COME ONE SIOUX CITY YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS
Ferentz Family Photos
With the quiet period closing last Wednesday, Kirk Ferentz is traveling the country and stopping in to make home visits to recruits. It's always a great chance to see recruits' mothers' home decor choices.
There was a stop to see Mark Kallenberger, which led to some news on his brother Jack.
According to Blair and the other recruitniks, Jack Kallenberger is getting a preferred walk-on spot. He played the last two years at Iowa Central.
Mississippi wideout Brandon Smith (maybe the most important commit to date) got a visit from Kirk and Kelvin Bell:
Quarterback recruit Peyton Mansell got a visit:
If you are really into recruiting, (1) what are you doing here? and (2) Mansell's a good Twitter follow. He seems to know precisely who holds offers and might be worth chasing, and has assumed the old Eno Benjamin role as social media instigator.
Kirk's sweater vest game was on point during a meeting with Levi Duwa:
Enjoyed having coach Ferentz and coach Morgan stop by for a in home visit! pic.twitter.com/r81iS7uio4— Levi Duwa (@LeviDuwa) January 17, 2017
Not pictured here is probably the biggest visit of the year: Ferentz walked down the street to meet with West High four-star wideout Oliver Martin last night. No word on if anything came from it, but he's now adding last-minute offers from the likes of Florida based on his play at the all-star games.
A Ploy Named Sioux
Late last week, sources in Sioux Falls, South Dakota announced that they had signed Iowa and Colorado to play a non-conference basketball game at their arena, the Sanford Pentagon, next December. Iowa will head northwest in one of its final games before Christmas, a spot usually reserved for a cupcake in a half-full Carver Hawkeye Arena. Both teams get a decent payday for a relatively short flight and a premium-ish game. It makes sense.
At least, it made sense to everyone but the Sioux City Sports Commission. Because the Sioux City Sports Commission is pissed:
For the last few years, the Sports Commission, specifically board members Tim Seaman and Corey Westra, has worked very hard to convince one of the Iowa Regent schools to bring an athletic event to Sioux City. An Iowa State volleyball game or an Iowa basketball game, you name it and we would make it happen. The results of those efforts? Zilch.
Now comes news that the University of Iowa men’s basketball team has finally agreed to move one of its games from Carver-Hawkeye Arena to a neutral site west of Iowa City. Here’s the problem: The Hawkeyes are taking their Dec. 22 game against the University of Colorado to the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls.
Urgent note to coach Fran McCaffery and Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta: You chose the wrong Sioux.
This guy was just getting started.
I don’t blame the Hawkeye brass. I’d be embarrassed, too, if one of Iowa’s border cities had turned over heaven and earth to try to get an event in Sioux City only to hear that the university is taking its game to a city in another state – a city that competes with Sioux City for entertainment events. In the Landof10.com report, McCaffery is quoted as saying that Sioux Falls has been "talking to us for years about this." Guess what coach? So has Sioux City.
But the Sioux City Sports guy answers his own rhetorical question as to why Iowa is not playing a game in Sioux City.
Sioux Falls is paying the University of Iowa $150,000 to play Colorado at the Sanford Pentagon. If that’s not enough, Iowa is getting another check for $15,000 to cover transportation from Iowa City to Sioux Falls (that’s a hell of a bus) and 18 double rooms at one of Sioux Falls’ finest hotels.
Sioux City has great hotels and a strong fan base that would fill the Tyson Events Center for a Division I event. What we don’t have is a T. Denny Sanford and a sports promotion budget that make it possible to compete when the only variable is money. I think most of us living in Iowa feel we’ve already given at the office when we see our paycheck stub. That one obvious line that says "IA Taxes."
So Sioux Falls paid Iowa (and, presumably, Colorado) $165,000 and got them free lodging to come play a game there, Sioux City offered nothing to either team, and Sioux City is somehow angry over this because it pays taxes that don't even fund Iowa athletics.
Non-conference games in basketball are fairly precious commodities. Iowa usually has three or four games associated with a tournament, for which it receives money and a free trip for its team. It plays Iowa State and another game in the Big Four Classic. There is generally a game in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Starting this year, there is another in the Gavitt Tipoff Games against the Big East. That leaves five openings, which are generally reserved for home games against easy opposition to keep Iowa's record above water and its coffers full. This doesn't even consider Colorado, who probably isn't interested in a pseudo-road game with no money in return; I think Sioux City expects that money would come from Iowa because "taxpayers." Sioux City's pitch is to give up one of these to travel to Sioux City for free, presumably pay an opponent to show up, and chalk up the financial loss because it's for the good of Iowa taxpayers? Do you realize how stupid that sounds?
Here's an idea, former Sioux City mayor Jim Wharton: Offer to host the Big Four Classic. It's been in Des Moines for seven years, attendance is meh, interest from Des Moines fans appears to be waning, and Sioux City apparently really wants some college hoops. If the Big Four was played in Sioux City (or Cedar Rapids, or maybe Council Bluffs if the Mid-American Center can hold it) every third year, it would give those fans a chance to see all their favorite teams and breathe a little life into an event that is growing stale.
Odds and Ends
While Iowa is still working on its staff, some of our favorite coaches are landing elsewhere. Former Hawkeye-turned-tri-state goober Bob Diaco, recently fired as the head coach of UConn after trying to start a rivalry with Central Florida, is now the defensive coordinator at Nebraska. Wisconsin lost defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox to the head coach opening at Cal. And Paul Rhoads is the new defensive coordinator at Arkansas for Bret Bielema, which finally requires that Iowa-Arkansas home-and-home happen immediately.
Fullback Brady Ross is now on a well-deserved scholarship.
Iowa took third place overall in a Big Ten-heavy pom competion (a pomcom, if you will):
Final Results Division IA Pom— UDA (@UDAnews) January 16, 2017
1. University of Minnesota
2. The Ohio State University
3. University of Iowa
The Dance Team finished 13th nationally, which is also excellent.
A.J. Epenesa is now, finally, a five-star recruit:
Epenesa becomes the first five-star recruit to come to Iowa in eleven seasons (Dan Doering was a five-star), the third five-star during Ferentz's tenure, and the first non-offensive lineman five-star recruit during the Rivals/Scout era. Offensive line recruit Tristan Wirfs also bumped up to a four-star ranking.
Former Iowa commit Beau Corrales, who decommitted as part of the Texodus but mentioned last week that he may be open to coming back to Iowa if they contacted him, is headed to North Carolina.
Happy to say I've found my new home pic.twitter.com/EVnUHQwe27— 1Beau Corrales5 (@BEAU_JANGLES12) January 16, 2017
If you ever questioned Iowa's eye for talent, that kid was committed to Texas State when it offered last year.
The rest of the nation is learning what Iowa fans learned in the last two games of 2014:
HEY YOU HIGH SCHOOL KID, LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT 1997 AND WHY YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT IT.
Adrian Clayborn's season is done.
Source: #Falcons DE Adrian Clayborn tore his bicep and is out for the rest of the playoffs. Rough news heading into Sunday.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 15, 2017
Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka died. He was a wonderful wrestler and a horrible, horrible person, and uncoupling those two things is extremely difficult.