The Hybrid is a weekly Big Ten football preview, plus relevant or whimsy games from the national slate
Forget the rain, forget the blown lead, forget the loss* -- what is going on with Iowa football right now?
(* - do not forget the loss)
We're tricky, we're aggressive, we're inconsistent, our strengths are our weaknesses, our weaknesses, strengths. It can be be exemplified, by my half-baked measurement, in two specific areas:
1) Noah Fant's usage: I have no numbers to back this up, but what the hell are we doing with this cat? Yes, T.J. Hockenson has been embarrassingly good too, but there just is not a reason to take this guy off the field as much as we do, especially on third down, and especially in the red zone. And yes, citing a family member isn't exactly the beacon of bias-free opinion, but do you disagree?
These coaches must think the #1 Guy in the nation is the 2nd or 3rd best on there team! Because they both get more reps than he does. Its hard to believe a player who is arguably the best at his position only plays sometimes. Hard to watch that mess over and over!— Chris Fant (@CoachFant45) October 7, 2018
The coaches owe us no information, but am I unrealistic to want an explanation? Is it a fatigue thing (probably not), a discipline thing (???), a scheme thing (reaaaaaaaaaaally hope not). Either way, if I'm a DB or LB and see that dude walking off the field when it's winning time, I'm smiling.
2) Short yardage run game: Yes, Penn State is talented, Nate Stanley looked less than himself, and we had plenty of opportunities, but the PSU game hinged on that 1st and goal from the 3, and that is where Iowa lost the game. By now, you know what happened: Stanley called an audible into a pass on first down, there was a miscommunication, Fant didn't even run a route, and it was promptly picked.
All my life, I've wanted Iowa to be more creative and outside-the-box and inspired and cutting edge, and now that we (kind of) are... we can't get three damn yards on the ground with boring plays like we used to? We lost the game but won the ironic revelation. This is like a nerd who gets cool clothes and a hot date to the dance, only he can't remember calculus anymore, so they won't let him in. Yes, at this high school, you need derivatives to enter. They're just like that.
The point is all of the progress Iowa is making/continues to make is being held back the most unexpected stuff. We should play Fant more. We should be able to Boring Up when necessary and run the ball effectively.
But we aren't and we maybe can't. And it's what's putting a ceiling on what looked like a potential dream season.
"If somebody stops arguing, it's because they don't give a fuck."
Temple at UCF (9): You know what I don't care about? This.
just an FYI: The 7 teams that UCF has beaten this year have a combined 12 TOTAL wins over FBS opponents (12-29 combined vs. FBS teams)#JustSayNo— Joel Klatt (@joelklatt) October 30, 2018
oooooh no, their stwength of scheduuuuule!!!!!
Bro, they've won a million games in a row, and if they can keep a deserving P5 team out, I hope it's one of mine.
Louisville at Clemson (2): Clemson Tom's enemies continue to diminish themselves before he gets the chance.
Louisville? Seriously? What the hell happened to y'all? You lose one player and the entire program goes in the toilet? It’s almost as if you guys forgot how to play football. Let me ask you a question: did you guys just quit the entire season? We all know Bobby is going to ride off into the sunset on his Harley with some interns, but can y'all please put some type of competitiveness on the field on Saturday?
I can't even trash talk to you guys. You're just that pathetic of a football team. And I don't even want to talk about how piss poor your tailgate scene is. Louisville, you're not living up to expectations of a rival.
Y'all pray for LoserVille.
This is sad. We'll hang 50+ on them by halftime.
Nebraska at Ohio State (8): I am extremely pleased and humbled to announce we hit our $1,000 goal of DVIP donations. For the uninitiated, DVIP is an Iowa City-based domestic violence intervention program. We are using tOSU's preview section to raise money each week for this deserving cause with the promise of also not mentioning their coach for the rest of this season. It has been a great success. Thank you to Ryan Levy and Hawkguy for their over-the-top donations.
Thanks as well to the donation OGs: TherealCatnuts, Karl S., Nerdhawk, Joanne, Andrew, Paige, Nick, the HawkeyeCurmudgeon, Dave Hartig, and txhawkeye
If you would still like to contribute, that can be done here. This column has been around for, like, 11 years, but this is the first time something truly special has come out of it. Thank you so much, GIA.
UPDATE: DVIP Development Coordinator, Ashlee Hopkins reached out with a thank you message.
Domestic Violence Intervention Program greatly appreciates all of your donations. Your donation goes to victim-survivors in Johnson County, IA. DVIP served over 900 individuals in Johnson County last year; 265 of those individuals were children. Our goal is to end domestic violence through empowerment, long-term safety, and education and your donation will help us to reach this goal.
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They put an Ohio State hat on the grill of the Purdue train. I love the Boilermakers so much. pic.twitter.com/4PgBLi4rcd— Alejandro Ziga (@ByAZuniga) October 27, 2018
Rutgers at Wisconsin: This one's for you, Rutgers.
Sad fans of college football: Week 9 edition pic.twitter.com/kxdlwM5BK1— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) October 28, 2018
Michigan State at Maryland: In this week's three part series of Most Administrations Are Bafflingly Bad At Everything.
Jordan McNair's father on the return of Maryland coach DJ Durkin: I feel like Ive been punched in the stomach, and somebody spit in my face https://t.co/nPOZ4LJrOv— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) October 30, 2018
BREAKING -- DJ Durkin fired as #Maryland head coach.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) October 31, 2018
What a travesty. Even Michigan State is scoffing.
Central Michigan at Eastern Michigan: Would you play for this team?
The absurdity of EMUs pregame entrance never gets old. pic.twitter.com/GsybMI8HfH— Yahoo Sports College Football (@YahooSportsCFB) October 27, 2018
No one asked, but no.
Oklahoma State at Baylor:
Thought this was parody until a real reporter was like "You know, we could really use more fart noises at press conferences."
Georgia (6) at Kentucky (11): This, I like.
Also, thought this was gonna be a stereotypical locker room celebration... until I saw the crowd surfing.
That said, Kentucky probably shouldn't be here. What a bad, bad call.
The call that made it possible. pic.twitter.com/iyHrfo8RDp— Brandon Kiley (@BKSportsTalk) October 27, 2018
West Virginia (12) at Texas (15): Eh.
When Popeyes says its a 10 minute wait on spicy.. pic.twitter.com/We94Chovoq— Andrew Hammond (@ahammsportsgeek) October 28, 2018
Chill, coach -- we'll watch!
Iowa (19) at Purdue: You've all seen it. I don't care. This was the Penn State game.
Watch the mascot... pic.twitter.com/sChOAG6ST5— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 27, 2018
Well, we'll always have Paris.
Minnesota at Illinois: Shout out to the Illinois defense, who we were forced to play in Big Ten-only college fantasy football after the Michigan D was on bye. They gave up 60+ (that gave us 0 points, if you're scoring at home) and we were playing against the Maryland QB, who dropped 30+, because of course. Not looking it up, but it was definitely his season high.
Penn State (14) at Michigan (5): Don't have through-the-roof confidence with this one, but I'm drawing an illogical amount of baseline comfort with this picture.
Also: interesting and true.
Amazing that Jim Harbaugh always finds a way to simultaneously be on the hot seat and on every NFL teams wish list each year. Has there ever been a worse most desirable coach in football history?— Scott Bell (@sbell021) October 29, 2018
Remember when KF got NFL rumors all the time? Annoying.
Missouri at Florida (13): Took a solid 1.5 times to realize the location of his actual mouth.
Taking the Gator Chomp to the next level pic.twitter.com/6RULhFmJMq— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) October 27, 2018
Houston (17) at SMU: You knew it was done when he hit that hard spin.
No one was stopping Houston's QB from getting to the endzone pic.twitter.com/dwzTvwUfKA— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) October 27, 2018
Notre Dame (3) at Northwestern: Heard the Wildcats are a conference best 11-1 in their last 12 Big Ten games; a stat so stupid, yet so believable. My buddy Z.W. Martin (a terrible, no good ND Nation fan) says "90% chance" Northwestern wins this game. I mean... yeah.
When the pre-workout hits pic.twitter.com/cKxyF9rqEL— ESPN (@espn) October 27, 2018
Hey, but you've got this.
Mood all weekend pic.twitter.com/qr57VJn3oN— Anthony Reis (@A_Reis12) October 26, 2018
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Also, another Big Ten-only college fantasy football league failure story from last week... we were starting the Ohio State kicker, who got hurt. Then we started his backup, but he was on bye. Then we started Northwestern's kicker, but he got hurt. So, day of the game, we pick up Northwestern's K2 -- that's right, a fourth string kicker for us. Then, of course, this happens:
Check this out: Kicker Drew Luckenbaugh got hurt in warmups and punter Jake Collins is the PK. He started the game by kicking off out of bounds https://t.co/sKmJuZwkOc— Teddy Greenstein (@TeddyGreenstein) October 27, 2018
It really is a great league.
Alabama (1) at LSU (4): Game of the Week. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. This is what Tide-Tigers used to be (LSU is 14.5 'dogs at home). Alabama... they have a good way of killing hope for the present, past, and future.
Taulia Tagovailoa, Alabama commit and Tua's younger brother, has some wheels pic.twitter.com/BF0UAH45H8— ESPN (@espn) October 27, 2018
That said, we should at least congratulate Amari Cooper on his new team which is apparently coached by me.
Cowboys have asked Amari Cooper to share "any cool plays" he learned in Oakland.— Matt Mosley (@mattmosley) October 25, 2018
Oklahoma (7) at Texas Tech: I see Kyler Murray has reached the "can almost pull off anything" fashion level.
.@TheKylerMurray final stat line: 19-for-24 352 yds (3 TDs), 5 rush 26 yds 1 TD & 1 bodybag. I just got released from the burn unit and am heading straight to counseling. The A's will be paying. pic.twitter.com/NeA9SNWCzl— Eddie Radosevich (@Eddie_Rado) October 28, 2018
Stanford at Washington: This really might be the healthiest place, mentally, I've ever been with David Shaw.
DAVID SHAW, KISS MY ASS pic.twitter.com/4Qg2v14ZFv— B-AHHHH-bby HELL. (@bobbystompy) October 28, 2018
You've got a fan in me this week, Cardinal (/vomits at "Cardinal" use).
USC at Oregon State: avenge meeeeeee
the Los Angeles RUASMCS pic.twitter.com/pmUku1MsZV— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) October 28, 2018
California at Washington State (10): Wazzu in the Top 10 just does not look right; it's like giving a little kid a badge and a gun. Sure, it could all work out, but logically, you've got to have some worries about getting shot in the kneecap.
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"Mike, these people here love you!"
They love them some Mike Leach. pic.twitter.com/dncYlaH50t— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) October 28, 2018
Yeah, last week's David Shaw game was terrifying. I had the illegal feed of Cougs-Stanford on my phone, and when it came time for the game winning kick attempt, the picture went out, then the audio went out. This was probably for the best, as I don't trust WSU kickers to make so much as a clutch extra point, let alone from 42 yards.
When the video came back up, the play was over, but they had the POV slo-mo field level version of the kick going. You know, the shot where the margin always looks razor thin and you can barely tell what happened? That one. So yeah, the angle is tricky, the outcome is super unclear, and they then cut to Leach, who looks fucking fed up. Luckily Saint Brittany Thackery was there to finally help us realize what the hell happened.
Every squad needs someone like this.
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QB1 continues to bring it:
Youre going down, LaFleur!— Jackson Gardner (@jacksonmgardner) November 1, 2018
-Gardner Minshew to Cal, probably pic.twitter.com/PvMvhzcuta
Men lie, women lie...
ADJUSTED FOR MUSTACHE, HIS PERCENTAGE IS 100%. https://t.co/dUT1RmmMIj— Jesse Cassino (@jesse_cassino) October 30, 2018
Wrapping It Up...
Early and often, folks.
Bobby Loesch is a weekly contributor to Go Iowa Awesome. Follow him on Twitter @bobbystompy or email to bobbyloesch [at] gmail.com.