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No love for the Hawkeyes. Sorry (not) sorry.

I haven’t posted for eight days. Sorry. Last week was pretty bad–well, one night was pretty bad.

It was Thursday. My favorite trivia game comes on at 1930 on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Wednesday was typical for Golden Q, as I was the only person playing trivia.

Thursday came hell for me. Some know it all from the Quad Cities (Davenport to be exact) who loves traveling across the country and playing at different locations happened to be in Hays.

This person had my blood pressure through the roof. I felt like I was going to have a stroke.

I lost the game in the last round after leading most of the way. I lost it. I was so angry at myself. I also asked the person why he had to come into Hays to piss me off.

It was horrible. I don’t know why I was triggered but I was. Severely triggered. I exploded so bad I was asked to leave, and they should have asked me to leave. Cassie came out and tried to calm me down; she asked if I had a ride, then wondered if I were emotionally stable enough to drive back to Russell. Fortunately I was.

I went back there Friday and Sunday. I kept to myself. Cassie wasn’t there.

I don’t like pressure. Had it been Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Friday or Saturday, I would have sped back to Russell as soon as I saw the person. If I could have found another place in Hays to play, I would have. Sadly, there is no other place to play in Hays unless you’re a student or employee at Fort Hays State, where you can play in the student union. Also, the Buzztime trivia app does not support SIX, so you have to physically be somewhere with a tablet or blue box to play.

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The invading trivia force wore an Iowa Hawkeyes hat. He reminded me of how much there is to hate about the school in Iowa City.

The Hawkeyes’ football coach since 1999, Kirk Ferentz, is a huge douchebag. Hateful of the media, always scowling, always answering in coach-speak, always changing the subject. Ferentz makes Nick Saban look downright warm and fuzzy. Ironic, since Ferentz and Saban were assistants under Bill Belichick with the Cleveland Browns.

Saban is known as a world-class screamer and is not afraid to mix it up with the press, but he also knows the publicity is good for the Crimson Tide, his players and the University of Alabama as a whole, so he willingly rolls out the welcome mat to ESPN.

Dabo Swinney? Never met a camera he didn’t like. Clemson is in the spotlight so much some are probably sick of seeing his face. But Dabo knows the media can make Clemson a destination school despite its somewhat remote location.

The next time you see ESPN, the Big Ten Network or another national outlet do in-depth features from Iowa City, it will be the first time since Ferentz succeeded Hayden Fry. Urban Meyer may have been totally clueless about assistant coaches beating their wives and his players doing who knows what, but he too knew the media could be a program’s ally, and Ohio State was the favorite stop of the BTN during his years in Columbus.

Ferentz gives Bill Snyder a run for his money as the least media-friendly coach of the last 30 years. Another irony, since Snyder was Hayden Fry’s offensive coordinator from 1982-88 before undertaking the Herculean rebuilding project in the Little Apple.

Iowa’s administration must think he walks on water. Ferentz’ buyout is ridiculous. Beyond ridiculous, actually. It makes it impossible for him to be fired short of a player or staff member being charged with rape or murder. If he had the track record of Saban, Meyer, Swinney or Steve Spurrier, then fine. But outside of 2015, when Iowa plowed through a weak regular season schedule and came within a couple of minutes of reaching the playoff, the Hawkeyes have been nothing special.

Even worse than the monetary amount of Ferentz’ buyout is the clause in the contract which names his son, Brian, as his designated successor. Bill Snyder, why didn’t you think of that? You hung Sean out to dry by not demanding it in your contract. Now Chris Klieman has your baby.

(I was being VERY sarcastic about the Snyders. K-State made the absolute right decision not giving Sean his father’s old job. Now will Iowa do the same, or will it knuckle under to their douchebag coach?)

The Hawkeyes also deserve scorn for blocking Iowa State from potential Big Ten membership. It would make a lot of sense for the Cyclones to leave the Big 12, now with Nebraska in the Big Ten and Missouri in the SEC, but that won’t happen, because Iowa will never let it happen. The other 13 schools in the Big Ten could say yes, but Iowa would go to court to block it.

Frankly, Iowa’s academic reputation is dwarfed by every other school in the Big Ten except Nebraska. Iowa’s academics are third in the state behind Iowa State and Drake. Other than wrestling, what does Iowa offer to the Big Ten? At least Northwestern is an elite academic institution. Then again, the Big Ten added Maryland and Rutgers…

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LSU and Iowa have only played twice in football. Each school has one once. Both games were bowls in Florida.

Iowa defeated LSU 30-25 in the Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day 2005 on a 56-yard touchdown pass on the game’s final play from Drew Tate to Brian Holloway. The Bayou Bengals would have easily won had it not been for Saban announcing his departure for the Miami Dolphins one week prior to the game. The players wouldn’t say it was a distraction, but how could it NOT be? The man who led you to a national championship only one year earlier, the man who recruited you to play for LSU, was leaving. Too bad for LSU and the rest of college football outside of Tuscaloosa, Saban didn’t last too long in the NFL.

Nine years later, the Bayou Bengals bested the Hawkeyes 20-13 in a completely forgettable Outback Bowl. I slept through most of it. Of course, Les Miles still had a grudge against Iowa from all those years as a player and assistant coach at Michigan, so that felt good.

There is a much more memorable skirmish between the LSU and Iowa programs. It did not take place on the field, and it was 46 years before they met in Orlando. More on that in a later post.

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Middle of an unforced trivia timeout. Old Chicago’s servers are down. Oh well. I’ll get back to my hotel room in Salina and play deep into the night, thanks to the close proximity of Buffalo Wild Wings.

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Happy birthday Peggy! You look fabulous. Don’t ask me her age. I will not tell.

More of this BS OT

The Iowa-Iowa State game is in overtime.

FUCK ME HARD.

God I hate overtime in college and high school football.

No, check that. I don’t hate overtime in college and high school football.

I DESPISE IT.

In case you have been living under a rock, college football games which end tied after four quarters use a tiebreaker where each team has a possession beginning from the opponents’ 25-yard line.

There is one man to blame for this bullshit format.

His name is Brice Durbin.

In 1971, Durbin, then Executive Director of the Kansas State High School Activities Association, came up with an idea to break ties on the field, rather than determine the team which advanced in case of a tied postseason game (notice I did not say “win” the game, because the game actually ended TIED) using statistics.

At the time, the first statistical criteria to determine the team which advanced was first downs. If that was tied, then it was the team which had the greater number of penetrations inside the opponents’ 20-yard line (the “red zone”). If that were tied, then the winner would be determined by a coin toss. Fortunately, no games needed the coin toss.

Durbin came up with a tiebreaker where each team would receive possession at the opponents’ 10-yard line, first down and goal. The team which had more points at the end of the overtime period (similar to an inning of baseball) won. If it were still tied, the game would go on (and on and on) until one team had more points.

The 10-yard line? Give me a break. You want to talk about tilting the playing field. Asking a defense to stop a team from making two and a half yards per play for four plays is way too much. Any offense which can’t average three yards a play isn’t worth a damn, either.

Even worse, the KSHSAA format precludes a defensive touchdown. So let’s see here…a defender intercepts a pass and has nothing but open field to the other end zone. Instead of rewarding the defender with a game-winning touchdown, you’re going to reward the team that turned the ball over by giving them a chance to stop the opponent? What the heck?

Kansas first used it in 1971, but no other state (smartly) adopted it for many years.

In 1972, a Louisiana Class AAAA semifinal between Monroe Neville and New Orleans Brother Martin (my alma mater) ended 0-0. The Tigers and Crusaders were also tied in first downs (9-9) and penetrations (1-1).

Louisiana High School Athletic Association Commissioner Frank Spruiell suggested to the coaches, Neville’s Charlie Brown and Martin’s Bobby Conlin, to flip a coin to determine the winner. Brown and Conlin told Spruiell to get bent. Spruiell then suggested a “sudden death” version of the KSHSAA overtime, where one team would take possession at the 10. If it scored, that team won. If it didn’t, the defensive team would have won. Brown and Conlin said no to that too.

The next day, the LHSAA executive committee told Neville and Martin to play again the following Tuesday in Alexandria. The Tigers won 8-0, then defeated Bossier City Airline three days later in Monroe for the championship.

Eventually, Louisiana and the National Federation of State High School Associations codified the KSHSAA overtime into the rule book.

The NCAA would adopt a modified version of the KSHSAA overtime for its playoffs at all levels except the top level in the late 1970s. The differences were the series started at the 25; teams could make first downs (the only way to make a first down under the NFHS rule was on a defensive penalty which carried an automatic first down, and there are very few of those in the rules); and the defense could score on a turnover.

Texas and Massachusetts, which play under college rules, finally adopted the NCAA overtime in the 1990s. Previously, Texas used first downs and penetrations to determine the team which advanced if there were a tie in a playoff game–EXCEPT in the finals. If a championship game were tied, the teams were declared “co-champions”. This was the case for Georgia championship games into the 21st century.

In 1995, the NCAA extended overtime to bowl games at the I-A (major college, now Football Bowl Subdivision) level, and in 1996, it came to the regular season. After numerous games went several overtimes, the NCAA added a new rule in 1997 stating a team had to attempt a 2-point conversion beginning with the third overtime.

The National Federation now allows states to modify the KSHSAA format. Missouri starts from the 25-yard line, except it does not allow the defense to score, nor does it require a team to go for two starting in the third overtime. Louisiana still starts from the 10, but it now requires teams to go for two starting with the third OT. Oregon allows the defense to score with a turnover.

I have seen way, way, way too many people on social media demand the NFL adopt the college format. They’re smoking some powerful crack. The 1985 Bears defense would have a hell of a time stopping an offense from scoring from 25 yards out.

I don’t care. I still despise it college overtime. It’s terrible. Unless a team has a godawful kicker, they are in field goal range to start the possession. And again, a team needs to make three yards per play to make a first down. Three yards per play over nine plays is a touchdown unless my math is faulty.

High school overtime REALLY turns my stomach.

I don’t see what the problem is with leaving a tied game tied. If colleges and high schools insist on breaking ties, limit it to the postseason (which means only conference championship games and College Football Playoff semifinals and finals in FBS), then use sudden death. And REAL sudden death, not the crap the NFL has now adopted.

Or better yet, adopt a system similar to association football, where there are two periods of equal time (5, 6 or 7 minutes), and the game is over after the periods are played. If the score is still tied, then it becomes sudden death.

Iowa won 44-41 in case you’re curious.

 

Football needs to trump politics

I am tired of seeing the negativity about the presidential election. I can’t take it anymore. I participated four years ago, and it was a huge mistake.

There was a huge anti-Trump rally yesterday in downtown Kansas City. My dear friends Robb and Dawn Amos attended. I know they’re down about the election, way down. They’re supposed to come to Buffalo Wild Wings today, first time I’ve seen them since the election. I hope they’ll be in a better mood. I will try not to bring up the election.

The protest in Kansas City was peaceful. However, that hasn’t been the case everywhere. I was horrified to learn of defacing of monuments with hate speech in New Orleans. My hometown embarrassing itself yet again.

I’m conservative, but I was not a fan of Trump. He is a crude, boorish man. I know Tiffany Trump, Donald’s daughter with Marla Maples,  was born on my 17th birthday, but that’s just a coincidence.

Life is going to go on. Nothing will change until Trump is inaugurated January 20.

Thank God for football!

The second, third and fourth teams in the Nov. 8 College Football Playoff committee rankings lost yesterday. Two of them, #2 Clemson and #4 Washington, fell at home. #3 Michigan lost in Iowa City to the Hawkeyes, which would not have been shocking last year, but given Iowa’s struggles this year and the way the Wolverines had been poleaxing opponents throughout 2016, it was.

Clemson had been darn lucky to be 9-0. The Tigers should have lost earlier this season at home to North Carolina State, but the Wolfpack kicker missed a gimme field goal at the end of regulation, allowing Clemson to escape in OT. The Tigers won a tough won from Louisville. And if Clemson’s season opener at Auburn occurred one month later, the Tigers from the SEC, not the ones from the ACC, might have emerged victorious.

Washington? Come on. The Pac-12 isn’t that strong this season. Stanford has fallen quite a bit. Oregon has collapsed. Arizona stinks. It says something when the two newest members, Colorado and Utah, are fighting for the South division, and Washington State, which lost to Eastern Washington in its season opener, now leads the North.

The Huskies’ non-conference schedule was a joke. Rutgers, Idaho and Portland State? Bill Snyder, the permanent king of cupcake scheduling, was probably envious. Tom Osborne would have been proud of that slate. Nick Saban has it right: it is high time teams in the Power 5 conferences stop playing these punching bags. I am well aware the punching bags want a big paycheck to help fill their athletic coffers, but wouldn’t those schools save money by playing more games closer to home?

Give USC credit. The Trojans could have waved the white flag after early season losses to Alabama, Stanford and Utah, but Clay Helton has revived Toy and will have USC in the Rose Bowl soon, if not this season. Fitting the win was in Seattle, where the man who led the Trojans to so much glory earlier this millennium, Pete Carroll, now coaches the Seahawks. Carroll probably was upset his team had to play at New England this weekend. He would have no doubt loved to have been watching the Trojans at Husky Stadium.

Michigan has always had trouble at Kinnick Stadium. In 1985, the Wolverines were #2, but lost 12-10 to the then-#1 Hawkeyes on the rain-slicked AstroTurf of Kinnick. Legendary Iowa coach Hayden Fry had the visiting locker room painted pink in an attempt to channel the aggression out of the visiting team, but Michigan’s equipment staff plastered over the pink walls with maize and blue posters. Nice idea. Too bad for the Wolverines it didn’t work.

Yesterday marked the first time since October 19, 1985, that the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 teams all lost on the same day.

As was the case then, Iowa beat Michigan in Iowa City, and two other teams lost at home. Then it was Oklahoma (to Miami) and Arkansas (to Texas). The Sooners bounced back and won the national championship by defeating Penn State in the Orange Bowl. Oklahoma also had a big assist from Tennessee, which beat Miami in the Sugar Bowl. The Hurricanes were a huge favorite over the Volunteers, largely based upon Miami’s 58-7 destruction of Notre Dame in its regular season finale, the final game of Gerry Faust’s coaching career. Faust had announced his resignation earlier that week following Notre Dame’s 10-7 loss to LSU in South Bend the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

I’m about to get on the road to Zona Rosa. I’ll be there at 11 when it opens, ready for the NFL.

(Bad) football feast

For those hoping for exciting football games, the first day of 2016 has been a huge disappointment.

All four bowl games so far have been one-sided, to put it mildly. Oklahoma State and Ole Miss face off in the Sugar Bowl starting at 7:30 CT, the last chance for excitement today.

The two bowls in Florida were total laughers. The combined score? 86 points for the winning teams, 13 for the losers. It was a split decision for the Big Ten and SEC, as Tennessee mauled Northwestern 45-6 in the Outback Bowl in Tampa, and Michigan stomped Florida 41-7 in the Citrus Bowl at Orlando.

The Fiesta Bowl was just as bad. Ohio State led 14-0 early and Notre Dame never got closer than 10 points. The Buckeyes ended up winning 44-28, despite playing all but the first nine minutes of the game without All-America defensive end Joey Bosa, who was ejected for hitting Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer with the crown of his helmet. Bosa has already announced he is leaving Ohio State for the NFL Draft, and some project him as the No. 1 overall pick, and all mock drafts have him in the top five.

Iowa, which was 12-0 in the regular season but lost the Big Ten championship game to Michigan State, was all pumped up about playing in the Rose Bowl for the first time in 25 years.

Too bad the Hawkeyes no-showed in Pasadena.

Stanford is taking Iowa to school. The Cardinal led 21-0 after less than 11 minutes and 35-0 at halftime. Iowa finally scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but it’s far too little, far too late.

The Hawkeyes have not won the Rose Bowl since the 1958 season, when the legendary Forrest Evashevski was still coaching in Iowa City.

Florida ended up losing its last three games to finish 10-4. Yes, the Gators were improved in their first season under Jim McIlwain following two bad seasons under Will Muschamp, who somehow got the head coaching gig at South Carolina last month. However, the Gators were absolutely putrid offensively this season, the worst Florida’s offense has been since Ron Zook coached the team from 2002-05, and maybe as bad as 1986, the year before Emmitt Smith arrived in Gainesville.

Northwestern’s stinker makes me wonder how the hell the Wildcats beat Stanford, especially in light of how bad the Cardinal are beating Iowa. And the Hawkeyes won 40-10 in Evanston in October.

Iowa scored another touchdown. Yippee. Brent Musburger just said the Hawkeyes are winning the second half. Come on, Brent, we all know football games are SIXTY minutes, not thirty. Stanford could care less.