Sunday, October 08, 2006

Consider the Switch Flipped

Iowa finally found it yesterday. A 30-point home win over Purdue to get them to 5-1. It looked like the lightbulb finally went on for this team. Al Young didn't play, but Damian Sims ran for over 150 yards and Shonn Greene added quite a few more, making this the first game where Iowa's running game came through huge. In other words, Al's not getting his job back.

Prepare to see a lot more of #28

The defense gave up a few too many yards, but Shada's 98-yard interception return was enough to make us all forget. The offense looked significantly stronger than last week. And that's why I think it was "THAT game" for Iowa this season.

It's become common knowledge that Iowa improves as the year goes on. Their system is not complex; zone block, one-cut running, play-action passing, and screens on offense, base 4-3 cover 2 on defense. But it takes about 4 weeks for the offensive line to gel and the defense to truly understand their roles. Because of that, there always seems to be THAT game each season where it all clicks. In 2002, it was a 35-28 win at Penn State. In 2003, it was the 30-27 win against Michigan. In 2004, it was a 38-16 stomping of Michigan State. And lasy year, it was the 34-17 win at Purdue. Purdue got it again this year. The good news for Iowa fans, other than the fact that we finally got to THAT game, is there is at least one more coming, the game that defines each Iowa squad, where they put an unexpected smackdown on someone. 2002 Michigan. 2003 Minnesota and Florida, 2004 Ohio State and Wisconsin, 2005 Wisconsin. So get ready, because it's about to get fun.

Other Notes:

National Football League picks today - Chicago/Buffalo over 34, KC/Arizona over 39, San Francisco -3, Oakland/SF under 40, and San Diego -3.5 (I might consider buying a half-point here to get it to a field goal).

I'm not one to care that much about it, but Iowa State got screwed last night. For those of you who didn't watch, Austin Flynn should have had a touchdown catch, but he was inexplicably called out of bounds. Now, the Blythe offensive PI was correct, and he should have been called for about 3 more, but that Flynn TD would have changed that game completely. Other things from that game:

  • Blythe's cute little halftime pep talk, where he got hoisted up on someone's shoulders like a 5-year-old boy and pretended to be Rudy, didn't work at all. Kind of like most ISU graduates.
  • If you wanted to see how far the mighty Huskers have fallen, you only had to look to last night. After the game was cemented, the sideline reporter (I think it was Dr. Jerry Punch, who has a doctorate in kicking ass) was cornered by an NU lineman who said "Will we get some respect now?" What, for beating Iowa State? Even the guy in the booth said, "No offense, but this is their third loss." Five years ago, would you ever expect Nebraska to expect some kind of additional respect for beating an under-.500 ISU team?
  • Speaking of things that don't make sense, what was with the yellow shirts in Ames? How can you not be in red? Do you really want to give up your team's primary color at home? the ISU inferiority complex continues.
  • It was my only pick yesterday, and NU covered with ease. Well played, Bill Callahan. Well played. My upcoming Vegas trip thanks you.
  • How many times do you think McCartney's going to watch that lone Jake Christiansen series from yesterday's Iowa game for clues? He is obviously already game planning for next September. How else can you explain the fact that he didn't watch a single minute of Nebraska's previous games? McCartney was obviously shocked to see Nebraska throw the football, not to mention that they weren't being coached by Tom Osborne.

The Yankees are done. Firing Torre would be the dumbest thing Steinbrenner has done since hiring George Costanza. Big Stein is thinking that Torre is coddling the players, and that's why they didn't beat the Tigers. That couldn't be further from the truth. You want to know why the Yankees couldn't beat Detroit? It was the Achilles' heel all year: pitching. You can't win a 5-game series with Jaret Wright figuring prominently in the plans...and, as I type this, ESPN reports that Torre has been canned. Of course, we can't possibly know if that is true or not. After all, if ESPN was right about all the things they reported, Terrell Owens would be dead.

Speaking of which, Coundown is officially the dumbest show on television. Ditka and Irvin discussed the best team in the NFC. Ditka said something about playing football games and winning National Football League football games, then picked the Bears (the only real pick). Irvin said "T.O.! T.O.! T.O.! Make plays! T.O.!" and took the Cowboys.

"Did someone say T.O.? T.O! T.O.! We gotta be talkin' bout T.O.!"

Then, Ed Werder called in to report that the Cowboys are taking an alternate route in the team bus because they got hit with some eggs in the parking lot last year. Apparently, I needed to know that information. In other news, I usually take 53rd Street to work, but I think tomorrow I'll take Kimberly Road because the stop lights are shorter. You must know that. It will change your outlook on life. I was half expecting Berman to turn to Irvin and say "You're with me, T.O." I hate ESPN.

I know I promied this before, but I'll write my work up the internet gambling bill this afternoon. In the meantime, Bear Over.

1 comment:

Irish Hawk said...

Was watching some of this series and at one point a topic of debate was why aren't the Yanks more dominating with the money they spend. You hit it perfectly, it isn't the amount of money it is the way they spend it. They really don't have the strong pitching that was present in the past, choosing instead to spend more on offense.