So it's Hate Week Night Eve, or...the night before the Iowa game. It's always a big game when Floyd is on the line, and friends don't let Floyd go back to Iowa.
We can't stream live audio at work (something about thousands of people streaming would take up bandwidth. Whatever) so I end up podcasting what I listen to during the week. Love the Judd and Phunn show on 1500E!SPN since they seem to be the one sports radio show in town that 1) talks a lot of sports and 2) will willingly and ablely talk about the Gophers (and NHL hockey, which I'm partial to). They have a weekly chat with Phil Miller and he mentioned how often Max Shortell got blitzed in that Syracuse game. Sounded like almost 90% of the snaps the Orange were bringing a blitz from somewhere. Mr. Miller has a quick blog post about how much Shortell enjoys the chess match of reading a defense quickly. Max's stats weren't super-impressive, but he didn't turn the ball over (and also had a TD to Fruechte called back on a holding penalty) and knowing now how much pressure he faced his performance looks even better. Playing hated rival Iowa at Kinnick will be a tough challenge in just his second start this season, but I think Shortell will be ready.
This man is familiar with Floyd of Rosedale. Not the trophy, the actual prized hog that started it all back in 1935, where he saw him in the flesh as an 8 year old kid.
Matt at FBT has a "statsy" final wrap of the win over Syracuse.
Black Heart Gold Pants did a Q&A for us, and we also answered some of their questions over on their site. Tread with caution- a LOT of disgruntled Hawkeye fans over there.
Down With Goldy previews the Minnesota v Iowa game as only he can.
The Minnesota Daily previews the game, says Coach Kill and the Gophers deserve your credit, respect, and optimism, and that the Gophers are not concerned about Iowa's childish pink visitors locker room.
DL Wilhite is on the short list of B1G defensive player of the year candidates. So says the E!SPN B1G blog.
Another frequent guest of the Judd & Phunn show is Strib columnist Chip Scoggins. We've been conditioned over the years to treat Strib columnists writing about Gopher football like a small, petulant child, letting them rant and rave but knowing they have no idea what they're talking about. Scoggins is by no means a Gopher football expert, but he's at least a huge college football fan, as a southerner and graduate of the University of Tennesee. His latest piece talks about the Big Ten's recruiting gap compared to the rest of the country, and how the B1G is falling behind:
The league's struggles aren't limited to this season. From 2006 to 2011, the Big Ten posted the fourth-best nonconference winning percentage (69.4) among conferences, trailing the SEC, Big 12 and Big East. The Big Ten also went 16-30 in bowl games in that same span.
If we haven't had this conversation here before, it's certainly been had by you and I with others about why there's an APPARENT lack of talent and competitiveness. Are schools in the SEC and Big XII getting better talent year in and year out? For the most part, probably. But that's a very small part of the story. The B1G's success and popularity hurts it because the two best B1G schools make a BCS bowl every season, moving everybody up a spot in the bowl pecking order. So most of the B1G teams in bowls are "playing up" as underdogs. It's also a strange time in the conference, as Ohio State is on probation (anyone NOT think Urban Meyer will have Ohio St competing for national titles as soon as next year? Didn't think so), Michigan is still finding its feet under new coach Brady Hoke, Nebraska is still adjusting to its new home, Wisconsin has Bret Bielma for a coach, and former national power and brand Penn State is in the worst shape in the history of the program.
As for this year, yes, the Big Ten has not acquitted itself well at all. But honestly, they're not alone. USC was supposed to be a national title contender until they lost to Stanford, who then lost to Washington last night. Oklahoma doesn't look like themselves, Texas is down, Florida State MAY be back except they don't play anyone so we have no idea, and other than Alabama and LSU, who has really impressed you in the SEC? Exactly. It's a down year in general for college football, as the only truly elite teams look to be Alabama, Oregon, and maybe Florida State and LSU. This year could be a lot like
2005 2007 where we have a 2 loss team in the title, as there's very few great teams and a bunch of meh after that.