Welcome to what we hope is the first of many Hawkeye blogger round table sessions where we talk about various topics in the world of Hawkeye sports. Today's participants are: Eric, of FightforIowa.com, Mike, of the Hawkeye State, HawkMike aka @Hawkize, and myself, PlannedSickDays.
With the Big Ten holding spring meetings us Hawkeye fans were given a few nuggets of news this week. Those topics include Adam Robinson's official dismissal from the team, Rodney Coe's test scores, and potential locations for the Big Ten Championship game. We bloggers sat down and gave our opinions on what was what in the world of Hawkeye sports.
**Warning: There may be some colorful language, after all, Dennis Dodd's name was brought up.**
Question 1: Adam Robinson’s dismissal isn’t a surprise, it was Hawk Central, or more specifically his mom, that kept the door open, at least for the general public. What do you think happened there to close the door for good? Care to speculate?
Rick (PSD) - I recall Coker stating that he wanted him back. That seemed to start a little bit of a shit-storm on the message boards but what did anyone really expect him to say? I think the team moved on, and I’m 99% sure Ferentz moved on back in January.
Mike (HS)- I feel like it went one of two ways. Either Kirk was just leading us on and said “Yeah we’ll see where it goes” or he was being honest and A-Rob didn’t hold up his end of the bargain. I’d hate go into some long conspiracy theory here but didn’t finals wrap up last Friday? Did Kirk get the results from A-Rob’s exams a few days after they ended? Possibly. I’m sure Kirk Ferentz has special privileges but I doubt it happened. Furthermore, even if Kirk was being honest I think that the grades he was expecting from A-Rob were in the 4.0-5.0-6.0 perfect human being summa cum laude range. And no offense to A-Rob but uh…no. That didn’t happen. The moment the press conference was called at the Parrish Law Firm was the moment that Adam Robinson was done at Iowa.
Mikehawk : I’m going to go ahead and say it went the first way that Mike wondered - Kirk Ferentz was grinning through his sugarfree bubbalicious-chewing teeth when he said “We’ll see where that goes.” Kirk was never letting Robinson back on the team. Sorry, Southside Hawks. Back to Tasty Tacos for you, A-Rob.
Eric (FightForIowa) - I think while Robinson was still on scholarship, Ferentz was just kind of stringing us along. He never really gave us any indication that he was seriously thinking about giving Robinson a second chance and also gave us the “nothing changed” answer. My guess is A-Rob decided to leave after the semester and Ferentz thought that was a good idea.
What impact do you think that has on the 2011 Hawkeyes, if any?
Rick (PSD) - Hey! I love Tasty Tacos and I think you really mean Henry J’s.
I re-watched the Iowa at Michigan game again yesterday and think Iowa may miss ARob’s receiving skills out of the backfield. He may have been the best receiving option since maybe Albert Young. I hope they find a player that can fill that role this fall. Maybe Iowa can develop De’Andre Johnson into a receiving back?
Mike (HS)- Little to none. I doubt there was anyone in the program who honestly expected him back. We were making contingency plans in late December and those will carry into next fall.
Mikehawk - I honestly believe the impact is positive - and here’s why - hear me out. Coker is the future at Iowa, and Ferentz’s big flaw is his loyalty to players even when there’s someone better in the passenger seat. Coker is a Big 10-type back and without Robinson, OHMIGOSH IM GOING TO SAY IT, stealing carries from him, he’s going to get the exposure he needs to become the next wrecking ball.
Eric - No doubt Robinson was good and he would have contributed. I think he would have kept if starting spot if he was never suspended from the bowl game and never subsequently kicked off the team. At worst he probably would have been in a rotation with Coker kind of like he was with Wegher 2 years ago. As far as the announcement this week though about A-Rob officially transferring...no impact.
Any thoughts on where he ends up?
Rick (PSD) - We had a little bit of a discussion about this on Twitter about this the other night. I think he stays in-state, UNI maybe? He was an undisclosed major so no clues there. I thought for a second there was another Lincoln alum at UNI, LJ Gamblin. Gamblin played at Lincoln with Bernstine and Robinson and went on to UNI. I remember Iowa recruited him a little bit as a linebacker. A little research led me to a UNI site that said Gamblin transfered to ISU so, heh, nevermind.
Mike (HS)- I doubt it will be anywhere in Iowa. I’d figure he’d feel shunned out of the state so it will probably be Illinois, Wisconsin or Missouri.
Mikehawk - It won’t be UNI. There is no good weed in Cedar Falls since Johnny Gray left.
Eric - I think his mom said something about getting into school for summer classes. If he was going to another FBS school and had to sit a year I don’t think he’d rush to go to summer school. So I’m guessing FCS and since he’s from Iowa, UNI makes sense.
Question 2: There were rumors about Coe that seemed to stem from comments Eric Johnson made at an I-Club event. Those were confirmed by Morehouse Tuesday when Ferentz commented that he still has work to do. It seems he needs a better ACT/SAT score to qualify. He was a big get for Iowa and on paper was to factor into the running back mix this Fall. If he doesn’t qualify what impact does that have, if any?
Rick (PSD)- You have to wonder if Iowa didn’t win out recruiting him because of the qualification situation. I imagine the coaches have already discussed a plan or options with Coe if he doesn’t qualify. He was told to be ready to play, I mean with the storied history of the Angry Running Back Hated God. With three other running backs coming in and Johnson and maybe White? the Hawks should be okay without him.
Mike (HS)- I’ll say this and regret it in October: if we don’t have Rodney Coe we’ll be OK because of the depth at running back. Yep, probably gonna be kicking my own ass for that sometime down the line. Regardless of what happens it won’t make a different. Please God…I hope I’m right.
Mikehawk - Rodney Coe really got a bad wrap in that LA Riot beating. That’s who we’re talking about, right? He’s a little old to play football, but whatever.
Eric - It’s hard to say...I think he could have been 3rd or 4th string running back, so the immediate impact probably wouldn’t be too large. Depth is always a major concern at the position though, so I hope he gets his test scores up up.
What are his options? Kirkwood? ICCC?
Rick (PSD) - Coe wouldn’t be the first Hawkeye to have to enter a JC for a year to qualify. Andre Tippett, Shonn Greene, Clinton Soloman. The last two were a little different stories since they actually stepped foot on campus before heading to JC to work their way back. Nick Bell was a Prop 48 and sat out his true freshman year to work on academics. It’s happened before, not a huge deal. Let’s just hope it doesn’t turn into another ‘Bonecrusher’ type situation, that’s the alternative I guess.
Mike (HS)- Why not? The thing that really concerns me about Coe is that Rivals reported him as having a 2.5 GPA in high school. In high school. Now, he could be taking his high school education not so seriously or he could actually have difficulty in the classroom. Regardless, if he’s going to succeed at Iowa he needs to either get his shit together or take full advantage of the tutoring services we offer.
Mikehawk - If you can’t go to college, go to Coe. Or if your name is Coe and you don’t qualify, just go to Kirkwood. It worked for Ali Farokmanesh.
Eric - I don’t know what schools are in Illinois but he may stay closer to home. Iowa has had some success with kids going the JUCO route, but it seems like more often they never make it back once they don’t qualify.
Question 3: If ARob and Coe are out, how do you see the running back position shaking out in the fall?
Mike (HS)- Coker, White, McCall and Johnson is my depth chart. Coker is the obvious superstar. Johnson should be the next guy in line but it seems like something always goes wrong. He’s like the Jordan Bernstine of the offense. I’ve only heard great things about White all year and I honestly believe he’ll be the #2 guy in the fall. McCall is the perfect size for a #3…and then Johnson. With our luck every one of these guys will start at one point or another.
Rick (PSD) - Coker, Johnson, White start the year on the depth chart but McCall eventually becomes the number two guy. With four (potentially, Coe?) running backs in this class I think two play for sure and the other two (Bullock, Canzeri) redshirt. If McCall is the guy right out of camp maybe he gets a load of carries early, against weak competition. It’ll depend on what kind of camp De’Andre Johnson has.
Mikehawk - Coker, Wegher, and Robinson. Wait. What?
Eric - Coker’s the obvious 1. After that I think the coaches go with seniority, at least to start the season, so White #2 and Johnson #3. Like Coker last year, I think a true freshman will get a chance to see more reps as the season progresses. It sounds like McCall would be the likely choice there. I think the two speedy guys, Bullock and Canzeri, are more likely to start on special teams and work their way into the running back position over time.
Question 4: Ferentz told Morehouse that Brad Rogers’ heart condition is improving but that Coach can only be optimistic or hopeful of his return over the summer. Is Ferentz being overly optimistic? Will we see Rogers in the backfield come this fall or does this ailment sound career threatening?
Rick (PSD) - His status has worried me for awhile. At this point, even if he is cleared you have to wonder how well he will perform this fall seeing as he hasn’t worked out, at all, since his diagnosis with the heart problem. I imagine his cardiovascular fitness is way behind that of the other fullbacks on the roster.
As an exercise science major I’ve learned a little about stress tests but not enough to speculate on any sort of illness I imagine that if he is completely shut down, as in no exercise, there may or may have been a condition related to oxygen delivery to the heart (muscle). It’s a tough deal for the kid but at the same time you have to consider him lucky to have this diagnosed before something tragic happened.
Going back to the Michigan replay, he started that day. He gave us Hawk fans a lot of hope about the fullback position for the next three years. I really didn’t think anyone stood out in the Spring scrimmage and am not sure what Iowa does at the fullback position if he is ruled out. I think Gimm is the leader, on paper? Hopefully someone will emerge.
Mike (HS) - I’m definitely concerned. I’m no doctor but anytime I hear “heart condition” or “heart ailment” I assume the worst. I don’t see how someone can even play sports when they’re having heart problems. I know Fred Hoiberg did it but he’s the god damn Mayor. It really boils down to the general public not knowing exactly what Brad’s problem is. Since we can’t be too sure it isn’t safe to speculate. But again, when it deals with the heart I always assume the worst. That being said it wouldn’t surprise me if we never see Brad Rogers on the football field again.
Eric - From everything I’ve heard nobody has a clue what is going on. That might be a good thing if the doctors have eliminated all the serious conditions, but who really knows. The longer this goes on, the less likely I think he is to play this fall. He hasn’t even practice at this point since before the bowl game.
Question 5: Ferentz told Morehouse that Willie Lowe won’t transfer after all, but he will give up football. Where are the Mass Transfers? What does that mean, if anything, for the defensive backfield?
Mike (HS)- The mass transfers are all in Dennis Dodd’s head. The thought actually developed after he suffered an aneurysm due to excessive auto-erotic asphyxiation. True story. Look at his picture on Dodds and Ends. It was taken right after he choked himself with a belt and was paralyzed in his chair. Seriously.
All horribleness aside, I don’t know how things would’ve worked out in the secondary. Simply put: it’s a clusterfuck back there. Aside from Shaun Prater it looks like anyone could have their position switched at any given time. Lowe only had one career start, in 2009, and didn’t start/was injured in 2010. It would be convenient for me to say “well he didn’t start in 2010 because he isn’t that talented” but that’s bullshit. We don’t know what would’ve happened if Phil Parker had Lowe for his senior season. Just look at what he did with Bradley Fletcher.
Rick (PSD) - I’m not sure if Lowe was going to get much more than spot duty as far as playing time. Gavin Smith, the walk-on JC kid, will probably pick up any PT Lowe was going to get. If he doesn’t get beat out by a true freshman.
Ferentz, in his way, has made it clear that he wasn’t happy with how certain members of the media reported the Rhabdo story. I wonder if guys like Dodd get the Jim Rome treatment and vice versa.
Mikehawk - I’m going to say this -. The next big stain on the Iowa football program will have nothing to with #MASSTRANSFERS. It will be the one I leave on the couch after Iowa cockstomps Nebraska in Lincoln on Black Friday. Mark it down, bitches.
Eric - While I think the Rhabdo thing was more serious than KF & Co have made it out to be, it was clearly not as serious of some nation media members said it was. I’m pretty sure Lowe was hardest hit of any other players, so if he transferred it wouldn’t have been shocking. It sounds like he just wants to take off some time from football though and still like Iowa. I don’t think his absence will have much if any effect on the secondary. He was maybe the 5th corner (if you still include Hyde as a corner) and probably would have seen most of his playing time on special teams.
Question 6: It sounds like both Indianapolis and Chicago made their pitch to the Big Ten for the future Championship games. Indoor or outdoor, Indy or Chi-town, which do you prefer?
Rick (PSD) - I’m biased towards Chicago. It’s easy for me to get there and I have in-laws in the area that I can stay with, etc. The Big Ten has a chance to be unique and play the game outside.
Mike (HS)- I’m know I’m not the only Iowan that is infatuated with Chicago and considers Wrigleyville his personal Graceland. But, I’ve also considered the logistics. I’ve been to Chicago in December and it’s nothing nice. To sit at Soldier, right off of the lake, for hours on end doesn’t sound too appetizing. A stronger point is the field conditions. Soldier’s turf will be absolute shit come December. Wasn’t it the playoff game against Seattle last year where the field was absolutely embarrassing? I love everything about Chicago but as a practical matter I have to go with Indy. Well, Indy, on the condition that Marvin Harrison isn’t in the immediate area.
Mikehawk - I love Chicago - but Soldier Field is a fucking mess in the winter, and Northwestern can suck on my thing. I vote for the title game to be at the UNI-Dome
Eric - While I think Indianapolis would be a better venue, Chicago is the better choice for Iowa. When Iowa gets to the B1G championship game one of these years, playing outdoor better suits Iowa’s style of play (unless they are playing Wisconsin). It also is an easy drive for most Iowans so the support there would be greater.
Question 7: Switching to Hawkeye hoops, what’s your take on Fran’s first real recruiting classs?
Rick (PSD) - I like the focus on athleticism. I think Olaseni will be a benefit on the defensive end and could result in more pressing defense when he is on the floor. I still think he is a third option behind Brommer and Archie but he might earn more minutes as the season progresses.
I’m not sure about Oglesby, hopefully he is the shooter everyone says he is. I think Iowa lacked a three point threat last year and it hurt them late in-games.
Hubbard is the wild card in my mind. If he can be the slasher and scorer that he was in JC the Hawks will get the boost offensively they need. I hope that he becomes a leader and a score on the court. The kind of player that just makes everyone else on the floor better.
Mike (HS)- I love it. I really didn’t like the type of kids that Todd Lickliter recruited. I’m not going to name any names but I will say that he brought in a few guys that probably shouldn’t be on a Big Ten basketball team. I realize that sounds awful but c’mon…we’ve been awful for a while now.
Oglesby sounds like the second coming of Matt Gatens. He’s a perimeter shooter and great off of the screen. Some of the highlight reels I’ve seen make him look like Ray Allen. The only problem is that he’s a tall drink of water. I’m sure he’ll bulk up in a year or two. I haven’t seen any film on White but at 6’7 he’s tall enough to be a combo forward. I’m sure he’ll be great.
Olaseni is a British center with an awesome accent. How could this go wrong?
Then there’s Anthony Hubbard. I think we’ve all written or read multiple pieces about how this is going to work out. It’s a gamble and Fran knows that. But, I trust Fran until he gives me reason to doubt him. Hubbard is undoubtedly a great basketball player but has “character issues.” Well, actually I don’t think “character issues” properly describes it. How about: Anthony Hubbard has wheelman issues. That’s better.
Mikehawk - I hope Hubbard doesn’t kill anyone. This year, anyway.
Eric - I haven’t looked too far into the recruits. I’ve tried to watch any film I could find on youtube (there isn’t much), but that’s about it. Oglesby is probably the most exciting kid to me. He goes to my alma mater (CR Washington), plus he can shoot lights out.
Question 8: Iowa hosts Clemson in the ACC/B1G challenge on Nov. 29th. Think the Hawks will win this one?
Rick (PSD) - Hawks win! Hawks win! I really don’t know and it’s way too early. I thought I read that Clemson lost a lot from last years team and the students will be back from Tgiving break, so I hope that Carver is rockin’.
Mike (HS)- I didn’t even know there were other teams in the ACC not named Duke or North Carolina. I took a look at Clemson’s record over the past 5 years and it’s been impressive. However, I believe they lost their two leading scorers to graduation. It’s too early but I think it depends on the kind of start that Iowa gets off to.
Mikehawk - I’m more looking forward to the Crieghton game in Des Moines. Why? Beer. That’s why.
Eric - I too read somewhere (probably on twitter) that Clemson lost a lot of starters and will be a relatively inexperience team next year. It bodes well for Iowa that the year will be near the beginning of the year. I don’t see any reason why Iowa can’t win the game, especially at home. Let’s call this a W for the B1G.
Thanks for reading, we hope to hold these every couple of weeks and perhaps weekly once the football season kicks off. If you are interested in participating in the round table feel free to let us know via Twitter. If you have your own opinion on anything we discussed leave a comment below.
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