I’ve been sitting here staring at a blank screen for 15 minutes and I still don’t know how to start this rant, so allow me to have this smug, clairvoyant weasel to do it for me:
Everyone knows Iowa's best teams are the ones that get picked fifth. 32 of 39 first-place votes? That screams Music City Bowl.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) July 22, 2016
I wish I could blame the result of the football game I will now be referring to as Creighton’s Forever Shame (CFS) on the dangers of hype, but hype had nothing to do with what I just witnessed. Here is a short, incomplete list of advantages Iowa had against NDSU:
- Better players at every single position
- Home field advantage
- More depth
- Fans that didn’t drive their homes to the football game
- Better facilities and equipment
- A quarterback that looks like Macaulay Culkin minus the propensity for elaborate traps
- Beth Mowins silenced the haters by actually being able to tell the difference between Riley McCarron and Matt VandeBerg for once, and also knowing that they aren’t tight ends
But none of that can overcome a lazy effort, shitty play calling and nonexistent adjustments. Iowa’s players made far too many stupid mistakes; worthless pass protection, numerous dropped passes on guys who literally couldn’t have been more wide open, a 60 yard rush negated by a lazy holding penalty....but make no mistake, the coaches are at fault here.
This game is going to be talked about for the next 10 years. I’m going to cringe every single time. Kirk Ferentz will get made fun of for it a lot and he will deserve every single bit of it.
Kirk Ferentz lost a close game the same way he always loses close games: He accidentally stumbled into a clumsy lead, then immediately abandoned anything that was working offensively in the hopes of running out the clock without turning the ball over. “Oh, CJ just took a big hit there. 7-point lead? That’s plenty of cushion for me to telegraph zone runs for the next 25 minutes of play.”
Of course the defense wore out. Iowa couldn’t sustain any drive for more than 0 to 1 first downs at a time in the second half. The defense was on the field the entire time, trying to defend an offense designed specifically to wear down defenses over time. It doesn’t take Stewart Mandel’s fucking crystal ball to predict that would happen.
So does NDSU deserve some credit for their effort? No of course not, because I’m a sore loser and because Iowa beat themselves more than an FCS program could ever possibly do. Besides, by giving the Bison any credit for their win I would simply be absolving Iowa of some of the humiliation they deserve for their effort in CFS. No the Bison were not responsible for CFS, they were just present for it.
So Kirk Ferentz hasn’t changed, Greg Davis’ play designs are still deeply flawed, and none of the coaches were able to prepare their players for a team they’ve been told to take seriously since the day they were scheduled 3 or 4 years ago.
Football is dumb. Sports are dumb. Everything is the worst and nothing matters. Have a field day, internet. Iowa deserves the shame. Way to throw your alma mater a bone, Gary Barta. Welcome back, Old Kirk. It’s been a while. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go take a shower so I can’t tell if I’m crying or not.