2011 New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Iowa St. -vs- Rutgers

Written December 30th, 2011 by Joe Laing

Finally my turn to get into the action, with writing a bowl preview.  Always fun to watch football games in baseball stadiums.

Pinstripe Bowl3 2011 New Era Pinstripe Bowl Picks Iowa State Vs Rutgers Point Spreads

The Basics: Friday, December 30th from Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY at 3:30 PM EST. The game will be televised on ESPN pitting Iowa St (6-6) vs. Rutgers (8-4).

History: Last year saw the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl in Yankee stadium, which has tie ins to the Big East and Big 12.  The Inaugural game last year saw Syracuse defeat KSU in a thriller.

Iowa St: The Cyclones are led by freshmen standout signal caller Jared Barnett.  He put opponents on their heels both through the air and on the ground.  Don’t let their record fool you as Barnett didn’t take over the job till October, when he led them to 3 straight victories.  Obviously this team will be remembered for their huge upset win over then #2 Okie State and held them out of the National Championship game.  While Barnett had a huge game against the Pokes, he was highly inaccurate thorughout the year only completing 50% of his passes, so he may struggle against a very good Rutgers defense.

Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights will lean heavily on their defense in this one.  Their tough D allowed only 18.75 points per game which was good for 12th in the country and 314 yds of total offense, which put them 14 nationally.  Their D is led by Big East defense POY Khaseem Greene who was tops in the Big East in tackles with 127.   Rutgers offense will also be led by a freshmen signal caller Gary Nova.  He took over midway through the season and started the last 5 games leading the team in 1533 yds and 11 td passes.  Nova will have a big time target to throw the ball to in WR Mohamed Sanu who set a Big East single season record with 109 catches.  That landed him fifth in the nation.  They will have to lean heavily on Nova and Sanu , as they had a very anemic running game averaging under a 100 yds/game.  Iowa State’s putrid defense may allow for Rutgers to get on track on the ground tho.  Rutgers will be playing in a bowl game for the 6th time in the last 7 years.  Look for Rutgers to come out strong in this one as they will essentially be playing in their own back yard.

Fun Fact: In only the bowl games 2nd year this year there aren’t alot of facts about the bowl game, but Yankee stadium has been the host to some great moments in football history.  Did you know that the what is considered” the greatest football game ever played” was played at Yankee statdium.  The NFL championship game Dec 23, 1958 between the New York Giants and Baltimore Colts.

Who we got?

  • Chris – Iowa St.
  • Eric – Iowa St.
  • Jim – Iowa St.
  • JoeD – Iowa St.
  • Mali – Couldn’t make up his mind.
  • JoeL – Rutgers


Meet The New Guy: Ohio State Hires Tom Herman

Written December 8th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

Braxton's New BFF

We should have listened to our great commentators…

First, they told us how strong of a program Iowa State is. Then, they gave us the heads up that ISU’s offensive coordinator was someone to keep an eye on.

Well, they were right, and Coach Meyer (still fun to type that!) agrees, today hiring Tom Herman to be the quarterbacks coach at Ohio State. UPDATE: Herman will also serve as the offensive coordinator, as per Ohio State.

Here’s a bit from the CBS story on this-

Herman is relatively young (36 years old); he graduated cum laude from California Lutheran in 1997 and has been an assistant coach ever since. He has been Iowa State’s offensive coordinator for three years, as he was brought in with Paul Rhoads before the 2009 season. Under Herman, the Iowa State offense has scored 20.5, 23.7, and 23.6 points per game in those three years. Previously, Herman was the offensive coordinator at Rice for two years, and he spent time as an assistant at two other schools in Texas for the six season prior to that. Herman also spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Texas after graduating from college.

This hire is a bit surprising, although Herman is an up and coming coach and will fit well into Coach Meyer’s plan for the development of the program. Here’s something from an indepth look at his career and offensive philosophy.

Herman’s big on preaching to his players about trying to win “the double positive,” he explains of his biggest stat barometer.

“If you win the turnover battle and the ‘explosive’ game, stats say you win the game 97 percent of the time. We preach that to our kids daily. I think I read a study a few years ago about it and it’s certainly held up in all of my years as a coordinator.

Just awesome… a lot different than the former video editor quarterbacks coach. Now, we need to get him a good nickname… I’m guessing “PeeWee” ain’t gonna’ fly, what about the “Hermanator”?

At any rate- welcome to the Buckeye Family, Coach Herman!

UPDATE: Great video of his offensive philosophy-

The Week That Were: 11.19.11

Written November 21st, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

After yesterday’s slate of games, the soundtrack for this episode should be pretty obvious.  Onward!

Ain’t chaos beautiful?  While the end result may be less than desirable, you’ve got to be amazed at the ways that each week is different, each week has the possibility for the unexpected and amazing.  And this week was proof positive that the football gods have both a sense of humor AND a mischievous side.

Wait... what?

We start on Friday, with a shout out and hat tip to our BFF’s from Ames who saw their mighty Cyclones upset the #2 ranked Cowboys of T. Boone Pickens U. It was a perfect “storm” of sorts- ISU’s freshman quarterback played the game of his life, while Gundy’s squad seemed incapable of being able to hang onto the ball and put points on the board.  Somehow, a team that managed to shut out Texas Tech at home couldn’t cover a basic wheel route; a Cyclone TD and a senior citizen moment from Weeden ended any hopes that Oklahoma State had at playing for the national championship… at least, so it would seem (more later).

Congrats to Coach Paul Rhodes and his staff for getting his team prepared to square off against the ‘Pokes, and for having Iowa State bowl eligible once again.

So- we had early warnings that something was astir in this week’s slate of games, but “The Oracle” was able to solidify our beliefs that it was going to be an unforgettable experience. I’ll just link to Lee Corso’s commentary, since it’s not all that family friendly; let’s remember a) he had a stroke a while back and b) he spoke the truest college preview that’s ever been spoken. Read More

The Week That Were: 10.29.11

Written October 31st, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

I’ll be honest… it’s been so great to relive the huge Buckeye win over Wisconsin, I’ve had to dig a bit to find motivation to even think about the other games from this week. However, my search for a soundtrack that would be appropriate for Halloween Weekend, I found this gem that helped me keep my focus…

Digging The Soundtrack

The story this week was big upsets, both with teams falling from the ranks of the undefeated and teams rising to the occasion against expectations.  So let’s start in that vein, and with a little “howdy do” to our newest BFFs from the Iowa State contingency, who turned the tables on a Texas Tech team coming off a huge upset on their own. And it wasn’t just a “win” against the #20 Red Raiders, but a 41-7 demolition of Tommy Tuberville’s squadron… must have been a bit presumptuous to start the “Mike Leach Who?” talk, huh? No wonder the folks in Lubbock were chippy.

But the Cyclone satisfaction didn’t stop there, as cross state rivals Iowa also fell in a surprising factor, to a Minnesota team that’s been disappointing both for their coach and for their conference. But, in a week where the new guy got a huge “Vote Of Confidence“, his Gophers responded with a one point victory in Iowa City to the perennial B1G Coach Of The Year. They get Floyd back in Minneapolis, which is always a good thing.  Yup, just another week of pride for the folks at ISU… enjoy your moment. Read More

The Week That Were- 9.17.11

Written September 18th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

Well, after a loss there really is only one choice for this week’s soundtrack… Just be thankful I didn’t go all Broadway on you. I know that there were exciting things on the field to talk about, but the big story brings us to…

Not just for Wisconsin fans anymore...

This week in EXPAND-A-PALOOZA: Well, well, well- Saturday awoke to the ACC getting their big boy pants on, and Sunday it became official- Pitt and Syracuse would be joining the conference in all sports. This was a surprising move, since the ACC has been relatively quiet throughout this process, although last week the powers that be agreed to raise the conference buyout to $20 million (from $12-$14 mil).  While it looks proactive in many ways, it’s got to be influenced by rumors that the SEC was looking to poach several schools (FSU/Clemson) from the conference.  The addition of Pitt and Syracuse also effectively block the B1G; these programs were always in the minds of those who believed that B1G Commish Jim Delaney was looking to connect with the NY media market- that ship may have now sailed. As a reminder, the B1G is constrained, in a good way from my perspective, by the belief that the conference’s affiliations should transcend television dollars or “great matchups”, and include schools that are parts of the CIC or AAU to share research revenue opportunities.

Other rumors today are that TBPU, OU, UT, and TTU would head to the PAC-16 and be in a western division with Utah, Colorado, and the two Arizona schools.  To solve the problem of “not playing in California” for recruiting purposes, the conference would move to a “pod” system that would have teams playing three other schools every year, and then two schools from the other two pods on a rotating basis.  Yeah, it’s that complicated. Be aware, though, that UT folks were just in LA for the UCLA game (more later), and that UT and OU have board of regents meetings called for Monday, with Texas having “Conference Alignment” on the agenda.

Elsewheres, UConn has also been rumored to head to the ACC (holy cow, is that going to be a basketball powerhouse conference), while WVa is rumored to have submitted it’s petition to be the SEC’s #14.  Where does that leave the B1G? Notre Dame/Rutgers/Mizzou are supposedly the next targets… although the CIC/AAU thing is still a strong draw for some who are connected to Longhorn Nation.

Oh, and if the insiders at a certain Northwestern message board are to be believed, ESPN is at the heart of this.  Anyone else curious how media conglomerates became involved in the actions of institutions of higher education? And you thought the “coverage” of B1G sports by the four letter network had an agenda now… what do you think will happen when three of the four super-conferences have deals with Bristol’s network.  Now THAT’s something congress should look into, if you ask me- particularly given the fact that the organization that was created to monitor and guide these matters is pretty much powerless on top of other issues.

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The Week That Were: 11.13.10

Written November 14th, 2010 by MaliBuckeye

Time once again to take a look back at all the fancy doin’s in the realm of college football.  This week’s theme music reminds you to not call it a comeback…

Some sad news to end the weekend: Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Southern Miss players who were shot last night following their game. Word is that they’re stable, and we hope their recovery goes well.

Speaking of injuries, Northwestern’s QB Dan Persa ruptured his Achilles on the winning TD toss, as Iowa went down to defeat at the hands of the Purple yet again. Interestingly enough, he was not tackled on the play. This is the second year in a row that a QB has gotten injured in this epic (?) match up between the Hawkeyes and Wildkitties; you’ve got to hope that wonder if Persa’s backup has an attractive mom as well. Persa will be missed- he played with a ton of heart and skill, and had just the right amount of moxie. Read More

The Week That Were: 10.23.10

Written October 24th, 2010 by MaliBuckeye

In the spirit of Homecoming, here’s this week’s musical selection. Congrats to Ohio State’s new royalty- I apologize if your reign is rudely interrupted.

Columbus wasn’t the only college town named after Spanish explorers that was celebrating “Fleecing Forgetful Alumni Weekend” (so named by a friend who works in alumni relations- it’s amazing how the school that everyone complained about is the greatest place ever four years removed); we also were privy to the celebrations in Columbia Missouri as well. And, as you’ve probably had shoved down your throat all day, for the third straight week the number one team in the nation lost on the road. Congrats to the Mizzou Tigers and their potent “Ok, everyone go out and turn around” offense, yet another incarnation of the “basketball on grass” trends we’ve been seeing for the past few years.  Given that Oklahoma was also running a similar scheme, it made for a long television experience. To be honest, when IOU was running their last gasp version of the Cal kickoff return, it was difficult for me to differentiate from the rest of the offensive snaps.

That’s not intended to take away from what the Tigers accomplished- it’s great that they have s significant moment that doesn’t involve kicking or getting obliterated.  In several years, when the advancement office is calling them asking for money, they’ll be able to look back on this and remember the excitement, the glory, the awkward haircuts, and the complete disregard for others’ personal space.

Question of the day? Will Oklahoma get the same level of “respect” that Ohio State seems to get?  Remember, they’ve got a worse BCS record and a worse record in big games.  Now that they’ve put the “choke” back into their name, I’m looking forward to hearing about Stoops’ “issues” nonstop from the experts. Read More

More Know Your Neighbor: Nebraska

Written June 14th, 2010 by MaliBuckeye

With the exciting news that the Big T1e1n has extended an offer to the University of Nebraska, I thought it would make sense to use my “connections” to give Buckeye fans a little bit of insight from the other side of this announcement.

Not a mugshot

With that, here’s the second installation of “Ask A Husker” (be sure to check out the first). Last time, we got the fan perspective, hearing from a UNL alum. Today, we kick it up a notch, and chat with former Cornhusker Aaron Terpening. A graduate of North Salem high school in Salem Oregon, Terp lettered with the Huskers for four years, and was three time Big 12 academic all conference. His role on special teams and as a Rover (free safety) for Nebraska was an important part of their team from 1999-2002; he played for Frank Solich and just missed the first Pelini era. He also graduate from UNL with a Masters in Architecture, and currently works as an architect in his home town of Salem Oregon.

Here we go:

Welcome to the Big T1e1n! Do you get the sense that Nebraska is a good “fit” for the conference? What are your feelings about this move? What are your former teammates saying about the move?

Thanks for the warm welcome.  From what I’ve heard and read, the Big Ten Fans have been very gracious and welcoming.  That makes a big difference.  Joining another conference could be intimidating and awkward, but I think the Big Ten is going to make this transition feel natural.  I heard Delany wore a “N” lapel pin on recent visit.  That is a small thing that makes a big impact.

I’m excited and a little sad.  It’s hard to think that over a hundred of years of consistent opposition is going by the wayside.  But, I think it’s important to remember that before the Big 12 it was the Big 8 and before that the Big 6.  The Big 6 had teams like Drake and Grinnell.  So, conferences and opponents change over time.  To move to another conference is nothing new.  When the Big 12 formed and the yearly match with Oklahoma was thrown out, to me, that diminished the importance of continued rivalries for us.

If you read/listen to folks from Austin, Nebraska is the reason that the Big 12 is dissolving, At the press conferences. Dr. Osborne and others were pretty frustrated by this line of thought. As a former player, was there anything that surprised you in the way that it happened?

Look! A coach from Ohio!

I know from my experience with Tom Osborne and Frank Solich for that matter, emotion was never a huge part of the equation.  There was a time and a place for it, for sure.  And that time was about ten minutes before kick-off.  Otherwise, decisions on Nebraska’s part under TO’s leadership have always been consistent, thought through, and fair.  Nebraska as an institution would never act in a disingenuous manner toward the other institutions within the Big 12.  I don’t mind the idea that we were “at fault’ for the crumbling of the Big 12.  Who cares?

The fact is, the conference was a mess and there are/were a couple schools willing to do something about it.  I sincerely think Nebraska tried to make it work, but they were apparently unable to get any concessions by other members.  From the day the conference was formed and they made the headquarters Irving, Texas and moved it from Kansas City, things have been tilted south.  I am a bit surprised that the Big 12 didn’t do more to keep itself together.  I don’t know who’s fault that is.

Are there specific ways that you see this transition helping the Huskers? Recruiting, television, other sports?

Recruiting is something I am a bit concerned about.  I have no idea how that will go.  Not playing teams from Texas, Kansas, Missouri(maybe), and Oklahoma every year may make it more difficult to pull players from those states.  I just don’t know how that will go.

Basketball may be one sport that Nebraska could really see improvement in due to the realignment.  Husker fans have been waiting patiently for years expecting that the basketball program would follow the football programs success somehow.  Maybe this move will finally make that a possibility.

The academic part of it seems to be a great opportunity for the University of Nebraska.   I don’t know much about it, but the CIC (assuming Nebraska gets to be part of it) will be a good affiliation for the schools. This together with the athletic and monetary parts of the deal will be Tom Osborne’s legacy.  This may be bigger than his championships.  However, this might not have happened except for the trophies.

What are going to be the challenges for Nebraska in this new conference?

300+ consecutive sold out games

Nebraska will have to get used to larger crowds and different styles of coaching.  The Big 10 at the moment has some very conservative styles of football.  I think this is why Nebraska is a good fit.  But, it’ll be a challenge because their opponents may be strong in some of the same areas Nebraska is strong. When i say ‘conservative’, I mean good defense, a strong work ethic, sportsmanship, and respect for opponents.  These are all things Nebraska has excelled at and the Big 10 is known for.

You were a part of Nebraska’s historic “walk on” program- What was that like for you? How did you choose to go that route rather than accepting a full scholarship at another institution?

Being a walk-on was a dream-come-true for me.  My family were always huge Nebraska fans.  Growing up watching players like Calvin Jones and Baron Miles inspired me.  They played so hard every play, they were strong and relentless.  I wanted to be a part of that.  I modeled how I played after that.  So, to get the opportunity to make it happen was an amazing feeling.  I enjoyed it from the day I got there.  I loved practice, I loved the conditioning, I loved the humid summers and freezing windy winters.  It was all part of Nebraska football.  I miss feeling like I was going to die from lack of oxygen in 98 degrees with 98 percent humidity at five o’clock on a summer night with the other defensive backs hunched over together.  That was why I went there, to be somewhere that valued that work ethic.

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