Just as we've gotten to know and love this year's edition of the Cornhuskers, we've just about run out of games to watch them play. It hasn't gone exactly how we'd hope but well, at least we're not Purdue.
But fear not, fellow sports fans! For this week, a dear old friend stops by for a visit. Perhaps not as old as say a Missouri or a Kansas. Or even a Minnesota. But for forty-three meetings, they've been there, always lurking. They're our Edith Carow to Oklahoma's Alice Hathaway. (We're Theodore Roosevelt here, for those of you who are not up to speed on the love life of our nation's presidents.)
Ladies and gentlemen, I speak of course of our dear neighbors in Iowa, the Iowa Hawkeyes. (Please put down that chair. It is for sitting, not throwing. You are not Bob Knight.)
This week, we at Corn Nation are excited to welcome our dear friends from Iowa to our great state. In preparation for their travel to our beloved Memorial Stadium, we also welcome them to join us here in our digital playground as we take in the greatness that is the state of Iowa and her beloved sons in Iowa City.
There's a lot to like about Iowa as we'll explore later this week. I'd like to speak to just one aspect this morning.
Many Nebraska fans complain about stability in the football program. Well, if you want a model athletic department that is devoted to stability in football, look no further than the great minds in Iowa City. You want stability, you've got it. Kirk Ferentz has not only been to a BCS game since Tom Osborne retired, but ladies and gentlemen, by all indications, he will coach longer than the BCS has been around.
You can't just buy that kind of stability. And it's all thanks to Hayden Fry.
The good news for Nebraska is that they've already got a little Hayden Fry sapling. Why we're not locking him down to give him the nurturing environment to succeed like Iowa gives Ferentz, I'll never know. I'm sure it's just a question of whether we should pay him $20 million or $21 million. Sometimes you can't help but to one-up your neighbor! (A little friendly competition never hurt anyone!)
But to return to my original point, there's a lot to like about Iowa. They offer us many, many things, not the least of which being corn. We'll explore these valuable contributions of the Great State of Iowa throughout this week. I do hope you'll stay with us for our virtual journey through America's heart. I encourage you to chime in with your fondest memories and trivia about Iowa below!
Remember, be kind and good to our guests! Who loves Iowa? WE LOVE IOWA!
Let's get to the news of the day!
In case you missed it yesterday, Husker Mike issued his report card. At the end of the day, finding a way to win in front of over one hundred thousand crazy people despite your own miscues and the environment is pretty good. And we've done that twice now. Over at HuskerMax, they've got the box score for the Penn State game and a quick run-down of a season-long numbers between Iowa and Nebraska.
Sean Callahan of Husker Illustrated reports that Bo Pelini had to address the rumors of his resignation with his players. Good grief. The fact that he had to do that is embarrassing. Fans need to take a moment to step back and breathe. It's just a game, folks. Rise above your misguided feelings about the relative importance of college football and for once, stop making the coaching staff more important than the players or the game they're playing.
The common thread among post-game commentaries is that this Nebraska team has no quit, unlike the 2007 Cornhuskers. Derek Johnson of HuskerMax notes the frequency with which Nebraska shot themselves while Tad Stryker rightfully lauds special teams for their day in the sun. If only special teams could be the star more often.
Nebraska's defense came up big against Penn State, getting the stops when they needed to in the second half. Tom Shatel notes the grittiness of not only the defense but the entire team and ponders if this really is the build-up to something great. Steve Sipple doesn't even hesitate ($), states plainly that it is indeed something special and that it shouldn't be touched. He then goes on to note that every Nebraska coach after Osborne will never measure up ($). He's not wrong, but that shouldn't mean a program can't improve itself or find new pieces to move forward. I wonder if Pelini will embrace that.
Meanwhile, McKewon looks at Nebraska's grittiness and wonders if it's self-inflicted. And John Garrison is just overwhelmed with pride about the 2013 Cornhuskers. I half-expect the team to come out wearing Mighty Ducks jerseys on Friday.
The polls dropped yesterday and we're not listed and that's too bad. The BCS came out and unless Auburn does something silly like win on Saturday, looks like we'll be watching Alabama railroad Florida State in January. OH BOY. Meanwhile, Nebraska remains steady in Tampa to play LSU. Let's buy Iowa some bloomin' onions!
Our dear neighbors started their final week of the season with a big win over Michigan, overcoming a 14-point deficit to knock off the Wolverines on Senior Day. The coldest Iowa game ever wasn't an issue for Iowa's Jake Ruddock, despite his Florida upbringing. By finding a way to deliver 17 unanswered points in the second half, Greg Davis is no longer hated. (Tim Beck wants his secret.) Of course, it was probably LB Anthony Hitchens' strip of the ball from Michigan's Devin Gardner that really saved Davis' face. Anyways, with a 7-4 record, Iowa is going bowling and they're pretty excited about that. But first, they have to play Nebraska. One writer says that the only thing this rivalry is missing is a win by Iowa. That's kind of mean, but it's just one writer so we won't get out the stationary just yet.
Ohio State is already pretending to hate Michigan, an opponent that would look out of place on any field that doesn't feature Purdue. Seriously, this is the most contrived rivalry of them all. Iowa-Minnesota or Minnesota-Wisconsin? Those are real rivalries built on hate. What is it with Minnesota? LIGHTEN UP.
Another QB had his senior season ended on a rather unceremonious note as the great Aaron Murray of the Georgia Bulldogs was lost to an ACL tear against Kentucy. For a kid who could have gone pro last year but came back to try and help Georgia get to Atlanta again, that's just not fair. Georgia plays Georgia Tech this week, a game that just became far more interesting - Todd Grantham, lauded for not leaving for the NFL earlier this year, may find himself without a job if Georgia loses. (Not really, but this is the internet and hyperbole is our name.)
While we love Ameer Abdullah, Boston College has been fielding a quiet but dangerous running back of their own. Andre Williams has quietly been putting up stats that you would put up playing NCAA CFB 14 on freshman. But he won't sniff the Heisman because, you know, he doesn't play for a school that gets a lot of televisions. But yeah, the Heisman is totally prestigious you guys! It comes with a car and everything! It hasn't been degenerated into a marketing campaign disguised as a stupid popularity contest. Nope.
The University of Pittsburgh, who just barely became bowl eligible yesterday with a win over Syracuse, wants us to know about a player they think could be someone special. They may not be wrong. Aaron Donald is putting up great numbers. Look!
Tale of the tape: Pitt's Aaron Donald in 2013 vs. Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh in 2009. pic.twitter.com/NS0ZYapIzT— Pitt Football (@GoPittFootball) November 24, 2013
Meanwhile, at the University of Florida, they're trying a new
defensive offensive technique of having two of their own players block each other. I don't think that one will be going to any clinics as a revolutionary technique. Of course, since Muschamp is a defensive guru, the solution to every problem is to fire someone, with that problem obviously being the offense. This will be Muschamp's third OC since he was hired in 2011. His first? Our favorite offensive genius, Charlie Weis.
BREAKING NEWS: SB Nation's Hot Seat Watch doesn't feel good about Muschamp's chances of surviving the Georgia Southern loss.
The Jameis Winston story should be a good reminder to college football players that they need to just stay home and study. It's not worth the hassle.
Green Bay tied Minnesota yesterday. Apparently their players weren't aware of how the NFL does over-time because yeah, the NFL overtime rules are stupid. On an unrelated note, could you imagine a situation where Nebraska and Iowa tied? Wouldn't that be wonderful?
And the Patriots won on a field goal gifted to them by the Broncos. Brock Osweiler, the six-foot-eight quarterback that you may have heard of, was sent on the field by the Broncos to try and block the kick. He did not (probably because he is a QB and doesn't have that great of a vertical), the Patriots won their own insane gamble (they went against the wind for OT despite the wind being a problem all night for both teams) and then two photographers had a disagreement about lighting settings or something. The NFL is a weird duck.
Here's your mood setting song of the day:
Isn't Iowa swell? Have a great Monday, everyone!
-Salt Creek and Stadium