If this is about championships and the big Big Ten football things, then Iowa has to get right with Wisconsin.
That’s been the theme this week. Three straight, six of the last seven, eight of the last 11. The Badgers have owned the Big Ten West. Iowa and Wisconsin aren’t all that different, but the results have been. That’s what makes this all the more maddening if you’re an Iowa person.
Iowa has the defense leave Camp Randall Stadium with the bronze bull. Can it find enough offense? It doesn’t have to be a lot. It probably won’t be a lot. Whatever works.
Sneaky big game for the fan base and maybe the future of Iowa football. This is a results-driven deal. You need to see some results against Wisconsin. The Badgers are your “money” rival. The Iowa State and Nebraska rivalries make noise and come with trophies. This comes with divisional supremacy and championship implications.
I saw you guys at Indianapolis. You seemed to enjoy it. This is the game that can get you there. Or it’s another frustrating, three-hour headlock in Barry Land.
How many of those do you have left in you?
I’ve been around forever and that does have some benefits (besides AARP, you guys).
In 2006, I wrote a story about then-Iowa secondary coach Phil Parker. You know, he was a three-time first-team all-Big Ten safety at Michigan State. Bob Sanders was a three-time first-team all-Big Ten safety for the Hawkeyes, for comparison.
I talked to former Michigan State coach George Perles, Spartans head coach from 1983-94.
“Phil was one of the toughest players we ever had,” Perles said. “He threw his body around like nobody I’ve ever seen. He was as tough as any defensive back we ever had, to the point where he’d hit people so hard he’d give himself a concussion.”
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Michigan State coaches wouldn’t let Parker go full bore in practice. He was eventually fitted with a Naval air force helmet to help him keep his eyes up and see what he was hitting.
Phil sat down with Scott Dochterman and me for about 20 minutes Tuesday. We got to the Naval air force helmet story and a bunch of other stuff. As always, thanks to Phil for his time. Enjoy!
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