Hawkeye Nation http://www.hawkeyenation.com Iowa Hawkeyes Football | Basketball | Recruiting | Wrestling Fri, 22 Aug 2014 03:44:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Talking Iowa Hawkeyes and Iowa Hawkeye football, basketball and more with Jon Miller & friends. Hawkeye Nation no Hawkeye Nation jdmiller71@gmail.com jdmiller71@gmail.com (Hawkeye Nation) Hawkeye Nation Podcast hawkeyes iowa ferentz mccaffery Hawkeye Nation http://www.hawkeyenation.com/wp-content/uploads/hnart.png http://www.hawkeyenation.com Des Moines, Iowa Each week day Quick Take: Iowa Hoops W & L http://www.hawkeyenation.com/basketball/quick-take-iowa-hoops-w-l http://www.hawkeyenation.com/basketball/quick-take-iowa-hoops-w-l#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 03:21:20 +0000 http://www.hawkeyenation.com/?p=15371 What might Iowa's record in basketball be this coming year? Here is a quick stab at it, as well as the NCAA question.

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Iowa released their schedule for the 2014-2015 season yesterday and here is my very quick take on how I think things COULD look…I reserve the right to change this prediction for when I go ON THE RECORD in November.

Friday, Nov. 14 2K Classic Regional Round + IOWA CITY
Monday, Nov. 17 2K Classic Regional Round + IOWA CITY
JON: 2-0 against the likes of Dogwood State and Maple Tech

Thurs., Nov. 20 vs. Texas # New York, N.Y.
Fri., Nov. 21 vs. Syracuse / California # New York, N.Y.
JON: I will give them 1-1 in this event, likely a loss to Texas and a win against Cal.

Mon., Nov. 24 Pepperdine IOWA CITY
Wed., Nov. 26 Northern Illinois IOWA CITY
Saturday, Nov. 29 Longwood IOWA CITY
JON: This stretch has to be 3-0 and I think it will. Wow these are some ugly games

Wed., Dec. 3 at North Carolina % Chapel Hill, N.C.
JON: I doubt Iowa wins it. I hope they represent themselves well, but I don’t think this is an elite basketball team. A good one for sure and a very tough venue. I believe the last time Iowa played there was 1988 and it was a win.

Saturday, Dec. 6 Maryland-Baltimore County IOWA CITY
Tues., Dec. 9 Alcorn State IOWA CITY
JON: Would this be a good time to remind you to buy your season tickets?

Fri., Dec. 12 Iowa State * IOWA CITY
Saturday, Dec. 20 vs. Northern Iowa ^ Des Moines, Iowa
JON: Iowa MUST go 2-0 in these games to have a shot at the NCAA tournament, in my opinion. Cal won’t be a marquee win, but a win against what will be a highly rated Iowa State team would be great for the March resume. Northern Iowa is going to be very good this year, too…and they could challenge Wichita State for the Valley title. I would not be shocked if Iowa went 1-4 against the five teams they will play with a pulse in the out of conference….that’s more about the quality of the opponents than my feelings about Iowa, which are in a state of flux right now. I have to go 1-1 here.

Mon, Dec. 22 North Florida IOWA CITY
JON: Aside from the Iowa State game, Iowa’s announced home attendance will be thousands less than the number of people there. This truly is a horrible out of conference slate, with eight of the nine games being against dogs with fleas. That’s 10-3 in the non-conference and the split with UNI and Iowa State better see Iowa beating ISU, or this could be an RPI unfriendly out of conference.

Tues., Dec. 30 at Ohio State Columbus, Ohio
Mon, Jan. 5 Nebraska IOWA CITY
Thurs., Jan. 8 Michigan State IOWA CITY
Tues., Jan. 13 at Minnesota Minneapolis, Minn.
Sat., Jan. 17 Ohio State IOWA CITY
Tues., Jan. 20 at Wisconsin Madison, Wis.
Sat., Jan. 24 at Purdue West Lafayette, Ind.
Sat., Jan. 31 Wisconsin IOWA CITY
Thurs., Feb. 5 at Michigan Ann Arbor, Mich.

JON: HOLY FREAKING SMOKES! This is a challenging stretch of games this year…in some years, this would be a murderer’s row…but this year, there is more bark to teams like Ohio State and Michigan State than bite, perhaps…neither program will be going to the Final Four or challenge for an Elite Eight bid…THAT SAID, this is still a tough stretch. Real tough. Purdue will be better this year, but Michigan will be down a bit. Wisconsin will be a Final Four pick and Iowa gets them twice in the first nine games. The Gophers won the NIT and they will have a solid club. I would be estatic if Iowa could go 5-4 here. 4-5 is more realistic but 3-6 isn’t a reach, while 6-3 would be cloud nine.. I’ll say 4-5.

Sun., Feb. 8 Maryland IOWA CITY
Thurs., Feb. 12 Minnesota IOWA CITY
Sun., Feb. 15 at Northwestern Evanston, Ill.
Thurs., Feb. 19 Rutgers IOWA CITY
Sun., Feb. 22 at Nebraska Lincoln, Neb.
Wed., Feb. 25 Illinois IOWA CITY
Sat., Feb. 28 at Penn State University Park, Pa.
Tues., March 3 at Indiana Bloomington, Ind.
Sat., March 7 Northwestern IOWA CITY

JON: Here is the payoff for the tough front nine; a very manageable back nine. Iowa should go 6-3 here or better. I’ll go 6-3.

That would put Iowa at 10-8 in the Big Ten, which won’t be as good this year as it has been in each of the last three years. Add that to a 10-3 out of conference that could easily be 9-4 or 8-5 and this team is going to struggle to get an at large NCAA bid.

But as I type that, this thought came crashing into my head; what will this team be like? We know the names and faces, but I really think this team will remain a mystery for a while…and there is a chance that this squad could have better chemistry than the team from one year ago.

I’d wager more on the NIT side than the NCAA side, but this team could surprise me and others. I am really looking forward to seeing what it becomes, but not until after we’ve had our fill of football. Really, it’s going to be tough to pay attention until the team gets to New York on November 20th.

Did I mention how bad that out of conference home schedule is?

Lastly, I am sure there will be some folks piling on for being so negative this early on, or this was a rushed prediction, etc.

Here’s what I did last August when the slate was released.

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Iowa Announces Hoops Schedule http://www.hawkeyenation.com/basketball/iowa-announces-hoops-schedule http://www.hawkeyenation.com/basketball/iowa-announces-hoops-schedule#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 00:27:13 +0000 http://www.hawkeyenation.com/?p=15362 The Iowa Men's basketball team knows what their 2014-2015 schedule will be, as it was released on Thursday night.

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NOTE: Below you will find Iowa’s 2014-2015 Hoops schedule. I’ll toss out an off the cuff W & L later tonight

The University of Iowa, in conjunction with the Big Ten Conference, announced its 2014-15 men’s basketball schedule today.

The Hawkeyes open their season on Monday, Nov. 3, in a home exhibition contest against Northwood, with the regular season tipping off in Iowa City on Friday, Nov. 14, against an opponent to be announced later in a 2K Classic Regional Round game. The Hawkeyes will play a second 2K Classic Regional Round contest three days later on Nov. 17 on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa will open its Big Ten schedule on the road for the first time since the 2008-09 season at Ohio State on Dec. 30. The Hawkeyes also opened their season in Columbus in 2008.

Iowa’s schedule includes four Big Ten weekend home dates, including three on Saturdays.

Nine of Iowa’s 13 nonconference games will be played on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, three on neutral courts (Texas, Syracuse/California and Northern Iowa) and one true road game (North Carolina).

Iowa returns 10 letterwinners from last year’s squad that won 20 games, posted an upper-division finish in the Big Ten and earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament.

Game times and television information for each game will be announced at a later date.

• Iowa will play five Big Ten teams twice and eight teams once. The Hawkeyes will compete against Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State and Wisconsin twice. Iowa will host Illinois, Maryland, Michigan State and Rutgers, and travel to Indiana, Michigan, Penn State and Purdue.

• Iowa’s first six conference games come against teams that advanced to the 2014 NIT or NCAA Tournament; five of which made the NCAA’s.

• Iowa’s two conference “byes” are the weekend of Jan. 3/4 and midweek Jan. 27/28. Furthermore, the Hawkeyes will only play on Wednesday once during the Big Ten schedule.

• Between Nov. 24 and Dec. 12, Iowa will play six home games and one true road contest.

• Iowa will play Wisconsin twice in in a span of 11 days (Jan. 20 and Jan. 31).

• This will be the fifth straight season Iowa will play its final conference game of the season at home (March 7 vs. Northwestern).

2014-15 IOWA MEN’S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE

Sun, Nov. 2nd Northwood (Exhibition) IOWA CITY
Friday, Nov. 14 2K Classic Regional Round + IOWA CITY
Monday, Nov. 17 2K Classic Regional Round + IOWA CITY
Thurs., Nov. 20 vs. Texas # New York, N.Y.
Fri., Nov. 21 vs. Syracuse / California # New York, N.Y.
Mon., Nov. 24 Pepperdine IOWA CITY
Wed., Nov. 26 Northern Illinois IOWA CITY
Saturday, Nov. 29 Longwood IOWA CITY
Wed., Dec. 3 at North Carolina % Chapel Hill, N.C.
Saturday, Dec. 6 Maryland-Baltimore County IOWA CITY
Tues., Dec. 9 Alcorn State IOWA CITY
Fri., Dec. 12 Iowa State * IOWA CITY
Saturday, Dec. 20 vs. Northern Iowa ^ Des Moines, Iowa
Mon, Dec. 22 North Florida IOWA CITY
Tues., Dec. 30 at Ohio State Columbus, Ohio
Mon, Jan. 5 Nebraska IOWA CITY
Thurs., Jan. 8 Michigan State IOWA CITY
Tues., Jan. 13 at Minnesota Minneapolis, Minn.
Sat., Jan. 17 Ohio State IOWA CITY
Tues., Jan. 20 at Wisconsin Madison, Wis.
Sat., Jan. 24 at Purdue West Lafayette, Ind.
Sat., Jan. 31 Wisconsin IOWA CITY
Thurs., Feb. 5 at Michigan Ann Arbor, Mich.
Sun., Feb. 8 Maryland IOWA CITY
Thurs., Feb. 12 Minnesota IOWA CITY
Sun., Feb. 15 at Northwestern Evanston, Ill.
Thurs., Feb. 19 Rutgers IOWA CITY
Sun., Feb. 22 at Nebraska Lincoln, Neb.
Wed., Feb. 25 Illinois IOWA CITY
Sat., Feb. 28 at Penn State University Park, Pa.
Tues., March 3 at Indiana Bloomington, Ind.
Sat., March 7 Northwestern IOWA CITY
Wed.-Sun., Mar. 11-15 at Big Ten Tournament Chicago
Tues.-Wed., Mar. 17-18 at First Four Dayton, Ohio
Thurs.-Sun., Mar. 19-22 at NCAA Tournament, First / Second Rounds
Thurs.-Sun., Mar. 26-29 at NCAA Tournament Regional Finals
Sat.-Mon., Apr. 4-6 at NCAA Final Four Indianapolis

Note: All times listed are central time

^ – - Hy-Vee Big Four Classic in Des Moines, Iowa
% – - ACC / Big Ten Challenge
* – - Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series # – - 2K Classic
+ – - 2K Sports preliminary game

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Hawkeye Mashup http://www.hawkeyenation.com/football/hawkeye-mashup-12 http://www.hawkeyenation.com/football/hawkeye-mashup-12#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 05:01:58 +0000 http://www.hawkeyenation.com/?p=15357 First team All American accolades for TWO Hawkeyes, predictions, a key player back in practice & a serious health concern for Roy Marble

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Iowa Hawkeye great Roy Marble recently received some troubling medical news

Marble tells the Press-Citizen that he is uncertain as to the severity, but that he is also afraid…and I don’t blame him one bit. I hope and pray the tumors are benign and Marble can continue to live into old age.

It was a huge thrill for me, a few years back, when I had the chance to spend several hours at a book launch event in Des Moines with Marble. He was one of my childhood idols and even thought I was 40 at the time, the kid in me was in there somewhere saying ‘Hey, you’re hanging out with ROY MARBLE!’ Those of you too young to remember watching him play, you heard his former peers rave about the type of player he was in college.

When I think about my life of watching Iowa basketball (and I can remember watching Lute’s final four team in 1980) Roy Marble, who played for Iowa between 1985-1989, is the best and most exciting player in all my years as a fan. If I were a couple of years older, I would remember Ronnie Lester better and could give a better opinion, but for me and my ‘fanspan’, Marble’s at the top.

Considering he last suited up for Iowa 25 years ago, the same year I graduated high school, that’s saying a lot.

Good luck, Roy.

- – - – - -

Speaking of basketball, the Big Ten is going to release the conference schedules on Thursday evening. But did the Ohio State sports info department jump the gun on the announcement?

If accurate, it means the Iowa basketball team will open Big Ten play on the road at Ohio State on December 30th and will also play the Buckeyes on January 17th. The Buckeyes will have to replace LaQuinton Ross, Amedeo Della Valle, Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith. They have talent coming in and on the bench, but I don’t expect this Ohio State team to challenge for the Big Ten title.

- – - – - -

On to football, where Iowa welcomed an important face back on to the field, at least through the prism of a photo album released by Iowa:

Willies has a chance to help Iowa stretch the field on the outside and vertically in a way the Hawkeyes haven’t for at least a few years (Marvin McNutt) but Willies is faster than McNutt was. Speed doesn’t always equate to greatness, and McNutt was one of the three or four best receivers Iowa has had. But it sure as heck doesn’t hurt.

Brendan Stiles of HawkeyeDrive.com has an interesting twist on a preview for this Iowa football team:

Rob Howe from HawkeyeInsider.com went on the record yesterday, too

CBS released its preseason All American team on Wednesday and TWO Hawkeye made their first team. Brandon Scherff is not a surprise, but seeing Carl Davis as a 1st teamer is…I am not saying Big Carl can;t get there or that he’s not close, but not too many outlets have gone there. Anchors away!

I don’t often praise Nebraska, but it’s impossible not to after you watch their touching messages to young Jack Hoffman, whose cancer has returned:

This is simply good parenting:

Lastly, this sight never gets old…Hayden Fry in close proximity to Kinnick Stadium.

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New Playoff Goes Back to the Future http://www.hawkeyenation.com/football/new-playoff-goes-back-future http://www.hawkeyenation.com/football/new-playoff-goes-back-future#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 05:01:07 +0000 http://www.hawkeyenation.com/?p=15354 What if the new playoff system were in place in 2002 when Iowa finished the regular season 11-1? We take a look at the last 20 years.

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What if the current college football playoff system had been in place five years ago? What about 2002 when the Iowa Hawkeyes were in the edge of being one of the best four teams in the nation?

We take a stab at that topic in this installment of the HN Podcast. Here is a list of what we came up with so that you can follow along:

If we had this playoff format last 20 years, the Final Four would’ve been:

1993: Florida State vs. West Virginia, Nebraska vs. Notre Dame
1994: Nebraska vs Florida State, Penn State vs. Colorado
1995: Nebraska vs. Tennessee, Florida vs. Northwestern
1996: Florida State vs. Ohio State, Arizona State vs. Florida
1997: Michigan vs. Florida State, Nebraska vs. Tennessee
1998: Tennessee vs. Kansas State, Florida State vs. Ohio State
1999: Florida State vs. Wisconsin, Virginia Tech vs. Nebraska
2000: Oklahoma vs. Washington, Miami (Fla.) vs. Florida State
2001: Miami (Fla.) vs. Nebraska, Oregon vs. Colorado
2002: Miami (Fla.) vs. Georgia, Ohio State vs. Iowa
2003: USC vs. Michigan, LSU vs. Oklahoma
2004: USC vs. California, Oklahoma vs. Auburn
2005: USC vs. Ohio State, Texas vs. Penn State
2006: Ohio State vs. LSU, Florida vs. Michigan
2007: Ohio State vs. Georgia, LSU vs. Oklahoma
2008: Florida vs. Alabama, Oklahoma vs. Texas
2009: Alabama vs. Cincinnati, Texas vs. TCU
2010: Auburn vs. Wisconsin, Oregon vs. TCU
2011: LSU vs. Stanford, Alabama vs. Oklahoma State
2012: Notre Dame vs. Florida, Alabama vs. Ohio State
2013: Florida State vs. Michigan State, Auburn vs. Alabama

Most Appearances By Conference (that the team was in during the given year..meaning Nebraska’s appearances counted for the Big 8/12):

Big 8/12: 18
SEC: 17 (8 years they wouldn’t have had a team in)
Big Ten: 16
ACC: 10
Pac-10/12: 9

You can listen via iTunes and Stitcher on their apps via your smart phone. Search ‘Hawkeye Nation’ and click on the subscribe button and all future podcasts will be delivered to your phone when we publish them.

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http://www.hawkeyenation.com/football/new-playoff-goes-back-future/feed 0 football What if the new playoff system were in place in 2002 when Iowa finished the regular season 11-1? We take a look at the last 20 years. What if the new playoff system were in place in 2002 when Iowa finished the regular season 11-1? We take a look at the last 20 years. Hawkeye Nation no 26:40
BTN Tour Stop TweetCap http://www.hawkeyenation.com/football/btn-tour-stop-tweetcap http://www.hawkeyenation.com/football/btn-tour-stop-tweetcap#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 03:37:50 +0000 http://www.hawkeyenation.com/?p=15348 A collection of observations from the BTN crew who was in Iowa City on Tuesday, plus some thoughts from the broadcast.

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A collection of observations from the BTN crew who was in Iowa City on Tuesday, plus some thoughts from the broadcast.

——-

It was good to see some Hawkeye football on the BTN that wasn’t a rerun from years gone by and great to hear so much talk about it.

These BTN Bus Tour Shows always look for positive things to talk about, even if a team is going to stink. But you can tell when the hosts and commenters are fishing and hunting for nice things to say.

This program was not one of those shows; the praise was rather effusive and wasn’t forced at all. The obvious areas of concern were mentioned; depth at LB, who will be the explosive playmakers on offense, but there were a lot of very positive things said.

During the show, Jake Rudock showed off his comfort level in font of a camera; he has his TV body language down and definitely has TV in the bag. Brandon Scherff might have set a record for the most utterances of ‘you know’ in a three minute segment…but he’s not gonna get paid to chit chat. Dude is an eclipse of a man.

All in all, footballs were flying and we’re one day close to the real thing..10 days and counting. You can almost smell it.

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B1G Deal: Braxton Miller Out for Season? http://www.hawkeyenation.com/football/b1g-deal-braxton-miller-season http://www.hawkeyenation.com/football/b1g-deal-braxton-miller-season#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 05:01:20 +0000 http://www.hawkeyenation.com/?p=15340 Braxton Miller reinjured his shoulder on Monday & might be done for the year. That throws the Big Ten into a B1G flux

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Twitter exploded on Monday night from this tweet:

After that, it was on and within an hour every major news outlet had their own version of that story, most of them citing the same Dispatch report or going to the ‘Unnamed Sources’ card.  This was the next tweet I saw that was ‘fresh’

No word yet (as of late Monday night) as to the veracity of the reports, but there seems to be way too much smoke here.  I could see where Miller injured his shoulder and would have to miss time and possibly not the entire year, but Miller has been nursing his shoulder all off season as the backups took the majority of snaps in the spring as well as this summer.

If Miller is done for the year, what would this mean for Ohio State and the Big Ten?

For Ohio State, they had other holes to fill, namely along the offensive line.  The entire interior of the offensive line as they lost four of five starters from a group that was a strength and helped Braxton Miller run for all of those yards last year (over 1,000), as well as helping Carlos Hyde to do the same.

Without Miller, this is an Ohio State team that might be best suited with Jim Tressel has head coach, or at least playing his brand of Tressel-ball, which is a lot like Ferentz-ball but with more, better players.  That’s a front seven on defense that can keep the opponent under 20 points per game, a special teams group who makes huge plays as if they were routine and an offense that stays out of its own way and doesn’t lose you the game.

I am not suggesting anyone weep for Ohio State…but Miller was the reigning two-time Silver Football winner in the Big Ten.  That’s a rare, rare thing.  He was the best skill position player in the league and a Top Five Heisman candidate.  Ohio State cannot possibly replace him.

The Buckeyes had to try to replace Terrelle Pryor a few years back following his ineligibility and decision to turn pro…they went 6-6 with interim head coach Luke Fickell at the helm and that was less on Fickell as it was to having to change course and losing the best offensive player in the league and one of the best in Ohio State history.

Braxton Miller is a better quarterback than Pryor was and he’s a better football player…he’s a more dangerous weapon…and if he is lost for the season, it just gave six or seven other teams a lot more hope as the Buckeyes were the odds on favorite to win the league.

Michigan State is now that favorite, not just in the East but probably to win it all.  However one of the three teams in the West most likely to win that division (Iowa, Wisconsin and Nebraska) would dodge the possible Braxton bullet.  All of the sudden, Maryland might be the favorite when the Buckeyes hit the road to play at the home of the turtles in early October…and that could be the difference between the Terrapins qualifying for a bowl game or not.  Penn State hosts Ohio State and those programs recruit head to head on so many steel-belt players…things like that can make the difference.  Maybe Michigan might take another step towards being really relevant again…or maybe not.

What about Urban Meyer and his quest for another national title?  Last year was the dream season…until it wasn’t.  24 straight wins to start his tenure and no national title, then Ohio State lost its final two games.

Nobody who is not an Ohio State fan or who is not related to Urban would cry anything but crocodile tears here…at least for Urban.  No one wants to see a player get hurt, not at all.  But Urban Meyer won’t be getting any sympathy cards, either.

They’re Ohio State…they are the best program in the Big Ten and one of the five best jobs in the sport.  They have a lot of talented kids…but as my friend Steve Deace is fond of saying, you can’t hide your quarterback in college football.  Remember how much Ohio State struggled in 2011 when then freshman Miller was the quarterback?

If Miller is done for the year, so are the Buckeyes.

NOTE:  On our August 14th HN Podast, Miller & Deace discussed what Ohio State would be like this year if they lost Braxton Miller.  Forward to the 9:00 minute mark:

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http://www.hawkeyenation.com/football/b1g-deal-braxton-miller-season/feed 0 football Braxton Miller reinjured his shoulder on Monday & might be done for the year. That throws the Big Ten into a B1G flux Braxton Miller reinjured his shoulder on Monday & might be done for the year. That throws the Big Ten into a B1G flux Hawkeye Nation no 18:29
HN Pod: Flipping Iowa & ISU Schedules http://www.hawkeyenation.com/football/hn-pod-flipping-iowa-isu-schedules http://www.hawkeyenation.com/football/hn-pod-flipping-iowa-isu-schedules#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 05:04:15 +0000 http://www.hawkeyenation.com/?p=15329 What if the Iowa and Iowa State football teams could flip schedules? Would one fare better or worse than what they might with the slate they have?

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We hear and read a lot of back and forth between Iowa and Iowa State fans this time of year…especially a good chunk of criticism from Iowa State fans that Iowa’s schedule is weak.

What if Iowa and Iowa State could trade schedules? How would the teams fare? Would they do better or worse than you think they’ll do with their own schedules?

That was the topic for this week’s first HN Podcast with Miller and Deace…it turned out to be a surprising discussion for both of us.

You can listen via iTunes and Stitcher on their apps via your smart phone. Search ‘Hawkeye Nation’ and click on the subscribe button and all future podcasts will be delivered to your phone when we publish them.

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http://www.hawkeyenation.com/football/hn-pod-flipping-iowa-isu-schedules/feed 1 football What if the Iowa and Iowa State football teams could flip schedules? Would one fare better or worse than what they might with the slate they have? What if the Iowa and Iowa State football teams could flip schedules? Would one fare better or worse than what they might with the slate they have? Hawkeye Nation no 29:50
The Top 20 Hawkeyes for 2014 (Part 2) http://www.hawkeyenation.com/football/top-20-hawkeyes-2014-part-2 http://www.hawkeyenation.com/football/top-20-hawkeyes-2014-part-2#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 05:03:47 +0000 http://www.hawkeyenation.com/?p=15324 David Schwartz offers up his Top 20 Hawkeyes for the 2014 season. We take a look at his 1 through 10 in Part 2.

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By HawkeyeNation.com Columnist David Schwartz

This is Part Two of a two-part series look at the Top 20 Hawkeyes for 2014.

CLICK HERE FOR PART ONE, PLAYERS 20 through 11.

10. Jordan Lomax, S

Why 10th? Iowa lacks depth in the defensive backfield. Lomax is one of the few who bring experience and production.

Why not lower? Opposing offenses, just as they did in 2013, will pick on Iowa’s defensive backfield if the opportunity exists.

Why not higher? Thus far in his career, Lomax has set his ceiling at “pretty good.” We need more evidence that he can perform at an elite level.

9. Reggie Spearman, OLB

Why ninth? Because of how much he’ll be asked to do. And because he’s such an unknown talent. It’s reasonable to think that after this season fans could be thinking, “The Hawkeyes have gotten really good at turning out linebackers,” as well as the other end of the spectrum, “Well, after losing all those linebackers I guess someone had to step in.”

Why not lower? Spearman won’t get a lot of plays off this season. If he’s good, Iowa could be great. If he’s not, his presence could make the difference between a win or a loss.

Why not higher? He’s not being asked to play middle linebacker.

8. Mark Weisman, RB

Why eighth? A healthy Weisman, late in games, wears down defensive lines and runs clock. 

Why not lower? Iowa’s running game starts with Weisman. Whatever Canzeri, Daniels and the others manage begins with whatever tempo Weisman sets in the first quarter.

Why not higher? Weisman has worn down late in the season each of the last two years, whether through injury or workload.

7. Louis Trinca-Pasat, DL

Why seventh? Trinca-Pasat has a definite Karl Klug feeling to him.

Why not lower? Players like Klug, Broderick Binns and Trinca-Pasat are the ultimate wingmen. You can’t win big without them.

Why not higher? Because he can’t kick field goals.

6. Field goal kicker. Any field goal kicker

Why sixth? You’ve seen Iowa’s kicking game the last few seasons, right?

Why not lower? Yes, it’s been that unreliable.

Why not higher? It’s the kicker.

5. Carl Davis, DT

Why fifth? Davis came on in 2013 and anchors the defense’s deepest unit, the linemen. He devastates running games and, at 6-foot-5, will knock down a pass or two.

Why not lower? It’s debatable whether he or Trinca-Pasat is the unit’s best player, but Davis is an NFL-caliber run-stopper. He’s the one who offensive coordinators will think of first when scheming against the Hawkeyes.

Why not higher? He’s got help on the defensive line. Iowa can survive an off game from Davis. The four players ahead of Davis cripple the Hawkeyes if they don’t bring their best.

4. Quinton Alston, MLB

Why fourth? It’s no secret that Iowa lost last year’s three starting linebackers to graduation. Alston, at middle linebacker, has the most important role to fill.

Why not lower? Alston was excellent in the spring and has been great during summer camp. He’s the real deal.

3. Jake Rudock, QB

Why third? He’s the starting quarterback, which along with point guard is one of the two most important positions in U.S. sports.

Why not lower? He’s the starting quarterback.

Why not higher? In Beathard the Hawkeyes have a qualified – possibly better – backup quarterback.

2. Desmond King, DB

Why second? Only a sophomore, King might already be the best Iowa cornerback since Tom Knight.

Why not lower? He has the potential to be a shutdown corner. The fans love him. For a program that values homogeneity and a vanilla image, King represents the sort of defensive presence that earns individual attention that in the past was wielded by players such as Adrian Clayborn and Bob Sanders. And, most pragmatically, Iowa lacks depth at King’s position. He’s irreplaceable.

1. Brandon Scherff, OT

Why first? Imagine this scenario: Iowa is 6-0 heading into its first trip to Maryland. The Hawkeyes have entered the national conversation. In the first quarter against the Terrapins, after a routine play, everyone gets off the ground – except Scherff, who is holding his leg. Imagine this scenario: how does it make you feel?

Follow David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.

CLICK HERE FOR PART ONE, PLAYERS 20 through 11.

Agree?  Disagree?  Sound off in the comments section below.

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The Top 20 Hawkeyes for 2014 (Part 1) http://www.hawkeyenation.com/football/top-20-hawkeyes-2014-part-1 http://www.hawkeyenation.com/football/top-20-hawkeyes-2014-part-1#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 05:02:39 +0000 http://www.hawkeyenation.com/?p=15321 David Schwartz offers up his Top 20 Hawkeyes for the 2014 season. We take a look at his 11 through 20 in Part 1.

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By HawkeyeNation.com Columnist David Schwartz

The Iowa Hawkeyes list about 90 players on their roster. But all players are not created equal.

Using such unscientific variables as impact, health, ability, experience and potential, we’ve ranked the 20 most crucial players for 2014. The season begins in less than two weeks. Starting with No. 20 and counting down to No. 1, here are the 20 players who most control the destiny of the 2014 Hawkeyes.

20. Josey Jewell, LB

Why 20th? Jewell, a redshirt freshman, has turned heads with his ability to play two linebacker positions.

Why not higher? He’s still not officially, technically a starter.

19. Ray Hamilton, TE

Why 19th? The Hawkeyes are LOADED at tight end. If something happens to Hamilton – injury, ineffectiveness – it’ll be a textbook example of “Next man up.” 

Why not lower? After quarterback, no offensive skill position is more important to offensive coordinator Greg Davis’ scheme.

Why not higher? Hamilton, Jake Duzey, Henry Krieger-Coble … and on and on.

18. C.J. Beathard, QB

Why 18th? Beathard is one mistimed Jake Rudock pick-six away from having the Kinnick Stadium student section chanting his name, and two away from all of Kinnick.

Why not lower? Jewell is an unknown, and Hamilton is replaceable.

Why not higher? Beathard is still just a backup.

17. Drew Ott, DE

Why 17th? Excellent against the run and the pass. He could hear his name in the 2016 NFL Draft without ever having a single ESPN highlight.

Why not lower? If he’s not making the play, he’s influencing it.

Why not higher? The Hawkeyes are deep at defensive line. Not everyone can be in the Top 10.

16. Jordan Walsh, G

Why 16th? Iowa’s breakout-offensive-line-star in-waiting. It’s tough for guards to get much attention, but what Walsh does for Iowa’s run game cannot be overlooked.

Why not lower? Because guards need love too.

Why not higher? Give Walsh one more year like he had in 2013 and he’ll be much higher on this list in 2015. This is the season we learn whether Walsh is the awesome presence we suspect he is.

15. Jordan Canzeri, RB

Why 15th? When Canzeri is healthy and plugged in, he completely alters the offense. He’s electric.

Why not lower? Mark Weisman and LeShun Daniels run similarly. Canzeri throws opposing defenses off balance. Plus, after a Canzeri run I once said to my wife, “Wow, that was Tavian Banks-like.”

Why not higher? Canzeri has battled injuries and struggled to stay on the field at times, and there are entire halves of games when the coaching staff acts like his name is nowhere on their depth chart.

14. Kevonte Martin-Manley, WR

Why 14th? He’s been around forever, commands respect and fulfills multiple roles on offense and special teams.

Why not lower? His special-teams play can tip games, and he could be a security blanket for Rudock if Rudock ever gains enough confidence to look away from his tight ends.

Why not higher? It kind of feels like Martin-Manley has peaked as a player, hasn’t it? But his greatest limitation might not be from within. It might be the guy(s) throwing to him.

13. John Lowdermilk, S

Why 13th? Iowa lacks depth in the defensive backfield. Lowdermilk is one of the few who bring experience and production.

Why not lower? He’s tall, experienced and pivotal to the success of Iowa’s defense.

Why not higher? There have been games the last two seasons when you realize in the fourth quarter you haven’t heard his name called much by the public-address announcer, and there are games when he’s called constantly. More consistency is needed.

12. Austin Blythe, C

Why 12th? He’s the rock of the offensive line, Iowa’s most dominant unit.

Why not lower? Not only does Blythe start, he almost never misses a down.

Why not higher? The players immediately ahead of Blythe come with more risk, and therefore the potential for more reward. Also, there’s a good chance I’m undervaluing Blythe’s impact.

11. Tevaun Smith, WR

Why 11th? Smith showed flashes last season that he was ready to make the leap to become one of the Big Ten’s most explosive receivers. He might not lead the team in catches – he might not even be in the Top 3 – but if he can stretch the field enough to scare defensive coordinators into double-teaming him, then his presence changes Iowa’s whole offensive dynamic.

Why not lower? Martin-Manley is a solid, reliable player. Smith can more significantly alter a game.

Why not higher? As skill positions in Iowa’s offense go, wide receivers come in fourth.

CLICK HERE FOR PART II, Players 1 through 10.

Agree?  Disagree?  Sound off in the comment section below.

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Hawkeyes Open Practice Tweetcap http://www.hawkeyenation.com/football/hawkeyes-open-practice-tweetcap-2 http://www.hawkeyenation.com/football/hawkeyes-open-practice-tweetcap-2#comments Sun, 17 Aug 2014 00:32:48 +0000 http://www.hawkeyenation.com/?p=15317 The Iowa Hawkeyes held their annual Kid's Day practice on Saturday. Here's a chronological rundown of several observations from the sidelines

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The Iowa Hawkeyes held their annual Kids Day open practice on Saturday…here is a chronological sampling of multiple observations as they were happening in real time on twitter, so a ‘Twitter Recap’ or even simpler, a ‘Tweetcap’

(this would turn out to be due to a key injury at the fullback position. Adam Cox tore his ACL in practice this week, just days after being put on scholarship. He is a solid blocker for Iowa and it makes me wonder if Mark Weisman could wind up seeing even fewer carries this year if Jordan Canzeri, Damon Bullock and LeShun Daniels can handle the load)

(This was a bit of a theme for this practice, as Kirk Ferentz would later say there have been far too many injuries during camp and it is hampering the team’s progress. Other than Cox, it seems like none have been too serious)

West Branch’s finest…more on him in a bit

(Weisman didn’t go at the practice on Saturday, so I won’t read too much into this. I still think Kirk will start out with Weisman in the first few series until I see differently.)

(Ferentz would later say Saturday’s misses have not been the norm for the camp…still, Iowa can’t afford to have issues in this phase of the game)

(Jewell and Bower made big impressions on Saturday as they were mentioned several times by most all of the tweeting media)

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