A tale of two seasons. Similar results, but different pathways. The Iowa Hawkeye football squad finished the regular season with seven wins for the second year in a row. Last year Iowa couldn’t finish games in the fourth quarter. This year seemed to lack consistency. It seemed that when Iowa’s offense was on a roll and racking up points the defense couldn’t get off the field. Then you have games like at Minnesota and at Nebraska, where the defense played lights out and the offense couldn’t pick up a third down when life depended on it.

Iowa lost to in-state rival Iowa State in Ames 44-41 in overtime. The score explains the game story line very well. Iowa could score but couldn’t stop an Iowa State drive late in the game. Iowa State played great in the fourth quarter and especially in overtime, where they converted for multiple third and longs to score the game winning field goal in overtime. The very next week, Iowa finds them selves down at home to Pittsburgh 24-10 entering the fourth quarter. Iowa hasn’t had a good fourth quarter in a long time at this point so fans were very concerned. Surprisingly Iowa pulled off a 21 point fourth quarter performance and rallied to beat the Panthers 31-27. The lack of consistency this time, was good for the hawks. Read the rest of this entry »


Trailing 24-3 at home to Pittsburgh, Hawkeye fans,
including myself, were speechless. After giving ample credit to Kirk Ferentz
and being 100 percent onboard with quarterback James Vandenberg, I was stunned
with the Hawkeye performance through three quarters. Even though the Hawks were
being blown out I never thought about leaving the student section at Kinnick
Stadium but I was trying to think of what my response was going to be to all
the criticism I was planning on receiving from friends, family, and the random
people on Twitter who love to bash my opinion. Thankfully, it never came to

With roughly 16 minutes left in the
game, and four touchdowns later, James Vandenberg and the Hawkeyes pulled off
the largest comeback in the programs history coming back from a 24-3 deficit to
winning 31-27. Fans went from flushing the season down the drain, to having
extreme confidence in the Hawks and bragging about the amount of heart inside
the black and gold jerseys.

I’ve had numerous people ask me
what play specifically changed the game for the Hawks. My answer is this: The
no huddle offense. Personally, I think Vandenberg plays better in a faster
paced offense and his numbers prove it. In the first half, it seemed like
Vandenberg couldn’t complete three passes in a row. In the fourth, when Iowa was in their two-minute
offense, Vandenberg completed ten in a row and threw three touchdown passes.

I also thought the defense started
to play better in the second half, not only because the crowd at Kinnick was
very loud; almost as loud as the Penn State game last year. I also think the
defense was feeding off of the offenses momentum. It seemed once Vandenberg and
Martin-Manley caught fire, Morris, Binns, Daniels and Hyde did the same.
Especially Hyde, he had two picks from the Hawks in his fist game back at
Corner since last year.

Not to make any excuses but those
Big East officials were just awful. They know it as well as we all do if they
looked at the tape at all. I’m not sure how many holding calls they missed-I
lost count after the first quarter. Remember that horrible “roughing the
passer” call in the first half? I had flash backs to the Outback bowl when we
played Florida years back. It seemed like bad call after bad call got the crowd
fired up and eventually it turned to our advantage.

I’ve said this so many times
before, if the Hawks win, Ferentz is “Coach of the Year” and when we lose,
everyone is calling for his job. Thankfully, we won last week.

Hawkeye Fans Giving Captain Kirk Undeserved Grief

Posted: September 15, 2011 by Austin Bramley in Iowa Hawkeyes Football

This week in Hawkeye football, fans are doing what they do often after a loss
and that is, play the blame game. After a loss to in state rival Iowa State, the
fans of the black and gold are putting it all on Ferentz for playing
conservative, as if they expect him to change his style after 12 seasons at
Iowa. He won’t change his style, he will leave before he changes it.

Eventually, if fans don’t lay off after a bitter loss, Ferentz will leave and
I wont blame him. As a Hawkeye fan myself, I can say that our fans are way too
rough on him. He is conservative and most of the time it works to perfection.
Ferentz has taken the Hawks to bowl games eight of the last nine years including
two BCS Bowl appearances. He lead the Hawks to two Big Ten titles (2002, 2004)
as well as won himself the national coach of the year in 2002. I could go on an
on about milestones that captain Kirk has achieved but that’s a separate article

Iowa has one of the greatest football coaches in the country, if he wasn’t he
wouldn’t have the milestones in the above paragraph or the respect from Bill
Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli and others.

When was the last time the Hawks have been blown out? I can’t remember. Now
if you would ask me when the last time Iowa has lost in a close game I could
give you a list. Personally I would rather lose close than get blown out.

Ferentz’s style sets the hawks up for great success, you have seen it as much
as I have, when it works it works. But when it doesn’t, we still have a chance
to win. We never get blown out of the water. His style will never change. He
will leave before it does. I’m sure he will make some adjustments now after
seeing how bad his defense played last week. I expect the Hawks to look like a
brand new team next week because of Ferentz. I’m not in favor of one of the
greatest coaches in program history leaving. Are you?

The Iowa Hawkeyes enter the 2011 season under the radar with unknown
expectations. If you an iowa fan, lately that’s how you want it. Kirk Ferentz
teams are known for performing better under the radar and no news is good news.

Iowa opens the season at home vs Tennessee Tech at 11am on the
BTN. Iowa will be lead by junior quarterback James Vandenberg, who is known for
performing quite well under pressure at the Shoe two years ago for the Big Ten
title. Emerging star Marcus Coker returns as Iowa’s running back who made his
name in the Insight Bowl last December with his record breaking performance.
Marvin McNutt also returns as the key senior receiver for the Hawks, who will
look to be one of the leaders of the offense with his play on, and off the
field. Iowa returns an awesome offensive line for the 2011 season. Some of the
bigger names include Rielly Rieff, who is projected to be a high draft pick
next year if he decides to forgo his senior season. The starting center for the
Hawks is James Ferentz who is head coach Kirk Ferentz’s son. Ferentz is one of
the smarter centers in the league an will be looking to make that next step
this season. Read the rest of this entry »

The Michigan State Spartans had a year to be remembered in 2010 for two reasons. One reason for setting a record for wins in a single season with 11 and one for being humiliated by Alabama in the Capital One bowl to resign one the better football teams in the programs history.

On paper, the 2011 team could be as good or even better than last years squad. Quarterback Kirk Cousins will be under center entering his fifth year in the program. Emerging star Edwin Baker will be the front-runner of a loaded backfield and Jerel Worthy will lead a ferocious defensive line. Those are just some of the bigger names to what could be Mark Dantonio’s best team in five years at MSU. Read the rest of this entry »

Big Ten Football Mashup

Posted: August 18, 2011 by Austin Bramley in Big Ten Football, Conference Expansion, Recruiting

This is a big season for Big Ten football. Nebaska joins the conference and Ohio State gains negative attention on the football program. Austin Bramley and Sayre Bedinger discuss various topics regarding Big Ten football in this Big Ten Nation Podcast

Last summer, there was discontent  in the college football landscape as a record number of teams were choosing to head to greener pastures.  The Big Ten added Nebraska, the Pac-10 added Utah and Colorado to get to the Pac-12, the Big East added TCU, the Mountain West added Boise State, and the list goes on.

Now, we are looking at the potential for round two to the madness of last summer as Texas A&M could be heading to the SEC.  In addition, rumors are circulating that Florida State could be headed there also.

Read the rest of this entry »