who died Oct. 30 at age 91, had just coached the Hawkeyes through three consecutive seasons that have never been equaled in school history. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Kirk Ferentz says that wind influences a football game much more than rain. Those of us who watched the twists and turns in Iowa's 42-24 victory over Indiana on Saturday would not disagree with the head coach. more
Wine Online: Celebrating 1980, Iowa Hoops Style
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Members of Iowa's 1979-80 basketball team have a reunion scheduled for this weekend (Oct. 30-31) to celebrate one of the most memorable seasons in school history. They'll recall the 10 straight victories that opened the season and the injuries and adversity that followed. Finally, and most vividly, they'll remember their serious run at a national championship. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Deep in the bowels of ancient Camp Randall Stadium there is a telephone booth. That's where Iowa's players went at halftime Saturday to slip Superman outfits under their black and gold uniforms. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Here we are in mid-October and only two major college football teams are a perfect 6-0. One is Alabama. The other is (drum roll, please) Iowa. Before you holler this can't be true, let me point out there are seven other unbeaten teams that have played only five games: Florida, Texas, Boise State, Cincinnati, TCU, Kansas and South Florida. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- My son Steve is a sports writer in Miami who makes his living at this time of year writing about the National Football League. But he finds time to follow the University of Iowa, his alma mater, and he has this observation five games into the football season: The two best quarterbacks the Hawkeyes have faced have played for teams from the Missouri Valley and Sun Belt Conferences. They have not played for teams in the Big 12, the Pac-10 and the Big Ten, the so-called power conferences. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- After Iowa and Penn State slogged their way through three quarters of a football game at Beaver Stadium Saturday night, one thing was obvious to 107,000 rain-soaked fans and an ABC television audience. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa --
Here's what we know about the Hawkeyes three weeks into the football season. They are 3-0, with a hair-raising victory over UNI and decisive triumphs over Iowa State and Arizona. While that slate of games does not represent Murderers' Row, it should be noted that all three teams are now 2-l, with their only loss to Iowa. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Did you see this coming? A 35-3 blowout? If so, buy a plane ticket to Las Vegas and cash in on your clairvoyance.
Hey, this was supposed to be a hotly contested rivalry football game between the two largest universities in our state. Iowa was limping off a narrow one-point escape from UNI. Iowa State had renewed optimism because of a new offense with no huddle. And, as it happened, no touchdowns.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A week after Iowa's swat team of Broderick Binns and Jerimiah Hunter blocked Northern Iowa's upset bid, the Hawkeyes travel to Ames for a football game with another in-state rival, Iowa State.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Big Ten football schedules are not what they used to be. Not by a long shot.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- In the 10 years Kirk Ferentz has been head football coach, Iowa has generally had good defenses. Under coordinator Norm Parker and his staff, some have been very good.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- If you think the sky has fallen and Iowa's basketball team cannot recover from the defection of four scholarship players, here are two stories that will give you hope. One comes from my friend Al Schallau, who graduated from Iowa some 40 years ago, then moved to Southern California to seek his fortune as a lawyer.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Midway through the football season, Iowa fans began to realize they might be witnessing something special. Week after week, Saturday after Saturday, game after game, Shonn Greene hammered his way to more than 100 yards rushing. He ran through, around and over opponents, regardless of how many men they put in the box or what kind of defense they used in an attempt to contain him.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Midway through the football season, a friend who is a knowledgeable fan, asked if I thought the Hawkeyes would win another game. He was serious. Things were not looking good for the Hawkeyes, who were having issues at quarterback as well as turnovers. As a consequence, they had lost three straight games by a total of nine points. They seemed incapable of winning close games, just as they had the two previous seasons. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- One week after the University of Iowa defeated Penn State on a "Hail Murray," Purdue failed to beat the Hawkeyes on a "Hail Mary." After wondering if our favorite football team could win a close game, it won two in eight days. On a cold, windy and generally dreary day, a 22-17 victory over Purdue did not come easy, and it was not always pretty. The special teams were not special, with two missed extra points, short punts, and a long kickoff return by Purdue. Two Iowa fumbles were turned into 10 points by the Boilermakers. And the failure to make a fourth-and-1 in the closing minutes led to a nail-biting finish. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Coaching decisions determine the outcome of games, and Kirk Ferentz made two Saturday that were critical in Iowa' memorable 24-23 victory over Penn State. irk made his first just before the game started. In his nearly 10 seasons as coach of the Hawkeyes, he has chosen to receive the kickoff if his team wins the coin toss. But on a cold and windy day, he decided to defer his choice until the second half when Iowa won the coin flip. more
Wine Online: Arrrrgh. The Frustration.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Big Ten probably never had a day in which every conference football game was decided in the final 30 seconds.
But it has now. The results of all four Big Ten games on Saturday were determined in the final, fleeting seconds. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Following a bye week, a well-rested Iowa football team is gearing up for the second half of its Big Ten schedule, which looks more challenging than the first half. The two toughest games ahead appear to be with Penn State and Minnesota. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa - In the wake of Shonn Greene's Herculean performance against Wisconsin, and the marvelous consistency he has shown, many Iowa fans are asking two questions: (1) Can Greene win the Heisman Trophy, and (2) Will he forego his senior season and turn pro? more
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Who was the hero of Iowa's 45-9 thumping of Indiana? Was it the defense, which for the second game in a row allowed a Big Ten opponent only one touchdown? Was it the offensive line, which dominated so thoroughly that Iowa had a 2-to-1 advantage in time of possession?. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa - The Big Ten has a long history of producing great running backs. Probably the first was Red Grange of Illinois, who ran wild in the early 1920s and became known as "The Galloping Ghost." Others followed with equally colorful nicknames. There was Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsh and Allen "The Horse" Ameche, both of Wisconsin, and Eric "The Flea" Allen of Michigan State. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Back in August I suggested three ways for the Hawkeyes to enjoy a successful football season: (1) win close games, (2) win when favored, and (3) win at Kinnick Stadium. Saturday they failed on all three. Five turnovers were costly in a Homecoming loss to Northwestern, and this week the buzz is about fumbles, not quarterbacks. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Maybe you've heard that the Hawkeyes have questions at quarterback. Yes, four games into the football season, the all-important quarterback position remains uncertain. While this is unusual at Iowa, it is not without precedent. Let's look at two seasons where "quarterback controversies" resulted in success. And keep in mind that our current head coach was around for both. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Yes, you can put lipstick on a pig and get positive results. The Hawkeyes proved that Saturday by applying some fourth-quarter cosmetics to a football game that was unattractive and often ugly for three periods. Iowa and Iowa State had played a strange and sometimes sloppy contest on a field left slippery by a two-day rain. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- While loyal fans and sports reporters obsess about Iowa's so-called quarterback controversy, here's a piece of information that might divert their attention: The Hawkeyes have not allowed their first two opponents to penetrate the red zone. more
IOWA CITY, Iowa - The capacity crowd for the season opener at Kinnick Stadium included members of the 1958 Iowa football team. They were on campus to renew friendships, reflect on their accomplishments and tell a few stories -- some true, some perhaps embellished. more