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Schwartz: Ten Sentences – Everything Hawkeye Edition

December 8, 2019

Written by David Schwartz

Hawkeye Nation

So much has happened in Hawkeye Land in just the last seven days – and we’ll learn even more today with the reveal of Iowa’s bowl game. Ten sentences to help bring us up to speed.

1. When Luka Garza scored 44 points Friday night in Iowa’s Big Ten-opening loss to Michigan, I thought for sure the feat would put Garza somewhere in the realm of Roy Marble, Iowa’s all-time leading scorer.

2. But when I saw that not even Marble, one of the greatest Hawkeye basketball players ever to take the court, had scored 44 in a game, it made Garza’s accomplishment all the more impressive; outdoing Marble isn’t something that happens every day.

3. One natural reaction – and this wouldn’t be a wrong reaction – would be to note that even though Garza scored the third most points in a game in Hawkeye men’s basketball history, his team lost.

4. Still, it’s possible for a game to have more than one notable thing happen, and while it’s troubling that the Hawkeyes gave up 103 points – good grief … 103! – that doesn’t negate Garza’s astonishing night, although it does dampen it just a bit.

5. Iowa is off to a better start than some, including me, imagined, and it’s pretty clear that their one-the-surface, ho-hum of a 6-3 record doesn’t clearly indicate how well they’ve played: their three losses have come against DePaul, San Diego State, and Michigan, three teams with a combined 26-1 record, while they already have wins over last years’ national runner-up, Texas Tech, and Syracuse, which isn’t what it used to be but still carries enough name recognition to masquerade as a quality win.

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6. Of course two big questions remain as the Hawkeyes strut into the meaty part of their season: first, how will they do against nonconference heavyweights Iowa State and Cincinnati in the next couple of weeks before the start of the bulk of B1G play, and can coach Fran McCaffery hold his team – and himself – together long enough to avoid another late-season dip/emotional meltdown?

7. Moving on, a quick plug: If you missed last Sunday’s Big Ten Network documentary The B1G Story: Alex & Eli, about the death last year of Wisconsin wrestler Eli Stickley, his surviving twin sister, Moriah Marinelli, the Iowa director of wrestling operations, and her husband, Hawkeye wrestler Alex Marinelli, be on the lookout for a replay; it was powerful and well-done.

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8. Moving on again: Later today the Hawkeye football team will learn their bowl-game destination, and most likely it will be someplace warm on one of the coasts.

9. There’s a remote-yet-possible chance they’ll draw Alabama – again, highly unlikely, but possible – and while I often chirp about wanting to see the Hawkeyes play the best programs … oof … the Hawkeyes would have at best a 1 percent chance of winning that matchup, not because they couldn’t stop the Tide’s offense (they could) but because Alabama’s defense would hold the Hawkeyes’ sputtering 2019 offense to approximately negative-493 yards.

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10. But you know, forget that last sentence; actually, I would love to see Iowa play Alabama, then we’d have a clearer picture of exactly where the Hawkeyes fit in the college football universe.

* Talk with David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.

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