Every Friday Through The Football Season
I will be featuring Guest Commentators,
fans of the Iowa Hawkeyes, to give their pre-game opinions.
Additionally, I will be featuring fan opinions from other Big 10 teams and teams
from the Big 12 & Pac-12.
Am looking for more Guest Commentators...are you a fan or know a fan of a team not represented?
Check at the end of this post for information on how to guest commentate.
So far we've covered offense and defense.
This weeks questions center around coaching and special teams....
1. Share your input on the coaching staff ie stability, schemes etc.
2. How do you feel about the special Teams? ie punter, kicker, field goal kicker, punt and kick return team etc.
3. Recruiting; any final comments?
Most commentators haven't checked in yet, it's been a verrrry busy week for most people, my very own husband (Turnkey Tim) included :):):)
Keep checking back, will post commentary as it comes in :)
Black and Gold Girl: If there is one thing about Iowa this year I'm certain about, it's the coaching staff. It goes without saying that Ferentz is one of the best paid coaches in college football for a reason: he's that good. He knows how to surround himself with motivated, clean coaches who don't buy into the same sleaze that a lot of other programs do. Yes, individual players go rogue, but you'll never hear of an Ohio State or Miami situation coming out of Iowa. Just won't happen. I like O'Keefe's confidence in his offense. Even when Stanzi threw 4 or 5 interceptions in one game, he kept calling passing plays, and it ended up saving the game. He doesn't give up when others would which, while at times can be frustrating, can also become clutch in important games. I hope Norm Parker stays healthy this year because it's obvious that the defense gets so much energy and focus from him. Overall coaches rating: A+.
I'm more nervous on the special teams. Last year I didn't have too much confidence that we would get the extra three points if we were anywhere outside of the 25 yard zone, and that's not good. Fans shouldn't have to hold their breath when it's a fairly short three point kick from the middle of the field, but I do. We need some pep in our step as far as special teams returns go too, although I think overall we do pretty good on the returns.
Hawkinator: (Holding Hawkinator's family in prayer.)
Silver Fox: To me, the appropriate topic of conversation this week is the coaching situation. A few years or so ago, there was some grumbling from Hawkeye fans about this; and generally concerning Coach O'Keefe. But, when you look around the present college football landscape, I'm glad we got the staff we have, and I have been all along. Our staff is stable, and the coaches that have been brought in since Coach Ferentz took over the program have been an improvement to the staff. There's alot to be said for long term continuity in this area. Besides, Coach Ferentz is a good representative for the program and the university. I'm glad he stayed, since there has been alot of interest in him for other positions. And just think, the season is only a little more than a week away. It was great getting the season tickets in the mail last weeks. As always; GO HAWKS!!!!!!!
Turnkey Tim: (Even my own husband hasn't had time to turn in comments this week :)
FINALLY, TURNKEY TIM'S COMMENTS ARE IN...
Coaching staff is one of the best. Iowa has had the same offensive and defensive coordinators going into their 13th season. Ferentz must do something right as most all of the assistant coaches are the same as well. The addition of Soup Campbell as receivers coach a few years back was a big plus - he had the same job at Michigan under Lloyd Carr. Schematically, we either love them or hate them. Ferentz many times is called conservative on offense. The Bend But Don't Break defense is sometimes criticized. Bottom Line - we have won A LOT of games under Ferentz. We have won three straight bowl games. When we win, everything is great.
Recruiting is very strong this year so far. The stability of our staff is helping to land some good ball players. this class is shaping up to be a good one.
Special teams - we have to break in a new punter, our field goal kickers have been unsettled. I feel this is one of our weaker areas until we get these guys settled in. we have a stable of good players on punt and kick return.
Bottom line - we have to avoid injuries to have a good season. Just the other day, Purdue's starting QB is out for the season from a torn ACL. The offense was designed around him. That was a huge loss.To be successful, we don't need these problems. GO HAWKS!
Buck-I: As most everyone knows - Jim Tressel has been replaced with Luke Fickell as head coach. The only new faces are Mike Vrabel and Stan Drayton. I guess Mike Vrabel isn't really a new face since he was Luke's teammate and is now his brother-in-law and actually Stan was hired by Tressel. Other than a few changes it appears to be business as usual and the thing I expect to happen is the Tressel era to continue. The sign of a good coach & leader is a solid program that will continue to perform even in his absence. As for the Special Teams - Devin Barclay which made 20 of 24 field goals is gone but the strong legged Drew Basil is returning along with punter Ben Buchanan which averaged 41 yds last year. I expect the return teams to be strong and hopefully we will get a better start to the season from the coverage teams than we got last year. GO BUCKS!
Bo Big Red: Coaching,staff with Bo Polini as head coach and brother Carl polini has the "BLACKSHIRTS" ready for play new offensive coach but not new to coaching has brought a lot of intensity to the offense.Nebraska is still a young team but has 14 starters ,7 offense and 7 defense starters comming back including Lynton Davis Who had 110 tackles last yr ,the most in the big 12 the year before 114 tackles and again the most in the Big 12. special teams are the deepest in the division ,all veterans with high hopes for new freshman kicker this year. Nebraska has attained some great players this year,Artur Rodriguez is the talk of the team 6'6'' 325lbs. of pure muscle new ofensive tackle ,and Erick Martin Deffensive back only played in the last two games last year and made 26 tackles will start this year.Newcomer Jamal Turner past high school quarter back will be in the back field as tailback and expect a lot of wildcat offenses with him running and throwing the ball. Athletic Dir. and Legend Tom Osborne has been at every practice this year,helping and advising his favorite coach Bo Polini when ever he needs some help,who better to ask.Nebraska national rated team is the Highest rated Team in the Big 10.If Nebraska has another 10 win season which will make 3 in a row . It will be the first time since Osborne hung up his coaching shoes.2nd year quarterback Taylor Martinez is back this year with more expierence and is said more of a leader this year ,This sophmore has a big future,and every one is waiting for Iowa that will be the new rivalry although I think NEBRASKA will run the table in the BIG 10 this year,you usally take a loss from a nobody team,because you looked past them, but that nobody team WON'T be Iowa,that will be an ANNIHILATION!!!!, NEBRASKA will be waiting to CRUSH them. i predict 13 wins 1 loss.
Steve: Hi sports fans. Things are really heating up in Wisconsin. Wisconsin Steve is busy watching the Brewers (who are smoking up the place this week). The Packers are coming into their season with an impressive lineup and are expected to be top contenders for the Super Bowl again this year, however, I have big predictions for the Badgers...... Wisconsin Steve predicts this week that the Badgers will come out of the 2011 season with a 12-2 winning streak. Toon and Wislon have developed chemistry quickly. The Badgers have options for production at tight end. Their tremendous offense is impressive and I believe the Badgers will not only dominate but control the limelight this season. It's gonna be a helluva ride! Hang tough sports fans and don't forget to tune in to our Packers this evening!!
Now onto the Big 12
Bevo Jr: Not too much new to reveal – the “moles” are having a tough time, but remain in deep spy mode. Intel should start to open up a lot more next week.
It was mentioned previously that the Longhorns have almost a completely new coaching staff, and we are impressed with the word that is leaking out of the ‘closed practices’ that is a trademark of Mac Brown. The players are enthused about the hard work and multiple new schemes being learned, on both sides of the ball. New “O” line coach Stacy Searles is flame hardening his troops. We’re looking for a bona fide running game again. It’ll be a new-look Horns offense this year. Thank gawd.
The big difference on special teams is we have some real ‘burners’ on kick-off & punt returns. And should be fewer return yards against when we kick. There will be harder hitting, and fewer ‘whiffs’ than last year’s apocalyptic season. Punters & kickers should be solid again this season; no real worries there.
Recruiting is Mack Brown’s forte, and we’re getting looks from more out of state players lately, and that’s a good thing.
I’ll have a lot of key player’s names for you to keep an eye on by next week, some newbies – some seniors. One week til real Football – can’t wait!
Hook ‘em Horns!
Texas A & M
And we finish with Pac 12 perspectives
Buffalo Up: The buffaloes are entering their first year under new head coach Jon Embree, a CU alumni and long-time assistant in the NFL and college ranks, CU is his first head coaching job. Embree has built himself an impressive staff which includes many other CU alumni and prominent assistants, many of which played or coached under the highest regarded head coach in CU history, Bill McCartney. Greg Brown returns to Boulder for his 3rd coaching stint, this time as the defensive coordinator, he has installed a 3-4 system with a “Jack” linebacker position to counter the pass heavy offenses in the PAC-12. Eric Bienemy is the new offensive coordinator and has reinstalled the West Coast offense, a long time staple of the successful CU teams.
The first few games of the season will be critical for the Buffalo special teams, for the first time in school history they will have true freshman starting at both kicker and punter. This is not a result of lack of experience at these positions however, each freshman won their job during competitions with a deep field of candidates including a returning starter at punter. CU will benefit from having the best athletes on the team back to return kicks and punts but these teams have never lived up to expectation since the departure of return specialist Jeremy Bloom in 2004.
CU has already fielded a decent class entering the season. This class, which will be Embree’s second complete recruiting effort, already includes a highly ranked quarterback in Shane Dillon. Dillon is a pro-style quarterback out of Southern California and is ranked highly by all recruiting websites, earning a 4 star rating. The class also provides some help on the defensive and offensive lines as well as several wide receivers and running backs with play making ability.
Red 5 Standing By:
Still Needing Volunteer Fan Commentators From:
Have Texas and Oklahoma State...how about Oklahoma, Iowa State etc
Any fans out there? I have Colorado and Utah covered, how about other team fans?
Independent team fans?
Open to suggestions, Notre Dame? etc :)
Email me (Angie) at
or comment on this here post with your email and I'll touch base.
Starts Pregame Perspectives!