Herky Hawkeyes

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Happy Memorial Day to you all. Enjoy the time with family and friends. And thank you to all who have served and are serving. We appreciate you. 

As we get ready to turn the calendar to June, it's a step closer to college football and hopefully a return to some normalcy this fall. We should all have a much greater appreciation of that after the last year. 

As close as we are to seeing the Hawkeyes in Kinnick Stadium, we're still three months away from kickoff. That leaves plenty of time for preseason predictions, and arguments with Iowa State and Nebraska fans.

Just don't spend all of your summer butting heads with the enemy. Soak up some sun and fun, while getting ready for an Iowa Football campaign that should start with the squad in the Top 25. 

Kickoff times for seven Hawkeye games were released last week. And that's where we'll start our Memorial Day Musings...

-The Iowa faithful should settle into a routine during the first three weeks of the season. It will see 2:30 p.m. CT start times for Indiana, Iowa State and Kent State. Kickoff time for Game 4 against Colorado State is not yet known. 

Start times for at Maryland (7 p.m. CT, Oct 1), Purdue (2:30 p.m. CT, Oct. 16), at Wisconsin (11 a.m. CT, Oct. 30) and at Nebraska (12:30 p.m. CT, Nov. 26) also were learned. That left Penn State (Oct. 9), at Northwestern (Nov. 7), Minnesota (Nov. 13) and Illinois (Nov. 20) still to be announced. 

The Maryland game being moved to Friday night caused the most consternation among Iowa fans. Folks haven't been able to come to terms with college football being played on the same day as high schools in our state and elsewhere in the country. 

Maybe in time, more people will come to accept it. That's really the only path. Friday night college football is here to stay. 

TV pays a lot of money to decide when games will be played. As much as you dole out for tickets, it's a drop in the bucket compared to the networks. 

I used to wring my hands when I starting seeing so few 11 a.m. kickoffs, the preferred time for media members not wanting to be working late into Saturday night/Sunday morning. I've since let go and accepted whatever comes our way. 

-If you believe in the metrics' driven Pro Football Focus folks, you'll be geeked to watch the Hawkeyes if they were playing at Midnight on Sunday. The outlet ranks them at No. 9 nationally and second behind Ohio State in the Big Ten.  

"This is one of the teams we’re sticking our neck out for. Many people, after the Hawkeyes' 0-2 start that included two one-score losses, and no bowl game due to COVID-19, forgot that Iowa finished the season with six consecutive wins. All but one came by more than one score, which left the team ranked 15th in the country upon season’s end. In a conference where running the ball matters, Iowa is a decent bet on the other side of the conference as Ohio State." - PFF

I, too, feel this could be a special season for the Hawkeyes with their first West Division title since '15 certainly in play. I'm not at Top 10 in the country, however. I need to see in-game production from both lines, which feature quite a few new faces, before I go there. 

-Social media and other on-line avenues for people voicing opinions get a bad wrap sometimes. They can be nice for interacting with others we don't see regularly and receiving news in real time. There's no denying the downsides, however. 

We saw it last week when a video surfaced showing Iowa Basketball student-athlete Jordan Bohannon being punched in an Iowa City bar. Some of the reaction on the internet was appalling, and it included Hawkeye fans relishing in him suffering what the university called a severe head injury. 

Now, Bohannon certainly gives and takes on social media. Being a main part of the movement for name, image and likeness (NLI) rights for college athletes also opens him up for criticism. But people saying he deserved to be hit based on hearsay is horrible. 

And it wasn't just fans saying it. A popular podcast hosted by former Iowa Football players shared the opinion based on speculation

It's a bad look that reminded me of last summer when a part of Hawkeye Nation turned on former Black football student-athletes for charging racial bias even when to reports showed them to be truthful. 

Maybe this is just how it's going to be now with more people having a voice. I hope that's not the case. 

-It was announced last week that former Iowa quarterback/receiver Jason Manson was joining the coaching staff as the director of player development. The position was previously held by Chic Ejiasi, Broderick Binns and Sam Brincks. 

I covered Manson when he played for the Hawkeyes from '03-06. I'll always remember fondly his lone quarterback start in '06 at Syracuse, where the defense authored a goal-line stand that preserved a victory. 

I recall Manson as being a very intelligent, engaging individual, who was well-liked by his teammates. He becomes the fifth former Hawkeye on the staff, which is a good thing.