Remember the Maine – 24 Days Till Kickoff

Oh, the skullduggery that Maine is knee-deep in just to try to gain an upset football win at Iowa on Aug. 30.

It turns out that Crafty Jack Cosgrove, Maine’s head coach, was Kirk Ferentz’s top offensive assistant when Ferentz was Maine’s coach from 1990 through 1992. Cosgrove (above) was promoted to head coach in 1993 when Ferentz left Maine to join the Cleveland Browns’ coaching staff, and Cosgrove has waited patiently for the chance to show his old boss something.

Fifteen years later, Crafty Jack has that chance. He probably played the “old friends” card to get Maine the date at Iowa. Just for the infusion of money to the cash-strapped Maine program, you know. Yeah, right.

Crafty Jack may have used the same ploy to get his program a game at Mississippi State four years ago. He lulled the SEC’s Bulldogs to sleep with that poor-boy act, and his Black Bears came home with a stunning 9-7 victory.

This is what Maine does. It pretends to be a little boutique of a football program, but it plans carefully for years to make big impacts. It picks a perceived vulnerable target, sets up a seemingly innocent game, and then strikes with the ferocity of, well, a Black Bear.

If you doubt the lengths to which Maine will go to sink the Hawkeyes, know that Black Bears defensive coordinator Robb Smith was a graduate assistant on Ferentz’s Iowa staff from 1999 through 2001. Crafty Jack scooped him up, undoubtedly to learn everything he could learn about Ferentz’s Hawkeyes program as he drew closer to the day when he could bring his Black Bears to Iowa City.

Smith earned a masters degree in communications from Iowa in 2002. These are very smart, savvy people, folks. Disregard them at your own peril.

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