Schwartz: 10 Sentences on Barta, Iowa-Northwestern

February 10, 2019

Written by David Schwartz

We’re coming off another positive week for the Hawkeyes. Let’s jump right into it with this Sunday’s 10 sentences:

1. Before we get to some thoughts on this evening’s men’s basketball game against Northwestern, let’s spend a moment on Gary Barta’s new résumé trophy.

2. Barta late last week was named to the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, a genuine, well-earned honor for an athletic director who by all accounts runs a clean, fiscally responsible, and academically elevated athletic program that every once in a very very very rare while produces teams that win Big Ten championships.

3. He replaced Gene Smith, Ohio State’s athletic director, which means Barta now has a significant seat at the table when it comes to determining which two college football teams get to join Clemson and Alabama each year in the playoff.

4. What this means for Hawkeye football amounts to a giant zero, because let’s face it, if Iowa goes 13-0 during the regular season they’ll make the playoff regardless of who is on the committee, and if they go 12-1 or worse they probably won’t, because we’re talking about Iowa here, not Ohio State.

5. Still, this is something for Barta to hang his hat on, and it looks good for the University of Iowa to have Barta on the committee; there is no downside for Iowa – only upside – delivered by Barta’s appointment, but that upside is prestige only.

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6. OK onto basketball, where it’s hard to remember the last time Iowa prepared for a game against Northwestern and I didn’t get nauseous by the thought that the Hawkeyes had at best a 50/50 chance of winning.

7. That’s what wins over Michigan and AT Indiana will do for a Hawkeye fan – take the edge off, help us relax a bit, give us a bit of perspective to help us realize that if Iowa plays close to its potential this evening at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, they’ll beat Northwestern by 8-14 points.

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8. This is usually the part in the story when someone says, “BUT I’VE BEEN AN IOWA FAN SINCE 1763 AND I KNOW THAT THIS IS WHEN THEY LURE YOU IN AND CRUSH YOUR HEART BY LOSING A GAME THEY SHOULDN’T LOSE OH GOD WHY DO THEY HAWKEYES DO THIS TO ME WHY WHY WHY.

9. That’s not going to happen today, or maybe it will (Who knows? Sports are a funny thing), it’s hard to say, but it probably won’t happen, because the Hawkeyes playing like they have played over the last week-plus overmatch a Northwestern squad that sits 12th in the Big Ten and that has won just 17 percent of its road games this season.

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10. It’s doesn’t mean the Hawkeyes can rest their best players or take tonight off, it just means that they find themselves in the rare position to be playing well, playing confidently, and playing with more cohesiveness and talent than their opponent, which all combined adds up to another Big Ten win for Iowa.

* Talk with David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.

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