Beltway Hawk's picture

Beltway Hawk

MEMBER SINCE   January 24, 2017

I grew up in Iowa City, and now live and work in Washington DC.

Recent Activity

Comment 23 Aug 2019

dang Kinnick is lookin' good! Between the tunnel enhancements and the north end zone, the refresh/renovation is pretty darn good. Even the press box got a minor enhancement with the "KINNICK (tigerhawk)  STADIUM" signage...or was that there last year?

Comment 23 Aug 2019

Great breakdown. Interesting to see how the divisions alternate and manage the ever-bloating BigX (X originally standing for 10 and now just a variable which is...large). Woof, yea, people say our schedule is rough, and it is, but mainly from a perspective of road-home within the division. Those West teams are not, at least on paper, the strongest teams, although they are capable of beating Iowa if the team plays poorly. Wisconsin's schedule seems far tougher overall. We don't play MSU or OSU (Wisconsin plays both), and get PSU at home. Iowa's only nasty road game against the East is Michigan (PSU, who we get in Iowa City, could be good or could be meh, more on that below). 

There are a lot of good early season storylines and mysteries about how the BigTen teams will perform this year. We generally know who the better teams are (we think), but on the other hand, OSU has a new coaching regime, which is almost always disruptive, and they have a new QB as well (more on that below). Michigan lost Devin Bush, Rashan Gary (both of whom were 1st round draft picks) and Chase WInovich (3rd round), who were the pillars of their defense, and you know Harbaugh is gonna turn into an amusingly dysfunctional mashup between JoePa, KF and PJ Fleck at some critical juncture in the season. 

In the middle of the league it's a muddle of a lot of good but not great teams. Its quite unpredictable how the hierarchy will sort out, in part because there will be new starters at QB at many schools, including but not necessarily limited to: PSU, Wisconsin, OSU (Justin Fields, a January transfer from...Florida Atlantic(?!?!)) Illinois (lol, whatever), NW, and Purdue(ish--Elijah Sindilar, who is a SR and has played before, mainly in 2017, but not as much or as recently or as well as Blough, who, thankfully, is gone). At Iowa, one of the few schools who has an experienced upperclassman returning at QB (along with Indiana, Mich and MSU), most of the passing offense from last year (i.e. Hock & Fant) has moved on to the NFL. It's likely too late to fully integrate Oliver Martin into the Iowa passing game, even if his waiver is granted, so it looks like ISM and Brandon Smith or bust. 

So it's anyone's guess how teams will shape up this year. The most solid team on paper may be Michigan, but as described above, even they are not exactly the same team that has done well lately. We'll know a lot more after the first few weeks. The most significant question seems to be: how well will the new QBs on the significant teams (i.e. OSU, PSU, Wisc, NW) play? For Iowa, will Stanley (and ISM/Smith for that matter) finally put it all together? Maybe, maybe not. I would not be surprised at either a triumphant, ass-kicking year or a slight regression, meh year. I just want a year when we beat the shit out of Purdue and NW, lol. Those are winnable games, but then they usually are and um...yeah. Those, along with ISU, are games we should be winning (although ISU is trending up, we are still the superior program by a fair margin and also currently have more talent); excuses can take a long walk off a short pier. 

Comment 22 Aug 2019

well that goes without saying! He did say, ambiguously, "at some point."  "At some point" could be 20 years in the future, or when Hell freezes over! ;) We did wait many years to give Washington a good beating in a bowl game, but when the 1995 Sun Bowl rolled around, it was sweet, sweet wine.

That being said, the time may be coming sooner than some people think when we'll overtake or at least get back to parity with Wisconsin. They aren't world beaters, just a decent team with a decent athletic dept/school behind them. They've shown plenty of signs of faltering lately. Despite some fixation in certain corners of the fanbase, Wisconsin isn't really an arch-rival or detested enemy who ruined our Rose Bowls or something like that, although I do maintain my "Barry Alvarez ripped off Iowa's program and is the Wisconsin Hayden Fry" theory, and they do have some payback coming for that.

Comment 22 Aug 2019

It was amusingly random and weird. We need a traditional-Hungarian-costumed-KF-doing-a-funny-dance meme after our next big win. Or titling at a windmill after a loss? (Too soon in advance!)

Comment 20 Aug 2019

Speaking of Iowa State, this is just the second time they've ever been ranked in the preseason AP Poll. The only other time came way back in 1978, when they began the year at #20.

you know it's gonna be a good year when your program has a chance of DOUBLING the number of players your program has had drafted in the 1st round at the end of the year!! ...or you just suck, one of the two. 

Comment 14 Aug 2019

On the new LSU locker room: at the 45 sec mark of the 1st vid on the page (which Pat linked to, its under the pic of the Bama stadium), an LSU fan proudly points out that the new locker room was funded by a private donation from " alumni's."  One doesn't even know where to begin.

Comment 02 Aug 2019

It's not that we are (or think we are) a running team. We are a ball-control/field-position control team (defense and punting ftw!), and to execute that type of gameplan, especially given the WRs and QB accuracy we've had, we've had to run as much as we do, despite the various frustrating weaknesses in the running game. Given the departure of Hock and Fant, this will no doubt continue. 

After reassessing last year and watching some more highlight clips, I am pretty much on the bandwagon of thinking Sergeant and Toren Young are the top 2 backs, although, as mentioned, IKM was playing hurt a lot of the time. Still, I think Sergeant is the top back, despite Toren Young being a bit more pure athletically-talented. As the year went on, Sergeant developed really good vision and uses his blockers the best of any of the RBs, and that is critical in the zone scheme. Despite IKM having a very disappointing year (again, due at least in part to multiple injuries), I am not totally giving up on him yet and like him when fully healthy to provide a burst here and there, mainly as a backup.

It's a mixed bag this year on offense--I have confidence in the RBs. None of them are Shonn Greene or Akrum Wadley, but they are good enough, if the blocking is there, to be productive and effective backs against good BigTen competition--but will it be there (the blocking, that is), especially on the interior? I have confidence in Stanley, but will he make the jump from good to great, and from jittery to cool under pressure? As has been rightly said, this ability or inability on Stanley's part will play a HUGE role in determining whether or not we win close games against tough opponents. I have confidence in the pass protection, especially the tackles, but will the athleticism of ISM and Smith finally translate into doing all of the necessary intangible WR things well enough to produce consistent productivity? It's impossible to say at this point. I do like the RBs, though, so for the purposes of this discussion, I'll leave it at that.  

Comment 30 Jul 2019

it does look like he prefers to "spin" ballcarriers down. Safer? Probably. As effective at getting people on the ground? Ehhhhhhh...I'm not really qualified to say, but it doesn't appear to be ineffective, although ideally, I think one would prefer a LB to have a bit more power than is evident in his technique. Plenty of time to correct, if needed. 

Comment 18 Jul 2019

he clearly wasn't ready last year, but he's physically gifted, just needs to figure out how to harness his athleticism, which experience should help with. Will he be good enough to play well this year? Hard to say, but I wouldn't give up on him yet. 

A bit surprised Brents isn't starting over Ojemudia, who really stagnated after a fast start to his Iowa career. Guessing the coaches don't really have any corners they feel tremendously confident in this year (similar to last year, when Moss got a few starts, if I remember correctly). 

Comment 18 Jul 2019

Iowa's depth chart now lists OLB/5¢ as a position, which is an acknowledgement of the "cash" position that Amani Hooker originated last year.

Am I the only one who finds it amusing that our "cash" position is denoted with a "5c"? Clearly, "$" would be too sexy...

Comment 16 Jul 2019

If I'm thinking of the right circumstances, it was after Iowa had recently finished ranked #8 three straight years and we started getting more recruits that were a bit full of themselves, plus some (not all) of the players on the roster also started, naturally, to feel like they were pretty hot stuff as well, and it all rubbed KF the wrong way. Supposedly KF made some comment that there were some fat cats around and they better straighten up and fly right (or some other similar KF-like warnings) or things were not going to go well with them. I think this was in 2005 or 2006. There was discontent that Tate's senior year also didn't work out the way we thought it should. Around that same time the whole Dominique Douglas "City Boyz" theft scandal broke, and the 2006-2007 seasons sucked, so it was a dark time, which was, fortunately, turned around by the Shonn Green, DJK/McNutt, Adrian Clayborne and Nate Stanley teams of 2008-10. If he did say it, it wouldn't have been surprising, but really, its something that KF might find an excuse to say about any team, even one that had its head on straight, so its not necessarily a 100% verified incident, but became emblematic of those troubled times. 

Comment 11 Jul 2019

fun times in the 90's. Tim was even more dominant in high school, of course. I can still remember working the drive-up lane at Hy-Vee on Rochester and hearing the roar of the crowd on a Friday night when Tim would score (which was often). I was surprised when I saw him in person and saw how short he was, but even then, he was solidly built and obviously an elite athlete.

Comment 01 Jul 2019

well said, and maybe we should be glad they are sponsored by Nike and not Vuarnet, and contain no pink clip-art quality graphical touches! Also, thank God for lack of the crackhawk logo, though the enlarged tigerhawk is kinda pointless and just there to be different. 

Comment 28 Jun 2019

The uniforms are not bad, and the hawk is kind of adorable. Could definitely do without the black swoosh on the front of the socks, that looks stupid. Agreed on pre-game hawk deployment and flying around shenanigans, that would be cool, if the hawk could stand it.

Comment 27 Jun 2019

"Reginald Vanderbilt" would be a perfect name for an aristocrat. As he will be a football player though, we'll take him! A 3 star safety recruit? Isn't that breaking the 2 star safety recruit limit?? (preferably unranked and only competing against MAC schools for their services, TYVM). I kid, but he has a nice frame and athleticism already to play safety for Iowa, looks like a good recruit. Plus, having a natural/early understanding of good use of angles can only be a great thing as a safety. God knows things get ugly quick in our system when that knowledge is absent.

Comment 24 Jun 2019

oooh baby, the Belk Bowl! Nothing beats playing in a bowl sponsored by a chain with no stores in your conference's footprint! I remember when the Belk Bowl began (or more likely, when they bought out whoever sponsored it previously) and I had to ask around "WTF is "Belk??"" Hopefully we won't be playing in it. Losing the Holiday bowl does suck, even though we didn't always fare well there.