Tag Archives: Joe Paterno

Iowa Football Team Just Gained on Penn State for ’09

Iowa is losing two wonderful defensive tackles, Matt Kroul and Mitch King. They are seniors. But Penn State is apparently suffering from attrition of its own.

Joe Paterno’s program appears to be losing two defensive ends. Penn State defensive ends Aaron Maybin (pictured above) and Maurice Evans intend to declare for the 2009 NFL draft.

Maybin was a first-team All-America as a redshirt sophomore this season. He had 12 quarterback sacks.

Evans was a preseason All-America after finishing second in the nation with sacks last season with 12.5. He was suspended early in the season just ended, his junior season, after police searched his  State College apartment and found a small amount of marijuana.

Nationalfootballpost.com says junior Evans intends to declare for the draft. The deadline for underclassmen to do so is Thursday.

Iowa plays at Penn State next season. The Nittany Lions will surely have two capable starting defensive ends in place. But Maybin, especially, is a tough one to lose.


The Hlist: America’s Most-Craved College Football Roundup

By Mike Hlas
Photo

Illinois head football coach Ron Zook, left, talks with linemen Jeff Alle (rear) and Jon Asamoah during Saturday’s 23-17 loss to Western Michigan at Ford Field in Detroit. (AP photo)

Opening kickoff

“We are at about 19,000 feet. The mountain is at 26,000 feet, and the air is changing a little bit. The air is a little rarer.” — Alabama Coach Nick Saban after his team improved to 10-0 with a 27-21 overtime win at LSU

First downs

1. The Wait is On: There is no Game of the Week this week. Which is all right, because next week’s is good enough for two weeks.

It’s 10-0 Texas Tech at 9-1 Oklahoma. Both are idle this week. Both got even more revved up Saturday. Tech routed No. 8 Oklahoma State, 56-20, and Oklahoma obliterated Texas A&M, 66-28.

“We can stop ourselves, and that’s what we try not to do,” said stellar Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree. “But I think probably that’s about the only people who can stop us.”

“We seem to surprise a lot of people other than our team,” added his coach, Mike Leach.

The Red Raiders have scored 479 points. Oklahoma tops even that, with 514. The Sooners held a 66-21 lead over A&M after three quarters in College Station, then released their feet from Aggie throats.

“There are still sportsmanship issues that you do your best to handle,” Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops said. “I just think that’s important. We played hard for three quarters.

“You just have to choose sportsmanship over BCS points. To me, in the end, it’s the right way to play it.”

OU running back Chris Brown didn’t have the same sentiment after his three-touchdown effort.

“You know how the BCS is going right now,” Brown said. “You just can’t win by a nail-biter, unless it’s a very great team you’re playing against. You can get up on a team 35-0 in the first half and fell like, well, the game’s over. Not with us. We want to keep pouring it on.”

2. Dancing in East Lansing: Did you see this coming? Did anyone? The first-place team in the Big Ten on Nov. 11 is Michigan State.

The Spartans are 6-1, a nose in front of 5-1 Ohio State and 5-1 Penn State. They have this week off, then play for at least a share of the Big Ten title Nov. 22 at Penn State. MSU is virtually assured its first January bowl in nine years

Michigan State beat Purdue, 21-7, to set up its showdown in State College.

“We’ve been through a lot together, but I think our greatest moments are ahead of us,” said Spartans senior quarterback Brian Hoyer. “We have an opportunity to do something here that hasn’t been done in a long time.”

MSU head coach Mark Dantonio: “I said last year that we have an opportunity to win every single football game that we come out to. Everything we do — the 80 hours a week you work as a coach — that’s to win, that’s not to stay close.”

3. Bucking Broncos: Can anyone in the Big Ten defeat Western Michigan?

The Broncos of the Mid-American Conference handled Illinois in Detroit, 23-17. WMU quarterback Tim Hiller completed 28 of 40 passes for 301 yards and two touchdowns.

You may remember Hiller torching Iowa for 367 yards and three TDs in Western’s 28-19 win in Iowa City last November.

“He’s a great player, an NFL player, with unbelievable accuracy,” said Illinois Coach Ron Zook.

“My grandfather (Dan Sabino) played for Illinois in 1952 when they won the Rose Bowl,” Hiller said. “He had his jersey and ring in his office. I learned all about Illinois football. That’s why this was so special.”

4. Campbell Mmmm Mmmm Good: The Hlist normally holds pickpockets in the same regard it does Pick ‘Ems.

That’s The Gazette’s Saturday Pick ‘ems, a weekly collection of bizarre predictions and even less stable commentary. The Hlist is one of the participants. The Hlist may be a self-Hloather.

But KCRG-TV’s John Campbell predicted this score: Iowa 24, Penn State 23. And that’s no fish tale.

FUMBLES

1. Penned In: Penn State’s loss to the Hawkeyes wasn’t welcomed only in Iowa.

“Let’s face it, the majority of the country did not want to see Penn State in the BCS title game,” wrote Stewart Mandel of sportsillustrated.com.

It’s hard to get too down on Penn State. That’s still the best team in the Big Ten, and will be the league’s Rose Bowl representative. Plus, Joe Paterno was more than generous after Saturday’s game.

“I don’t want to take anything away from Iowa,” Paterno said. “The Iowa kids stayed tough, played hard. Their quarterback played a heck of a game for them. . . . And when they turned the ball over for us, we didn’t get the job done. Don’t take anything away from Iowa, OK?”

What becomes a legend most? Grace in a difficult moment, that’s what.

2. Orange Slush: Let’s say you’re the Motor City Bowl, and Illinois finds a way to win one of its last two games to finish 6-6. Do you want the Fighting Illini in your game?

Who is the Motor City Bowl to be picky? Who is the Motor City Bowl to turn up its nose at a team that was in the Rose Bowl last season?

Well, Illinois played in Detroit Saturday, losing to Western Michigan in front of a reported gathering of 12,785. The actual crowd was about half that at 65,000-seat Ford Field, the site of the Motor City Bowl. It is believed to be the smallest crowd to see an Illini game since they hosted Pittsburgh before 9,962 fans in 1945.

“We could have played them naked in a gymnasium (and still lost), said Illinois defensive coordinator Dan Disch.

“We want our seniors to go out with a bang,” said Illinois receiver Arrelious Benn, “but they’re not going out with the bang they expected.”

3. Gophers Burrow Downward: Minnesota was nationally ranked and 7-1. Then it lost successive home games to Northwestern and Michigan, which aren’t exactly Texas Tech and Oklahoma.

“You could tell they didn’t take us seriously,” said Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham after the Wolverines’ 29-7 win at Minnesota. “They weren’t expecting us to smack them in the mouth. They questioned our toughness. They must have thought that we just stopped caring about playing.”

The Gophers stop playing their home games in the Metrodome for good after their season-finale against Iowa. Michigan (3-7) closed its Metrodome history with 12 wins in 12 visits. That’s a dozen times it left the Dome with the Little Brown Jug traveling trophy.

“Michigan needs to get the Little Brown Jug, fill it with cognac, and forget this whole season ever happened.” said Chris Fowler on ESPN’s College Gameday.

Final gun

“Okay, this time I really mean it: Since Notre Dame clearly can’t hold up its end of the football rivalry, BC really is going to have to drop them from our schedule the way we did Holy Cross.” — Mike Lupica, New York Daily News and Boston College grad.

BC beat Notre Dame, 17-0, for its sixth-straight win over the Irish.

Photo

(AP photo of Michigan State’s Javon Ringer)

The Hlist: America’s Favorite Weekly College Football Roundup

(AP photo)

Opening kickoff

“You’re aware of Rich Rodriguez, the high-priced football coach at Michigan who has been having a rough time adapting to the rigors of the Big Ten?

“Well, don’t feel too sorry for him. Just remember that ‘Fraud-Riguez,’ as the T-shirts proclaimed him last winter, bolted West Virginia, where he had six years remaining on his contract, a mere 17 days before his team faced Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.

“Rodriguez, who watched the bowl game on TV while an assistant coached the Mountaineers to victory, isn’t even a fellow to face up to his deviousness. He sent a graduate assistant to deliver his resignation letter to West Virginia’s athletic director.” — Rick Telander, Chicago Sun-Times

First downs

1. Penthouse State: Alone atop the Big Ten stands Penn State after its 13-6 win at Ohio State. Finally, the Nittany Lions played someone of repute.

“I thought it was a good football game,” Penn State Coach Joe Paterno said after his 381st win. “I’ve been around a lot of football games.”

Still, there are always critics. Not everyone is convinced Paterno’s squad is worthy of a national title game.

“I don’t know if they’re a better team than Texas, Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma, USC or Alabama,” former Auburn coach Pat Dye told Sportingnews.com.

He neglected to include Texas Tech.

2. One in a Row: Wisconsin, which used to win games with frequency, snapped a four-game losing streak by beating Illinois, 27-17.

“It feels like we just won the national championship,” said Wisconsin’s David Gilreath, who had a 49-yard touchdown reception.

“It’s a game on the schedule that we needed to win,” Badgers Coach Bret Bielema said. “I don’t know if there is any more importance to win at any time.”

“That’s a lie,” UW strong safety Jay Valai said, grinning. “Let’s keep it real. This game was more important than any of the ones we played because we finally (won), thank God.”

3. Spartans Have Hart: Michigan State fans congregated in a corner of Michigan Stadium Saturday, chanting “Lit-tle Sis-ter! Lit-tle Sis-ter!”

Last year, Michigan running back Mike Hart referred to Michigan State as “little brother.” The Wolverines beat MSU last year for their sixth straight triumph over their state rival.

A banner was hung outside Michigan’s stadium after the game. It read: “Little Brother Just Kicked Big Brother’s (Backside)”

What would MSU people do if their team ever won two in a row over the Wolverines?

4. Gophers Golden: Minnesota was 1-11 last year with the defense that was ranked last in the nation.

This year’s Gophers are 7-1 after a 17-6 win at Purdue.

“We just fly around,” said Minnesota safety Kyle Theret, who had nine solo tackles and an interception.

The Gophers fly with an attitude. They had four personal foul penalties at Purdue.

“We were running our mouths and did a little extra activity that we shouldn’t have,” senior defensive end Willie VanDeSteeg said. “But we won.”

Fumbles

1. Joe the Bummer: It’s been a fine 12-year run for Joe Tiller as Purdue’s coach. The first 11 seasons were good, anyway, with 10 bowl trips.

The 2-6 Boilermakers are alone in the Big Ten basement at 0-4 in this, Tiller’s final season. Some way to go out.

“This isn’t how I envisioned it,” Tiller said.

His team managed a paltry 226 yards in its 17-6 loss to Minnesota. The 109 passing yards were the fewest in Tiller’s Purdue tenure.

When asked about a slight shoulder separation that kept Boilermakers quarterback Curtis Painter on the sideline the entire second half, Tiller told a radio reporter “Most guys would play with that. I don’t know why he didn’t. But he didn’t . . .”

Tiller’s frustration carried over from midweek when he reacted to comments made by running back Kory Sheets that questioned Sheets’ confidence in Painter.

“Well, as I said to our own coaches,” Tiller said, “(Sheets) has grown physiologically but not intellectually the last four years. So, if you know him, it’s not a surprise. It’s a disappointment.

“So, if any person thinks that they’re going to carry the team, then perhaps we should just hand him the ball and stand on the sidelines and cheer. I don’t know what type of game plan that would be, but perhaps we could try it.

“One thing about it, I don’t really ever sugarcoat stuff.”

2. Northern Exposure: The Big 12 North is 2-10 against the South. The North’s best team would be the South’s fifth-best. A team from the North will play a team from the South in December for the league title.

The Hlist’s question: Why?

From the Kansas City Star’s Blair Kerkhoff:

“An incredible football game was waged on Kansas soil Saturday.

“Texas Tech took the early lead on Oklahoma, but the Sooners roared back to edge ahead.

“From there, the teams exchanged leads, and late in the proceedings the Red Raiders grabbed a 56-55 lead.

“Finally, Tech prevailed 63-58.

“Sadly for Kansas and Kansas State, the Sooners and Red Raiders played around the same time but not against each other. Instead, they toyed with the Sunflower State institutions of higher learning and lower football prowess.

“Texas Tech blew the doors off Kansas 63-21, and Oklahoma ran away from Kansas State 58-35.”

3. Boo Hoo, LSU: It’s not easy being mortal.

LSU defensive end Rahim Alem pointed the finger at his team’s offense after Georgia ripped the defending national champion Tigers, 52-38.

“There were two touchdowns we couldn’t do anything about,” Alem said, referring to LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee’s two interceptions that Georgia linebacker Darryl Gamble returned for touchdowns.

“Everybody has turnovers, but when you throw two interceptions for touchdowns, those are game-changers,” Alem said.

At least he shouldered half of the blame.

“On defense, we messed up big. On offense, we messed up big.”

Coach Les Miles got a big raise and a contract extension from LSU last December when Michigan wooed him. So someone with the program didn’t mess up big.

4. Ground Yuck: Navy beat SMU 34-7 without attempting a single pass. Using a triple option, the Midshipmen rushed 77 times for 404 yards.

It’s khaki-ugly football, though, and it’s a military thing. Army and Air Force also have won games this year without completing a pass.

Final gun

“If you can do this to LSU in frothing Tiger Stadium, you need have no fear of Florida or anything reptilian.” Mark Bradley, Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Georgia plays the Florida Gators Saturday.

Hlist: Everything That Happened Last Week in College Football and So Much More

(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Opening kickoff

“Northwestern is not ready for this, not yet. It was 5-0 and ranked Nos. 22 and 23 in two of the three major polls. But it had beaten up on nobodies and one sort-of, Iowa.” — Greg Couch of the Chicago Sun-Times, on the Wildcats’ 37-20 loss to Michigan State

First downs

1. Schooling His Old School: Minnesota Coach Tim Brewster was the captain of Illinois’ 1983 Rose Bowl team. In his first game at Illinois’ Memorial Stadium, his 12-point underdog Gophers shocked the Fighting Illini, 27-20.

“It’s hard. I have mixed emotions,” Brewster said. “I care about my alma mater. But I also have tremendous feelings for this Minnesota team. We came here on a mission to win. We have a philosophy: ‘Why not us? Why not now?’”

The 6-1 Gophers were 1-11 last year, Brewster’s debut season as their coach.

“We’re already bowl-eligible. This is very exciting for me, very exciting for the seniors,” said Minnesota linebacker Steve Davis. “We just want to keep pushing and get to that Rose Bowl.”

Uh, Minnesota did allow 550 yards to the Illini, 462 of those passing. Don’t make Pasadena plans just yet, Gopher fans.

2. JoePa’s Got Jump: Every Wisconsin home game, UW students spend the time between the third and fourth quarters jumping to House of Pain’s “Jump Around.”

Penn State linebacker Nate Stupar jumped to the music Saturday, too. Nittany Lions defensive tackle Jared Odrick broke into a dance.

You’d dance, too, if you’d beaten the Badgers 48-7 in their Camp Randall Stadium. It’s normally a house of pain for visitors.

Are the 7-0 Nittany Lions in the national title picture?

“We certainly deserve to be considered,” said their coach, Joe Paterno.
3. Imperfect Storm: Oklahoma and Missouri supposedly were on a collision course to meet in the Big 12 title game, maybe both with 12-0 records. Then they faced Texas and Oklahoma State, respectively.

Texas quarterback Colt McCoy hadn’t liked the way he played the week before at Colorado. He told Longhorns Coach Mack Brown, “I didn’t play very well tonight, but next week is my week.”

McCoy was a prophet. He completed 28 of 35 passes and expertly steered the Horns to a 45-35 win over the No. 1 Sooners. Now Texas is No. 1.

Oklahoma State Coach Mike Gundy’s players are 20 (and 21 and 22). They are men. They won at No. 3 Missouri, 28-23.

The $165 million that oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens donated to Oklahoma State in 2006 to transform the school’s football stadium and training areas is bearing fruit.

“Boone, he was there (in the OSU locker room after the Missouri win) and he was excited,” Gundy said. “He hadn’t had a lot to be excited about lately.”

Pickens filed suit last week against Lehman Brothers, claiming the investment bank owes him and four of his energy funds $59.9 million.

As the Hlist always says, $59.9 million here and $59.9 million there, pretty soon it adds up to some real money.

4. FIU is AOK: The Hlist and others in Iowa had their fun with Florida International in early September. FIU did nothing to help its football reputation by losing 42-0 to the Hawkeyes.

Look who’s won three in a row, the latest a 33-21 handling of Middle Tennessee State.

True freshman T.Y. Hilton caught a 63-yard touchdown pass against MTSU. Hilton is nicknamed ”T.Y. Goodbye” by FIU fans. The well-known AOL signoff “Goodbye” was played on the stadium speakers after he scored.

Twice, when Middle Tennessee punted out of bounds to avoid him, Hilton turned to the FIU student section and turned his thumbs down. That got the students booing the MTSU punter.

Who knew FIU football was so fun?

Fumbles

1. Badgered Bret: “When you get into the coaching profession you know there are going to be good days and bad days,” Wisconsin Coach Bret Bielema said. “Today …”

That was said Saturday night in Madison after a 48-7 loss to Penn State, Wisconsin’s third straight loss and its worst since a 51-3 pounding from Miami 19 years ago.

Bielema, a former Iowa player and assistant coach, began this year with a 21-5 mark, 12-4 in the Big Ten. Things have gotten harder.

This was a preseason Big Ten title contender? Now it’s a dazed and confused outfit that is coming to Iowa on Saturday.

“I would have put a house up saying we’ll never start 0-3, even with the three games we had,” junior linebacker Jaevery McFadden said.

That’s why the NCAA doesn’t let its players gamble.

2. Wasted Juice: Illinois Coach Ron Zook feared his team would have a letdown after its 45-20 win at Michigan the week before. It did. Now 3-3 Illinois has as many losses as it did all last season.

“Just because you go to Michigan and win a game there, that doesn’t mean (anything),” he said. “Everybody in this league is out to get you.”

Illini quarterback Juice Williams set a Memorial Stadium record with 503 total yards. Illinois entered Gopher territory 10 times, for an average of two points per visit.

Note to the Illini: You don’t get many Juice Williamses. You may want to stop wasting the one you have.

(AP photo)

3. Michigan’s a Mess: Michigan lost 13-10 to Toledo, a team that had been 1-4 and got clobbered at home by Florida International. Which is in worse shape in the Detroit-Ann Arbor area, Ford Motor Company or Wolverines football?

Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press: “The Big House has become a big joke. There is no safe sanctuary for what’s quickly crystallizing into the worst Wolverines season in more than 40 years.

“The Rockets’ 13-10 stunner drove another stake through the guts and pride of a Michigan program that must wonder this worrisome morning if there’s actually another win somewhere on its schedule.”

4. Picks, Not Kicks: Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes picked off two passes in the Gators’ 51-21 pasting of LSU. He returned his second interception 52 yards for a touchdown, then weakly punted the ball into the end zone stands.

“Just the passion for the game kinda took over,” Spikes said. “(Punter Chas Henry) said ‘You kinda shanked that thing.’”

Florida Coach Urban Meyer on Spikes’ 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty:

“I’m going to kill him. But that’s all right.”

Final gun

“Texas is better than OU.

“Go ahead. Read it to yourself. Read it aloud. Scream it if you want. Tell the neighbors. Text someone. Write your congressman.

“It’s true. Texas has a better football team than Oklahoma. Savor it, Longhorn fans. Feel it, take it in, believe it.” — Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman.

Kirk seemed a bit giddy.

The Hlist: Week 1

OPENING KICKOFF

“They’re so athletic. It just wore on us. They didn’t play like Michigan. They played like LSU.” — Appalachian State Coach Jerry Moore after his team’s 41-13 loss at LSU. His Mountaineers won at Michigan last year.

FIRST DOWNS

1. Eye-Opening Opener: Illinois and Missouri join most of the rest of the bloodthirsty FBS cabal in plucking the FCS for some easy pickings this week with Eastern Illinois and Southeast Missouri State, respectively. But they sure started the season the right way.

Playing each other in St. Louis, the teams combined for 13 touchdowns. Mizzou won, 52-42, despite the brilliance of Illini sophomore QB Juice Williams, who threw five TD passes.

“I try not to look at the numbers, but I see the interceptions before I see the touchdowns,” Williams said. “I hope I have zero next week.”

In the fourth quarter, a member of ESPN’s broadcast team suggested Missouri might be Illinois’ best foe. Interesting,since the Illini play Ohio State in November.

“Missouri is a very good team,” Illinois Coach Ron Zook said. “It’s not a sin to lose to a team like that one.”

2. Covering the Spread: OK, Florida International didn’t fully succeed in covering Kansas’ spread offense. Passing 52 times, the Jayhawks rolled over FIU, 40-10.

Iowa won’t throw 52 times Saturday when it hosts the Golden Panthers, unless Kirk Ferentz’s body is taken over by Kansas Coach Mark Mangino. If you’ve seen Mangino’s girth, you know he’d make that trade in a heartbeat.

But FIU did cover the 36-point spread Nevada oddsmakers set for the game. Iowa was a 27-point pick over the Golden Panthers at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas as of Monday noon.

But what’s the over/under for FIU total yards at Iowa? It mustered just 139 at Kansas.

“We’re getting better,” said FIU Coach Mario Cristóbal. Which is a relief, since the school has lost 24 of its last 25 games.

3. Wolves Are No Sheep: The Hlist vows to make no snide remarks about Iowa putting Arkansas State on its 2009 schedule. Ever.

The Maine Black Bears were teddy bears for the Hawkeyes, and Florida International appears little better. But the Red Wolves of Arkansas State play football. They topped Texas A&M, 18-14, before 78,691 horrified fans in College Station.

It was Arkansas State’s first win over a team from a BCS conference, and first in 16 tries against a Big 12 team.

“Just to be part of the new Red Wolves, and the way for us to start it off, at Texas A&M, oh my goodness,” said receiver Jahbari McLennan.

The Red Wolves were called the Indians until this year. Had they remained the Indians, Iowa couldn’t have played them under the UI’s policy.

4. Race for the Ages: Penn State’s 66-10 win over the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers put Nittany Lions Coach Joe Paterno in a tie with Florida State’s Bobby Bowden for the all-time lead in wins with 373.

“I haven’t even thought about it, and I’m not going to,” the 81-year-old Paterno said. “I can only say it so many times, it’s not a big deal to me.”

Coastal Carolina Coach David Bennett called Paterno and Bowden “American heroes.” Rick Telander of the Chicago Sun-Times saw nothing heroic in Penn State playing an FCS team.

“Shame on you, Penn State, for even scheduling the Chanticleers,” Telander wrote. “JoePa, couldn’t you have just ordered a cherry for your flaming cake instead of a 66-10 forest fire, or has senility kicked in?”

FUMBLES

1. Bigger is Better: The bigger-school FBS teams crushed the not-as-big FCS teams last week. No shock there.

But that doesn’t make it right. There were 32 FBS-FCS “clashes,” and the FBS won all but one. Only eight of the games were settled by less than 24 points. That’s absurd.

Oklahoma beat Chattanooga, 57-2. It was 50-0 at halftime, then they had a 72-minute delay because of a thunderstorm. Which gave The Oklahoman’s Barry Tramel all the material he needed.

“After the most lopsided half of football in 30 years at Owen Field,” Tramel wrote, “and the second-most lopsided since anyone was paying attention, and the most embarrassing ballgame any of us hopefully will ever have to witness, God saw all that college football had made. And it was bad. It was very bad.”

2. Long Comes Up Short: The sole FBS team to fall to an FCS club was Chuck Long’s San Diego State, which fell to Cal Poly, 29-27.

“It’s time for Aztecs Nation to unite!” former SDSU star Marshall Faulk urged the crowd in a pregame announcement. He would have had few takers after the game.

Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune isn’t smitten with Long’s program. After Saturday’s game, Canepa wrote “It should be better than this. At the very, very, very, very least, State should beat Cal Poly. And it didn’t. Again it didn’t.”

3. The Pitts: Pittsburgh closed last season with a stunning 13-9 upset win at rival West Virginia to ruin the Mountaineers’ chance of playing in the national-title game.

How not to build on that momentum: Lose 27-17 at home to Bowling Green.

Pitt slipped to 16-20 under Coach Dave Wannstedt, and 13-20 against FBS teams. Saturday was the ninth time the Panthers lost under Wannstedt when they were favorites. It’s a good thing Wannstedt got a contract extension through 2012 at the end of last season. A good thing for Wannstedt, anyhow.

Iowa is at Pitt on Sept. 20. Somehow, the Hawkeyes need to persuade Las Vegas to make them the underdogs.

4. Jumping to Wrong Conclusion: Duke officials were caught off-guard when two men parachuted into Wallace Wade Stadium and landed at the 35-yard line with a game ball an hour before the Blue Devils’ game against James Madison in Durham, N.C.

The skydivers were a bit surprised, too. Their jump site was meant to be eight miles away, at the McNeese State-North Carolina game in Chapel Hill.

The jumpers had decided to cancel the leap because of a severe weather front. But when the clouds eventually opened, the pilot thought they were over the correct stadium.

“In about five years, maybe this will be funny,” said UNC associate athletics director Rick Steinbacher after he apologized to Duke officials. “Right.”

FINAL GUN

“Rich Rodriguez’s spread offense is supposed to score all sorts of points, and after one game of the Rich Rod Regime, I must ask: for which team?” — Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press after the Wolverines fell to Utah, 25-23.

Obama

I just want to see how many hits this blog can get by mentioning Barack Obama’s name. I’ve got to think it’ll top, say, “Cedar Rapids Kernels.”

The junior senator from Illinois was in Cedar Rapids Thursday. The Hlog rolled over to Coe College to see and listen to him. I mean, the guy might be president. I’ve traveled far greater distances just for a Dairy Queen Blizzard.

Either you are if you are, and you aren’t if you aren’t. Voting for Obama, that is. I think the guy’s going to get elected, and I’ve correctly picked every one of these presidential elections since 1968, and months in advance.  Some weren’t that tough, obviously. Others showed a keen sense of the way the public felt. Yeah, right.

The candidate who seems more spirited almost always wins. That isn’t about age. (See Carter vs. Reagan). Let’s use college football as an example. If USC’s Pete Carroll ran against Penn State’s Joe Paterno, Carroll would win a landslide. But in his prime, a sharp, charismatic Paterno would have had the electorate in the palm of his hand running against virtually any other coach. And Paterno has always been old, at least in our lifetimes.

Anyway, I have no keen observations about Obama’s speech at Coe or his answers to questions from people in the crowd. You’ve either heard it before or you don’t care.

I will say this. The guy has more energy than most people I know. If I’d just been coming off a trip to Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Germany, France and England in the course of one week, it would take me two weeks to get off the couch once I got back home.

By the way, that is the correct way to schedule a trip like that. You don’t want to wind up your holiday in war zones. Start in an Afghanistan or Iraq, then wind up at the Champs de Elysses. Have a nice bottle of wine and some delicious delights in one of Paris’ 20,000 outdoor cafes. Or better yet, in a small mountainside village in the south of France.

Wake up, Mike.

In fact, I’d be inclined to skip the war zones altogether. That’s probably why I didn’t get my party’s nomination. It doesn’t, however, explain why I don’t get invitations to more parties.