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Hawk Talk Daily: Random Thoughts
Strength of schedule, Ferentz humor, and Throwback revisited
Kirk put a smile on the faces of his guests Tuesday with a dose of classic Ferentz humor.
Kirk put a smile on the faces of his guests Tuesday with a dose of classic Ferentz humor.
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Sept. 30, 2010


EDITOR'S NOTE: Later this month, the UI Athletics Department will officially introduce its new free daily e-newsletter, "Hawk Talk Daily" -- "HTD" for short. However, we decided to re-introduce a popular column from last year's "Official Sports Report" -- OSR -- in advance to celebrate the start of the 2010 college football season. If you want to make sure you are on the list to receive HTD, send an e-mail to gohawks@hawkeyesports.com with "HTD" in the subject line. We'll keep you posted as the launch of HTD nears. Enjoy!

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Random thoughts for the day before the 2010 Big Ten Conference season opener for this person's favorite college football team, bar none....

OK. I have to ask: Are you in or are you out? Are you wearing black (or gold) or are you not? C'mon. It's Homecoming. It's the Big Ten opener. It's national television. It's Jo Pa and his Nittany Lions? It's fun. What the heck. It's not like it's the runway in Paris. Help make it a night to remember...one of those "Kodak Moments" Kirk likes to talk about every now and then. And, remember, you just might end up the proud owner of a trip for two to the next bowl game of the Hawkeyes.

Does it surprise you, kind of, like it surprised me, kind of, to learn that this is the 23rd game in the Iowa-Penn State series and each team has won 11 times? More evidence of the theory that time really flies when you're having fun.

The NCAA, on its world wide web site, had a list that caught my attention: The toughest schedule left to be played by any Football Bowl Subdivision team going into this weekend? Iowa's. The cumulative record for the Hawkeyes' next eight opponents is a brilliant 21-3. Heck of a deal....and not surprising in the least given the strength of the Big Ten Conference in 2010.

Bye weeks are interesting things. Some years some argue that they tend to break a team's mo'. That seems to always be the argument if a team is winning. Other years they seem to come when a team needs to heal and, perhaps, regroup a little. It's to be seen what this year's bye week means to this year's Iowa football team. My gut tells me it might not be that bad a deal considering the string of games that comes after the day off - at Michigan followed by home games with Wisconsin and Michigan State -- three teams that are nationally ranked and with an eye on the hardware, rings and the Rose Bowl at this very moment in college football time. Let's check back on this one in December...

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.

Have you purchased your season tickets for women's basketball, wrestling and men's basketball? Think about it. It's going to be an exciting winter for each of those squads and even more so when the Arena is rockin' thanks to fans like you.

We got another dose of Ferentz humor Tuesday when he smiled that wry smile and suggested that 45 or 50 would be the "optimal number of carries for Adam Robinson." "I'd buy that. He has all week to rest," the talented sophomore's head coach offered the scribes in attendance.

Ferentz also had some good things to say about Robinson's back-ups on Tuesday, too, although he stopped short of giving Joe Paterno and his staff a glimpse into the Hawkeyes' playbook. "We're going to keep Penn State guessing," he chuckled when asked who between Brad Rodgers and Marcus Coker would see action first. "They'll have to figure that out on Saturday. It will be one of the two...that part is not much of a guess."

And, to the strength of schedule questions that came to your mind as you read about the tall task ahead of the Hawkeyes during the last two-thirds of their season: "BCS Buster" Texas Christian ranks 67th. The Frogs' remaining opponents are 11-18 so far this season. Boise State? 85th. BSU's remaining foes have won 10 of their first 28 games.





Ferentz also had some good things to say about Robinson's back-ups on Tuesday, too, although he stopped short of giving Joe Paterno and his staff a glimpse into the Hawkeyes' playbook. "We're going to keep Penn State guessing," he chuckled when asked who between Brad Rodgers and Marcus Coker would see action first. "They'll have to figure that out on Saturday. It will be one of the two...that part is not much of a guess."


There's an awful lot to admire when it comes to Kirk. One of the many at the top of the list - for me - is how open he is with his admiration of an icon-turned-peer, Joe Paterno. And, watch closely on Saturday during pre-game warm-ups. I think the affection is mutual.

Ditto the above for Kirk's feelings for Norm Parker. There's absolutely nothing artificial about that relationship either.

Did I say earlier this week how much I enjoyed the Throwback uniforms? What's been neat in the last few days is to hear from younger fans of the Hawkeyes how cool they thought the uni's were, too. My only lament is that some of what was planned for Mediacom HawkVision last Saturday didn't happen as a result of some timing issues. Oh well. Maybe next time.

Last, but not least, from the game notes assembled by the UI media relations staff: Iowa will be looking to even its all-time record on Oct. 2 to 8-8 with a victory over the Nittany Lions. The last time the Hawkeyes played on the second day of October was in 2004 and they defeated Michigan State by a 38-16 count.

Random Thoughts is written by Rick Klatt, the UI Athletics Department's associate athletics director for external affairs, and is an exclusive feature of Hawk Talk Daily, the daily e-newsletter of the UI Athletics Department.

Go Hawks!

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