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Consider this a potluck. Take what you want, leave what you don’t, and don’t forget to take your Tupperware home.
The Olympics start this week.
Let’s beat Russia. I just thought I would go on the record. Yankee doodle, and all that jazz.
Zavur Uguev of Russia is the No. 2 seed at 57 kilograms in men’s freestyle wrestling. He’s a two-time world champion.
Thomas Gilman, via Council Bluffs and the University of Iowa, isn’t among the top four seeds at that loaded weight-class. Gilman has been a model of perseverance since his Hawkeye career ended in 2017. If he were to leave Tokyo with a gold medal, it would be one of the greatest wrestling stories any Iowan has written, and that’s saying something.
As per the rest of the Olympics, they’ve added surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing this year. Finally, the Games have the sports to which I’ve devoted my life.
Yeah, that again. If the Delta variant accelerates and shuts down my vacation plans next month, I’ll be looking for someone to blame. So the whole planet is officially on notice.
How forgiving will you be if COVID-19 costs your college football team a loss instead of a mere “no contest?”
"Frankly, I'm kind of — I'm exhausted," Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said last week about COVID-19’s impact on athletics. "I didn't — I wasn't excited about revisiting protocols for this fall, and yet I think if you're honest with one's self, you have to — you have to look at this and say, yeah, we wish we were done with it, but we're probably not quite done with it.”
“We are probably not going to have the ability to not play games this season,” Kansas State Athletics Director Gene Taylor said. “If you don’t play it on time, you will have to forfeit. We haven’t finalized that yet as a league, but that is where our thinking is at as athletic directors.
“We don’t have room. Last year, we had breaks in our schedule on purpose. This year, we won’t have the ability to make up those games.”
Imagine the wrath that would be headed players’ way if enough of them tested positive for COVID-19 to cause a forfeit, and they were unvaccinated.
How much wrath, however, could be legitimately summoned by fans in states in which less than half the entire population were fully vaccinated? As of last Thursday, that was 48.9 percent in Iowa.
That’s not close to great, but it’s the runaway leader of the five Big 12 states. Second-best was Kansas at 42.8 percent, followed by Texas at 42.3, Oklahoma at 39.3, and West Virginia at 38.8.
In the Big Ten, the two leaders were Maryland at 57.5 percent and New Jersey at 56.7. Maybe that’s why the conference added Maryland and Rutgers.
Minnesota was at 52.9, Pennsylvania at 51.0, Wisconsin at 50.9, Nebraska at 48.5, Michigan at 48.1, Illinois at 47.4, Ohio at 45.6, and Indiana at 43.3.
The national rate was 48.4 percent, and 56.6 percent for those at least 12 years old.
Speaking of college football …
Here are my preseason picks to win four of the five major conferences:
Big Ten: Ohio State. Big 12: Oklahoma. ACC: Clemson. SEC: Alabama.
That came after a lot of careful consideration.
The college basketball transfer portal is quite a place.
Saturday, senior-to-be guard Marcus Carr announced he was transferring from Minnesota to Texas. Carr averaged 19.4 points and 4.9 assists per game last season.
He joins Massachusetts transfer Tre Mitchell (18.8 points per game last season), Utah transfer Timmy Allen (17.2), Vanderbilt transfer Dylan Disu (15.0) and Creighton transfer Christian Bishop (11.0).
Mark Texas down as the Big 12’s preseason favorite for 2021-22. The Big Ten’s apparent favorite, however, has added zero transfers.
That’s Purdue, which could be great. The Boilermakers return a lot of terrific players including a guard who may become a candidate for National Player of the Year, sophomore Jaden Ivey.
Plus, Purdue added the top two players in the 2021 Indiana Mr. Basketball voting.
Matt Painter is trying to make his team great through recruiting and retention. It’s an interesting concept, but it probably will never catch on.
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