MOUNT VERNON - Cornell knew that any chance for success against unbeaten Lake Forest (Ill.) would begin and end with stopping the Foresters' star tailback, Joey Valdivia.
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Land of Ten’s Scott Dochterman joined me for a tremendous ... ly ... long podcast today.
Hey, there was stuff to talk about.
The Hawkeyes wrap up spring practice on Friday night. Without getting too football-ly, what do we need to see?
I think it’d be good for Iowa and this particular position group if a wide receiver went off for a bunch of stats and a bunch of swagger. I mean, catch passes, make plays and let the defense know about it.
Now, what those numbers and who this would be, I don’t know, but the Iowa passing game needs something positive. It just does, and so that would be something noteworthy to see this Friday.
Defensively, I’m looking at free safety. With Brandon Snyder’s injury, safety depth takes a big cut. Who fills that void?
Scott and I talk a little bit about Des Moines, which was more practice and run-through than anything. Still, didn’t see a lot of accuracy in the passing game (FWIW).
Of course, last week Iowa announced that it’s added Middle Tennessee State to the 2019 schedule. Many of you disagree with this selection. And many of you have figured out that Iowa State is Iowa’s premier non-conference game. Some of you don’t like this. Reality isn’t always for everyone.
Scott wrote last week that it’s time for Iowa State to not be 3-9 in football. That Iowa playing a consistently 3-9 Iowa State isn’t good for national perception. Sound logic. Now, there’s five games before the Iowa-Iowa State football series comes up for renewal (2021). Can Iowa State get to two bowls in five years? Is that enough to justify the series in the minds of what appears to be a growing number of Iowa fans?
You know who’s to blame for this discussion? Wisconsin. It had to go and beat LSU last year at Lambeau Field. The Badgers became highlight No. 1 on that day. It was a national story. This was the first game of last season. Iowa’s first game? It dispatched Miami (Ohio) 45-21. It probably got a minute on Big Ten Network.
Iowa fans looked at that and ... hey, that’s pretty cool. Let’s do that.
Iowa AD Gary Barta looked at something along those lines. Maybe it wasn’t Wisconsin-LSU. Maybe it was Notre Dame-Texas on that Sunday night of Labor Day weekend.
Barta was definitely “hey, that’s pretty cool” and said as much during the pregame radio for ISU. I asked him in the postgame what exactly he was talking about.
“As I watch more and more of these Labor Day kickoff classics, it’s something I might be interested in at some point,” he said.
That was interesting for the Iowa AD to say that.
And then he added that punch of reality, “I really was just reacting to watching some of those games last weekend. Who knows? Sometime in the future, but there’s nothing imminent.”
There’s nothing imminent. Iowa and Iowa State have a contract that runs through the 2021 season, when the Cyclones play host to the Hawkeyes on Sept. 11. (The general price tag on breaking the contract is $1 million. Iowa had agreed to pay MTSU $1.5 million to visit Kinnick in 2019.)
This likely won’t be revisited until 2021. The best thing Iowa can do for its national perception is win and don’t lose at home to NDSU. The best thing Iowa State can do for its national perception is win more games.
Spring football isn’t even over and we’ve flattened this summer dead horse into a fine patty.
Here are some topics we covered within the Twitter questions:
— WR Jerminic Smith is out due to academics this spring. He’s going to be a junior. He caught 23 passes last season. This is the path to being a No. 1 or No. 2 target in the passing game. Suspended because of academics doesn’t fit into any of the above, but here that is. (Interesting Iowa announced this. Probably sent a message.)
— Gut feeling on passing attack 2017? It has to get better. I don’t want to watch it not get better. With that solid logic, I’m thinking it’s better (just by showing up, kind of).
— RB Akrum Wadley have Heisman possibilities? Sure, why not? Going to need a big, huge September, which includes games vs. Penn State and at Michigan State.
— Concerned more about defensive tackles or safeties? (My answer was defensive tackles.)
— Is there a better OL in the B1G than Sean Welsh?
— Is the QB competition fiction? Is this just a play to keep QBs from transferring? I guess we’ll find out on that one.
Once again, thank you for listening. We’re planning a podcast next Monday to wrap up spring football.