Iowa Football

Hlas' Super Terrific preseason rankings: Say Cheez-It!

This stuff gets real in ... August?!

This is the preseason edition of the Super Terrific Happy Hour college football rankings. (First-place votes in parentheses.)

1. Hawaii (1). The Rainbow Warriors got an upset win at Colorado State to start the season. And, Hawaii won the Little League World Series. Lanakila!

2. Northwestern is playing at Purdue on Thursday. Not only is it a Big Ten conference game in August, but it’s an interesting one. The winner has a leg up on everyone else in the West. The loser walks the long road.

3. Gerry DiNardo. The BTN analyst is a former coach, but he isn’t a flunkie. Here is what he said after the infamous Ohio State press conference of last week.

4. “Hard Knocks.” I’ve always been a sucker for this HBO series about NFL training camp, but some years are better than others. This year’s Cleveland Browns shows have been good. Ex-Hawkeye Christian Kirksey has been a featured player. Interesting guy.

5. The Cheez-It Bowl. This was the Cactus Bowl until this month. Under previous names, the Arizona game has been sponsored by Domino’s Pizza, Buffalo Wild Wings and Motel 6. No pretentiousness here, bless the Cheek-It’s heart.

6. Wyoming. The Cowboys won a Mountain West Conference opener on the road, too. That’s a little better than their 2017 season-opener, a 24-3 loss at Iowa. And they had a first-round NFL draftee at quarterback (Josh Allen) last year.

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7. True-freshman quarterbacks. Minnesota, Nebraska and Rutgers will start them in Week 1. The Gophers’ is Zack Annexstad, a walk-on. The Huskers’ is Adrian Martinez, the first first-year freshman to start a season-opener in Nebraska history. The Scarlet Knights’ is Artur Stikowski, the most-touted signee in Chris Ash’ Rutgers era. Note to self: Don’t bet on Minnesota, Nebraska or Rutgers to win the Big Ten title.

8. Vacated because of scandal. We’re working to change the culture, though.

9. Dukes of Hazard. FCS Duquesne began its season with a 63-15 loss at FBS Massachusetts. The Dukes will play at West Virginia in 2023. Don’t plan accordingly.

10. Podcast. Cheap plug: I’m dropping a podcast Monday featuring some fun Hawkeye football talk with comedian/Iowa fan Scott Long.

l Comments: (319) 368-8840; mike.hlas@thegazette.com

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.