IOWA CITY, Iowa – Since Iowa entered the College Football Playoff race, Kirk Ferentz has repeated a refrain that should receive more attention. The head coach has said he’s not sure how good are his Hawkeyes but he knows they play hard and smart.
As the national talking heads continue to spout off telling us they have this whole thing figured out, we learn each week that they really don’t have a clue. Ferentz is smart enough to understand that he won’t be able to determine how good his team is until the season ends. And that’s true for all of the programs across the country.
The sport isn’t complaining. Conversation surrounding the playoff discussion is attracting unprecedented attention for an already popular venture. That, of course, leads to the exposure of the village idiots who have to go overboard with their opinions to gain more attention than their peers.
The imperfection and subjectivity of the process lends itself to debate. Just don’t believe or be bothered by what you hear and read. Because someone can stir the pot it doesn’t make him a prophet.
It’s hard to ignore them. The “sports media” landscape has deteriorated into a “look at me” activity of branding yourself. It’s an exercise of forcing oneself onto the consumer by being loud, outlandish and obnoxious. Substance is nice but not necessary.
Minutes after Iowa (10-0) popped up at No. 5 in last week’s playoff rankings, Kirk Herbstreit, an analyst for the network that broadcasts the announcements said the Hawkeyes fans must have gotten to the committee. A week earlier, chairperson Jeff Long said that Baylor and TCU were ranked ahead of Iowa in the first poll based on having more explosive offenses even though the Hawkeyes had more quality wins. Those words rang out among Hawkeye fans, who took to social media to voice their displeasure.
Iowa fans are as passionate as they come. They’re also sitting ducks for the new-wave media mopes who thrive on getting a reaction, any kind of reaction to bring attention to themselves.
The hope is that they cycle eventually ends. At some point, the shoppers tire of he mindless fodder and realize it’s an act. If not, when one flamer (Jim Rome) burns out, another (Colin Cowherd) appears.
You’ll receive another opportunity to test your resistance Tuesday night when the next college playoff rankings are released. The Hawkeyes are likely to remain fifth in part because a few teams the “experts” felt were more deserving lost. Mark it down, Oklahoma and Florida will replace Baylor and Stanford in the anti-Iowa rant.
If your cup of tea is to defend your program against the instigators, by all means, let ‘er rip. Just don’t let the rhetoric ruin an all-time great Iowa season for you. In memory of the great Warren Zevon, enjoy every sandwich (win).
-If you were able to and didn’t attend Saturday’s Grapple on the Gridiron, you missed out…big time. The atmosphere during Iowa’s 18-16 win against No. 1 Oklahoma State was electric and the crowd was crazy.
-Hawkeye Running Back LeShun Daniels said he heard some good-natured ribbing from teammates in the ball carrying crew after Saturday’s 40-35 win against Minnesota. Jordan Canzeri and Akrum Wadley each posted games of more than 200 yard on the ground this season. Daniels ended up with 195 and was reminded he was five yards short of the magic mark.
-Golden Gophers Quarterback Mitch Leidner issued an interesting comment when I asked him what he thought about Iowa. He said that he and his mates thought that the Hawkeyes looked on film like the team they beat 51-14 last season. He said they played better than they looked on tape, though.
-Iowa remains almost 10,000 short of a sellout for Saturday’s home finale against Purdue. It would be nice for the university to make the ticket prices more attractive to fans so Kinnick Stadium can fill up on Senior Day. The seats in the north end zone shouldn’t cost as much as elsewhere in the stadium anyway.
-The Iowa men’s and women’s basketball teams lost some all-time great players off their units from last year. They faced some tests this weekend at home but found ways to win and grew confidence, something other prominent squads across the country failed to do. I like the potential and pieces.
-I was underwhelmed by the Blackout Uniforms worn by the football team Saturday. I’m not a big fan of alternates anyway but if that’s the look just stick with the regular ones. They’re classic.
-Although I’d love to see a C.J. Beathard versus Jake Rudock Big Ten Championship game for selfish reasons, I think Iowa benefits from defeating an unbeaten defending national champion Ohio State there to strengthen its resume for the playoff.