Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Wheels Come Off

The football season has spun out of control.

Iowa's performance at Michigan was unsurprising. It wasn't necessarily horrible, given the circumstances, but it wasn't great, either. A team built on the run (to the point that it has recruited exactly two legitimate wideouts in 8 years) can't go for 41 yards rushing and expect to win. It's that simple. And it wasn't Young vs. Sims. Both backs struggled. To make matters worse, Mike Hart went for 126 against the allegedly inpenetrable Iowa front four. Sure, there was a little good news (mostly that Norm Parker finally discovered the blitz), but none of that was enough to overcome the fact that Iowa has dropped three of its last four.

And yesterday brought worse news. Drew Tate will miss at least one, and up to four, weeks with an injured hand. And, as we all know, Iowa saying that a player will miss one week generally means at least two. Ferentz has adopted the annoying Bill Belichick habit of hiding injuries as long as possible (for instance, the "last-minute" holdout of Tate against Syracuse). Of course, they won't say who the starting quarterback will be. Let's hope, for the sake of next year, it's Christiansen.

Throw in Garret Wolfe (who, until a couple of weeks ago, was a Heisman darkhorse) and the Northern Illinois Huskies, and this week looks disturbingly interesting. I'm not saying Iowa will lose (lowly Temple was able to hold the aptly-named Wolfe to 45 yards last week). But, in a normal year, this game wouldn't last beyond halftime. Unfortunately, it almost certainly will go to the wire, much like the rest of this season. The wheels seem to be coming off, and I can't think of anything short of the now-annual walloping of Wisky that would change that. Just remeber, Iowa fans, that it could be worse. You could be a Michigan State fan.

"If we intentionally don't show up for the first half, then
come from 35 back to beat Northwesern, do you think

everyone will forget how we let the Irish come from 24
back to beat us? Or I could always just slap myself again."


Speaking of the wheels coming off, I have lost the ability to correctly choose the winners of football games at any level. The football in Vegas was a Hawkeye-like near-disaster, salvaged only by a good run at the Monte Carlo poker room and Mirage pai gow tables. In any case, I'm back.

I have to do some research before I write it (especially to see if I can get video), but I want to do a column on the rash of idiotic and ridiculous commercials, most of which have nothing to do with the product and are in no way entertaining. Let's just hope that Bridgestone commercial with the people dancing and singing about anything but tires is on YouTube.

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