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The Countdown

A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.

The Countdown

No. 38: Iowa

Here’s some good news for Iowa: the Hawkeyes have entered the season unranked in The Associated Press poll four times under Kirk Ferentz since 2002. No, that’s not the good news. The good news is this: Iowa ended three of those seasons with a national ranking, coming out of relative obscurity to factor into the national mix. The Hawkeyes did so in 2002 and 2003, starting both years with little acclaim but ending them ranked No. 8 nationally, and entered the 2008 season unranked but ended with a No. 20 ranking. Conversely, Iowa entered 2005, 2006 and 2010 with a national ranking but ended up outside the poll. So there’s something to the general idea that Iowa plays its best football when counted out; there’s some statistical proof. Just so you know, it seems that a fairly long shot that Iowa will be ranked entering the 2011 season.

Conference
Big Ten, Legends

Location
Iowa City, Iowa

Nickname
Hawkeyes

Returning starters
10 (5 offense, 5 defense)

Last year’s ranking
No. 9

2010 record
(8-5, 4-4)

Last year’s
re-ranking

No. 29

2011 schedule

  • Sept. 3
    Tennessee Tech
  • Sept. 10
    at Iowa St.
  • Sept. 17
    Pittsburgh
  • Sept. 24
    La.-Monroe
  • Oct. 8
    at Penn St.
  • Oct. 15
    Northwestern
  • Oct. 22
    Indiana
  • Oct. 29
    at Minnesota
  • Nov. 5
    Michigan
  • Nov. 12
    Michigan St.
  • Nov. 19
    at Purdue
  • Nov. 25
    at Nebraska

Last year’s prediction

Yes, landing their three prime Big Ten competitors at home will help the Hawkeyes. Yet I can escape the idea that this team will lose at least one game it shouldn’t — like Northwestern in 2009 — and one of those three at home; Ohio State, more than likely. What could prevent Iowa from reaching another B.C.S. bowl? Injuries, as noted. Another year of turnover-prone play won’t help. Losses against one of the less-talented teams on its schedule — Indiana or Minnesota, for example — would cripple Iowa’s B.C.S. hopes. When all is said and done, however, I do think Iowa will be back in a major January bowl: if Ohio State reaches the national title game, the Hawkeyes should go to the Rose Bowl.

2010 recap

In a nutshell From the heights of October, which ended with a thorough dismantling of then-undefeated Michigan State, to the nadir of the season’s last two months. Losses on the field and off: to Northwestern, Ohio State and Minnesota; the troubling arrest and ensuing dismissal of leading receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos; the suspension of leading rusher Adam Robinson — these moments ended up defining Iowa’s season, not the fine start, the wins over solid opponents, the Rose Bowl aspirations. Perhaps no other team in the country faced such a dichotomy of riches between the first and second halves of its season: it’s a long way down from dreams of Pasadena to 8-5, just as it’s a troubling development to see Kirk Ferentz’s ability to keep his players out of trouble once again called into question. What can the Hawkeyes take from 2010? That nothing comes easy, and that this program plays its best football when not taking anything for granted.

High point A 37-6 win over Michigan State to end October. When looking back on the 2010 season, it was hard to pinpoint a more dominating regular season victory by one highly-ranked opponent over another. The Spartans never stood a chance.

Low point The trio of consecutive defeats to end the regular season. Each game saw the offense perform more poorly than the last, culminating in a bitterly sour showing against the Golden Gophers.

Tidbit Iowa has had only two head coaches over the last 32 years. Ferentz, who was hired in 1999, was preceded by Hayden Fry, who went 143-89-6 from 1979-98. Only Penn State has had more consistency along the sidelines in the Big Ten. Since 1979, and not counting interim coaches and including coaches making their debut in 2011, each of the 10 remaining Big Ten programs have made at least four coaching moves. Nebraska and Ohio State have made four moves, since we should include Luck Fickell, who will coach the entire year and not just the final game or two of a season. Michigan and Wisconsin have made five moves, including Brady Hoke. Northwestern, Illinois and Purdue have had six coaches; Minnesota and Michigan State have had seven, counting Jerry Kill; and Indiana leads the way with eight different coaches.

Tidbit (100-word preview edition) Today’s guest writer is loyal reader M Meyer, whose correct answer to a quiz in the Minnesota preview, which you can find along the right sidebar, earned him the opportunity to pen a 100-word preview of his favorite team. His team? The Iowa Hawkeyes. Meyer earns special praise for hitting his 100-word allotment right on the nose. Take it away, if you would:

The Hawkeyes are as likely to go 10-2 as 7-5. Special teams coverage and Ken O’Keefe’s end of game play calling are big concerns. Iowa must also break in a new quarterback, safeties and defensive line. Nevertheless, the Hawkeyes should reload based on offense. Here’s why: QB James Vandenberg has operated in pro-style sets since high school, knows the playbook, and has game experience from 2009; the offensive line is Iowa’s most talented since 2004; Marcus Coker is a bruiser at running back; and Marvin McNutt is a capable deep threat. The Outback Bowl will love hosting a 9-3 Iowa.

Former players in the N.F.L.

41 LB Pat Angerer (Indianapolis), DT Jonathan Babineaux (Atlanta), P Jason Baker (Carolina), DT Christian Ballard (Minnesota), RB Ladell Betts (New Orleans), C Rob Bruggeman (Atlanta), OT Bryan Bulaga (Green Bay), TE Scott Chandler (Buffalo), TE Dallas Clark (Indianapolis), DE Adrian Clayborn (Tampa Bay), DT Colin Cole (Seattle), S Sean Considine (Jacksonville), DE Jared DeVries (Detroit), LB A.J. Edds (Miami), CB Bradley Fletcher (St. Louis), OG Robert Gallery (Oakland), S Charles Godfrey (Carolina), RB Shonn Greene (New York Jets), LB Chad Greenway (Minnesota), DE Kenny Iwebema (Arizona), K Nate Kaeding (San Diego), DE Aaron Kampman (Jacksonville), DT Mitch King (New Orleans), DT Karl Klug (Tennessee), DT Matt Kroul (New York Jets), OG Bryan Mattison (Baltimore), TE Tony Moeaki (Kansas City), TE Brandon Myers (Oakland), OG Seth Olsen (Minnesota), CB Marcus Paschal (Baltimore), DE Derreck Robinson (Cleveland), DE Matt Roth (Cleveland), S Bob Sanders (Indianapolis), S Tyler Sash (New York Giants), S Amari Spievey (Detroit), QB Ricky Stanzi (Kansas City), OG Eric Steinbach (Cleveland), OG Julian Vandervelde (Philadelphia), C Casey Wiegmann (Kansas City), OG Marshal Yanda (Baltimore), RB Albert Young (Minnesota).

Arbitrary top five list

Direct active members of Hayden Fry’s coaching tree
1. Bill Snyder, Kansas State.
2. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma.
3. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa.
4. Bo Pelini, Nebraska.
5. Bret Bielema, Wisconsin.

Coaching

Kirk Ferentz (Connecticut ’78), 89-60 after a dozen years with the Hawkeyes. It’s been a very good decade-plus for Ferentz and the program, though Iowa did struggle through a three-year lull from 2005-7. Ferentz has brought the program back into Big Ten contention over the last three seasons, leading the Hawkeyes to 28 combined wins thanks to a strong running game and a stingy defense. This period has drawn back to the heyday of Iowa football under Ferentz, 2002-4, when Iowa went a combined 31-7 and reached three consecutive January bowls. He was the national coach of the year in 2002, when the Hawkeyes went 11-2, and is a two-time Big Ten coach of the year (2002 and 2004). Ferentz is the second-longest tenured coach in Iowa football history, trailing only Fry, who led the Hawkeyes for 20 years (1978-98). Ferentz’s 89 wins places him second on the program’s career victory list, again behind only Fry, with 143 victories. It is fitting, given their close relationship in the team’s record book, that Ferentz replaced Fry in 1999. Their connection is also more tangible: Ferentz was Fry’s offensive line coach with the Hawkeyes from 1981-89. Following his nine-year stint as an Iowa assistant, Ferentz took the head coaching job at the University of Maine, where he compiled a three-year record of 12-21 from 1990-92. From there, Ferentz took his wares to the N.F.L., where he spent six years as the offensive line coach with the Cleveland Browns (1993-98). With his strong resume and connection to the Iowa program, Ferentz was a logical choice to replace Fry in Iowa City.

Players to watch

Two years after injuries forced him into the starting role, James Vandenberg takes over full-time under center for the woefully underrated Ricky Stanzi, who left Iowa City with a 26-9 mark as a starter and his name littered throughout the program’s record books. While he attempted only eight passes a year ago, Vandenberg enters 2011 with a decent amount of experience; better yet, the junior’s experience came under heavy fire, as he supplanted an injured Stanzi in the lineup for two key games to end the 2009 regular season. He hit on 42 of 87 attempts for 470 yards and 2 touchdowns that fall, nearly leading the Hawkeyes of an upset win in Columbus before notching a win over Minnesota.

So he’s green, to a degree, but Vandenberg has taken enough snaps to at least partially offset any stumbles that might accompany a first-year starter’s foray into the heart of the offense. He won’t be Stanzi from the start, but Iowa likes what Vandenberg brings to the table. One interesting storyline is taking place behind him on the depth chart, as Iowa could go with junior John Wienke or talented redshirt freshman A.J. Derby as Vandenberg’s backup.

Last August, Iowa’s biggest issue at running back was how to divvy up carries among three experienced, productive options: Brandon Wegher, Adam Robinson and Jewel Hampton. All three were no longer with the program by the end of the regular season. The massive departures granted an opportunity to then-freshman Marcus Coker, who delivered — and then some — on the chance to lead the running game. He ended the year ranked second on the team in rushing (622 yards) despite playing in only one of Iowa’s first seven games; he came on strong in November, notching 129 yards against Indiana, 90 against Minnesota and an Iowa bowl-record 219 yards in the win over Missouri. This offense now belongs to Coker, who reminds many of former Iowa great Shonn Greene — that’s a very lofty comparison. Depth is a bit of a worry, so Iowa will need former walk-on Jason White to step up his game or redshirt freshman De’Andre Johnson to play up to his potential.

Marvin McNutt didn’t exactly fly in under the radar, but he was overshadowed for much of the last two years by Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, his former running mate at receiver. McNutt is more than deserving of getting his due, however, thanks to another fine 2010 season (53 catches for 861 yards, 9 touchdowns) that saw him, not Johnson-Koulianos, lead the team in receptions and receiving yards. Again, that Vandenberg has taken key snaps for the Hawkeyes means he already has a rapport with McNutt. That’s a great thing. Junior Keenan Davis, a local product, will join McNutt in the starting lineup. Things are little hazier from there, as while Iowa has plenty of options the depth chart behind the top pair remains very unsettled. Hopes are high that young receivers like Kevonte Martin-Manley, Don Shumpert and Jordan Cotton can step into the open void.

The Hawkeyes also need to find a replacement for Allen Reisner, the latest in a long and distinguished line of productive Iowa tight ends. Brad Herman (9 receptions for 154 yards) will get the call, but I don’t know if he can duplicate Reisner’s impact. Perhaps sophomore C.J. Fiedorowicz, redshirt freshman Austin Vier or junior Zach Derby can be the receiving tight end this offense covets, which would push Herman into the blocking-first role he filled ably last fall.

The offensive line remains a strength. The Hawkeyes need to find two new starters at guard, but there’s still an all-American at left tackle in Riley Reiff, an all-conference center in James Ferentz and an underrated right tackle in Marcus Zusevics. That’s a very solid base upon which to build a somewhat new offensive front. And Iowa won’t have to look far in finding two new guards, as both Nolan MacMillan and Adam Gettis have started games in the past. You might be able to quibble with Iowa’s depth up front, as the Hawkeyes do need a few untested linemen to show themselves capable of holding backup roles. But finding linemen has rarely been an issue for the Ferentz-coached Hawkeyes, and I don’t think that will change in 2011. This offensive line will lead the way while Iowa breaks in several new starters at the skill positions.

With all the losses on defense, it’s easy to forget about the one guy who returns: that’s defensive coordinator Norm Parker — the great Norm Parker — who is back holding full-time duties after health issues forced him to step aside for a significant portion of last season. As long as Parker is around, Iowa’s not going to drop off the map defensively. So it’s a great thing he’s back, as Parker will have his hands full at each level of the defense rebuilding and reloading a unit that must replace several key contributors.

Some things will remain the same. Sophomore James Morris (70 tackles) returns at middle linebacker after injuries pushed him into the starting lineup for the final six games of 2010. For a true freshman, Morris acquitted himself remarkable well. His future is extremely bright, and he might end up being the star of the defense as a sophomore. Also: Morris is the son of Iowa’s equipment manager, so he gets bonus points for not only being a burgeoning star but for owning a feel-good back story.

Senior Tyler Nielsen (42 tackles, 4.5 for loss) has some injury issues to overcome, but when healthy he’s a vital piece of this defense. As an outside linebacker who can cover with the best of them, Nielsen is nearly irreplaceable. Iowa will go with a bit more speed over size on the weak side with sophomore Christian Kirksey, a part-timer in 2010. The Hawkeyes could also go with fellow sophomore Anthony Hitchens, another linebacker with speed to burn, or perhaps turn to a third sophomore, Shane DiBona, who started two games last fall and has the sort of size, at about 235 pounds, more typically seen from an Iowa weak side linebacker.

Two standout cornerbacks return, two standout safeties depart. The losses stand out, for lack of a better word. Tyler Sash and Brett Greenwood were fixtures along the back end for Iowa, with Sash very often the central figure in any big play coming from this defense. So the two new starters have some large shoes to fill, especially at strong safety. That spot seems to be Collin Sleeper’s to lose: he held the starting job heading out of the spring, with Tom Donatell running second and Jordan Bernstine a third option. If healthy, sophomore Tanner Miller will get the nod at free safety.

Shaun Prater opted to come back for his final season rather than enter the N.F.L. Draft, so imagine the mess this defense would be in had he decided to take his talents to the next level one year ahead of schedule. That Prater opted to return gives Iowa one of the best cornerbacks in the country, one Parker can feel comfortable putting on an island against the opposition’s best. The second cornerback’s pretty good in his own right: Micah Hyde (82 tackles, 4 interception) will get his time in the spotlight soon enough. There aren’t very many better cornerback pairings in the country. Issues can be found along the defensive line, at linebacker and safety, but the Hawkeyes can feel very secure in this duo’s ability to match up with all the receivers on the schedule. Now, Hyde might move to free safety, which is a nice idea in theory but one I think Iowa should reconsider. You have two all-conference cornerbacks; don’t mess with success.

Position battle(s) to watch

Defensive line Three N.F.L. Draft picks must be replaced: Adrian Clayborn, Christian Ballard and Karl Klug. It won’t be easy. Surprisingly, last year’s line, keyed by this threesome, did not do a great job of getting to the quarterback; Iowa dropped to 79th nationally in sacks after ranking 34th in 2009. What the line did extremely well was stop the run: 101.5 yards per game, good for sixth in the country. Who returns in 2011? One player who absolutely, positively must recapture his earlier form is senior end Broderick Binns (36 tackles), who had a disappointing 2010 campaign after earning honorable mention all-conference honors as a sophomore. Binns must also improve without three sterling seniors drawing attention, which will be a tall task. LeBron Daniels — yes, from Ohio — is the end most likely to join Binns in the starting lineup, as he’s the only other end with solid game experience. Iowa is high on redshirt freshman Mike Hardy, so perhaps he, senior Joe Forgy or sophomores Scott Covert or Dominic Alvis can squeeze out some playing time. The new anchor inside is senior Mike Daniels, an eight-game starter last fall. Daniels (40 tackles, 11 for loss, 4 sacks) did a nice job at tackle, albeit while sharing the spotlight with those three departed seniors, so he’ll be counted on to be a leader along the line and on the defense as a whole. Senior Thomas Nardo is the presumptive starter next to Daniels, but his senior status belies his lack of experience. A redshirt freshman is going to log major time at tackle, whether Carl Davis, Donavan Johnson or Louis Trinca-Pasat. What a difference a year makes up front.

Game(s) to watch

The rivalry with Nebraska kicks off in full swing the day after Thanksgiving, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the rowdy, confident Iowa fan base has bitten off more than it can chew with the Cornhuskers. In 2011, at least. But there’s no doubt that this is a rivalry with great potential. The tussle with Nebraska is just one of several big games during Big Ten play. The Hawkeyes miss Ohio State — though that might not be a good thing this season — but play at Nebraska and Penn State and host Michigan, Michigan State and Northwestern. And there’s always Iowa State, though the Hawkeyes have won three straight over the sometimes pesky Cyclones.

Season breakdown & prediction

In a nutshell There are too many holes to fill for Iowa to be considered a Rose Bowl contender. Hey, these things happen, in Iowa City and elsewhere: players come and go, sometimes in bunches, and it’s only natural for a program like Iowa to take a slight step back in a year that bridges the gap between inexperience experience. In my mind, that’s the sort of year we’re in for with Iowa. Question marks throughout the roster: a new quarterback, depth at running back, depth at receiver and depth along the offensive line – the latter isn’t a huge concern, to be fair. The offensive play-calling needs work, and the Hawkeyes will no longer be able to rely on Stanzi to carry the water on third down. Defensively, there are huge shoes to fill along the line, at linebacker and safety. How could anyone think Iowa has what it takes to come out of nowhere and take home the Legends division? Because the Hawkeyes have been here before, under this same staff, so we’d be foolish not to at least consider the chance that Iowa turns out to be the surprise team in the Big Ten. It’s not like the road is all that hard, to be honest. It wouldn’t be hard to go 4-0 outside of Big Ten play. There are games at Penn State and Nebraska, and the Hawkeyes get Northwestern, Michigan and Michigan State at home. That’s not an altogether intimidating schedule, in my mind. I’m not saying Iowa’s going to challenge for the Big Ten crown: I’m just saying Iowa’s come in under the radar before under Ferentz, so just keep an eye on how a young, rather untested, pretty inexperienced team improves as the season turns to October and November. As of now, Iowa’s not built for a Rose Bowl run. But let’s see if the understudies are ready to take center stage.

Dream season Once again, Iowa comes into the season unranked but ends the year inside the top 10.

Nightmare season For the first time since 2000, Iowa wins fewer than six games in a season.

In case you were wondering

Where do Iowa fans congregate? For message boards, visit The Hawks NestHawkeye Nation and Hawkeye Report. For additional coverage, check out Black Heart Gold Pants and the Web site of The Quad-City Times. Continue with the Web site of the Cedar Rapids Gazette and blog of its man on the ground, Marc Morehouse.

Word Count

Through 83 teams 250,624.

Up Next

Who is No. 37? The fight song at tomorrow’s university has appeared in more than two dozen films, including one about football, another starring an Oscar-winning actor — though not for the role in question — and a third that featured the major film debut of a singer whose first solo album sold than 18 million copies in the decade following its release.

You can also follow Paul Myerberg and Pre-Snap Read on Twitter.

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Comments

  1. Laurel says:

    University of Notre Dame du Lac. Tres facile, Paul!

  2. Sunny says:

    I believe Michael Jackson (the Estate of) owns the rights to “On Wisconsin” or the melody thereto, but way way to early. Good trivia question.

  3. Alex Payne says:

    South Carolina?

  4. M Meyer says:

    First of all, I love the picture you chose for Iowa. I enjoyed having the opportunity to add my (mostly Ken O’Keefe-free, but see below) two cents, and I’ve been looking forward to this preview for a while.

    I’m hopeful that Norm Parker can give Iowa a full season. His absence was a cause in part of the disappointing defensive play from last season, though it’s hard to quantify his effect. Clearly one can add the linebacker injuries as another main factor. The Hawkeyes really need Tyler Nielson to stay healthy this year.

    The potential move of Micah Hyde to safety makes sense to me for a couple of reasons. It shows a good commitment from the team to give the guy experience at the position for which he will likely be drafted. It also boosts a unit that needs help, leaving the other spot open for longtime backup Greg Castillo. That fills three spots with experienced guys (four if Bernstine can finally play to potential.) Furthermore, since Iowa mainly employs zone coverage, it seems to me that the need to have lock-down corners is a lesser priority than having experience and discipline across the entire secondary.

    I agree with the assessment of the d-line. That’s the clear weak point of the team. Carl Davis is a really interesting prospect as one of the very few full-sized tackles (around 310 lbs) to play for Ferentz. Could Davis as a situational nose and a deeper linebacking core mean a few more 3-4 looks?

    Finally, Ken O’Keefe. There was a big problem with the play calling at the end of games. Clock management was an issue which was also Ferentz’s fault. There was a missed opportunity to get off at least another play in the Wisconsin loss. Another factor is that while Stanzi clearly had a great season over all, he was overthrowing receivers at inopportune moments. Some of that could be an over-reliance on bet the farm plays, rather than having more short yardage pickups. Furthermore, the Northwestern loss, at the very least, was mainly Ken O’Keefe’s fault. Why in blazes was he not calling running plays against a weak defensive front, when Iowa was ahead in the second half? It was raining. It was cold. Not good weather for all of the pass plays he kept going to.

    I think that O’Keefe has a good playbook, and has a good game plan going in, but he does a poor job of adjusting the play in the second half. I also think that he has a running theory about his players and what works for them and what will work against the opponent based on game tape, and last year it was that Stanzi was an improved quarterback, so Iowa could keep going to him with long pass plays when it counted. Well, it didn’t work against every team, and it broke down in end game. O’Keefe should have recognized a repeating pattern and adjusted, but he didn’t.

    Regardless, O’Keefe shines when it comes to bowl games. I’ll give him that.

  5. NUwildcat09 says:

    Wouldn’t a picture of Radar with Hawkeye have been more appropriate? After all, Radar was from Ottumwa, Iowa.

  6. Sasser says:

    The football movie is “Leatherheads”, where it’s sung a cappella at the beginning of the film. The movie with an Oscar-winning actor is “Tucker: A Man and His Dream”, starring Jeff Bridges. However, I can’t find the third movie and the singer involved…

    Is #37 Clemson, with the Tiger Rag?

  7. David says:

    The movie with the recording artist is Lauryn Hill, whose first movie was “King of the Hill” (1993). Her first solo album, to quote Wikipedia, “In 1998, Hill released The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill…. It sold over 423,000 copies in its first week and topped the Billboard 200 albums chart for four weeks and the Billboard R&B Album chart for six weeks; it would go on to sell more than 18 million copies over the next decade.”

  8. Raymond Park says:

    Clemson’s Tiger Rag sounds right. Other than that, Air Force’s Wild Blue Yonder has certainly been in a number of movies, and they’re due soonish.

  9. Alex Payne says:

    South Carolina has the theme from 2001 A Space Odyssey.
    But, Georgia has “Blood on the Risers” (or Glory, Glory). Either could be next.

  10. Eksynyt says:

    It’s either Clemson, Air Force, or Georgia next.

  11. Sasser says:

    It’s not Georgia — “Blood on the Risers” isn’t the official fight song, and “Hail to Georgia” isn’t used much in film.

    It’s not Air Force, either — “The U.S. Air Force (Wild Blue Yonder)” isn’t the academy’s official fight song.

    Based on David’s help, Clemson is next.

  12. Burnt Orange says:

    Today’s team and clue prompt this post. If you ever have a chance, you need to see the Clemson Tigers storm down the hill after touching Howard’s Rock while the band pals Tiger Rag. Similarly, you need to see a game in Kinnick Stadium – preferably in October- a very underrated game day experience – hearing 70000 people sing ” We’re going to fight,fight fight for Iowa … ” is very stirring. Put these on your bucket list.

  13. wildcat6 says:

    Well, if “Tiger Rag” is the subject, please have a listen to Art Tatum and prepare to be amazed:

  14. IowaCityHawks says:

    Good write up Paul. Also good job M Meyer, on everything you write. I think the Offense will surprise a lot of people this year, & the Defense will be fine. Norm Parker will have everyone ready. Can’t wait for the Marquee game on Black Friday against Nebby.

    Paul, under “Direct” Hayden coaching tree, methinks your forgot D Mcarney @ North Texas & B Synder @ Kansas State.

    Paul: That’s a big miss with Snyder. He’s been around so long that’s is hard to remember that he was Fry’s coordinator for a decade. Putting him up there, bumping one coach off.

  15. Woodysc says:

    ARBITRARY TOP 8 LIST
    Oscar winners who were in a movie that featured “Tiger Rag”

    1. Broderick Crawford (Oscar for “All the King’s Men”; Tiger Rag in “Black Angel”)
    2. Martin Landau (“Ed Wood” and “Tucker”)
    3. Tommy Lee Jones (“The Fugitive” and “Double Jeopardy”
    4. Renee Zellweger (“Cold Mountain” and “Leatherheads”
    5. George Clooney (“Syriana” and “Leatherheads)
    6. Susan Sarandon (“Dead Man Walking” and “Pretty Baby”
    7. Jeff Bridges (“Crazy Heart” and “Tucker”)
    8. Keith Carradine won an Oscar for his excellent song “I’m Easy” from the movie “Nashville”. He was also in “Pretty Baby” which included the song “Tiger Rag”

    Paul: Home run. Well done.

  16. taybax says:

    @IowaCityHawks

    Snyder should probably be #2 on the top-5 list.

  17. Wes says:

    “A 37-6 win over Michigan State to end October. When looking back on the 2010 season, it will be hard to pinpoint a more dominating victory by one highly-ranked opponent over another.”

    The Capital One Bowl?

  18. Papa John says:

    If the next team *is* Clemson and one of the films in question *is* Leatherheads, then I declare shenanigans. Leatherheads, as I recall, has nothing to do with Clemson, and the soundtrack lists the Tiger Rag as The Princeton Tiger (one of the main characters is a Princeton guy).

  19. vaudvillain says:

    @Papa John – he never said the movie was about tomorrow’s school – he just said the movie was about football.

  20. Tim says:

    I!!!!!!!!!!!!

    O!!!!!!!!!!!!

    _(silence)

    A!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. [...] Pre-snap Read ranked Iowa at #38 and Northwestern will be ranked higher in one of the more respected preseason rankings. Everyone needs to get over the preseason rankings. As we all know NU performs better when expectations are low and so do our rivals at Iowa who Paul Myerberg astutely pointed out have been ranked nearly every time at the end of the season when they’re not going in to the season since 2002 and vice versa. [...]

  22. IowaCityHawks says:

    @ Tim

    I see what you did there, more cute stuff from jNWU!

    (_(silence) ) Kinda like games @ Ryan Field, when know one shows up. Are there really jNWU fans, really?

    Really?

  23. Tim says:

    @IowaCityHawks

    No Im not a Northwestern fan. It’s fun to see you all defensive though. Those ‘cats sure have gotten to you.

  24. IowaCityHawks says:

    @ Tim

    Uh huh…I know you aren’t a fan, they don’t have any.

  25. NULaw2004 says:

    @IowaCityHawks

    Mr. Hawks I come in peace and I ask you one question..no sarcasm..no bs..no Io_a or jNWU crap just an upfront straight foreward answer.

    Why does the amount of fans NU has matter?

    Whether NU has 1 fan or 1 million fans doesn’t change the outcome of the game. Making fun of NU fans because there aren’t millions of others like us seems like a strange argument. Not like we can do anything about it. We always have to deal with this “insult.”

    NU has been a relatively exciting team over the past 10 years and has fared well in the Big Ten. The lack of fanbase is due to a broad alumni base (most of whom don’t stay in Chicago), a (smaller) student body most of whom are more interested in classwork then athletics, and marketing issues which are slowly working to assist in the area you put us down for.

    So again, what does the amount of fans have to do with game results and why should that insult effect fans like me?

    Thanks,

    -Rob

  26. MidwestPDXR says:

    @NULaw2004

    Seriously? Football is for big boys, fans flip each other crap all the time. This is an Iowa write up, couple of wise guys come on and throw some daggers. it’s all for kicks. If you can’t handle it, and need clarification on insults, I suggest going to the store & stocking up on panty liners.

  27. NULaw2004 says:

    @MidwestPDXR

    Understandable. I just asked a question and wondered why it was supposed to be an insult. I never said I couldn’t handle it. My question was less about this exchange and more about what I’ve seen overall from opposing fan bases view of Northwestern and was hoping to receive a response.

    I hope you do understand that when fans go back and forth with each other, usually its about, you know, the game, not the opponents fan base or lack thereof. Doesn’t seem like much of an insult to me.

    Maybe if you read my post and took it at face value you would have realized this.

    -Rob

  28. MidwestPDXR says:

    @NULaw2004

    Boils down to Wins. Who constantly has more wins in B1G each year, Iowa or Northwestern? Who moves on and wins their Bowl Games? Records matter the most, yes?

    *Fixed
    *Sensitive Panty Liners

  29. NULaw2004 says:

    Since we are talking about fans here and not the program (reading must not be a strong point for you): Which fanbase is more prone to incest? Io_a. (Io_a fans also take the cake in bestiality but I figured that would be unfair to give you more points in this made up game we are playing..since animals=siblings for you folk.)

    Thanks for playing.

  30. MidwestPDXR says:

    I bypassed all of the arguments that jNWU fans have & broke it down for you. NULAW made me think you were smart enough to get that. Since you became uncivil, allow me to retort. How many teeth you got left in that smart mouth of yours? How bout which fanbase is more likely to get their a$$kicked, IOWA or jNWU? Gonna talk you way outta that one lil fella? I grew up in Iowa City & lived in Chicago for years. jNWU fans are non-existent, except a few Sally’s that chirp behind their computers. Is it hard wearing purple, Sally?

    *Fixed
    *Sensitive Panty Liners
    *Dentures

  31. Tim says:

    @NULaw

    Man you sure did get to the guy. Way to get his panties in a bundle.

    @MidwestPDXR

    (facepalm)

    Leave it to a Hawkeye fan to try to start a cat fight. Hopefully you are not representative of all your fans… that would be a shame.

    BTW maybe if you wrote in all caps everyone could hear you.

  32. Tim says:

    @MidwestPDXR

    NU fans DO exist. Im here. NULaw is here. There goes your flawed argument.

    I know what it is… Im sure your parents were meaning to tell you that its Santa and the Easter Bunny who don’t exist. Im sorry if I ruined it for you every teenager/thirtysomethingwholivesinmomsbasement (of which I assume you are the latter) needs to find out at some point. Sorry to ruin this for you. This must be a hard thing to comprehend.

  33. ASUDevil says:

    “except a few Sally’s that chirp behind their computers.”

    Coming from a tough guy chirping behind his computer.

    Irony.

  34. NULaw2004 says:

    @PDXR

    I bypassed all of the arguments that jNWU fans have & broke it down for you.

    How? You just said Iowa has more wins and NU doesn’t win bowl games.

    NULAW made me think you were smart enough to get that.

    Being a lawyer doesn’t make me smart. lol but I digress

    Since you became uncivil, allow me to retort.

    OK

    How many teeth you got left in that smart mouth of yours?

    Im not a dentist but I think humans have 32 teeth. All there.

    How bout which fanbase is more likely to get their a$$kicked, IOWA or jNWU?

    Far question. Im sure Io_a has their share of dinks too.

    Gonna talk you way outta that one lil fella?

    “lil fella” huh? I have lost weight but how would you know that. Are you a peeping tom? Pervert.

    I grew up in Iowa City & lived in Chicago for years.

    Ive lived in Chicago my whole life.

    jNWU fans are non-existent,

    Now wait…I exist..I think

    except a few Sally’s that chirp behind their computers.

    Funny you seem to be doing the same thing

    Is it hard wearing purple, Sally?

    Who the F is Sally?

    I’ll hang up and listen to your response.

  35. IowaCityHawks says:

    @Tim

    Hmmm…above you said you weren’t a jNWU fan, what gives? Are you a liar?

    The only jNWU “fan” I’ve seen had “Seat 32″ written on it.

    @ jNWU creating multiple screen names (NULaw, ASU, Tim??)

    Niiice.

    @ MidwestPDXR

    I like how riled up you got those cute kitty cats. “Football is for big boys”

  36. Jason Gerhart says:

    I think the moral of the story is you’re all idiots.

    Signed

    A non Northwestern/non Iowa fan

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