The Times-Delphic

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Big 4 football: bright purple

It looks like football fans of Iowa will put aside their differences — yellow and red or black and gold — and don Northern Iowa purple.

The Panthers were the only team to win this weekend, a 31-23 decision at No. 5 Youngstown State. Northern Iowa also jumped from No. 14 to No. 7 in the NCAA I-AA poll. The Panthers are 3-0 in the Gateway Conference and look to protect that mark when they host Western Illinois in the Dome on Saturday.

Another team that was in the NCAA I-AA standings was San Diego, which handed Drake a 37-0 loss at Drake Stadium. The Toreros are ranked No. 20 in the scholarship teams’ poll and No. 1 in the Sports Network Mid-Major poll.

Makes one think about how Northern Iowa and San Diego would match up … and it could happen. San Diego could earn one of the at-large bids to the NCAA tournament. It’s a long shot, though.

If San Diego were selected for the tournament it means the second-place Pioneer Football League team would play in the Gridiron Classic.

Drake travels to Dayton this Saturday. Normally this would be a big game, but the Flyers don’t seem to be the power they once were because they have yet to win a PFL game.

After Dayton, No. 4 Drake hosts No. 9 Davidson in its final home game and it closes out the regular season at No. 10 Jacksonville. So on paper, the Bulldogs could pull off second place in the conference.

So with a lot of good luck for San Diego and a little bad luck for Iowa State, Drake could go to a bowl game while the Cyclones stay home. Iowa State lost its homecoming game 42-26 to Texas Tech, and it needs to win three of its last four games to get six wins in order to make it to a bowl game. The Cyclones travel to Kansas State this Saturday and host Kansas the following week.

Coach Dan McCarney said he isn’t worried about his job even though athletic director Jamie Pollard has already shown he isn’t afraid to terminate jobs after missing post-season play. Remember what happened when the Iowa State men’s basketball team didn’t even make the National Invitation Tournament last season. Yup, bye bye Wayne Morgan. Hello, Greg McDermott.

Well, Jamie, if you’re in the market, I hear Jim Harbaugh can create a winning program. And he’s an ex-Bears hero in the state of Iowa. You’ve got to love that.

Anyway, McCarney can avoid this situation if he can get his offensive line to protect his quarterback, and if he can get his quarterback to throw the ball to Todd Blythe. Iowa State quarterbacks have already been sacked 23 times this season by opponents and Bret Meyer has taken most of those hits.

Iowa quarterback Drew Tate won’t be taking hits or snaps when Iowa faces Northern Illinois this Saturday at Kinnick. Tate injured his non-throwing hand at Michigan where the Hawkeyes lost 20-6. Tate will have surgery on his thumb and will be expected back in practice next Tuesday. Register reporter Andrew Logue said it isn’t clear whether Tate will be in the lineup for the Iowa-Northwestern game the following week.

Iowa is 2-3 in the Big Ten Conference, and it needs to win its last three league games to keep its hope alive for a “good” bowl game. Luckily for the Hawkeyes, their fans like to travel to warm destinations during the winter months, and bowl reps like that when selecting what teams they want.

How do you think the Big 4 teams will fare for the rest of their schedules?

3 Comments:

At 11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's complete crap that the TD ran a story on the intramural men's flag football championship game. Since when does it run anything on regular intramural games? Is this policy going to continue? I have my doubts.

Also, what's with the six-page issue yesterday? Is there really not enough news to churn out eight pages?

And, please, fix those stupid headshots!!!

 
At 1:40 AM, Anonymous erin d. said...

Seeing as how it was a championship game, I think it was perfectly acceptable for the TD to cover the game. The TD has covered intramurals in the past, and it is a nice mix for students who are involved in athletics, just not on the varsity level.

Additionally, while The TD is typically 8 pages, every once in a while the paper does switch to 6 (or on occasion 10, 12, heck even 68) pages. Sometimes there aren't enough ads and sometimes it is just a slow news day. I bet the TD would be more than willing to take any suggestions you have for story ideas that would help them to fill the space they have. And since you are so upset about this I bet you could take it upon yourself to fill out an application and start writing for The TD to ensure those 8 page issues.

 
At 11:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Erin.
And so, "Anonymous" I will also defend the TD running the flag football championship story. I think intramurals are a great way to get a variety of different people involved with athletics.

The Wellness Center is always trying to improve participation in intramurals (by the way- last spring the intramural department estimated over 60% of Drake students participated in intramurals).

Also, the game was played in the newly renovated Drake Stadium. How many other colleges allow intramurals on brand new turf?

The story was unique to Drake, it has widespread interest, and it was an interesting read. Therefore the TD will continue to cover select intramural games.

Next semester the men's intramural basketball championship will be played in the Knapp Center. Be sure to look for an extensive story about it in the following TD issue.

So, "Anonymous", by all means, continue to voice your doubts. I'm sorry you felt that the story was "complete crap"- but I can assure you that all details and persons in the story were factual and that many other subscribers to the TD enjoyed the story. You have been out-voted on this one.

Oh yes! The 6-page issue- I'm sure you noticed it fell in the week between all the conference meets and games. Few Drake teams were active and only three companies ran ads in the paper. Therefore, instead of filling pages with "crap" a decision was made to run only 6 quality pages.

Have no fear; our usually 8-page issue will hit the stands tomorrow morning.

As always, comments and concerns are welcome.
Regards,
Kate B
Times-Delphic Sports Editor

 

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