Archive for the ‘Big Ten Football’ Category

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. (more…)


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.

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. (more…)

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. (more…)

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.


Iowa Hawkeye linebacker Shane DiBona who participated in all 13 games last season (started two of those) will miss the rest of the season after his Achilles injury he suffered Wednesday. DiBona was listed as the number two outside linebacker after the first week of camp. DiBona is supposed to make a full recovery after his successful surgery Thursday morning at the UI Hospitals and Clinics. Dibona also had shoulder surgery this off-season as well as being hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis.

One of the more heated off-season position battles on the Hawkeye roster was at the weak side linebacker between DiBona and Christian Kirksey. Kirksey is now the projected starter with Anthony Hitchens the likely back up, who will now expect to have a role with the Hawkeye defense. sophomore Dakota Getz could also see some action when cleared to play.

DiBona made a big impact on special teams last season and now with the injury, its nothing but a negative impact. Quinton Alston will likely see loads of playing time now that Dibona is down. DiBona and Iowa could apply for a medical hardship. DiBona already used up his red shirt so it will be tough for him to get the hardship. Iowa has talent to take over for DiBona, if anything it affects depth.