Schwartz: Ten Sentences – Big Ten Football Media Day Edition

July 21, 2019

Written by David Schwartz

The Big Ten’s 14 football programs gathered in Chicago the last few days to preview the upcoming season. A lot was said. Some of it might even have mattered. Here were the 10 most interesting Hawkeye-related storylines that came out of Chicago.

(First, an acknowledgment of the Iowa Hawkeye beat writers who were there. None of this is possible without their presence. I’m just a scavenger of Rob Howe, Marc Morehouse, and Mark Emmert’s info.)

Ten Hawkeye storylines worth following:

1. Offensive lineman and NFL prospect Tristan Wirfs won’t be suspended for being caught underage in a bar and instead received internal discipline from the team, a move that obviously helps the Hawkeyes on the field but, just as noteworthy, shows nuance on behalf of Kirk Ferentz that not every infraction needs to be handled identically.

2. Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said he’s exploring more high-profile nonconference games for the Hawkeyes, a happy piece of news for the Hawkeye fanbase, which, let’s be honest, is long overdue to witness a quality nonconference matchup; outside of the annual Iowa State game, the Hawkeyes haven’t faced an opponent from a power conference during the nonconference season since Pitt in 2015, and prior to that it was Pitt, and before that it was Pitt, and before that it was Arizona in 2010.

3. Kirk Ferentz said in a statement sure to go viral that Nate Stanley is “a tremendous young man.”

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4. More importantly, it seems that it’s not lost on Ferentz and his staff how the program struggled at times last season in close game, as he addressed the fact that in 2018 Iowa’s wins came by an average of 22 points while it’s losses were by just 5.8 points.

5. There was some buzz about Big Ten Conference football realignment, with Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck acknowledging that there have been discussions and Penn State coach James Franklin discussing an (alleged) imbalance between the East and West.

6. This is unrelated but fun for Hawkeye fans: Below is a commercial for Canyon, a high-end bicycle maker, which is running this one-minute spot throughout month-long coverage of the Tour de France, which is going on now – fast forward to the 51-second mark and look at the right side of the screen.

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7. Wide receiver Oliver Martin’s family has hired an attorney, and Martin and the Hawkeyes are still waiting for a ruling on his appeal for immediate eligibility.

8. Alcohol, Barta said, is coming to Kinnick Stadium – we just don’t know when, but when it does, whoo boy, at some point they’re going to have to ask themselves whether the extra revenue is worth the extra hassle.

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9. Nebraska coach Scott Frost looks at Hawkeyes-Huskers as a long-term rivalry, adding (very respectfully, it should be said): “… it’s going to be one of the key games on our schedule every year, and I know there’s a lot of bad blood … with the respective fan bases of both sides. At the end of the day, I hope it continues to be two really good teams that do things the right way and have some good competition.” 

10. Nate Stanley wore a Rose pin on his lapel on Friday … just sayin’.

* Talk with David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.

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